Mass Media and Other Contributors to Eating Disorders

A notable amount of the literature and research conducted on eating disorders has been devoted to reporting the influence of mass media on individuals with eating disorders. Many proclaim that mass media advocate a standard of slim beauty that is unattainable and unrealistic. It is easy to point a finger at the media and declare, “The media causes eating disorders.” This statement, however, is extreme. It singles out the mass media as the main culprit behind why eating disorders are so prevalent in Western countries and is a growing problem in East Asian countries. The statement simplifies eating disorders as if they stem from one problem and ignores many other factors that play roles in this complex group of psychological disorders. This essay will briefly discuss factors such as family influences, psychological elements, and neurological and genetic factors that, in addition to the media, contribute to eating disorders.

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The Break of Curveballs

Visual illusions are a fun and entertaining way to find out more about our perceptual system. Illusions occur when the brain is presented with conflicting sensual information that it cannot easily interpret. What results is the perceptual experience of illusions. This paper will focus on the illusion known as the “Break of the Curveball,” discussing how the illusion is achieved and how it offers insight into the mechanics of human visual perception.

The curveball illusion is one commonly observed in a game of baseball by batters on home plate. The pitcher stands on a mound and throws a baseball towards home that is 60.5 feet (18.44 meters) away. The pitcher throws the ball in such a way that makes the baseball spin. The ball’s trajectory is a curved path created by the imbalance of the forces on different sides of the ball. Although the ball’s curved path towards home should appear gradual, batters often experience a sudden and dramatic drop of the ball just as they swing the bat. The ball’s change in position is often called a curveball’s “break.”

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Nature vs Nurture in Bulimia Nervosa

Extensively studied, bulimia nervosa is a condition where individuals have persistent concerns with their body image and weight. They have frequent episodes of binge eating followed by either purging or fasting for days to compensate for the large amount of food eaten earlier. A large amount of research has been dedicated to finding the possible influences that drive bulimics to such extreme eating behaviors. Findings are not exclusively supporting either the nature or the nurture side of the debate. Rather, they add insight to the whole picture of the disorder. This essay will discuss some findings that provide a nature view of bulimia and some that provide a nurture view.

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A Closer Look at “Internalism Defended”

The debate between externalism and internalism has been of great interest to epistemologists. This paper will give an overview of one aspect of the debate, focusing on mentalism as defined by Richard Feldman and Earl Conee in Internalism Defended. Mentalism naturally appeals to belief justification via evidence directly available to the internal mind of a subject, but there is still the problem of how one can justify for forgotten evidence and explicate the connection between a belief and its justifying evidence. I shall evaluate these proposed issues and discuss the effectiveness of mentalism in the externalism-internalism debate.

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Forgetting Negative Materials in Depression – Article Critique

The aim of this paper is to give a review of the article “Training Forgetting Negative Material in Depression” written by Joormann et al. (2009) by providing an analysis of the effectiveness of the article’s style in conveying the research’s importance and contribution to the study of depression as well as the appropriateness of the experimenters’ approach to conducting their study. Briefly, Joormann et al.’s experiment investigated whether using substitution as a specific cognitive strategy can aid depressed participants to forget negative target words. Using the think/no-think method, they found that by substituting unwanted target words with another, clinically depressed participants are able to forget a significant number of the words they learned in an earlier phase. These results supported the idea it is possible to train depressed individuals to counteract their rumination tendencies.

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