Posts tagged: Psychology

Jessica Glazier, ’15

Elischberger, H. B., Glazier, J. J., Hill, E. D., & Verduzco-Baker, L. (2017). Attitudes Toward and Beliefs about Transgender Youth: A Cross-Cultural Comparison Between the United States and India. Sex Roles, 76, 1-19.

Abstract: Using an internet-based survey, we examined attitudes toward transgender youth in the United States and India, two cultures with differences in conceptualizations of gender and treatment of transgender individuals in society, law, and religion. We found generally positive attitudes toward transgender youth in our U.S. (n = 218), but moderately negative ones in our Indian (n = 217), sample. Consistent with the literature on prejudice against transgender adults in many Western societies, general social conservatism in the form of religious beliefs and political ideology, gender-specific conservatism in the form of gender binary belief, and endorsement of environmental rather than biological causes of transgender identity were the best predictors of U.S. participants’ attitudes, although personal contact with gender and sexual minorities also played a role at the bivariate level. These findings suggest that the processes underlying prejudice against transgender youth are similar to those that foster adult-directed transphobia in that cultural context. In contrast, religion-based disapproval and environmental causal attributions were the best predictors of Indian respondents’ attitudes, whereas gender binary belief played only a minor role, and political conservatism and personal contact no role at all. Our regression analyses accounted for considerably more of the variability in U.S. than in Indian participants’ attitudes, highlighting the need for additional (qualitative) work to identify the factors that promote transprejudice in India. We discuss these findings in light of cross-cultural differences between the two countries in terms of our predictors and consider implications for efforts to reduce prejudice against transgender youth.

Brandon Johnson, ’16

Wilson, W. J., & Johnson, B. A. (2016). Running Wheel for Earthworms. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 14(2), R25-R31.

Abstract: We describe the construction and use of a running wheel responsive to the movement of the earthworm. The wheel employs readily available, inexpensive components and is easily constructed. Movement of the wheel can be monitored visually or via standard behavioral laboratory computer interfaces. Examples of data are presented, and possibilities for use in the teaching classroom are discussed.

Jessica Glazier, ’15

Elischberger, H. B., Glazier, J. J., Hill, E. D., & Verduzco-Baker, L. (2016). “Boys Don’t Cry”—or Do They? Adult Attitudes Toward and Beliefs About Transgender Youth. Sex Roles, 1-18.

Abstract: The present survey study examined the attitudes of U.S. adults toward transgender children and adolescents, as well as their behavioral intentions, in two hypothetical scenarios involving gender variant youth. Participants recruited online (N = 281) reported generally favorable attitudes toward transgender minors, but expressed some hesitation to allow a transgender child to use the restroom aligned with their gender as opposed to their birth sex or to share a room with same gender peers on a school trip, possibly due to conflating gender identity with sexual orientation in these situations. Attitudes were less positive in respondents who reported a religious affiliation, conservative social political views, and stronger conformity to certain traditional gender norms—particularly in men. Even after controlling for these factors, stronger belief in environmental versus biological causes of transgender identity was linked to more negative attitudes. Participants’ behavioral intentions were driven partly by their attitudes and causal attributions, but also by their age and, at least for women, personal connections to the transgender community. We discuss implications for the discourse surrounding transgender youth and the need for educating the public on the development of gender identity as well as the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.

Erin Sovansky, ’13

Sovansky, E. E., Wieth, M. B., Francis, A. P., & McIlhagga, S. D. (2014). Not all musicians are creative: Creativity requires more than simply playing music. Psychology of Music.

Abstract: Musical training has been found to be associated with increased creativity. However, it is not clear whether increased creativity, particularly divergent thinking, is associated with music expertise due to knowledge and skill, or if increased creativity arises from participation in the creation of music through practices such as improvisation and composition. This study investigated how level of music expertise and engagement in the creation of music relate to divergent thinking in musically trained adults (musicians). Sixty participants of varying music expertise were tested for divergent thinking using a modified version of Guilford’s (1967) alternative uses task, in which participants listed creative uses for two music items and two non-music items. Results indicate that musicians who create music listed more creative uses for music items than non-musicians and musicians who do not create music. For non-music items, participants did not display differences in divergent thinking.

