A Letter to a Senator

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

Our assignment in class today was to write a letter to a senator or congressman about an issue that was personal to us.  I decided that I would write my letter as though I was actually going to send it out, instead of just writing something kind of generic.  I think I will actually take the time to spiff it up and send it off, too…

Dear Senator,

I am writing to you as a Michigan resident, blogger, student, and Medical Assistant living with Type 2 Diabetes.  As I’m sure you’re aware, there is currently an epidemic of this disease across our nation, with more cases developing every day.  There are stories, advertisements and campaigns being covered about this issue all the time, but many of them are misleading or inaccurate.  People with Type 2 Diabetes are frequently portrayed as obese and lazy, and it is frequently inferred that they have brought the disease on themselves.  While this may be true in some cases, it is more often a development brought on by genetics alone.  Unfortunately, the stigmas being attached to this disease are preventing further research, better treatment plans, or even a cure, from being found.

In many cases, as it was with me, people who are diagnosed are given little instruction and even less education before being sent on their way.  We are expected to control our condition and are chastised when we can’t, but we aren’t given the necessary tools to be able to control it.  Unfortunately, Diabetes differs for everyone.  A fellow blogger once coined the phrase “Your Diabetes May Vary (YDMV)” which is used frequently in the Diabetes Online Community.  Everyone with Diabetes, no matter which type, reacts differently to medication and to food.  We have to figure out what works and what doesn’t and go from there, often alone.  Contrary to popular belief, simply losing weight does not cure this disease.

People living with Diabetes need more support, better nutritional labeling, and more effective education about our condition.  We need more effective advertising about what it is like to live with Diabetes, and better information on how to control it, and to prevent it from developing in the first place.  While a cure would be best, we need help for the more than 25 million people who are living with Diabetes today.

I am writing simply to ask you to take the time to educate yourself about what it’s like to live with Type 2 Diabetes, and to consider this when dealing with legislative decisions about health care, nutrition, and medical research.  This is not a political issue, just an issue about people who need more effective help to be able to get by, and need more understanding from people who can make a difference, like yourself.  There are so many ways that you can learn more about Diabetes.  For starters, there are bloggers who talk about living with this disease every day.  You can find my blog at https://ninjalimabean.wordpress.com/ which links to other blogs.  There are also incredible website communities devoted to helping the many people with Diabetes, like Diabetes Daily (www.diabetesdaily.com) or TuDiabetes (www.tudiabetes.org).

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Making Do… (assignment 4.1)

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

While this started out as a homework assignment, I decided to put it up here as well because I like questions that make me think…

Select one of your personal beliefs that is not an established fact. Examine your reasons for holding this belief. Are the reasons sufficient? If not, why do you hold the belief in spite of insufficient premises? Is it practically useful? Is it unavoidable?

Most of my classmates had already posted their discussions and nearly all of them were about the topic I had intended to write about…. pay it forward, what comes around goes around, and karma.  So I decided to pick a different belief: the power of positive thinking.

I’m not sure that my reasons for following this belief are very actively planned out or insightful.  I believe that no matter what is happening, if you can put a positive outlook on it, even a small bit, things will come out better.  I guess it kind of goes along with the every cloud has a silver lining belief too, that if you look for the positive in something, you’ll find it, somehow.

I guess I hold to these beliefs, even though they have insufficient premises, because it makes life more bearable to look at things in that way.  During a darker time in my life, I didn’t look at things like this, and I think that it contributed to the bleak feelings I was already feeling.  For me, it is practically useful.  It makes working with a cantankerous boss survivable.  It makes trying to have a baby and not succeeding (yet) bearable.  And on the mundane side of things, it just makes every day a little bit brighter.  I like being able to smile at people because I’m generally happy, not forcing the smile onto my face.

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Assignment 3.3 – Critical Thinking

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

This weeks assignment is to:

Select an issue debated in the media, for example, abortion, juvenile delinquency, or business ethics. Identify arguments on both sides of the debate. In two pages, paraphrase the arguments on two sides into a dialogue so that each argument is a response to the preceding argument. Evaluate any potential ethical, moral, or legal issues.

The topic of gay marriage is one that is hotly debated in the media these days.  With so many states and lawmakers making statements about what marriage should and should not be, it is not very difficult to find debate-worthy material for both points of view.

