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Dr. Bryan Raudenbush
Department Chair
Email: raudenbc@wju.edu
Phone: 304-243-2334


Recent Research Outcomes - Spring 2013



THE EFFECTS OF SOCCER BALL HEADING FREQUENCY AND INTENSITY ON NASAL INSPIRATORY AND EXPIRATORY FUNCTION AS MEASURED BY RHINOLOGICAL PATENCY
Kristen Custer, Sierra Moore, Emily Robinson, Killeen Schlegel, and Bryan Raudenbush

Past research shows that soccer ball heading has detrimental effects on memory, reaction time and impulse control, as well as scent identification ability and olfactory functioning. The current study examined the effects of heading frequency and intensity on nasal capacity. Researchers predicted that the mean and area functions would be lower for those players who head the soccer ball with high frequency and intensity. Thirty-nine undergraduate soccer players (21 men and 18 women) completed a brief survey about their soccer-playing history. They were then asked to inhale and exhale into a Biopac Physiological Monitor three times. The mean and area of their inhalation and exhalation from the three trials was recorded. Two groups were formed from the data collected from the survey: a high and low group based on the number of times a ball was headed and high and low group based on the intensity with which the ball was headed. An independent samples t-test was on both the frequency group and the intensity group. Results showed that those who headed the ball more had significantly lower exhalation and inhalation areas and means. Also, those who headed the ball with greater intensity had significantly lower exhalation areas and significantly lower inhalation areas and means. Soccer players should consider this research in order to educate and prevent future damage to the nasal cavity.


THE EFFECT OF WEIGHING, GENDER, AND FOOD NEOPHBIA/NEOPHILIA ON FOOD CHOICES
Patrick Dwyer, Lucas Lemasters, Bryan Raudenbush, and Stephen Saldanha

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of being weighed versus not being weighed, prior to food selection, on food selection. Participants were provided a fake buffet and asked to arrange a meal from the foods in front of them. Researchers then recorded the foods selected and had participants fill out a series of questionnaires. Results indicate significant differences in food weight, total food, and total calories selected in regards to condition (weighed versus not weighed), the participant's classification according to the Food Neophobia Scale, and condition interacting with gender.


THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS AND PAIN TOLERANCE
Kristin Custer, Patrick Dwyer, Lucas Lemasters, Ryan Naumann and Sierra Moore

The current study attempted to find a relationship between personality traits surveyed by the Big 5 Personality Test and pain tolerance. Researchers hypothesized that participants who received high scores of Openness, Extraversion, and Agreeableness via the personality would also have high pain tolerance. Twelve undergraduate students from a small private university aging from nineteen to twenty-five first completed the Big 5 Personality Test and then participated in the cold pressor test to assess his or her level of pain tolerance. Data was analyzed by performing an independent T-test. No significant associations between the personality traits and the amount of time spent with a hand immersed in the cold water pressor test.


THE EFFECTS OF MUSIC TEMPO ON PERFORMANCE ACCURACY
Skylar Berger, Allison Burke, Amanda Schultz, and Rachel Stahl 

The experiment examined the relationship between moods, music tempos, and performance. There were 21 participants (11 girls and 10 boys) with the average age of 20.9. Researchers used six separate 3 (music conditions) repeated measures ANOVA. Mood ratings were analyzed using 1 (NASA-TLX) repeated measures ANOVA. Performance was analyzed using 1 (correct and missed hits) repeated measures ANOVA. Results depicted that the participants examined more anxiety within the controlled condition with no music implemented. Researchers discovered the participants experienced more anger with the controlled condition without music implemented. Results depicted that participants experienced more confusion within the controlled condition without music being implemented. Results showed participants experienced more fatigue within the controlled conditioned without the music, and also showed participants were more fatigued during the pre-test. Researchers discovered that participants reported to experiencing more depressed-like moods during the controlled condition without the music. Researchers found that the participants experienced more frustration towards the workload during the slow beat song. Finally, researchers discovered no significance between the tempo of music and their performance of correct hits and the participants' missed hits. Even though results showed no significance, future researcher's can expand on the idea of the type of music that would best help an individual to complete certain tasks throughout the day more sufficiently.


