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Russ Reglin MS ABD

Russ Reglin is an associate professor of psychology at MidAmerica Nazarene University.

Narcissism required?

Posted by on in Behavioral Sciences

Studies have been done that look at personality traits of politicians. In at least one study (Hill & Yousey) that compared politicians, university faculty, clergy, and librarians regarding personality traits an interesting finding occurred. Though not statistically significant, thus the results could be due to chance, politicians were found to score higher than the other groups in Superiority/Arrogance and Exploitativeness/Entitlement. Therefore a question arises, does one need to have some narcissistic qualities to survive the tumultuous journey that is known as politics? What do you think?

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Can you do it?

Posted by on in Behavioral Sciences

The Olympics are here. The more birthdays I have the more amazing it is to watch the abilities of the Olympic athletes. I have discovered something about myself as an observer and I would like to know where you stand on it?

With twitter, text, and all of the other options available, it can be pretty tough to wait till the evening prime time Olympic coverage to find out the results of that days events. I thought I was someone who was pretty good at delayed gratification. I can wait for things I value, I believed.

Well, what I have found out about myself is that immediate gratification may be more a part of my world than I want to admit. In the last couple of weeks of the Olympic games, I have not turned away once when the news commentators have said "spoiler alert", even though I enjoy watching the events later in the evening during prime time.

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Psychology and Assumptions

Posted by on in Behavioral Sciences

Someone asked me once what I thought was one of the most basic psychological mistakes people make? After some contemplation I came to the conclusion that the "halo effect" was something I observed in others quite often. The halo effect, coming from studies in social psychology, is when an impression one has about someone (either positive or negative impressions) is generalized to their entire personality. For example, to assume that an attractive person is honest, hardworking, mentally healthy, and dependable; or,  that someone seen as unattractive is more than likely lazy, dishonest, mentally unhealthy, and likely to exploit others.

Difficulties can occur when one assumes various qualities about someone based simply upon initial observations. Also, those that understand the power of the halo effect can use it to their advantage and will therefore be very careful about how they come across to those they seek something from (such as money, opportunity, votes, etc.).

Being careful not to make quick judgements or decisions, allowing for time to pass to observe consistency, or really checking out formal or informal references, are bits of advice that have some valuable wisdom running through them. What about you? Can you think of a time when you incorrectly assumed someone was one way or another, based on some impression they made upon you? Are you becoming more effective at not committing the halo effect?

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Can It Be Both Ways?

Posted by on in Behavioral Sciences

The image of a soldier is one that usually includes toughness, persevering against the odds, withstanding physical and psychological trauma, and one who is combat efficient, yet able to be function in a contributory manner in civilian life. Such an image is found in favor for many but it is an image that runs into  conflict when post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) comes into the picture.

Category D under diagnostic criteria for 309.81 PTSD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)  includes the occurrence of two or more of the following: (1) difficulty falling or staying asleep, (2) irritability or outbursts of anger, (3) difficulty concentrating, (4) hyper-vigilance, and (5) exaggerated startle response. Such symptoms, especially when combined with others such as acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (flashbacks), responding to cues with physiological reactivity, and feelings of detachment from others lead to a difficult scenario.

What are the potential consequences of asking a soldier to be exposed to the many horrors of war (thus risking PTSD occurrence) while at the same time trying to keep intact the sense of unity and comradeship that is seen as essential in the teamwork element of combat? If PTSD is inevitable in the circumstances of war, what would happen to the tight bond, seen as essential for a group of soldiers who are depending on the individual next to them, knowing that a peer may need to be removed as a means of dealing with a potentially debilitating disorder, one that could put the individual themself, as well as others, at risk?

Tagged in: DSM-IV-TR PTSD Soldier War
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Emerging Adulthood: More Than a Decade Later

Posted by on in Behavioral Sciences

In 2000 Jeffrey Arnett wrote a seminal article entitled Emerging Adulthood. In the article he proposed a theory stating that in industrialized cultures the transition from adolescence to adulthood was actually precluded by a several year period (age 18-25) which he called emerging adulthood. He noted significant changes in the last several decades in the average age of marriage, occupational beginning, and parenthood, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Census. Arnett proposed it would be more accurate and beneficial to recognize the emerging adulthood stage as a distinct time period of development. While one is of legal age, often one is not yet involved in marriage, desired occupation, or parenthood.

My question is what are the advantages and disadvantages of recognizing emerging adulthood as a distinct and separate period of development between adolescence and young adulthood?

Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through   the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469-480. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.55.5.469

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About This Blog

OhBehave is the outreach blog of the MNU Behavioral Sciences Department. In matters related to Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice you will find information and updates geared to keep students and professionals abreast of the latest research, professional developments, and important trends in each field. As we seek a life of purpose, the material presented in this blog is meant to enhance and deepen our understanding of people and our world so that we may intentionally reflect the grace and peace of our creator.