Dr. Perrodin sifts and winnows a pair of articles pertaining to the controversial pathologizing of video games as addictive behaviors warranting recognition by the World Health Organization and American Psychiatric Association.HOW GAMING ADDICTION BECOMES A MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS. Gaming addiction and social media addiction are at the cusp of entry into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It is the handbook used by healthcare professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. DSM contains descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders. So, yes, society is on the verge of assigning a medical code, or category, to these areas.  The DSM is an instant badge of credibility and typically translates into the creation of The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD Code) which is a system used by physicians and other healthcare providers to classify and code all diagnoses, symptoms and procedures recorded in conjunction with hospital care in the United States.  So, from DSM to ICD is a short step.  From that point, it’s common for medical providers to bridge the ICD to a medical diagnosis and then some subsequent treatment plan which is mostly guesswork until empirical research charts a reasonable plan of care.  Of course, some insurance companies will deny a gaming addiction medical diagnosis with subsequent medication or therapy. K-12 SCHOOL SETTING WILL BE THE ENTRY POINT FOR GAMING ADDICTION AS RECOGNIZED DISABILITY WARRANTING TREATMENT. However, the door is more easily opened in the K-12 school setting where a doctor’s diagnosis of a gaming addiction could lead into a school disability diagnosis as meeting the Other Health Impaired (OHI) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. SHAREHOLDERS WANT ACCOUNTABILITY - WHY THIS IS BEYOND A REALISTIC EXPECTATION.  Two major Apple investors have urged the iPhone maker to take action to curb growing smartphone addiction among children, highlighting growing concern about the effects of gadgets and social media on youngsters. New York-based Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System, or CalSTRS, said in open letter to Apple that the company must offer more tools to help children fight addiction on its services. Among their proposals, they recommend the company enhances mobile device software so parents have more options to protect their children's health. The investors claims are based upon shoddy surveys and the expectations for the corporations to control usage of phones and gaming devices is fully unrealistic.  Dr. Perrodin compares this to parental controls to block channels on a television.  The issue at hand isn’t the content accessed by those using the devices as much as it is the frequency and duration that people are interacting with devices.  Again, Dr. Perrodin argues that people have always gravitated toward activities of interest - be it listening to the radio, talking on the phone or watching TV. WHY “SIGNIFICANT DISTRESS” MATTERS IN ALLEGED GAMING ADDICTION.  In an article by David DiSalvo (2016), a 9 question survey, known as the Bergen Survey, is used to qualify someone of having a gaming addiction diagnosis.  However, unless someone shows signs of significant distress when trying to reduce their gaming time, an addiction diagnosis wouldn’t apply.  Dr. Perrodin identifies this nebulous “significant distress” qualifier as essential as a research study of 19,000 male and female gamers from the US, UK, Canada and Germany indicate that just .5% - 1% of persons would have met the “distressed” threshold - something that wouldn’t at all be out of line for bicyclists or runners, for example, who might exhibit distress if trying to reduce their time with those activities.  Dr. Perrodin strongly challenges the validity of the Bergen Scale, which he identifies as very subjective and breaching the well-known problems with expecting people to recall events from 6-12 months ago without conflation of memories. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com

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The overwhelming pursuit of perfection is driving young people into increased levels of depression and anxiety per a Yahoo article that referenced a study of over 41,000 college students between 1989-2016 in America, Canada and Great Britain.  (Parker, 2018). In this episode of The Safety Doc Podcast, Dr. Perrodin centers his analysis and discussion on personal psychological safety as he affirms and challenges claims of the article, and identifies linkages to the school setting. WHAT IS PERFECTIONISM? The authors broadly define perfectionism “as a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations.”  