Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Power of Habit: Book Report

   In life we function, breathe, live, and survive out of natural habit. Charles Duhigg has described habit in three parts: individuals, successful organizations, and societies. All three cover real issues and related stories, and allow you to understand the neurology and psychology of habits and the way patterns work within our lives, societies, and organizations. This book breaks habits down into parts, and help us rebuild them to our specifications. Charles convinces his audience that it is possible to transform a habit, and understand why and how. 
   This book was so good, it is hard to pick a favorite part, every part of was great knowledge and extremely interesting to learn so many of the tragic things that happen in the world now and in the past. However, "Starbucks and the habit of success," had some very interesting points, that all businesses should follow. This chapter described how Starbucks gives their employees tons of training, to ensure they are prepared for all scenarios that they encounter during the course of their shift. It was very empowering to learn that a guy who came from a hard life and much of nothing, was able to turn his whole life around just from a job. Starbucks ensured they taught their employees to regulate their emotions and compartmentalize their self-discipline to enhance their customer service. This type of learning, encourages people to find their self-commitment, understand it, and encourage others to follow the same habits, to ensure a happy workplace. 
   Addiction comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and if one person is affected everyone involved is. Lecture slides covered being addicted to drugs or caffeine, Charles incorporates a story in a chapter named "The neurology of free will- are we responsible for our habits?." This chapter first covers a story about a husband who killed his wife in his sleep, from having a night terror. He was not charged after being on trial, and his lawyer defended him by explaining how he was unaware at the time of the crime and shouldn't be responsible for it. On the other hand, a housewife developed an addiction to gambling, realized she had a problem, and moved to get away from the environment which led her to gambling. That did not work, because after her parents died they left her 1 million dollars, and after she begin to visit her old home town. This housewife, used gambling as a copping mechanism to help ease the pain of her life struggles. This story was very familiar, considering I've lived in a gambling society all of my life, and I cannot understand how people gamble it all away, no matter who they hurt in the long run. I learned that most people become addicted from "almost" winning. It is more likely a person will continue playing if they "almost" win, than if they just lose or win. That story was extremely sad, and I hope her life is much better today. 
The remote is something that controls more than just our televisions, and to all television watchers it is something we could not possibly live without. Out of habit the remote is used to do everything; such as turn the volume, power on or off, and numerous other functions. Sometimes I find myself reaching for the remote out of habit, but I'm less than two feet away from the television. The time I take to find the remote, I could have already achieved what I set out to do. Habits: they control our lives, without even noticing. 

Habits of societies, discussed how habits can influence a movement, and how strangers impact others. Charles incorporated the Rosa Parks story and how her situation moved others, and influenced others to stand up for their rights. He also mentioned she was involved in organizations, that made her the person she was. For most of my life I sticked to what I was used to; and that included friends, home, and the workplace. So for my first semester at Stockton, I decided to try to join every organization I possibly could, just to be a part of something. Being a part of an important organization, is essential in life to me, because it brings you closer to some things or people that may not be a part of your regular routine. Going outside of the routine, will bring exposure to many rewards that may not be accessible if you stay under a rock. This story, reassured me that it's ok, to join organizations to become a part of a movement, which may change the world.

Self Commitment

   Self commitment- development of valuable patterns of behavior that bridge over individual temptations.
    Over the past few years, I have, like most tried stay as healthy as I possibly can, considering my place of employment is in a restaurant full of tons of fattening food. My family owns a soul food restaurant in Atlantic City and we sell everything from bbq, fried chicken, mac & cheese, and delicious desserts. At a young age I have always had an interesting pallet, from the exposure of homemade food on a regular basis, I put on extra pounds that a normal teenager would not have. As I got older, exercise and eating healthier has been a goal of mine to be consistent with.
    In my life, being committed to a healthier lifestyle, involves changing your entire way of living. For example, it is extremely important to keep the refrigerator stocked at all times; with all things necessary to improve health. I have a developed a routine to stay on track; and that involves going to grocery, produce, and meat market every two weeks ritually. It makes no sense to get produce or meat from the grocery, so all three trips are beneficial to you and your pockets. A portion of my everyday meals consist of a salad, green and fruit juice, a few small snacks throughout the day and dinner, at least 5 days a week. This routine keeps me balanced, and allows me to have two cheat days; and it woks for me.
    However, with a full time job and the needing the beach on my days off, my commitment to my healthy lifestyle has dwindled. So instead of a salad everyday for the past two weeks, I have resorted to some unhealthy choices at my restaurant. If eaten in moderation, they will not have a huge effect on my lifestyle, but it's time to get back to the basics.

Dog pemmican

    What is dog pemmican?
British polar expeditions fed a type of pemmican to their dogs as "sledging rations". Called "Bovril pemmican" or simply "dog pemmican", it was a beef product consisting of 2/3 protein and 1/3 fat, without carbohydrate.
    Throughout the whole book of Endurance, I had no idea what dog pemmican was, and they never gave a specific description of it. I have never owned a dog before, and never planned on, so I honestly could not understand why they would add that to what they ate. Knowing the exact definition now, I can see how humans would entertain the idea of using it to stretch food.  
    Starvation and unknown weather were some of the greatest challenges of the men on this journey. Some will never understand, what it's like to have minimal food choices. I honestly take my hats to these men who survived off of seal meat and dog pemmican; it could not have me. 

