Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

April 27 - May 1, 2015

Social and Behavioral Sciences Showcase: Poster Session

Date: Monday, April 27, 2015
Time: 9:30am - 11:30am
Location: Soiland Recreation Center
Description: Psychology, communication, criminal justice, and sociology students will present and discuss their original research in an interactive poster session. The featured research comes from honors theses, psychology master's and doctoral research projects, studies conducted for class assignments, and student-faculty collaborations.

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Student(s):
Samantha Abdelmessih
and Cesar Velazquez, Grace Alvarado

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ariana Young
Weight and Color’s Effect Upon Attractiveness


In this study, we explored the concept of attractiveness, though the driving forces of color of clothing and the weight of an individual. We believe that the weight of an individual will have an effect upon attractiveness but that the color red will nullify the level of attractiveness and cause weight to longer be an influencing factor. We took undergraduate students from California Lutheran University and exposed them to two sets of photos. The first set being two women in white, one heavy and one thin. The second set of photos being two women in red, one heavy and one thin. We then asked participants to rate each individual on a scale of 1-7 on their level of attractiveness. This research is important in that it may lead to investigating how individuals perceive attractiveness and how we may one day be able to shape our perception of beauty.

 




Student(s):
Marina Alvarez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Rafaela Fiore Urízar
Latinas in the Los Angeles Street Art Culture

As an exploration into the lives & works of the Latina graffiteras, muralists, and street artists of Los Angeles, this study is amongst the few that has highlighted this demographic. This study was initially undertaken due to the inspiration sparked by the Argentine female artist Pum Pum, whom managed to decorate the landscape that is Buenos Aires. The purpose of this paper is to acknowledge the existence, content, and recognition received by Latinas in the street art scene, as well as understand how their involvement in this realm of art contributed to the construction of their self-identity. Though this aspect was quantitatively immeasurable, the responses to series of interviews and analyses of their works provided insight as to how street art, graffiti, or murals became a critical tool to their self-expression. With the combination of fieldwork to various areas of Los Angeles, and extensive reading of the history and foundations of graffiti, this particular research study was made possible by personally interviewing the artists themselves. This study revealed that many of the women featured in it possess a great deal of agency in a highly male dominated field. They have overcame struggles in an environment that does very little to protect them, and thus define by their own terms what it means to be Latina, female, and most importantly, an artist.   




Student(s):
Ruth Arviso

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ryan Sharma
Acculturation and Health Outcomes Among Mexican Immigrant Fieldworkers.

A decline in health outcomes among Latino groups has been attributed to the process of acculturation to the U.S. culture. The Hispanic paradox refers to favorable health outcomes for immigrants to the United States who retain their traditional cultural practices. However, a cautionary criticism is made in that this paradox cannot be generalized to all foreign born Latinos. This study will explore whether less acculturated Mexican immigrants who maintain traditional cultural values (as measured by level of acculturation) have better health outcomes (as measured by health status) than more acculturated Mexican immigrants who adopt behaviors of the host culture. One possibility is that health resiliency is facilitated by a low level of acculturation. The data will be collected from local agricultural fieldworkers in the city of Oxnard. Fieldworkers will be invited through an announcement distributed at their worksite. Following collection of data among fieldworkers, a qualitative interview with a limited number of local fieldworkers will be included in the expectation that the qualitative data will enrich the information obtained. Participants will respond questions regarding sociodemographic variables, and complete surveys related to level of acculturation, overall physical health and mental health. By examining level of acculturation and perceived health, it is anticipated that higher acculturated immigrant fieldworkers will have worse health outcomes than less acculturated immigrant fieldworkers.




Student(s):
Rikke Bovre

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Kirstie Hettinga
Audience Analysis of The Echo

This study explores the readership of the student newspaper the Echo. Research shows that there is a general decrease in newspaper reading among young adults, but students still tend to gather around the campus newspaper for community news. In order to aid the student publication it is important to understand the readers' perception of the paper as well as explore what they prefer to read, and on what platforms they prefer to read the student publication. Preliminary findings of the survey (N=109) indicate that 36% of participants reported reading the Echo often or very often, and preferred to read news articles (n=31) and features stories (n=39); In general, participants preferred stories about Cal Lutheran events, issues and people (n=87). Findings also support that participants prefer to read the print version of the publication (n=75).




Student(s):
Lorna Bracken

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Attitude Towards the Deaf Community as a Function of Education and Empathy Level

The purpose of this study is to explore whether or not participants educated about the deaf community will express significantly higher openness towards the community than uneducated participants, as well as to assess whether the impact of education depends on a participant's preexisting empathy level. In a 2 (education) x 2 (empathy) factorial design experimental study, one of two educational paragraphs and the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ) were given to approximately 80 undergraduate college students. All participants had 30 minutes to complete the Background Questionnaire, read the paragraph and complete the TEQ. The placebo paragraph contained educational information about Assistive Communication; the treatment paragraph contained educational information about American Sign Language. The working hypothesis was that education about the Deaf community and a participant's level of empathy will interact significantly such that participants with higher empathy will demonstrate significantly higher openness towards the Deaf community after being educated, whereas participants with low empathy will not demonstrate a significant increase in openness towards the Deaf after being educated.




Student(s):
Robert Burns

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Andrea Sell
Aerobic Based Training and Memory Improvement

Aerobic exercise has long been proven to boast positive functional outcomes. Literature in this field is beginning to focus on the relationship exercise has with overall brain health. A critical component to this vitality is the effect exercise has on memory. This paper attempted to examine this relationship. What was found indicated that there is indeed a direct relationship between aerobic exercise and many processes involved in memory (encoding and retrieval and elements of working memory). The biological mechanisms involved were assessed and used as the cornerstone to this argument. The role BDNF plays in this process was deemed as monumental and a lot of time was devoted to evaluating the exact mechanism of this protein. The paper ended with some practical exercise suggestions. These exercise suggestions aid in improving overall memory. 




Student(s):
Robert Burns

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Andrea Sell
A literature Review on Aerobic Based Training and Memory Improvement

Aerobic exercise has long been proven to boast positive functional outcomes in a wide array of fashions. Literature in this field is beginning to focus on the relationship exercise has with overall brain health. A critical component to this vitality is the effect exercise has on memory. This review paper attempted to examine this relationship. What was found indicated that there is indeed a direct relationship between aerobic exercise and many processes involved in memory (encoding and retrieval and elements of working memory). The biological mechanisms involved were assessed and used as the cornerstone to this argument. The role BDNF plays in this process was deemed as monumental and a lot of time was devoted to evaluating the exact mechanism of this protein that is secreted in specific areas of the human brain during moderate to intense aerobic exercise. This literature review ended with some practical exercise suggestions that facilitate the produciton of BDNF. These exercise suggestions also aim to reduce the effects of encoding specificity (via diversifying context while encoding) and proactive interference. 