Findings suggest that kids these days are more obsessed with perfection than many previous generations were, and this obsession is associated with increased depression and anxiety. THE STUDY. Dr. Perrodin cautions that a single study has limitations and becomes stronger when analyzed in conjunction with similar studies. Nonetheless, this study has stand-alone merit as it was conducted with 164 samples for a total of 41,641 students in 3 countries over a duration of 25 years.  The article states that the perfection dilemma is “worst” in the US.  Dr. Perrodin tempers that claim as only 3 “First World” countries participated in the study and the countries have democratic governments and similar societal structures.  THREE REASONS FOR INCREASED PERCEIVED PRESSURE TO BE PERFECT.  The research presents three reasons for this shift: the rise of neoliberalism, increasingly anxious and controlling parents, and the increasing power of meritocracy.  OK, word salad alert!  The Safety Doc is going to describe these reasons per practical observations of everyday life. Neoliberalism is the free market. It means that the “forever” jobs of the 1970s are behind us. This is the age of Fiverr, where people from across the globe advertise their services and competition limits one can charge, but positive reviews and niche, high-quality work can also bring great demand for your skills.  The latter part is meritocracy, or meaning that individual’s skills determine the demand for their compensation.  This can be frightening, as the thought of a stable job with a single employer is morphing into free agent contractors.  Yet, it is liberating as you can cultivate multiple income streams and play to your strengths as long as those strengths have a market demand.  I know a 20-year-old man that narrates books and does other professional voice over work.  He has a backlog of requests and has accordingly increased his fees.  His services have received very positive reviews, he is diligent with his clients, and works from home.  Finally, parents are anxious and controlling as was pointed out in the recent Safety Doc Podcast about Ohio parents canceling an 8th grade field trip to DC over fears of terrorism.  That act sent a precise message to those youth, “You are safe(r) at home.  Do not engage in reconnaissance.  We’ll teach you all you need to know about what lies beyond the city limits.” SOCIAL MEDIA. Dr. Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist specializing in family and relationship issues, singles out another important factor: social media. “These people grew up being constantly evaluated on social media,” she points out. So what’s so bad about striving to be perfect? It can lead to increased depression and anxiety. “Research among college students and young people, for example, has found self-oriented perfectionism to be positively associated with clinical depression, anorexia nervosa, and early death,” the study authors point out. “It is also associated with greater physiological reactivity (e.g., elevated blood pressure) and ill-being (e.g., negative affect) in response to life stress and failure.” Researchers even identified a link with suicidal ideation.  THE SOCIAL MEDIA SCAPEGOAT?  Dr. Perrodin is not on Facebook and even laughs when his friends say, “I couldn’t find you on social media - what’s up with that?” Well, that’s the point. One is not obligated to participate in social media.  It is optional.  Each of us has a choice.  That point is lost in the article, argues Dr. Perrodin, that every person has a choice to be captive to social media.  We are framing social media as an addiction and preparing to label it as a medical condition as the groundwork was recently laid when the American Psychiatric Association gave sanctified Internet Gaming Disorder.  Really?  Does the teen that reads 3 novels a week have a Literacy Consumption Disorder?  Remove the game from the gamer or book from the reader and my hunch is the withdrawals manifestations would be strikingly similar…  IT’S A MYTH.  Perfection is a myth as nothing, by scientific definition or empirical measure, is perfect.  Engineers have objective tolerances for bridge constructions.  And then there’s subjective perfection which is 100% vanity and a “consensus” reality.  But, in reality, most people are intentionally programmed what to think, injected with bursts of dopamine celebratory moments for accomplishing nothing as self-introspection is buried alongside the art of debate.  By the way, it means nothing to me if this post is liked or shared on social media.

The following are samples from the public comment forum for this article.  Strong themes that presented in the forum included:

  • Nothing is perfect so don’t worry about it.
  • The older generation is more competent than the younger generation.
  • Social media is horrible.
  • Agency and purpose is experienced by creating things of value - be it tending a garden or helping others.
  • Failure equates to a flawed person.  

"Most important, life is not perfect. It is messy and imperfect. It is ok for things to be imperfect."

