Department of Psychology Recent Research Outcomes - Fall 2012

Effects of Jump Suit Color on Perception of Prisoners' Punishment
Emily Robinson, Marque Marry, Katie Livengood, Richard Kubacki

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact that color of a prisoner's jump suit had on one's perception of the prisoner's punishment. Participants of the study were given short descriptions of a prison work group, and then asked to rate the statements about punishment on a 5-point scale system. There were a total of 10 items related to punishment that needed to be answered. The descriptions vary by 2 ways- sex of the prisoner (male or female) and color of the jump suit (black, orange, or pink). Black is stereotypically masculine, orange is gender neutral, and pink is stereotypically feminine. The goal was to measure the impact of color on ratings of prisoner punishment in those various conditions. We found a main effect for statement one "what the sheriff is doing is an appropriate way to treat these prisoners." People thought the punishment was more appropriate for females than males. There was also a trend for color, which showed orange was viewed as the most appropriate jump suit for prisoners to wear.

Effects of Sex and Prison Jumpsuit Colors on Perception of Punishment
Christina Dittoe, Rachel Gambow, Tiffany Henderson, Michael Petrella, Haley Rush

The effects of the color of uniform prisoners with misdemeanors wear on views of punishment were examined in a 2 x 3 factorial design. One-hundred and twenty participants (60 males and 60 females) rated their judgment of severity of punishment on the prisoners determined by their sex (male, female) and color of uniform (pink, orange, navy blue) using an interval scale ranging from 1 to 5 (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree). There was a significant difference between a pink jumpsuit and a navy blue jumpsuit, and an orange jumpsuit and a pink jumpsuit, which explains that the pink color of the jumpsuit makes the punishment more effective, for both men and women.

The Effects of Color and Sex on Job Candidate Suitability
Justin Amos, Kristen Custer, Kelsey Leach, Lucas Lemasters, Ryan Naumann, Killeen Schlegel

The effects of clothing color and sex on perceived job suitability were measured in a 2 (sex) x 3 (color) analysis of variance for independent groups. Forty-nine females and 71 males participated and rated statements about the suitability of hypothetical job candidates who varied in sex and clothing color. Interactions between sex and color were found for four of the statements. In all four, male candidates wearing violet shirts were rated significantly lower. The results support our original hypothesis that males scored lower when wearing a violet colored shirt. The results can assist future job candidates in dressing appropriately for interviews and supporting the idea that males should avoid feminine colors.

The Impact of Color on Ratings of Sports Teams
Skylar Berger, Danielle McPhearson, Stephanie Moore

The perception of sports teams' performance was examined in a 2x3 factorial design. There were 120 participants (50 men, 70 women). A survey with 6 different versions (some involving men's basketball teams and others involving woman's basketball teams with varying colors of uniforms of purple, blue, or black) was given to participants. Results showed that when men were described as wearing blue, they were more likely to win and be considered good students than when they were wearing purple or black. Men described as wearing purple were seen as more likely to appreciate their fans than when they were wearing black or blue.

Operant and Classical Conditioning Used to Train Comet Goldfish
Kelley Asbury, Kyle Burkhart, Kelsey Leach, Angela McNulty, and Ben Siefert

Two Comet Goldfish were trained to perform particular tasks through operant and classical conditioning techniques. The fish learned to associate food with a wand. After conditioning the fish to the wand, they were given tasks to complete and were reinforced with food for successful completion. Time was recorded from approach to completion of their task among each trial. Comet Goldfish are able to be trained to perform measurable tasks through reinforcement and conditioning techniques.

The Effect of Color on Perception of Athletic Performance
Patrick Dwyer, Stephen Saldanha, Clayton Smith, Andrew Strope, and Luke Titus

The purpose of this experiment was to discern the impact of a hypothetical soccer team's uniform color on a participant's perception of the team on scales of various characteristics. One hundred-twenty undergraduates (71 men and 49 women, mean age: 20) from a convenience sample at a small, private university were given a survey with eleven statement in which the participant gave ratings for each statement. The ratings for these questions were analyzed using a 2 X 3 ANOVA for factorial designs. Surveys varied in terms of uniform color (red, green, or black) and sex of the hypothetical soccer team (male or female). No significant data was found that supported previous research in this area.

The Use of Classical Conditioning and Operant Techniques in Training Goldfish
Allison Burke, Tiffany Henderson, Sierra Moore, Amanda Schultz, Amy Shurak

Experimenters used classical and operant conditioning techniques to train three common goldfish to perform a variety of behaviors. After learning to classically associate a feeding wand with food, the fish were operantly shaped. The fish were conditioned to first swim through hoops and then tunnels by being reinforced with a food pellet from the feeding wand. Results showed a steady learning progression.

