Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘American Psychological Association’

Psychologist Claims Cyberbullying Concerns are Exaggerated

August 5, 2012

I can’t believe a psychologist would go on record claiming that the recent attention on cyberbullying is overstated:

Old-style face-to-face bullying is still the way most young people are victimized, even though it’s cyberbullying that seems to get all the headlines, an international bullying expert told psychology professionals Saturday.

Reports of a cyberbullying explosion over the past few years because of increasing use of mobile devices have been greatly exaggerated, says psychologist Dan Olweus of the University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway. He says his latest research, published this spring in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology, finds not many students report being bullied online at all.

“Contradicting these claims, it turns out that cyberbullying, when studied in proper context, is a low-prevalence phenomenon, which has not increased over time and has not created many ‘new’ victims and bullies,” the study finds.

The reason that such attention has been devoted to cyberbullying awareness is three fold:

1. Cyberbullying numbers are growing. Why should we dismiss something until it becomes a problem we are not prepared for?

2. Cyberbullying is, more than likely, the most destructive for of bullying. Unlike face-to-face bullying that happens in schoolyards and parks amongst a finite group of people, cyberbullying penetrates the safest room (the victim’s bedroom) and can be easily disseminated to an audience of thousands.

3. Teachers can deal with school bullying. It is much harder for significant adults to monitor cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying should never be diminished in any way.

Click on the link to read Social Media: A Playground for Bullies

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Rely on Free Speech Shouldn’t be Teachers

Click on the link to read Bullying is Acceptable when it’s Directed to a Teacher

Click on the link to read Punish Bullies and Then Change Your Culture

 

Advertisements

Are you Addicted to the Internet?

June 21, 2012

Technology addiction is one of the most prevalent, yet socially acceptable addictions. It envelopes both children and adults and can ruin marriages, cost jobs and effect sleep.

Courtesy of Dr Oz and Dr. Kimberly Young, I have accessed a quiz to determine whether or not one is addicted to the internet:

1. Do you feel preoccupied with the Internet (think about previous online activity or anticipate next online session)?
2. Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?
3. Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop Internet use?
4. Do you feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use?
5. Do you stay online longer than originally intended?
6. Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet?
7. Have you lied to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet?
8. Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)?

Other Symptoms Include:

• Failed attempts to control behavior
• Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and Internet activities
• Neglecting friends and family
• Neglecting sleep to stay online
• Being dishonest with others
• Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of online behavior
• Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome
• Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities

 

Kids Stop Taking Risks When Constantly Tested

March 15, 2012

One of the key skills a primary teacher tries to institute in their class is the freedom of answering a problem without any trepidation. I tell my students that a wrong answer is not a negative. It is rather an opportunity to learn something new, and there is nothing more satisfying than being able to do something that one previously had trouble with.

Such a reasoning can only be effectively conveyed within a certain learning environment. A calm, friendly, supportive environment inspires children to try their best regardless of whether they are certain they have the correct answer. An intimidating and judgemental environment causes students to feel reluctant to take risks.

Standarised testing is an environment changer, and a study confirms that such ordeals make children less likely to develop the skill of risk taking:

Kids perform better in school if they know failure, and trying again, is part of the learning process, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

“Experiencing difficulty when we work on a demanding problem may raise the possibility that we are not that smart after all,” said Jean-Claude Croizet, co-author of the study. “Difficulty makes us nervous because it is often associated with lower ability.”

One experiment included 111 French schoolchildren ages 11 and 12. They were given a difficult anagram problem that was too difficult for any of them to solve. Afterwards, researchers told half the kids that failure is common and to be expected when learning. The other group were simply asked how they tried to solve the problem by the researchers. The group that received the pep talk scored better on further tests than the group of kids who did not receive the talk.

“Fear of failing can hijack the working memory resources, a core component of intellectual ability,” the researchers said. “Fear of failing not only hampers performance, it can also lead students to avoid difficulty and therefore the opportunities to develop new skills. Because difficulty is inherent to most academic tasks, our goal was to create a safer performance environment where experiencing difficulty would not be associated with lower ability.”

While the researchers noted the students’ improvement on tests was likely temporary, working memory may get a boost from a simple dose of self-confidence. The researchers said teachers and parents should provide positive reinforcement and point out kids’ progress rather than test scores.

“The cognitive gains obtained in our research may offer promising prospects for application in education because working memory capacity underlies a wide range of complex activities like learning, problem solving and language comprehension,” Autin said.


%d bloggers like this: