• Personality Traits and Positive Reinforcement in Exercise

      Snarr, Jeffrey; Desrochers, Marcie; McNall, Laurel; Schaefer, Amy (2017-12-10)
      Obesity rates across college campuses are rising. Health habits, such as exercise, acquired during the college years tend to carry on through the rest of an individual’s life. The purpose of the current study is to identify the effects of positive reinforcement on success in exercise adherence for individuals displaying extraverted and neurotic personality traits. 16 volunteer participants ranging in age from 18-25 years from the College at Brockport were recruited. They completed surveys measuring behavior stages of change, exercise barriers/benefits and personality type. Participants then recorded exercise habits over an eight week period. Four of these eight weeks included positive reinforcement in the form of verbal praise for recorded exercise behavior as well as entry into weekly drawings for money. Analyses of main effects and interactions between personality type, positive reinforcement, and exercise behavior were calculated. Results indicated a significant increase in benefit scores following completion of the study. It is possible that by participating in the study, individuals were able to notice the benefits of regular exercise.
    • Rotational Preference in the Domestic Cat: Relationship to Temperament and Behaviors

      Michels, Jennifer L.; The College at Brockport (2010-02-07)
      Rotational preference, an animal’s preferred turning direction as it moves about with free choice, has been assessed in humans and rodents. Studies have shown that those with a right turning preference are more susceptible to developing learned helplessness, and less likely to act according to Gray's Behavioral Approach System than those who prefer to turn to the left. In the present study, rotational preference was assessed in twenty-nine adult male cats (Felis silvestris catus). Rotational preference was compared to the results of two assessments in a within-subjects design. The first was the Feline Temperament Profile (Lee, Zeglen, Ryan, & Hines, 1983) which was administered by the experimenter. The second was a Cat Behavior Questionnaire which was completed by the cats' owners. The proportion of right turns emitted by the cats was negatively correlated with the number of approach behaviors measured in the temperament test and behavior questionnaire (r = -.591, p =.001). This finding supports studies of rotational preference and behavior with other species, as well as the hypothesized neurochemical basis of reward-seeking behavior (Abwender & Pusateri,2005).
    • Schema Avoidance and Social Norm Application in Changing Attitudes Toward Affirmative Action Programs

      Knapp, F. Andrew; The College at Brockport (2008-05-01)
      The interpretation and implementation of affirmative action policies (AAPs) has had the effect of creating beliefs and attitudes concerning these policies that vary with personal experience, race, gender, and other factors. Since attitudes toward AAPs have been found to be especially difficult to change, it is important to understand attitudes and how to change them. Following Ajzen's (1991, 2005) Theory of Planned Behavior, two hypotheses were tested: first, the avoidance of schema activation (i.e., by assessing attitudes toward AAPs without calling them "affirmative action") results in more positive attitudes toward the goals and ideals of those policies, and second, for those without any firmly held beliefs concerning AAPs, the presence or absence of a social norm example will influence attitudes in the direction provided by the example. This study of 298 undergraduate students showed a significant relationship between attitudes toward AAPs (measured with two separate dependent variables: a semantic differential and a measure of justice) and presence or absence of the words "affirmative action." Results were mixed in the presence or absence of a social norm model, with significant results only seen in the groups where the term affirmative action was not used. These results suggest that attitudes toward affirmative action can be influenced by avoiding schema activation and that providing a positive norm model is ineffective in changing attitudes when the term affirmative action is used. Correlations were also found between attitudes towards AAPs and measures of knowledge of AAPs, as well as participants' intention to take some kind of action regarding AAPs.
    • Simple Reaction Time of Ipsilateral and Contralateral Hand to Monaurally Presented Tones of Different Pitch with Binaural White Noise

      Aitken, Peter G.; The College at Brockport (1974-01-01)
      This study hypothesized that reaction times to monaural auditory stimuli are shorter with the ipsilateral hand than with the contralateral hand under binaural white noise stimulation, and that ipsi- and contralateral reactions do not differ in the absence of white noise. The relationship between the ipsilateral-contralateral reaction time difference and the frequency of the reaction signal was also determined. In experiment I, 10 male undergraduate students each performed 20 ipsilateral and 20 contralateral reactions to each of 6 signal frequencies (400, 800,1200,1600, 2000, 2400 cps) under binaural white noise stimulation. In experiment II, 10 male undergraduate students each performed 20 ipsi- and 20 contralateral reactions, at one stimulus frequency, under white noise on and white noise off conditions. The results support both hypotheses ( p < .001), and also indicate that signal frequency has a significant effect on contralateral reactions· ( p < .001) but not on ipsilateral reactions. Close agreement was obtained with results of other callosal transmission studies, and support provided for the theory that the ear asymmetry effect is caused in part by the occlusion of ipsilateral auditory connections by contralateral ones. The results also suggest that the effect of signal frequency on contralateral reactions is related to the mechanism limiting the frequency at which binaural beats are perceived.
    • The Effect of Gaze on Romantic Relationships