Target Spies on Customers

    After taking tons of business courses and working for a restaurant business; they don't directly tell you spying on customers is a big part of the business marketing spectrum. This is something, that should paid closely attention to, considering all the online shopping that goes on. Just six months ago, I realized after searching, purchasing, or having something in my cart for any period of time, those same items would pop up on unrelated other websites. That is creepy, but genius in the marketing world. It's like the store is reminding you to complete your purchase, whether you want or not.
    This explains how Target will have every customer obtain a "guest id#," to keep track of their customers spending habits. After analyzing all of their purchases from store to online, they decide what you like to buy, and when you like to buy it. Target is not the only business whose guilty of it; if you think about it every store that offers coupons, always sends them after you've already just purchased the item.
     Switching my shopping habits around, has allowed my budget for most necessities to stay in tack. For example, grocery shopping online is the best, because it allows you to only buy what you need only. Some think they will miss something if they shop online, but everything you can purchase in the store is online, which prevents business from setting you up to buy more.

My Own Motivation

After reading through the lecture slides in this course I've realized most of my motivation is put towards 1 or 2 things (health and fitness). To be honest, those two things are what are most important to me at this time in my life. They are my priority but when I think about it, there are other aspects of life that I should put as a priority and focus my motivation on. Now that I have finished my last course of college and will be receiving my degree shortly I need to focus on my future and where to go from here. Time to jump into the real world and get my life started. My motivation needs to be shifted to the Air Force and how I can best prepare myself for this new endeavor.

I realize my posts have been focused on myself, where I am in life and how to improve, but that is what this class has done for me. It has made me realize where I am, how I'm handling what is currently in front of me, and what I need to do to prepare for my future.


I never thought I was a procrastinator, but after taking this class I can say that I have procrastinated. I started this class off with trying to get everything done right away. I read Endurance then took the book quizzes, midterm, and final all within 6 days. After that I procrastinated with completing the site posts, responses, and book report. If I take a course designed this way again I will have to have motivation and self discipline and set my own due dates, so I will not wait till the end to complete things.    

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty

  General Overview:
          The Honest Truth About Dishonesty is written in a humorous and matter-of-fact way. The author, Dan Ariely, feels that we lie to others including ourselves. Some of us like to believe we are honest and do not lie. At times, we may not be aware of our lies.  We may think of reasons why lying is acceptable and view it as a social morality issue. Ariely uses several experiments to find out more about dishonesty.

    Favorite Part:
My favorite experiment was “The Coin Logic”. This was an imaginary situation where you cannot decide which camera to buy. Your final choices are between two cameras. A quarter is then used to help with your decision. The ‘head’ of flipping the quarter was one camera and ‘tails’ was the other camera. If you do not like the outcome of flipping the coin, sometimes we all say “the next toss is the real answer”. Flipping the coin again can show maybe we wanted the other camera all along and you feel better following the coins “advice”. Sometimes in real life situations, we can flip quarters during decisions or even ask a friend or family member’s advice until we receive the answer we want to hear from someone. Throwing the coin multiple times in order to get the answer we desire is an example of lying and cheating, although, most people would not think of it as such.

Willpower, self control and self management are often seen as external behaviors such as dieting, quitting smoking, or not drinking alcohol. The coin logic scenario is not only an example of lying to oneself but also shows a lack of willpower by the repeated coin toss to get the answer that is wanted. 

          I found some several videos on YouTube related to the book and this was an interesting four minute video. Dan Ariely spoke more about lies and dishonesty. He spoke about white lies and how children are brought up to tell white lies to be polite. Lies that don’t hurt anyone else but benefit us were discussed. He also spoke about the way that the business and social world of lies may cross. It is interesting to think more about how lies impact our daily lives even when we do not realize a lie is involved. Please see link:

Extension: The book, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, made me realize that we all lie and cheat at some points in our lives. Sometimes we have to lie for certain reasons. For example, if you have a friend’s surprise party this Saturday and that friend asks what you are doing this Saturday, you will have to lie and make something up so you do not ruin the surprise. Lying to someone for no reason still intrigues me. Why do we lie? Does it make you feel better - even if it is not true? 

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty Book Report

I chose the book “The Honest Truth About Dishonesty” by Dan Ariely. The author is a Psychologist and in this text he details the many experiments and interviews he conducted in order to study human dishonesty and cheating. An example of the studies he conducted included a “matrix test” which was a mildly challenging mathematical test that he used to determine whether participants would cheat on it or fudge their answers by being allowed to shred their test and report their answers without evidence. He uses these experiments to test both his own theories about cheating as well as previously established ones such as the Simple Model of Rational Crime also known as SMORC.
The interviews that Ariely conducted in order to make these books shed light on many different businesses, careers, and lifestyles that support cheating and lying. It is impressive how many resources he has and how interesting their accounts are. At some points in the book I had my jaw hanging down because I could not believe the sneakiness and illegitimacy of businesses and organizations that are meant to help the common good or serve an incredibly important role in society.
My favorite part of this book was in Chapter 3: Blinded by Our Own Motivations. Ariely had interviewed pharmaceutical representatives and asked them how they convinced doctors to purchase drugs from their companies and push them onto their patients. My mind was blown by how conniving pharmaceutical companies can be. The Pharmaceutical reps were all beautiful and charismatic. They also learned what the doctor’s interests were, what their favorite foods were, and what politics they agreed with. The reps will give the doctor and their staff members gifts that can be as small as a coffee mug to as large as a steak lunch once per week for a year. I couldn’t believe that the people who I trust with my well-being were being seduced by companies in order to push their agenda. It truly changed my perspectives on the medical field.
I was watching videos on the internet one night and stumbled across this one. It reminded me so much of the book I read for this class and thought it would be a great addition to my paper. The video demonstrates just how powerful lying and putting suggestions in people’s heads is.

