• Edge detection using parallel ant colony optimization with Hadoop MapReduce: implementation and scalability

      Papesca, Michael (2017-05)
      The Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is a popular optimization algorithm that finds use in multiple application areas. Though not among the common uses of this algorithm, edge detection in image analysis is a very functional application of this meta-heuristic. To improve the edge detection capabilities, the inherent parallel nature of the ACO method can be combined with the distributed computing framework provided by the Hadoop/Map-Reduce infrastructure. The latter provides a simple, scalable and fault-tolerant distributed processing paradigm that has been popular in industry and the academic community. In this thesis, we explore the Elastic MapReduce service provided by Amazon Web Services to implement ACO algorithm for edge detection in images, and study its scalability and effectiveness by standard metrics. In addition, we demonstrate a filtering technique to reduce the noisy background of images to achieve significant improvement in the accuracy of edge detection.
    • The effect of a values affirmation intervention on perceived threat of genetically modified organisms

      Marvelli, Cari L. (2017-09)
      By self-affirming core values, individuals appear to be able to assess threatening information more objectively and less defensively (Cohen et al., 2000; Correll, 2000; Steele & Liu, 1983). In spite of a scientific consensus on the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), cognitive and affective constructs known to influence information processing seem to combine to produce a perception of threat, resulting in negative attitudes toward GMOs (Blanke et al., 2015), which can lead to disruptions in research and development related to this biotechnology (Lucht, 2015). The present study attempted to show that threats associated with GMOs would be buffered using a Values Affirmation (VA) intervention. It was further hypothesized that correlations would exist between a) trust in sources and information (TISI) and pre-test GMO attitudes, b) conspiracy ideation (CI) and pre-test GMO attitudes, and c) CI and TISI. It was further hypothesized that CI would predict a significant amount of variance in post-test GMO attitudes. Eighty individuals participated in either an in-person or online version of the study. An ANCOVA revealed that the VA intervention did not significantly affect individuals’ post-test GMO attitudes. However, correlation and regression analyses supported the latter hypotheses. This study was unable to support previous research on the effectiveness of the VA tool in diminishing threat perceptions of a controversial scientific technology, but it did suggest that both CI and TISI are significantly associated with GMO attitudes.
    • The effect of emotional states on theory of mind

      Holmberg, Patrick (2018-08)
      The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of emotional state on Theory of Mind, or the capability of someone to make inferences about the thoughts, intentions and emotions of other people. This was done by manipulating participants' emotions via a film mood induction procedure and having participants complete the Faux Pas Task, which assesses Theory of Mind. This task has a general score, as well as sub scores for both Cognitive and Affective Theory of Mind. The moods induced were sadness, happiness, anger, and fear. It was hypothesized that participants induced with a sad and fearful mood would have a more accurate General Theory of Mind, as well as a more accurate Cognitive and Affective Theory of Mind compared to participants with a Happy or Angry mood. It was hypothesized that cognitive processing styles associated with these emotions would drive this effect. Four One-Way Analyses of Variance were run analyzing the effects that emotional states and cognitive styles have on performance on Theory of Mind Tasks, which yielded no statistically significant effects. Thus, the hypotheses were not supported. A Pearson Product moment correlational analysis revealed that scores on the Cognitive Reflections Task were negatively correlated with scores on the Faux Pas Task, which suggests that participants primed with a heuristic based intuitive cognitive processing style performed better on a measure of General Theory of Mind. The conclusion of this study is that the evidence suggested that emotional states influenced cognitive processing style, while little evidence supported the link between emotional state and theory of mind.
    • The effect of macrocultures and microcultures on visual perception

