Category Archives: New Essays

Diversity in America

The information I have interpreted from the United States about diversity has not help me to better over stand the, and relate to other different from the past. I would say that the diversity issue in this country has made me very aware that we as a country have a long way to go when it comes to diversity. The information I have processed and have been taught about diversity in this nation is how to effectively base upon other beliefs and upbringing to deal with biases. The information I have learned in this course that’s been the most insightful were the discussion question and the mix array of answer and point of views was expressed about various topics. This allowed me the opportunity to see first and the differences of opinions and reality.

I have learned a great deal about the various struggles of my ethnic group and other ethnic groups during my studies in this class. It’s easy to get polarized in one’s own thought process and experiences without seeking over standing form others experiences who have suffered and victimized by prejudices and discrimination throughout history as well. Such as the Native American and the American Asian, are a small group of minorities who have experience in justice and a lack of acceptances in main stream American.

I believe by the year 2050 the United States will have changed look and feel where immigration and demographics are concern. American will have changed significantly whites will no longer be in the majority. The U.S. minority population, currently 30 percent, is expected to exceed 50 percent before 2050. No other advanced country will see such diversity; most of America’s population growth will be among its minorities, as well as in a growing mixed-race population. Latino and Asian populations are expected to nearly triple, and the children of immigrants will become more prominent. Currently in the United States, about 25% of children under age 5 are Hispanic; it is estimated that by 2050, that percentage will be almost 40 percent.

Changing patterns of immigration have put the United States on a short road to a population diversity never before experienced by any nation—a population in which all races and ethnicities are part of minority groups that make up a complex whole. Bearing in mind that this nation at the same time, will be growing older; the aging population of baby boomers who are concerned about running out of money before they run out of life and about the increasing cost of health care will have a large impact of the future trends of America. These demographic trends will play out differently in different states and regions, with some areas seeing exploding populations while others experience declining based upon current studies.

As America continues to grow more diverse; a huge challenge to overcome is the acceptance and over standing of each individual race and culture that makes up that’s great nation. It’s sad to see, that even today the lines of separation are far divided by hate and a lack of over standing. This lack will have a direct effect on our future and how will communicate and exist with each other. Diversity helps society to grow as individuals and open our minds to different ways of life. When we are exposed to different ways to live, we see how other cultures carry on we are no longer closed to the idea that we are indeed all different in some way, and those differences are beneficial to our changing world.

Diversity also promotes more tolerance allowing people the opportunity to see other as a lesson of growth help us to accept other cultures, and even adapt some of their ways within our society. The differences that we have between us can be used to strengthen society as we know it. Diversity allows us the opportunity to learn, grow, understand new ways of living, and experience life to the fullest. Without diversity, we are closed off in our own worlds. But with it, we expand our knowledge and we are no longer ignorant. When you are aware of the differences and embrace them, then you have taken the blind fold off to living differently and you are a better person for it. The key is exposure and using what you learned to increase more tolerance and decrease things such as racism.

Moving forward America can foster an environment and commitment of pluralism; teaching through acceptance and engaging with other from who are different. Without any engagement or relationship with one another pluralism can be achieve. We key way to see this happening is through the media. Because the media is known for polarizing people of color in a negative light they could start to report news fairly and accurately. Also changing their advertising and programming approach; without stereotypes and outlandish perceptions. Engagement with other creates a common society for all, diversity as a whole is pluralism plain and simple embracing each other for our differences. Yes, there are some people who still feel threatened by diversity, or even hostile to it. Throughout America history there have been groups that have expressed prejudice and intolerance toward people of color and cultures however as we grow as a nation we need to look forward to the day when all these differences fade away.

The United States faces many challenges in diversity of its many people, and there is still a large percent of the population that supports racism and bigotry. If we don’t make these changes we will not be able to move forward in the United States racially and culturally; this is not just a problem with white people, it is a problem facing all the different cultures in the world because racism has many colors, fearing of something new scaring everybody, but with it comes change and I hope that we all could get along in this world and every one occupies. The world and United States has come a long way in battling this war on racism, but it is still has many miles to move ahead before people could see that although different we are all people. The more diverse we become racially and ethnically, the more important it is that we learn to tolerate differences; and also to celebrate what we all have in common. Whether we came to the United States voluntarily or involuntarily, we all choose to live here now. And more people want to live here than anywhere else in the world.

References
“Global Migration: A World Ever More on the Move”. The New York Times. June 25, 2010 Global Estimates and Trends. International Or “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. United Nations. 1948 (original work). Retrieved 25 July 2010. oganization for Migration. 2008. Retrieved on 30 October 2009.

Overcoming Obstacles

In life overcoming obstacles is not something that is easy to do. Depending on what you are trying to overcome it may take days, months, or even years. One mistake I made in life was dropping out if high school when I was in the ninth grade. This was my obstacle that I had to overcome. At times I would sit and think about where I could have been in the years that had passed me by. As years went by I wanted more and more to receive my GED so I could further my education and make something out of myself. So in 2011, I decided to enroll in the GED program at the community college in my city. I was attending GED classes twice a week at the tech which wasn’t easy since I had been out of school for over fifteen years. However, because I dropped out of high school in the ninth grade I knew receiving my GED would be a challenge.

Once I started taking my GED test, I would take test after test praying that I was getting closer to my goal. Finally, two years later I have my GED, and soon after I applied at the community college and started taking classes. I knew I wanted to further my education, but I’m still not sure about what I want to do. In a month, I will be finished with my first semester of college and I’m ready to start my next. In final analysis, overcoming an obstacle is not easy to do, to overcome my obstacle took me two years, but it was well worth it.

Biological rhythms and aggression notes

Topic I: Bio-rhythms (separated into six essay topics) Biological rhythms:

There are three types of biological rhythm; circadian, ultradian and infradian. Circadian rhythms are those which complete a cycle in a 24 hour period such as the sleep-wake cycle, heart rate or metabolism. People have variations within the circadian rhythms, notably the owl/lark division describing people who have biological clocks which run ahead or behind the average. Ultradian rhythms are those which occur more than once in a 24 hour period, for example eating or the sleep cycle which repeats approximately four times per night.

Infradian rhythms are those which occur over a period greater than 24 hours, such as the menstrual cycle and PMS. These and SAD (seasonal affective disorder) are the infradian rhythms which have attracted the most psychological research. The stages of sleep are an example of an ultradian rhythm, repeating roughly every 90 minutes while asleep. Since the invention of the EEG in the 1930’s the research into stages of sleep has drastically increased. In 1968, Kales and Rechtschaffen discovered four distinct stages people entered during sleep.

Stage 1 usually lasts for roughly 15 minutes at the beginning of the cycle and is characterised by slower ‘theta’ brain waves. Stage 2, lasting about 20 minutes is characterised by sleep spindles (bursts of high cognitive activity) and K-complexes. Following this is stage 3, which lasts for 15 minutes. In this stage, brain waves slow and increase in amplitude and wavelength, developing into delta waves. Stage 4 is similar to stage 3 and is when a person is most relaxed and most difficult to wake. The fifth stage of sleep is called REM (as opposed to stage 1-4 which are NREM stages).

During REM sleep the brain is almost as active as it is during the day. Sleep paralysis also occurs, meaning that while brain activity is high, because the pons disconnects the brain from the muscles, the body effectively becomes paralysed. There are a few infradian rhythms which have attracted a fair amount of research. Seasonal affective disorder affects a small number of people. It is a disorder where low light levels stimulate melatonin production (a neuro-chemical which induces sleepiness) and decrease serotonin production (which can lead to depression).

Terman et al. (1998) researched 124 participants with SAD; 85 were exposed to a bright light in the morning or evening while others were exposed to negative ions and acted as a placebo group. 60% of the morning light group showed an improvement, as opposed to 30% of the evening light group and only 5% of the placebo group. Therefore, it has been concluded that bright light acts as an exogenous zeitgeber, resetting the biological clock in the morning. The menstrual cycle, lasting roughly a month uses both endogenous pacemakers and exogenous zeitgebers.

On an internal level, this is controlled by levels of oestrogen and progesterone, both secreted by the ovaries. These cause the release of eggs from the ovum and the thickening of the uterus lining. One notable external factor is living with other women, which alters the cycle likely due to the secretion of pheromones which carry messages between individuals of the same species. This was investigated by McClintock and Stern (1988) in a 10 year longitudinal study. In this study sweat samples from 9 women were collected and dabbed on the upper lip of a separate 20 with histories of irregular menstrual cycles.