THE EFFECTS OF SEX AND PTC TASTE ABILITY ON PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS
Christina Dittoe, Tiffany Henderson, Danielle McPherson, Haley Rush

The effects of sex and PTC (phenylthiocarbamide) taste ability on personality characteristics were examined in a 2x3x6 factorial design. Sixty participants (30 males, 30 females) completed a Profile of Mood States (POMs) questionnaire (anger, anxiety, vigor, confusion, fatigue, depression) and a rating scale related to their ability to taste or not taste PTC. A demographic sheet was filled out by participants that included age and sex. No significance was found with sex, the six characteristics of personality (POMs), or taste ability. However, it was found that vigor had the highest means out of the six characteristics and confusion had the lowest means out of the six characteristics. The implication of this study would help professionals in the psychology field to better predict patient personality with previously knowledge of patient taste ability. This information would help the professional understand the patient more and in turn provide better treatment.


THE INFLUENCE OF TEMPERATURE AND COLOR ON FLAVOR RATINGS
Kelley Asbury, Angela McNulty, and Clayton Smith

The study used a within subjects design. The first factor was the variable of color (red, green, yellow, purple), and the second factor was the variable of temperature (room temperature or refrigerated). The other factors include the fourteen dimensions on the ratings sheet. Participants rated samples of enhanced water beverages on a scale of 0 (low) to 10 (high) on fourteen dimensions: intensity, pleasantness, sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, berry flavor, cherry flavor, lime flavor, orange flavor, grape flavor, kiwi-strawberry flavor, apple flavor, and lemon flavor. Participants were presented with eight samples: the first sample was lemon flavored and dyed yellow, the second sample was grape flavored and dyed purple, the third sample was berry flavored and dyed red, the fourth sample was kiwi-strawberry flavored and dyed green, the fifth sample was grape flavored and clear, the sixth sample was berry flavored and clear, the seventh sample was kiwi-strawberry flavored and clear, and the eighth sample was lemon flavored and clear. Participants would be randomly assigned to receive either room temperature beverages or refrigerated beverages for their first trial. Then participants would repeat the study with at least two days in-between trials, and would receive the opposite condition of the beverages that they had previously been assigned to. Participants were encouraged to consume a salted cracker and drink water between samples in order to cleanse the pallet. There were not enough data to show any significance among ratings.


THE EFFECTS OF SENSORY DEPRIVATION ON PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCEPTS OF MEMORY RECALL
Dominic Depalma, Richard Kubacki, Mike Petrella, Andrew Strope, James Wise

The purpose of this study was to determine if depriving people of their sense would increase their memory recall ability. Participants of the study were required to make two appointments that were separated by at least 24 hours. There were two variations to the experimenting process. Participants were either instructed to complete a multiplication work sheet and then complete a memory recall puzzle or they were placed in a sensory deprivation tank for 20 minutes and then had to complete the memory recall puzzle.


ADD AS A FRIEND?
Catherine Balbier and Christopher James Bohinski

This research involves studying the accuracy of a person's intuition when looking at an unknown person's Facebook profile picture. The purpose of this research project is to collect and analyze how accurately one can judge an unknown peer's age, GPA, and popularity based solely on a photograph. Comparing the data collected from the participants and the true facts of the unknown persons whose Facebook pictures were used, the accuracy of the participants' intuition will be discovered using a Chi-Square test as well as a qualitative comparison of the data. The results of this experiment will allow for a better understanding of how much information can accurately be gathered when looking at a person's Facebook profile picture. Based on the collected data from the participants and after performing Chi-Square tests, it appears that a person can accurately identify an unknown person's age, GPA, and number of Facebook friends based on viewing a Facebook profile picture. 



COLOR PRIMING: EFFECTS ON MEMORY RECALL
Rebecca Olsavsky, Sarah Creamer, Taylor Christman, and Kyle Fieslerr

The purpose of this study was to learn whether or not the color of testing materials improves the test taker's ability to retain and apply given information. The hypothesis we sought to prove is that taking a test on a blue piece of paper will prime the participants by creating a calming effect on them; therefore they will be better able to focus, memorize, and retain the information. There were no immediate benefits to the participants in the study, but, depending on the results of the study, further research could be applied that would ultimately benefit all students and help them to be more successful in retaining knowledge. Although none of the six items showed significant pre-post change score differences, two of the items approached significance. Statement 1, I think it is important for people to participate in chemistry research, the serious group had an average difference of -0.06 (SD = .25), while the fun group had an average difference of 0.25 (SD = .79), t (38) = -1.52, p. < .07 (one-tailed). Statement 4, I can see myself participating in graduate research, showed another interesting result. Even though students indicated no change in opinion about whether or not they could see themselves participating in research as an undergraduate, statement 3, the serious group had a positive mean change for the possibility of doing graduate-level research (M = 0.31; SD = 0.79), while the fun group had a negative mean difference (M = -0.04; SD = 0.80)., t (38) = 1.38, p. < .09 (one-tailed).