Adam Ruins Everything
This book has truly changed the way I see the world and I have been thinking a lot about how I and the people around me can cheat while not feeling bad about it. Everyone draws a line somewhere and cheating just a little bit can go a long way. In one of the chapters Ariely discovered that putting small reminders of morality near a tempting situation can greatly reduce the amount of cheating performed there. I was thinking about the laundry room at Stockton and how people will take others clothes out and put them on top of the machine in order to put their own clothes in. This behavior is very rude especially when the person doing it does not even wait five minutes for someone to retrieve their belongings. I think placing a sign in the laundry room that asks students to please wait a reasonable amount of time for the owner of the clothes to retrieve their belongings before moving their things would change this behavior. Also placing a sign that asks students to not steal other students clothing articles would most likely reduce that behavior as well. 

Fitness Motivation

I find it interesting how incentives influence motivation. I am very into fitness and consider myself in decent shape. I am currently in the process of joining the Air Force and the specific job I want to do is very physically demanding. I consider this a strong incentive to get myself in better shape. Incentives like this are great ways to stay motivated to achieve the goals you've set for yourself.

This also relates to willpower and rewards. If I am able to have the willpower to get out of bed in the morning so I can get to the gym and train I will only be getting closer to my goal. And the reward for achieving that goal will be qualifying for the job I want to do so badly.

Now after writing this I realize I have not had the willpower to do this as of late. The previous paragraphs have, in a way, reignited my motivation to train so I can get this job. I am determined to be fit enough to qualify for this job and I only have myself  to overcome.

The Power of Habit Book Report

General Overview:
Habits are a part of every person’s life, and many do not realize just how powerful these routines and practices are. “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business”, by Charles Duhigg, provides all of the information one would need to understand habits, how they work, and how they can affect our lives. Divided into three parts, the habits of individuals, the habit of successful organizations, and the habits of societies, Duhigg’s book dives into how habits can affect not only our personal lives, but also our professional and social lives as well. Starting at square one, the author explains how habits work and how they form, with routine being the reason behind many habits. Identifying and examining the rewards behind every habit can help a person to understand which “bad” habits can be modified to equal success in a quicker and more sufficient way. “The Power of Habit” gives examples of influential habits for successful companies such as Target or Febreze, successful superstars such as Tony Dungy, and even everyday people such as a pastor or a housewife. This book motivates the reader to take control of their life and habits and transform themselves into their utmost potential. Who knew we could do all of this just by understanding habits?
Favorite Part & Related:
Although I found numerous parts of this books intriguing, my favorite part was from section 2 of part 1: The Craving Brain. Page 51 discusses exercise habits to explain the power of cravings in creating habits. The reason this was my favorite part is because this was a topic that had already sparked my interest from our class lecture “Drugs”. I personally had a friend who had an exercise addiction so reading this section in the book “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business”, helped me to understand the reasoning behind her habitual exercising. The book explains that a study was done on individuals who worked out multiple times a week, and results showed that a majority of people worked out originally to handle stress. Our lecture notes describe this as a negative reinforcer, using exercise as a relief from stress. However, the reason so many people continued to work out was because they began to crave the sense of accomplishment that they felt, and also the exercise high or “feel good” feeling. From our lecture notes this is considered a positive reinforce. If someone wants to start working out more, creating this as a new habit, the book explains that it is as easy choosing a cue and a reward. This is something I hadn’t considered with my friend, maybe she had made a habit out of this and felt rewards from working out. Of course this doesn’t justify having an unhealthy addiction that leads to reliance, but I just personally appreciated that one of our lectures and a part of this book not only connected with one another but also to a personal part of my life.
            For the creative segment of my paper, I found five websites that pay you to kick your bad habits that I wanted to share! Just as my favorite part of the book explains that you need to choose a clear reward in order to create a habit of something, I felt like ending a habit could be a new habit especially if there was a reward coming out of it!
· This company has an app for Iphones that rewards the user when they partake in physical activity for 15 minutes or longer!
· This app also rewards you for exercising, it just tracks your distance through a GPS and gives you points that can later be redeemed for prizes.
· This app sends you gift cards based on how many miles you drive without texting. Rewarding to the users and others on the road!
· This website helps you to find studies in your area that will pay you to stop smoking.
· This website helps to kick your bad habit of leaving lights on and wasting energy. You can receive rewards for pledging to turn your lights off.