Student(s):
Robert Burns

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Julie Kuehnel
Increasing Mobility In a Person with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

As part of the Clincial Practicum, an attempt to increase the independence (via increased mobility) of an individual with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy took place. The behavioral deficits that were focused on for the intervention were the inability to sit up and walk unassisted. These deficits greatly hinder this individuals ability to adaptively function to almost all facets of daily life.These behaviors have been targeted because they act as gateway motor functions. Targeting these specific overt behaviors also provides a tremendous outlet to increase the amount of aerobic based exercise that this individual be exposed to. Aerobic based exercise has many positive coorelates to overall all brain health. In specific, aerobic exercise holds the capacity to increase the secretion of the protien BDNF in the human brain. This protien is essential in the preservation of existing neurons and the creation and differentiation of new ones in certain areas of the human brain (areas that are pivatol for executive processing and motor functioning). With this in mind, an intervention plan was created and implemented to accomodate the use of aerobic based techniques used to treat individuals with Ataxic Cererbral Palsy. The results of this intervention plan focused soley on the functional motor outcomes. However, the hope was that attempting to increase the level of motor functioning would cause a direct increase in the strength of neural networks. Ensuring the internal validity of this measure was beyond the scope of my research. 




Student(s):
Natalie Calcagno

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Impact of Facial Expressions on Perceived Approachability

The purpose of the study was to examine the differences in extroverts’ and introverts’ perceptions of neutral and happy facial expressions. In a 2 (character’s facial expression) x 2 (participant’s extraversion) factorial design experimental study, one of two vignettes and an introversion scale were given to approximately 80 undergraduate college students. All participants had 15 minutes to complete the Background Questionnaire, read the vignette, and answer the introversion scale. Vignette 1 contained a character with a happy facial expression and Vignette 2 contained a character with a neutral facial expression. It was hypothesized that the character’s facial expression and the participant’s extraversion will interact significantly, such that for a neutral facial expression, approachability will not differ for introverts and extroverts; whereas for a happy facial expression, extroverts will find the neutral face less approachable than the happy face.




Student(s):
Adrian Castellon

Faculty Mentor:
Ms. Amy Johansson
Defense Mechanisms Within Short Stories

Defense mechanisms have been interpreted as unconscious mechanisms that protect an individual from painful emotions, ideas, and drives (Vaillant, 1992). Some defense mechanisms have been known to be present with people with antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. Some significant defense mechanisms that have been seen in both of the personality disorders are splitting (Siegel, 2006), projection, and denial (Gabbard, 2014). This presentation will analyze the use of defense mechanisms within people with Antisocial Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder particularly focusing on the fictional characters in Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories: “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”. This analysis is especially important because the protagonists of these short stories represent society’s seemingly average people with antisocial and narcissistic tendencies and the relations of the abuse of defense mechanisms.




Student(s):
Ricardo Cornejo

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Relationship Between Time Spent Watching Television and Perceived Self-Esteem

The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in males’ and females’ perceptions of self-esteem. In a 2 (time spent watching television) x 2 (participant gender) factorial design experimental study, one of two vignettes and a self-esteem scale were given to approximately 80 undergraduate college students. All participants had 15 minutes to complete the Background Questionnaire, read the vignette, and answer the self-esteem scale. Vignette 1 described a college student who watched a lot of television and Vignette 2 described a college student who watched very little television. It was hypothesized that a character’s perceived time spent watching television and participant gender will interact significantly. Characters described as watching a great deal of television will be perceived to be lower in self-esteem than characters described as watching little television; however, this difference will be more pronounced for female than for male participants.




Student(s):
Rachael Cortina

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Julie Kuehnel
Locus of Control, Loneliness, and University Adjustment: A Path Analysis

This study explores the link between Locus of Control and college adjustment with feelings of loneliness as a mediator.  The hypotheses are fourfold, wherein (1) Freshmen with an internal Locus of Control will have higher scores on adjustment; (2) High feelings of loneliness will be related to low scores of adjustment; (3) Freshmen with an external Locus of Control will report higher levels of loneliness; and finally, (4) Greater loneliness will mediate externals’ lower scores on adjustment.  Participants took surveys on their Locus of Control (Rotter, 1966), adjustment to college (Baker & Siryk, 1989), and loneliness (Russell, 1996).  Data will be analyzed using a path analysis.  The interplay between loneliness, locus of control and college adjustment would be instrumental in the strengthening a freshman’s college experience by helping to better develop counseling for college freshmen, freshmen orientation, freshmen-specific classes, and relationships between freshmen and faculty of the university.




Student(s):
Sharon Cuff

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mindy Puopolo
Leaving or Staying in IPV Relationships: Identifying Contributing Factors

A serious public health problem in American society is intimate partner violence (IPV). When one person is victimized by another, some leave the relationship, and others stay with their partners.  Research has indicated there are many factors that may contribute to a victim’s decision to either stay with or leave an abusive partner. Some external factors that influence a victim’s decision include economics, marital status, or education level. Some internal factors that influence a victim’s decision include attachment pattern, psychological symptoms, and addictive behaviors. The purpose of this study is to examine factors that differentiate women who successfully leave violent relationships from those who do not. This is a mixed methodologically designed study, using archival data. Participants were clients in the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Program at a university based counseling center north of Los Angeles county. This study utilized data from a self-report measure, a semi-structured interview, and a demographic intake form.  This study will inform clinicians of factors that contribute to the victim’s decision to stay or leave. As clinicians become aware of these factors, they may help victims with more effective intervention strategies to decrease ongoing violence.




Student(s):
Katherine East

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
A Participant's Independence, Character's Success, and Perceived Attractiveness

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between a male’s perceived success and his perceived attractiveness. In a 2 (high or low success) x 2 (participant’s independence) experimental study, vignettes were presented to approximately 80 undergraduate female college students. All participants had 15 minutes to read the paragraph and complete the rating scales to assess perceived attractiveness as well as to assess participant’s independence. Both vignettes shared the same picture and vignette, except that Vignette 1 described the male’s financial income as $40,000 a year and Vignette 2 described it as $140,000. It was hypothesized that an individual’s perceived financial success and participant’s independence will interact significantly such that high financial success will appear more attractive than low financial success by participants with low perceived independence; whereas participants with high perceived independence will not base perceived attractiveness on an individual’s financial success.




Student(s):
Elisa Escobar

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Julie Kuehnel
Increasing Verbal Engagement in a Person with Autism

As part of the Clinical Practicum, a behavior intervention was used to treat a child with low-functioning Autism. This mental and social impairment is diagnosed in younger children, often between the ages of four and five. The main behavior deficits of this disorder include lack of reading social cues and lack of responding to these social cues, such as social smiling, little to no attention, and little to no verbal communication. Techniques were implemented to increase the quantity of words used when making a request while decreasing the quantity of prompts needed. Reinforcement was made contingent on the child using increasing numbers of words to make requests. Progress was measured by documenting the number of words used by the child and the number of prompts needed, gradually increasing the former and decreasing the latter.