BODY MODIFICATION: THE EFFECTS OF TATTOOS AND BODY PIERCINGS ON FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Allison Santer, Bridget Welsh, Evan Johnston, and Jack MacKinnon

In this study, we sought to ascertain whether having visible tattoos and piercings would strongly alter one's first impression of someone. First impressions were judged by approximately 85 participants who viewed a series of 25 photos, each in only 20 seconds, and rated them each on a scale of one to five as to how approachable participants found them, how likely the people photographed are to be hired, and what socioeconomic class participants thought their families belonged to (as many of the people photographed are young). Unbeknownst to participants, five individuals pictured had two very different photos of themselves in the slides (to total ten of the 25 photographs). In one photo, the person has visible tattoos and/or piercings, and in the second photo they are "cleaned up," so to speak, with less visible body modification. The data clearly indicate that individuals will have less positive first impressions of individuals with body modifications. Analysis on IBM SPSS shows that the data is statistically significant – there is a relationship between the presence of body modification and the positivity in a first impression in this sample. Average scores for people with body modifications: Approachability 2.3, Likelihood of Hiring 2.4, Socioeconomic Class 2.1. Average scores for people with NO body modifications: Approachability 3.31, Likelihood of Hiring 3.31, Socioeconomic Class 2.69.


RESEARCH PRESENTATION STYLE EFFECTS ON STUDENTS' PERSPECTIVES OF CHEMISTRY RESEARCH
Rebecca Haley and Cassandra Crihfield

Undergraduate chemistry students heard one of two presentations about chemistry research made by the same professor. Attitudes toward chemistry research were measured before and after the presentation. Those who heard a "serious" presentation using technical language tended to be more likely to imagine themselves doing graduate-level research. Those who heard the same presentation delivered in a light-hearted, "fun" manner tended to think that it is more important for people to participate in chemistry research.


COMPARING INTUITIVE PERCEPTION OF COMMON AMERICAN POP CULTURE STEREOTYPES BETWEEN INTERNATIONAL AND TRADITIONAL AMERICAN STUDENTS
Vera Filatova and Shriya Adhikary

Intuition allows an individual to form a split-second judgment without necessarily involving the faculty of reason into the judgment process. Intuition is a product of life experiences. This study seeks to determine how international students perceive common American pop culture stereotypes in comparison to traditional American students. A short survey was administered to equal numbers of international and American students. Total participants were 50. The survey consisted of ten short written descriptions of common American pop culture stereotypes. The stereotypes include: business person, teacher, librarian, computer scientists, hippie, professional athlete, celebrity, janitor, doctor, and lawyer. The participants were asked to indicate the race, gender, occupation, and current success of the person described. This study will help determine the influence and reach of American stereotypes on a global scale, and the role American stereotypes play in shaping the intuition of students from other countries.


INFLUENCE OF SAME-SEX AND OPPOSITE-SEX AUDIENCES ON EXERCISE TIME
 
Influence of same-sex and opposite-sex audiences on exercise time was examined using a 2 x 3 ANOVA design. At Wheeling Jesuit University, 19 participants, consisting of six males and 13 female participants were rated on how the presence of others would affect their exercise time. The 19 participants were split into three groups; alone, with the member of the same sex, and a member of the opposite sex. Participants were given a consent form, a demographic sheet, and an anxiety survey. Afterwards, participants were weighed and exercised in the room. We hypothesized the presence of an audience would increase exercise time for both males and females. We predicted females exercise time would be higher in the presence of the same-sex and lower in the presence of the opposite-sex. Our study found no statistically significant results.


THE EFFECTS OF MEDIA EXPOSURE AND GENDER ON THE BELIEVABILITY OF FALSE WEIGHT GAIN
Lucas Lemasters, Nick Cotter, Dominic Depalma and Mike Patrella

The current study attempted to find a relationship between sex and media exposure on the believability of deceived weight gain using a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design. Researchers hypothesized that both men and women will have higher believability in the manipulated group where they will view media related to ideal body image. Twelve participants (7 males and 5 females) were weighed on a fixed scale (which showed each participant to be 7 pounds heavier than they actually were) and were asked if they believed whether or not the scale reading was accurate. They were also made to take a body-esteem scale before and after the weigh in. Half the participants were randomly assigned to the media exposure group; half were not. Data was analyzed by performing a two-between ANOVA and paired samples t-tests. No significant associations of sex and/or media exposure on believability were found.