68% of recipients responded to the pheromones. This is supported by Russell et al (1980) who conducted a similar study where four fifths of participants responded to the pheromones. However, McClintock’s study has been criticised for a low sample size and Wilson (1992) believes that the results were due to statistical errors and when these are corrected the effect disappears. Reinberg (1967) reported on a woman who lived in a cave for 3 months; her menstrual cycle shortened to 25. 7 days. Therefore it may be possible for light levels to affect the cycle.

This is supported by Timonen et al. (1964) who found women were less likely to conceive during darker months due to the effect of light on the pituitary gland, which may have an evolutionary advantage. Endogenous pacemakers are internal factors which are able to regulate biological rhythms. To study these, Siffre (1962) spent 61 days in a cave in low light conditions. During this period, his body clock extended to a 24. 5 hour day and when he emerged he believed it was 28 days earlier than it in fact was.

This suggests that there is internal control of circadian rhythms because a regular cycle was maintained but also there must be exogenous zeitgebers that shorten the cycle to a 24 hour cycle instead of a 24. 5 hour cycle. There is conflicting evidence from Czeisler who conducted a study where participants were kept in constant low light conditions. In this study, a roughly 24 hour cycle was maintained; this is known as ‘free running’. However, a major criticism of Siffre’s study is that it was a case study and therefore, because of individual differences, other people may react differently.

The basis for endogenous pacemakers is the pineal gland, which secretes melatonin (the neurotransmitter that induces sleepiness). In some animals, this itself has photoreceptors that monitor light levels. However in humans, the SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus) receives sensory input via the optic nerve and regulates melatonin production. Morgan (1995) transplanted the SCNs from mutant hamsters (with abnormal circadian rhythms) into regular hamsters. It was discovered that this caused the hamsters to develop abnormal circadian rhythms, implicating the SCN in the regulation of circadian rhythms.

But there are issues with generalising these results across species and releasing the hamsters into the wild. ***** Disrupting rhythms: Under normal circumstances biological rhythms are not in conflict with the daily lives of people, however there are two main examples of when conflict can occur; jet lag and shift lag. Jet lag (desynchronosis) is caused by the body’s internal clock being out of sync with external cues and has symptoms including fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and dehydration. Schwartz et al.

(1995) studied the performance and reaction times of baseball teams flying from the East to West coast of America and vice versa (a 3 hour time difference). It was found that teams travelling West performed considerably better than those travelling East. However, this was performed on sports teams who are likely to be trained to have high reflexes/ reaction times so there are difficulties in generalising the results of this study. De la Iglesia (2004) exposed rats to artificial days lasting 11 hours rather than 12. It was found that gradually, the rats began to exhibit daytime behaviour at night.

De la Iglesia went on to discover that both the top and bottom of the SCN contained the protein Perl during the day and the protein Bmall at night. However, during desynchronosis the top half contained Perl and the bottom half contained Bmall suggesting that the bottom half of the SCN continues to rely on endogenous pacemakers whereas the top half is affected by exogenous zeitgebers. Saper (2008) suggested that there is a food clock which is capable of over-riding the master biological clock and therefore fasting during flights and eating at the correct times in new time zones may in fact reset the biological clock.

Shift lag is a serious problem as it can result in fatigue, sleep disturbance, lack of concentration, memory loss and usually occurs over extended periods of time. There are a number of shift patterns currently in use; fixed shifts and clockwise/ anti-clockwise rotating shifts. Czeisler et al (1982) recommended a slow rotation with a phase-delay system (moving a shift forward every time) to factory workers in a Utah chemical plant and a number of benefits including increased morale and health were reported. Boivin et al.

(1996) put 31 male participants on an inverted sleep pattern for three days. After waking on each day they were subjected to one of the following conditions: very bright light, bright light, ordinary room lighting or dim lighting. To measure the adjustment, core body temperature (a known circadian rhythm) was measured. Participants in the very bright light condition adjusted by five hours within three days. The other conditions did also advance but not by as much and the participants in condition four did not adjust at all.

It was concluded that bright light can help biological rhythms adjust to shift lag and this research could be implemented in various companies where employees work on shifts. Alternatively, Sharkey (2001) found that the hormone melatonin could be used to aid adjustment to shift patterns and increase sleep during periods of non-work. However this is currently only available in America as it has not been given an EU licence yet. ***** Sleep states: Sleep appears to be necessary for all animals to survive. It has been estimated that humans sleep on average for 7. 5 hours per night.

Of course, there are individual differences and Meddis (1979) even reported the case study of a woman who slept for 1 hour per night with none of the side effects associated with sleep deprivation. The stages of sleep (slow wave 1-4 and REM) are covered in biological rhythms. There are two theories concerning the development of sleep, these are the evolutionary theory and the restorative theory. The evolutionary theory (Meddis) states that due to poor vision in low light, sleep has an evolutionary advantage to humans because it keeps the species safe at night; and therefore more likely to survive to pass on genes.

This theory also takes into account that animals with higher metabolic rates spend more time eating and so sleep for smaller periods at a time. Evans (1984) criticises this theory, stating ‘ the behaviour patterns involved in sleep are glaringly at odds with common sense’ referring to the fact that while this theory proposes animals sleep for protection, they are in fact at their most vulnerable during this state. Siegal (2005) reviewed the sleep patterns of numerous species and concluded that it could not be performing the same function in every species because of the diversity of sleep patterns.

Webb proposes a variation on the evolutionary theory, known as the hibernation theory which sees sleep as an adaptive behaviour designed to conserve energy. This theory compares sleep to hibernation in the way that it occurs to conserve energy so that an animal does not need to constantly feed. In humans, sleep lowers the metabolic rate by up to 10% thus conserving energy/ resources during time when early humans were unable to forage or hunt (eg. night time, as described in the previous paragraph).

Meddis criticises this theory for being too simplistic and not taking into account the role of sleep in protection from danger. Empson(1993) described sleep as ‘a complex function involving far reaching changes in brain and body physiology’ suggesting that sleep must have a restorative function and cannot purely be evolutionary. Evolutionary theories are also unable to explain the complexities of sleep such as the REM stage (although it has been suggested that the brain activity observed in this stage is to prevent brain temperature from dropping too low).

Some psychologists argue that sleep would now be pointless in human societies, however the evolutionary response is that behaviour changes much more rapidly than biology or physiology through evolution – known as the genome lag. Oswald (1966) suggested that sleep restores energy, removes waste from muscles and repairs cells, as well as allow growth to occur. One example of this is the build up of neurotransmitters used in the nervous system throughout the day, the restoration theory states that these can be removed and levels restored during sleep.

Oswald noticed that greater amounts of the growth hormone is released into the bloodstream during stages 3 and 4 NREM sleep, supporting this theory. However, many of the other processes that occur during sleep, such as protein synthesis also happen while awake. Further support is provided by Shapiro (1981) who studied ultra- marathon runners. It was found that on the two nights after the marathon, participants slept for 90 minutes longer than usual, while REM sleep decreased and stage 4 slow wave sleep increased from 25% to 45%.

Further support for why deep sleep occurs in the first half of the night is provided by the fact that amino acids only remain in the bloodstream for eight hours; therefore protein synthesis could only occur during the first half of the night. Hartman (1984) extended this theory to include restoration during REM sleep, however restoration of the brain and not the body. Stern and Morgane (1974) found that levels of neurotransmitters within the brain may be restored during REM sleep.

Further support comes from the fact that more time is spent in REM sleep during childhood as opposed to adulthood (when the most brain development occurs). Most research into the purpose of REM sleep comes from sleep deprivation, and will be discussed in the next section. However, other supporting evidence comes from people with brain injuries. It has been found that people with brain damage caused by ECT, strokes etc. spend longer in REM sleep for roughly 6 weeks, suggesting that restoration and repair to the brain is being carried out in this time.

Also, patients on MAOI antidepressants spend less time in REM sleep, but when the treatment is stopped, there is no REM rebound. Naturally, it has been suggested that the antidepressants (which are known to increase serotonin and dopamine levels) are providing what REM sleep would otherwise provide. Evidence against this theory includes; Horne and Millard (1985) who found that even after physical exertion, although people fall asleep quicker, they do not sleep for longer. Also, Ryback and Lewis discovered that the amount of sleep required does not decrease when daytime activity decreases.