Student(s):
Patrichia Fahmy
and Marylie Gerson, Emily Glossbrenner, Sabrina Mullen

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Predictors of Resilience and Thriving

There are several important factors that may serve as viable predictors of resilience and thriving. Two in particular are spirituality and social support. With this study our aim was to discover whether spirituality and social support differentially function to promote resilience, on the one hand, and thriving, on the other hand. Eighty-one undergraduates from California Lutheran University completed questionnaires online to assess their spirituality, perceived social support, resilience, and thriving. Participants ranged from 18 to 34 years of age (M = 20.74, SD = 2.55) and were primarily female (77.8%, n = 63) and Caucasian (70.4%, n = 57). Years in college were widely represented and a variety of majors participated. A personal sense of spirituality was the sole significant predictor of resilience, adjusted R-square = .08, F(1,75) = 7.75. p = .007, with a small to medium effect size. A personal sense of spirituality was a significant predictor of thriving as well, adjusted R-square = .23, F(1,76) = 224.12, p < .001, with a medium to large effect size, but an overall sense of social support significantly added to the prediction, change in R-square = .09, change in F(1,75) = 9.43, p = .003, with a medium effect size We were able to confirm the importance of spirituality in regards to resilience, as well as the importance of both spirituality and perceived social support in regards to thriving.  Further research is needed to explore how various aspects of spirituality and social support impact both strength and happiness.




Student(s):
Patrichia Fahmy
and N/A

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jodie Kocur
Parental Acceptance and Rejection, Gender and Shame

Previous research has found an association between feeling rejected by one’s parents and feelings of shame. The current research is designed to investigate this relationship while also addressing the question as to whether or not the acceptance of one parent acts as a moderator between the rejection of the other parent and feelings of shame. This study will also add to the current literature by exploring how parental behavior impacts internalized versus externalized shame. In addition, gender differences regarding the experiences of both types of shame will be examined. Approximately 150 undergraduate students at California Lutheran University will complete questionnaires online for extra credit in their courses to assess their perceptions of both their father and mother as rejecting or accepting and their feelings of shame. Participants will include students in all years in college and a variety of majors. The effects of having a rejecting parent on student internalized and externalized shame will be assessed. In addition, the study will explore whether having one accepting parent moderates this relationship. The study will also explore whether gender acts as a moderator. It is predicted that gender will moderate the relationship with maternal rejection having a stronger relationship with daughter’s shame and paternal rejection having a stronger relationship with son’s shame and that females will show more internalized and externalized shame than males.




Student(s):
Chelsea Feller

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jodie Kocur
Perceptions Regarding College from Adolescents with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

Given recent research which indicates that a growing number of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are moving on to higher levels of education, it is important for colleges to discover how to best support students with ASD and for students with ASD to properly prepare for college. The present study aimed to better understand the feelings that individuals with High Functioning ASD have about attending college. Gaining insight into how these individuals feel about college and a better understanding of the challenges that a student with High Functioning ASD might face in the college setting will give valuable information to all those working to help these students transition successfully into post-secondary education. Seven male students with High Functioning ASD (ages 17-25) who were planning to attend college completed a fifteen minute interview regarding their perceptions of college. Students discussed when they started considering college, colleges they were considering and why, excitement and concerns about college, and their goals for college. A majority of participants started thinking about college in early high school and hoped to attend a 4 year university with a supportive environment. Prominent concerns regarding college were socializing and managing their time to handle the work load. A majority of participants reported being excited about the opportunity to learn more about their particular field of interest. Other prominent college goals included making friends and getting a degree.




Student(s):
Ryan Fleming

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sharon Docter
Islamic State’s Recruitment Success

The Islamic State (ISIS) has established itself as a global terrorist threat. However, ISIS has separated themselves from other high profile terrorist organizations through their recruitment tactics and ability to appeal to a wider audience. They have utilized more current communication strategies that have effectively bolstered recruitment in both the middle east and Western countries. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the ways in which ISIS’ communication efforts have led to their success in recruiting members. My methods include case studies that analyze their recruitment process as well as a content analysis of ISIS recruitment videos. The content analysis focuses on aspects of their tactics that appeal to the needs of recruits, justification of their actions, the deactivation of self-inhibiting norms, countering claims of authority, and legitimizing their own actions. 




Student(s):
Michael Gerson
and Joelle Georgeff, Torrey Fernandez, Kala Randazzo, Rose Haworth, Marylie W. Gerson, PhD

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Viewing Magic as a Tool to Enhance Social Functioning in Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Theory of mind involves how people come to appreciate the perspectives of others as distinct from their own point of view—an ability believed to differ for those on the Autism Spectrum and neurologically typical (neurotypical) people. How ambiguous situations with unexpected consequences, such as magic demonstrations, impact people cognitively and emotionally may have implications for theory of mind. A research team of graduate and undergraduate CLU faculty and students are conducting a 3-phase research project involving magic presentations as tools to engage and assess patterns of interpersonal attention in young adults, with an eventual goal of developing methods to help build theory of mind in those on the Autism Spectrum. In Phase 1, we are developing and videotaping magic presentations that vary in type, props, and patter themes to present to Autism Spectrum (target) and neurotypical (control) groups. In Phase 2, participants will view the presentations while being monitored by new technology for visual tracking and heart rate variability and will complete self-report measures, to explore whether there are differing visual attention patterns and interests for target and control groups. In Phase 3, participants will be taught magic as a method to encourage social interest and reciprocal interactions with others. A follow-up examination of eye tracking patterns and measures of interest will provide information on the effectiveness of this intervention. This project was made possible by a generous donation from the Community Leaders Association to purchase a state-of-the-art eye-tracking device.




Student(s):
Emily Glossbrenner
and Sabrina Mullen, Patricia Fahmy, Dr. Marylie Gerson

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Differential Predictors of Thriving for Extraverts and Introverts

Both spirituality and perceived social support are well-established predictors of well-being in adults, but findings for their relative importance varies across studies. We examined whether their relative importance may be impacted by individual factors. Extraverts are typically portrayed as relatively sociable and introverts as more inwardly focused. We predicted that thriving would be best predicted by perceived social support for extraverts and by spirituality for introverts. Ninety seven undergraduate (94%) and graduate (6%) students at California Lutheran University completed questionnaires to assess their extraversion, spirituality, perceived social support, and thriving. Participants ranged from 18 to 46 years of age (M = 21.74, SD = 4.59) and were primarily female (78.4%). Ethnicities included Caucasian (66%), Hispanic/Latino (18%), Asian/Pacific Islander (6%), African American (4%), and Other (6%). Years in college were widely represented and a variety of majors participated. For extraverts, perceived social support from family was the strongest predictor of thriving, adjusted R-square = .26, F(1, 42) = 16.36, p < .001, with a large effect size. For introverts, self-discovery spirituality was the strongest predictor of thriving, adjusted R-square = .27, F(1, 42) = 16.65, p < .001, with a large effect size. As hypothesized, thriving for extraverts was best predicted by perceived social support and for introverts by spirituality. More research is needed to explore how spirituality and social support relate to thriving and resilience, as well as the possible impact of other individual factors in identifying predictors of well-being.




