Essays about Psychology

Essay On Importance of Sleep Quality over Sleep Quantity among College Students

Earlier studies have also reported the correlation between psychological problems (e.g. anxiety and depression) and nightmares, and more recent studies have focused on the correlation between suicidal tendencies and nightmares among adolescents. More particularly, according to Liu (2004), sleeplessness is more widespread in students with higher suicidal tendency, and this pattern is usually attended by frequent nightmares. Nightmares are described as intense dreams characterized by heightened feelings of fear that rouses the person, which normally take place during REM sleep. In a research of individuals experiencing major depression, Agargun and associates (1998) (as cited in Liu, 2004) illustrated that recurrent nightmares are linked to heightened suicidal ideation. Current studies indicate that nightmares are more widespread than initially thought.
Hershner and Chevin (2014) put forth another detrimental impact of sleep quality on psychological wellbeing. They reported that sleep disruption is an important factor which brings about poor sense of worth or self-image, which, in turn, could cause depression. They further conveyed that university experts are more inclined to handle depression as the greatest contributing factor to poor academic outcomes, neglecting the fact that a poor self-image caused by poor sleep quality is major root of depression. Thus, given these gaps in the literature, it is essential to identify the actual fundamental relationship between sleep quality and depression among college students.

Nonetheless, despite the comprehensiveness and validity of the findings about the greater importance of sleep quality over sleep quantity, some researchers claim that proponents of sleep quality did not take into consideration other factors that could influence academic performance among college students. Without taking into account sleep quantity, these researchers argue that it is not possible to draw an accurate conclusion about the actual impact of sleep disorders on the academic performance of college students (Wolfson & Carskadon, 2003). The studies of educators, social scientists, and developmental psychologists in evaluating aspects that focus on disparities in academic performance have emphasized the significance of a more inclusive model than most sleep experts have adopted.
Similarly, other social scientists currently argued that researchers that examine the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral performance of college students have to take into full account of the quantity of sleep on the psychological and physiological health of college students. They argue that sleep quality alone cannot account for the full aspect of the academic performance of college students. For instance, studies have reported that shorter duration of sleep affects the ability of college students to focus during classroom activities and examinations. Lawrence Epstein, a medical professor at Harvard University, argues for the importance of sleep quantity (American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2007, para 3):
Recent studies have shown that adequate sleep is essential to feeling awake and alert, maintaining good health and working at peak performance. After two weeks of sleeping six hours or less a night, students feel as bad and perform as poorly as someone who has gone without sleep for 48 hours. New research also highlights the importance of sleep in learning and memory. Students getting adequate amounts of sleep performed better on memory and motor tasks than did students deprived of sleep.
Several researchers support lengthier sleep for students because brain functions are also dependent on the amount of sleep an individual receives.

All of these contentions are valid and reasonable. It is true that both sleep quality and sleep quantity should be taken into account in the examination of the physical, cognitive, and behavioral performance of college students. Both sleep quality and sleep quantity affect the overall wellbeing of an individual. However, the primacy of sleep quality over sleep quantity has been supported by a fair number of studies. Stenzel (2015) firmly argues that college students should be trained in time management and taught about the importance of quality of sleep. He found out from his study of the impact of sleep quality on college students’ behavior that sleeping longer during weekends or free time does not compensate for the lack of efficient sleep. Deficient sleep quality is harder to recover than inadequate sleep quantity. Hence the argument of this paper stands—there should be a greater emphasis on sleep quality among college students.
In conclusion, there is a certain level of confusion between sleep quality and sleep quantity. Many mistakenly interchange the two. Sleep quantity refers to the quantifiable aspect of sleep, such as duration and amount of sleep, whereas sleep quality refers to the intangible characteristic of sleep such as its efficiency and depth. It is the contention of this paper that sleep quality has a greater influence on the academic performance of college students than sleep quantity. There are three supporting premises for this argument: the greater impact of sleep quality on the cognitive performance of students; on the onset of depression; and, on life satisfaction. Poor quality of sleep adversely affects the learning, memory, and concentration skills of students, while nothing of the sort has been mentioned for sleep quantity. According to several studies, too much sleeping can even impair daytime activities, but there is no such thing as ‘excessive’ sleep quality that could detrimentally affect an individual’s psychological, emotional, and physiological performance.
Depressive symptoms usually occur in individuals who are chronically deprived of quality sleep. Staying awake for a number of hours does not significantly contribute to the onset of depression among college students, but excessive stimulation or repetitive arousal during sleep can significantly affect the ability of an individual to cope with internal and external stressors. And, lastly, the wellbeing and quality of life of students is largely determined by the quality of sleep they obtain. The recuperating and invigorating impact of sleep is simply achieved through efficient sleep. However, not everyone is convinced that sleep quality is more important than sleep quantity. Several professionals from various disciplines still adhere to the idea that the duration and amount of sleep that students get significantly affects their ability to perform well academically. Some support a more balanced view of sleep quality and sleep quantity.