Finally, it is worth noting that Horne (1988) distinguishes between core sleep, comprised of stage 4 slow wave sleep and REM sleep, and non- core sleep, comprising of stages 2 and 3 slow wave sleep. Core sleep is present in all animals but non-core sleep is not, suggesting it is not essential. ***** Sleep deprivation: Peter Tripp is an example of a total sleep deprivation case study after spending 201 hours and 10 minutes awake. When he began to fall asleep he was wakened by doctors and nurses, however after a while, he began to hallucinate and suffer from delusions.

A second case study in this area is that of Randy Gardner (1965) who stayed awake for 11 consecutive days. During this time, he reported blurred vision and mild paranoia. When he did sleep, he slept for 14 hours and 40 minutes on the first two nights and longer on the following two. In total, he only reclaimed roughly 11 hours sleep, however he spent much more time in stage 4 NREM and REM sleep compared to usual, suggesting that they are important. Of course, being case studies, the results of these are difficult to generalise to the entire population, but other research has backed up these findings.

In severe cases of fatal familial insomnia, a person, upon reaching middle age, stops sleeping until the point of death. Huber- Weidman carried out a meta-analysis of sleep deprivation studies and found that symptoms ranged from 1 night without sleep causing discomfort, to 6 nights without sleep, where the participant experienced a loss of self identity. Another study, this one by Webb and Bonnett (1978) reduced participants sleep to four hours per night and found no negative consequences. However, in all sleep deprivation studies there will be demand characteristics and there will be experimenter bias due to expectations of participants.

Partial sleep deprivation studies deprive participants of only one part of a nights sleep; either NREM or REM. Dement (1960) deprived participants of either REM or NREM sleep and observed the consequences. He found that participants deprived of REM sleep found concentrating difficult, became more aggressive and displayed REM rebound. By the 7th night, these participants were attempting to enter REM sleep 26 times, thus deteriorating into total sleep deprivation. Another study is provided by Jouvet (1967) who placed cats on upturned flower pots in water.

This meant they could sleep, but once REM sleep was reached and sleep paralysis occurred, they would fall into the water. Many of the cats became classically conditioned and would wake before entering REM sleep. On average, the cats survived for 35 days. Dwyer and Charles concluded that evolutionary theories do not explain why sleep deprivation causes so many adverse effects, however restorative theories do. That said, there are important advantages to evolutionary explanations so an eclectic approach may be the most suitable. As well as this, there are three stages to the physiology of sleep highlighted by sleep deprivation studies.

The first is staying awake which is mainly controlled by the RAS (reticular activating system). Support for this is provided by Bremner (1937) who discovered lesioning the brain stem above the RAS in cats caused a permanent coma, however lesioning the brain stem below the RAS caused no disturbance. This is because lesioning above the RAS prevents electrical impulses passing from it to the higher brain centres. The second stage is getting to sleep, which requires the RAS to be switched off; a process completed by the neurochemicals melatonin and serotonin.

The mechanism here is when a lack of light is detected by the eyes, an electrical impulse is passed to the SCN which influences the pineal gland and stimulates the production of melatonin. Melatonin in turn causes serotonin to be produced in the raphe nuclei. The serotonin is then able to switch off the RAS. This is supported by Jouvet (1967) who discovered that damaging the raphe nuclei of cats caused severe insomnia. The third stage is switching from NREM to REM sleep, which is triggered by two processes; the first is the locus coeruleus producing noradrenaline which passes to the higher brain centres.

The second is the neurotransmitter acetyl choline entering the pons and activating REM sleep which lasts 15 minutes, and then taking 90 minutes for the process to repeat. ***** Lifespan changes: A brief overview of the pattern of sleep at different ages is as follows. Newborns sleep for 18 hours per night, 9 hours of which is REM sleep. In the first few months, babies can directly enter REM sleep; it is only after this period when the REM/NREM cycle is established. At 1 year the total time asleep drops to 14 hours per day and the ultradian sleep cycle increases to 60 minutes.

Between 5 and 10 years, the total sleeping time drops to 10 hours, with 75% NREM and 25% REM sleep. The ultradian cycle increases to 70 minutes. Between 10 and 12 years old is described by Dement (1999) as sleep/wake utopia. During adolescence, the same amount of sleep should be kept, but social and environmental factors often prevent this. Between the ages of 18 and 30 most people’s sleep decreases and many people become sleep deprived. Between 30 and 45 sleep continues to decrease and people tend to feel tired upon waking; the amount of deep sleep (particularly stage 4 sleep) decreases.

At the age of 45 and lasting to the age of 60, hormone production decreases and quality of sleep decreases. Total sleep time drops to 7 hours and there is little or no stage 4 sleep, however REM sleep remains constant at 2 hours per night. From the age of 60 onwards, the quality of sleep deteriorates rapidly and Dement estimates that there could be up to 1000 micro-arousals during every night’s sleep which have a profound effect on the restorative effect of sleep. Van Cauter et al. (2000) carried out a longitudinal sleep study on 149 male participants over a 14 year period.

They found that hormone production decreases between the ages of 16 and 35, then again between the ages of 35 and 50. This means that between these periods the amount of growth and physiological repair carried out during sleep decreases from a restorative perspective. From an evolutionary perspective, it is unlikely for early humans to have lived past 45 and therefore the gradual decrease of hormones was natural because after this point, restoration was no longer needed. This is supported by other studies which suggest that as age increases there is a

decrease in total sleep time and notably slow wave sleep, and there is an increase in sleep latency. Kloesh et al. (2006) found that the male sleep pattern is disrupted by sleeping with a partner. The study comprised of 8 unmarried childless couples sleeping together for 10 days and apart for 10 days. Each day they were asked to complete a series of tasks. The study found that co-sleeping raises the levels of stress hormones in men but women spend more time in deep sleep and it is therefore beneficial for them. The methods used for testing sleep pattern differences at different ages are rigorous and include EEG, EMG etc.

However, most information is gathered in sleep laboratories which is a highly artificial environment and may in itself affect sleep patterns (low ecological validity). Self reporting is also widely used in sleep studies which again is unreliable and can often result in socially desirable results. There is also dispute over whether older people do in fact sleep much less than younger people. Borberley et al (1981) reported that 60% of over 65 year olds take regular afternoon naps; although there is a wide consensus that older people do have less nocturnal sleep.

Of course, while there are many average differences such as this one, individual differences also play a large role in sleep differences at different ages. As well as individual differences, there are also cultural differences. Most research has been into monophasic sleep, however in some cultures afternoon naps or two shorter periods of sleep are more common. This is therefore an example of ethnocentric research. ***** Disorders of sleep: There are a number of sleep disorders and most people will suffer from at least one of these at some point during their life.

The most common are: primary and secondary insomnia, somnambulism and narcolepsy. Primary insomnia is said to be an inability to fall or remain asleep due to anything other than a disease process (ie. not psychiatric or environmental causes). Vgontzas et al. (2005) found that insomniacs have increased levels of ACTH and cortisol, which has been associated with higher levels of arousal. This suggests that some insomniacs may be in a state of hyper-arousal. Nofzinger et al. (2004) found that usually in the transition to sleep, brain activity in the thalamus and prefrontal cortex decreases; however this change is smaller in insomniacs.

This may help explain why insomniacs experience difficulty falling asleep. Winkelman et al (2008) proposes that insomnia is caused by changes in brain chemistry. This study found that people who had suffered from insomnia for more than 6 months had reduced levels of GABA, which inhibits brain function and thus shows an alternative explanation for insomniacs’ inability to fall/ remain asleep. A third explanation is genetic- Beaulieu-Bonneau et al. (2007) found that 34. 9% of insomniacs surveyed had a first degree relative with insomnia.

Further, Watson et al (2006) found a correlation of 0. 47 between MZ twins and 0. 15 between DZ twins, suggesting that while genetics is not predictive of insomnia, it is an influencing factor. Studies have also implicated personality factors in the onset of primary insomnia. One such study was by Kales et al. (1976) which used the MMPI to test 128 insomniacs and found that insomniacs tended to have an internal locus of control. This original study had a biased sample with no control, therefore the study was repeated with a sample of 300 insomniacs and a control group of 100.

