Many people believe that holding a child back from a grade in effort to have them mature is a good idea. About 7% of six to eight year olds are retained and roughly 10% of twelve to fifteen year olds are retained a year, nationally. The main focus of the parents is to help the child out but what do they do not notice is that the effects only last a short period of time. After a while, the effects are detrimental to the child's long term schooling or life. According to Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, children rate retention as the third most horrible thing that they can imagine happening to them right behind losing a parent and going blind. After being held back, the child takes it to heart and it often hurts their self-esteem. The child is normally treated differently because they are seen as "stupid". But still, parents believe that holding their child back will make them more academically inclined. Many states in our country and also other countries around the world, have a literacy test in order to pass a grade. If the child does not perform well enough on the test then they are not at a high enough level to move forward. Giving a child a reward or punishment for their reading ability often shifts children's main focus from learning to merely avoiding the punishment.
There are different ways to aid a child that is performing below others. Retention only hurts the student emotionally and socially. Maybe the student will do well in the year following because they already completed the grade but a child that has been held back is 20% more likely to drop out of a high school. Other countries are also performing studies to see the benefits and downfalls of retentions. In Great Britain this practice is very uncommon because it has been deemed costly and ineffective. As time goes on the idea of retention should decrease after more and more studies are released and parents realize the true problems they are forcing their children into.
The popular media and self-help industry is rife with extraordinary claims. Alien experimentation, psychic detectives, mediums, ESP, extreme therapies and miracle products are all examples of how pseudoscience and the paranormal have become prevalent, popular and even an extremely lucrative enterprise. The majority of these examples defy the basic laws of science, logic and common sense yet they appeal to a large number of people. Here we will use science, specifically a psychological perspective to explore these popular theories and claims, and learn to think critically in order to be able to constructively evaluate them.