Student(s):
Rose Haworth

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Julie Kuehnel
Clinical Intervention for 7-year-old client with Autism Spectrum Disorder

As part of my Clinical Practicum Capstone, I am designing an intervention for a 7-year old boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder whose behavioral difficulties have interfered with his home life. After taking several weeks of baseline data, I will be implementing a token economy reinforcement system in order to increase the target behavior of attentiveness.  Token economies are highly structured and allow for desirable target behaviors to be reinforced consistently.  I will measure the number of total requests made throughout the shift and count tallies for those he responds to. The data will be converted into a percetage to provide a relative measure for the behavior. Baseline, intervention, and post treatment data will be taken and compared to one another to measure improvement. The goal of this intervention is to significantly improve the attentiveness of the client so he responds to requests without latency. 




Student(s):
Lindsay Hunter
and Dalee Jung, Nikolay Kanaev, Emilia Podsadniak, and Ale Posada

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Monica Gracyalny
Tension Between Honesty and Desirability: College Students' Perceptions of Users' Honesty on Tinder

With easy access to the Internet through the use of cell phones, computers, tablets and more, it is no surprise that many day-to-day interactions occur online versus face-to-face. Relationships are created and terminated via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and various online dating forums. With the lack of face-to-face interaction, Internet users are faced with the problem of presenting an honest and desirable representation of themselves on online dating sites. The purpose of this study is to investigate college students’ perceptions of users honesty on Tinder, a free online dating app that allows people of all ages to meet and interact with new people. This research is important because the perception of honesty is vital for uncertainty reduction and relational development, especially in potential romantic relationships. An online survey was administered to 94 undergraduate students. Several independent variables including sex of participant, sex of Tinder profile user, self-reported honesty of participants and more were tested to investigate college students’ perceptions of honesty online. This study highlights people’s perceptions of others’ deception in online dating profiles as well as their own self-reported deceptive behaviors. Furthermore, it highlights the profile characteristics that Tinder users are the most and least honest about. Results indicate that most Tinder users believe others are not honest in their profiles; however, users considered themselves to be honest in their personal profiles. These findings are consistent with past research on perceptions of honesty in online dating forums.
 




Student(s):
Tiersa Jones

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Perceived Anxiety Level based on Relationship Status and Gender

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between participants’ perceived anxiety levels about the future after graduation, relationship status, and gender.   In a 2 (character’s relationship status) x 2 (character’s gender) factorial design experimental study, one of four vignettes and a questionnaire were given to approximately 80 undergraduate college students.  All participants had 15 minutes to complete the Background Questionnaire, read the vignette, and respond to a questionnaire.  Vignette 1 described a female college student in a relationship; Vignette 2 described a male college student in a relationship; Vignette 3 described a female college student not in a relationship; Vignette 4 described a male college student not in a relationship.  It was hypothesized that romantic relationship status and character’s gender will interact significantly such that the male character’s romantic relationship status will be perceived by the participant to not have an effect on level of anxiety while the female character with a low romantic relationship status will be perceived by the participants to have a higher level of anxiety than the female character who has a high romantic relationship status.




Student(s):
Jill Kane

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sharon Docter
Influence of Television on Perceptions of Female Gender Norms

Using both cultivation theory (Gerbner, 1976) and social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1982) as a foundation, this project will examine the potential effects of television on viewers’ perceptions of gender norms. Because the social identity theory indicates that social groups are important to the forming of personal identity, this study seeks to explore if depictions of women on television can affect individuals’ perceptions of how women should act. The purpose of this study is to investigate the differences between perceptions of female gender norms depending on exposure to traditional female roles or nontraditional female roles on television shows. There are two hypotheses for this study: (1) Women who are exposed to depictions of traditional female gender roles in entertainment programming are more likely to hold traditional gender roles values; (2) Men who are exposed to depictions of women in traditional gender roles in entertainment programming will not be affected by these depictions. The data will be collected through an online study, which includes an experimental manipulation and survey questions. Participants will watch randomly-assigned video clips depicting either traditional or nontraditional female roles. Participants will then complete a modified version of the Sex Role Behavior Scale (Orlofsky, 1982), and indicate hours of television watched per day and actual television consumption. The results will be analyzed using t-tests.




Student(s):
Ashlee Klap
and Kathrine Frank; Aaron Graef; Kira Stafford

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ariana Young
Sleeping Beauty’s Influence on Self-Esteem across Gender

Disney’s adherence to gender roles in their princess movies has caused concern regarding the message sent out to the general public and its effects on self-esteem. The present research is designed to assess the effects of exposure to traditional gender roles on self-esteem. Additionally, we seek to determine if there are any gender differences in these effects. Participants will be randomly assigned to either the control group, which will view gender-neutral clips from Disney’s Fox and the Hound (1981), or the experimental group, which will view gender-biased clips from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (1959). Following, participants’ state self-esteem (Current Thoughts Scale; Heatherton & Polivy, 1991) will be assessed. We predict a main effect of video type, such that those who watch the gender-biased clips will report lower self-esteem than those in the control group. We do not expect a difference in self-esteem between men and women across the control and experimental groups. Moreover, we expect to find a video type X gender interaction. Specifically, we hypothesize that women exposed to a Disney princess movie will hold lower self-esteem than women not exposed; conversely, men exposed to a Disney princess movie will display higher (or the same) self-esteem than men not exposed.




Student(s):
Shelby Lee

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Body Satisfaction in Relation to Magazines with Thin Models

The purpose of this study was to examine the level of body satisfaction in men and women in regards to viewing thin models in magazines. In a 2 (number of thin models in magazine) x 2 (participant gender) factorial design experimental study, one of two magazines and a scale to measure body satisfaction were given to approximately 80 undergraduate college students. All participants had 15 minutes to complete the Background Questionnaire, look through the magazine, and answer the body satisfaction scale. Magazine Condition 1 had many images of thin models; Magazine Condition 2 had almost no images of thin models. It was hypothesized that the number of thin models in a magazine and the participant's gender will interact significantly such that women will have lower body satisfaction when viewing magazines with a high number of thin models than when viewing magazines with a low number of thin models, whereas men's body satisfaction will not differ by condition.




Student(s):
Gwendolyn Lopez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Julie Kuehnel
Increasing Social Interaction in a Person with Early Onset Dementia and Multiple Sclerosis

 In the Clinical Practicum, behavior modification methods were used to increase the social behavior of an individual with early onset Dementia and Multiple Sclerosis.  Though early onset Dementia combined with Multiple Sclerosis is a somewhat rare diagnosis, the social deficits a person faces with this diagnosis can have major ramifications.  The individual may experience severe depression and is at risk of deteriorating faster. To help with this behavioral deficit, Skinners interval training was used initially, followed by other shaping techniques with the overall goal to engage this individual in center activities and with individuals. Progress was measured by recording the frequency and length of socialization involvement.
 




