• Age-Related Stigma and the Golden Section Hypothesis

      Widrick, Rebekah M. (2010-03-18)
      The present study used the golden section hypothesis to examine age-related identities. The golden section hypothesis predicts that people will organize incoming information in a ratio-type pattern. When rating phenomena on bipolar constructs, people assign others to the positive pole of the constructs 61.8% of the time and to the negative pole the remaining 38.2% of the time. The present study predicted that people would rate identities of the aging population in accordance with a reverse golden section hypothesis. That is, people would assign negative ratings 61.8% of the time and positive ratings 38.2% of the time. Approximately 148 surveys were analyzed. Along the top of the golden section survey were 15 identities: child, elderly person, grandparent, middle-aged adult, nurse, musician, adolescent, senior citizen, business person, lawyer, secretary, mental patient, homeless person, retired person, and self. Along the left side of the survey were 12 adjective pairs: generous-stingy, pleasant-unpleasant, true-false, fairunfair,active-passive, energetic-lethargic, sharp-dull, excitable-calm, strong-weak, boldtimid, hard-soft, and rugged-delicate. Results indicated that elderly person and senior citizen were rated in a manner consistent with the reverse golden section hypothesis. In keeping with previous findings, the self was rated positively precisely 71% of the time while combined ratings of the remaining identities were consistent with the traditional golden section hypothesis. Finally, it was hypothesized that mental patient and homeless person together would produce a reverse golden section hypothesis, but this hypothesis was not supported. Findings shed light on society’s power to influence thought. Because American society has coupled aging with stigma, people have come to associate erroneous interpretations with certain age-related terms.
    • Exploring The Relationship Between Oral and Orthographic Skills in Deaf Individuals

      Huie, Molly K. (2010-03-18)
      This study examines the relationship between speech production skills and orthographic skills in deaf readers using behavioral indices of word form processing. The Reicher- Wheeler forced-choiced paradigm was used to measure the word and pseudoword superiority effects, which are considered to be measures of familiarity with specific words in a language and familiarity with the orthographic rules of a language, respectively. Eleven deaf individuals took part in this study. Participants completed a background questionnaire, the Reicher-Wheeler task, a pronunciation task and several other measures of phonological and orthographic awareness. The scores from these tasks were correlated in order to determine the degree of relationship that exists between oral and orthographic systems. Results indicate that a well developed speech production system is not necessary for the development of a sophisticated orthographic system. Implications for reading education of deaf individuals are discussed.
    • Self-Promotion and Gender in the Work Place

      Waterous, Kathleen (2010-03-18)
      Gender role attitudes are blamed for problems women have self-promoting in the workplace. This study examines the differences in the perceptions between men and women on self-promotion. It was expected that men would find it easier and more comfortable than women. Forty-five participants, twenty-three women and twenty-two men were interviewed in a survey that contained close-ended and open-ended items. The survey was designed to assess themes surrounding what would prompt a person to use self-promotion and their relative comfort in doing so. Findings of the study did not support the expectation that men would find it easier and more comfortable. For the majority of the survey, women reported being able to self-promote as easily as men. When asked what they thought self-promotion was, women and men differed in their definitions. Men tended to use a direct style highlighting and showcasing what they were currently doing to obtain benefits while women tended to perceive self-promotion with an inward slant. The women felt that self-promotion was bettering themselves and gaining more confidence. The results overall were not consistent with gender role expectancies for women and men, yet the qualitative results indicate some interesting avenues for future investigations.
    • 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 Influence of Body Art on Personnel Selection

