Friday, July 30, 2021

The choices we make

 One of the topics that we discuss in this course that resonated with me is the idea that individuals frequently go through a choice overload. A choice overload occurs when too many choices are present in the decision-making process. I feel that this idea really got me thinking because I feel that I frequently cannot make up my mind when I am presented with a multitude of choices! Although I do feel that I am slowly improving on my decision making skills, I believe that this is a major issue amongst individuals everywhere. For instance, an individual is presented with a wide variety of food choices to pick from for dinner but each option is just as appealing as the next. This individual must make a decision on which entree they would prefer the most in a relatively timely manner. If this individual does not make a decision, they risk not eating dinner. On the other hand, If they end up not liking the entree that they chose then they still risk not eating dinner. That being said, decision making has many factors that go into an individual’s final choice and their choices are not always the best option.  

This concept also brings me to the topic of regret.  An individual may feel regret when they reflect on rejected opportunities. In reference to my previous example, the individual who had to make a decision on which dinner to eat may later reflect on the other choices they had and in turn regretting their final choice. However,  I believe that regret is a silly concept because how can one regret doing something that they at one point had a desire to do? Overall,  I feel that these concepts really got me to think about all of the different choices we as human beings have to make on a daily basis. One final example that  I would like to note is that in the book “Endurance”, Shackleton had to make numerous decisions on his journey across Antarctica from deciding on where to camp, whether or not to keep their dogs, or even whether or not to take a certain path. Shackleton is a wonderful example of the tough choices that we must make on a daily basis and he demonstrates how hard it can be to make those decisions.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Food Neophobia and Mukbangs

     While picky eating is characterized by only eating a small selection of foods due to the refusal of eating many familiar or unfamiliar foods, food neophobia is the fear of eating new of unfamiliar foods. Evolutionary history shows that food neophobia has protected humans from eating harmful foods that may cause sickness (Bowden, 2014). However, for individuals with food neophobia, encountering unfamiliar foods can cause severe anxiety or panic (Holland, 2019). Thanks to the rise of social media such as Youtube, a coping strategy that can help treat food neophobia is now accessible and popular. Mukbangs are videos or live-streams that broadcast an individual eating a large amount of food for their virtual audience. Originating in South Korea, the term loosely translates to "eating broadcast" (Braithwaite, 2019). For individuals with food neophobia, watching Mukbangs when eating meals can help reshape their perspective toward food. 

    Eating food is a sensory experience that involves a visual aspect (Braithwaite, 2019). Seeing food that looks delicious can cause feelings of hunger or a craving for that specific food. For people with food neophobia, watching Mukbangs of someone eating food that looks good can motivate them to feel hungry or want to try that specific food. Another way watching Mukbangs while eating may help individuals overcome food neophobia is the exposure to a positive eating experience which reinforces the idea that eating foods can be enjoyable. Seeing someone happily enjoying their food in a Mukbang video can associate positive feelings with eating food and therefore, help reshape their relationship with food (Bedingfield, 2021). 

Instant Gratification and Sleep Procrastination

     Instant gratification refers to the tendency of choosing less rewarding behaviors for immediate satisfaction over behaviors that produce a better future benefit (Ackerman, 2011). Instant gratification delays or prevents an individual from meeting their long term goals even when they are aware the future benefits outweigh the short-term benefits. The inability to resist instant gratification temptations derives from personal problems with self-control. For example, impulsiveness makes delaying gratification when tempted difficult. Another self-control issue that can make instant gratification harder to resist is anticipation. Humans prefer to anticipate positive things but not negative things; this makes choosing discomfort over instant satisfaction difficult (Ackerman, 2011). A consequence of engaging in instant gratification is procrastination. 

    With the rise of social media and cell phones, a phenomenon called "revenge sleep procrastination" is occurring due to the instant gratification of screen time. In 2014, the behavioral scientist Dr. Floor Kroese described bedtime procrastination as choosing to go to bed later than intended without a valid reason (Cohut, 2021). A study done in 2020 found that adults were choosing to watch videos, text, or scroll on social media instead of sleeping. One of the driving forces behind revenge sleep procrastination is having to resist one's desires to do enjoyable things during the day due to work or school and, as a result, engaging in those activities at night. Choosing the instant gratification of screen time over sleep prevents an individual from obtaining quality sleep which can negatively impact mood regulation, cardiovascular health, inflammation, productivity, and mental health (Cohut, 2021). 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Psychoactive Drugs (P-1)

 Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that alter mood and behavior. Thousands of people use some type of psychoactive drugs to alter their mood, emotions, and thoughts. Some people use these drugs to for medical pursposes, others use them for recreational purpuses, whereas some are just addicted to these drugs. Some drugs are more addictive and potent than others, and some are illegal in some states while others are not. Today, I will be commenting on two very common drugs in American and even global culture.


