Psy 102 Assignment

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Date: march 21st,2012 The press releases make casual claims from data that is only correlation, for example, they make a claim that nicotine boosts levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone. The press also claims that increased level of cortisol can result into weird hallucinations. However, this is a complete misrepresentation of what the Durham University researchers found. The researches found that cortisol role is to translate the experience of the experience of psycho-social stressors to psychosis. The misconception is that caffeine directly leads to increase in stress levels because cortisol is involved. However, factors which cause individual differences in cortisol are the ones which will influence the likelihood of developing delusional and hallucinatory experiences. The article also does not note the important fact that daily usage of caffeine reduces this effect. The claim by the press that drinking cup after cup of coffee reduces risk of hallucination is therefore misguided and misappropriated. The press also claims that women and men who are healthy and drink more than seven cups of coffee everyday are more prone to hallucinations than those who are limited to one cup a day. However, this claim has not be reflected anywhere in the research and the quantities present in the press are in cups whereas the ones presented in the research are measured in grams. One is more prone to hallucinations and psychotic experiences; however, the press is quick to claim that stress is increased by caffeine. However, the research leaves room for error and states that most of the times people take caffeine because they are stressed. Therefore, it is difficult for the researches to determine whether the stress levels are increased by caffeine or stress is just there and caffeine increases it a little. The media therefore, misrepresents the situation by stating
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