Student(s):
Gwendolyn Lopez
and Corina Wolf

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ariana Young
Helping Others: Gender Differences and Perceived Danger

Previous research has sought to better understand under which conditions people will decide to help others (Darley & Latane, 1968). The present research aims to add to this body of literature and examine the effects of one’s gender and the perceived danger of the situation on willingness to help others in need. In this study, participants will read a scenario about a person who is having car trouble on the side of the road. Participants will either read that it is late at night in an unsafe part of town or that it is mid-day in a safe part of town. Next, participants will indicate their likelihood of helping the person in need. We predict that there will be a main effect of perceived danger, such that participants will be more likely to help in the safe situation compared to the unsafe situation. We also predict that there will be a main effect of gender, such that men will be more likely to help compared to women. Moreover, we expect to find a perceived danger X gender interaction. Specifically, we expect that women and men will be equally likely to assist in a safe situation; however, we expect that men will be more likely to help in unsafe situations compared to women.
 




Student(s):
Willard McGonagill
and Kurtis Gruoner, Morgan Press

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ariana Young
The Impact of Workspace Clutter on Conscientiousness 

Previous research indicates that the arrangement of personal possessions is an accurate indicator of personality (Gosling, Ko, Mannarelli, & Morris, 2002). We set out to examine if exposure to specific possession arrangement (control, neat, or cluttered) will affect personality traits. The purpose of this study is to examine the possibility of a reverse effect based on the research of Gosling and his colleagues. We will expose participants to one of three workspace conditions. The control condition will consist of a clear desk. The neat condition will consist of a desk with a few organized items such as a stack of papers, a stapler, and some pens. The cluttered condition will consist of a desk covered in disorganized papers, pens, and other items. Participants will then take a personality inventory measuring conscientiousness and attempt an essay correction task. This task will consist of a simple informative essay with a set number of common grammatical errors. We will conduct a one-way ANOVA to determine if there is a main effect of workspace condition on conscientiousness. We predict that the "neat" group will show the highest levels of conscientiosness, while the "cluttered" group will show the lowest. We predict the control group will fall in between. 




Student(s):
Gina Merry
and Alexis Newberry, Madison Jaramillo, Nicole Deleon

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ariana Young
The Effects of Body Position and Income Level on Women’s Perceived Attractiveness

Previous research demonstrates that women in powerful occupational positions experience backlash, which is defined as social and economic consequences for breaking stereotypical roles (Rudman & Phelan, 2010).  Additional research has focused on the effects of power poses, demonstrating that high power poses lead to favorable physiological, behavioral, and psychological changes (Carney, Cuddy, & Yap, 2010). The current study seeks to combine these two lines of previous work and examine the effects of women’s body positions and occupational status on their perceived attractiveness. In this study, participants will be shown a picture of a woman, accompanied by information about her income (indented to indicate her occupational status). Participants will be randomly assigned to see the women in a high power pose or a low power pose and as having a high income or low income. Following, participants will rate her attractiveness. We predict that the women in high power body positions will be rated as less attractive compared to low power positions. We also predict that those with a higher income will be rated as less attractive compared to those with a lower income. Moreover, we predict that women in high power body positions who have a higher income will be perceived as especially low in attractiveness. In other words, we expect physical and social displays of power to amplify the negative consequences experienced by women.




Student(s):
Lauren Mills

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Morris Eagle
Methods for Evaluating Competency to Stand Trial: Standardizing the Process

In a review of forensic articles, the research sheds light on several different methods to evaluate competence to stand trial (CST).  However, it does not hone in on one standardized process.  The various methods described are inconsistent and do not align to create one standardized method.  An extensive, more in depth review of various competence assessments will be conducted to formulate and propose 2 to 3 suggestions that might serve as a standardized process for evaluating competency.  Once these proposals are developed, I will ascertain the opinions of expert consultants on CST and include their feedback on each formulation in the final documentation.




Student(s):
Sabrina Mullen
and Kirsten Hagen, Akemi Inugay, Dylan Pehrson

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ariana Young
Major Tunage: The Effect of Music on Typing Skills

Many people enjoy playing music in the background while they are working or studying. But picking the right type of music may lead to better productivity through improving typing accuracy and speed. The goal of the current project is to determine which type of music (classical or metal) and volume level (loud or soft) will help people perform better on typing tests. In this experiment, participants will be randomly assigned to classical or metal music at either a loud or soft volume level. As they listen to the music, participants will take 2 minute typing tests that will measure words typed per minute and overall typing accuracy. We predict that there will be a main effect of music type, such that participants will have better typing outcomes when listening to classical music compared to metal music. We also predict that there will be a main effect of volume level, such that participants will have better typing outcomes when the music is soft compared to loud. Moreover, we predict a music type X volume level interaction. Among participants who listen to soft music, those who listen to classical will perform better on the typing test than those who listen to metal; however, among participants who listen to loud music, those who listen to classical will perform the same as those who listen to metal. In other words, we expect that the positive effects of classical music will be eliminated when the music volume is loud.




Student(s):
Lauren Neiger
and Morgan Flynn and Torrey Fernandez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ariana Young
The Effects of Context and Narrative Perspective on Perceptions of Violence

An individual’s perception of apparent violence can influence their reactionary behaviors, thus understanding what can affect this perception could have a large impact on our understanding of the outcomes of the aforementioned reactionary behavior. The present study will aim to investigate the effects of context and narrative perspective on perceptions of violence. Participants will be asked to read a scenario about a fight. Specifically, they will either read about the fight in an expected context (i.e., boxing) or unexpected context (i.e., classroom). In addition, they will either read the scenario in first-person or third-person. Following, they will be asked answer questions regarding their perception of violence in the scenario.  We expect to find a main effect of context, such that participants will rate violence as more severe in the unexpected context compared to the expected context. We also expect to find a main effect of perspective, such that participants will rate violence more severe in the first person narrative perspective compared to the third person narrative perspective.  Moreover, we expect the results to reveal a context X narrative perspective interaction, such that participants who read a scenario about violence in an unexpected context and in first person narrative perspective will show especially enhanced ratings of severity.We will conduct a two-way ANOVA to test our hypotheses. 
 