Some of the most common arguments that come up in regards to same-sex marriage are about the institution of marriage being undermined and no longer valid.  Those who oppose same-sex marriage make the statement that marriage is to be between a man and a woman and that anything else is invalid and an abomination.  But what is the definition of “man” or “woman,” and who fits the definition of each into the definition of marriage?  In his article, “What is Marriage Between a Man and a Woman?” on legal, biological, and social definitions, Austin Cline talks about how the definitions of man and woman can be varied due to things like sex changes and hermaprodites born with both male and female sexual characteristics.  If a person is born with female sex characteristics but decides to undergo therapy to be a man, and changes his legal birth certificate to reflect this, can his marriage to a woman be refused or considered illegal?  Cline also talks about a 2002 ruling where just such a case occurred.  This case resulted in the state of Ohio claiming that, by the dictionary definition of a female being “the sex that produces ova and bears young” and male being “the sex that produces sperm to fertilize ova,” that the man is not considered to be a man, and therefore could not marry his female partner.  If this is the case, then what would be the result of a woman who has had a complete hysterosalpingo-oophorectomy?  This surgery removes the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries of a woman, rendering her completely unable to produce ova or bear young.  Is she therefore not considered to be a woman?  Would she be denied the ability to marry a man by that definition?

Some more strict opponents of same-sex marriage turn this into the statement that legalizing same-sex marriage would be a step towards legalizing polygamy.  There is a belief that if a man is allowed to marry a man, or a woman to marry a woman, there would be nothing to prevent marriage to be allowed between a man and multiple women, or between a woman and multiple men, or more!  Brian Tashman notes on his blog that in a radio interview on AFA Today, the American Family Association’s radio talk show, general manager Buster Wilson stated not only that the AFA hates homosexuals, but that if the door is opened to same-sex marriage, people will not just marry those of the same sex, but marriage to a building, a car, or a dog will be allowed as well.  Eric Zorn talks about this in his article from the Chicago Tribune, that just because same-sex marriage is legalized doesn’t mean that multiple-partner marriages will be as well.  They will be held under different laws with different arguments.  He also notes that just because two people of the same sex want to get married it doesn’t mean anything other than that two people are agreeing to join together and take on the same responsibilities of a “traditional” married couple.

Which leads the debate into yet another topic, children in same-sex marriages.  There are many arguments about the fact that marriage is supposed to be for raising children, and gay couples, by definition, cannot.   This has poor basis because if the end result is based on this argument, then many other couples would not be allowed to marry either.  The laws do not include infertile couples or elderly couples who are unable to have children, nor do they include couples who choose to remain childless for no other reason than to do so. (Cline, Arguments).

A similar topic comes up at this point as well, that having a mother and a father is better than having two mothers or two fathers.  While the argument exists that children raised in families including a father and a mother who are married to each other do grow up with certain advantages, one can also look at a society where this is not always the norm either.  If there are studies to prove that children growing up with a mother and a father are healthier or smarter, then there are also studies proving that children growing up in single parent homes or same-sex parent homes are just as smart and healthy (Stanton, 2012).  A study conducted between 1986 and 1992 and published in 2010 reports that sons and daughters of lesbian mothers did better in social, school, and competence testing and were less likely to be troublemakers, and were well adjusted psychologically (Gatrell, 2010).  Studies like this provide quality reasons that this argument cannot be used as a tool against same-sex marriage.

Cline, Austin. (2012). Arguments Against Gay Marriage: Marriage is for Having Children. About.com Agnosticism / Atheism. Retrieved from <http://atheism.about.com/od/gaymarriage/a/MarriageKids.htm&gt;

Cline, Austin. (2012). What is Marriage Between a Man and a Woman? About.com Agnosticism/Atheism.  Retrieved from <http://atheism.about.com/od/gaymarriage/a/OneManWoman.htm&gt;.

Gartrell, Nanette, et al. (2010, June 7). US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-3153). Retrieved from <http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2010/06/07/peds.2009-3153.abstract&gt;

Stanton, Glenn T. (2012).  Are Children with Same-Sex Parents at a Disadvantage? Facts About Youth. Retrieved from < http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/are-children-with-same-sex-parents-at-a-disadvantage/&gt;.

Tashman, Brian.  (2011, December 2). AFA Warns That Same-Sex Marriage Leads to Building, Car and Dog Marriage. Retrieved from <http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/afa-warns-same-sex-marriage-leads-building-car-and-dog-marriage&gt;.

Zorn, Eric. (2012, May 19). The Top Six Arguments Against Gay Marriage (and Why They All Fail). Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from <http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2012/05/the-top-six-arguments-against-gay-marriage-and-why-they-all-fail.html&gt;.