      Dvorscak, Marissa L. (2010-03-18)
      Previous research on physical appearance and personnel selection suggests physical appearance significantly affects hiring decisions. With individuals dramatically changing their physical appearance with body art, such as tattoos and body piercings, this study was designed to examine the impact body art has on personnel selection and personorganization fit. Each applicant packet included a photograph of the same Caucasian male, a fabricated personal statement, with an attached resume creating three applicant packets. Application materials were identical in nature, with the exception of the photograph. The level of body art was manipulated in the photograph (Level One: pictured without visible body art, Level Two: pictured with a moderate amount of body art, and Level Three: pictured with excessive amounts of body art). Forty-five Management Professionals with Hiring Responsibilities (ranging in age from 25 years and up) and Forty-five Supervisory Professionals without Hiring Responsibilities (ranging in age from 18 years to 25 years) were asked to evaluate an applicant packet from one of the variable levels and rate the likelihood that they would be selected for an entry-level position, as well as perceived level of attractiveness. The male with no visible body art was viewed as the most attractive. The amount of visible body art did not appear to influence hiring decisions. Although age of the rater was predicted to be a potential moderator, did not moderate the effects of body art on attractiveness, person-organization fit, selection, or stereotyping.
    • Does Self-Compassion affect Stress? Testing a Decreased Vulnerability Hypothesis

      Anchin, David (2010-07-28)
      Self-compassion is a trait newly developed by Neff (2003a, 2003b, 2004) that is comprised of self-kindness, perceptions of common humanity, and mindfulness, which uniquely captures affective tranquility and the ability to treat the self with warmth and patience. Utilizing the transactional model of stress (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), I propose a decreased vulnerability hypothesis that holds that self-compassion limits vulnerability to stress by increasing use of approach-oriented coping, decreasing use of avoidance-oriented coping, and fostering challenge appraisals of greater magnitude and threat appraisals of lower magnitude. Two studies used a daily diary methodology to examine the decreased vulnerability hypothesis and followed undergraduate students as they reported how they cognitively appraised and coped with everyday stressors. Although little support was found for the decreased vulnerability hypothesis, selfcompassion may buffer the effects of stress on positive affect and be associated with increased confidence in one’s ability to address stressors. These potential effects suggest a number of future research directions and have important implications for coping with chronic illness and limiting the impact of stress on well-being. Two college students in a public speaking class, Michael and Nora, are planning for their midterm: delivering a thirty minute speech to be graded by the professor and their classmates. Michael is terrified; in the weeks leading up to the speech, he is overcome with stress. To escape what he has come to see as a looming disaster, he turns to heavy drinking and tries to convince himself that he doesn’t care about the class. On the other hand, Nora faces the speech with equanimity. She starts preparing early and quickly comes to find out that it isn’t so bad. “I can do this,” she tells herself. “Besides, everybody else is probably stressed about this, too.” Why do these two students face the same situation in profoundly different ways, framing the speech and coping with the stress it brings about so differently? I propose that self-compassion, a newly identified trait, may engender decreased vulnerability to stress. Neff (2003a, 2003b, 2004) developed self-compassion to uniquely capture a positive and benevolent attitude toward the self and a sense of affective tranquility. Indeed, research in this nascent area has shown it to be associated with a broad pattern of adaptive and healthy functioning as well as a buffering effect where reactions to negative self-relevant events are softened. I propose that self-compassion may serve to decrease vulnerability to stress through two mechanisms. First, because self-compassionate people’s positive self-feelings emanate from within, many situations may not pose a threat to the self and are, as a result, not as stressful. Second, self-compassionate people, by virtue of a sense of affective tranquility and exercising patience toward themselves, may engage in more adaptive coping strategies that limit distress and enable a stressor to be addressed more efficiently and effectively. In the present paper, I outline the nascent concept of self-compassion, noting parallel lines of research that establish the legitimacy and utility of its components and unique functionality. Next, I describe the trait and affective correlates of self-compassion as well as an emerging negative reaction buffering function. Then, I present the transactional model of stress, which is the dominant paradigm for conceptualizing and studying stress. Following this, drawing on the transaction model of stress and selfcompassion theory and research, I outline a proposed decreased vulnerability hypothesis and present two potential mechanisms through which it functions.
    • A Quantitative Study of Nonstructural Carbodyrates in Eastern Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, and the effects of hemlock woolly adelgid, adelgis tsugae, and elongate hemlock scale, florinia externa ferris, infestation