This Kales et al. (1983) study found similar results and that insomniacs had the following traits in common: obsessiveness, inhibition of anger and negative self image. Kales concluded that this caused insomniacs to be in a constant state of emotional arousal, contributing to their trouble sleeping. Secondary insomnia is a form of insomnia caused by or made worse by either psychiatric or environmental factors. A range of medical conditions have been shown to produce insomnia as a side effect, including; chronic pains, respiratory diseases and endocrine conditions. Katz et al.

(2002) conducted a study on 3,445 patients with a range of these conditions and found that 50% reported (this was conducted using questionnaires) symptoms indicative of insomnia. Bardage and Isacson (2000) found that 20% of patients using drugs to treat hypertension had insomnia like symptoms. Even sleeping drugs can cause insomnia because they can cause dependence and therefore ‘rebound insomnia’ when they are removed leading to increased dependence. Other drugs that may amplify the effects of insomnia include alcohol and tobacco. Aside from biological causes, secondary insomnia is also associated with mental health problems. Weiss et al.

(1962) found that 72% of psychiatric patients reported sleep disturbance, as opposed to 18% of a sample. In fact, insomnia is so closely associated with depression that it is in fact a criterion for diagnosis. Benca and Peterson (2008) suggest that patients with depression may have similar abnormalities in the genes associated with circadian rhythms as insomniacs. The HPA, which produces cortisol, is linked to depression. However, cortisol reaches its lowest levels during the first few hours of sleep, but remains elevated in patients with depression; furthering the potential link. Brain injury is also a common cause of secondary insomnia.

Cohen et al. (1992) compared the sleep complaints of 22 hospitalised with 77 discharged patients finding rates of 72. 7% and 51. 9% respectively. Both of these are much higher than the general population. In a study by Ayalon et al. (2007) between 40% and 60% of patients with brain injury complained of insomnia. However, of this sample of 42, it was found 15 had CRSD (circadian rhythm sleep disorder) which is commonly misdiagnosed as insomnia. However, unlike insomnia, people suffering from CRSD are able to get enough sleep if allowed; it is simply a problem with the timing of circadian rhythms.

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterised by excessive daytime sleepiness. In addition to this, patients may also suffer from cataplexy, disturbed sleep, hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis. Narcolepsy usually begins in the late teens or early 20s, but around 25% of sufferers do not experience the onset until the age of 40. There is little evidence that narcolepsy is caused by brain damage. Scammell et al. (2001) report the case of a 23 year old who acquired narcolepsy due to damage to the hypothalamus after a stroke. Further testing revealed reduced levels of Hcrt, which is a popular theory for explaining narcolepsy.

It is thought that it may be caused by a loss of cells that secrete Hcrt. However, Gerashchenko et al (2003) found a correlation between the number of cells lost and the decline in the level of Hcrt. Further support for Hcrt comes from Parkinson’s disease (a disease which destroys brain cells). Many people suffering from this complain of symptoms similar to those of narcolepsy. Thannickal et al (2007) conducted post mortems on brains of sufferers of Parkinson’s disease and found that up to 62% of Hcrt producing cells had been lost.

An alternative explanation for narcolepsy is the genetic one. Nishino and Mignot (1977) found that narcoleptic Dobermans have a genetic mutation affecting Hcrt, however research showed that the defect did not apply to humans. In fact it seems highly unlikely that genetics play a role in the onset of narcolepsy. One further explanation, provided by Overeem et al. (2008) is that because over 90% of narcoleptics carry particular subtypes of a human leukocyte antigen (HLA), then it may be being destroyed as part of an autoimmune response. However this is not yet any evidence for this hypothesis.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Topic II: Aggression (separated into three essay topics) Social psychological explanations: One explanation of aggression is what is known as individuation – the process by which a person loses self awareness. Le Bons (1895) suggested that when a crowd, when combined with anonymity, suggestibility and contagion, acts as one mind. Deindividuation is characterised by lowered self- evaluation and lowered concerns of others view of the self. This means that the person and group is un-inhibited by personal morales.

Zimbardo suggested that uniforms increase the effects of deindividuation because of the anonymity they provide. This is supported by his Stanford prison study; which was stopped after just 6 days because of the levels of abuse that the guards subjected the prisoners to. Another Zimbardo study (1969) studied 4 groups of female students as they were asked to administer electric shocks to other students in a ‘learning exercise’. There were two conditions, in the deindividuated conditions participants wore lab coats and hoods and were never referred to by name.

In the individuated condition, participants wore ordinary clothes and were introduced to each other beforehand. It was found that the deindividuated group shocked for twice as long. Further support is provided by Watson (1973) who studied warriors from 24 cultures and found that the most aggressive were those that painted their faces. However, not all large anonymous crowds perform aggressive acts, and Postmes and Spears (1998) concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support the deindividuation theory after a meta-analysis of 60 studies.

The theory is also highly deterministic, as it states that the presence of a group determines the aggressive behaviour. One of the more prominent social psychological explanations for aggression is social learning theory. This is a theory that was introduced by Bandura (1963). It states that behaviour is influenced by inherent socio- environmental and psychological factors. The 4 basic principles of social learning theory are: attention, retention, repetition and motivation. In essence these steps describe the process of observing the behaviour, remembering it, then copying and gaining the motivation to repeat the behaviour.

Bandura believed that role models played an important part in influencing children to either become aggressive or passive in their behaviour. He also stated that a role model of the same gender as the child will have more influence than a role model of the opposite sex. Bandura’s theory has led to three models of how aggressive behaviour is encouraged or discouraged. The first is vicarious reinforcement; where a child witnesses a role model being rewarded for performing an aggressive act. The second is direct reinforcement; where the child themselves is rewarded or punished for certain behaviours (this is also known as operant conditioning).

The third is self- efficacy; where a child reaches a level of self confidence through mastery experiences, social modelling, social persuasion and psychological responses which will allow them to perform a particular behaviour. The most notable study into this is the ‘Bobo doll study’ conducted by Bandura (1963) who studied 72 children between the ages of 3 and 6. The experimental group was made up of 24 children with an aggressive role model and 24 children with a non-aggressive role model. In each group 12 children had a role model of the opposite gender.

All children went through the same procedure; watching their role model and then being presented with the same toys to play with. The results showed that children exposed to an aggressive role model behaved more aggressively towards the Bobo doll. Children with same sex role models imitated behaviour more accurately and levels of aggression were higher in boys. This study has high face validity, as it does go some way to explaining why children from abusive families may develop aggressive personalities later in life. However, the ethics of this study are questionable. While the confidentiality of the participants na

Pregnant Inmates

When carrying a child it is important to get the right care and right nutrition to assure mother and baby are healthy throughout the whole process. While at home, the right amount of prenatal medication and nutrients can be consumed with no doubt. There are also books and online sources you can refer to while at home to get information on whats going on with your body. Also your doctor is just a call away if you experience any issues or have any questions during your pregnancy. Now imagine you are in jail. Its understandable you should have to do the time for the crime you commited. Your unborn child however, should not have to suffer your consequences. More then 2,000 children are born behind bars each year.(7) Pregnant inmate’s access to these kinds of resources are limited. They really do not know what is in their food, it probably is not the most healthy thing you could be eating. You can not access information about your pregnancy and the best you will be able to get for medical personal is the enfermery unless they decicde it is sereve enough to take to the hospital. Nothing is really your decsion in jail, if you are unfortunate enough to have to be pregnant in jail the least they could do is treat the women better. Given what we know about prenatal care, prisons should give better care to pregnant inmates.

One very important thing to worry about while being pregnant is medical care. People usually do not realize how much medical care pregnant women need. There are the vitamins, the checkups, the ultrasounds, and much more. Medical care should start even before becoming pregnant checking to see if your body is healthy enough to handle a baby inside of you. The earlier you know you are pregnant the better off the baby and mother will be. Medical conditions can form within the first month of pregnancy. If incarcerated it is not as easy to figure out if you became pregnant or not. While in jail is it manadated under the eighth amendment for inmates to receive adequate medical care from an infirmary in the jail or from outside sources the jail provides. A pregnant women in prision is to be given proper mecial care whether or not she decides to keep the baby. This is a law and the ACLU is working on making sure every prision is giving pregnant women the proper medical care throughout the whole country. Choosing doctors is also something that has to be done after getting pregnant. Usually women try to find doctors they are comfortable with. Inmates do not have the choice of what doctors they want. They get what is provided by the prision whether they like it or not. This could lead to a miserable pregnancy for mom. Most women would rather be provided a doctor in jail rather then having to be brought out somewhere. They find it embarrassing being shackled and in a jumpsuit with a big pregnant belly.( 4) Think about it. Most people do not like to stand out from a crowd. Being pregnant and in an orange jump suit in a doctor’s office is like being a clown in a doctor’s office considering how much you are going to stick out.

