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Gloria has recently graduated college and started a new job. Her coworkers seem very nice, and Gloria has gotten to know Lakeisha and Reggie the best.
Reggie is a friendly older man who often talks about his plans for retirement in five years. He likes to make people laugh but often jokes about his struggles to learn new programs and technology.
Gloria and Lakeisha have been assigned to work on a project together. Lakeisha is very organized and has prepared a list of to-do items along with due dates. She even color-coded the list to indicate which partner will do each item. Gloria, who is more laid-back, feels a bit uncomfortable with this micromanaging from Lakeisha, who has only been at the job a few months longer than she has. Gloria wonders if Lakeisha thinks she is either lazy or stupid, and she does not look forward to working on this project. In the past, Gloria attempted to communicate her feelings with a co-worker; however, her coworker told Gloria that she needed to put her feelings aside and just do the work assigned to her. As Gloria ponders having a conversation with Lakeisha, she starts to feel overwhelmed and thinks she might have to ask to be removed from this project.
Still, she and Lakeisha have connected because they are both single mothers of teenagers. Gloria confides in Lakeisha about her 16-year-old son who has started making poor choices and is currently grounded for sneaking out of the house and getting drunk at a party the night before a big exam.
The company recently informed the team that there will be a compliance test on new safety policies, which employees will need to pass in order to keep their jobs. The company has provided materials to study as well as optional practice exams. Gloria and Lakeisha have signed up to take the first practice test. Reggie, however, jokes that he will probably wait until the night before the test to read the material. As the date of the test approaches, Reggie becomes increasingly nervous. He makes frequent comments about how hard it is for him to learn a different way of doing the jobs that he has been doing for years, joking that “you can’t teach an old man new tricks.”
1. Gloria’s son is making poor decisions. Given what you have learned about a) brain development and b) social development in Chapter 3:
Explain why Gloria’s son is making those poor decisions.
Discuss specific strategies Gloria can implement to help her son make better choices.
Use specific concepts related to development and self-regulation to explain why these strategies would be effective.
2. Reggie is demonstrating a fixed mindset. How is Reggie’s mindset affecting the way he prepares for the new compliance test?
Use brain plasticity (neuroplasticity) to explain how Reggie can start to develop a growth mindset.
Suggest study strategies for Reggie so that he will be prepared for the compliance test. Use specific concepts from Chapter 4 to explain why these strategies will be effective.
3. Consider Gloria and Lakeisha’s different approaches to the project. On which of the Big 5 personality traits do they most differ?
Give advice to Gloria on how she can use emotional regulation and cognitive reappraisal to work with Lakeisha.