      Heimbender, Emily (2015)
      Culture is defined as the social transmission of ideas, arts, knowledge, and languages (Mish et al, 1993; Pickett et al., 2006; Jewell & Abate, 2001). Psychological research often overlooks small distinct cultures such as Deaf and Video Game cultures by focusing on macro-level categorizations. The current literature review assesses both macrocultures and microcultures in terms of different aspects of visual perception. Differences in optical illusion perception, peripheral vision and motion processing, spatial, and facial perception among people from typical mainstream cultures and Deaf and Video Game cultures are discussed. It is argued that the more immersed and involved in a culture an individual is, the more experience he or she gains with certain events and activities. Culture thus informs perceptual, cognitive, and countless other experiences. Future studies are recommended to further examine how microcultures affect different psychological and physiological processes.
    • The Effect of Music Therapy Techniques in a Coping Skills Group for Individuals with a Dual Diagnosis of Mental Illness and Substance Dependence

      Davis, Adrienne (2010-03-18)
      The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of the use of music versus non-music treatment conditions in a coping skills therapy group with individuals who are dually-diagnosed with a mental illness and substance-related disorder. In order to assess the effectiveness of the music therapy procedures, a comparison was made between the non-music condition (passage selection and reflection from a book of daily readings for individuals with addiction and emotional/psychiatric illnesses) and the music condition (song choice and lyric analysis from a packet of songs created by the researcher). The participants consisted of eight individuals (M=5, F=3), dually diagnosed with a mental illness and substance-related disorder. Data was obtained through weekly surveys which assessed various factors such as level of enjoyment, accomplishment, and helpfulness in each session. The participants’ attendance, passage/song selection and the number of times they offered advice/insight to other group members was also recorded. A concurrent schedule/alternating treatments single subject experiment design was employed for this study. The participants served as their own control under two conditions: coping ability with music (song selection and lyric analysis) and coping ability with no-music (passages from a book). Participants rated both the music therapy techniques and passage selections effective, resulting in very similar scores under all of the variables except one. The extent to which the issues of chemical dependence were discussed during the sessions was rated by participants as statistically significantly higher under the music condition. During the music condition sessions, group attendance was also significantly higher than in the non-music condition sessions.
    • The effects of family patterns on social anxiety and differentiation in emerging adulthood

      Colucci, Janine (2007-01-18)
      This research examined the relationships between family patterns, differentiation, and social anxiety. Cohesive, conflictive, and expressive patterns of family interaction were examined within a sample of 98 undergraduate students (M = 21 years). Differentiation was measured in terms of current residency of students, as measured by miles that students live from their families of origin and the amount of contact students have with their families. Although the specific hypotheses of this research were not supported, results indicated a relationship between expressive and cohesive family interactional patterns and a negative correlation between cohesive and conflictive family patterns. Significant differences emerged among white and minority families involving the amount of conflict and cohesion experienced in the family system. Implications are discussed.
    • Effects of Geographical Upbringing and Intergroup Contact on Racial Attitudes

      Prisco, Janine M. (2010-03-18)
      The repercussions of racism can range from ignorance and neglect to injury and even death. Ways to decrease attitudes of racism have been debated for centuries, resulting in various theories. The contact hypothesis, a half-century old idea, states that increased intergroup contact can decrease negative attitudes. Research has also found the quality of contact between racial groups plays an important role in increasing positive racial attitudes. The current study tests this theory and further theorizes that individuals from rural environments will report greater racism than individuals from urban environments. African American (n=57) and Caucasian (n=176) participants were asked about where they grew up (to assess urban/rural status), quantity and quality of contact with the racial out-group growing up, and their current racial attitudes. Overall, results suggest that the roles of quantity and quality of contacts are significant factors in predicting interracial prejudice, while area of upbringing was not.
    • The effects of job crafting and leader member exchange on the affective well-being of emerging adults in college

      Kishna, Celina (2020-12)
      Relatively little research has been conducted on factors that affect the work life of emerging adults. Drawing from a primarily college sample (​N ​= 194), this study investigates the relationships between leader member exchange (LMX), job crafting (JC) and job affective well-being. A simultaneous multiple regression demonstrated that several dimensions of JC were positively associated with job affective well-being. A multiple parallel mediation model conducted with JC as a mediator between LMX and job affective well-being. demonstrated that the increasing structural job resources component of JC was a partial mediator between LMX and job affective well-being. Future studies should include dyadic data from both employees and supervisors to improve research on job affective well-being.
    • The effects of rhythm in group music therapy on individuals with autism spectrum disorder