Student(s):
Lauren Neiger
and Samantha Roberts, Ryanna Morua

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Andrea Sell
Critical Thinking and it's Implications on the Acceptance of New Scientific Information

Critical thinking is defined as the self-disciplined process of reasoning, which entails observing, analyzing, and evaluating information, for the purpose of guiding beliefs and actions. This is a necessary skill for higher education in order to utilize effective communication between scholar and reader. Currently, the scientific community struggles to communicate works that have been peer-reviewed and scientifically accepted to the public, due to the public attributing “critical thinking” to “skeptical thinking”. For example, the public is highly critical of topics like vaccinations, global warming, and evolution, despite significant scientific results to support claims of their relative findings. We believe that the public is highly critical because they do not fully understand the scientific meaning behind these studies. Therefore, we expect participants who do not understand a scientific article to write more sentences that criticize the article. Twenty-two undergraduate students enrolled in various psychology courses were given a scholarly article from Psychological Science and asked to respond in an open-ended paragraph. These responses were later coded to determine a ratio of “criticizing” sentences to “non-criticizing sentences”. Participants were given comprehension questions to quiz their objective knowledge of the article, in addition to four 1-7 scales ranking their self-perceived believability of the article, easiness to read the article, easiness to understand the article, and interest in the article. Ultimately, we found no significant correlation between number of critical sentences and perceived understandability of the article, as we hypothesized.




Student(s):
Ellen Nichols

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Mindy Puopolo
The Influence of Affect Regulation on Paradoxical Performance Effects or Choking in Sports

Paradoxical performance effects or choking under competitive pressure is the occurrence of inferior performance despite the athlete’s striving for superior performance.  Traditional Sports Psychology has focused on the athlete’s conscious mental strategies that contribute to the psychological upset experienced by the athlete and affect the athlete’s resilience to choking.  Unlike previous research on affect regulation and choking, my research explores defense mechanisms (unconscious awareness) and coping style (conscious awareness) as they relate to an athlete’s resilience to paradoxical performance effects in sports.  The objective of the research is to determine if specific coping styles and defense mechanisms correlate with an athlete’s resilience to paradoxical performance effects, hence allowing the athlete to maintain composure under pressure, rely on muscle memory, regain control of their performance, and limit the occurrence of choking during competition.  Based on my previous thesis research, it is hypothesized that the research findings will demonstrate that higher scores on the sport avoidance dimension will correlate with lower scores on the choking composite.  A correlational design was chosen for this study to investigate the relationships among the constructs of coping style and defense mechanisms in relationship to choking frequency.  A linear regression analysis will be performed to examine the effects of various coping styles and defense mechanisms on frequency of self-reported choking experience.   Additionally linear regression analysis will be performed to examine the construct of alexithymia, in an attempt to investigate a potential relationship between frequency of self-reported choking experience, coping styles, and defense mechanisms.




Student(s):
Alicia Nunez

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Andrea Sell
Forgetting as a Cognitive Mechanism of Forgiveness: Studying Directed Forgetting in Older Adults

Intentional forgetting is forgetting information on purpose (MacLeod, 1998). Often, it involves limiting details of a memory from coming into awareness (Levy & Anderson, 2002). Previous research suggests that intentional forgetting is useful in the forgiveness process (Sell, under review; Noreen, Bierman, and MacLeod, 2014). However, previous research has only examined this process in younger adults. Older adults, on the other hand, are known to have trouble with tasks that rely on inhibition, including intentional forgetting (Hasher, Zacks, and Radvansky, 1996).  The current study explores the ability of older adults to use intentional forgetting in the forgiveness process. Thirty adults over the age of 65 read two short stories. Each sentence was followed by a forget or remember cue. Midway through each story, an antagonist perpetrated a conflict. This target sentence was either followed by a (F) or (R ) cue. After the story, participants were asked how likely they would be to forgive the antagonist. Findings revealed that the forget and remember cues did not produce increased forgiveness [b= -0.11, SE= 0.32, t(18)= -0.36, p= 0.72].  However, forgiveness scores predicted whether or not participants remembered the conflict sentence [b= -0.89, SE= 0.33, t(18)= -2.69, p= 0.02]. Perhaps, for older adults, intentional forgetting does not produce increased forgiveness, but forgiveness can influence the availability of an offending memory trace. While low power is a limitation in this study, overall these findings support the hypothesis that older adults are less able to use intentional forgetting in the service of forgiveness. 




Student(s):
Claire Palmer

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Perceived Relationship Status, Social Media Use, and Self-Confidence

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between a character’s perceived self-confidence, relationship status, and social media use. In a 2 (perceived relationship status) x 2 (perceived social media use) factorial design experimental study, one of four vignettes and a short questionnaire were given to approximately 80 undergraduate students. All participants had 15 minutes to complete the background questionnaire, read the vignette, and answer the short questionnaire. Vignette 1 described a person in a relationship who exhibits high social media use; Vignette 2 described a person in a relationship who exhibits low social media use; Vignette 3 describes a person not in a relationship who exhibits high social media use; Vignette 4 describes a person who is not in a relationship and exhibits low social media use. It was hypothesized that social media and involvement in a romantic relationship will be perceived to significantly interact such that a character who is described as using social media and in a romantic relationship will be perceived as least confident.




Student(s):
Sarah Parsons

Faculty Mentor:
Ms. Amy Johansson
Dissociative Identity Disorder and its Effects

This paper will discuss the concept of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), including the different symptoms and treatments, and examine case studies of people who have been diagnosed with the disorder. The purpose of this study is to explore the effect that this disorder has on individuals and to better understand it.. Based on past literature, DID is a disorder in which two or more different identities are taken on by a person. This disorder usually results from a childhood trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse. To cope with the abuse, the individual uses dissociation, so that it seems as if they are not experiencing the abuse, but someone else is, since they take of multiple identities. The different identities can include differences in gender, sexuality, beliefs, etc. A person with DID may experience other symptoms as well, such as anxiety, depression and often suicidal thoughts, and hallucinations. Various case studies of people who have been diagnosed with this disorder will be studied to see how they are affected and what treatments they received. This paper will discuss which symptoms are most prevalent in patients and which forms of treatments have been shown to work best. The importance of knowing whether a person shows symptoms of DID and how to interact with these individuals whether you are a relative, friend, or psychologist will also be discussed.




Student(s):
Paige Pensivy
and Myriah Brennan

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ariana Young
The Willingness to Help: Examing the Role of Current Mood and Age of the Person in Need

 
Previous research has examined many factors that contribute to a person's willingness to help others in need. The purpose of this study is to examine if a person’s mood and the age of a person in need will affect willingness to help. Participants will first be randomly assigned to receive a piece of candy (i.e., positive mood condition) or not (i.e., neutral mood condition). Next they will read a vignette about a person in need. The vignette will always be the same; however the accompanying pictures will differ by condition. Specifically, one picture will be of a young boy and the other an adult man. Participants will then rate their willingness to help the individual in need. We predict that participants in a good mood will be more willing to help than those in a neutral mood. We also predict that participants will be more willing to help the young boy compared to the adult man. Moreover, we expect that participants in a neutral mood will be more willing to help the young boy than the adult man. However, participants in a happy mood will be equally likely to help the young boy or adult man. In other words, we expect any differences in helping based on age of the person in need to be eliminated when the participant is in a good mood. 