Blake Schuetz, ’13

Hill, E., Terrell, H., Arellano, A., Schuetz, B., & Nagoshi, C. (2014). A Good Story: Using Future Life Narratives to Predict Present Well-Being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1-20.

Abstract: The present research examined the predictive and nomological validity of a narrative method for assessing goals. College students (N = 337, 158 women, M age = 19.08) from a large, public university wrote short narratives about their best possible selves in the future, imagining that they had realized all of their life dreams. Narratives were coded in terms of the number of statements reflecting each of fourteen types of goals. Intercoder reliability was strong. With regard to predictive validity, intrinsic goals, particularly spiritual and intimacy goals were positively related to well-being. Extrinsic goals, power goals in particular, tended to be negatively related to well-being. With regard to nomological validity, the spiritual goals-well-being relationship was mediated by frequency of religious service attendance and self-report measures of religiosity. Interestingly, intrinsic goals were negatively related to life satisfaction. Results are discussed in the context of self-determination theory and the internalization of extrinsic motivations.

Nicole Ferrara, ’12, Amanda Blaker, ’12, Charisa Giddings, ’12

Wilson, W. J., Ferrara, N. C., Blaker, A. L., & Giddings, C. E. (2014). Escape and avoidance learning in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis. PeerJ, 2, e250.

Abstract: Interest in instrumental learning in earthworms dates back to 1912 when Yerkes concluded that they can learn a spatial discrimination in a T-maze. Rosenkoetter and Boice determined in the 1970s that the “learning” that Yerkes observed was probably chemotaxis and not learning at all. We examined a different form of instrumental learning: the ability to learn both to escape and to avoid an aversive stimulus. Freely moving “master” worms could turn off an aversive white light by increasing their movement; the behavior of yoked controls had no effect on the light. We demonstrate that in as few as 12 trials the behavior of the master worms comes under the control of this contingency.

Ryan Walker, ’12, Ori Shewach, ’14, Zach Kribs, ’15

Walker, R. J., Kribs, Z. D., Christopher, A. N., Shewach, O. R., & Wieth, M. B. (2014). Age, the Big Five, and time-of-day preference: A mediational model. Personality and Individual Differences, 56, 170-174.

Abstract: This research examined the extent to which the Big Five personality factors mediated the relationship between age and time-of-day preference. A sample of 491 Americans (M-age = 32 yrs) completed the 240-item NEO-PI-R, the 19-item Home and Ostberg’s (1976) Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ), and provided demographic information. As demonstrated in previous research, correlations revealed that older people expressed a stronger morning preference. More importantly, using bootstrapping procedures, it was found that the Big Five factor of conscientiousness attenuated the relationship between age and time-of-day preference. These findings indicate that conscientiousness plays a significant role in the relationship between age and time-of-day preference.

Haley Sztykiel, ’09

Brandt, A. E., Sztykiel, H., & Pietras, C. J. (2013). Laboratory Simulated Gambling: Risk Varies Across Participant-Stake Procedure. Journal of General Psychology, 140(2), 130-143.

Abstract: This study investigated whether risk taking on a laboratory gambling task differed depending on whether participants gambled with earned or experimenter-provided game credits. Participants made repeated choices between two options, one to wager game credits on a game that produced probabilistic gains and losses, and one to gain game credits with certainty. Choice was investigated across stake and no-stake conditions and condition order was counterbalanced across conditions. Risk taking was higher under stake than no-stake conditions, but only when stake conditions were experienced first. There was no effect on risk taking of the amount of the certain gain. Results are consistent with previous research showing that participant-stake procedures promote greater risk taking than procedures that allow participants to gamble with their own earnings, and also show that experience gambling with earned credits has an enduring effect on risk taking.

Kevin Zabel, ’09

Zabel, K. L., Christopher, A. N., Marek, P., Wieth, M. B., & Carlson, J. J. (2009). Mediational Effects of Sensation Seeking on the Age and Financial Risk-Taking Relationship. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(8), 917-921.