Another issue while being pregnant in jail is your living conditions and the treatment you get from other inmates. Would you rather be the mothers you see on television sitting in a nice home or be the poor pregnant imates getting treated like caged animals. Inmates are defintely not going to receive the comfort most mothers would want. Your going to be living behind bars in a cold jail cell with none of the comforts you would have if you were in your own home. Sleeping is going to be a big struggle. The hard bed is not going to be the first choice for someone with a watermelon sized belly. Pregnant women should be provided extra things in their cells to just give them a little more comfort, like a better padded bed. In prision, mothers also don’t get as much time with their babies. Babies do get taken away from their mothers at certain times. Mother and child bonding time is crucial at that newborn age.(7) If you think you are going to get treated the same in prision by your fellow inmates if your are a new mother or pregnant you are completely wrong. They will look at you different and pretty much see you as prey. Being hormonal from your pregnancy that is the last thing you want to be feeling. The feeling of being unsafe in prision can not be good at all. Women now have to worry about themselves and their babies being at risk of getting hurt. Most prisions still shackle women while they are giving birth or go outside of the prision. Restraints can make a pregnant inmate more opt to fall and if they fall the right way they could even kill their baby. (4) This is not right at all. If complications were to happen this could go very bad because it could make it harder for the doctors to get to mother. It is not fair mothers really are not going to escape at that point in time in that much pain and if choosen on pain killing drugs. Treatmant should be changed for pregnant inmates.

Nutrition is also a huge factor when carrying a child. We can all agree that prision food is not the most healthiest thing you could be eating. They have inmates making that food and you never know what could be thrown in there that could be harmful to the mother or baby. You are going to have to be eating some what more now because of course, you are eating for two. A normal pregnant women should be eating 6-11 servings of grains, 3-4 servings of fruit, 3-5 servings of vegetables, 3-4 servings of protein, 4 servings of dairy, and ocasionally fats and oils.( 6)While in prision, you don’t know what is going in your body. Women should have the option of eating healthier special food while pregnant, expecially those who decide they want to breast feed their child after its birth. What the mother intakes is also what the baby intakes. There is no picking your food in prision. What is on the menu is on the menu and there really is no changing it. Eating and doing certain things during your pregnancy can affect your child. It is known if you eat a lot of peanuts it will predispose your child to food allegies. Getting sick off of food is one thing when you’re eating for your own body but when you’re eating for two it’s a different story. You do not want to get your baby sick. Babies are at very high risk when still in the womb.

You have the people out there that do not care about pregnant inmates at all. They think that if they did the crime they should do the time. That is completely understandable but why should the baby have to do the time as well? Why should the baby be put through the horrible diet and lack of care. If children are born with disablilities there is nothing they could have done about that. They were a poor innocent little person inside of someones body they were dependent on. Usually the people who say they do not care are men. Mostly men work in prision facilities. I got this statistic from counting men to women on a floor in the South Bay correction facitlity in Boston. Men do not understand how important things are when it comes to motherly stuff. I understand some are fathers but no father can ever give a child motherly love like a mother can. Babies get taken away many times in a prision. Pregnant women are still receiving the time and punishment about being away from their family at one the most important times in their life. Who cares if there was little tweks here and there to make it a little more comfortable or a little safer. Really you have to step back and look at the baby not the mother that did the crime. Are shackles a really big deal to someone? I do not think it is that hard to catch a pregnant women on the run. If police can not do that how would they ever catch a robber or someone who is in shape? I believe they should at somepoint make pregnant women their own jail or maybe their own wing. It is not like pregnancy is a whole new thing to society. It happens to most women. Any point brought up about having pregnant women be treated the same in any way can be fought and won because of the circumstances of what pregnant women are dealing with.

Another question people wonder is what happens to these babies born behind bars? What happens to those 2,000 children each year? Before the 1950’s babies born behind bars would just stay in prision nurseries and be brought up by their mothers. It costs about 24,000 dollars to raise a baby in jail and when the number of women in prison increased by 832 percent between 1977 and 2007 it was to expensive to keep children in prison with their mothers.(7) Women are now forced to hand over custody of their child to a relative or the state so that baby can go into foster care. There is also a new thing that some prisons started doing. Mothers are able to keep their children in prison with them as long as their sentence is short and they are not in prison for anything violent. There is great competition to get into this because the numbers are limited. Prison is not an ideal place for a baby but it is better then getting ripped away from their mother at an early age.

Given what we know about prenatal care, prisons should give different care to pregnant inmates. While being pregnant it is a special time for women. You can take away some things from them but it is just not fair to take everything away especially the things that could change a baby’s lifestyle later in life. People don’t realize that such a simple thing like the comfort of a comfortable bed and a blanket could make a huge difference for a pregnant woman. Some things are clear of what a pregnant women needs. For example different food plans and different vitamins and care. Prisons have to give women some things just for the fact that it’s the law. I really do not think it will kill anyone to give a little slack to someone who sadly has to be pregnant and in prison. Honestly you would never want that to be you.

The Unrealistic Portrayal of Women in the Media

“All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values. ” Marshall McLuhan Media is one of the most influential aspects of modern society. It plays an enormous role in setting societal standards and depicting how people, especially women, should act and appear. In everything from advertising, television programming, newspapers and magazines, to comic books, popular music, film and video games the media sets unrealistic standards for women.

These unrealistic depictions of the role that women must play, and the image that women must have in order to be accepted are drastically affecting societies views and the self-worth of women worldwide. In all forms of media, women are grossly misrepresented. Women are most often shown in the home, performing domestic chores; as sex objects who exist primarily to service men; as the romantic interest; as characters who rely greatly on men; as victims who can not protect themselves and are the natural recipients of beatings, harassment, sexual assault and murder.

Women rarely play leading roles or roles of significance in movies and television shows, and when they do, they are rarely cast as independent or as a hero. Only 16 percent of films feature women protagonists (Richardson, 2011). In 2012, women represented less than one-third of the speaking characters (Eveleth, 2013). For every one female on screen, there were two and a half men. Women are not given enough positive role models. Even in Disney movies, female characters ride off into the sunset at age 16 with a prince they barely know; sending the message that we are reliant on men.

Furthermore, almost every single cleaning product advertisement created features a woman cleaning up after her children and husband. Despite the fact that in real life, this concept of patriarchy and women being fragile and weak is largely is outdated, the media continues to portray women in this way. This is sending a entirely inaccurate image of how things should be to society, especially to young girls and women. Women are not only being told to play a certain role in society, but being pressured to look a certain way as well.

From young age, women are exposed to the idea that they are supposed to be sexy; tall, have a small waist, be buxom, have perfect skin, etc. All Disney princess movies, however harmless they may seem, show girls sexually. In G-rated children’s films, female characters often look just as sexual/revealing as they do in R-rated movies. Many online games for young girls, such as Selena’s Date Rush, do a similar thing. The instructions for Selena’s Date Rush are simple: “When Justin comes to pick her up in the morning, she just woke up with no makeup!

Please help her complete her makeup before Justin finds out! “; implying that you are not beautiful enough to be seen until you are in makeup. Additionally, while Barbie is supposed to be a positive role model for children, the proportions of the Barbie doll are humanly unattainable and the outfits that she wears are impractical and revealing. Not only Barbie dolls, but other popular dolls such as Monster High dolls and Bratz dolls, promote that same image. These unrealistic role models, that skew the meaning of beauty are present through women’s whole lives.

There is a constant bombardment of hyper-sexualised, airbrushed images of women as well as messages of needing self-improvement, in all forms of media. Almost all advertisements for cosmetic products and clothing feature digitally modified, underweight models. In fact, the first and only ad campaign featuring average and overweight women is a Dove ad campaign. The Canadian Health Network found that the average female model is not only much taller than the average woman, but weighs nearly 25% less (ojejwow, 1996).

Even commercials about obtaining a healthy and physically active, lifestyle feature the presence of very thin actresses with a wide range of body and facial cosmetics. This leads to the assumption, that only thin women can be beautiful and healthy. Also, three-quarters of women’s magazine covers feature articles about overhauling one’s physical appearance and studies indicate that nearly three-quarters of all female characters in sitcoms are underweight, and those that are overweight are often the subject of comments or jokes about their bodies made by male characters (“Portrayal of women,” 2009).

