Department of Psychology Recent Research Outcomes - Spring 2011

The Effects of Feedback on Wii Performance and Mood
Alaina Antoinette, Kristin Johnson, Christina Pavlik, Amy Staffieri, and Stephanie Zeller

Forty-three undergraduate Wheeling Jesuit University students completed a POMS assessment before playing a challenging power cruising obstacle course on the Wii. They were exposed to one of three types of feedback: positive, negative or none. Participants completed a POMS assessment and ran the obstacle course again. For both trials, the participants' Wii scores were recorded. A repeated measures ANOVA, a 2 by 3 two-between ANOVA, and a related means t-test were run to determine statistically significant differences. Results showed significant main effects for gender in the pre-Wii and pre-Vigor scores, in which males scored significantly higher than females. Also, post-Fatigue scores were significantly higher than pre-Fatigue scores, and pre-Confusion scores were higher than post-Confusion scores. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for the types of feedback that could potentially affect individuals' daily performances and moods.

Influence of Color Congruency and Viscosity in Milk on Pleasantness and Intensity Ratings 
August Capiola, Mark Sappington, and Mike Seals

Researchers wished to evaluate the affects of incongruent color and viscosity on taste perception and consider individual Food Neophobia Scores. The study of color on taste perception has yielded inconsistent results. Researchers wished to gain insight into this ambiguity. Participants were presented with whole, 2%, and skim milk. The milk was colored blue, white (control), red, and brown for a total of 12 samples. A 3x4 Repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant difference in participants pleasantness rating regarding viscosity, F(2,70) = 6.264, p =. 003, a trend describing the difference in preference to color with a descending order of pleasantness from blue to brown, F(3,105) = 2.088, p = .106, and changes differing in amount consumed based on viscosity with skim being consumed most, F(2, 64)= 13.38, p=.000. White milk was considered most intense regardless of viscosity, F(3,105) = 3.963, p = .01. Previous preferences to viscosity influenced pleasantness ratings for white skim and red skim. Neophobics rated milk as less pleasant and more intense and consumed less when compared to neophilics. All significant differences disappeared once food neophobia scores were removed as a covariate. Research in this area is highly relevant in the marketing of food, especially advertisements geared toward children. 

Effects of Jasmine Scent Administration on Physiological and Psychological Stress Reactions in Enclosed Spaces
August Capiola and Bryan Raudenbush

Enclosed spaces can cause significant anxiety and stress responses in individuals, which may hinder their ability to perform certain tasks. The present study assessed the effects of jasmine scent administration on physical and psychological stress reactions in enclosed spaces. Participants completed the protocol on two separate occasions. For each participant's first visit, they completed questionnaires related to mood (Profile of Mood States) and anxiety (State Trait Anxiety Inventory) prior to and after spending 20 minutes in a sensory deprivation tank. During this time objective physiological measures of heart rate, galvanic skin response, and respirations were recorded. For the participant's second visit, they repeated the experimental protocol either in the presence or absence of jasmine scent. Participants receiving jasmine scent on their second visit showed decreased heart rate, galvanic skin response, and psychological stress and anxiety scores than did the control group who did not receive jasmine scent, F(1,55) = 4.08, 4.05, and 3.31, respectively . These results are particularly salient in terms of reducing stress and anxiety in participants undergoing enclosed medical procedures, such as an MRI.

Effects of Music Tempo on Target Shooting Performance
Tom Donley, Lauren Fabry, and Andrew Groves 

Forty students and faculty at Wheeling Jesuit University participated in a study investigating the effects of music tempo on target shooting performance as measured by a Wii shooter game. Participants were assigned to one of four conditions (no music, slow tempo music, medium tempo music, and fast tempo music). Results suggest that no music and slow tempo music can lead to better concentration in cognitive task performance, whereas fast tempo music can improve motor performance speed.

The Relation of Gender Stereotypes on Attributing Rise to Notoriety
Sarah Mogan and Sherri Mae Howard

Using a 20-item survey, researchers studied the relation of gender on perceptions and attributions of causal characteristics of male and female rise to power, popularity, or success. The survey listed 2 items each for 10 well-known people. One of the statements expressed a personality characteristic as the source for their rise and one statement listed a situational cause. Researchers did not find any major statistical significance but observed the average responses of participants to statements about male and female subjects and personality and situational causes. The trend in response was to attribute notoriety in males to situational causes and personality characteristics in females.

A Comparison of Practice Conditions on Timing and Verbal Descriptions of Imagined Basketball Scenes
Sarah Mogan, Kristin Johnson, Joan Cotter, Cassy Sanderson, Stephanie Zeller, Erin Cannon, Megan Jarvis, Ariadne Cerritelli, and Michael A. Kirkpatrick

Researchers studied two experimental conditions repeated timing of a basketball sequence and repeated completion of a true or false questionnaire after watching a basketball sequence. Participants completed one of the tasks three times under their randomly assigned condition and then all participants completed a task where they were asked to imagine the scene they had observed, time the sequence, and then complete the true or false questionnaire regarding the scene they had imagined. Researchers analyzed the length of time participants timed the scene and their score on the questionnaire. The results showed participants in the timing condition timed the imagined scene more realistically than the participants in the questionnaire condition, and the participants who completed the questionnaire repeatedly scored higher on the questionnaire with the imaged scene. Repeated practice generalized to performance under the instructions to imagine, demonstrating an acquisition curve of the effects of practice on performance.

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior Related to Lyme Disease
Debra B. Hull

After completing the consent form, students responded to a number of items (true-false, multiple choice, and Likert-like scales) related to the knowledge of, attitudes about, and behavior related to Lyme Disease and people who have it. Results showed significant correlations between knowledge and both attitudes and behavior, suggesting that those who have greater knowledge about Lyme disease also have more positive and understanding attitudes towards those struggling with the disease, and that they act in more positive ways towards those with the disease. Because the data are correlational in nature, causality cannot be assumed, but it may be that educating people about Lyme Disease would be associated with an increase in positive attitudes and behavior.