      Valenstein, Julien; Cymbal, Tetiana (2017-07)
      The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of a drumming activity using structured rhythms on a group of school-aged children diagnosed in the autism spectrum from the perspective of professionals who work with them. Music therapists historically used rhythm-based activities to build rapport with clients, provide a framework for therapeutic expression and improve cognitive functioning. There have not been published experiments measuring the effects on group cohesion for individuals on the autism spectrum using drumming. The researchers developed a survey questionnaire to measure differences in behaviors related to attention and social cohesion between days using a drumming activity (d) and no drumming activity (nd). Seven participants working in an after-school program for students diagnosed with ASD were recruited to fill out the survey. Results yielded no distinct differences between (d) and (nd) although there was a positive total of .1 with peer-to-peer interaction and .04173 with peer-to-adult interactions in favor of drumming in the category of social attention. Limits of the study included too few trials and inconsistencies with the participants’ attendance. Anecdotal observation suggests the drumming activity provided useful distraction for the students to environmental issues. Recommendations for future studies are discussed.
    • The effects of stereotypical communication on the perception of leadership behavior for male and female leaders

      Willis, Toni L. (2007-09-25)
      The goal of the present study was to investigate how affiliative and agentic styles of communication affect the perception of leadership behavior (initiating structure and consideration) for male and female leaders. One hundred and thirty students from SUNY New Paltz participated in this study. Four scenarios, each containing the description of either a male or female leader using an affiliative or an agentic style of communication were developed for this study. The Initiating Structure and Consideration subscales from the LBDQ XII were administered to measure perception of leadership behavior. A 2x2 MANOVA was used to analyze the effects of gender and communication styles on the perception of consideration and initiating structure behaviors for described leaders. There was a main effect found for both gender and communication style on the perception of initiating structure behaviors. Additionally, a main effect for communication style and an interaction between communication and leader gender was found for consideration behaviors. These results demonstrate the way in which implicit prototypes and stereotypes generate expectancies that contribute to the overestimation and underestimation of leadership behavior for both male and female leaders.
    • Effortful or natural? Which athletic traits are most attractive?

      Shimkus, Andrew (2015)
      The current research sought to investigate the influence of athletic efforts on how one is perceived as a potential short and long-term mate. When conscientiousness, which is the ability to exert self-control in the process of attaining a long-term goal (Nettle, 2006), was displayed in an athlete through a vignette, it was predicted that the athlete would be preferred as a long-term mate, whereas a naturally talented athlete would be preferred as a short-term mate. After exposure to this vignette of a college basketball player displaying his/her diligence or inherent talent, and answering a number of questions regarding his/her attractiveness as a potential mate, it was found that mating preferences on athletes partially coincide with existing literature on gender-differentiated mating behavior, despite none of the hypotheses being fully supported. Moreover, being diligent in one’s efforts in athletics positively promotes perceptions of various characteristics, such as intelligence, health, liveliness, and dominance.
    • Emotion as a mediator between music exposure and task performance

      Benjamin, Miranda (2016-05)
      Research has shown that music can have significant effects on individuals' emotional state, and that those emotional states can then have noteworthy effects on their performance in certain types of tasks. Specifically, the focus of recent research has been on individuals' performance on detail-oriented tasks following mood induction through music. The present study aimed to expand on this previous research and incorporate Fredrickson's broaden-and-build theory by measuring both creative task performance and detail-oriented task performance
    • Emotional experiences of non-musically trained college students while improvising music in a group setting

      Royes, Matthew R. (2019-05)
      The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of music improvisation on the emotional experiences of college students who have no previous music training. The participants (N=12) involved in this study consisted of college students, both male (n=5) and female (n=7), in both undergraduate and graduate programs. The participants were split into three groups, consisting of four participants in each group. Participants completed a questionnaire identifying their current emotional state, and then participated in a group music improvisation facilitated by the researcher. The participants then completed a second questionnaire to identify emotions they felt during and after the improvisation. Results indicated that music improvisation evoked more positive emotions in participants. In general, participants reported a decrease in negative emotions and an increase in positive emotions after participating in active music improvisation. Implications for this study include the use of music improvisation as a viable method in the field of music therapy to both elicit and modulate emotions within clients who have no musical training.
    • The establishment of safety and trust in music therapy clinical supervision: an interpretive phenomenological analysis