            This book was very “motivational” and I appreciated how well it tied into our class and many things that we learned this semester. “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business”, relates to life in multiple aspects and gave advice that I will take to help better my own. Sometimes it is hard to understand why people surrounding you have bad habits such as alcohol abuse or exercise addiction. This book helped me to see their side, and how it might have become a habit for multiple reasons such as certain rewards and just becoming used to a routine of things. Duhigg explained the good and bad that can come with habits and how one can change things to better themselves. The habit loop was enlightening for me, and I hope to use it to get on top of my exercise by remembering cue, routine, reward. Clearly this book can solve many real-world problems because people deal with issues regarding habits every day. I believe that this book can save a lot of people’s lives, and make many happier and healthier.


People spend about a quarter of their waking hours resisting desires all different desires.  The urge to eat, urge to sleep, sexual urges, urges for other kinds of interactions, like checking e-mail and social-networking sites, surfing the Web, listening to music, or watching television.  Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney was a very interesting and insightful read.  I learned so many interesting aspects of willpower. We have many common names for willpower: determination, drive, resolve, self-discipline, self-control. But psychologists characterize willpower, or self-control, in more specific ways. According to most psychological scientists, willpower can be defined as, the ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.  It is also the capacity to override an unwanted thought, feeling or impulse.

One of the most interesting aspects was that Baumeister discovered that willpower actually works like a muscle. It can be strengthened with practice and fatigued by overuse. Willpower is fueled by glucose, and it can be bolstered simply by replenishing the brain's store of fuel. That's why eating and sleeping; and especially failing to do either of those-have such dramatic effects on self-control. This is why dieters have such a hard time resisting temptation. You’re better off eating foods with a low glycemic index: most vegetables, nuts, many raw fruits, cheese, fish, meat, olive oil, and other “good” fats.  This part I found so neat!  My husband and I recently started a ketogenic diet, and there are so many similarities between ketosis and the idea of building a stronger willpower.  Reading this book, just gave me the motivation to give this "lifestyle" a solid effort.  The outcomes both mentally and physically will be very rewarding. 

Baumeister's latest research shows that we typically spend four hours every day resisting temptation. No wonder people around the world rank a lack of self-control as their biggest weakness.  This was such a reality check diving into this book.  Both authors mention many stories on an assortment of topics; from religion to narcism.  This gave me a different perspective on how i’m dealing with the world around me compared to how others are feeling.  I never realized how many impulses I had to be lazy.  All I’d like to do is lay on my couch, eat pork roll, Pinterest on my phone, and binge watch Game of Thrones.  That is an ideal day.  However, because of my willpower…  I am working eleven hour days running a clinic on an Air National Guard base, ensuring all members are medically cleared to deploy, I’m also going to school full time, trying to maintain a household, exercise daily, and trying to remain somewhat sane.  Needless to say, willpower is how I survive my days.  Thankfully this book has opened my eyes to different ways that I can stay on track and make my willpower stronger.  


After reading through the “Rewards” lectures, I thought about many aspects of my life and the lives’ of others.  During the lectures, it mentioned that rewards are almost like reinforces.  It increases the likelihood of a behavior.  Currently, my best friend is potty training her daughter (my God-daughter).  She has talked about the stories she has heard and how tough it can be.  So her and I came up with something we saw that may be used a positive reinforcement for Eden to actually be able to use the bathroom.  My best friend has set up a huge calendar in the kitchen, and every time Eden uses the bathroom properly, she receives a gold star.  Eden absolutely loved this idea, and has been making strides in the potty training world.  The only downfall is that Eden is going to the bathroom a million times a day to see how many gold stars she can get!  Positive reinforcement can only be used and work for so long until the individual gets tired of it or outsmarts it. 


I recently got married to the love of my life about two months ago and already our families are asking the typical question, “When are you planning on having kids”.  After long talks with my husband, we both agreed to wait on this part in our lives because we have tasks that need to be accomplished first.  For example, my biggest goal right now is to finish my degree before thinking about having kids.  However, it is extremely tempting to start a family now while I’m young.  Temptation is defined as a desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.  By starting a family today with working on my degree and working full time, it would not allow me to keep the motivation of finishing school.  I would be too focused on raising my family instead of building a strong foundation that I could have one day.  I contemplate whether I should wait to start a family but then I remind myself that it would be unwise of me to start something without finishing the mountain I’m climbing right now.
Temptation can have a strong pull on someone’s life if they do not have the willpower to keep pushing forward and making smart decisions.  Willpower is the ability to control yourself and have strong determination that allows you to do something difficult.  Many people struggle with having the willpower to quit something they enjoy, like smoking, or keeping the right mind set through times where you want to give up, like finishing your degree.  Thankfully, I have the willpower to keep pushing forward with school while working full-time with a stressful job.  I motivate myself to get to my degree knowing the outcomes will be just the start of achieving my dreams.  Finally, when it is all said and done, I can turn my temptation with having kids into a wise decision and start a family at the right time. 

