Thursday, December 1, 2011


Summertime- Kenny Chesney- I love all of Kenny Chesney's songs and I have gone to his concerts more than a normal person.  I picked this song because summer is my favorite time of year.  I'm especially missing summer right now because walking to classes is so cold!  This year this songs applies to my life even more than ever because it talks about getting to see your long lost friends that you haven't gotten to see in a while.  When I go home for summer I'll have a full 3 months to see my friends from high school:).

Only Fools Rush In- Elvis Presley- My dad used to sing this to me every night when I was very little and now whenever I hear it, it makes me smile!

I'll Be There For You- The Rembrants- I am completely obsessed with the show Friends and this is the theme song.  It's also just a really good song and I love clapping to the one part!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Research-DUI: different types of punishments

“The study in Section II on the effect of license suspension in the 3 years before Ohio implemented ALS and VA laws demonstrated that suspended DUI offenders had 38% to 43% fewer DUI convictions and 24% to 35% fewer crashes than did similar DUI offenders who were fully licensed."(NHTSA, 1999)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (1999). In Effectiveness of the Ohio Vehicle Action and Administration License Suspension Laws. Retrieved Nov. 21, 2011, from

This is an article that analyzed many statistics and performed experiments to study the effectiveness of suspending a license as a result of driving under the influence.  This study found that this is a good way to lower recidivism, but that many people do go on to drink and drive again even after having this punishment. This will be useful in my paper because I am studying the effectiveness of different DUI punishments.  I can use this quote as evidence to back my points.

"The results show that an ignition inter license restriction program can significantly reduce recidivism among drivers with multiple alcohol traffic violations."(Beck,1999)

Baker, B.A., Beck, K.H., Rauch, W.J., Williams, A.F. (1999). Effects of Ignition Interlock License Restrictions on Drivers With Multiple Alcohol Offenses: A Randomized Trial in Maryland. American Journal of Public Health, 89(11), 1696.

This article also does a really good job of talking about the effects of a type of program that was put in place to try to lower the amount of people that drive under the influence of drugs. There are some negative components of this article, like the fact that it is very old, however it contains reliable information from a well conducted experiment.  It provides very detailed explanations of the experiments findings and I would be able to use this to back my argument that Ignition Interlock is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Last Chapters!

Chapter 10 was all about people being diagnosed for diseases that they do not have.  It started off with Ronson attending a Scientology meeting, where all the members mocked the new diseases that had been added to the DSM.  Ronson then met with Robert Spitzer.  Spitzer had embarrassed the American Psychology association by sending in "fakes" and having them diagnosed.  Once he was caught they claimed that they would be able to catch any fakes that he sent in.  A month later they thought he had sent nearly 50 fakes but he had sent none.  They also discussed the new diseases that were added to DSM and that almost every problem in todays society had been added as a diagnosed disease.  He then met with Gary Maier who talked about how children are wrongly medicated because they want their children to be normal.  They don't want to believe that normal children can have problems without having a disease.  As a result many kids are being medicated when they don't need to be.

I found this chapter to be very interesting because we learned about the DSMs in sociology.  I think it is very true that our society has become very reliant on medicine and needing an explanation for any problem they may encounter.  I was really happy with the last chapter because it closed the book well and ended all the loose ties that Ronson had left.  I was unsure if I agreed with what happened to Tony. Through the different parts of the books that he was in, I started to believe that he was a psychopath! The whole book kind of freaked me out because I don't like thinking about the fact that there is such a fine line between normal and psychopath.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chapter 8 and 9

In the chapter "The Madness of David Shayler," Ronson starts by describing the story of Rachel North.  North was on the Tube in London the day of the July 7th attacks.  She was badly injured but not nearly as badly as many others.  She immediately went home and blogged about the terrible event and later went on to start a support group for the other people who had been involved.  Sometime later the conspiracy group that has made accusations about 9/11 went on to make suggestions that the train had not actually went bombed.  They went further and said that Rachel North was not actually a real person and was actually a probe being used by the government to make other people believe the governments story of what happened that day.  We find out that this group is being led by David Shayler, who had formerly fled the country because he went against the government. Ronson had an interview with him and ended up getting very angry at him because of the terrible things we was saying about a tragic event.  Shayler got a ton of media attention when he started claiming that the airplane flying into the towers in New York, wasn't actually an airplane.  It was a missile and a hologram planted by the government.  He lost media attention when he later went on to claim he was the Messiah which supports the fact that you have to be the right kind of crazy to grab peoples attention.

These chapters discussed many tragedies that have occurred in society in somewhat recent years.  Chapter 8 really opened my eyes to how serious people were about thinking that September 11th was conducted by the government.  I personally think these people are crazy.  I also thought it was interesting that this section provided more support/examples of how people are entertained by the "right kind of crazy." I also was glad that in chapter 9 Ronson realized he was using the psychopath test too often.  Not everyone who shows one bad quality at one point in time is a psychopath!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Something Borrowed

In the article "Something Borrowed" by Gladwell, Gladwell asks whether plagiarism examines the effect plagiarizing has on not only the person that stole a piece of work but the person that was stolen from.  He goes about this by describing the story of how his article recapping the life of a psychiatrist had been stole by Bryony Lavery in her Broadway play "Frozen."  He talks about how the author of this play incorporated pieces of her story from many different stories and articles she had read, and did not consider it stealing at the time.  She thought that Gladwell's articles had been purely news and that she was allowed to take his words.  The play had many similarities to the life of Dorothy Lewis, the psychiatrist that Gladwell had written about, and the similarities were glaring.  He also looked at how music can be related to plagiarism and how fine of a line there is between stealing and simply having a product with similarities. It's hard to say that one artists owns certain notes when so many different things could be made from those same notes.