Primary References

American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2007, November 30). College students: getting enough sleep is vital to academic success. Retrieved from http://www.aasmnet.org/articles.aspx?id=659.
Edell-Gustafsson, U. (1999). Sleep, psychological symptoms and quality of life in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. Uppsala, Sweden: Linkoping University. https://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCEQFjAAahUKEwin5_Ok_PXGAhULSI4KHUqCAZA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diva-portal.org%2Fsmash%2Fget%2Fdiva2%3A249227%2FFULLTEXT02.pdf&ei=J1ezVee3GIuQuQTKhIaACQ&usg=AFQjCNFTWpGghxcnvGlMBa3jnItZyM3_FA&sig2=bEsX_hMXMTqE9UfyC2lHdw&bvm=bv.98717601,d.c2E
Galambos, N., Howard, A., & Maggs, J. (2010). Rise and fall of sleep quantity and quality with student experiences across the first year of university. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(2), 342-349.
Gikunda, R. et al. (2014). The effect of sleep quantity on performance of students in public universities, Kenya. Merit Research Journal of Education and Review, 2(6), 113-118. https://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCAQFjAAahUKEwiR6rSX_PXGAhWJjo4KHdk2AmQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmeritresearchjournals.org%2Fer%2Fcontent%2F2014%2FJune%2FGikunda%2520et%2520al.pdf&ei=C1ezVdG4BomdugTZ7YigBg&usg=AFQjCNEUDQJxV-UTOTxn89xNx8eF8IYVog&sig2=6DMgKt4XXobK1l81KvX5xg&bvm=bv.98717601,d.c2E
Gilbert, S., & Weaver, C. (2010). Sleep quality and academic performance in university students: a wake-up call for college psychologists. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 24, 295-306.
Gruber, R. & Brouillette, R. (2006). Towards an understanding of sleep problems in childhood depression. Sleep, 29(3), 351-358. http://www.journalsleep.org/Articles/290401.pdf
Gunnarsdottir, K. (2014). Effects of poor subjective sleep quality on symptoms of depression and anxiety among adolescents. Thesis Paper for the Department of Psychology, 2-16.
Hershner, S., & Chervin, R. (2014). Causes and consequences of sleepiness among college students. Nature and Science of Sleep NSS, 6, 73-84.
Johansson, A. (2012). Sleep-wake-activity and health-related quality of life in patients with coronary artery disease. Linkoping University Medical Dissertations, 1272, 3-107.
Liu, X. (2004). Sleep and adolescent suicidal behavior. Sleep, 27(7), 1351-1358.
Lowry, M., Dean, K., & Manders, K. (2010). The link between sleep quantity and academic performance for the college student. The University of Minnesota Undergraduate Journal of Psychology, 3, 16-19. http://faculty.oxy.edu/clint/physio/article/TheLinkBetweenSleepQuantityandAcademic.pdf
Pilcher, J., Ginter, D., & Sadowsky, B. (1997). Sleep quality versus sleep quantity: relationships between sleep and measures of health, well-being and sleepiness in college students. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 42(6), 583-596.
Stenzel, J. (2015). Sleep quality and negative associated behaviors of college students: A Cross-Sectional Study. The Spectrum: A Scholars Day Journal, 3(10), 1-11.
Telzer, et al. (2013). The effects of poor quality sleep on brain function and risk taking in adolescence. NeuroImage, 71, 275-283.
Trockel, M., Barnes, M., & Egget, D. (2000). Performance among first-year college students: implications for sleep and other behaviors. Journal of American College Health, 49, 125-131.
Wolfson, A. & Carskadon, M. (2003). Understanding adolescents’ sleep patterns and school performance: a critical appraisal. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 7(6), 491-506.

Secondary References

Agargun, M.Y. et al. (1998). Repetitive and frightening dreams and suicidal behavior in patients with major depression. Comparative Psychiatry, 39, 198-202.
Bertocci, M.A. et al. (2005). Subjective sleep complaints in pediatric depression. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 44(11), 1158-66.

