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Dr. Bryan Raudenbush
Department Chair
Email: raudenbc@wju.edu
Phone: 304-243-2330

Recent Research Outcomes - Spring 2008

Effects of a gluten-free/casein-free diet on opioid peptide levels of autistic children.
Mike Kidd, Jerry Nolan and Paula Webster

Opioid peptide levels of autistic children on a gluten-free/casein-free (GFCF) diet were analyzed and compared with those of neurotypical children and with autistic children not on a restricted diet.  Thirty-six participants (25 males and 11 females) provided urine samples which were analyzed using the liquid chromatography-ultraviolet-mass spectrometric analysis (LC-UV-MS).  The data were entered into SPSS and analyzed using a one-way ANOVA.  The results did not confirm the excess opioid theory of autism.  No significant results linking autism to opioid peptide levels were found.  However, correlations were found between allergies and peptide levels as well as between allergies and the number of years on the GF CF diet.

The Effects of Different Music on Physiological Response and Video Game Performance
Keith Fleischmann, Kevin Rico and Tim Wright
This study examined the effects of external music on physiological stress and video game performance.  In a 2 between (game type) x 3 within (music genre) design, participants played either House of the Dead or Tetris, both for the X-Box video game console, while the participants listened to either heavy metal music, classical music, or no music via headphones.  Heart rate and blood pressure were measured before and after each session, along with the game play time.  Results were analyzed using a 2 between x 3 within analysis of variance.  The results showed that a main effect was found for diastolic blood pressure, with participants showing a higher diastolic blood pressure with heavy metal music than with classical music.   Also, participants who listened to classical music had lower diastolic blood pressures than participants who listened to no music at all.   While an interaction effect was found for music and game type in participants' perceptions of performance, in reality, music had no effect on performance, as there was no main effect for music on game time.  Participants felt they did the worst while listening to classical music and playing House of the Dead; however, they felt they did the best while listening to classical music and playing Tetris. Implications for this study suggest that classical music could be used in a classroom or other type of cognitively stimulating environment in order to increase individual perceptions of performance, as classical music had an interaction effect with cognitive-based video games.   Future studies could examine the effects of classical music in students' perceptions of performance, considering the interaction found with classical music and Tetris.

The Effects of Peppermint on Guitar Hero Performance
Ryan Hunker, Tim Wright, Kristin McCombs, Laura Bruno and Bryan Raudenbush

Previous research has shown the benefits of peppermint in a variety of situations. The current study used 60 participants to compare performance, mood, and perceived task load in video game play. Participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental (peppermint) condition or control (no scent) condition. Each participant played 5 songs on Guitar Hero III on the Nintendo Wii game system on 3 occasions. Analyses were performed to determine effects of peppermint on learning, attention, mood, and perceived workload using appropriate ANOVA techniques. The results show that participants performed significantly better in the peppermint condition and felt their mental demand and effort throughout the songs were less than the control group.

Personality Characteristics as Mediators of Self-Esteem and Body Mass Index
Heather Duncan, Katie Elliott, Jenna Lepole and Amanda Stover

Previous research has indicated that a discrepancy among self-perception and actual body size does exist.  Our experiment was designed to further investigate these claims by using self-esteem, personality, and BMI.   Forty-four Wheeling Jesuit University undergraduate students participated in our study.  For this study each participant completed a self-esteem inventory, personality test, and used a BMI analyzer to determine if participants with an extreme BMI (underweight or obese) range were more likely to have lower self-esteem than those with a normal BMI range. A Correlation and a one-way ANOVA were used to analyze the results. There was one significant correlation between body appearance (BAP) and fat percentage. Despite lack of statistical significance, a trend was observed between BMI and the extroversion factor. Our outcomes indicate that future research should seek a larger population size, equivalent groups, and assess differences between males and females.