THE EFFECTS OF EATING ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS ON NUTRITIONAL INTAKE AND ACTIVITY LEVEL
Sierra Moore

Past research has investigated the relationships between eating attitudes and behaviors, body satisfaction, and eating disorder tendencies. The current study examined the effects that eating attitudes and behaviors would have on an individual's overall nutritional intake. One hundred and eight participants (38 males and 70 females) completed the Eating Disorder Inventory, the Eating Habits Questionnaire, and the Eating Attitudes Test and recorded their daily nutritional intake and exercise on three days assigned to them at random. The data from the Eating Habits Questionnaire, the Eating Attitudes Test, and the participant's activity level were subjected to One-Way ANOVAS. Those who had the most disordered eating had significantly higher EDI scores and significantly lower nutritional intake. An Independent T-test ran on sex found that females have significantly more disordered eating patterns then men. A correlational matrix on age found that age was positively correlated with BMI, and calories and total fat.


THE EFFECT OF FEMALE PHEROMONES ON MEN'S ATTRIBUTION RATING OF WOMEN
Allison Burke, Amy Pinkerton and Bryan Raudenbush
 
Research on the mechanisms of attraction between human beings has been a subject of interest in psychology for many decades. The current study was intended to discover if exposure to the female pheromone scent would increase the perceived attractiveness of images of females in male participants. Thirty-two male undergraduate volunteers participated in the study. The participants were required to complete two visits, a control and an odor condition. The method for both the control visit and the scented visit were identical, with the exception of the last step; for the first visit, the researcher had the participant schedule their second visit at the end of the first visit but, at the end of the participant's second visit, the researcher instead gave research points to the participant in exchange for their completed participation. In each visit, the participants first completed a demographic sheet, the Profile of Mood States survey, and then heart rate and blood pressure data were collected. Next participants rated images of women on different scales of attractiveness. Afterwards post heart rate and blood pressure data were gathered, then a post POMS, and finally, the NASA-TLX. This process was completed for both conditions. There was a significant difference found for friendliness with the pheromone-scented condition having lower ratings of friendliness, (t(30) = -7.139, p .000). Significance was also found in the NASA-TLX rating of frustration, (t(30) = 14.26972) with higher frustration levels recorded during the scented visit. Other trends were also found. The hypothesis was not upheld by the data obtained from this study. The researchers believe that, if accounting for extraneous variables and changing the sample from a convenience sample to a larger, stratified sample may provide results more similar to those found in previous studies.


PERCEIVED CAUSAL INFLUENCES ON HISTORICAL EVENTS
Allison Burke, Mike Petrella, and Jamie Wise

The present pilot experiment studied participants' causal interpretations of well-known historical events. Several scenarios of personal achievement were described to participants (e.g., Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon) in the context of a brief story highlighting various factors that might have contributed to it, such as a lifetime of physical fitness, a personal history of psychological determination, and luck to have been born in the right place and time (i.e., the space race). Participants then rated possible causes for each of the fifteen historical events prioritizing the degree of influence of each of the potentially causal variables. The influences included psychological, social, cultural, biological, and other varieties reflecting deterministic, non-deterministic, and indeterministic perspectives. Results were consistent with stated participant biases or preferences about causal thinking. Gender differences were also evident. Most individuals favored "psychically deterministic" interpretations (cognitive/psychological influences within individuals). The results could be useful in identifying the influences that guide causal thinking.


PHILOSOPHICAL ATTITUDE SURVEY: THE MIND-BODY ARGUMENT
Justin Amos, Kelsey Leach, Andrea Long, Killeen Schlegel

The present study surveyed philosophical attitudes among college students. Fifty-one undergraduate students were surveyed about their feelings towards the mind-body argument. They also rated 36 statements that accorded with one or another specific perspective on the mind-body problem, rating their level of agreement on a scale from 1 to 5. Data were reduced by identifying participants with the perspectives for which they attained a 50th percentile score or higher. This study found that participants agreed with 24 of the 36 statements on the survey. Most of these agreements reflected a monist attitude in the mind-body argument. Originally we predicted that more college students would hold a dualist position. The results did not support our hypothesis. Future studies should consider modifications on the survey to further differentiate the results.


