Wheeling Jesuit University
Psychology Home
About Us
      Chair Welcome
      Facts about Psychology
      Psychology Press Releases
      Possible Careers
      Information Sheet
Prospective Students
      Tuition & Fees
      What to Do With a Degree
         in Psychology
Current Students
      Clubs and Organizations
      Concentrations Checklist
      Graduate School
      Majors Checklists
      Recent Research
      Scholarships and Awards
Related Links

Recent Research Outcomes
Spring 2007

Reinforcement in Relation to Physical Activity
Matt Galvin, Jamie Holliday, Chasidi Johnson, and Caitlin Swauger

Internal and external Locus of Control (LOC) was hypothesized to influence exercise behavior. The test was run on a total of 40 participants (19 males and 19 females, with 2 participants who did not respond to demographics). Three surveys were completed to determine exercise frequency, type of exercise, feelings experienced while exercising, and how pleasurable those feelings are. These surveys were completed along with a Multidimensional LOC scale. The Pearson correlation test was used to find relations between the variables that were tested. Two significant results were found. It was found that external feeling frequency had a correlation with external pleasure frequency (r = .314, p < .05), and that internal pleasure frequency had a correlation of with external pleasure frequency (r = .534, p < .05). The rest of the correlations among the variables were too small to be significant.  A One-way ANOVA was used to test exercise frequency and an independent sample t-test was used to test for gender differences. No significant results were found in these two studies. Our alternative hypothesis, although invalid, does not necessarily have to be immediately rejected. In future studies, other methods of testing can be used to find a correlation between internal and external LOC and exercise habits, including; refining the surveys used, having participants give a subjective response to how they feel during exercise and why they exercise. This could lead into future studies testing the LOC of athletes and non-athletes and the self-reinforcement they get during and after exercise.

Heart Rate Discrimination as a Function of Practice and Feedback
Jared Bloom, Ryan Hunker, Benjamin Wershing, Nikki Zarnoch, and Michael A. Kirkpatrick
Four undergraduate athlete volunteers were required to run on a treadmill at various speeds for twenty minutes in three experimental conditions.  The conditions consisted of a baseline phase, two feedback phases, and an assessment phase. During the conditions the participants were asked to predict their heart rate at one-minute intervals.  Their heart rate was measured using a watch and chest strap apparatus so that only the experimenter was able to see the runner’s actual heart rate. Only during the second and third condition did the participants get feedback about their heart rate predictions.  The results of the study showed that during the assessment phase the participants were more accurately predicting their heart rate compared to the baseline phase. 

Distraction or Imagery: A Comparative Analysis of Varying Attention Moderators and Pain
Jude Almeida, Daniel Felbaum, Ramsey Miller, and Alex Reed

A variety of non-pharmaceutical based methods are used to manage pain intensity and tolerance.  The present study compared a known effective pain manager with an imagined counterpart as attention modifiers, and measured their effects on pain.  In a between-subjects design, participants completed one of the following conditions: Visual/Visual, Visual/Imagine, Imagine/Imagine, or Imagine/Visual.  The method involved a 10-minute pre-exposure, followed by continued exposure during a cold presser test.  The visual distraction had participants view scenes from mixed martial arts fights.  The imagery distraction revolved around participants being guided to imagine mixed martial arts fights.  After the cold presser test, participants completed questionnaires assessing mood (POMS), task load (NASA-TLX), and a survey regarding their attention and liking of the video/imagery.  Physiological measurements (Systolic/Diastolic Pressure, heart rate) were taken before and after the cold presser.  A repeated measures ANOVA analysis revealed no significant difference for pain intensity ratings and pain threshold.  There was an increase in vigor between any of the conditions when compared to the control group.  There was a decrease in mental demand when participants viewed the visual distraction throughout the experiment, when compared to the other conditions.  Performance was also perceived lowest when imagery was used at any time in the experiment.  Implications of this study show that imagery can lead to significantly different perceptions of workload.