Everywhere that young girls and women turn they are faced with the idea that their looks are everything, that pleasing the male gaze is paramount and that hiding their “imperfections” and making themselves sexy is the sum total of their value. It is only when one looks at all of these things together that one starts to realise the immense impact it might be having on them. The way in which women are portrayed in the media has an overwhelming negative effect on society.

Media reinforcing the idea that women are weak and nothing without men continues to create problems with the way that women are treated and viewed by society in the workplace and in many social situations. It also creates problems in the way that women treat and view themselves, especially in relationships. 1 in 3 girls between the ages of 16 and 18 say sex is expected for people their age if they are in a relationship (“Statistics,” n. d. ). Unfortunately, women are often pressured to conform to societies standards regarding sex and relationships, especially as adolescents.

Media constantly creating unrealistic standards for beauty is effecting the physical and mental health of women and girls. In one survey nearly half of nine- to twelve-year-old girls said they wanted to be thinner and had either been on a diet or were aware of the concept of dieting and in another study in one study half of girls ages 16-21 said they would undergo surgery to improve their bodies (“Body image- girls,” 2012) Anorexia Nervosa & Related Eating Disorders, Inc.

(2011) says that one out of every four college-aged women uses un-healthy methods of weight control- including fasting, skipping meals, excessive exercise, laxative abuse, and self induced vomiting. Eating disorders have become more and more prominent in young women. Psychological factors that cause these disorders include low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy or lack of control, which are often caused by the unrealistic standards set by media. Even if eating disorders are not an issue, self-esteem problems frequently are.

Dove’s Real Truth About Beauty research (2011) revealed that by the age of 14, 55% of Canadian girls feel pressure to be “beautiful”. By the time they are 29, this number increases to 96%. This industry has gone too far in pushing a dangerously thin, unrealistically “beautiful”, misguided image that women, and young girls, try to emulate. The harsh reality that low self-esteem, low self- worth, and feelings of inadequacy are evident in almost all women’s life in some form is not one to be taken lightly. Media, while providing people with information and entertainment, also

affects people’s lives by shaping their opinions of and attitudes toward society and themselves. This is particularly relevant pertaining to the image of women in the media. Mass media still uses gender stereotypes and unrealistic definitions of beauty to reach the consumer, and the effects that these tactics have on women are severe. With most women facing oppression regarding gender roles of some form and with only 4% of women being able to call themselves beautiful (“Surprising Self-Esteem Statistics,” 2011), it is clear that change needs to occur.

The media needs to stop using underweight women to sell products to every day women, instilling feelings of inadequacy in women in order to sell products, presenting women in sexual, dependent, or domestic roles and need to begin instilling self-worth in young girls and women of all makes and give them positive role models. Changing the media’s projection of woman has been a consistent agenda of the women’s movement since the early l960s.

However, little has happened and it will take an enormous shift in the mentality of media producers and society itself before a great deal can happen. For now, if people become aware of the stereotypes and teach critical viewing skills and the real meaning of beauty/equality to young girls and one another, perhaps they will be less likely to succumb to the effects of the unrealistic standards that the media has put in place for all women. References Richardson, S. (2011, August 29).

“Miss representation” shows how media mistreats women. Ms. Magazine, Retrieved from http://msmagazine. com/blog/2011/08/29/miss-representation-shows-how-media-mistreats-women/ Eveleth, R. (2013, May 15). Female representation in films is the lowest it’s been in 5 years. Smithsonian, Retrieved from http://www. smithsonianmag. com/smart-news/female-representation-in-film-is-the-lowest-its-been-in-five-years-62582503/ Portrayal of women in the popular media. (2009, May). Retrieved from http://worldsavvy. org/monitor/index.

php? option=com_content;id=602;Itemid=104 9 (n. d. ). Statistics. The Confidence Coaliton, Retrieved from http://www. confidencecoalition. org/statistics-women (2012). Body image- girls. Media Smarts, Retrieved from http://mediasmarts. ca/body-image/body-image-girls (2011). Statistics: How many people have eating disorders?. ANRED Inc. , Retrieved from http://www. anred. com/stats. html (2013). Surprising self-esteem statistics. Dove, Retrieved from http://www. dove. ca/en/Article/Surprising-Self-Esteem-Statistics. aspx

Rise of Totalitarianism

At the end of World War I, totalitarianism began to rise. To keep the countries at peace they created The League Of Nations. It did not execute its duties well, and failed to enforce treaties, and prevent invasions. At the end of the war France designed the Treaty of Versailles to punish Germany, and it caused many problems in Germany. The rise of totalitarianism could have been stopped if, the Treaty of Versailles was not as severe, the League of Nations was more effective, and had their not been an economic downfall.

The Treaty of Versailles had some harsh regulations. This treaty stated Germany had to pay high reparations, take the blame for the war, have land taken from them, have their military reduced, and League of Nations taking over seas colonies. If it was not for this treaty Germany would not have had the rise of Nazism. The main goal of Nazism was to reunite the German speaking people and they could not do that if all the German speaking countries were spilt up. Alsace Lorraine was taken from Germany and given back to France. Other countries were stripped from Germany and were given to Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, and some made independent countries showing self-determination. All this did was anger the German people, because they blame the signing of the treaty on the people known as the “November Criminals”. The Weimar Republic did not know who to blame for the defeat and faced many problems similar to that. Revolts let out and so did street gangs. Horrible inflation happened due to the high reparations in the 1920s. This caused many German citizens to have very little hope in the government. Hitler came into power by gaining control of the Nazi Party and got support for finding blame for the war. Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s loss in World War I and the economic downfall. In the 1930s Hitler started to use communism uprising as a threat to gain power. He went against the other political parties and set up a fascist totalitarian state in Germany based on the ideas of Stalin and Mussolini. Each regulation of this treaty led to each event in Germany causing the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party.

The League of Nations came along after World War I. The point of the League was to make sure a war was never to break out again, and keep world peace stabilized. All the countries counted on the League to bring stability into the world. They did not want another disaster to happen, and to avoid this they created an international body whose sole purpose was to maintain world peace. One major problem was this was created when the United States was in isolationism; this meant that the US was not a part of the League. As America was the one of the world’s most powerful country this was a major weakness in the League of Nations. Germany was also not in the League due to the Treaty of Versailles. One of their punishments was not being considered a part of the international community. In 1917 Russia was not allowed to join the League also. Mainly due to the communist government in Russia. This league was lacking powerful countries and that was a big deal if they wanted international peace. The League of Nations did not have an army, therefore, how are they supposed to reinforce the Treaty of Versailles and the peace between countries. The League of Nations would have worked if it was more organized. It also could have prevented the rise of Hitler when everything went bad in Germany. Hitler refused to pay the reparations when he came into power and the League of Nations could not have done anything about it because they had no army. If the League was more organized it could have stop the rise of totalitarianism.

Germany was unable to pay was reparations. They had terrible inflation, and their currency became worthless. France was aware of the high reparation costs putting Germany into a great depression. Things got better in Germany for a little until the stock market crashes in 1929 known as Black Tuesday and put Germany back into an economic crisis. This all lead to the overthrow of the government starting with the Freikorps. In 1920 the Freikorps attempted to overthrow the Weimar Republic and tried to blame the communist for it. Germany was in horrible shape with its economy and they would try anything to get out of it. Hitler actually had his reason for this economic crisis it was blaming the Jews. Any sort of way out the German people went along with because they were desperate for help. Hitler banned strikes, placed strict controls on wages and prices to end unemployment and try to improve the economy. He violated the treaty by increasing the military to help unemployment. The League had nothing to stop this so had to let it go by. Germany going into the great depression due to these high reparations is what caused the German people to become desperate and look toward anyone for help. They choose Hitler to listen to and he turns Germany into a fascist totalitarian state.