Assignment: First Person Anecdotal Evidence

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

New unit in school, so new types of assignments!  Here is one for this week…

Have you ever made decisions using causal arguments based on anecdotal evidence? Give examples. Explain why you used anecdotal evidence. What was the result? Did the decisions prove correct?

I think that everyone makes decisions based on anecdotal evidence, and quite frequently.  I don’t think that it is necessarily a bad idea to make a decision this way, as long as you are aware that you are making a decision based on opinions rather than facts.  It would help to add some research to your anecdotal evidence, but that would not be the point of the assignment!

I have personally made decisions this way in regards to certain aspects of my health care. When I was first diagnosed as a diabetic my doctor really didn’t give me any information about what was going on or what I should be doing.  He impressed upon me the seriousness of the matter, but provided me with little more than the basics in how to deal with this disease.  Almost immediately I came across a variety of situations where I didn’t know what to do.  I did a lot of research on my own and gained a lot more information, but since it was all new to me I wanted to find out what had worked for other people.  I started looking online for other people and reading their questions, other people’s answers, and a variety of opinions.  I eventually found a wonderful community of people who were happy to talk about a variety of different subjects relating to diabetes, and loved to share stories of events and how things worked for them.  In particular I learned more about how to adjust my doses and learned why certain types of insulin seem to work better than others in certain types of people or certain types of situations.  Based on other people’s opinions and stories I was able to manage my own disease.

Disclaimer: My decisions and actions were mine and my doctor WAS consulted, so don’t just take your medical care into your own hands!!  :)

Assignment 5.2: Case Studies

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

This one ended up being a little bit long, so feel free to skip it if you like!  And let me know if you disagree with my diagnoses or treatment plans!  I’m only taking this class for a brief time, and it probably won’t be where my career path ends, but I’ve always been interested in Psychology, so I’d love to hear others opinions!

The assignment is to write an analysis of each case. For each case, include the following:

  • An analysis of the situation and possible causes for the subject’s behavior
  • A preliminary diagnosis of the subject’s disorder using the symptoms he or she displays
  • The set of therapies you suggest for helping the subject deal with his or her symptoms

 Karen

Karen is a 30-year-old single woman. She was referred to a psychiatrist after six visits to her primary care physician complaining of headaches, body aches, sharp pains above her left ear, and a ringing in both ears. She was convinced she had a brain tumor, but a CAT scan revealed no physiological cause.

During the interview, Karen mentions that she doesn’t like being in a hospital “because being in a hospital puts you at risk for so many other diseases.” When pressed, she mentions swine flu, avian flu, and AIDS. Karen does not use illegal substances or alcohol. She carries hand sanitizer and discreetly spritzes it on her hands about every ten minutes or so. Part way through the interview, Karen put on sunglasses “to block the fluorescent rays” from the overhead lamps.

Family History: Father died three years ago of cancer. Mother is still alive. Grandmother committed suicide at 31 when mother was eight. Grandfather is still alive, with history of alcoholism.

ANALYSIS

Karen frequently feels symptoms of problems that do not exist physiologically.  She takes great pains to prevent diseases and viruses.  Minor aches and pains are interpreted as severe and do not go away, despite visiting her doctor multiple times and having tests and scans done.  Frequent use of hand sanitizer shows an obsessive desire to be free of germs and keep her “safe.”  She seems to be trying to get a handle on things that are out of her control.

 CAUSES

These problems could stem from her father’s death from cancer.  She may be using the symptoms as a way of coping with her father’s death, her grandfather’s alcoholism, or even to distract from being single at age 30.

 PRELIMINARY DIAGNOSIS

Karen seems to be suffering from the somatoform disorder of hypochondriasis.  She feels that she is suffering from serious physical illness (the brain tumor) where there is none.  Her life is disrupted by being overly concerned with a variety of different diseases that could be caught while in the hospital, and takes great pains to keep her hands clean and prevent the rays from the fluorescent lamps.

Karen also exhibits signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, with her obsessive hand sanitizer use.  This may be a way to attempt to keep control on things that she can’t control.  This could stem from her father’s cancer or her grandmother’s suicide, things that were out of her control.