"Ah the good old days of watching a small screen Black & White TV, have to get up and change the channel be lucky if you can get at least a good 4 or 6 channels, depending where you lived and bang on the side of the TV to receive good reception. AM Transistor Radios, later AM/FM. Rotary Landline Phones and Public Phone Booths. The youth of today could not survive that. I did and I could survive that if we went back to it."

"That's because the social media culture is all about 'look at me look at me' and when no one is looking at you, they get depressed. Social media as an outlet has morphed into a horrible thing. Humans abuse and twist everything into something awful."

"The problem with a lot of these kids is simply that they don't know how to lose. They were never provided with the tools to cope with failure. Unfortunately the ability to overcome and learn from failure is mandatory for success. Their inability to deal with adversity is a huge roadblock."

"What is driving people into depression is the fact that they don't do anything. They sit and watch videos, videogames , text and never really have to do anything. Now they don't know how to do anything. Ask any of them to change a tire? Plant a garden, do anything real. When you can't really do anything you should be depressed."

"Having been a hiring manager for 25 years I have first hand knowledge that the young adults of today are not striving for "perfection", they are petrified of social failure. They don't want to become the best person they're capable of for the good of those that depend on them, so they can make a difference. It's all about "how would it look...". Give them a comfort puppy and some real responsibility. Oh yea...and take away smartphones until they graduate high school."

"I am on the older spectrum of millenial age group and I agree that social media plays a part in how we are. I will add though that when I was in school there was huge pressure to go to college. We were told that if you didn't you would never be anybody. You would be worthless to society. We were fed huge dreams that if we majored in anything that we would be successful adults and make money. A lot of educators and parents are responsible for how this generation turned out. My peers didn't have jobs in high school. Their parents bought them new cars in exchange for just taking out the garbage or good grades. So many grew up book smart but we're not instilled with street smarts. How to function properly as an adult is not taught at all. Fresh out of college with high hopes we hadn't a clue how to balance a checkbook, apply for a job, work on our cars, etc. because society, educators, parents failed to give us a chance to learn. We are a product of previous generation that failed to educate us in basic life skills and now it's up to snowflakes to figure it out or give up. When the lazy label is pointed at our back constantly we have become terrified of failure thus we never learn."

FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com

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The Army and Homeland Security announced the release of a no-cost computer-based simulation that trains teachers how to respond in an active shooter situation at a school. Forum commenters felt the instruction is an encroachment on 2nd Amendment rights and there has been little analysis of the design and intended rollout of the program. Dr. Perrodin debates the good, the bad and the undetermined of this novel approach. NEW, BUT NOT THE FIRST ATTEMPT AT FREE ACTIVE SHOOTER TRAINING. On 12-28-2015 FEMA released the free course: IS-907: Active Shooter: What You Can Do. The course is comprehensive and recommended by the Safety Doc. Yet, it’s relegated to the long list of unknown or dreadfully under-utilized no-cost FEMA offerings centered to public safety. Dr. Perrodin believes that the FEMA course should have been promoted as the recommended training prior to participating in the video game simulation – somebody dropped the ball here as IS-907 should have been coupled to the new virtual simulation.  VIRTUAL REALITY ACTIVE SHOOTER TRAINING – THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE TO BE DETERMINED. Here are David’s 5 positive takeaways about the new virtual training: (1) Video games are actually a great way to learn - remember the interview with Dr. Seann Dikkers in Safety Doc Podcast #18? (2) This is a stepping stone to multi-person virtual reality trainings that can be calibrated for variables and injects.  