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Essay On Critically Evaluate The Contribution Of Brain Imaging Techniques To Our Understanding Of Human Cognition

Month and Year

Brain imaging techniques are useful to study different areas of the brain. There are many popular imaging techniques present in the media. Any technique that deals with the structure of the brain and evaluate the mechanism of the brain comes in cognitive brain imaging techniques. In a research study, I read about two techniques PET and MRI. PET stands for positron emission tomography. It helps in identifying disease, working of organs and tissues in the body. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It also scans the detailed images of organs and tissues present in the body. However, these brain

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Essay On Theoretical Orientation Of Psychotherapy

Being a psychologist for more than a decade is a very fulfilling one. I must say that it was and is not easy but nothing brings more satisfaction to a life of a psychologist than being able to contribute to the well-being of society by helping people gain a better understanding of their emotions, mental state and behaviors and helping them manage to live a better life. For many times, I have applied different psychotherapies for different kinds of disorder and I realized through continuous research and experience that there is not single approach that would be applicable to all medical cases. Some therapies have been scientifically tested more than other therapies . Let us consider one therapy which I have been applying to my clients for a specific type of disorders.

The cognitive behavioral therapy is a blend of two therapies which are the cognitive therapy and the behavioral therapy. This therapy helps a person focus on his current problems and ways to solve them. Both the patient and the therapist need to be involve in the process. The role of the therapist is to help the patient identify distorted or unhealthy thinking patterns , recognize and at the same time change inaccurate beliefs, being able to relate to others in a more positive and healthy way and to be able to change behaviors accordingly (Psychotherapies, n.d.).

Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is known to be an effective treatment and approach to the following type of disorders: depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, eating disorder and schizophrenia. It has become effective for these type of disorders because CBT is educative and patients are taught cognitive, behavioral as well as emotional-regulation skills. They can, in essence, become their own therapist. Essential parts of the sessions include mood check, prioritizing an agenda, discussing specific problems, setting self-help assignments, summary and then feedback.

There are some researchers who questioned the validity of this approach and claim superiority over other treatments, however, this is what I have personally found to be effective to my clients. At the end of the day, what truly matters most is that your patient gets better and better each day until one day he regains his full mental abilities and become a functioning individual in the society again.

Reference

Psychotherapies. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2015, from National Institutes of Health:
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/inde

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Scholarly Review Of “The Serial Killer Whisperer” Literature Review

Earley, Pete (2012). The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers. Touchstone. New York City: NY. ISBN-13: 978-1439199039.

Purpose of the book

The purpose of “The Serial Killer Whisperer” is revelation. The minds of serial killers and serial murders have fascinated us through investigative documentaries, sitcoms and Hollywood blockbusters (Schmid, 2005). The information that is portrayed to us in these mediums is generally violent and usually illogical behavior on part of the serial offender. This book, however, reveals a different side to the readers. The side that eludes investigators and criminal profilers;

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Applying Theories To Global, Occupational And Environmental Health Essay Example

Sustainable growth supports an economic development that take into consideration social and environmental welfare as well. Economic development and excessive use of resources are a major cause for many life style diseases. Fast food culture, lack of physical activity, smoking, pollution, pesticides, stress and production practices have increased the occurrences of obesity, cancer, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases. Unlike the past, when majority of the deaths were associated with infectious diseases; life style diseases are the major cause of deaths in today. The primary step to reducing these diseases, is by introducing a change in human behavior.
Health behavior theories

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Free Essay On Professional Socialization

Definition

When it comes to defining professional socialization, it becomes very difficult to give it a precise definition because there is not a single agreed definition of it. There are different definitions of professional socialization offered by different scholars. Some of the scholars believe that the professional socialization is a process through which individuals go through an evolution of acquiring new skills, adopting new habits, behaviors and quitting the old habits as well as behavior so that they would come to terms with the requirements of their professions. Professional socialization is a kind of learning process in which individuals acquires

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Good Research Paper About Developmental Psychology Research Designs

Introduction

Developmental research focuses on the progression of changes occurring in an organism as it develops. Developmental changes are irreversible. There exist several differences in the magnitudes of development between periods of several years of growth. The development research psychologists seek to understand what changes cause the difference. Considering a speed processing perspective, aging results in the slow cognitive processing speeds inclusive of all the processing components. A prediction of the mean response times of adults advanced in age in comparison to younger adults proves how the cognitive processes slow down with age advancement. The simple linear memory and aging