Alcohol Addiction

After reading through the “Drugs” lecture slides, it hit a soft spot.  One of the psychoactive drugs that were discussed throughout the lecture was alcohol.  Growing up, I was always surrounded by alcohol and never thought anything of it.  My older sisters would have parties at the house.  My mom would drink with almost every meal.  It was just part of our routine.  There were horrible reckless nights in my household were people became abusive, or things got broken.  Then one night, things got awful, really quick.  It was that next day that my mom made the first step in going to Alcoholics Anonymous. I think there was almost a switch that went off in her head that made her realize that she would lose her family if something did not change.  She was in denial for most of my life about her drinking.  She felt that because she did not drink every single day, that she didn’t have a problem.  However, when she did pick up a drink, she could not stop at just one.  She is now four years sober, and every single day is a constant battle for her.  She is filled with pride and happy with the woman she has become over the years.  I could not be more proud to see someone so close overcome and fight an addiction.  

Willpower Book Report

The book Willpower by Roy Baumeister was an easy to read novel that presented a lively point of view. Throughout the book the author used language that not only captured your attention but was also clear and realistic. The use of studies, like the radish experiment and the study of the Zeigarnik effect, were smoothly incorporated that it was hard to believe I was enjoying something that I would read for a class. The book discusses how willpower is a finite resource and we can both increase and deplete our reserves. Attempting to control one’s thoughts and emotions depletes willpower and depletion amplifies cravings and emotions and thus it is cyclic in nature. Being sick and making decisions also depletes your willpower. In order to restore this willpower one should diet and exercise, incorporate more glucose into the diet; glucose is claimed to be fuel for willpower. Getting eight hours of sleep and maintaining a clean room is advised. The author also incorporates concepts of being more mindful, for example keeping past failures and the future in mind help to keep a person on track by stimulating motivation and ambition. It would also be in one’s favor to keep like goals as conflicting goals add to anxiety and depression while depleting willpower and potentially cause physical sickness.  Lastly, it is very important to commit to a goal because it decreases the chances of succumbing to temptation.

            My favorite portion of the book lies within the conclusion. A close second to the Twilight reference on page 206, I preferred the conclusion because it is looking to solve the problem of diminished willpower and how to shape the future. I also appreciate the brutal honesty when it comes to procrastination because I am often very guilty of it. The conclusion also warns people against the dangers of the planning fallacy. For a procrastinator like myself who expects to get everything done quickly at the last minute the planning fallacy is my worst nightmare. This section gives you good  tips on how to stay on top of your goals like making to do lists or avoiding the planning fallacy by always being self-aware of past mistakes. It was a relief to know that procrastination can be beneficial when it’s in the form of positive procrastination. There have been a few times that I can recall that I was able to accomplish an assignment by pushing off my thoughts of fun; for example throughout reading this novel I had to prioritize and tell myself I could go out after I finished one more chapter. That’s positive procrastination and I wasn’t even aware I was doing that until after reading this book.  
Shoes must be tucked away and pillow placed to the right.

            Another fact that I found I could relate to was that of keeping a room clean. I find that when I am stressed out or feeling overwhelmed cleaning comforts me.  The book states that a clean room gives off the sense of self control and that resonates with me. When the world seems to be hectic and I have no power over the little things a clean environment eases my tension. Perhaps unconsciously I’m thinking if I can tame my messy room what is stopping me from taming all my homework or facing my finances. In fact before I was able to sit down and focus on this report I had to organize my shoes and put everything in its proper place.

Books need to be in size order on side table.

Everything even trash bags have a spot.
            In order to relate this book to the topics covered in class I would like to refer to the Marshmallow Test observed in the first section of the slides. In the Marshmallow Test video we see children left in a room seemingly by themselves. These children are left with a marshmallow and are told they can either have the marshmallow now or they can wait to receive the second one. Some of the children had the marshmallow in their mouths before the instructor even left the room whereas some could wait. The child is torn between the instant gratification of having one marshmallow now or wait for an unknown period of time for a second marshmallow. We see some of the children break after a few minutes pass and essentially what we are witnessing is the depletion of willpower. By trying to suppress their thoughts and attentions from the marshmallow they work against themselves in a way because soon they succumb to the temptation. Also the decision whether to eat just the one or wait for the second marshmallow, works to deplete their willpower reserves thus resulting in some of the children failing the test. Also the irony that marshmallows contain glucose that which would fuel their willpower is not lost on me. 

The Endurance Was a Horrible Ship to Stow Away On

While reading the book Endurance I couldn't help but feel bad for the one man in the crew that truly did not know what he was getting himself into. Perce Blackborow was simply a stowaway on the ship and pretty much imprisoned himself in a horrible situation. The reason he was brought on-board is that one of his friends, William Lincoln Bakewell convinced him to because he feared that the Endurance would not have enough men to operate the ship. The two had previously worked together on a ship called the Golden Gate. I wonder if Blackborow ever regrets listening to Bakewell especially when he was one of the crew members who suffered the most loss. His gangrene caused him to lose his foot and suffering for months in the Antarctic sounds like a hellish experience. His fellow crew members however reported that he was always cheery and helpful which is incredible in the situation he was in. Maybe he felt that since he got himself into this mess he had no right to complain.