Abstract: The current study examined the potential mediating role of sensation seeking in the well-established negative relationship between age and financial risk-taking. A total of 299 participants, aged 17-90years, allocated hypothetical money into mutual funds that varied in risk and completed a sensation seeking measure. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed that the amount of variability age accounted for in risk-taking (4.1%; [beta] =-.22) was significantly reduced when sensation seeking was controlled for (0.8%; [beta] =-.12). A Sobel test revealed that sensation seeking fully mediated the aforementioned relationship. Results suggest sensation seeking’s role as a mediator in more physiologically arousing risk-taking contexts (e.g., surfing). Discussion recommends investigating potential biologically and cognitively-rooted mediators and moderators of the age and risk-taking relationship.

Liliane Saliba, ’07

Christopher, A. N., Saliba, L., & Deadmarsh, E. J. (2009). Materialism and Well-Being: The Mediating Effect of Locus of Control. Personality and Individual Differences, 46(7), 682-686.

Abstract: Previous research has established an inverse relationship between materialism and psychological wellbeing. To test the hypothesis that the link between materialism and well-being is due in part to an individual’s feelings of personal control, a sample of 440 adult Americans completed a widely-used materialism scale, the Levenson (1981) locus of control scales, and measure of positive and negative affect. Mediational analyses indicated that the significant relationship between materialism and negative affect was reduced significantly when powerful others and chance loci of control were each statistically controlled. Results are discussed with respect to the self-defeating cycle of using material possessions to boost affective well-being and in relation to other research that has explored reasons why materialism is related to lower level of psychological well-being. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keith Zabel, ’09

Christopher, A. N., Zabel, K. L., Jones, J. R., & Marek, P. (2008). Protestant Ethic Ideology: Its Multifaceted Relationships with Just World Beliefs, Social Dominance Orientation, and Right-Wing Authoritarianism. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(6), 473-477.

Abstract: To examine how different dimensions of the Protestant work ethic (PWE) are related to constructs indicative of conservative beliefs, 256 Americans completed an online survey including measures of PWE, belief in a just world, social dominance orientation, and right-wing authoritarianism. Multiple regression analyses revealed that the PWE dimensions of the belief that hard work yields desirable outcomes and anti-leisure predicted belief in a just world; the dimensions of centrality of work and anti-leisure attitudes predicted social dominance; and the dimensions of morality/ethics, self-reliance, anti-leisure predicted right-wing authoritarianism. We discuss how focusing on specific dimensions of PWE ideology, rather than a global score, enhances predictive ability and boosts understanding of relationships between PWE and other constructs. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keith Zabel, ’09

Christopher, A. N., Zabel, K. L., & Jones, J. R. (2008). Conscientiousness and Work Ethic Ideology. Journal of Individual Differences, 29(4), 189-198.

Abstract: Prior research on work ethic ideology has tended to neglect the multidimensional nature of such ideology. To examine how different facets of work ethic ideology may be rooted in the basic personality construct of conscientiousness, 299 Americans completed a 133-item online survey that contained six facets of conscientiousness and seven different dimensions of work ethic ideology. Multiple regression analyses revealed that the conscientiousness facets of dutifulness and achievement striving were the two most consistent predictors of seven dimensions of work ethic ideology. Subsequent dominance analyses suggested that achievement striving, followed by dutifulness, tended to predict the most work ethic dimensions. Discussion focuses on the theoretical importance of using work ethic dimensions rather than global work ethic scores in future research.

Mark Wojda, 07

Christopher, A. N., & Wojda, M. R. (2008). Social Dominance Orientation, Right-Wing Authoritarianism, Sexism, and Prejudice toward Women in the Workforce. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32(1), 65-73.

Abstract: This study examined how social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) were related to two different forms of prejudice against working women: employment skepticism and traditional role preference. Three hundred forty-nine American adults completed measures of SDO, RWA, employment skepticism, traditional role preference, hostile sexism, and benevolent sexism. Multiple regression analyses revealed that SDO accounted for significant variability in both employment skepticism and traditional role preference, and that RWA accounted for significant variability in traditional role preference. Mediational analyses suggested that hostile sexism attenuated the relationship between SDO and employment skepticism, and benevolent sexism attenuated the relationship between RWA and traditional role preference. Results are discussed with respect to different forms of prejudice against working women and how each one might be rooted in different ideological preferences.

Jordan Troisi, ’06

Troisi, J. D., Christopher, A. N., & Marek, P. (2006). Materialism and Money Spending Disposition as Predictors of Economic and Personality Variables. North American Journal of Psychology, 8(3), 421-436.