      Schwartzberg, Lora (2010-07-28)
      Nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC), starch and sugars, in eastern hemlock infested and not infested with hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) and elongate hemlock scale (EHS) were analyzed. The use of microwave dried and Wiley milled tissue samples is a superior method for determining NSC content than processing fresh samples of eastern hemlock (roughly 76% higher results than fresh samples). However, the microwave dried and Wiley milled samples should not be stored at room temperature for later enzymatic processing. Spatial patterns studied showed no statistically significant differences in NSC of twigs based on cardinal direction and location in the tree canopy, but there were statistically significantly differences among individual trees within the sample group. Twigs from Tsuga chinensis, a HWA resistant species, had a different NSC content from T. canadensis, with statistically significantly lower sugar and starch contents, when compared after budbreak. The starch in the needles contributes the highest percentage towards the total NSC, and the starch in the twigs contributes the least. The starch had more variation (year of growth or infestation) than sugar, signifying starch may break down for translocation more frequently than previously thought, serving a multitude of functions besides nutrient storage. Quantitatively, HWA infestation alters the NSC content of eastern hemlock, in certain tissues of particular ages and at specific times in a season. The greatest statistically significant differences (all higher) in sugars and starch content caused by HWA feeding are found in the previous year’s growth, for sugars in both twigs and IV needles, and starch in twigs only. However, NSC was affected more by the time (season) of collection and between the years of growth (new growth versus the previous year’s growth) than by HWA infestation. A preliminary test for detecting the presence of a bacteria or virus was undertaken by inserting ground HWA into insect-free seedlings of T. canadensis. After one year, the sample group of inoculated with ground HWA showed no difference in health than another inoculated with deionized water. The NSC of the previous year’s growth needles from EHS infested branches with new growth are not significantly different than without new growth. On the previous year’s growth, EHS infested needles differ from HWA infested needles, with EHS infested needles having statistically significant higher free sugars and lower starch. The EHS infested needles (presumable fed upon by a sugar feeder) had statistically significantly higher sugars, just as the HWA infested twigs (presumable fed upon by a starch feeder) had statistically significantly higher starch. My data suggests that overall, the changes in NSC content caused by HWA feeding alone does not seem sufficient to be responsible for the decline and mortality of eastern hemlock.
    • Using the IPSQ-Sort to Examine Identity Style of Mandarin speaking Adolescents

      Yang, Hai-yun (2011-08-16)
      Berzonsky (1992) described three identity processing styles (informational, normative, and diffuse/avoidant) which people use to manage identity challenges. Different people can utilize different styles to deal with identity crisis, but tend to favor one over the others. In this study, I translated a measure of identity processing style, the Identity Processing Style Q-sort (IPSQ-sort; Pittman, Kerpelman, Lamke, & Sollie, 2009) from English to Mandarin. A back translation technique was used to translate the items; this also included a review by the original author of the IPSQ-sort. Then, I evaluated the validity of the Mandarin version with college students from several universities in Taiwan. Keywords:
    • Adjustment Challenges for East Asian International Students

      Wang, Mian (2011-08-31)
      The process of adjusting to a new cultural environment is often considered to be quite stressful. International students of East Asian backgrounds sometimes experience even greater adjustment challenges (e.g., language barriers) which may lead to elevated stress levels. The psychological well-being of these students is also endangered if their excessive stress is not controlled and ameliorated. The current thesis therefore provides an in-depth review of literature documenting common stressors reported by East Asian international students, and the relationship of such stressors to possible outcomes such as depression and anxiety disorders. To better inform services providers about East Asian international students’ unique needs, help-seeking attitudes and behaviors of these students will also be briefly reviewed. Limitations of prior studies, future research directions, as well as suggestions for ways to better assist East Asian internationals are also discussed.
    • Heterosexual male’s attitudes and experiences of help seeking for dating violence

