• Cross-language neighborhood density effects in early and late bilingual word recognition

      Lane, Amanda B. (2015)
      A central debate in research involving bilinguals is related to how the languages possessed by bilinguals interact while orthographic processing of one language occurs. Past research suggests that there is influence from a bilingual’s non-relevant language when she or he is processing words in the other language. One way of measuring such influence is achieved by varying the number of orthographic neighbors between languages and measuring the difference in reaction times to words with many and fewer cross-language neighbors. In this study, early and late English-Spanish bilinguals, who differed in experiences with their languages, responded to English and Spanish words in a progressive demasking task that differed by the number of orthographic neighbors (many or none) present in the other language. As expected, English words with many cross-language Spanish neighbors were responded to more slowly than English words with no cross-language Spanish neighbors. However, there was no significant difference in reaction times to Spanish words with many or no cross-language neighbors in English, which was unexpected. This pattern was similar in the two groups of bilinguals. Similar results were obtained in a control experiment with monolingual, English-speaking individuals, which suggests that the results obtained from the bilingual study might be due to some uncontrolled lexical variable (e.g., low imageability of specific English words with many Spanish neighbors).
    • Cultures of mentorship: a qualitative investigation of peer mentorship during high school in the US and Japan

      Hankour, Kamil (2022-05)
      Despite the known benefits of mentorship, little is known about informal peer mentoring relationships in the high school context, and even less is known about how those relationships manifest in different cultures. This qualitative study sought to shed light on this topic by administering a survey designed to tap key concepts related to informal peer mentorship in high school to fourteen participants, seven in the US and seven in Japan. Themes relating to instrumentality/socio-emotionality, responsibility, hierarchy, and benefits from these relationships in each sample are discussed, as well as cultural differences and similarities in how these concepts emerge. Japanese participants described relationships that were consistently instrumental or socio-emotional, while American participants often had relationships that shifted between these categories. Regardless of country of origin, most participants preferred to describe their relationships as egalitarian. Responsibilities differed based on the perceived social role of the participant and their mentor within each cultural context. Participants in both samples described a variety of benefits derived from their mentorships. Implications and future directions for this line of research are discussed.
    • Current trends in music therapy and pain management

      Vicinanza, Jillian (2017-12)
      The purpose of this study is to examine music therapy (MT) as it is currently used in the treatment of individuals who are coping with pain. A 36-question survey, offering both multiple choice and short answer questions, was offered to professional music therapists (MT-BC) with clinical experience living and working within the United States (U.S.). Potential survey participants were identified through their membership with the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). A total of 246 music therapists participated in this survey. The majority of respondents (36%) reported utilizing a combination of methods from a variety of MT theoretical perspectives. Fifty-eight percent of respondents indicated that they use music in sessions for the purpose of pain management at least "sometimes," and 93% perceive that the client-therapist relationship, otherwise referred to as the therapeutic relationship, is an extremely important factor in whether MT treatment will be successful in pain management. Ninety-four percent of all respondents admit to collaborating with at least one other type of helping professional, and 91% of respondents believe that interdisciplinary teamwork is very important when working with clients and pain management. Results of this survey indicate that Board-Certified Music Therapists in the U.S. are conducting therapeutic sessions utilizing various MT techniques for pain management, and believe in the necessity of an optimal client-therapist relationship. Implications of the results for clinical practice and future direction of music therapy research are discussed.
    • Deception-detection and trust as major elements of mating-relevant behavior