Legal drugs are those than are not forbidden by the law and can be purchased in any convience store, such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Caffeine is the psychoactive drug that is used the most worlwide. Caffeine comes from many natural sources, such as coffee beans, tea leaves, and cacao beans. Because it comes from different sources, it can be made readily available and it makes it easy to produce variouse type of beverages with it. I personaly stop at wawa and buy a 16 ounce cup of coffee. I notice that it is the drink of choice in the morning. Coffee does wake a person up, makes them energetic and alert. Even though it is legal, drinking it continously for some time can be very addictive, so I can see why is the most popular Psychoactive drug.


Alcohol is another psychoactive drug that is very popular. Alocohol is also known as ethanol. The process of making alcohol is done when yeast ferments the sugars of grains, fruits, and vegetables. It seems that alcohol is one of the few drugs that is part of mass culture. Most adults in the USA have consumed alcohol at one point in their lives. Since it’s socially acceptable, people drink alcohol in the form of wine, beer, and hard liquor. Some people drink alcohol over dinner or when they are socializing. Others use it to wind down from a long day of work. Beer, I believe, is drank by all age groups, especially when they go to a bar. Alcohol in any form does change one’s mood, emotions, feelings, and thoughts. It also makes people do things they otherwise would not do; since alcohol impares judgement and the nervous system,  it causes agression in people. 


Users of Psychoactive drugs can become addicts and dependent on these drugs, with it happening in some people more than others due to genetic disposition, enviroment, and culture. Over time, the body builds a tolerance towards the drug(s) and an individual can become dependent on them, even facing withdrawals if they try to stop use.

Self control (Post #3)


One of nature's wonders is the human mind's ability to change its own reactions. It is a necessary basis for culture, growth, achievement, morality, and personal success. The capacity to control one's emotions and conduct is an important element of executive function, which is the set of abilities that allows an individual to plan, monitor, and achieve goals. People employ self-control to resist their wants and urges. For example, weight loss. People with higher self-control often consume less calories, are more mindful of their eating choices, and acquire less weight over time. People with poor self-control, on the other hand, are more likely to overeat and gain weight. Avoiding triggers is key, avoid circumstances where you know you will be confronted with temptation. For example, if you're tempted to consume junk food, avoid fast food places and skip the snacks. Genetics have no bearing on self-control. It is motivated by information and a desire for better health and/or body image. Self-control can alter over time as a result of new information, greater understanding, and societal standards.

Tip: How to Increase Self-Control | T NATION

Caffeine addiction (Post #2)


As I reviewed the lecture slides of addiction, I didn't realize how powerful and also popular caffeine is in this world. As I am also a coffee lover, it was interesting to learn how addiction works, especially with coffee. Caffeine is used by the majority of individuals in the United States, whether in coffee, soda, energy drinks, or chocolate. People can easily get addicted to coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine tolerance develops in the same way as it does with other drugs or alcohol. Caffeine users who consume the drug on a regular basis get used to the wake-up effect it causes, and progressively demand greater doses to acquire the same “caffeine fix.” Caffeine is addictive due to the way it affects the human brain and provides the alert sensation that individuals seek. 

However, there are negative sides to caffeine. Such as if it is taken within six hours of bedtime, it can potentially harm your health by interfering with your sleep. Caffeine is also known to increase anxiety; these effects may become more apparent with greater dosages, resulting in nervousness and anxiousness. Another problem is digestive issues, as caffeine appears to promote bowel motions through boosting peristalsis, or the contractions that transport food through the digestive system. And lastly addiction, despite all of caffeine's health advantages, there's no doubting that it may become daily ritual.


Eating (Post #1)

 Every day, people participate in eating behavior as a necessity of survival. However, overweight, obesity, and other bad health problems are on the rise all across the world...


Eating habits are often affected by a variety of factors, including environmental, biological, and cultural influences. Feelings of anxiety or concern over body form or weight can lead to disordered eating behaviors, which impair normal body composition and function. Eating is motivated by biological signals such as hunger, but the rest of eating is motivated by psychological variables such as cognitions, hedonics, emotions, and our perception of our environment.  To help block this form of action, a trick that can help prevent unnecessary eating is to drink water. Drinking a glass of water before searching for anything to eat can help to reduce unnecessary snacking.Water can assist to fill up stomach space, resulting in a sensation of fullness and a decrease in appetite. Drinking at least 3 glasses of water on an empty stomach can also lower the amount of acidity in your stomach, reducing the frequency of cramps. This comes with many other health benefits such as boosting your immune system, detox your body, and improve your overall health

Monday, July 26, 2021

Good Gene Hypothesis of Reproduction

Before approaching anybody, most people judge others by their appearance. This is almost an innate feature in the human mind. The reason that this judgment exists is because it is used for reproductive purposes. The more attractive a person is, the more likely they are to reproduce healthy children. 

This is something that can be seen through different cultures around the world. One of the more common features found attractive in all cultures is symmetry. 

The human brain likes when things are evenly distributed. Because of that even distribution across the face, people who have more symmetrical faces are seen to be more attractive when compared to those with asymmetrical ones. 