Abstract: This research explored the relationships between materialism and money spending attitudes on impulse buying tendencies, attitudes toward debt, sensation seeking, and openness to experience. Students and other adults (N = 266) completed a materialism scale, portions of two money conservation scales, an impulse buying scale, an attitudes toward debt scale, a sensation seeking scale, and an openness to experience scale. Simultaneous-entry multiple regression analyses revealed that materialism and money conservation were predictive of impulse buying, sensation seeking, and openness to experience. Two marginally significant interactions emerged. Individuals less materialistic and tight with money had particularly negative attitudes toward debt, and individuals less materialistic and loose with money were particularly open to experience. Results are discussed with respect to how materialism may be related to a variety of individual difference variables, both at the main effect level and in interaction with money spending attitudes.

Kendra Malcomnson, ’04

Malcomnson, K. M., Christopher, A. N., Franzen, T., & Keyes, B. J. (2006). The Protestant Work Ethic, Religious Beliefs, and Homonegative Attitudes. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 9(5), 435-447.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the Protestant Work Ethic (PWE) on negative attitudes towards gay men and lesbian women (homonegativity). The influence of religious beliefs and the notion of homosexuality as a choice were also examined in combination with PWE in regards to homonegativity. Previous research suggested that those who subscribe to the PWE have more negative attitudes towards societal out-groups (e.g., African-Americans). Thus, it was hypothesized that those with high PWE scores would display more homonegative attitudes. A significant correlation between PWE and homonegativity supported this hypothesis. Multiple regression analyses revealed that PWE interacted with religious beliefs, and religious beliefs interacted marginally with the idea of homosexuality as a choice. Those with high religious beliefs and who strongly believed that homosexuality was a choice were more likely to have negative attitudes towards homosexuals. The implications of these findings are discussed, with particular respect to reducing homonegative attitudes.

Kristopher Gauthier

Gauthier, K. J., Christopher, A. N., Walter, M. I., Mourad, R., & Marek, P. (2006). Religiosity, Religious Doubt, and the Need for Cognition: Their Interactive Relationship with Life Satisfaction. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7(2), 139-154.

Abstract: Previous research has found a consistent, negative relationship between holding religious doubts & mental well-being, & a small positive relationship between religiosity & mental well-being. To assess the interrelationship between religious doubt, religiosity, & need for cognition on life satisfaction, a survey was administered to an almost exclusively Christian sample of 192 Americans drawn from undergraduates & alumni of a small mid-western college, undergraduates from a small south-eastern college, & several churches from the metro-Detroit area. Zero-order correlations revealed relationships between religiosity & life satisfaction, as well as religious doubt & life satisfaction. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the three-way interaction of religiosity, religious doubt, & the need for cognition was predictive of life satisfaction. Significant two-way interactions also emerged for both gender & religiosity, & gender & religious doubt as predictors of life satisfaction. Based upon these findings, counseling applications are discussed, & the importance of probing for interactions in research on religious influences on well-being is espoused.

Ryan Morgan, Jordan Troisi

Christopher, A. N., Morgan, R. D., Marek, P., Troisi, J. D., Jones, J. R., & Reinhart, D. F. (2005). Affluence cues and first impressions: Does it matter how the affluence was acquired? Journal of Economic Psychology, 26(2), 187-200.

Abstract: To examine the effect of affluence source on person perception, 312 American undergraduates read one scenario that depicted either a man or a woman in one of six home settings: less affluent, affluent (source of affluence unspecified) or affluent, with affluence attributable to either promotions, entrepreneurial success, luck, or inheritance. Participants rated the scenario character on the Big Five Personality Factors and indicated their desire to have the character’s lifestyle. Multivariate analyses of variance and subsequent tests revealed that people who acquired affluence via external means (particularly inheritance) were perceived as less conscientious and open to experience than people who acquired affluence via internal means (particularly entrepreneurial success). Sources of affluence had no influence on preference for an affluent lifestyle. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Ryan Morgan and Maggie Keller

Christopher, A. N., Morgan, R. D., Marek, P., Keller, M., & Drummond, K. (2005). Materialism and Self-Presentational Styles. Personality and Individual Differences, 38(1), 137-149.