The Effects of Conditioning on Discrimination in Goldfish
Bridget Welsh, Erin Sheplavy, Andrea Long, Rachel Stahl, and Nick Cotter

Three goldfish were trained by using operant and classical conditioning. First, researchers used classical conditioning to pair a feeding wand with food. After the fish associated the wand with reinforcement, researchers used operant conditioning to train them to swim through hoops and play soccer. Once these behaviors were successfully conditioned, researchers added different sized hoops and objects of different shapes, sizes, and colors instead of soccer ball. In some instances, discrimination occurs.

The Impact of Color on Flavor Ratings
Kelley Asbury, Rachel Gambow & Angela McNulty

Forty-one participants rated samples of enhanced water beverages. Each sample was rated on a scale of 0 (low) to 10 (high) on eleven dimensions: intensity, pleasantness, sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and cherry, blueberry, lime, lemon, and grape flavors. There were 6 colored samples that each participant rated: one was clear, and the other five were dyed red, blue, green, yellow and purple. Participants were encouraged to consume a salted cracker and drink water between each sample in order to cleanse the pallet and prevent possible confounds. Significant differences were found among samples of pleasantness, sweetness, bitterness, and cherry, blueberry, lime, lemon, and grape flavors. There are numerous aspects that can be changed in future studies on flavor ratings.

The Relationship Among PTC Taster Status, Personality Characteristics, Frustration Levels, and Sex
Sierra Moore, Amy Pinkerton, Erin Sheplavy & Jessica Florian

Previous research has shown a relationship between PTC tasting ability and emotions such as anger and depression. Researchers believe that PTC Supertasters will become more frustrated in response to a frustrating task than tasters and non-tasters. The current study measured 35 participant's personality characteristics using the Big Fiver Personality Inventory, PTC tasting ability, and frustration level following a frustrating task using the NASA-TLC. Results partially supported the hypothesis. PTC Supertasters became significantly more frustrated than tasters, but no significant difference was found for non-tasters. Implications of this study may be that there is some genetic basis for emotions.

Effects of Sensory Deprivation on Creative Thinking
Allison Burke, Jessica Florian, Lucas Lemasters and Bryan Raudenbush

Creativity has been a subject of interest in psychology for many decades. The current study was intended to discover if exposure to sensory deprivation would increase creative thinking. Fifty-seven undergraduate volunteers participated in the study. Participants were required to complete two visits. During the control condition, they completed the POMS, the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, the POMS again, and the NASA_TLX. The other visit was the tank condition, in which they laid in an Apollo Float TankTM for 50 minutes. Afterwards, they completed the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking and the surveys again. The data were analyzed using Paired Samples T-Tests for the NASA_TLX between the control and tank conditions, and another between the post-POMS scores of the different visits. There was a significant difference found for physical demand on the NASA_TLX (t(55) = -2.381, p = .021), with the scores being higher following the tank condition than the control. There was also a significance found for confusion scores on the POMS (t(54) = -2.544, p = .014), with the scores being higher following the tank condition. The physiological data were then correlated with creativity scores following the tank condition. Significant positive correlations were found for originality and PPG mean (r = .260, p = .050),) and elaboration and GSR bpm (r = .267, p = .045). There was also a significant negative correlation for originality and PPG area (r = -.271, p = .041). The hypothesis was not upheld by the data obtained from this study. The experimenters now believe that, rather than depriving participants of sensation, providing stimulation would do more to increase creative thinking.

Effects Of 5á-ANDROST-16-EN-3á-OL Scent Administration on Gambling Behavior in Males
Sierra Moore, Bryan Raudenbush and Patrick Dwyer

The effects of pheromones on non-humans have been extensively studied. However, less is known on how such scents can elicit responses in humans. Previous research indicates that the scent of a female can affect various emotions and behaviors of males. The present study assessed the effects of Androstenol on gambling behavior in males. Participants completed an ad libitum blackjack gambling task blackjack while exposed to either no scent (control) or androstenol (experimental condition). Results indicate males gambled for a significantly longer period of time when exposed to androstenol, t(36) = 2.09, p<.05. Scores on a Sensation Seeking Scale also indicate an interaction between scent administration and personality characteristics. Thus, the administration of certain female pheromones may lead to an increased desire in males to engage in sensation seeking or risk-taking behaviors.