Department of Psychology Recent Research Outcomes - Spring 2017

Relationship Between Social Support and Burnout in University Students
Autumn Hall, Justin Ryder, Simon Schober and John C. Wegley

The purpose of this study was to test whether or not social support had any relationship on the levels of burnout that college students may experience throughout the school year. Our hypothesis was that the more perceived social support a student has, the less likely they are to experience burnout. We also looked to see if there was any difference in levels of burnout between different kinds of social support, such as athletics and theater or other clubs and student organizations. In this study we classified burnout as high levels of stress that result in the student feeling that they are not capable of continuing on with their education. We classified social support as being any extracurricular activities that a student may engage in through their university. The results of our study did not support our hypothesis. We did find that participants who played sports did experience less burnout than participant who participated in other school activities. We also found that female participants were more likely to report having social support than male participants were. 

Visual Stimuli's Effect on Memory Recall
Jacqualyn Glorioso, Hanna Gossett, Amanda Nest, and Albert Schrimp

The use of visual and auditory stimuli to evaluate the capacity of the working memory has been tested in various ways over time. In this study, the researchers hypothesized that the addition of visual images related to the auditory words while hearing the auditory words simultaneously aloud would increase the performance of memory recall. Two separate groups containing thirty-five university student participants in each group comprised the two conditions of auditory stimulus alone and auditory plus visual stimuli. The participants were instructed to write down as many words as they could remember using a free recall method indicating the words did not need to be in any order. The hypothesis was confirmed that visual stimulus paired with the auditory stimulus significantly improved performance on memory recall. The variables of time spent watching sports, and whether or not the participant played a sport were also tested, but showed no significance.

Perceptions of Consciousness
Amanda Bailes, Sloane Glover, Dominique McAvoy, Amy Rotriga, and Michael Kirkpatrick

This study examined the different levels of consciousness attributed to certain life forms and objects used in previous studies. Data was gathered using a survey that had 21 items to be labeled as Not Conscious, "May Be Conscious", or "Fully Conscious" using a Likert scale. If a respondent selected "May Be Conscious" or "Fully Conscious" a follow-up question would appear asking the participant to select why they attributed consciousness from a list of characteristics. Once the survey was complete, respondents were asked to provide demographic information. Researchers hypothesized that all the items would be attributed some level of consciousness and that the leading reasons for consciousness would be the ability to be alert/respond and the presence of a brain. The results were analyzed using SPSS to calculate frequencies for each survey question. An awake human was labeled as "Fully Conscious" the most frequently and a chair was labeled as the least conscious out of all the objects and life forms presented. The ability to be alert/respond was the leading reason for recognition of consciousness in 13 of the 21 items.

A Study on the manipulations of Schemata Settings and Locus of Control: The Effects of Student versus Athletic Schemata Setting on Locus of Control
Jaylen Hill, Jesse Martin, Sabrina Soriano, Monica Young, and Michael Kirkpatrick

The purpose of the present study was to determine if the locus of control of student-athletes would vary or change depending on the context or setting that they are situated in. The researchers would aim to manipulate a scholastic and athletic setting, so as to activate schematic knowledge pertaining to each. It was hypothesized that participants may display a more external locus of control if in a scholastic setting, and a more internal locus of control if in an athletic setting. Thirty-two student-athletes from a small private university took the Levenson Multidimensional Locus of Control Scale, consisting of 24 questions regarding common life events. After rating the 24 statements on a 6 point scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree, participants were then asked 6 demographic questions. Upon analyzing the results, it was found that the student-athletes reported a more internal locus of control, with no variation or relationship to the context in which they were tested in.

Assessment of Students' Perceptions of Ignatian Principles and Wheeling Jesuit University
Amanda C. Bailes, Kristin Beyerl, Carolyn Blattler, Madison M. Booth, Connor Buzzelli, Peyton Geary, Jacqualyn M. Glorioso, Jaylen R. Hill, Michael A. Kirkpatrick, Sawyer D. Leppla, Jessie N. Martin, Dominique McAvoy, Travis J. McKinley, Megan Randolph, Cecil Rich, Amy M. Rotriga, Simon W. Schober, Jonathan L. Settle, Sabrina Soriano, Kelsi N. Thompson, Juan P. Troconis-Bello, John C. Wegley, and Monica R. Young

Student perceptions of the presence and importance of 22 Ignatian principles and specific academic objectives at Wheeling Jesuit University were surveyed campus-wide. The History and Systems of Psychology class at WJU reached out to the campus community via residence halls and commuter students via email to partake in the study administered through SurveyGizmo. The 197 undergraduate participants completing the study signified their consent, completed the 22-item survey via a mobile device or computer, and filled out demographic information pertaining to their major, time spent at WJU, and scholarly status. Participants rated each item on a scale from 0-100 indicating both 1) the presence of the principle or objective, and 2) its importance to them. Descriptive statistics were reported for each question. Data indicated that participants rated both the presence and importance of each dimension to exceed 60%; however, none attained maximum scores which might represent enthusiastic endorsement. While all of the essential features of Ignatian education appeared to be present on campus and of some importance to students, all endorsements were of moderate intensity. While a solid foundation in Ignatian education and achievement on key academic objectives were evident, more work remains to be done.

The Effects of Conformity on Social Media Selfie Taking Behavior

The purpose of this study was to determine if information on how to get more likes on a selfie posted on social media would influence people's social media behavior. A computer science study by Kapathy (2015) used Convolutional Neural Networks to find the attributes that all the most liked selfies had in common. Information about how to get more selfie likes was given to some participants and not given to others to see if participants would be influenced to conform. This was measured by the number of times of conformity of each participants' selfies. Results were analyzed using an independent t-test which showed significantly more levels of conformity for the experimental condition than for the control group. No other statistical significant differences were found for the other variables. Future research should try to implement a double-blind technique for the study in order to ensure unbiased results and different mediums could be used (pictures, fake social media accounts) in order to see if these would also influence people to conform.