I thought that this article really showed, not only how important it is to understand plagiarism, but how thin of a line there can be when defining plagiarism.  I had always known how complicated of a topic plagiarism was but I had never thought of it in the context of music.  I also never realized that someone like Lavery would be able to get away with something like that for so long when it is evident that the similarities were so obvious.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chapter 6 and 7

In chapter 7, it started out with Jon Ronson talking to a man named Adam Curtis.  They talked about how Jon Ronson was spending so much money and time inspecting Al Dunlap.  Adam Curtis said that Ronson is probably making Dunlap seem crazier than he actually is, "You take a little bit of craziness from up there, and a little bit of craziness from over there, and then you stitch it all back together." Ronson is kind of upset by this because Curtis was critiquing him, and also criticizes journalists and says that all they are doing is searching for "gems," crazy people.  This conversation makes Ronson rethink if Al Dunlap is actually crazy, but justifies that he is because any psychopath could score a zero on some parts of the psychopath checklist.  Next he talks to Charlotte Scott, who was an idealist who had tv shows about peoples many problems.  She talked about how her job dehumanized her to peoples problems and made her insensitive.  She had her own way of doing the Bob Hare checklist, she would ask what type of medication people were taking which would tell them if they were "just the right type of craziness." Ronson then told a story of a girl that went on Extreme Makeover.  Her whole family said on film that she was ugly and then the girl was cut from the show and no longer was going to become pretty.  It caused the family to have so many problems, and even resulted in an overdose and death

I thought that these two chapters were very interesting and kind of freaky.  They explored the type of psychopath that functions perfectly well in society and even runs important companies.  I also had never thought of reality television in the way that Ronson described it, and once he described it that way it fit perfectly.  Again these paragraphs shows how thin of a line there is between being sane and being insane.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3rd blog!!!

What should the minimum punishment be for receiving a DUI and should this be enacted after the first offense?

I would really like to and be interested in studying if any states have strict minimal punishments laid out for drunk driving.  Driving under the influence is something that I have personally seen the negative effects of, and despite the efforts to make the negative effects more publicized, I think that there needs to be a law put in place that does more than give a ticket to someone who is driving under the influence.  I think I would start by looking up which, if any, states have strict and well known laws regarding this topic.  Then I would research any statistics that show if having strict policies lower the amount of DUI's or frequency of them.  I could also start by looking at how many accidents and/or fatalities there are yearly that involved a drunk driver.  I think that I will be able to give statistics that show just how dangerous it is to have drunk drivers on the road and how serious of a situation it is.  I also think that I will find information, even if it is statistics from another country, showing that having stricter punishments in line that people know straight forward, will lower the amount of drunk driving accidents.  Questions that may arise are: how harsh of a punishment is too harsh? Should each case be looked at separately/can you group all of the perpetrators in one group and give them all the same minimum punishment? Should these laws be the same for all age groups?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chapters 4 and 5:)

In the fourth chapter of Jon Ronson's book The Psychopath Test, Ronson further develops his knowledge of the characteristics of a psychopath.  He meets with Bob Hare, who studies psychopaths, and who came up with the psychopath checklist test.  Bob Hare describes many of his experiences with psychopaths.  One story he told explained how psychopaths don't feel pain.  Early on, Hare conducted a shock test, which was able to single out the psychopaths because they did not fear the shock that was coming to them, even after being shocked several times.  Hare also comes up with the psychopath checklist which was developed to be able to characterize and identify psychopaths.  Bob Hares teaches Ronson how to use and understand his test, and now Ronson will be able to use this and apply it to understanding Tony's situation.

Chapter 4 kind of freaked me out reading about the psychopath test.  I feel like many of the items on this list could be applied to many people in society, even if in a less serious case.  Chapter four made me realize that psychopaths may not be all that far away from regular people, which is kind of a scary thought.  I also found chapter 5 to be very interesting.  Toto was a very manipulative and at first was able to pretty easily fool Ronson into believing he was not a psychopaths.  The ability for psychopaths to make people believe them, even if it is not for long, is a very interesting and concerning thing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chapter 3!!!

In this chapter Jon Ronson provides a large amount of detailed information about the work done by Elliot Barker.  Most of the chapter took place in Oak Park, which was a mental hospital for psychopaths.  This is the hospital that Barker did his work.  Elliot Barker, and later Gary Maier, tried using a new type of therapy on his patients that he had learned from psychotherapist Paul Bindrim.  This type of therapy included the patients sitting naked in a room for several hours.  By the end of this therapy, the patients were thought to be better people.  This chapter also discussed psychopaths verse people who were sane.  If left in a room with a mix of normal people and psychopaths, the normal people were more likely to become insane than the insane were to become normal.  This was seen in Barker's father, who had tried to help psychopaths but had instead went crazy himself.  At the end of this chapter Jon Ronson tells us how much of a failure this program was.  The psychopaths that were deemed cured and let go had gone on to do very terrible things. 

I thought that this was a very weird chapter.  I did not really understand how this type of therapy would help people, but at the same time I thought it was a very interesting concept that physical nakedness could lead to emotional nakedness and openness.  I also was very interested with the sections of the paper that talked about the power of psychotic behaviors.  I find it very troubling to think that such a small population of psychopaths could potentially have such a strong influence over society as a whole.