      Lieberman, Carolyn (2017-05)
      This study presents the results of an interpretive phenomenological analysis on the establishment of safety and trust between the music therapy intern and their clinical supervisor. Four professional music therapists participated in semi-structured interviews, during which they reflected upon their experience in supervision. This method was chosen to access the lived experience of the participants. Literature from the perspective of music therapists explaining how safety and trust were formed in the supervisory relationship was not found, justifying the need for this study. Five themes emerged, each theme being a factor that affected the development of safety and trust between supervisee and supervisor. These themes are: context, supervisor investment, role dynamics, clarity, and intern identity. Each theme and its accompanying participant extracts were crosschecked by all participants. Safety and trust are considered to be important elements of the supervisory relationship, making it essential to inquire as to what influences their establishment. The results of this study may inform music therapy internship supervisors about establishing safety and trust with their interns based on what was helpful and hindering in the experience of these participants.
    • Ethnic identity and counterfactual thinking

      Pandit-Kerr, Sphoorti A. (2018-05)
      Ethnicity is an important component of many people's identities and ethnic identity is socialized from one generation to another through families, communities, and the wider cultural ecosystem (Browne, 2013; Ashmore et al., 2004). Research suggests that having a strong sense of ethnic identity often helps individuals experience a sense of belonging and acceptance which contributes to well-being (e.g., Umãna-Taylor & Updegraff, 2007). This study examined how and to what degree individuals believe that their ethnic identities have contributed to their current lives. Participants were asked to construct counterfactual lists describing how their lives would be different if they did not have their ethnic identities. This new methodology utilized counterfactual thinking, the process by which people create mental representations of alternatives to past events, states or actions (Byrne 2007), to better understand the relationship between strength of ethnic identity and life satisfaction. A total of 145 participants with mean age of 21.87 years (SD = 3.77) living in the United States and India completed the study online. As expected, correlational analyses revealed a positive relationship between life satisfaction and strength of ethnic identity (r = .23, p = .02). Using an inductive content analysis of the emergent themes, the coding revealed that participants believe that their ethnic identities influence their educational and career choices, relationships with family, friends and significant others, diet/cuisine, health, and their personal characteristics including likes and dislikes. These findings are discussed in the context of the larger ethnic identity literature.
    • An Evolutionary Analysis of Partner Perceptions within Mateships: The Beauty and the Beast Effect, the Role of Trait Factors, and the Nature of Mate Settling

      Dillon, Haley Moss (2012-02-27)
      Evolutionary psychology brings new interest and excitement to old topics. The study of human mating systems has always been on the academic landscape, but evolutionary theory has recently revived the study of mating strategies through the lens of adaptive qualities. Darwin first explained some traits of mating through the lens of sexual selection, and since his time researchers have sought to further explain the human mating strategy. The current work explores the tenets of evolutionary theory and their application to mate value. The concept of mate settling – a lack of equity within a pair bond is examined through mate value reports as well as mate value discrepancy within couples.The current work examined mate value through the use of the Mate Value Inventory (Kirsner, Figueredo, & Jacobs, 2003) as well as a subjective physical attractiveness item, and an objective physical attractiveness item. Mate value was shown to be affected by biological sex, mating intelligence, narcissism, life history strategy, and operational sex ratio.
    • Evolutionary mismatch and online dating