TREATMENT/THERAPY

I think that many different types of therapy could be beneficial for Karen’s condition.  Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) would probably be the best type of therapy, as it would help her recognize the behaviors that are detrimental, look at them realistically, and change them.  Incorporating behavior therapy using fear-reduction methods such as systemic desensitization or virtual therapy could be helpful when she is ready to face her fears and learn to cope with them.   This type of therapy would help with both the obsessive-compulsive tendencies and the hypochondriasis.

Drugs such as antidepressants could also be helpful for some of her symptoms.


Perla

Perla is a 50-year-old woman in a same sex partnership. She arrived with a stack of pages from the Internet that “proved” that she has adult-onset ADHD. She mentions that she has long periods of activity, including not sleeping for days. She says she “self-medicates” with marijuana, energy drinks like Red Bull, and sleeping pills.

During the interview, it is hard to keep up with Perla. She bounces around the room and from topic to topic. When the interviewer asks her to fill out a questionnaire, she asks for a stapler. She then proceeds to simply staple her ADHD pages to the form. The interviewer asks Perla to complete the survey on the form, Perla becomes irate: “I already did your damn work for you. I told you I have ADHD!”

Family History: Unknown. Perla was adopted from Venezuela as a baby.

ANALYSIS

Perla seems to have a lot of energy and has become fixated on the idea that she has ADHD.  She clearly put a lot of effort into completely researching the condition and feels that she has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that she has it.  She uses different mind altering chemicals depending on what her mood.  She becomes agitated easily when someone disagrees with her.

 CAUSES

Possible causes for these symptoms could be the use of marijuana, energy drinks and sleeping pills  that she takes, or could even be related to hormonal changes based on her age.  She may be feeling stress from her relationship, depending on the acceptance of her same-sex partnership by others.  Since we know nothing of her family history, it is possible that genetic factors are involved as well.

 PRELIMINARY DIAGNOSIS

Perla would most likely be classified as having bipolar disorder, particularly displaying manic characteristics.   She is restless with long periods of activity including insomnia, which she attempts to correct cyclically with uppers and downers like energy drinks, marijuana, and sleeping pills.  During the conversation she showed rapid flight of ideas jumping from topic to topic, typical of manic behavior.  It is uncertain from this situation if she also suffers from depression.  She exhibits irritability, and seems desperate to find a final answer to her mood, implying mood swings.

 TREATMENT/THERAPY

Bipolar disorder is another type of disorder that can be treated with a variety of different types of therapies.  Cognitive therapy can be helpful here, as it helps the patient locate their own problems and ways of thinking and make changes to them, and helps patients cope with stress.  Group therapy could also be helpful because often hearing other people having the same types of issues can lead the patient to better understand their own ways of thinking.

Although our book only touched on Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), a little more research on this topic shows that many therapists are using this type of treatment for patients with bipolar disorder.  The National Institute of Mental Health also talks about Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT) which combines IPT with behavioral therapy to help patients develop a regular routine to help stabilize their life.  Since IPT focuses on social relationships, this type of therapy is particularly helpful because it helps patients develop routines that include others involved in their life as well as just themselves.

<http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/index.shtml>

Typically patients with bipolar disorder will require medication such as mood stabilizers so that they are able to accept other types of therapy, which are used in conjunction with the medication.


Jordan

Jordan is a 22-year-old man who received medical discharge from the army after a 2-year tour in Iraq. The initial discharge was for depression, but Jordan’s family has begun to believe that it may be more complicated. Jordan has been discovered wandering at night “following the way the flags are showing me to go” or following a possibly imaginary woman with a scarred neck.

During the interview, Jordan seems lucid, but lethargic. He drums his fingers slowly on each thigh, as if playing a slow piano scale. His answers are all one or two words, such as “fine” or “I guess.” When asked about the woman with the scarred neck, he becomes slightly more animated.

Jordan: She’s a beautiful woman, isn’t she?

Interviewer: I don’t know, Jordan. I’ve never seen her.

Jordan: Right, because you don’t have the ring.

Interviewer: What ring?

Jordan: [mumbles]

Interviewer: Can you tell me about the ring?

Jordan: I said the ring is the fuse.

Interviewer: The fuse to what, Jordan?

Jordan: Without the fuse… well, you know what happens. It’s a fuse.

Interviewer: I don’t, Jordan. What happens?

Jordan: Fuses light up you know. And then, they blow up. That’s all.  

Family History:Mother and father are still alive, but divorced. Mother is remarried. Mother has history of diabetes. Father’s leg was amputated during first Gulf War. History of emotional abuse by father.

