Media Portfolio by Amber (Carr) lozier

PSYC1012: General Psychology w/ Professor Eric Browning

Why Do Endorphins Make You Happy?

I Choose a CNN Health Article called "Why Endorphins (And Exercise) Make You Happy." By Kristen Domonell, Daily Burn. This article was written on Wednesday, January 13, 2016. In this article they talk about how your body releases endorphins that cause you to feel happy. "Endorphins are any of a group of endogenous peptides found especially in the brain that bind chiefly to opiate receptors and produce some pharmacological effects (as pain relief) like those of opiates." (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2017). Endorphins are increased during exercise causing a sense of euphoria during and after the activity. During exercise the brain releases a variety of neurotransmitter molecules that are very similar to morphine injected into the body. It gives you a sense of calming, happiness, such as runners-high and indifference to pain when someone is injured. This article shows you how the brain has many different roles other than assisting in thought process. The brain has been known to release these pleasure sensors when the body really needs it. There have been cases where athletes will have injured themselves only to be able to "play through the pain." After the game is over, they will suddenly be reminded of how painful their injury really is. Endorphins act like opiates in the body and are able to trick the brain into thinking everything is great and we are feeling happy. Truly Amazing!

“Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” released November 4, 2016

Observational Learning: Promoting Violence Through Video Games

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a first person shooter video game. This is a video game is about combat battle and strategizing how to kill your opponent. There are three modes you can play in. “Campaign, returns to the gritty, large-scale war roots of the franchise while boldly looking ahead. Multiplayer, delivers the future of warfare, with many gameplay innovations. And the Cooperative Zombies mode, takes players on the wide ride through a new storyline with unique gameplay features and mechanics.” (Call of Duty, 2017)

This is a great example of “Observational Learning.” Observational Learning is where you observer and imitate through indirect experience. By watching and playing video games that allow you to be the shooter and kill people, you are promoting violence. Children are very susceptible individuals. Studies show that children when exposed to excessive amounts of violence via video games, tend to get in more fights. “Research has shown that viewing media violence does lead to increased expression of aggression in the viewers.” (Myers, 2016, p 252) Video games such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, when you are in the first shooter position can cause violence-viewing effect. There are two main factors that result from the violence-viewing effect and they are imitation and desensitizing. Children tend to imitate things they see and hear, especially when on television/video games. When playing violent video games, children will be more prone to act out violently themselves. By prolonged exposure to violent video games and television, they will become desensitized to violence. “Douglas Gentile and his colleagues (2004) studied more than 400 third to fifth graders. After controlling for existing differences in hostility and aggression, the researchers reported increased aggression in those heavily exposed to violent television, videos, and video games.” (Myers, 2016, p 252). There is a lot of correlation between gun violence and videos games. Video games, such as Call of Duty, make guns and violence seem fun. While being desensitized to violence, it can cause kids to fear less and want to take matter into their own hands. Whether it’s with their words, fists, or weapons, violence is wrong and we need to start watching what we allow our children to observe.

Adolescent Sexuality- Immortalizing Premarital Sex & Teen Pregnancy Through Media

"Teen Mom" On Air Date (12/2009-02/2017) created by Lauren Dolgen

“Teen Mom” is a documentary television series that follows around four young mothers as they face the challenges of motherhood. This show is a big contributor of promoting sex and teen pregnancies to a younger and more influenced generation. The precipice of the show is that they will follow teenage mothers around and watch as they attempt to raise their children. This show is very popular and has been on television for years. Each year they follow around the same women and allows viewers to see a day in their life. Yes, you are able to see how they can struggle to raise a child when they are still a child themselves, but at the same time they are profiting and influencing children that it is ok to have sex at a young age.

Media plays a big role in promoting sexual activity in adolescents. When kids watch this show and see how young the woman are on Teen Mom, they might think that they themselves are old enough to start having sex. “An average hour on prime-time television on the three major U.S. networks contains approximately 15 sexual acts, words, and innuendos.” (Myers, 2016, p 361). When individuals are watching their favorite television shows their subconscious is soaking in the images. “The more sexual content adolescents view (even when controlling for other predictors of early sexual activity), the more likely they are to perceive their peers as sexually active, to develop sexually permissive attitudes, and to experience early intercourse.” (Myers, 2016, p 361). Sex is everywhere in media today. Images of men and women half naked are all throughout magazines, promiscuity, adultery, and one night stands with complete strangers are publicized through television shows and movies, prostitution is advertised through video games, sex anyway you can think of, can be seen online, and booty calls, friends with benefits, and premarital sex is talked about in a large number or songs. “Studies have shown that the more sexual content kids watch and listen to, the earlier they’re likely to have sex themselves.” (Sexual Behavior, 2017). When you hear facts like that, you wonder why we have such high rates of teen pregnancies or such a high demand for the morning after pill.