Caffeine Addicts

Reading the lecture slides that focused on drug use was one of the most interesting ones of the course for me because I find studying addiction to be very interesting. I always find it funny when people realize that coffee is in fact a drug. To be more precise the caffeine in it is a drug. The lecture slides stated that caffeine is the most used psychoactive drug in the world and that is not at all a surprising fact. Every day I see people drinking coffee just to wake up in the morning. I even have a friend who was so addicted to caffeine that she began taking caffeine pills to not go through withdrawal. I even had to talk to her about it and she agreed she seriously needed to cut back. It gets scary when such a commonplace thing becomes a problem for someone .I suppose this is how people viewed smoking before it was publicized that they cause a flurry of health concerns. I wonder if in the future caffeine will also be viewed as a terrible health hazard that everyone should avoid. If that is the case it's hard to imagine a world where decaf is the new standard.

Taste Aversion

After viewing the slide about taste aversion, I realized that I had been a subject of it. When I was younger I went out to dinner with a friend and her family. I ordered chicken parmigiana and later that night I had became very sick. My parents took me to the hospital and they said I had food poisoning. Ever since that experience I cannot eat chicken parmigiana. Even if I smell it, it reminds me of how sick I got when I was younger. I know it was because of how the restaurant prepared the food, but I still cannot bring myself to eat it.  

Addiction / Willpower

I use to smoke cigarettes and for many years I tried to quit but I couldn’t. I started smoking in high school because a group of my friends were doing it. I never thought that I would become addicted to them. I would crave for them and since I wasn’t old enough to buy them, my friends and I would steal them from stores. After high school I continued to smoke. It was when I got married and became pregnant when I finally quit. Finding out I was pregnant gave me the willpower to quit. It has now been 17 years since my last cigarette and now when I smell someone smoking I still get the craving for one.      

Monday, August 8, 2016

Caffeine As a Drug (Site Post #3)

          Do you ever crave chocolate, soda, or coffee? We all probably have craved one or more of these foods frequently in our lives. We also have other cravings such as wanting our favorite food or drinks.

Caffeine is the most used psychoactive stimulant in America. Caffeine is widely used because it makes us feel alert, energetic, alive and clear headed. I see a lot of people who require soda or coffee on a daily basis. Many stop in any Wawa or Dunkin Donuts in the morning before work or class to get coffee in the morning. College students often bring coffee or soda to class and some even stay up late studying while drinking caffeine.
We may be all addicted to caffeine but it is also a big business. I wonder what the world would be like if there was no caffeine. Would we just find another drug of choice? 

          I enjoy drinking soda and iced coffee, although, I try to limit myself to not become addicted. While I am sad that summer is coming to an end, I am looking forward to Dunkin Donut’s Pumpkin Iced Coffee. It is one of my favorite drinks I crave in the Fall.   

Positive Reinforcement (Site Post #2)

          An example I had with positive reinforcement was when I was a child. My mother tried unsuccessfully to get my sisters and I to make our beds everyday. It did not work until she came up with the idea to pay us $1 per day to make our beds. It didn’t have to be perfect, just pulling up the covers was acceptable. In order to earn the dollar, it had to be done immediately upon waking up. I am the youngest sibling, and I was the only one who did this for a month and earned $31. My other sisters wouldn’t do it but the one sibling started to realize she should make her bed when she saw how much I got paid. This went on for several months until my Mother said she was no longer paying for bed making. My Mother decided to do this because she read that it takes 21 days to establish a habit. By then, it was already a habit that was not hard to do, even when there was no money involved. Now many years later, I still make my bed in my college apartment.

Food in Life

As I read through the lecture slides regarding food I began to think about my own experiences with food. The slides mentioned innate food preferences and a higher preference to food we've had more exposure to. When I was very young my grandmother introduced me to sweets, sooner than my parents would have liked. This, in part with an innate preference for sweets, may be part of the explanation for my love for ice cream and other various sweets.

The lecture slides also mentioned the amount of food in relation to how much a person will eat. When there is more food around people are likely to eat more than they normally would. I have immediate experience with this considering I've been to 2 parties this past week. At both parties there was plenty of delicious food around and I was unable to resist eating and eating. Parties are good ways to destroy a diet to anyone who doesn't have a strong will to resist.

Law of Hedonic Contrast

Hedonic motivation refers to the influence of a person's pleasure and pain receptors on their willingness to complete a goal or objective. Hedonic comes from the greek word meaning sweet or in this case pleasure. So the law of hedonic contrast is based off the principle that humans generally avoid pain and approach pleasure. When you think about that it seems almost too obvious because there are so few people out there that would purposely subject themselves to pain. When a child is learning how to walk they are motivated by their curiosity to seek out things beyond their stagnant reach. The law also states the pleasure a stimulus gives will be greater if it contrasts with sources of lesser pleasure so like the chart in our lecture slide shows that when a student is expecting a C but receives an A they experience more pleasure than the student who expected the A and received that grade. Personally, I can deeply relate to that particular example. There have been plenty of times throughout my schooling that I was sure I had gotten a perfect grade only to reach the huge disappointment of having gotten a B or even worse a C. However, I can also recall instances where I felt lousy about a test, I would beat myself up for not studying long enough, but then to my delight I'd somehow received an A. When you expect the worst but then receive a favorable outcome it feels so much better more like you are lucky to have experienced that. Considering all the shortcuts mentally and physically humans do it's no surprise that it's more rewarding when we feel like we didn't quite earn it. I say that because those times that I thought I got the C and really didn't I felt like I deserved the lesser grade because clearly if I had studied properly then I should feel more confident in my abilities. I want to apply this concept into my everyday life because I think it provides interesting perspective. I want to get to a place where I'm motivated enough to work for that A but be in a humble state of mind that I'd be content with a C; for example if I worked hard enough to become the supervisor at work but still feel fulfilled being a regular employee this way no matter what I maintain a full sense of self.