This system is only a first attempt - and not much more than a single-player early version Call of Duty at this point. (3) This will be free to schools and I expect free training materials that schools than then mesh with their own intruder training protocols. (4) This doesn’t have the unnecessary drill trauma that has become so common with theatrical school shooting multi-agency trainings which have prompted litigation by staff and students and also police departments refusing to participate in such drills due to exposure to litigation. (5) This will generalize to mall workers, retails workers, and eventually become as common as Bloodborne pathogens trainings. THE BAD. (1) Most school shooters told somebody or made some social media posts days or months ahead of time - we need to focus on improving threat detection and threat input systems - this will have an impact on preventing school shootings. (2) Using dispatch recordings to construct the scenarios is incomplete.  There also aren’t many options and no schools are similar in physical layout, staff, discretion philosophy.  There are hundreds and thousands of pages forensic studies from just Sandy Hook - use those to inform your development of the scenarios. (3) I couldn’t discern the opportunity for the participant to ask questions - for example, “What should I do if I caught the hallway between classrooms?” or “I didn’t hear the announcement over the PA about the Lock Down.” (4) What about a vehicle revving down a packed sidewalk? (5) The majority of commenters are strongly arguing that this initiative is a threat to the 2nd amendment - so we see a loss of focus on the intended purposes of the training which is situational awareness and also accelerating contemplation of heuristics - options, and making decisions. THE TO BE DETERMINED. (1) Drill fatigue is a real phenomenon and if this is perceived as a novelty, it won’t be more effective than standard drills or tabletops.   (2) There is a risk that this could be perceived as an all-inclusive training when it is only a tool - a tool to really help sharpen situational awareness and force people to make decisions -- and these are two factors that generalize to safer schools. (3) I have little idea on how this would be used for interagency training exercises. (4) Will we see increased focus on threat identification and threat reporting systems? (5) As this evolves to full virtual reality, how will VR sets be funded - will trainings be centralized and then schools would be on a circuit of training.  Even though the video “game” is free, VR might not be an option for poorer districts and some districts might just dismiss this and stick with theatrical simulations. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com  David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety.  To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com

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Dr. Perrodin shares a fun set of anecdotes as he ultimately reflects upon his most impactful podcasts of 2017, acknowledges leadership lessons from Custer’s last stand and closes with an argument that, on many fronts, we are living in the best of times. EPISODE TOPICS: Driving my aunt to pay her property taxes in a city I’m not familiar with | Snowstorm averted | Pickup truck is not a fire engine | Sardines and dumbbells | Reflecting upon the top Safety Doc Podcasts of 2017 | Custer’s 20-year-old soldiers in 80-year-old bodies | Not a blanket statement, but we certainly live in the best of times.  IN CUSTER WE TRUST – THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SAFETY & TRUST (Per Neal St. Anthony, 2011) “One hundred forty years ago, George Armstrong Custer split his exhausted Seventh Cavalry of 660 troopers into several autonomous units, issued vague orders as the units dispersed and charged headlong into well-armed Northern Cheyenne and Lakota Sioux warriors at the Little Big Horn River in Montana. It was a management disaster, to say the least, for Custer & Co. Custer presided over a classical, dysfunctional leadership team," said Jeff Appelquist, author, entrepreneur, former Best Buy corporate manager and onetime Marine infantry lieutenant who has turned Custer's demise into an award-winning book and on-site management seminars. Custer was offensive-minded, had good tactical sense and had led a charmed military life," Appelquist said. But the legendary brevet major general "lacked the trust of key lieutenants, did not build a common purpose, was not at all aware of his own faults. He did not communicate or adapt well. Those Indian warriors, about 1,500, turned out in force to protect their families and land. Custer was surrounded and worn down and destroyed." FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com  David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com LOOKING FOR DR. TIMOTHY LUDWIG, PHD? Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety.  To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com