Attractiveness also is believed to be correlated with the person's health, the more attractive the person the healthier they are. When looking for mates, this will allow women to find men that will provide healthy genes for their offspring, and vice versa. This process goes along with the Good Gene Hypothesis.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Decision

 The decision to leave 22 men whose lives and health Shackleton almost maniacally cared for and preserved for over a year, must have been gut and heart-wrenching. At the same time, it was the one and only choice he could have made — no way he was sending someone else to sail on a tiny boat through the Drake Passage — one of the most dangerous bodies of water on Earth. At the end of the day, it was his responsibility to get help for the men that enlisted for his expedition. Who knows, maybe the fact that it was him that left on the Caird was the one factor that allowed people stuck on the Elephant Island to believe that they will be fine — after all, the Boss simply cannot fail.

In addition to that, Shackleton did not leave them without a plan in place. He designated Wild to take charge and created a contingency plan for the next crew to sail to Deception Island in case of his and his companions' failure. This allowed men to keep hope and not give up when no rescue ships were to be seen from the elevated spots of the Elephant Island. The fate of his crew must have been on Shackleton's mind constantly, providing extra drive for this almost suicide mission. His sense of responsibility was like a never-ending source of energy, supplying that extra push even in the hardest, coldest and darkest moments of the trip towards South Georgia, eventually allowing them to reach the whaling station — a feat that seems extremely improbable. Just reading the description of Shackleton introducing himself to Sorlle created an exceptionally emotional response in me, and I cannot even imagine what the 22 inhabitants of the Patience Camp must have felt when they saw the stocky figure of the Boss coming for them onboard the Yelcho. He never gave up, and used all the resources available, even if it meant literally harassing foreign governments for help. Well done, Sir — now rest in peace with fair winds and following seas.

The Tents

 Sir Ernest Shackleton had a knack for quickly recognizing personality types — a trait of almost every great leader. His uncanny ability to navigate not only the high seas and treacherous mountains but the pitfalls of personal quarrels just as well, was indispensable for the survival of the crew.

Tent assignments might seem like a trivial task, and you could use so many physical metrics to guide your decision — size of the people assigned, for example, to ensure as much comfort as possible. But Shackleton paid attention to something more ephemeral — personalities. His decision to assign all the possible troublemakers to his tent was nothing but a stroke of genius. And he went even further, often sacrificing his personal beliefs and comfort, just to keep the rabble-rousers content. Padding egos was not easy for someone of his stature and experience, but he understood that it is a sacrifice that has to be made for the greater good.

As someone who completed two full deployments onboard a US Navy vessel, I know from experience how important it is to establish proper crews — a task we would deliberate with leadership for weeks before the beginning of the deployment just to ensure a smooth beginning in the most trying times of the early weeks of the cruise. 

I cannot even begin to imagine how crucial it was to the survival when stuck on floes in one of the most dangerous places in the world. But once again, Shackleton did not lose his cool, and managed to spin the situation in a way that ensured the least possible amount of friction.

The Ad


    When making plans for the Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914, Ernest Shackleton was already an established and savvy explorer who knew the tastes of both victory and a demoralizing defeat. He has been beaten by Amundsen to be the first person to reach the South Pole, and he set his sights on completing the feat of being the first to cross the continent of Antarctica, from the Weddell Sea, through the pole, all the way to the Ross Sea. He understood that the expedition will be extremely hard and dangerous, and did not obscure that fact in his newspaper advertisement that called for perspective members. And this stroke of his leadership genius might be what allowed all the men to survive, sans one foot of poor Blackboro. 

If Shackleton picked his men based on their intellectual merit or skills, who knows if there would be enough motivation and spirit between them to power through what seems like 17 months in the frozen hell. Shackleton's decision to choose men driven by the spirit of adventure rather than monetary or personal gains might have been the most important one, and the now famous newspaper ad allows us a glimpse into how leadership genius can express itself in just a few words.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Food Preferences (post #1)

 The idea that infants can develop preferences for specific food from what their mother happens to eat while pregnant and/or breast feeding is quite interesting. Upon reading through the "Food" power-point, I was able to learn a great deal about how individual's grow to like certain foods over others. For example, when my mother was pregnant with me she told me that she would crave chocolate constantly and growing up I have always loved anything chocolate. To this day my favorite sweet treat is anything chocolate, such as chocolate ice cream, chocolate covered pretzels or apples. Although I am aware that there is a correlation between what a mother eats throughout her pregnancy and what the child prefers to eat, I still find it intriguing to learn about the science behind this theory. Human beings not only have an innate preference for specific foods, they also have learned preferences for different foods. 

For example, when an individual is exposed to a specific type of food on multiple occasions then they are more likely to desire that specific food (as long as they enjoy the specific food choice). I also understand that food often tastes better when an individual is hungry rather than when they are not as hungry. I have experienced this before when I ate a salad from my work when I was hungry versus when I was not so hungry. When I ate the salad when I was hungry, it was delicious but when I ate that same salad when I was not very hungry, that same salad was not very good at all. Overall, I find the concept of human beings food preferences to be a quite interesting topic.