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Essay On Female Sexual Dysfunction

Female sexual problem is one of the most challenging topics for health care providers as the patient may feel discomfort in discussing the topic or misattribute sexual dysfunction to depression (Nurnberg, Hensley, Lauriello, Parker, & Keith, 1999). On the other hand, health care providers may have inadequate training and insufficient experience to have in-depth sexual discussion with the patient and deal with this problematic issue (Wright & O'Connor 2015). It has been estimated that fewer than 20% of health care providers ask about the sexual activity including enjoyment, difficulties, and frequency (Loeb, Aagaard, Cali, & Lee, 2010). Female sexual dysfunction is better treated with psychological treatment of the patient, and more studies are required for pharmacological treatment.

Causes of Female Sexual Dysfunction

Female sexual dysfunction is an important patient concern that can be ongoing or can occur occasionally. It has been reported that nearly 40% of women have sex related issues in the U.S. and nearly 12% have sexual problems (Shifren, 2013). Female sexual dysfunction may include a number of problems such as absence of sexual desire, inability to arouse the feelings, absence of sexual climax or orgasm, painful intercourse (Wright & O'Connor 2015), or combination of these problems. These problems may arise as a result of physical and/or psychological issues. Physical causes can be the presence of certain biological problems such as diabetes, nerve disorders, heart disease and/or hormonal disturbances. Some medicines can also affect sexual desire and function. Studies have shown that antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and tricyclics can result in sexual dysfunction (Nurnberg et al., 1999). On the other hand, psychological problems can be stress as well as anxiety. Psychological problems may also include depression and relationship problems. However, occasional problems can occur in sexual functions but long term problems need proper checkup.

Management of Female Sexual Dysfunction

Females may go through the problem of sexual dysfunction at any stage of life. It is important to know the evaluation and management strategies that can help in dealing with the problem of sexual dysfunction. One of the best strategies to deal with the problem is to know the physical aspects of the body. The more a female and her partner know her body, the more they will be able to cope with the problem and find ways to ease sexual difficulties. In order to know more about the body and the problem, it is important to gather as much information as possible. So, a female and her partner can ask their doctor or get help through educational materials to know more about several issues that can affect sex life such as aging, pregnancy, illnesses, menopause, and medicines. It is also important for a female to communicate openly with her partner. Both of them can work together on areas that can improve intimacy and bring them together.

Treatment of Female Sexual Dysfunction

Medical treatment is insufficient
Studies have shown that topical testosterone can help in the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire. However, magnitude of the treatment is small, and there is no long-term safety data. Moreover, studied testosterone replacement preparations have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Wright & O'Connor 2015). SSRIs, which are commonly used to treat depression and anxiety, can also result in sexual problems. Studies have shown that sexual dysfunction as a result of SSRIs can be treated with the help of bupropion, which is also used to treat depression or stop smoking, or slidenafil, which is helpful in treating erectile dysfunction (Wright & O'Connor 2015). In order to treat atrophic vaginitis, which usually results in pain during intercourse, topical estrogen is effective (Wright & O'Connor 2015).
Before starting a treatment for sexual problem, it is important to address all medical problems, mental health problems, or relationship problems. Usually, pharmacologic therapy is used for those women, who meet diagnostic criteria for a sexual problem or who have distressing problems or who are unable to respond to non-pharmacologic interventions (Shifren, 2013).

Psychological treatment could work better

Researchers have noted that female sexual dysfunction is adversely affected by psychological factors and problems in male sexual activities. So, it has been reported that many cases of female sexual dysfunction can be managed by considering the attitudes and sexual problems of her male partner, i.e. psychological treatment (Shaeer, Shaeer, & Shaeer, 2012).
It can be noted from above mentioned studies that medicinally or pharmacologically it is still difficult to cope with the problem of female sexual dysfunction. So, psychological therapy is best with occasional use of medicines especially for pain.

Concluding Remarks

Sexual problems are often found in women. It can be in different forms usually caused by physical or psychological issues. It is one of the most important issues to consider for normal life of females. Careful evaluation and treatment strategies can help in dealing with this problem. Evaluation can be done by considering all the sex-related issues and other physical as well as psychological aspects of the women, but limited therapeutic options are among the most important challenges for health care providers to deal with female sexual dysfunction. No pharmacologic agent for desire, arousal and/or orgasmic problem has been approved by FDA, probably due to safety problems. So, further studies are required to deal with various issues of female sexual dysfunction and treat them medicinally. Consequently, it can be said that psychological treatment of the female and her sexual partner are essential to deal with the problem of sexual dysfunction.