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Panic is far from being the typical reaction to disaster. Dr. Perrodin explains 8 findings about disaster response that doesn't fit the typical narrative. For example, contagion behavior is simply copying the behavior of others and often leads to a suboptimal outcome - so stop and recognize ALL options! He describes that crowd violence is seldom random and what "freezing" really means. ANECDOTES: Dr. Perrodin shares entertaining anecdotes of tacky Christmas inflatables, his reasons for migrating to PodBean, tinkering with his new ZoomH4Npro, why virtual reality fieldtrips in schools will be all the rage and vulnerable to delivering political or social agendas and further painting formative years reconnaissance as being dangerous (this is spurious logic) and how singularity will save at least 30,000 lives in the US annually in just 25 years by decreasing vehicle fatalities by 90%. David also shares a lesser known life story of GM / Frigidaire founder William Durant, his fiscal, psychological and health collapses, and how his final years were spent flipping burgers at a bowling alley in Michigan. To inform this episode, Dr. Perrodin explores “The mass psychology of disasters and emergency evacuations: A research report and implications for practice (2007)” by Dr. John Drury & Dr. Chris Cocking - Department of Psychology - University of Sussex. COMMUNICATION IN A DISASTER MAKES OR BREAKS THOSE IN AUTHORITY. Downplaying the importance of meaningful communication with the (irrational) crowd may develop a distrust of the authorities. In turn, this may mean valid information may be ignored or not acted upon by the public in the future. PEOPLE EXIT WHERE THEY ENTERED. People tend to seek to exit the same way they entered - even when a marked exit might be closer - it is not a familiar or intended route. Due to most people having rusty situational awareness, they often do not recognize the emergency and act quickly enough. It’s easier, but not smarter, to simply be led (follow). WHAT REALLY IS “FREEZING”? Freezing during a disaster takes two forms: (1) Literally not acting – freezing, and (2) Becoming disassociated or psychologically distanced from the reality of what is happening and waste time inappropriately tidying desks, organizing areas, waiting to power down computers. This is basically a defense mechanism of expecting life to return to the expected torus, or what is normal. It is a failure to acknowledge a state of chaos – and chaos actually presents options to those that accept that the disruption of the torus. CONTAGION BEHAVIOR – NEVER JUST GO WITH THE CROWD. Contagion behavior is simply copying the behavior of others. If you looked were in a crowd and people suddenly began to run in a direction, with a sense of panic, most would follow - yet not knowing the cause or without evaluating options.  One person who appears to present with confidence and be informed can lead others to a suboptimal outcome that they would have never selected without infected by the contagion. LESS THAN 1% OF PEOPLE PANIC. Panic is far from being the typical reaction to a disaster. In fact, it has been noted in .8% of cases including the atomic bombing of Japan in 1945 and the September 11, 2001 WTC attacks. Dr. Perrodin illuminated 3 flaws in “The Panic Model”. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com  David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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PODCAST-Research Findings from the War of the Worlds Hysteria and the Reluctance by the Most Fearful People to Confirm Statements and How This Still Happens Today | Additional Perspectives on Parents Nixing the DC 8th Grade Class Trip Due to Terrorist Attacks Fears | David Loved Working at Menards in College | Mr. Meeseeks is 6-6. CANCELING THE 8th GRADE CLASS TRIP TO DC - THE PARENTS’ PERSPECTIVE. As expressed in last week’s show, David felt that parents in a school district near Cleveland made a collectively poor decision by asking administration to cancel an 8th grade class trip to Washington DC due to fears of a mass shooting or terror attack. Yes, children are the most valuable assets of parents and a compelling sense of “protection” is natural. However, when such protective measures create a mini-verse youth are provided a negatively-skewed perception that the nation (not the world) is on the omni-present cusp of attack. People tend to double down when they are afraid. Dr. Perrodin saw this first hand as a school administrator and that visceral feeling is impenetrable to empirical science with no guarantee that something won’t happen - and people want that guarantee. An interesting statistical take-away from a bus trip to and from DC is that a student has roughly the same probability of perishing in a bus accident than via an attack - and both are very rare instances - less likely than being struck by lightning. THE SAFETY CONTEXT WAS FRACTURED THE PAST 2 MONTHS. Let’s look deeper into the anatomy of panic - and this is the state David deemed the parents to be in a few weeks ago when thwarting the DC trip with raw recall of the Vegas shooting, Manhattan bike / walkway attack by vehicle, Sutherland Springs and ongoing saber rattling from North Korea. WE’VE BEEN THROUGH UNCERTAIN TIMES BEFORE. Dr. Perrodin shares that his Mother