      Tauber, Briana R. (2014-05)
      From an evolutionary perspective, there is nothing more important than mating and reproductive success. According to modern evolutionary psychology, humans have evolved various adaptive mating-related traits, which include ideas based on parental investment theory (Trivers, 1972), life history strategy (Figueredo et al., 2006), strategic pluralism (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000), and sexual strategies (Buss & Schmitt, 1993) for reproductive success. Mating intelligence (MI) can be defined as the cognitive processes (conscious or unconscious) that underlie successful mating-relevant interactions and outcomes (Geher & Kaufman, 2011). It has been proposed that performance in MI can predict one’s likelihood of attracting a viable mate, thus predicting reproductive success (Geher, Miller, & Murphy, 2008). However, currently only a self-report scale of MI exists (Geher & Kaufman, 2007). Although this study was originally aimed to develop an ability-based measurement of MI (which would allow us to tap an individual’s actual abilities that may lead to reproductive success), exploratory analysis of the data proved to be most fruitful in the realm of mating-relevant deception-detection and correlates related to one’s tendency toward trusting others.
    • Depression, control, and counterfactual potency: a proposed moderated mediation model of counterfactual thinking and performance

      Colby, Kelly (2018-05)
      The functional theory of counterfactual thinking was created to explain the purpose and corresponding outcomes of counterfactual thoughts, thoughts in which individuals imagine how differences in past life events may have led to differences in their current circumstances. Though this theory predicts that the generation of upward counterfactual thoughts, in particular, where the imagined outcome is better than the actual outcome, leads to performance improvements between tasks due to its catalytic effect on behavior, evidence supporting this idea has been inconsistent. In light of this, two models were constructed and tested using an SPSS macro known as PROCESS. In these models it was hypothesized that upward counterfactual thinking would lead to performance improvements between two anagram tasks through increases in perceived control. Further, the magnitude of this enhancement effect was predicted to vary with the degree of plausibility perceived by the thinker, and would not occur for individuals experiencing depression. As both of these models were unsupported, the chosen methodology for this study was evaluated and the relationship between counterfactual thinking and performance was considered further.
    • The design of high quality factor bifilar archimedean coil geometries for wireless power transfer applications

      Feenaghty, Michael (2019)
      This thesis explores the optimization of a planar coil's geometry for wireless power transfer applications. Wireless power transfer is a popular field of study today due to its wide range of uses in professional and consumer applications. The transfer of data or power without the need for a wired connection allows for the design of increasingly robust and convenient electronic devices. However, wireless power transfer is still limited by poor power transfer efficiency and skew sensitivity under suboptimal conditions. For planar coils, optimal power transfer occurs when the transmitter and receiver coil are very closely spaced, with minimal misalignment between the two coils. This thesis proposes novel planar coil geometries which reduce the sensitivity of the coils to these attributes. The proposed geometries all have the same spatial footprint as the original planar coil to make the proposed changes practical in cases where the available area for the planar coil is limited, such as consumer smartphones. The best coil design exhibits an improvement in power transfer of up to 20% over separation distance, and up to 13% overall with lateral misalignment. The proposed designs enhance the performance of planar coils for wireless power transfer without requiring more board real estate to be dedicated to the coil geometry, maintaining a compact system design.
    • Discord in Thornfield Hall: critical postcolonial intersectionality in Jane Eyre

      Ciervo, Emma (2022-05)
      By applying the lenses of postcolonial and trauma theory to the novel, we can begin to develop an understanding of how Jane and Bertha can become critically intersectional characters. Each of these lenses illuminates the clear struggle that each woman faces within a tightly structured Victorian society, and their means of navigating it result in their processing of emotions on a deeper level. I argue that while on the surface it appears that Jane and Bertha are each recognizing the other, they do so only on the most basic level because each only sees it in relation to her own self rather than on a more widespread level. Throughout this thesis, I argue that by exposing the crudeness of this original intersectionality, as well as the privileges gained and lost through the patriarchal structure of Victorian society and empire, Brontë's initial creation of crude intersectional characters can evolve into a deeper level of understanding of one another, or what I am calling critical postcolonial intersectionality.
    • Disgust of the other side : how disgust relates to political attitudes