References

Loeb, D. F., Aagaard, E. M., Cali, S. R., & Lee, R. S. (2010). Modest impact of a brief curricular intervention on poor documentation of sexual history in university-based resident internal medicine clinics. J Sex Med, 7(10), 3315-3321. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01883.x
Nurnberg, H. G., Hensley, P. L., Lauriello, J., Parker, L. M., & Keith, S. J. (1999). Sildenafil for Women Patients With Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction. Psychiatric Services, 50(8), 1076-1078. doi: 10.1176/ps.50.8.1076
Shaeer, O., Shaeer, K., & Shaeer, E. (2012). The Global Online Sexuality Survey (GOSS): female sexual dysfunction among Internet users in the reproductive age group in the Middle East. J Sex Med, 9(2), 411-424. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02552.x
Shifren, J. L. (2013). Sexual dysfunction in women: Management. Retrieved July 26, 2015, from http://www.uptodate.com/contents/sexual-dysfunction-in-women-management
Wright, J. J., & O'Connor, K. M. (2015). Female sexual dysfunction. Med Clin North Am, 99(3), 607-628. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2015.01.011

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Essay On Religious Studies

A Reflection on Scientology

Introduction
The Church of Scientology did not begin as a religion but as a mental health therapeutic theory called Dianetics, which the accompanying book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, came off the press in 9 May 1950, from a science fiction author named Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986), or L. Ron Hubbard (DeChant and Jorgensen 304). The Hubbard Association of Scientologists was established in 1952 (305). It was a new religious movement, with its tax-free claim over revenues, which the American society came to view as a religious cult (Blythe 2). However, as far as the U.S. Internal Revenue Service was concerned, it was a ‘for profit’ business and not a non-profit religious organization. So for three years battle with the federal government raged on as Scientology instituted adaptive measures, such as publishing new prayer books, using cross symbols in their meeting places, etc. And, they won with the federal government recognizing it as a tax-exempt religious organization (3). Only four years later in 1954 that the first church of Scientology was founded in Los Angeles. The Church of Scientology as a recognized religion was finally born. However, according to Eugene Methvin, the primary intension is based on the understanding that establishing a religion as where the money is (Methvin 1). This reflective essay aims to understand the major religious tenets of Scientology, its concept of God and of the human relationship with God, its current historical developments, and its cultural stand on positive social change and human equality.

Major Tenets, Doctrines, and Dogmas

The Thetanian Mythology: Scientology teaches that the “theta” is the cosmic force and source of life and “thetans” as the individualized expression of theta (DeChant and Jorgensen 307). Thetan is the true identity of mankind: intrinsically good, omniscient, omni-creative, and immaterial (308). Thus, humans as thetans are pure spirits, immortal, and god. The story goes that, in the primordial past, the thetans the physical MEST universe. However, over time, the thetans came to identify and got enmeshed with the MEST and forgot their true Thetanian identity as well as their powers (309). Consequently, the thetans became trapped in the MEST to such extent they even failed to realize that they are thetans, believing that they are mere physical beings. Because they are immortals, as their bodies deteriorate to death, thetans are repeatedly reborn into the MEST until salvation intervenes. Each lifetime is stored in the thetan’s “reactive mind” (similar to the Freudian “unconscious mind”) as “engrams” (images). These engrams accumulate in the reactive mind each lifetime, moving the thetan further and further away from realizing his true spiritual identity. The objective of Scientology is to save the thetan and restore his awareness to his true spiritual identity.
The ARC Triangle: For salvation to occur, the thetan should acquire a special knowledge that allows him to understand the basic workings of the MEST universe (310). This knowledge is fully embodied in the ARC Triangle. The triangle consists of three interdependent concepts: affinity (degree of affection; the emotional state), reality (agreement of what truly exists), and communication (interchange of ideas). Communication is believed the most important element in the ARC Triangle. Human survival problems have their roots in ineffective communication (311).