Student(s):
Jacqueline Ramsay
and Kathryn Lundi, Natalie Cicekci, Dr. Jodie Kocur

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jodie Kocur
Perceptions of The College Skills Program from Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Currently, there is a growing body of literature regarding the transition to post-secondary education for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  The current study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of The College Skills Program (CSP), a 2 week program designed to address various college skills that have been identified as possibly challenging for students with ASD.   The program included 6 sessions which each targeted specific social, communication, and behavioral skills related to various aspects of university life, such as time-management, utilizing disability support services, meeting with professors and office staff, and taking care of mental and physical health.  The program was offered twice, with 5 participants completing the first program and 7 participants completing the second.  The participants were juniors or seniors in high school, with one exception, and were all males.   After the program, program assistants interviewed the participants regarding their experience.  Interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed for themes. Results indicated that the majority of the participants reported that the program made them feel more prepared, excited about and/or less anxious about college.  Participants found the session about time-management and the session with the current college students with ASD to be the most helpful and the sessions with the campus offices to be the least helpful. Recommendations for changes to the program based on feedback from the participants and the program assistants, limitations of the study, and implications for future research are discussed.
 
 




Student(s):
Alexandra Rasmussen

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
The Perceived Impact of Water Consumption on Weight

The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in males' and females' perception of the impact of water consumption on weight. In a 2 (amount of water consumption) x 2 (participant gender) factorial design experimental study, one of two vignettes and a questionnaire were given to approximately 40 undergraduate college students. All participants had 15 minutes to complete the Background Questionnaire, read the vignette, and answer the questionnaire. Vignette 1 described a young woman drinking one water bottle a day; Vignette 2 described a young woman drinking three liters of water a day. It was hypothesized that perceived water consumption and a participant's gender will interact significantly such that women will expect that an individual who consumes more water to weigh less than an individual who consumes less water, whereas men's expectations about weight will not differ based on perceived water consumption.




Student(s):
Nicole Richards

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Attitudes Towards a Cleaning Product

The purpose of this study was to examine how personal consensus and impersonal consensus affect decision making. In a 2 (personal consensus) x 2 (impersonal consensus) factorial design experimental study, one of four vignettes and a questionnaire were given to approximately 80 undergraduate college students. All participants had 15 minutes to complete the Background Questionnaire, read the vignette, and answer the questionnaire. Vignette 1 presented high personal consensus and high impersonal consensus regarding the quality of a cleaning product. Vignette 2 presented high personal consensus and low impersonal consensus. Vignette 3 presented low personal consensus and high impersonal consensus. Vignette 4 presented low personal consensus and low impersonal consensus. It was hypothesized that personal consensus and impersonal consensus will interact significantly such that readers will not support a product with low impersonal consensus whereas they will support a product strongly when both types of consensus are high and less so when only impersonal consensus is high.  




Student(s):
Kevin Schultz

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Druann Pagliassotti
Turning Gojira into Godzilla: Post-Colonial Adaptation of a National Icon

The adaptation and modification of the Japanese film Gojira (Honda, 1954) for American audiences provides a window into how a film steeped in symbolism relevant to a formerly occupied nation is absorbed and revised by the occupier to distance itself from its role in the occupation and alter the film’s messages to fit its own national interests. To prove that the Godzilla American audiences are familiar with is a drastically different representation from the original Japanese creation, an analytical timeline was traced, beginning with the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan’s subsequent occupation by American forces. These two events factor heavily into the symbolism of Gojira, which was examined as a postcolonial work. The American adaptation Godzilla, King of the Monsters (Morse, 1956) was then scrutinized to observe how its reframed narrative and numerous edits eliminated crucial elements of the symbolism used in the original Japanese version, thus absolving Americans of guilt. The results of this reworking were seen in the Hollywood remake Godzilla (Emmerich, 1998), which almost completely reworked the titular monster to be devoid of Japanese connections and instead symbolize American ideology. This project shows one way in which the occupier in a postcolonial relationship may commandeer a work native to the occupied country and retool it to fit the occupier’s interests.




Student(s):
Sheneka Sheppard
and Christina Hunter

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Ariana Young
The Effects of Red and Tattoos on Women’s Perceived Attractiveness

Previous studies have shown that men find women wearing red (vs. other colors) to be more attractive (e.g., Elliot, Tracy, Pazda, & Beall, 2013). We seek to determine if tattoos also impact men’s rating of women’s attractiveness and whether this might influence the effects of red on attraction. In this study, participants will view a picture of a woman in a bikini. Participants will be randomly assigned to see the women in either a red or white bikini. Additionally, the woman in the picture will either have numerous tattoos or no tattoos. After viewing the picture, we will ask participants to rate the attractiveness of the woman in the picture. Consistent with previous research, we predict that participants will rate the woman in the red bikini as more attractive than the white bikini. In addition, we predict that participants will rate the woman with tattoos as less attractive than the woman without tattoos. Moreover, we predict when the woman is wearing white, participants will rate the woman with tattoos as less attractive than the woman without tattoos; however, when the woman is wearing red, participants will rate the woman with tattoos as equally attractive as the woman without tattoos. In other words, we expect that the negative effects of tattoos on attractiveness will be eliminated when the woman is wearing red. 




Student(s):
Annie Stein

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Julie Kuehnel
Decreasing Latency Issues with Technology and ADHD

In the 21st century technology has a very active role in a child’s life but, when does technology get in the way of completing other important tasks? As part of my Clinical Practicum Capstone I designed a Behavioral intervention for a child with Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Auditory Processing Disorder. The goal is to decrease the amount of prompts for task completion in children with ADHD when technology is present. This research presents a case study of one client who has been formally diagnosed with ADHD and auditory processing disorder. The client had difficulty completing tasks and needed 6-10 prompts for each task. When she was on her cell phone or computer, it could take up to 20 prompts for task completion. The patient was asked to place technology in a basket and used positive reinforcement for each task completed. In addition, the client had to repeat prompts back to the speaker twice.




Student(s):
Jessica Talley

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
The Relationship between Level of Art Difficulty, Stress, and Perfectionism

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the difficulty level of an art project, stress, and perfectionism. In a 2 (Difficulty of project) x 2 (Level of perfectionism) factorial design experimental study, one of two color by number art pages, a stress questionnaire, a question on the difficulty of the project, and a Perfectionism Inventory Scale were administered to approximately 80 undergraduate college students. All participants had 15 minutes to complete the Background Questionnaire, complete a single art page, and complete the measures. Art page 1 was a simple color by number page with only a few large, circular shapes; Art page 2 was a difficult color by number page with many smaller geometric shapes. It was hypothesized that the difficulty level of an art project and the level of perfectionism of the participant will interact significantly such that a perfectionist will score higher on stress if working on a difficult art project than if working on an easy art project, whereas a non-perfectionist will score low on stress when working on either project.
 