Abstract: To examine the images that materialistic people wish to convey, we first asked 177 participants to complete the Richins and Dawson (1992) materialism scale and an adjective checklist that assessed five self-presentational styles. In a subsequent experiment, we primed 210 participants to experience one of five self-presentational styles and asked them to complete a state materialism scale. We expected that materialists would tend to avoid supplication and ingratiation, but would self-promote and intimidate. Across both studies, results supported the supplication and ingratiation hypotheses, but failed to show any link between either self-promotion or intimidation and materialism. We discuss how personal insecurity may be a precursor to materialism. We also discuss future research avenues with respect to probing the interrelationship between materialism, insecurity, and self-presentational considerations.

Jessica Kruer

Anes, M. D., & Kruer, J. L. (2004). Investigating Hemispheric Specialization in a Novel Face-Word Stroop Task. Brain and Language, 89(1), 136-141.

Abstract: We examined hemispheric specialization in a lateralized Stroop facial identification task. A 2 (presentation side: left or right visual field [LVF or RVF]) × 2 (picture emotion: happy or angry) × 3 (emotion of distractor word: happy, angry, or blank) factorial design placed the right hemispheric specialization for emotional expression processing and the left hemispheric specialization for verbal processing in conflict. Faces (from Ekman & Friesen, 1976) and emotion words were briefly displayed, and participants responded with keypresses corresponding to the picture emotion. As predicted, greater Stroop interference in identification accuracy was found with incongruent displays of facial expression in the LVF and emotion words in the RVF, and females exhibited less Stroop interference. Reaction times were moderated by emotion and visual field.

S. Victoria Kuo, ’02, Kristen Abraham, ’03, Leonard Noel, ’03 and Heather Linz, ’02

Christopher, A. N., Kuo, S. V., Abraham, K. M., Noel, L. W., & Linz, H. E. (2004). Materialism and Affective Well-Being: The Role of Social Support. Personality and Individual Differences, 37(3), 463-470.

Abstract: To test the hypothesis that the established relationship between materialism and psychological well-being would be eliminated or significantly attenuated when controlling for social support, 159 American college students completed the Richins and Dawson (1992) materialism scale, the Cohen and Hoberman (1983) Interpersonal Support Evaluation List, and the Brief Measures of Positive and Negative Affect ( Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988). Two hierarchical multiple regressions found support for this hypothesis with respect to positive affect, but not with respect to negative affect. We discuss our results in relation to research on social support and to research that has explored reasons why materialism is related to lower levels of psychological well-being. Future research directions are also discussed.

Emily Dobbins

Christopher, A. N., Marek, P., Dobbins, E. M., & Jones, J. R. (2004). Three Decades of Social Psychology: A Longitudinal Analysis of Baron and Byrne’s Textbook. Teaching of Psychology, 31(1), 31 – 36.

Abstract: We analyzed the first 10 editions of Baron and Byrne’s social psychology textbook. Modeling our methodology on Griggs and Jackson’s (1996) longitudinal analysis of Hilgard’s (1953) introductory psychology text, we ascertained changes in objective features, content, and contributors and contributions to social psychology. Changes in objective features partially mirrored changes in introductory texts. Topical coverage of areas related to social cognition increased. A small core of classic publications emerged. We discuss findings in relation to other analyses of textbooks, journal content, and researcher eminence.

Rebecca Anderson

Anderson, R. A., & Otto, A. L. (2003). Perceptions of fairness in the justice system: A cross-cultural comparison. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 31, 557-564.

Abstract: Research comparing the adversarial and inquisitorial justice systems has consisted primarily of American participants reading descriptions of each system in their “pure” form, rather than descriptions that allow for the flexibility with which these systems are actually employed. In this study, participants from the Netherlands and the United States read short, realistic descriptions of each system and answered questions about the fairness of both procedures. Results indicated that while the adversarial system was rated significantly higher on the likelihood that all evidence will be presented, and the likelihood that both the victim and the defendant will get an opportunity to voice their cases, people showed a clear preference for their own system. This bias toward one justice system over another may be due to the cultural values reflected in each system.

Julia Ogg and Kami Marsack

Wilson, W. J., Ogg, J. A., & Marsack, K. Z. (2000).  Acute Ginkgo biloba facilitates decision-making in a working memory task in rats.  Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, 60, 511.

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