Some countries in Europe during the 1920s were falling apart, and need help desperately. Totalitarian leaders are what these countries came to with Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and Mao. The League of Nations was created to stabilize the world and bring peace. But the League had nothing to back it up except for their own word. These European countries economies were crashing, and Germany was in an economic crisis. The German people had to turn to a totalitarian leader to get out of it. Hitler got those jobs and helped the unemployment rate. Totalitarianism could have been stop if the Treaty of Versailles was not as harsh, the League of Nations was put together better, and if the economy had not turn terribly.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Abstract
In this paper there will be information about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This paper will discuss both the privacy and security aspects of HIPAA as well the crucial elements and systems that must be followed in order for both rules to be successful. The consequences of breaking the policies of this health care act will result in fines and/or up to ten years in prison depending on the violation that was committed. The main purpose of HIPAA is to assure that all individuals’ health care information is protected as well as the protection of each patient’s health and well-being.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
There are people all over the United States who are required to share their personal information with physicians and other medical professionals. Fortunately the health care environment guarantees patient confidentiality for all of their sensitive and health-related information. There are several acts that the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have developed in order to ensure all patients are given the proper medical confidentially that they deserve. One specific act is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This act required HHS to develop regulations that would protect the privacy and security of certain health information. In the end two separate rules were published: Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information and The Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information. HIPAA is an important aspect of health care especially-when it comes to the safety of all patients (Andrews, 2010). Due to the strict privacy and security acts of this program, the consequences are extremely severe.

One of the more important rules of HIPAA is the privacy rule, which “establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information” (Summary of The HIPAA Privacy Rule 2003). This aspect also applies to several health plans, health care clearinghouses, and other health care providers that perform electronic health care transactions. Due to the privacy rule, without proper patient authorization there are serious limits and safeguards that prevent anyone from sharing a patient’s medical information. Another crucial part of this rule is the fact that patients have the legal right to review and examine their health records, as well the authority to request any corrections they see necessary to repair. This becomes important when a patient finds incorrect information on their file that any of the medical staff failed to recognize such as birthdate or a blood type. Having a patient review their file is a common way that mistakes are corrected. In order to protect and enforce the privacy of patient medical records, there are several comprehensive programs that are required through clinical information systems.

There are three main clinical systems that were created to protect a patient’s privacy of their medical records. The first system-called patient care systems-“stores information about a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, and treatment plans” (Glandon & Smaltz, 2008). The organizations that choose to provide this care are also responsible for making sure that each patient’s medical information is available only to those who are authorized to view it. Another clinical system is called Public health information systems. These systems are in charge of supporting disease prevention and surveillance programs. Protecting public health is not a simple task; it requires knowing how to properly add and store health-related information about each individual. Without this system, any sort of leakage of sensitive information could lead to discrimination in employment or insurance eligibility. The final clinical information system, which is referred to as the medical research information system, is responsible for studying patterns of certain diseases in specific populations by using patient records. This act of studying common patterns is a way to prevent the reoccurrence of any fatal diseases and protect the health of others. Due to the fact that most of a patients’ data is accessible to many investigators, it is important that information security measures are taken to provide the necessary privacy. In order to establish this aspect of HIPAA, it is important for health care companies to appoint the responsibilities of enforcing the guidelines of HIPAA to the proper unit of the health care department. Some companies rely on compliance or specific privacy offices to ensure these obligations (Glandon & Smaltz, 2008). The fear of having no privacy can lead to individuals avoiding treatments or clinical tests because they feel their medical records are not protected properly. This fear puts the health of others in danger and can lead to bigger and more dangerous issues in the future.

The other important aspect of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is the security rule, which “focuses on administrative, technical and physical safeguards specifically as they relate to electronic protected health information” (Yale University, 2013).With such critical information being stored electronically the security rule is also responsible for protecting the system against any sort of failure, including external tragic events that could take place randomly such as a fire or a power outage. These crucial files are usually copied to a removable disk to ensure that all files will not be lost. This type of information can be stored in computer hard drives, memory cards, any kind of removable digital memory media or all transmission media that can be used to exchange information such as the internet (HIPAA, 2013). Preventing unauthorized viewing of electronic protected health information (ePHI) can become difficult due to the variety of ways information is stored. Overall the major goal of the Security rule is allow the development of new technologies that will help to improve the quality of care as well as protect all the sensitive health information that is shared and documented (Summary of The HIPAA Security Rule 2003).

There are several measures that must be taken in order to secure all the different types of medical information. A proper security policy should include the three following elements: physical security, technical controls over access, and management policies (Glandon & Smaltz, 2008). These elements should be known by all staff and enforced by management. When it comes to the proper amount of physical security there is no such thing as having too little or too much. The most common forms of physical security include hardware and data file security. Hardware securities defend computers from unauthorized access or viruses entering private files (Das, Kant, & Zhang, 2012). These are usually the first step of security that is taken in order to enforce the security portion of HIPAA throughout the medical records.

Another element that helps secure private files is technical safeguards. Theses safeguards include ideas that are as simple as having a password that only authorized individuals are aware of or even creating a specific encryption that only the employees of a health care company are able to translate. Creating audit logs is great way to view who is logged into specific patients’ information and when they did so. This enables any supervisor to have superior knowledge of who accesses what information. The final element that a security policy should provide is the enforcement of all management policies. These could include having written company security polices that are available for employees to review at any time. Making sure that all employees are aware of all security polices is important in order to ensure the safety of all medical records. These policies can be addressed in employee training, which is another important part of any management position. Employee training is where all questions should be answered and all policies should be understood. Employees also need to be informed of the disciplinary actions that will follow if any sort of the management policy is broken or disobeyed.

There are always repercussions when it comes to breaking the rules; HIPAA has several consequences due to the disobedience of the people. There is a general penalty “for failure to comply with requirements and standards” (Penalties Under HIPAA, 2013). This is the more common penalty that occurs; it requires the person who violated the rules to pay one hundred dollars for each violation and may not exceed $25,000 throughout a one year time frame. The other offense that includes any “wrongful disclosure of individual identifiable health information” (Penalties Under HIPAA, 2013) has a more in-depth punishment rate. This includes situations where an individual shares another individual’s health information to an unofficial person. Also, the obtainment of another individual’s medical information when it is not needed or asked for any specific medical reason is also included in this offense. The first penalty that is sentenced in this situation is that the violator will not be fined more than $50,000 and/or imprisoned up to one year. If the offense is committed under false pretenses the violator will not be fined any more than $100,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years. The biggest penalty occurs if the offense is committed with the intention of selling an individual’s medical record for certain advantages. In this case the violator will be fined no more than $250,000 and/or imprisoned for no more than ten years. Because the information protected under HIPAA laws is invaluable and incredibly sensitive, legislators made sure to implement punishments that will hopefully deter potential wrong doers from breaking the law.

Unfortunately, the severe consequences that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act endorses, does not intimidate everyone. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is still the most effective act and it helps to protect the privacy of individually identifiable health information, as well as secure the electronic protected health information. When the proper elements to both the privacy and security rules are followed, the more successful HIPAA will be.

References
Andrews, J. (2010). What Are Some Pros & Cons Of HIPAA. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/75368-pros-cons-hipaa/ Das, S., Kant, K., & Zhang, N. (2012). Hardware and Security: Vulnerabilities and

Solutions. Handbook on Securing Cyber-Physical Critical Infrastructure (pp. 305-326). Waltham, MA: Elsevier Inc. Glandon, G.L., & Smaltz, D. H. (2008). Austin and Boxerman’s Information Systems for Healthcare Management
(7th ed.) (pp. 118-127). Chicago: Health Administration Press, HIPAA. (2013). West Virginia State Privacy Office. Retrieved From http://www.privacy.wv.gov/HIPAA/Pages/default.aspx Penalties Under HIPAA. (2013). UC Davis Health System: Compliance Program. Retrieved From http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/compliance/guidance/privacy/penalties.html Summary of The HIPAA Privacy Rule (2003). United States Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/index.html Summary of The HIPAA Security Rule (2003). United States Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/srsummary.html Yale University. (2013). Security. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Retrieved from http://hipaa.yale.edu/security

Creation Myth Compare and Contrast

Usually, creation myths have a lot of similarities and seem to convey the same message. A creation myth is a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it. There are many different creation myths that have been passed down from generation to generation and in “Enuma Elish” “Osiris, Isis and Horus” and “Genesis” you are able to see just how similar they are, but also slight different. One of the first things you will notice in these myths is that they are all based on gods.

Each myth has an evil entity that helps set the myth to tell a story on what happened and to get the message across. Each evil entity plays a big part in the myth and eventually loses the battle to show that good always prevails. 1. Osiris, Isis and Horus – Set was the son of Geb and Nut who chose to be born on the third day. Set was aggressive from the very beginning choosing the time and manner of his birth. Osiris became king of Upper and Lower Egypt. Set wanted to take over the country and established a plan to trick Osiris by showing a beautiful wooden box during the feast.