Student(s):
Madison Taylor

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Perceived Loneliness as a Function of Personality and Time Spent on Campus

The purpose of this study was to examine differences between introverts and extroverts on perceived loneliness of a character who spends much or little time on campus. In a 2 (personality type) x 2 (time spent on campus) factorial design experimental study, one of two vignettes, an introversion scale, and loneliness questionnaire were given to approximately 50 undergraduate college students. All participants had 15 minutes to read the vignette, and to complete a background questionnaire, the introversion scale, and the loneliness questionnaire. Vignette 1 described a student who does not spend much time on campus and Vignette 2 described a student who spends much time on campus. It was hypothesized that time spent on campus and participant's introversion or extroversion will interact significantly such that participants who are introverted will perceive a character to be high in loneliness regardless of time spent on campus; whereas participants who are extroverts will perceive higher loneliness for a character who spends little time on campus than for a character who spends more time spent on campus.




Student(s):
Cesar Velazquez
and Kimberly Kuretich

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Andrea Sell
Implicaton of Spatial Representation of Time on Decision Making    

In this study, we explored the idea that underlying spatial representations of time influence perception of future decisions. Thirty-seven participants wrote out a list of decisions they foresaw themselves to need to make in the future. They then prioritized each decision, and noted the time (one month, one day, etc) at which they would need to make the decision. Participants then drew a simple sketch to represent each of their decisions. A paired sample t-test was run to compare the area of each picture for the earliest decision to the latest decision, and for the first priority compared to last priority. There was a significant difference in areas of the pictures drawn for the earliest decision and the latest decision, such that pictures drawn to represent earlier decisions were larger than pictures drawn to represent later decisions. There was no significance in area of drawing between the first priority and their last priority decision. Thus, these results support the idea that decisions that need to be made sooner, rather than later, are perceived as “larger” in the mind’s eye, independent of how important the decision is deemed to be by the participant. This research is an important first step in investigating how the spatial representations of time impact how we view, and subsequently make, decisions.
 




Student(s):
Courtney Vendetti
and Dr. Julie Kuehnel

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Julie Kuehnel
Decreasing Homework Latency in a Child with a Focus Deficit

As part of the Clinical Practicum, behavioral modification procedures were used to treat a child who has difficulty focusing when doing homework. Difficulty getting homework started is very common among middle school youth.  Since my client gets distracted easily, starting homework is a challenging task; sometimes even hindering academic performance. A token economy was implemented to decrease my client’s latency when starting his homework. Reinforcements were dependent on the child starting his homework in a timely manner. Progress was measured by recording a baseline of how long it took the child to start his homework after the first prompt. After the intervention was implemented I continued to document the time it took for the child to start his homework after a desirable token reinforcement program was established.     




Student(s):
Octavio Villa

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Perceived Autonomy in Business Environments of Low Commission and High Commission Structures

The purpose of this study was to examine the difference in males’ and females’ perceptions of autonomy in low commission structures and high commission structures. In a 2 (commission structure) x 2 (participant gender) factorial design experimental study, one of two vignettes and a perceived autonomy scale were given to approximately 80 undergraduate college students. All participants had 15 minutes to complete the Background Questionnaire, read the vignette, and answer the perceived autonomy scale. Vignette 1 described a relationship with low set annual salary wage and high commission; Vignette 2 described a relationship with high set annual salary wage and low commission; both equaled in total pay. It was hypothesized that a commission structure and the participant’s gender will interact significantly such that males will perceive autonomy to be higher for a non-commission structure than for a commission structure, whereas females will rate both structures similarly. 




Student(s):
Kendahl Waalk

Faculty Mentor:
Amy Johansson
Does Time and Reward Decrease Off-Task Behavior in the Classroom?

The insight that one’s motivation might give to their personality is important for people to better understand what it is that motivates individuals. Valuable information can be gathered to help better motivate students to become successful. The following study explored how the amount of time and presence of an incentive impacts behavior. It was predicted that presence of an incentive and a short amount of time would show significantly less off-task behavior than any other conditions present. Seventeen undergraduate Psychology students were placed into one of four conditions in which they were asked to take a multiplication test. Following the test, the participants were given a behavior questionnaire regarding their ability to concentrate during the timed test. Results showed that the hypotheses were not supported and there was no significant main effect between the two independent variables (amount of time and reward) and off-task behavior. However, there was an interaction between a large amount of time and no incentive. The presence or absence of an incentive did not make a difference in the study. Although incentives showed to play a small amount in the results, one can conclude that motivation is still beneficial to understanding different types of personalities. Further research regarding a larger sample size, different incentives, and a variety of tests given to the participants, could support many discrepancies in the study that were at hand.
 




Student(s):
Alex Wardle
and Dr. Monica Gracyalny

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Monica Gracyalny
Communication, Leadership, and Winning Percentages in College Sports Teams

This study investigates how communication competence and leadership relate to winning percentages in collegiate team sports. Past research suggests that communication and leadership are essential factors in team cohesion and players’ perceptions of team performance; however, their effects on objective performance outcomes (such as percentages of wins/losses) have not been studied. The purpose of this research is to examine communication and leadership in college sports teams to learn how they relate to objective team performance. Anonymous survey data was collected from three athletic teams at California Lutheran University: Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Soccer, and Men’s Football. Players reported their perceptions of team communication frequency and quality, as well their experiences with various leadership behaviors of coaches and student leaders, both on and off the field. Winning percentages were obtained from team websites. Correlation analyses revealed significant positive relationships between both frequency and quality of communication between players and coaches on and off the field and winning percentages. In addition, perceptions of student leaders’ motivational, instructional, and administrative leadership behaviors were positively related to winning percentages. Perceptions of coaches’ motivational, instructional, administrative, and personal/relational leadership behaviors positively related to winning percentages. Results suggest that both frequency and quality of communication, as well as the perceived leadership behaviors of student leaders and coaches are associated with objective team performance in college sports.




Student(s):
Lauren Witman

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marylie Gerson
Resilience in a Physical Rehabilitation Setting

When people are removed from their regular routines and abilities as a result of a physical trauma or the development of a negative physical or medical condition, coping becomes difficult, not only because of the changes that have occurred in the body, but also because of the person’s resulting psychological condition. Increasing resilience is incredibly important when trying to avoid depressive symptoms and increase satisfaction with life. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an educational program on improving resilience in this setting by teaching about explanatory style. This program was three weeks long for each participant and involved three separate lessons in explanatory style, one week apart, as well as interactive worksheets to help internalize the content. Pre and post tests were conducted using such measures as a background questionnaire, an impairment checklist, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, the self-developed Explanatory Style Questionnaire, and an engagement assessment in order to be able to look at resilience, thriving, and use of explanatory style before and after the program.




Student(s):
Ashlyn Yetter

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Julie Kuehnel
Increasing Desirable Behaviors in an Adolescent with ADHD

As part of the Clinical Practicum, behavior modification procedures were used to treat an individual with mild Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. This common childhood disorder can continue through adolescence and into adulthood. One behavior deficit sustaining the irritable/elevated mood was difficulty staying focused. Positive reinforcement techniques were implemented to increase the frequency and duration of focused behavior. Progress was measured by documenting the frequency and duration of successful graduated approximations to the desired goal.