The Bridge to Freedom: The concept of the Bridge constitutes the religious means whereby the mastery of the ARC Triangle is achieved. It has dual components: “Training” (religious education) and “Processing” (personal spiritual development). Both components increase spiritual awareness. The first discipline (the Training) frees the thetan from the limitations of the MEST universe. The second discipline (the Processing) restores to the theta all lost or forgotten powers of godhood. Each advance in spiritual awareness moves the thetan into higher levels of mastery of the ARC Triangle. The thetan progresses from the “PreClear” state (the bound state) to the “Clear” state (the state freed from engrams) (312). Thetans in Clear state are ready to start reacquiring their lost powers (313). The final stage is the “Operating Thetan (OT)” state wherein the thetan is learning to harness his analytical mind (instead of the reactive mind) to gain mastery over the MEST. The OT who has successfully functioned under the eight dynamics of existence acquires total spiritual freedom, including the freedom from the endless cycles of birth-death-rebirth, and starts to take on greater and greater cosmic responsibility (314). Scientology aims to “clear” the planet and restore mankind to its true Thetanian identity.

The Eight Dynamics: Scientology believes in the basic command of life, which is “Survive!” This imperative is divided into eight compartments called dynamics (meaning, “urge,” “drive,” or “impulse”) that are used to inspect and understand a person’s life.
(A) First Dynamic, SELF: This refers to the basic drive to survive as an individual and to be an individual with a personal body and mind. It aims to fully express individuality.
(B) Second Dynamic, CREATIVITY: This refers to the impulse to make (“create”) things for the future or survive through a small unit. It includes the establishment of a family unit, raising children, sex, and other family activity.
(C) Third Dynamic, GROUP SURVIVAL: This refers to the urge to survive through a larger group of individuals outside the family, such as a community, friends, a social lodge, a state or nation, a race, and the like.
(D) Fourth Dynamic, SPECIES: This refers to the urge toward survival through all mankind and as all mankind, encompassing all men and women.
(E) Fifth Dynamic, LIFE FORMS: This refers to the urge to survive as life forms and with the help of other life forms (e.g. animals, birds, insects, fish, vegetation, and all other living things).
(F) Sixth Dynamic, PHYSICAL UNIVERSE: This refers to the urge to survive of the four components of the physical universe: matter, energy, space, and time.
(G) Seventh Dynamic, SPIRITUAL DYNAMIC: This refers to the urge to survive as spiritual beings and anything spiritual; the ability to destroy or pretend to be destroyed. It involves the survival of the life source itself, which the seventh dynamic is.
(H) Eight Dynamic, INFINITY: This refers to the urge to the existence as Infinity, to actually embrace the all-ness of all, comparative with the concepts of God, the Supreme Being or Creator.

The Concept of God

The concept of God in Scientology refers to the concept of the Eight Dynamic (Infinity) (“Does Scientology Have a Concept of God?” n. p.). This dynamic refers to the urge towards the existence as Infinity or as God, the Supreme Being or Creator. Thus, God for Scientologists is not a person or an entity but an urge towards or of Infinity. In fact, in this concept of God, it is the human or the thetan who achieved the Eight Dynamics who becomes God himself (“The Eight Dynamics” n. p.). Its concept of God is the human becoming God. But, unlike Christianity wherein the God-Man came to pay for the salvation of mankind, the Scientologist ‘Infinity’ became human because he became bounded to the MEST he created. Thus, the Scientologist ‘god’ made a mistake and became human. He mistakenly lost his thetan-hood or godhood. Thus, achieving the Eight Dynamic is simply reclaiming that godhood once more.

In essence, its concept of the Eight Dynamic is similar to the Mormonist doctrine of ‘celestial progression’ wherein the spouses themselves can become god. There are many differences though between these two religions. First, while Scientology contented itself with achieving only the peak of thetan-hood, the Infinity, Mormonism goes beyond becoming the God the Father to becoming even the Father of the God the Father, and logically in a quite similar sense, having God the Grandfather or a God ancestry (Smith 613-614). Scientology is not clear about the social side of godhood as the Mormons are. Second, the Scientologist concept of becoming human is a humanization by mistake or assimilation to the MEST (the created universe); while Mormonists look at humanization and dying as a prerequisite to godhood.
As far away from the Christian concept of God as the Mormons, Scientologists need more creative and science fictionist thinking for their concept of God to get near to the Christian God because the chasm of differences is just so wide and deep to be bridgeable. As a point of fact, though, neither concept of God contradicts the Christian concept of God; and thus not of an authentic Christian religion.