      Chapleau, David (2015-09)
      This study aimed to identify how individuals advertised themselves to socially familiar and socially anonymous audiences using online dating profiles. It was demonstrated that when male participants advertized themselves to a socially anonymous audience they placed a much higher emphasis on traits and qualities related to status than either males advertizing themselves to a socially familiar audience or females advertising themselves to either a socially familiar or socially anonymous audience. Additionally, males emphasized their creativity and emotional awareness more so than females regardless of audience type. In contrast female participants showed a tendency to emphasize traits and qualities related to faithfulness much more prominently than male participants. This effect was exaggerated when female participants advertized themselves to a socially familiar audience. It was also shown that male participants who advertized themselves to an anonymous audience emphasized their physical fitness and attractiveness more so than any other group. Together these findings suggest that audience and gender have profound influence over self-presentation in terms of romantic courtship.
    • Examining gender salience in preschoolers through a category formation task

      Planke, Julie A. (2019-08)
      Ample evidence exists suggesting children as young as 2-years-old can successfully classify colors, various objects, and people into stereotypical male and female categories. However, it is unknown if gender categories are perceived as important and meaningful. While children have sufficient gender knowledge to categorize by gender, do they in fact perceive their environments through a gendered lens? In order to investigate gender salience, a category formation, or free-sorting, methodology was developed using highly gender-typed toys. The central focus of this thesis was to examine the usefulness of the free-sorting task as a measure of conceptual categorization abilities and gender salience (i.e., how gender schematic a child is). Additionally, measures of gender constancy and gender-related beliefs were expected to shed light on children’s sorting behaviors. In Study 1, 44 adult participants (6 males, 38 females) completed the task as well as gender-related dispositional measures to assure the validity of the toy stimuli. Preschool-aged participants were then recruited from local preschool centers and included 12 children (7 males, 5 females) ranging in age from 3 to 5 years (M = 57.17 months, SD = 5.47 months). Results of the free-sorting task revealed preschool-age children are able to utilize conceptual categorizes while sorting. Moreover, through spontaneously sorting the toys by gender, the majority (2/3) of children demonstrated that gender was indeed salient while viewing the stimulus set. These findings begin to elucidate the individual variability in the perceived importance and social awareness of gender as a social category in early childhood development.
    • Examining the relationship between music skills and reading skills

      Arco, Nicole M. (2019-05)
      Word recognition in English has the flexibility to be processed at the lexical level (i.e., whole word) or at the sub-lexical level (e.g., focusing on phonological subunits). With this flexibility, recent research suggests that there are individual differences in reading style that rely more on lexical or sub-lexical processing. However, it is still under investigation as to what contributes to these individual differences or what the differences mean for overall reading procedures. The current study examined musical training as a potential correlate of individual differences in reading style. It is well documented that music, language, and reading share similar cognitive processes, and there is evidence that individuals who have musical training background have better reading outcomes. However, there are still gaps in understanding differences in how musicians process words compared to nonmusicians. In this study, measures of subskills in music and reading were collected, in addition to carrying out tasks that tap into correlates of reading style. Results suggest that while there were no differences in word identification, there was some evidence that musicians have better phonological awareness compared to nonmusicians. Furthermore, results suggest that this enhanced skill could be linked to experience with fine-grain timing required in musical training. Taken together, findings suggest that musical training may indeed be related to improved phonological awareness, but that does not necessarily translate to better word reading, per se.
    • The experience of music therapists working with clients with schizophrenia

      Earl, Brittany (2020-05)
      The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experience of music therapists who work with clients diagnosed with schizophrenia. The main focus of this study was the music therapists’ perceptions of how music therapy impacted these clients. The data was collected through individual, semi-structured interviews that occurred in person and via telephone conversations. The participants were four board-certified music therapists who worked with this population within the last five years. The interviews were coded and analyzed, revealing two overarching categories and four themes. The first category was The Perceived Impact of Music Therapy on Clients. This category contained the themes: Growth Reported by Music Therapists a nd Growth Reported by Clients . The second category was Experiences in Music Therapy . This category contained the themes: Personal Experiences of Music Therapists and Perceptions of Client Experiences . All four participants reported that their clients have experienced growth as a result of music therapy. These reports were from the perspectives of the participants, as well as the perspectives of their clients. The participants described that their overall experience in working with this population was enjoyable, and that their clients seemed to have positive experiences in music therapy.