      Chitkara, Anjuli (2011-08-31)
      The present study sought to understand the degree to which conformity to masculine norms influenced heterosexual males (a) attitudes towards psychological help seeking in general, (b) attitudes towards physical common couple violence, (c) attitudes towards romantic relational aggression, (d) perceptions of masculinity for males who seek help for dating violence (physical and relational) and (e) help seeking experiences for those that have experienced some form of physical or relational victimization. The study focused on heterosexual male victims of physical common couple violence and romantic relational aggression because they are typically neglected in the mainstream culture. The findings of the present study suggests there is evidence that greater importance of conformity to masculine norms is related to (a) negative attitudes towards psychological help seeking (b) more accepting attitudes of intimate partner violence and (c) more tolerant attitudes towards romantic relational aggression. In addition to these findings, it was also found that males who have experienced some form of romantic relational victimization (a) were more likely to report more accepting attitudes towards romantic relational aggression, (b) and did not seek any form of help, were more likely to report higher levels of emotional control and risk-taking behaviors. The present results suggest more conformity to masculine norms is an important variable that should continue to be explored in help seeking and dating violence literature.
    • Navigating Cultures: Immigrant Mothers’ Parenting Beliefs

      Mangione, Heather (2011-09-12)
      Parenting beliefs of immigrant mothers typically emerge from their culture of origin; each woman negotiates the new challenges that are presented in parenting their “American” children through her own cultural lens (Bornstein & Cote, 2004). A mixed-methods study of nine immigrant women living in New York State was conducted. The present research examined the parenting beliefs of immigrant mothers who arrived in the United States after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. The “developmental niche” model (Super & Harkness, 1996) and Bronfenbrenner’s (1986) “ecological” model provided the theoretical basis for this study. Qualitative themes that emerged included the importance of social support, the formative experience of immigration, and hybridized discipline styles. Findings suggest that immigrant mothers do hold unique parenting beliefs as a marginalized group.
    • Lesbian and Bisexual Identity in Multiple Ecological Contexts

      Belmonte, Kimberly (2011-09-12)
      Although sexual minority individuals are embedded in a series of complex systems—legal, political, cultural, and institutional—little is known about how these diverse contexts affect sexual identity and well-being. Using Bronfenbrenner‘s Ecological Systems Model (1979) as a theoretical framework, the purpose of this study was to better understand how proximal (e.g.,,interpersonal relationships) and distal (e.g.,, policies) environments influence the development of homosexual and bisexual women living in the United States. In this mixed methods study, 367 lesbian and 495 bisexual women completed self-report questionnaires that measured: 1) feelings about sexual orientation; 2) degree of openness; 3) quality of life; and 4) biculturalism. Analyses revealed that lesbian women fared better than bisexual women on all measures. A thematic analysis of open-ended questions identified emergent themes that centered on experiences of inclusion (e.g.,, acceptance) and exclusion (e.g., legalized homophobia). The discussion focuses on similarities and differences within and between groups.
    • 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.
    • Need for cognition, need for affect and their relationship to hypnotic susceptibility