The Concept of Personal Relationship with God

Unlike the Christian concept of a personal relation of man with God, the Scientologist concept of that relationship is practically nothing because its doctrine on the Eight Dynamics simply insists that the thetan (freed and infinite human) is god himself. Thus, in essence, the Scientologist concept of the ‘God-man’ relationship is a ‘Self-self’ relationship. Since the thetan (human) is himself god his relationship with god is a relationship to himself. Thus, while the relationship between a Christian and God is a relationship between a child and the Father, the Scientologist relationship with god is essentially a self-directed relationship if such can be called a relationship at all.

Some Historical Developments

Scientific Uproar: Less a year after the publication of Hubbard’s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health in 1950, which claimed that Dianetics was based on careful research, the medical and psychiatric associations in America demanded that Hubbard submit to the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association a copy or copies of his research on the ‘new’ mental health therapy; and when he failed to do so, recommended that the use of Dianetics be confined to the research milieu (Freeman 19).
The “Fair Game” Policy: An HCO Policy Letter signed by Hubbard on 18 October 1967 ordered an action called “Fair Game” against Scientology “ENEMY”, referred to as “SP” (Suppressive Person, or critic), which involved deprivation of property or injury by any means, or be tricked, sued, lied to, or destroyed (“Fair Game” n. p.). A year later, on 21 October 1968, another HCO Policy Letter came off cancelling the “Fair Game” policy as entry of its ethics code while affirming the same practice to continue.
Practice of Medicine without License: Scientology received a suit in 1995 for non-licensed practice of medicine after the death of Lisa McPherson under psychiatric treatment by the church for 17 days at Fort Harrison (Farley n. p.). Churchmen removed her, against the doctor’s advice, from the care of Morton Plan Hospital where she volunteered admission. Her condition deteriorated under Scientology care and died on arrival at a 45-minute drive hospital outside the Fort. The death suit was settled in 2004.

Cultural Position on Positive Social Change and Human Equality

Scientology is an exclusive and secretive religious organization with its own distinct sets of cultural features. It has its own exclusive dictionary of terms (e.g. “thetan,” “clear,” “MEST,” or “auditing”), calendar of holidays (e.g. “Auditor’s Day”), and locations of great religious significance (e.g. Hubbard’s Saint Hill Manor in England; Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization in Florida) (Pentikainen and Pentikainen 10). Social change is often viewed in the context of the internal lifestyle of its members and through its central process of “auditing” as the primary, if not sole, means of personal and social change. Its aim is always to progress from the First Dynamic to the Eight Dynamic, a process that even goes beyond the context of human society and into celestial, or perhaps extra-terrestrial, society.
Towards the society outside Scientology, its Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) has offered its auditing services, such as Narconon (to combat drug addiction), Criminon (for criminal reform), and Applied Scholastics (for Scientology scientific education), to schools, businesses, and community groups as secular approaches for social betterment without demand or expectation for membership (DeChant and Jorgensen 299). In essence, its approach to social change is interventional using the Scientologist processes in achieving social change and often under the cultural environment of Scientology.
Moreover, its concept of human equality goes beyond the issue of gender and racial color. It operates within the assumption of equality between thetans whose racial or gender characteristics are out of question and rarely an issue (DeChant and Jorgensen 325). Although, it attempted to somehow conform to secular requirements of non-discrimination by trying to improve its organizational gender ratio, Scientology admitted that a large number of advanced members are largely males.

Furthermore, the behavior of Scientology members is strictly governed by its ‘technology of ethics’, which is founded on discipline, justice, and honor (Pentikainen and Pentikainen 10). An individual can be trusted with ethics but not with justice, which only the organization can administer. It teaches, however, that if ethics are well in place, justice is often unnecessary. In addition, ethics is about “integrity and honesty and doing what is right” (“Improving Conditions in Life”).
Compared to the Christian Beatitudes as quoted in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, verses 2-10 and expounded in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount from verses 11 to 48 (Jones NT 20-21), the Scientologist ‘technology of ethics’ has superficial similarities and dissimilarities (of course, a better comparison will be achieve with access to its full ethical codes, which is not possible unless to members). Both codes agreed in the importance they give on being happy (verses 2-10), doing what is right (verse 6), being peacemakers (verse 9), and getting involved in the cause of right (verse 10).

