• 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.