The Power of Habit Book Report

The Power of Habit” looks into habits and why we do what we do in our own lives and in our careers. In the first section of the book, the reader learns about the basal ganglia which is inside the brain and is essential for creating habits. Habits are done by a process within our unconscious mind known as “the three-step habit loop”.  The loop is made up of a cue, a routine, and a reward. The cue is what “triggers” the routine, such as the smell of cigarettes. The routine would be reaching for the pack of Marlboros and smoking a cigarette. Lastly, the reward could be the nicotine relieving your stress. The only requirement for the habit to be formed is that the pattern has to be consistent. Once a habit is formed, there is a craving for that reward that continues the cycle. For example, the craving of a tingling mouth after you brush your teeth helps fuel the habit of brushing your teeth every morning. Without the tingling mouth sensation, someone may not find their teeth ‘clean’ anymore and not always brush their teeth. If it is so easy to form a habit, how is it people are able to change their habit? Such as alcohol addiction or eating so much food? In order for a habit to change, one must create a new routine for the same old cues and the same old reward. This idea is known as The Golden Rule of Habit Change. The key ingredient that makes a reworked habit loop into a new permanent habit loop is belief. One must believe they can change their old behavior into a positive, new behavior and the routine will be more successful than turning back to the old routine. This Golden Rule of Habit Change is popular in addiction meetings, involving the 12 steps. 

The second and third parts discuss in further detail about habits and how habits are used in order to advance businesses. Part two talks about keystone habits, also known as “trickle down” habits. When a person changes one habit in their life, it trickles down to other habits in their life. If you change your lifestyle and work out more you may also find yourself changing other habits in your life such as less alcohol, more sleep, eating healthier, taking more vitamins. The keystone habits are used in some business today. Businesses also focus on individual’s habits in today’s society to use it to their advantage and profit off of it. Did you know that Target is capable of detecting when someone is pregnant? Creepy right? They can determine this all by humans habits when they become pregnant. Music companies also use different techniques such as sandwiching to make a song popular because humans have habits with music too. They typically like the same type of beats and rhythms when they listen to music. All these companies focus on individuals habits (based on the criteria discussed in part 1) and use it to their advantage to beat their competitors. Part three is the closing few chapters of the habits which discuss Rosa Parks, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and if we are responsible for our own habits. In the closing chapter, the author determines that no matter how strong the habit is, if we are aware the habit exists (such as smoking, gambling, addiction), then you have the ability to change it. However, there are some habits we form that we do not realize are habits. Habits  affect our life and businesses day to day and habits explain why we do what we do in life. 

My favorite “part” of the book was part 2 of the reading.  It related habits to business and business techniques to boost profits for companies. I am currently majoring in business finance with a concentration in economics and I felt like I was able to use this part of the book to my advantage when I graduate and go out into the real world. It gave me an idea of how individual’s think and how to use their habits to the company I will work for’s advantage.  However, the specific part of the book that was my favorite was the discussion of the Starbucks employee. Starbucks employees feel like they have a sense of agency when at work. Some businesses are allowing their employees to feel like they have self-control and have decision-making authority in the company. There was a finding that this really helped increase how much energy and focus they brought to their jobs. Some companies allowed their employees to choose their own uniforms or had the authority over shifts. Nothing tremendous changed in the businesses. Employees were unable to tell their bosses they wanted a $10 raise, but being able to have control over small things in their work environment really helped boost the energy and it showed how they treated guests.

I currently am an assistant manager in the personnel department and want to find different ways to ‘reward’ my employees in order to boost moral. I work at an amusement park for families that are on vacation. They want their ride operators to be friendly, however, this can prove difficult when it is 100 degrees outside and they have to push a “start” button and load little children on for 5 hours straight. The concept Starbucks incorporated into their firm to feel like employees had a say made me think how it was possible for me to do with my employees. I thought that maybe allowing them to pick their own rides instead of picking their rides for them would allow them to have a sense of agency at work. It could make them look forward to their job because they are able to pick a ride that they enjoy operating which will allow them to keep a smile on their face. It became my favorite part because I felt like I was able to learn and improve my ‘manager skills’ in order for the business to grow successfully and my employees to stay happy while on the job. 