The Effects of Motivators on Adherence to Wellness Attendance
Michelle Logan, Deanna Phillips, Julia Plumley, Justin Schmitt, and Michael A. Kirkpatrick

The effects of motivation on adherence to Wellness attendance was examined in a 2 x 3 factorial design. In the past many studies have been done examining motivation and honesty; this has inspired us to question whether motivators can be used as a benefit to our University Wellness Program. Eighty-six participants were divided into six groups, two independent variables consisting of three levels each. The two independent variables are whether or not the participant received a research credit point. The participants were given a general information survey and a consent form allowing experimenters to check their wellness status. In addition to the consent form and survey, the first group was read a verbal statement and the second group copied and signed an honor statement. The third group was just given the survey and consent form.   We expected to find an increase in wellness attendance among those individuals who signed and copied the honor statement.  We analyzed our data using Pearson Chi Square.  We hypothesized that when a participant received research participation points and copied and signed the honor statement, he was most likely to complete the task then the participants in the other five conditions.  We found no significance between the two independent variables within the three levels.

The Effects of Meditation on Concentration and Stress
Laura Bruno, Justin Harmer, and Maqsood Harrington

The effect of meditation on concentration and stress in individuals was measured.  The participants were divided into 2 groups.  For one group, they completed the simple motor tasks and survey without meditation.  Then, on their second session, they completed the same tasks after meditating.  The second group meditated first and completed the tasks.  Then for their next session, they completed the same tasks without meditating.  There was no significance found, although the levels of frustration were very close.  Regardless of the inconclusive results, it was important to do this study to see if the preconceived notion that meditation decreases stress and increases concentration is accurate.

Functional Assessment of Motivation for Fitness
Keely Clark, Kristen King, Kayla Matesick, and Michael Kirkpatrick

The examination provided the participants evaluation of fitness to understand the motivations behind their exercise habits. In the present paper, 20 participants gave a descriptive analysis of their exercise routine over a one-week period. Our target population was college students between the ages of 19-22, who have a normal fitness routine. These students were student athletes who were asked to volunteer for our study. Upon being asked they were given the forms and in one week will give the forms back to the third author, who worked in the training room. When the data sets were gathered it was hypothesized that there would be common motivational factors inducing particular fitness routines. What we hypothesized was correct. The motivations to exercise were classified as appearance, competition, enjoyment, health, stress management, and weight management. We found that the most common motivation factor was appearance. 10 out of the 12 had weight management listed, 6 of the females and 4 of the males. 4 out of the 12 participants, all males, showed competition to be a motivating factor.  Also, 12 out of 12 listed "enjoyment."  9 out of 12 identified health. Only 3 of the participants (all girls) labeled stress as a motivating factor. This study found that fitness routines share several common motivating factors.

The Effects of Essence of Spearmint on Levels of Stress
Robert Ioven, Katherine Garlick, Molly Latz, and Jerry Nolan

While widely popular, aromatherapy has much debate about its effectiveness. There have been some studies done based on the premise that certain aroma’s can improve performance or help someone to relax. Twenty participants completed the protocol under three conditions: spearmint condition, lavender condition, and the control condition, which was no scent. The participants experienced three sessions lasting 20-mintues each. Heart rate of each participant was recorded before and after each session. After performing a stress-inducing task, the heart rate data was analyzed using a 3 x 2 analysis of variance (ANOVA). At the end of the experiment participants took a questionnaire related to mood, (POMS or the Profile of Mood States). The results of this were analyzed using a repeated measures ANOVA. The results show that the lavender scent was the best for relieving stress and lowering heart rate. The experimental condition, spearmint was not as effective as lavender, bit did lower stress levels and heart rate. The two scent conditions did not have a significant difference when compared to one another. Lavender showed a significant difference from the no scent condition.

How Actual Exposure to Events Changes Imagery Vividness
Megan Keenan, Kayla Lewellen, Amanda Stover, Sallie Minor, and Michael A. Kirkpatrick

Reports of the vividness of an event before and after exposure to the actual event were examined in a 2 x 2 x 3 mixed-factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) design. Twenty participants were asked to imagine an event and were then exposed to the actual event in different sequences and at different time periods. Groups one and two imagined the events, were exposed to the events and then returned and imagined the events at a later time. Groups three and four were exposed to the events, imagined the events, and returned and imagined the events at a later time. We hypothesized that the participants who were exposed first and had the least amount of time between exposure and imagery would have the highest vividness ratings. We concluded that imagery vividness was significantly higher when participants were exposed to the actual stimuli.

