Department of Psychology Recent Research Outcomes - Spring 2015

The Effects of Social Cognition on Intelligence Level and Socioeconomic Status
Rebecca Brown, Mariah Cottrill, Rachel McGuire, and Lakin Roth

The purpose of the current study is to determine if looking at a profile picture of a stranger will cause participants to project their own qualities onto the stranger while making judgments about their intelligence level and their socioeconomic status. Recent studies have indicated judgments of nonverbal cues and interests based on brief interactions with strangers or by merely looking at a picture of an unknown person. Participants in the current study were recruited via a convenience sample of students from a small liberal arts university. Pictures used in this study were strangers to all of the participants. Participants were asked to look at the profile picture of six individual strangers (3 male and 3 female) in random order and rate 11 questions in total based on their perceptions of the person in the picture. Four of the 11 questions pertained to intelligence, four pertained to socioeconomic status, and three were distractor questions. Examples of each include, "What is the highest level of education you believe this person has completed?," "What is this person's socioeconomic status?," and "Would you classify this person as an introvert or extrovert?," respectively. Participants were then instructed to take the same questionnaire and respond according to themselves. Results were analyzed using a Chi Square to compare participant's responses toward the profile picture and the participant's responses to the self-survey. Analyses revealed significant results for the upper class female in socioeconomic status, middle class female for highest level of education completed, book versus street smarts, and state of residency, and lower class female for willingness to add on Facebook and book versus street smarts. Significant results were also found for the second middle class male in book versus street smarts and the first middle class male for state of residency.

The Effects of Music on Short Distance Running in Female Athletes Cydney Comfort.
Shelby Ford, Rachel McGuire, and Jessica Thobe

The effects of music condition (country music, rap music, and no music) on a 100 yard sprint was observed for this study. Ten women, collegiate athletes participated in this study. Using block randomization the ten participants were divided into each of the three conditions. Each participant experienced each of the three music conditions, but the time at which they experienced each condition varied, due to the use of block randomization. The participants were required to run 100 yards once on three different days to ensure that each participant experienced each condition. The participant would then sprint 100 yards and was timed. The results were analyzed using a related means ANOVA test. Since a small convenience sample size was used, no significance was observed. This study did illustrate a trend for faster times associated with country music, but no significance was in fact found. Though no significance was found, if this study was conducted again, a larger sample size would be used to see if significance does exist between sprinting times and music condition. If significance is then found, that specific genre of music can be used as a motivating factor for individuals that run short distances.

The Effect of a Single Player Computer Game on the Reduction of Stress
Tameka Eddy, Melanie Lamp, Sarah Mitchell, and Pat Roper

Previous research has examined the relationship between violent video games and aggressive behavior as well as between video games and reduction of stress. Both subjects have given ambiguous results about the relationships. This study sought to confirm a relationship between violent video games and reduction of stress to provide society with the opportunity to accept and use violent video games when they may be helpful; however, there were no significant results for physiological or psychological reduction of stress. Participants in both control and gaming groups had their physiological measurements taken before and after attempting to solve an impossible maze, and then after twenty-five minutes of gaming or sitting. The POMS and STAI were also given before and after the twenty-five minutes. Statistical analysis showed no significant differences between participants in the gaming or control group. There was however a trend for increased anxiety among those in the game condition. Future studies could analyze video gaming and stress related to the social context in which they arise and are played.

Collegiate Motivation for Sexual Arousal among Male and Female Individuals
Johannes Strauss, Benjamin Arthurs, and Taylor Ulisse

Our study was designed to investigate the responses of undergraduates to an explicit film and script. Forty-four undergraduates (twenty four males, and twenty females) from a small, private Catholic university, recruited through random sampling, were asked to complete this study twice. Randomly assigned participant to either film or script, each participant watched the same film, and read the same script. Participants then responded to a survey that followed the film which contained questions for each clip. Following the six questions were three additional questions that asked for rating on sexual arousal level, level of anxiety, and if they felt this was sexual behavior. The survey for the script contained only the three questions about sexual arousal, anxiety, and sexual behavior. Our group looked to find if there were any gender differences based on the sexual stimulus they had been given. Based on previous evidence male participants would become more aroused to the explicit film they watched, and female participants would be more aroused by the script they read.