ANALYSIS

Jordan shows many different symptoms that can fit different psychological disorders.  He was obviously showing signs of depression or that could be taken as depression, since that was the reason for his discharge from the army.  His wanderings and statements about flags and the woman with the scarred neck seem the be delusional or hallucinatory.  Jordan’s mood in the interview is lucid but lethargic and he might be listening to piano music inside his head.  When answering questions about the woman with the scarred neck, his thoughts are disjointed and disorganized, and odd.

 CAUSES

There are many different factors to consider as a cause for many different diagnoses.  He could be affected by hidden fear since his father had his leg amputated after serving in the Gulf War.  Emotional abuse by his father could play a role in causing any number of different psychological disorders.  If his mother had complications during her pregnancy because of her diabetes, this too could be the root cause of some disorders.

 PRELIMINARY DIAGNOSIS

My initial preliminary diagnosis is schizophrenia, with an emphasis on disorganized schizophrenia.  I am hesitant to use this as a diagnosis since it affects such a small percentage of the worldwide population and neither of his parents appear to have the disorder, however Jordan is only 22 and early onset is typical in those affected.  His thinking and communication skills are disjointed and disorganized, and he jumps from topic to topic.  During the interview he had trouble with paying attention and communicating.  He shows signs of social withdrawal and his thought seem preoccupied.  He is apparently seeing things that are not there, such as the woman with the scarred neck, and there are indications of auditory hallucinations as well, if he was in fact playing a slow piano tune with his fingers.  His motor activity is slower and responses to questions seem emotionless most of the time.  If his mother had complications during pregnancy, this could be another indicator towards a diagnosis of schizophrenia, since this can also be a risk factor.

Another possible diagnosis could be Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) due to his initial diagnosis of depression at the time of his discharge.  Psychomotor retardation could explain some of his behaviors during the interview.  Some symptoms of MDD include delusions and hallucinations as well.

TREATMENT/THERAPY

Whether the diagnosis is schizophrenia (of any type) or major depressive disorder, a combination of medication and psychotherapy would be required, and it would be required long-term.  Antidepressants and cognitive-behavior type of therapy would most likely be best for major depressive disorder.  A diagnosis of schizophrenia would require a combination of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety medications as well as therapy.  Therapy could be cognitive therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.  Group and family therapy would help Jordan because having a support system is important for those with this diagnosis to keep them on the medications, since that is the thing that most people forget and which causes their symptoms to come back again.  Setting up a life-long plan would be imperative in keeping everything in track for him to keep the symptoms at bay.

<http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx31t.htm>

Assignment 5.1 – Therapy discussion

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

This assignment is actually a discussion post, but I thought the reading and the resulting questions and response to be interesting, so I thought I’d post it…

This object was to choose a type of therapy as related in our textbook (psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive, behavior, and group) and write a bit about it, explaining when that type of therapy is most effective.

I felt that this was somewhat of a tricky assignment, since these therapies are often times only effective in certain situations, or with certain types of problems, or  in some cases only really effective with certain types of people or personalities!

The type of therapy that I find the most interesting is one that I feel can only be effective with certain types of people or personalities, and that is cognitive therapy.   Cognitive therapy focuses on helping the person recognize their own thoughts and ideas and using them to solve problems instead of blowing them out of proportion, turning negative thoughts into positive ones, and by changing beliefs and attitudes that create problems so that problems that may not even exist don’t take hold and cause more problems.

With cognitive therapy, the therapist will help the client to sort through their own feelings to pick out the ones that are irrational and don’t make sense, so that the client can make sense of them.  Aaron Beck stated that most clients have specific ways of thinking that contribute to their problems, including overgeneralizing based on little, blowing events out of proportion, and refusing to see the world except in black and white.  Albert Ellis also noted that it is not always just something specific causing this way of thinking, but it’s the beliefs about the thought that need to be changed.

As I mentioned, though, I do not think that this type of therapy will be effective for all.  Certainly no one therapy will be effective for all types of disorders and problems, but this type of therapy would require the person be cognizant of their own thoughts and feelings, or at least have the capacity to be able to be.  The client would need to be able realize and interpret their own thoughts and also be able to determine which thoughts are detrimental or impairing to  their health and well-being.

Some examples of this use in which this type of therapy would be helpful would be breaking bad habits, such as smoking or excessive drinking, so long as the patient is able to realize the problem and provide sound reasoning and advice to themselves.  It would also be effective in overcoming phobias.  While these types of problems are frequently treated with behavioral therapy and conditioning, I think that they could be effectively treated with cognitive therapy as well.  Mostly, I think that cognitive therapy would be useful in treating behaviors that are more like bad personality traits, such as anger, shyness, or self-righteousness.