Social Media- Keeping Up With The “Social Influences”

Garfield Comic Strip by Jim Davis (Sunday March, 26, 2017; Columbus Dispatch)

This piece barely has any words through the entire comic strip but the pictures tell a clear story and message. There are six slides and in each of them only one word, aside from the starting slide. The first slide starts showing you one of the main characters, Jon Arbuckle, pulling up the camera on his phone. Second slide shows Jon using the camera to snap a picture of his food. The next couple slides show each character copying one another and using their phone’s camera to do the same as Jon. They have a variety of characters, such as Garfield, Dr. Liz Wilson, Odie, and Squeak (the mouse), to show how influential people can be. Much like society today, everyone is snapping pictures of what they are eating and posting the image on the internet for various reasons. Some want validation for eating healthy and need it to keep up inspiration while others do it as a WOW! Factor. How many likes can my page get? Do we need to know what you ate or where you’ve been? Not really, but in all of these cases, they are doing it because this is the social norm. Social Media is one of the biggest promoters for social influences. When we see someone post something on the internet that is successful and gets a lot of attention (via comments or likes,) everyone else wants to do it to. The younger generation has to be one of the biggest followers when it comes to social influences. They will do whatever it takes to be popular and liked by others. Unfortunately, adults do the same but millennials and younger tend to use their phones and social media for everything. “Unconsciously mimicking others’ expressions, postures, and voice tones helps us feel what they are feeling. This explains why we are happier around happy people than depressed ones.” (Myers, 2016, p 532). I would consider posting images and status through social media another expression of mimicking someone’s behavior. “Have you ever noticed how one example-good or bad- can prompt others to follow? How one illegally parked car can give permission for others to do likewise?” (Myers, 2016, p 233). This is a great example of how powerful social influences can be.

Nature Vs. Nurture: Was I Born This Way or Did Society Make Me Like This?

“Man vs Nature” by Deviant Art (2017)
What is built into our systems naturally and what has influence us based off our experiences and surroundings? Nature vs Nurture!

This is such a beautiful, educational, and moving piece of art. In this piece, there are two individuals. One is made entirely of “Nature” (standing up) covered in trees, grass, leaves, and moss, while the other is Nurture, (bent on one knee) made of city life and everyday surroundings such as buildings and roadway. In the left hand of Nature, is a car. I would assume the car is representation of the human who is being molded by life. My interpretation of this piece of art, is that Nature is carefully holding the growing individual in one hand, while holding back Nurture, with the other, as much as possible.

Nature vs. Nurture is one of the biggest psychological debates. “Do our human traits develop through experience, or are we born with them?” (Myers, 2016, p 5). To what extent are we shaped by our culture, circumstances, upbringing, differing genes, and maternal nutrition? “Can we assume that our personality is merely a product of our genes? No, because genes and environment-nature and nurture-work together like two hands clapping.” (Myers, 2016, p 111). There are so many factors of why someone ends up being intelligent or not, pretty or ugly, happy or depressed, good or evil, etc. that we are unable to clearly define whether its due to nature or nurture. This is one debate that will go on for a long time because there is not a clear way to define why individuals will take on certain trait whether inheritable or not. My favorite example of this is adoptive children or children with absentee parents. If you have a child that doesn’t know one or more of their parents, can they still have similar traits? Yes they can! This is the part where nature comes into play. There are certain genes and genetic traits that will pass along to a child no matter if you are involved in their life or not. There could also be experiences that molded you for better or for worse. I have had certain experiences in my life that caused me to be compassionate. I used my compassion to go into the medical field so I could best utilize this trait. Much like the artwork, nature tries to take control and hold back experiences from molding each individual. While nurture is there fighting its way to make an impact of each persons’ life.

Reflection Paper

There is so much you can take away from this class. When it comes to understanding psychology and how you can use it in everyday life, you need to have an open mind. We have just began to understand how the mind works and why we do things. Why people are the way they are? Why certain influences are stronger than others? Why do some show aggression and others do not? These are just a few examples of why psychology is so important. It helps us understand the reasoning behind all of these concepts. Through research methods such as descriptive, correlational, and experimental scientists are able to slowly crack the surface and find answers to some of the questions we have been asking.

I personally will take observational learning more serious and start paying better attention to what my nieces, nephews, and future children are observing. Whether its television shows, video games, or music, I will be more mindful of violence, sexual content, and unchristian like materials. I was aware that children are impressionable but wasn’t aware of how violence and sexuality effected them so much. With that being said I will also be mindful that all the children in my life are actually paying more attention to us then we think. I will take this into consideration next time I am upset and venting or telling a story that is adult ears only. This concept will make me want to be a better role model for them and teach them more Christian beliefs and how a Christian should act. I want them to observe me and imitate the good qualities not the bad.

Another concept that has changed my thinking would have to be Operant Conditioning. Our Behavioral Modification projects really opened my way of thinking about how I should condition myself. I will be able to use this with all aspects of life. I started to use it to get myself healthier but I could also use it to stay more organized at work, studying more for school, increasing exercise , and many other areas that need to be tweaked. I was amazed how a variety of responses could be achieved with different reinforcement measures. Positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement could both be used to help me achieve my goals. I usually tend to respond better with positive reinforcement but there are times I know that negative reinforcement would be pertinent to me completing my goal.

Finally, stress is another concept we discussed throughout this class. It amazes me how big of a role stress can play on effecting the body. I will now be able to implement specific actions such as refraining from harping on things out of my control, I will be able to alleviate some levels of stress. Now that I know stress can cause sickness and other ailments in the body, I will pay more attention to things that cause stress to me personally. I will be able to combine experimentations and research to keep track of my “stress triggers.” Yoga and meditation are going to be my new favorite activities, along with exercise, to release endorphins and cause me to feel happy instead of stressed out. There is so much more that I have not mentioned about what I have learned in this class. I love psychology because no matter how many versions of this class you take, you will always learn something new and intriguing.

Reference Page

Myers, D.G. (2016). Exploring psychology. New York: Worth.

Sexual Behavior: What Kids Learn From Media. (1998-2017). Retrieved from

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. (2017). Retrieved from

Why Endorphins (and Exercise) Make You Happy. (2016). Retrieved from

Teen Mom 2. (2017) Retrieved from


Created with images by DariuszSankowski - "phone screen technology" • PublicDomainPictures - "girls acrobat acrobatics"

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