      Weintraub, Jeremy S. (2020-08)
      The purpose of this study was to expand upon prior-researched aspects of the Behavioral Immune System (BIS), a psychological mechanism that increases survival by detecting pathogens in the environment (Schaller, 2015). Prior studies have associated the BIS with disgust sensitivity, political orientation, political policy, and susceptibility to disease (Curtis, DeBarra, & Aunger, 2011; Oaten, Stevenson, & Case, 2009; Brenner & Inbar, 2015; Lee & Ottati, 2002; Terrizzi Jr, Shook, & McDaniel, 2013). The current research has the capacity to shed light on the degree to which the BIS is connected with the important modern-day political issue of immigration in the United States. Keywords: Disgust, Behavioral Immune System, Perceived Vulnerability to Disease, Political Attitudes toward Immigrants
    • “Disturbing the Tranquility” of meaning: the unbearable lightness of language in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being

      Tomicic, Emma (2020-05)
      By reading Kundera’s novel and its message through a Derridean lens, we can see that they are linked in their theories about language. Through his approach to language and the history of it, Jacques Derrida coined the terms “deconstruction” and “différance.” The two are rooted in presenting the fallacies of ascribing neat definitions to words and reading words out of context. A closer analysis of the emotions and actions of these four characters through Derrida’s work can show us how Kundera is encouraging readers to re-evaluate the value systems we place on language. To begin the discussion of The Unbearable Lightness of Being , I want to analyze how deconstruction functions in the novel: différance; the deconstruction of binaries (and the paradoxes in value systems placed on binaries); and, finally, polysemy and understanding.
    • Does female promiscuity increase religious beliefs? testing the male control theory versus the female control theory

      Rolón, Vania (2017-07)
      Most psychological articles examining religion treat this construct as either an independent or controlled variable. Few studies have addressed the possibility that religiosity may shift as a function of environmental cues (i.e., that religiosity may be studied as a dependent variable). Among these studies, even fewer have looked into how religion may be a viable means to suppressing the sexuality of others, particularly that of females. My work aims to test two theories as to which sex stifles female sexual behavior the most. I examined whether reading about a highly versus a less promiscuous target affects participants' religiosity and whether the sex of the target and the participant interact in this effect. A series of ANCOVAs revealed that, while promiscuity levels did not seem to affect religiosity, target and participant sex did interact, with men reporting less religiosity when presented with same-sex targets but females not varying significantly as a result of the target's sex. Results support the existing research that religiosity is a more flexible construct than previously thought.
    • 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.
    • Does the focus of loving-kindness meditation matter for reducing implicit bias?

      Saitta, Christopher D. (2022-05)
      Implicit bias has been a popular area of research in recent years as the need to address it is a prerequisite for a just society. In the current study, different versions of loving-kindness meditation (LKM) were compared to see which one is associated with the lowest implicit bias levels. Participants followed an 8-minute LKM audio clip where the instructions were altered to manipulate the focus of the meditation across three groups. The meditation directed them to send their love and positive energy to either themselves, younger peers, or the elderly population. Then, participants took an age-based implicit association test (IA T) to compare whether the manipulation led to differences in implicit bias across groups. Additionally, participants were asked to rate their experience of several positive emotions to see if the conditions caused differences in types of positive emotion ( either other-regarding or non-other-regarding) and whether these different types of positive emotions mediated the effects of LKM focus on implicit bias. The results revealed that LKM focus did not have a significant impact on differences in positive emotions or implicit bias, and the mediating effect of other-regarding positive emotions on the relationship between LKM focus and implicit bias was not observed. The results suggest the subject of meditative focus may be a negligible factor when it comes to influencing positive emotion and implicit bias levels.
    • Dr. Mary Boyle's contribution to music therapy

      Choi, Yunsun (2019-05)
      The unsung hero, Dr. Mary Boyle, a founder of the master's of music therapy degree that complied with Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) requirement in State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY NP), certainly brought the field of music therapy to a higher level. In addition, despite her contribution to development of music therapy for patients with Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness (PDOC), she has not yet been recognized by professionals as she deserves. There is not much information available about her life and her achievements in music therapy. Through the historical information and interviews of people close to Dr. Boyle, this narrative history illustrates the extent that Dr. Boyle had worked to develop music therapy field as an educator, clinician, researcher, leader, committee member, and editor throughout the world.
    • 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.