The Effects of Positive Reinforcement on Anti-Social Behavior in Typical Pre-School Children
Ramsey Miller, Deanna Phillips, and Michael A. Kirkpatrick

The effects of positive reinforcement on pro-social behavior were examined using an A-B baseline approach.  In a pre-school environment children tend to take part in many negative behaviors that could potentially affect their development along with the learning development of their peers.  The present study was designed to assess the use of positive reinforcement on decreasing anti-social behavior. Three pre-school children (two males and one female) from a local pre-school participated in the study.  However, the entire class took part in the intervention.   The intervention consisted of the reinforcement of positive behaviors by the teachers using a behavior chart.   Researchers hypothesized that a decrease in negative behaviors would occur during the intervention phase.  The researchers analyzed the data using a paired samples t-test to compare the baseline phase to the intervention phase.  A significant difference was found between the total number of misbehaviors in the baseline phase compared to the total number of negative behaviors in the intervention phase for all three participants.  There were significantly fewer negative behaviors committed by each participant during the intervention phase than compared to the baseline phase.  This type of intervention may be helpful in decreasing unwanted behaviors in early childhood without the use of punishment.

Student Perceptions of International Students and Cultures
Jamie M. Holliday and Michael A. Kirkpatrick

To examine student perceptions of international students and cultures 33 undergraduate students were asked to complete two surveys.  16 of the 33 students were international students who completed two surveys.  The remaining students were American.  9 of the American students completed the surveys while the remaining students completed one of the two surveys then were given instructions to speak with an international student and return with 4 or 5 facts about her or his culture or country.  Upon return the participants completed a final survey.  It was hypothesized that an opportunity to personally interact with an international student would promote more open and inclusive attitudes toward other cultures and people.  However, a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and an independent t-test found no significant differences in students’ attitudes between international students, American students who did not interact with an international student, and American students who interacted with an international student.  We hypothesize that this is due to a small n or to subtle differences in the pre/post testing instruments, warranting their dismissal as artifact.  However, an alternative explanation is that a short interaction does not warrant enough information to influence one’s biases or stereotypes.  Further research is needed to determine the most effective exposure in fostering open and accepting attitudes.

Effects of Contingent Reinforcement and Instruction Type on Exercise Performance
David Bowden II, Michael Kidd, Asher Zaccagnini, and Michael A. Kirkpatrick

This study explored the effects of auditory reinforcement and instruction type on the performance of 3 low-intensity physical exercises.  The study used a nested design with exercise type (body squats (BS), lateral pull down (LPD), and unilateral shoulder flexion (USF)) as a within-subjects variable and instruction type (written, video, and audial) a between-subjects variable.  The auditory feedback was provided with a “clicker.”  Participants were told to complete an exercise without instruction during visit 1.  Instruction was given on visit 2 and the “clicker” was used on visit 3.  Two independent observers scored each of the sets for the first 2 visits (2 sets for each exercise type).  BS had the fewest number of errors (M = 10.102, SD = 2.162).  There was no significant difference between LPD and USF (p = 0.461).  Interrater reliability was deemed acceptable with a mean Pearson correlation between observers yielding r = 0.915 (SD = 0.102). The data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA.  Previous research has demonstrated that video instruction is typically the most effective instruction type. 

A Review of Applied Behavior Analysis in Sports
Amanda Stover, C.T. Huntley, and Michael A. Kirkpatrick

This study reviewed articles published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis that utilized conventional sports activities or sports settings. Earlier publications concentrated more attention on the reinforcement of physical behaviors in the mentally disabled. Later publications focused on improving specific skills within certain sports activities. By considering a broad perspective of performance within diverse experimental designs, behavior analysis has been able to apply behavioral principles to modifying many target behaviors. The practical use of these techniques has not only increased the popularity of the field but also recognized the benefits of applied research.

The Effects of Service Orientation on College Students
Corinne Chamberlin and Michael A. Kirkpatrick

The effects of service orientation on college students was evaluated by having 37 college age volunteers complete a survey consisting of the Interpersonal Reliability Index (IRI), a "better-than-average" assessment, and a demographics page asking about their service involvement and experiences.  Those who did service weekly were found to have higher grade point averages (GPAs) and rated themselves more likely to donate to a non-profit organization than those not doing service.  They were also found to have significantly higher scores on the Fantasy, Empathy, and Perspective-taking subscales of the IRI.  Also students who were required to do service because of a scholarship or other academic requirement were found to have higher GPAs than those who did not.