Assignment 4.3: Case Study

** Please note:  This blog post was written in whole or in part as an assignment for a class that I was taking.  If you decide to use some of my work in your own assignments, please give credit where credit is due and cite your source!  Thanks :) **

CASE STUDY:

Paul is a 55-year-old computer technician. Paul says that his favorite thing about his job is that “I don’t fix computers; I fix people.” He is very popular at work and is often specifically requested. He expresses a profound humility and tends to make other people feel as if their ordinary experiences were extraordinary.

Paul has four children and two grandchildren. He likes to read poetry on his porch or play pickup football games with his sons and neighbors. Paul claims that he likes to travel, but his wife complains that he “never can get his act together” so they don’t travel much. However, in his home, brochures are affixed to the refrigerator with magnets.

Paul admits to taking stabs at novel-writing, painting, and sculpture, and he has a guitar he has never learned to play. About these incomplete goals, though, he says that he is only 55 and has plenty of time left. He considers himself an introvert and feels like he needs a great deal of private time to recharge after a busy day at work.

Our assignment here is to write an analysis of Paul from each of the following perspectives: trait (focus on the Big Five), learning-theory, humanist, and sociocultural, and to consider the following questions:

  • How is Paul different at home from at work? Which perspective is this consistent with?
  • How is Paul’s age relevant?
  • Paul doesn’t seem to finish things. What does that tell you about him?

From the Trait Perspective, Paul shows signs of openness to experience by way of his multitudes of interests like travel, reading poetry, writing, painting, and sculpting.  He seems to fall into the category of extraverted sanguine in some ways, particularly at work.  However, he falls into the introverted phlegmatic category as well, seeming more quiet and reserved when he’s at home alone with his wife.  He also falls into the Big Five category of agreeableness, with his kindness, trust, and warmth he shows to the people at work and to customers.  He exhibits the virtues of wisdom and knowledge, showing creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, and is able to provide people with sound advice.

In the Learning-Theory Perspective, from a behaviorism perspective, Paul is molded by his environment.  As a computer technician, he is forced to socialize with people and his personality forms to fit that position.  He is able to easily talk to people and get them talking about themselves, and people seem to be comfortable around him.  With his family and friends, he also conforms to what is expected, doing things like playing football with his sons. But he also spends time reading and writing, or making art and music.  From a social cognitive theory perspective, his personality shapes him as well.  His self-efficacy expectations led him to attempt writing, painting, and potentially playing the guitar.  Even though he doesn’t know how to play yet, he thinks he might be able to, so he’s willing to try.

Regarding the Humanistic Perspective, Paul displays many traits of self-actualization.  He moves towards self-fulfillment in an ethical way with his responses to people, helping bring them out of their own shells, but by his interests in so many things, some of which he may not have even gotten very far with, he is constantly working towards being all that he can be.  Based on Carl Roger’s theory of self, Paul views himself from one frame of reference, but others view him differently.  He has self-esteem, but even his wife has conditional positive regard subconsciously telling him that he can’t get his act together to start certain things like traveling, or learning the guitar.

The Sociocultural perspective does not give us much to go on with Paul.  We are unaware of his cultural background, or his relationships with people of other cultures, so we can’t base his personality on what we know there.  Paul does exhibit traits of individualism, as we see with his perspectives about his own personal goals.  He has attempted many different activities and his statement that he’s only 55 and has plenty of time left shows that he’s putting priority on his personal goals, and will get them done in his own time.

Paul is quite different when he is at work compared to when he is at home.  He is much more extraverted when he is at work, able to talk with people openly and get them to talk freely to him as well.  He takes care of his customers, and when he is with his family and neighbors he still displays an amicable extraverted personality in his activities with people.  When he is home alone with his wife, however, he steps into himself more, requiring time alone to unwind and do his own thing.  This is all consistent with the Trait Perspective.

Paul’s age is relevant because it tells the reader that he is an older man, that he has become set in his ways and has become very agreeable, also in line with the Trait Perspective.  It also points towards his own self-actualization, as he doesn’t feel like he’s running out of time to do the things he wants to do, but still doggedly moves forward with his goals.  Paul’s inability to finish things suggests he might get bored quickly and want to move on to new projects.