was a child during WWII and she recalls air raid drills - diving under desks and “blackouts” at night - which were especially scary as she imagined German bombers descending into Wisconsin from Canada. Wisconsin was home to the largest munitions factory during the war - located near Baraboo / Sauk City. The narrative was plausible. Also, Britain’s citizens were remarkable robust during WWII - out during the day and orderly cued to shelters per wailing air raid sirens. It’s a different context and such, but there are lessons from our past. We can’t be afraid to, with awareness, participate in our iffy world. INVASION FROM MARS - ANATOMY OF PANIC. On October 28, 1938 many Americans believed they were being invaded by Martians. This was the result of a Halloween stunt orchestrated by Orson Wells in which he adapted H. G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’ to the radio and broadcast the play as though it was actually happening. For Professor Howard Cantril of Princeton University and colleagues, this provided the perfect opportunity to investigate the anatomy of panic (Cantril, Gaudet & Herzog, 1940). Shortly after the event he interviewed 135 people in New Jersey to try and understand how they had reacted and what might have affected how they reacted. The most surprising category of people are those who failed to check the broadcast. Cantril found that those who fell into this category were also those who were most fearful and most likely to “double down” on their perceived “real” memories. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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"An eighth-grade class trip to Washington, D.C., can often be the highlight of grade school - see the White House, meet your member of Congress. But students from North Ridgeville City School District outside of Cleveland, Ohio were notified recently their D.C. trip was canceled. Administrators called it off because of fears of a terrorist attack or a mass shooting" (per NPR reporter Lulu Garcia-Navarro, November, 2017). PARENTS MADE THE DECISION TO NIX THE TRIP. The parents pressured the school superintendent to cancel the trip – noting a myriad of safety concerns from active shooter to a vehicle jumping onto a walking path. The killing of 8 people by a motorist intentionally driving on a Manhattan bike path in October likely contributed to the parents’ fears and the October 1st Las Vegas mass shooting certainly was fresh in the adults’ minds. To his credit, district superintendent Jim Powell was tactful in his statements, but also expressed regret in the parents’ collective position as he stated he had taken his own family on a trip to Washington D.C. SENTINEL NATIONAL INCIDENTS CREATE MASS HYSTERIA AND CONVINCE PARENTS THE NATION IS NOT SAFE. When asked if he had to previously cancel a trip like this because of fears, superintendent Powell stated he recalled districts canceling trips right after 9/11/01. Lulu Garcia-Navarro pointed out that safety incidents can occur just about anywhere, whether in a small town or a big city. Her statement is interesting considering the November, 2017 mass murder at the church in tiny Sutherland Springs, Texas. Yes, these events can and do happen everywhere. Also, Washington D.C. boasts a strong police presence and its various public safety forces train diligently to promote safe environments for tourists. Furthermore, these students live 22 miles from Cleveland – which per several metrics I reviewed presents its own risks to personal safety. DENYING ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME EXPERIENCE FOR STUDENTS & THWARTING FUTURE RECONNAISSANCE. A statistical fact is that the students were as (un)likely to perish in a bus accident to /from DC as per being victims of an attack in DC. The odds were less than being struck by lightning. TEACH AWARENESS & LEARN SAFE TRAVEL TIPS. There are numerous reputable websites, as well as professional services, to help schools plan and carryout safe trips to the nation’s capital. Examples are https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/education and https://www.nationsclassroomtours.com/school-tours/school-trips-to-washington-dc Canceling this trip when there was not an imminent threat warning for DC sends powerful, and wrong, messages to youth. First, our nation’s capital is not safe, and hence, our nation is not safe. Second, you’re taking your lives in your own hands if you travel domestically or abroad. Third, forget about engaging in reconnaissance as a teen or young adult as America is simply too dangerous to explore without an armada. Learning how to be a safe traveler is an essential skill in our global economy. More than a trip to DC was taken from these students. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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To freeze or not to freeze (your credit), that is the question – and with entertaining prose, Dr. Perrodin, helps you measure the thorny considerations that will yield your noble answer in midst of the slings and arrows of outrageous fiscal fortunes. If you have a credit report, there's a good chance that you're one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation's three major credit agencies. David explains that the agencies are not extensions of the government and how locking credit now is a solid option (in his opinion). WHAT PERSONAL DATA WAS HACKED? Per Seena Gressin, Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC, The Equifax breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. And they grabbed personal information of people in the UK and Canada too. WHAT ARE CREDIT BUREAUS AND WHY DO THEY EXIST? There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion and they took root across the United States in the roaring 1920s. Credit bureaus were created to help lenders and creditors decide potential customers that were “credit worthy.” However, it was voluntary for businesses and government agencies to “share” individuals’ financial history with the bureaus. ARE THE CREDIT BUREAUS GOVERNMENT AGENCIES? Nope! It might surprise you to learn that none of the credit bureaus are federal agencies. In fact, they have no government affiliations whatsoever! These are private companies that collect information from creditors regarding your credit history. They sell this information to creditors and the data is used to determine if you are “credit worthy.” If you use little credit, meaning you have paid in cash, don’t have a stack of credit cards, or own your house, you might actually receive a subpar credit score as you haven’t “demonstrated” an ability to manage debt. Yes, as insane as that sounds, it’s an accurate summation of the punishment of fiscally conservative minimalists. SHOULD I FREEZE MY CREDIT? Probably. Check with valuepenguin.com for state by state information on how to freeze and thaw your credit and the associated fees. Expect to pay $30 to freeze your credit at the “Big 3” bureaus and you must deal with each on its finicky process to freeze and thaw credit. The benefit to a freeze is that someone won’t be able to take out a loan in your name – your risk for identity fraud drops. DOWNFALL TO FREEZING CREDIT. Most potential employers want to check your credit – so that requires you to thaw it, and then freeze it again – and there’s $60 down the drain. Now, apply for a car loan, and another freeze and thaw cycle. In fact, young job hunters can end up paying hundreds in freeze/law fees. By the way, the default setting by the “Big 3” is to have your credit open. I believe that the default should be to have frozen credit. Also, charging fees each time credit is thawed and the (re)-frozen seems like a scam. Oh, TransUnion’s stock price has increased 75% year-to-date and despite the Equifax fumble, its stock is down less than 8% in 2017. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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Subjective reality is “subject” to an elaborate set of filters, any one of which can modify a perception of that reality; sensory apparatus (e.g. the rods and cones in our eyes), sensory processing (e.g. the visual cortex), higher level brain function, and psychological factors (e.g. expectations). As such, what one person experiences is always different than what any other person experiences, but usually in subtle ways. SUBJECTIVE REALITY EXAMPLE. Two weeks of sunshine, high temperatures and no rain for many people is seen as desirable and good. The farmer however would like some rain in between times because otherwise his fields dry out, older people are not so happy with high air temperatures because it causes breathing difficulties etc. Who is being objective here? Obviously our assessment of the weather depends amongst other things significantly on what we want to do (swimming in an outdoor pool, working in the field, working in an office, travelling, resting etc.), upon our mood and our state of health. Exactly the same weather on a given day gives one person great pleasure and another one annoyance. EXPECTATIONS. A mental representation of an impending event relies heavily on information from past experience and, therefore, must incorporate information from brain regions associated with memory recall. The hippocampus is involved in neural processes supporting the retrieval of past memories and is reciprocally connected with the amygdala in a fashion that may support affective modulation of memory recall. Expectations of decreased pain profoundly reduce both the subjective experience of pain and pain-related brain activation. FILM / MEDIA INFLUENCE WHAT WE PERCEIVE AS REALITY. Kenneth Boulding (1956) did not write about how film influenced people's "images" but he did write about how messages change or fail to change the "images" people have of their world. "Images" are people's store of subjective knowledge about an event, person, or