      Salerno, Michael (2012-02-27)
      Previous research on hypnosis has revealed that imaginative involvements, absorption, and fantasy proneness predicted hypnotic susceptibility. Attempts at examining personality correlates of hypnotic susceptibility have not only fallen short they have come to a halt. Because hypnosis is a tool that can aid and assist individuals in a myriad of areas, delineating the personality traits and characteristics associated with susceptibility will provide practicing hypnotists, clinicians, and psychologists with an even greater understanding of who is most receptive to it. One area that might shed light on this may be research examining how individuals differ in their susceptibility to persuasion. Because the marketing and advertising process attempts to focus an individual’s attention on a product, and then delivers a persuasive message; the persuasion process has been likened to hypnosis. Personality characteristics linked to persuasibility may also be linked to hypnotizability. Two characteristics related to persuasibility are need for cognition and need for affect. The present study examined if there is a relationship between need for cognition and or need for affect and being susceptible to hypnosis. Sixty-nine subjects were administered the need for cognition scale of Cacioppo, Petty, and Kao (1982) and the 26-item need for affect scale of Maio and Esses (2001) to assess these personality characteristics. Following the administration of these two scales, hypnotic susceptibility was measured using the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (HGSHS) (Shor & Orne, 1962). The results showed no significant correlations between need for cognition or a need for affect and being susceptible to hypnosis. Consistent with previous findings personality does not predict hypnotizability and susceptibility to hypnosis is likely to be an aptitude that some individuals possess more than others.
    • Variability in mating strategies: do individual differences in dispositional traits predict sexual preferences?

      Peterson, Ashley (2012-02-27)
      Prior research by evolutionary psychologists has examined dispositional predictors, such as personality, sociosexuality, life history, and attachment style, in relation to mating, yet only one study has examined how these traits predict an individual‘s sexual preferences (i.e., Peterson, Geher, & Kaufman, 2011). Thus, the current study, extending the research of Peterson, Geher, and Kaufman (2011), examined previous studied dispositional predictors, including the Big Five, sociosexuality, life history, and mating intelligence, and three additional ones, attachment, sex drive, and disgust sensitivity. A sample of 638 participants completed a battery of measures of each of these traits as well as providing information about their sexual preferences. The traits predicted variability in sexual preferences – with the attachment dimensions, avoidance and anxiety, and sex drive being most predictive. In addition, sex differences emerged (e.g., males reported enjoying most of the sex acts more than females). Discussion focuses on (a) comparing the results of the current study with Peterson, Geher, and Kaufman (2011), (b) sex differences in preferences for the sex acts, and (c) attachment, sex drive, and disgust sensitivity as predictors of sexual preferences.
    • The benefits of pet companionship in emerging adults

      DeMarco, Leighann (2012-06-28)
      The present study examines the benefits associated with pet companionship in emerging adults. Past research suggests that pet companionship can have many positive impacts on individuals’ lives; however, little research has explored pet companionship during the transitional developmental period known as emerging adulthood. Three hundred and seventeen participants completed an online survey which measured five dependent variables, including loneliness, stress, life satisfaction, pet attachment, and anthropomorphism. An ANOVA indicated that participants who own and live with their pets are more likely to report lower levels of loneliness compared with those who do not own a pet. Also, t-tests revealed a significant difference in self-reported loneliness between dog and cat owners, with dog owners reporting significantly less loneliness than cat owners. Overall, the findings suggest that there are benefits to owning a pet during emerging adulthood.
    • Factor structure of OCD: toward an evolutionary neuro-cognitive model of obsessive-compulsive disorder

      Glass, Daniel (2012-06-28)
      Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder characterized by its clinical heterogeneity, but also a commonality of symptom clusters that are known as “symptom dimensions.” Previous research among clinical samples using factor analysis has shown that the symptom-structure of OCD falls into four or five of these dimensions. The symptom dimensions can be conceptualized as representing impairment in several discrete brain systems which may meet the criteria for evolved mental “modules.” The current study uses confirmatory factor analysis in a community sample to test several competing models of OCD-like symptoms. These symptoms are discussed from the perspective of adaptive mental modules, and normal functions of OCD-like thoughts and behaviors are discussed. The four-factor model of OCD symptoms proposed in previous research was supported relative to competing one and five-factor models, and a positive correlation between OCD-like symptoms and mating success is demonstrated. Implications are discussed for the understanding and treatment of OCD, as well as our understanding of the brain’s evolved cognitive structure and organization during normal functioning.
    • Moderating effects of situational and interpersonal variables on perceived overqualification and job crafting relationships