However, while the direction of the Scientologist ethics is towards happiness, prosperity, and survival, the essence of the Beatitudes revolves around poverty and deprivation, gentleness and peacemaking, compassion and mercy, and happiness in persecution. In many areas, except for happiness, both viewpoints contrast each other: Scientologist ‘prosperity’ vs. Christian ‘poverty’; ‘survival’ vs. ‘gentleness and peacemaking, compassion and mercy, and happiness in persecution’. In fact, its focus on survival both governs the centrality of their doctrine of the Eight Dynamics and their historically vicious behavior against critics (DeChant and Jorgensen 330). While the essence of the Sermon of the Mount highlighted an imitation of the sacrificial nature of Christ’s spirituality, the essence of Scientology is survival, of the fittest if you may, an urge towards life not death.

The general concept of life between Christianity and Scientology in the sense of finding and keeping it similarly points to ‘eternity’ in Christianity or ‘infinity’ in Scientology. Both terms are essentially comparable and interchangeable as eternity is essentially infinity and vice versa. However, the approach towards this eternity or infinity diverged in an opposite direction, conditioned by the divergence of their theology. Where Christianity proposed the path of sacrificial death in obedience to the will of God, the Scientologist path insists on not dying (that is, on survival) and instead being transformed into a god (thetan) with physical life intact. It is, however, unclear how Scientologists justify the death of its founder Hubbard as a proof of survival. There is a clear pitfall in justifying Hubbard’s death as an interpretation of reaching the Seventh or Eight Dynamic because it will have an implication that death by suicide may be justified to reach the last two highest Dynamic.

Conclusion

Lessons from the history and teachings of Scientology are something that seekers of religion need to ponder deeply with eyes widely open. Being a cultural phenomenon, religion involves and thrives through the strong emotions of its members. Once a passionate part, a person tends to evaluate the religion based on emotional parameters, instead of objective grounds. From the perspective of the unreligious Scientology promises a powerful religion, which can transform mortal men into immortal gods. It is the ‘best’ of what science and religion can offer. However, to those who are serious in the spirituality, such as Christians, the contrast between its doctrines with that of Christ can easily give an impression of science fictionist tone in the theories proposed, not to mention the primal passion for survival often at the cost of its opponents. The guarantee of safety and authenticity of religion, however, can only be gleaned upon its stability and soundness of doctrine through time, not by rhetoric or even science.

Works Cited

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<http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientology-beliefs/what-is-the-concept-of-god-in-scientology.html>
“Fair Game.” Xenu. Web. 27 July 2015. <http://www.xenu.net/archive/disk/fairgame.htm>
“Improving Conditions in Life.” Scientology Handbook. Web. 27 July 2015.
<http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/conditions/sh10.htm>
“The Eight Dynamics.” Scientology. Web. 27 July 2015 <http://www.scientology.org/what-is-
scientology/basic-principles-of-scientology/eight-dynamics.html>
Blythe, Christopher James. “Hugh B. Urban: The Church of Scientology: A History of a New
Religion.” 49th Parallel Autumn 2012, 30(1): 1ff. PDF file.
DeChant, Dell and Danny L. Jorgensen. Chapter 14: The Church of Scientology: A Very New
American Religion. World Religions in America: An Introduction. 4th Ed. Ed. Jacob Neusner. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003. 293-312. Print.
Farley, Robert. “Scientologists Settle Death Suit.” St. Petersburg Times 29 May 2004. Web. 27
July 2015. <http://www.sptimes.com/2004/05/29/Tampabay/Scientologists_settle.shtml>
Freeman, Lucy. “Psychologists Act against Dianetics.” The New York Times 9 September 1950:
19. Print.
Jones, Alexander. The Jerusalem Bible. London and New York: Darton, Longman & Todd and
Doubleday & Company, 1966. Print.
Methvin, Eugene M. “Scientology: Anatomy of a Frightening Cult.” Reader’s Digest [Reprint]
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Smith, Joseph. “Discourse at Nauvoo, IL”. Times and Seasons 15 August 1844, 5(15): 612-617.
Print.

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Good Sowk 503 – Summer 2015 Case Study Example

Quiz 2

1 While Victor was a typical boy in Mexico, his move to the United States changed him. While he once thrived in school and sports, he has become the class clown, prejudiced towards other colors, and combative. This rather extreme and sudden change can be attributed to classical conditioning.
Classical conditioning is learning by association (Changingminds.org, 2015). For instance, a rat can be taught to avoid sweet tasting liquid if after each time they drink the liquid they are injected with something that makes them sick (Changingminds.org, 2015). They learn to associate being sick with the sweet liquid, and

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