      Brennan-Jones, Kelly; Snarr, Jeffrey; Forzano, Lori-Ann; Field, Norman D.; State University of New York College at Brockport (2016-05-24)
      Amount of eye gaze has been correlated with relationship quality in married couples. Also, experimentally manipulated eye gaze has been shown to positively affect evaluations of strangers. The field lacks, however, experimental research on the effect of eye gaze on relationship quality in couples. Here, research entails experimental manipulation of eye gaze in couples. It was hypothesized that eye gazing would lead to an improvement in relationship quality. Participants were 61 couples who had been together for at least one month. Participants engaged in a task of communicating different emotions to their partner, while either looking intently at each other or while being unable to see each other due to wearing glasses that were covered with tape to obstruct vision. After the partner exercise, participants completed a questionnaire about relationship satisfaction, love, passion, and intimacy. No significant improvements in the relationship variables were found, and possible reasons for this outcome are discussed.
    • The Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Feelings of Loneliness and Ruminative Thinking

      Brown, Melissa M.; Abwender, David A.; Snarr, Jeffery D.; Thamboo, Pradeep A.; The College at Brockport (2016-08-30)
      Loneliness is a very distressing experience provoked by perceived deficiencies in interpersonal social contact. In recent years, considerable attention has been oriented towards the transformative changes associated with the practice of mindfulness. Thus, many mindfulness- based interventions have emerged and demonstrated efficacy for ameliorating various forms of psychological distress. However, few studies have examined whether the therapeutic benefits are applicable for alleviating loneliness. Prior research has suggested that the mechanisms of change underlying mindfulness may occur via reductions in rumination, which has been implicated in prolonged feelings of loneliness. The present study concerns the effects of a randomized- controlled trial of Unstress II, a mindfulness-based group intervention on self-reported changes in mindfulness, rumination, and loneliness. Participants (N=82) were randomly assigned to either a treatment or wait-list control group, all of which were assessed at two time periods, pre- intervention and post-intervention. The results revealed that participants in the treatment groups reported significant increases in mindfulness in addition to reductions in rumination and loneliness from pre- to post-intervention in comparison to those in the wait-list control groups. The effect of the intervention on loneliness remained significant even after statistically controlling for self-reported depressive symptoms. The relationship between mindfulness and loneliness was partially mediated by rumination at both assessment times. Furthermore, the effect of the intervention on corresponding reductions in rumination was fully mediated by changes in mindfulness at the post-intervention follow-up. The limitations of the study and implications for future research are discussed in conjunction with the observed findings. Keywords: mindfulness, meditation, rumination, loneliness, psychological distress, intervention
    • The Effects of Self-Assisted Monitoring on Children's Recall Predictions

      Lipko-Speed, Amanda; Abar, Caitlin; Forzano, Lori-Ann; Stephan, Gina R.; The College at Brockport (2016-05-25)
      Young children consistently overestimate their judgments of how well they will perform on a picture recall task compared to their actual performance (Flavell, Friedrichs, & Hoyt, 1970; Lipko-Speed, 2013; Lipko, Dunlosky, & Merriman, 2009). Previous researchers have investigated ways to make children more aware of their actual abilities (Lipko-Speed, 2013; Schneider, 1998; Stipek, Roberts, & Sanborn, 1984). This study examines the influence of self-assisted monitoring on young children’s overconfidence. Specifically, children will monitor their own performance on a recall task with the help of an experimenter. Such monitoring is expected to lower children’s overconfidence in their future performance predictions on a recall task. 50 four- and five- year olds were randomly matched by gender to one of two groups: an experimenter monitored group or a self-assisted monitored group. All children participated in four trials of a picture recall task during which they made 2 recall predictions and 2 recall attempts per trial, each with different sets of pictures. The procedure for the experimenter monitored group was modeled after Lipko-Speed (2013). Specifically, after each recall attempt, children were told by the experimenter, who had been monitoring their recall, how many pictures they had correctly recalled. In the self-assisted monitored group, children (with some assistance) monitored the accuracy of their own recall attempts. Both groups lowered their predictions within and between trials, however their overconfidence persisted. Children’s overconfident performance predictions did not decrease within or between trials in either group. Hence, the implementation of this investigation’s self-assisted monitoring task did not aid in decreasing children’s overconfident judgment predictions on future tasks.
    • Timing Performance Error in Rewarded and Non-Rewarded Tasks

      Witnauer, James; Abwender, David A.; Snarr, Jeffery D.; Rhodes, L. Jack; The College at Brockport (2015-05-15)
      The literature on human and nonhuman animal interval timing disagrees about whether perceived time is a linear or power function of real time, and to what extent reward influences timing performance. Two competing computational learning and timing models, Temporal Difference (TD, Schultz, 2013) and Sometimes Competing Retrieval (SOCR, Stout & Miller, 2007) are reviewed. The present experiments investigate human interval timing error in both reward and non-reward conditions. The experiments were simulated by a computational model to identify both the function that describes the effect of interval duration on the distribution of variance (e.g., scalar or linear) and the relative predictive power of the SOCR and TD models, and the effects of reward on interval timing. Specifically, it was hypothesized that 1) timing variability is scalar, not linear, 2) that a modified SOCR model explains the data, and 3) that interval timing performance is less variable in rewarding situations than in non-rewarding situations. Timing trials involved the presentation of a reference duration; participants then produced their estimate of that duration while under cognitive load (random number generation and serial math tasks) through key presses on a computer. The results failed to support these hypotheses. However, reward produced a nonsignificant tendency towards early responding. Finally, suggestions for further research, including further computational modeling and investigation of the neural substrata of reward and timing are discussed.