Set said that anyone who can fit in the box perfectly was able to keep the box – little did everyone know that Set secretly measured the box to fit Osiris. Once Osiris had his turn to fit in the box, it was nailed shut with him inside. They then poured melted lead to make sure that he suffocated. Isis eventually was able to bring Osiris back to life and in the mean time their son, Horus, was born. Horus was born to avenge his father’s death and kill Set. Isis would not allow Horus to kill Set, so they battled each other, and Horus won each time. 2.

Enuma Elish – Tiamat was encouraged by her son Kingu to seek revenge her children to avenge the death of Apsu and for creating a fourfold wind that kept them awake and disturbed their bodies. Tiamat created monsters to help her win this battle against the other gods, but they had something else in mind. They made Marduk fight the battle against Tiamat because the others were not strong enough and Marduk was the wisest and strongest of all of the gods. Marduk won the battle against Tiamat and killed her to make the heavens and the earth from her body. 3.

Genesis – The evil entity in Genesis is the serpent that convinces Eve to eat the apple off of the tree of wisdom. God specifically told Adam and Eve not to eat this fruit as it was forbidden. Eve gave in and ate the fruit and then had Adam do the same. Because of the serpent, Adam and Eve ate the fruit and they were all punished and put out of the Garden of Eden. As you can see, each myth’s evil entity lost their battle during the story. None of them achieved what they wanted to, which shows that good always overcomes evil, even though there are conflicts raised from it.

Sometimes you have to fight for what you know is right, but eventually, the good always shines. Enuma Elish and Genesis are most similar in a few different ways. With these myths, you are really able to tell that most creation myths are a foundation on the way different cultures are made up. Some of the similarities between Enuma Elish and Genesis are; 1. Both myths imply that there was nothing in the beginning. In Genesis it states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. ” The myth of Enuma Elish starts by stating “In the beginning, only water and the mist that hovered above it existed. ” As you can see, both myths beginning started with nothing until the Gods created something. 2. The Enuma Elish is recorded on seven tablets where as Genesis states that everything was created in seven days. 3. In both myths, water is divided into upper and lower waters.

Both of these creation myths have a similar beginning as well as a similar plot – they both created human life to worship God and the gods, to serve them. Both had an evil entity in them that tried to cause chaos to the gods. Although I do think that all three myths are very similar, I believe that Enuma Elish is most different from Osiris, Isis and Horus. The difference between the two is shown when it comes to the creation of the world around them. The difference between the two myths is; 1. In Osiris, Isis and Horus doesn’t mention anything about the creation of the heavens, earth, etc.

in the beginning. The myth starts out with the parent’s of Osiris and Isis and the story of how Nut was not allowed to give birth in any month of any year. 2. The beginning of the the Enuma Elish starts out with what all existed and how the waters were split between gods. Each myth has a lot of similarities as well as differences but they each tell a story on how things were created. All of the myths had gods that tried to do good for the other gods and had an evil entity try to change that. Each of the explained how good will always outweigh evil even though evil is always in the world.

Frequent Shopper Program

Kudler Fine Foods (KFF) is a local upscale specialty food store that is committed to providing customers with the finest selection of specialty foods. In addition, KFF would like to reward their customers for their loyalty by incorporating a frequent shopper program. KFF is planning on developing a system that tracks customer purchases and awards loyalty points for redemption. The system will assist KFF in satisfying their most valued customers.

Smith Systems Consulting Firm has been contracted for the development of the system. Smith Systems Consulting has been serving clients since 1994 with high value web and business application services. In this proposal, Smith Systems consulting will propose two alternative methods for completing the frequent shopper application. The advantages and disadvantages for each method and how the firm would conduct testing for each development method will be discussed.

Regardless of which method is used, most software process models, follow a similar set of phases and activities. The difference between models is the order and frequency of the phases. The specific parts of the software process are presented below: 1. Inception – Software product is created and defined.

2. Planning – Resources, schedule, and cost are determined. 3. Requirements Analysis – Specify what the application must do. 4. Design – Specify the parts and how they fit
5. Implementation – Write the code
6. Testing – Execute the application with input test data
7. Maintenance – Repair defects and add capability (TechTarget, 2014)
The first model that will be proposed is the “waterfall” process. The “waterfall” process is the oldest software process model and despite its weaknesses, it is still in widespread use today. The waterfall process requires following the phases in a sequential order where the output for one phase is used as the input for the next. The next phase in the process is not started until the previous one has been completed, although a small overlap between phases is accepted. Two advantages and disadvantages of using this model relative to the frequent shopper program will be discussed.

The first advantage is the practicality of the process. We have been using this process for many years and have a great deal of experience with it. All individuals involved have and understanding of the process and its execution. The second advantage is the process is simple and easy to use. The criteria of each phase are set and completed sequentially. The order of execution is easy for everyone to comprehend. There is no question on what needs to be completed before the next phase can begin.

The first disadvantage is that requirements need to be known up front. KFF currently has a broad range of requirements and every detail is not known. As the project progresses, more details may become known; which could cause the project to be stopped and re-imagined. The second disadvantage is that there is no feedback of the system by stakeholders until after the testing phase. KFF has no way of knowing if the program meets their requirements because the “waterfall” process does not facilitate intermediate versions.

The second method that will be proposed is the agile methodology. The agile methodology proposes alternatives to traditional project management. Agile development focuses on keeping code simple, testing often, and delivering functional bits of the application as soon as they are ready (TechTarget, 2014). One goal of agile development is to build upon small-client-approved parts as the project progresses, as opposed to delivering one large application at the end of the project.

One advantage to using agile methodology for the frequent shopper application is the ability to respond to changing requirements. KFF may decide to change the requirements of the project, which can easily be handled using the flexibility of the agile methodology. A second advantage is the face-to-face communication and continues input from customer representatives making sure that there is no guesswork (Buzzle, 2013). The result is exactly what the customer has required.

The first disadvantage of the agile methodology is the possibility that the project can be taken off track. KFF is not one hundred percent clear on the final outcome that they want; therefore, the project has the potential to get off track because requirements are constantly changing. Another disadvantage is that it is difficult to assess the effort needed to complete this project at the beginning of the software development life cycle. Since KFF is not specific on the requirements for the project, we cannot plan how much time or the amount of resources we will need to complete the project.

Regardless of the method that is used for the frequent shopper application, testing is a necessary component of the process. Testing is conducted differently depending on which software model is used. Since the waterfall method follows a sequential approach, the testing is done so also. The flexibility of the agile method also allows flexibility for the testing process.

Using the waterfall method testing would begin during the implementation stage. The work would be divided into modules and the coding would begin after receiving the system design documents. The frequent shopper program would be developed into small programs called units. As an example, there would be a program that handles the input from the customer and another program that would track the employee’s reward points. Each unit is developed and then tested for functionality. Unit testing verifies if the units meet the specifications.

The units are then integrated into a complete system during the integration phase and tested to see if all units coordinate between each other and the system functions as a whole per the specification (Onestoptesting, 2014). After testing of the frequent shopper program is successful, the software is delivered to the customer. If problems are found after deployment they are solved immediately. This is referred to be maintenance and sometimes that process is virtually never ending.

Agile testing focuses on testing being an integral part of software development rather than a separate phase. (“Agile Testing”, n.d.) Testing from the beginning of the project and continually testing throughout the project lifecycle is the foundation in which agile testing is built. Agile testing is software testing based on the principles of agile software development.

The combined team, including the testing team will take responsibility of analyzing the business requirements of the frequent shopper program. Together the team will define a sprint goal. The testing team will then begin work on the test plan that is validated by the entire team and KFF. As the development team starts the implementation, the test team will begin working on the test case design.

When the code is ready to test, the test team will do a quick test on the development environment, in order to identify the early stage defects. Developers will fix the defects on a priority basis. This iteration will continue until the end of the code implementation. In addition after approval from KFF, automated test cases will be run on a daily basis. Because of the frequency of testing using the agile method, automated tests are needed.

Smith Systems Consulting needs to choose the methodology that works for them and the client. Since each project is unique, there is not a one-size fit all methodology. Two alternative methods for completing this project were presented and Smith Systems Consulting can make a decision on which to choose.

References

Buzzle. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/software-testing-methodologies.html TechTarget. (2014). Retrieved from http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/definition/agile-software-devel

The life of a hobo

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