The Effects of Motivation and Perception on Physical Exertion Tasks
Clinton Baynham, Madeline Holt, Skylar Patten, Nikki Robinson, and Shannon Walsh

The present study was developed to assess how well motivational forces influence participants' performance on physical exertion tasks, such as the flex hang (timed) and grip strength (instrument measured). , researchers hoped to find a significant difference between baselines performances without sleeves and performance with sleeves in general. Researchers also hoped to see a difference in the satisfaction and demand scores on the successive trials using the magnetic arm compression sleeves when compared to the baseline scores on the questionnaire. Both subjective and objective measures were considered when designing the study. The subjective data comes from participants ratings on a NASA-TLX questionnaire, while the objective data comes from the researchers measurements of each participant on the two physical activities. Participants took part in three trials; the first trial was a baseline recording. The following two weeks participants completed trials two and three while wearing either a magnetically enhanced arm compression sleeve or a standard arm compression sleeve on their dominant arm. Counterbalancing was used to vary which sleeve each participant wore for trial two or three. Results showed that males recorded higher recordings with both hand grip strength and flex hang time. Although overall there was not significance found with each of the three trials for handgrip and flex hand time. However, a significant difference was noted when comparing the baseline trial with magnetic arm sleeve trial for flex hang. Lastly, several trends were noted when analyzing the NASA-TLX.

The Effects of Congruent or Incongruent Scent Administration on Online Purchasing Behavior
M. Cottrill, M. Holt, S. Patten, E. Robinson, and B. Raudenbush

The present study was conducted to investigate whether the administration of various scents influenced participants' purchasing behavior. The study was designed in an attempt to assess participants' desire to purchase the product, the quality of the product, and what they would be willing to pay for the product. Three various scents were tested to study whether the administration of the congruent or incongruent scent influenced participants' responses to an online shopping questionnaire. Researchers hypothesized that the administration of a congruent scent with a product would increase participants' ratings and desire to buy the product. Moreover, researchers hoped to find a significant difference when comparing the control group with each of the three scent conditions. Data was analyzed using an independent samples t-test; each of the three scent groups were analyzed compared to the control group. Overall, when comparing the control group to each of the scents, no significance was found, but many trends were noted. Also, an independent samples t-test was used when looking at the condition the participant was in and the rating of certain products. Once again no significance was found but, several trends were noted.

The Effects of Taste and Food Evaluation on Food Neophobia
Rebecca Brown, Sarah Mitchell, Jessica Pontis, Megan Randolph, and Bryan Raudenbush

The purpose of the current study is to determine if looking at an individual's papillae count on his/her tongue is related to neophobia, the fear of trying new foods. Recent studies have indicated there are gender differences among men and women and trying new food. In addition, research has shown that the number of taste buds an individual has can potentially allow him/her to determine the difference between certain foods. Participants in the current study were recruited via a convenience sample of students from a small, private liberal arts university. Sixty-nine participants filled out four questionnaires related to their attitudes and eating behaviors, eating disorders, eating habits, and food neophobia. Participants were then presented with a mock buffet and asked to choose a typical lunch or dinner meal. In addition, a picture of each participant's tongue was taken in order to count the number of papillae. Results were analyzed using a One-Way ANOVA. Analyses revealed a correlation between the papillae count and the participants' rating of the P.T.C. strip. Moreover, results demonstrated that as the number of papillae count increased, the more a participant was likely to be food neophobic. Finally, it was found that while food neophobics ate less overall and consumed less protein, they managed to consume more vitamin B3 and niacin compared to the neophilics and average eaters.

The Glass Doors Study The Effects of Adverse Stimuli on Social Conformity
James Allen, Tameka Eddy, Melanie Lamp, and Patricia Roper

This study measured the reactions and conformity to placed signs by observing individuals. The researchers postulated that the observed individuals would adhere or conform to ambiguously placed signs. For a three week duration we observed college students entering and exiting glass doors labeled with either a "Males Only" symbol or a "Females Only" symbol. Researchers also observed the same situation but, with an "Exit Only" or a "Enter Only" sign. These observations were conducted from either video surveillance, or while observing from afar. The researchers then used this data to see if there is significance from a collected baseline. The results concluded that participants conformed significantly more to the enter and exit signs. Results also determined that gender signs showed no significance from baseline data. The researcher's first hypothesis was that participants would conform to the gender signs even though there was no apparent reason to conform. Researchers also hypothesized that individuals were more likely to conform to the exit and enter only signs, even without context. This observational study supported the second hypothesis, in which the enter and exit signs showed to be significantly better at changing the behavior of the students.