The Effects of Jasmine Scent on Sleep
Jude Almeida, Ben Wershing and Bryan Raudenbush

Previous research has shown that inhalation of certain scents may improve the quality of sleep. The present study evaluated the effectiveness jasmine scent on student's sleep quality. The participants underwent two conditions. In condition 1, the participants were asked to place a jasmine air freshener in their residence hall bedroom for a period of one week and rate their quality of sleep, cognition, mood, performance, and workload using the various questionnaires. In condition 2, the participants were asked to rate their quality of sleep, cognition, mood, performances, and workload for a week in the absence of the jasmine air freshener. The study found that jasmine on average led to higher alertness scores on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, better visual discrimination between visual stimuli on the IMPACT Cognitive Assessment, and less perceived temporal demand and less perceived effort on the NASA-TLX.

Transfer of Training Using Nintendo Wii Bowling
Jared Bloom, Scott Bonette, Ryan Hunker, Ben Wershing, Tim Wright and Bryan Raudenbush

With the introduction of the Wii as a simulator of real-life sporting events, many have questioned its ability to transfer skills learned in the Wii to real-life. Researchers hypothesized that the Wii bowling training sessions would improve real-life bowling performance. This study took participants to a bowling alley to establish a baseline of skill and then one condition of the participants practiced with the Wii, three times a week for two weeks. The other condition was the control group and abstained from bowling for the training period. Both conditions were brought back to the bowling alley and their bowling performance was measured. This study found no significance relating the transfer of video games performance to real life tasks. However, a negative correlation was found between the final Wii bowling training session and the post real-life bowling session.

Opinion Survey: Master's Program in Experimental Psychology
Jill Nizan, Maranda Parker and Alexis Arango

The interest in a master's program in experimental psychology at Wheeling Jesuit University was determined by surveying 86 participants, including 35 males and 51 females, and 41 undergraduate students, 28 faculty members, and 17 staff members in a 2 (gender) x 3 (position on campus) x 13 (item) mixed design study. Our results showed that staff was most interested in the master's program, while faculty was the least interested in the program. No significant differences were found in gender; however, a significant interaction was found between position and questions. Overall, participants felt that the quality of graduate programs at WJU was excellent, that adequate financial aid was critical to the success of the program, and that incorporating the values of a Jesuit education into the program was vital.

The Effects of Position on University Importance and Satisfaction Ratings
Vanessa Ilovar, Brandon Kaufman and Jonathon Kolks

The satisfaction and importance ratings of staff and administration at Wheeling Jesuit University were examined in a 2 x 14 mixed design. Thirty-seven participants (15 staff and 22 administrators) rated the importance of 14 aspects of WJU and their satisfaction with those aspects. Results showed that importance ratings were statistically significantly higher than the satisfaction ratings; however, there was no significant difference between the scores of staff and the scores of administrators.

Survey of Wheeling Jesuit University versus Other Colleges
Julianna Arner, Sallie Minor and Kristian Winters

The effect of college perception on satisfaction rating was examined in a 2 x 26 repeated measures design. Fifty-four Wheeling Jesuit University undergraduate students (eleven male and forty-three female) participated in this study by volunteering on the research sign-up board or in classrooms. Participants completed a college satisfaction survey comparing Wheeling Jesuit University against any other college institution with which they were familiar. The top five college institutions that were compared to Wheeling Jesuit University were West Virginia University, Bethany College, West Liberty State College, Fairmont Sate College, and Ohio University.  Wheeling Jesuit University rated significantly higher in fourteen areas and only rated lower in campus life activities. The thirteen areas that Wheeling Jesuit rated significantly higher in were academic advising, personal attention given to students, instructional effectiveness, safety and security, service opportunities, academic preparation, students motivation to succeed, students study skills, mission and identity, opportunity for faculty mentoring, faculty performance, student research and prestige.

Effects of Sex, Major, and Gender Characteristics on Perceptions of Science and Non-science Majors
Dustin Contos, Megan Meadows, and Amanda Stover

Three variables:  sex, major, and gender were analyzed using a 2x2x2 between subjects design. Eighty undergraduate students (40 male and 40 female) from a small private university volunteered for this experiment.  Each participant rated a hypothetical student based on eleven questions focusing on various characteristics.  Our results led to inferences about the statistical significance observed in differences of science and non-science majors and between gender characteristic and the particular question being asked.  These differences suggest that certain characteristics are associated with masculine and feminine qualities.  Furthermore, the perceptions of masculine and feminine characteristics have some association to the person's discipline. 

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