an experience. It is our overall image that determines our behavior. Boulding pointed out that any message has meaning to the extent that it can change our image. Messages often have a limited impact, particularly entertainment messages, and are interpreted as irrelevant to our image. Many messages can have a regularized impact, changing the image in a predictable manner. These types of messages serve to confirm existing beliefs and add detail to images we already hold. A message can also have a profound impact, changing the image in a revolutionary way. We can discover new facts, encounter new theories about why an event happened, and have our convictions about a past "truth" weakened. Historians feared radical change in what people thought about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, due to Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie, JFK, which promoted a conspiracy. Objective Reality & Consensus Reality. Objective reality completely exists independent of any conscious entity to observe it. It also is bound to the consensus requirement. For you to see a passing car and make it turn red just because you want to, would violate the color consensus that must be maintained for the other 1000 people that see that car drive by. In fact, there is nothing to say that the aggregate of conscious intents from all conscious entities fully shape the subjective reality. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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A person loses a loved one and smiles or laughs. Why? To the scientific eye, the seemingly misplaced humor manifestations reveal pain and regret. Dr. Perrodin explores popular theories of humor and demystifies the science behind laughter and discovers that laughter can be a formidable cognitive self-defense tool. This is known as Relief Theory. SNIPPETS OF LAUGHTER – EXAMPLES OF PYSCHOLOGICAL DEFENSE. Conspiracy theories are frequently peppered with video or audio snippets, separated from context, of persons who experienced a sentinel trauma such as losing a child or a spouse. Per Relief Theory, laughter is a normal human response to a situation that is starkly incongruent with everyday life. This biological coping mechanism is well-documented and also an affect that simply mismatches to the narrative. This may explain why some psychologists classify humor as one of the "mature" defense mechanisms we invoke to guard ourselves against overwhelming anxiety (as compared to the "psychotic," "immature," and "neurotic" defense mechanisms). Being able to laugh at traumatic events in our own lives doesn't cause us to ignore them, but instead seems to prepare us to endure them. WHY WE LAUGH – HOW LAUGHTER CAN HELP BUILD RESILIENCE. Dr. Perrodin describes the work of Alex Lickerman, M.D., who authored the book The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self Online: Happiness in this World (2011). “Interestingly, this same nervous laughter has been noted to occur in many psychological experiments when subjects have found themselves placed under a high degree of emotional stress specifically involving perceived harm to others. Perhaps the most famous of these experiments were those conducted by Stanley Milgram, who set out to discover why some people will blindly follow authority (the impetus being a desire to understand the behavior of soldiers in Nazi Germany). He brought in test subjects and asked them to deliver a series of increasingly powerful electric shocks to an unseen person (the "learner") to see just how much voltage they would deliver before refusing to continue. An astounding 65% delivered the experiment's final jolt of 450 volts, fully believing they were actually shocking the "learners." (It turns out, they weren't. The "learners" were members of Milgram's team playing a role.) In the paper he published on his experiment, Milgram made mention of several subjects who began to laugh nervously once they heard screams of pain coming from the unseen "learners," and suggested this was a phenomenon that deserved further study. BEING ABLE TO JOKE ABOUT A TRAUMATIC LOSS USUALLY REQUIRES THE HEALING DISTANCE OF TIME. Being victimized, for example, may make us suicidal when it first occurs, but with the passage of time we adapt to the loss and eventually may even find ourselves able to joke about it. What magic does the passage of time work on us that permits us to laugh at what once made us cry? Perhaps definitive proof that the alarm our loss raised when it first occurred was, in fact, "false." After all, we survived it and became happy again. WWII HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR VIKTOR FRANKL cited laughter as fundamental to preservation of his psyche. "Humor, more than anything else in the human makeup, affords an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.” FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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