      Rokitowski, Leigh (2012-09-20)
      The present study addresses an aspect of perceived overqualification, or the belief of being employed in a position for which one possesses excess education, work experience or knowledge, skills and abilities relative to job requirements, that has yet to be fully examined in organizational research. While more is known about attitudinal responses and exit intentions, less empirical testing has evaluated outcomes stemming from decisions to stay, or the inability to leave overqualification situations. Thus, the current research examined a proposed negative relationship between perceived overqualification and engagement in job crafting, which can be viewed as adaptive actions initiated by employees in order to promote personal meaningfulness in their work. Four crafting types have been identified in past literature (increasing structural job resources, increasing social job resources, increasing challenging job demands and decreasing hindering job demands), but little is known about what actually prompts crafting. Although a negative direct relationship was expected between perceptions of overqualification and some types of job crafting, the present study also hypothesized a buffering effect of perceptions of situational growth opportunity and interpersonal characteristics. Results indicated that perceived overqualification negatively predicted engagement in expanding types of job crafting. Situational growth expectations moderated the relation between perceived overqualification and expanding types of job crafting. Core self-evaluations did not moderate perceived overqualification–job crafting relationships, and growth need strength exhibited a positive moderating effect on the previously nonexistent relationship between perceived overqualification and restricting types of job crafting. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.
    • Are cognitive processes affected by evolutionary precepts? Iconic memory and mating strategies

      Earl, Nathan B. (2013)
      Evolutionary psychologists criticize cognitive psychology for using arbitrary stimuli that ignore presumed evolutionary constraints on cognition. In two experiments, we explored how the Sperling paradigm in iconic memory was influenced by factors often stressed in evolutionary psychology: facial attractiveness and gender of visual targets, as well as gender of the participants. Ancillary measures used by some evolutionary psychologists studying mating strategies, scores on Sociosexuality and Jealousy scales, were also taken. In Experiment I, pictures of human faces were superimposed over letter matrices: 10 each of attractive males, attractive females, average males and average females. All faces used in both studies had been used in previously published reports of evolutionary influences on cognitive processing. In Experiment I, the Sperling effect was replicated, with Partial Report superior to Whole Report; no other factors affected performance. In Experiment II, the saliency of the factors related to evolutionary psychology was increased by using only one attractive female face and one attractive male face, repeatedly. Controls included the standard Original, blank background, and a non-facial object, a Flower. While the overall Sperling effect was replicated again, there was some disruption of the Sperling effect, with females showing no Partial advantage. Males retained the Partial advantage for both attractive pictures, but they, like the female participants, showed no Partial advantage for the Flower. Aside from one minor correlation, the Sociosexuality and Jealousy scales were not predictive of performance in either study. In sum, in rapid cognitive processing, precepts of evolutionary psychology did not have a differential effect on cognition. Results are discussed in terms of procedural differences between this traditional cognitive task and those devised by evolutionary psychologists.
    • Look @ me 2.0: self-sexualization in Facebook photographs, self-objectification, and body image

      Ruckel, Lindsay M. (2013-02-04)
      Growing attention has been paid to examining people’s self-presentation on Social Networking Sites (SNSs). To date, one study has explored the extent to which women present themselves in a sexualized way in their profile photographs on SNSs. SNSs provide a unique opportunity for self-sexualization, or the presentation of one’s body in a sexually objectifying way for others’ evaluation. The current study tested the relationship between women’s self-objectification and their self-sexualization in their Facebook profile photographs. This work also investigated how self-sexualization relates to body image satisfaction, internalization of the “thin ideal”, and how contingent self-worth is on appearance. Facebook profile photographs of 100 women, ranging from 18-49 years old were coded for self-sexualization. Results suggested that women who reported higher levels of self-objectification and who identified more strongly with the appearance-contingency of self-worth were more likely to self-sexualize in their Facebook profile photographs. However, no relationship was found between self-sexualization and internalization of the “thin ideal” or body image satisfaction. Potential implications and directions for future research are explored.