Effects of Differential Movie Video Segments on Increasing Pain Threshold and Tolerance
Daniel Felbaum, Ryan Hunker, Corinne Chamberlin, Jerry Nolan and Bryan Raudenbush

A variety of studies have shown that video distractions can be effective in alleviating pain ratings. However, few studies have assessed the type of video distraction. The present study assessed the effects of visual distraction genres on pain intensity and threshold. In a within-subjects design, participants were randomly assigned to view different genres of video clips; these clips included comedy, action/adventure, romantic, humorous, and a non-video clip control condition. After a 5-minute exposure to the assigned video clip, participants were asked to simultaneously continue to view the video clip while completing a cold pressor pain test. Upon completion of the cold pressor test, the participant’s mood (via the Profile of Mood States) and task load (via the NASA-Task Load Index) were assessed. Physiological measurements were taken before viewing the video clip and after the cold pressor test. A final survey was given to determine whether the videos were perceived to be their assigned genre, what the participants’ favorite genre was, and how much the participants liked the various genres. Results indicate that the action based video clip was significantly better at distracting participants from pain and led to increased pain tolerance. Thus, the specific type of video is an important consideration when considering a non-pharmacological adjunct to pain distraction.

Effects of Peppermint Scent on Appetite Control and Caloric Intake
Alex Reed, Jude Almeida, Ben Wershing, and Bryan Raudenbush

Previous research indicates that inhalation of certain scents may reduce hunger levels.  The present study evaluated hunger levels during peppermint inhalation vs. non-inhalation, in addition to actual food consumption and dietary evaluation (e.g., fat intake, caloric intake, vitamin and mineral intake, etc.) over a period of two weeks.  In a within-subjects design, participants completed a peppermint inhalation condition (administered every 2 hours) and a non-inhalation condition.  Each condition was performed for 5 days during separate weeks.  During the protocol, participant rated their hunger level every two hours and completed a food diary listing everything they consumed for the two five-day periods.  Results indicate participants consumed significantly fewer total calories, calories from saturated fat, total fat, and sugar during the peppermint inhalation condition.  Participants also rated their hunger level significantly lower during peppermint inhalation.  The primary implication of these results is that peppermint scent can be used as an effective adjunct to decrease appetite, decrease hunger cravings, and consume fewer calories, which may lead to weight reduction and greater overall health.

Effects of peppermint scent inhalation on smoking cravings and cessation.
Daniel Felbaum, Jared Bloom and Bryan Raudenbush

A variety of pharmacological methods have been proven effective in alleviating the symptoms of smoking cravings and withdrawals. The present study assessed a more natural approach by using peppermint scent as a potential craving, urges, and withdrawal symptoms inhibitor. In a within-subjects design, participants completed three conditions: peppermint inhalation (PI) use in lieu of smoking, control ad-lib smoking (CS), and abstinence from smoking (AS). While undergoing each of these conditions, participants completed a series of surveys three times each day. The surveys included the Profile of Mood States, Cigarette Craving Survey, Smoking Urges Survey, Cigarette Withdrawal Scale, Peppermint Inhaler Use Tally, and Cigarette Use Tally. Results indicated differences in smoking urges, smoking cravings, and smoking withdrawal symptoms, such that CS < PI < AS.   In terms of anxiety, vigor, anger, and confusion, there was no significant difference between PI and CS conditions.  There were significant differences between CS and AS.  In addition, there were no significant differences for smoking urges, smoking cravings, and smoking withdrawal symptoms between the PI and CS conditions.  In following suit, there were significantly lower ratings between CS versus AS.  This study provides evidence that inhaling peppermint scent can achieve similar results in smoking cravings and withdrawal symptoms when compared to actually smoking.

Career Opportunities |  Calendar |  President's Welcome |  Offered Services |  Financial Aid |  Campus Directory |  Title IX |  Apply Online

© 2017 Wheeling Jesuit University, Inc. • 316 Washington Avenue • Wheeling • West Virginia • 26003 • 304-243-2000 • Legal
Website Powered by ActiveCampus™ Software by Datatel