THE RUBBER HAND ILLUSION AND THE EXPERIENCE OF A SELF
Patrick Dwyer, Lucas Lemasters, Danielle McPherson, Stephen Saldanha

Researchers hypothesized that the idea of a concrete "self" (as in self-concept) does not really exist as an independent "thing." Rather, the self is a much more fluid, dynamic, construct. Researchers went about supporting this hypothesis by conducting the rubber hand experiment. The rubber hand illusion consists of shrouding one of the lower arms of the participant and placing a rubber hand next to the covered arm. Researchers then stroke the participants' real but shrouded hand with a brush while simultaneously stroking the rubber hand in plain sight. Previous research has demonstrated that when the visual stroke pattern on the rubber hand correlates closely with the tactile pattern on the participant's own hidden hand, participants report perceiving the sensation as if it is located in the rubber hand. The rubber hand effectively but temporarily becomes their own. Twelve undergraduate students at Wheeling Jesuit University participated in this experiment. Outcomes were evaluated qualitatively by recording the verbal description and other spontaneous reactions of the participants. Results were mixed, but certain cases did show strong support for the feeling of ownership in regards to the rubber hand, demonstrating a degree of fluidity in the boundaries of the self.


ANALYZING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE NEW THOUGHT MOVEMENT
Kristen Custer, Alexus Rairdon, Megan Reed and Clayton Smith

The New Thought Movement emphasizes God as a force for good and believes that healing and positive outcomes may be achieved through the right thought processes. We analyzed "principles underlying the 'new thought' movement", arguing that one's thoughts in some sense do cause or determine their reality and the events therein. Supporting arguments draw from the rationalist tradition according to which principles or organizing patterns operating within the mind give rise to the content of experience. The implications of this ideology for healing, positive thinking and religion derived from the mechanisms by which thoughts enable individuals to create their own realities.


THE MIND-BODY ARGUMENT IN RELATION TO THE NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE
Skylar Berger, Amanda Schultz, Erin Sheplavy, & Bridget Welsh

Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are testimonies by those who have been diagnosed as clinically dead but were immediately resuscitated, by those who have died but were able to articulate their experiences in their last moments, and by those who feared that they were near to death due to the onset of illnesses or accidents. Raymond Moody identified 15 Elements common to NDE. Researchers continue to debate whether such subjective case reports are simple delusions resulting from necrotic processes or whether they challenge the materials interpretation of the mind-body problem. The Mind-Body argument is the question of whether mind and body are two things or one. Philosophically, the diverse perspectives on mind-body relationship can be classified as materialist, idealist, or dualist. The present investigation of the literature found that certain NDEs present a strong argument against materialism, especially those published accounts by Dr. Eben Alexander and Colton Burpo.


VISIONARY ENCOUNTERS WITH DEPARTED LOVED ONES
Christina Dittoe, Rachel Gambow, Rachel McGuire, Haley Rush

This research was to explore the nature of Raymond Moody's controversial experiment that induced visionary encounters with departed loved ones via mirror gazing. Mirror gazing--literally looking into the "depths" of a dimly lit reflective surface--has historically been utilized as a medium to connect with the deceased in many pre-monotheistic religious traditions. Moody's interest was sparked by the compelling number of positive therapeutic effects from people with near death experience who similarly report contacting deceased loved ones. Convinced that he could heal grief, he pursued his research in mirror gazing. Using a time-intensive and elaborate induction procedure based on ancient techniques, Moody appears to have replicated the therapeutic effects of near death experience. Results showed 50% of his participants had a visionary encounter and 100% reported feeling some sort of therapeutic benefit. Mirror gazing may have therapeutic benefits that are worth pursuing with appropriate cautions.


THOUGHTS DO NOT CAUSE A PHYSICAL REALITY
Dominic Depalma, Georges Noubossie, Andrew Strope

We addressed the question of whether thoughts cause personal reality to arise as is advanced by the tenants of the New Thought movement. The New Thought movement is primarily a philosophical and religious movement based loosely on select biblical and American transcendental philosophical traditions. Adherents advocate positive thinking and the active fostering of positive emotional states on the supposition that doing so alters the nature of experiences the practitioner will "attract." The "law of attraction" and the "power of positive thinking" are derivatives. The behaviorist argument against thought creating a reality contrasts New Thought most sharply by following the empiricist tradition, asserting that external stimuli are the primary causes of sensation, perception, and thought. While some aspects of the New Thought movement may have practical benefits, but those aspects need to be critically evaluated before adopting the majority of the New Thought teachings.



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