This book discussed a lot of points we learned about in the lecture slides. One of the biggest relating topics was the “self-control” lecture slide. In the book and in the slides it discussed the marshmallow test. This is where a person gives the kids one marshmallow and tells them if they can look at it without eating it, she will give them another. It tests their self-control. This concept of ‘self-control’ was a big deal when the author of “The Power of Habits” talks about addiction and how to learn to use the “Golden Rule of Habit Change”. A person must have the self-control to not go back to old behaviors when learning to change their habit.
The lectures slide discussing “rewards” is one of the biggest factors in forming a habit and creating a habit loop. The “reward” is the third step of the basic habit loop and without the consistent reward, a habit simply cannot form. If all three steps are not completed, it is impossible to continue doing the routine. For example, the book talked about film on your teeth is a cue to brush your teeth (the routine). The reward would be a fresh feeling, tingly mouth. If the tingly feeling never occurred after the routine, the habit would not stick and the person would not continue brushing his or her teeth daily. 

In the beginning of the book, the author explains how a habit is formed based on a cue, a routine, and a reward. There was an experiment done with rats, chocolate, and a maze to see if the rat would ultimately learn that the “click” of the gate would mean it would get the reward in the end. The first time, the rat took awhile to complete the maze to receive the reward, but by the end, the rat was fully aware that the “click” of the gate meant it would soon get chocolate. I recreated the experiment with my best friend, a glass house and a slice of pizza. In the beginning, it took her awhile to learn the maze to get the reward, but by the end, her cue, “Go”, meant that she would soon get the pizza the quicker she would finish the maze. 

Every day you do things out of habit. One of my many habits is washing my hands to feel germ free and clean after using the bathroom. Most of the time, this is a habit for many people. 

Another one of my habits is to stay organized. It’s a habit that I got myself into at a very young age. Some habits are second nature to us and feel weird if we do not do them, while other habits are done purposely. My agenda book is my best friend. The cue that triggers my habit is hearing a deadline for a class, a syllabus given by a professor, a doctor appointment card, or my work schedule being released. Once these cues occur, my routine is to automatically put it in my agenda book so every single thing is at the touch of my hands. I type up my permanent summer schedule and tape it to the front cover of my agenda book. I take the syllabus I was given per class and type up a word document posting the assignment with the due date in chronological order. In my monthly calendar section I fill in doctors appointments, due dates for tuition, activities i’m apart of, when we do not have class, and birthdays. The weekly spots in my agenda book are used to plan how I want to spend my day. For example, for this course I made myself read 3 chapters a day of Endurance and within two days I would finish one of the parts of the book. By day three I tried to take the quiz and continue in this pattern. The reward? Self satisfaction and being able to cross my busy day to day schedule off with a high lighter. This habit loop is definitely not everyone’s habit. It’s something I decided to make apart of my routine every day. As odd as it sounds, just like the book stated, I have a “craving” for my reward in my habit loop for my agenda book.

Learning about habits and how they are formed can be key to solving “real-world problems” or addressing current issues. The book noted many different real world problems that were due to “bad habits” that needed to be changed into “good habits”. For example, the book talked about alcohol addiction and how a person’s cue would be stress from work, family, and life and the routine would be to get a drink with the reward being less stress. AA meetings were formed in order to change those bad habits into good habits by incorporating the Golden Rule of Habit Change. This meant that a person would have to figure out the cues that trigger the routine and whenever they felt those triggers arise, they needed to find a different routine that would give them the same reward as a drink of alcohol. For example, if a fight with your wife made you grab an alcoholic beverage in order to release your stress, the Golden Rule of Habit change would encourage you to maybe talk to someone about the issue to release your stress instead of alcohol. 

Learning about individual's habits can also help solve business issues if a company is having trouble making profit. They need to learn individual’s habits and what triggers them to do what they do. Procter and Gamble is in charge of the product “Febreze” and for awhile they were having difficulty selling the product. They first believed the cue to use Febreeze was a smelly house, but realized many individuals’s could not tell their own house smelled so they did not get in a habit of using the Febreeze regularly. After a while, they solved their business issue by realizing they could sell the product as a “final touch” to a clean room. Everyone feels satisfied with a clean room and the Febreeze would be the icing on top of the cake. This idea helped individuals form a habit of using Febreeze whenever they cleaned. This book allows an individual to think outside the picture instead of thinking everything happens for a reason and companies are just ‘good at their job’ because they went to college for that specific degree. 

I Used to be a Victim of Mate Poaching

I found the topic of "Mate Poaching" to be the most intriguing to me because I was easily able to relate to being the victim of it for many years I just never knew what to call it. There is always a universal code between boys and girls where 1. You don't pursue a friend's current significant other. 2. You don't date an ex of a friend. 3. You and your friends don't pursue the same people. These are all pretty decent codes I believe can help maintain a friendship so long as they remain unbroken. My first boyfriend was a freshman with me when we first started dating. Two months later he was mate poached by a senior girl who he is actually now married to. This happened maybe two more times to me in high school until I decided to stop dating until midway through my senior year of high school. But it started up again soon after I went to college, I wasn't able to make a girl friend because after I would start talking to a guy and dating, by my dumb luck, I would be single a month later and the girl who I thought would be a new friend would be seeing the guy I told them I had a thing with. It didn't bother me so much in high school but when it continued to happen in college it was really just a kick in the teeth and a put an unbelievably huge damper on my self esteem for a couple years and damaged my trust in a lot of people. Luckily now I've finally met someone who I've been with for a while and see an actual future with. To me children seem to like their eggs poached or scrambled more than adults, but only a real man can handle taking an egg raw.