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Abstracts - Paper Session I

Paper Session I

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM


Group One: Ardolf 105

10:45 Psychopathic Personality Traits and Substance Use in Siblings. Allan J Heritage, Hamline University

The current study examined the relationship between Psychopathic personality traits such as impulsivity, self centeredness, and rebelliousness and a family history of alcohol and other substance abuse. It was hypothesized that a family history of alcohol or substance abuse would be associated with higher scores on a measure of psychopathic personality traits. It was found that a family history of alcohol or substance abuse such as having a parent who has received treatment, a mother who currently abuses alcohol, or a brother with a history of alcohol abuse was a significant predictor of total scores on the Psychopathic Personality Inventory Revised (PPI-R) (Lilienfeld, 2005) as well as scores on the Self Centered Impulsivity subscale.


11:00 Alternatives to Punishment: An Assessment of Student Knowledge. Lori Hughes and ChiaoThong Yong, Bemidji State University

Punishment is a widely used behavior management technique in homes, schools and treatment settings. Although punishment can effectively reduce problem behaviors, its use is controversial because it can also cause physical and psychological harm. Punishment is often used habitually or impulsively, without consideration of less risky alternatives. In this study, the researchers were interested in examining whether students who have learned about both the side effects of punishment and alternative strategies for correcting problem behaviors are less likely to use punishment in behavioral management situations. The study also examines students' knowledge and perceived efficacy of punishment alternatives before and after instruction on the topic. The finding of this study would contribute to a better understanding of people's tendency to choose punishment over less intrusive alternatives.



Group Two: Ardolf 142

10:45 Emotional Affect among Preschool Aged Children. Samantha Voeller, Concordia University, St. Paul

It has been proposed that there are six basic emotions which are universally recognizable; these include happiness, fear, anger, sadness, surprise, and disgust. Many believe that humans are biologically "hardwired" to recognize these emotions and interpret the meaning behind them as well. The question proposed is when does the onset of emotional recognition take place? Are we born with the immediate response to such emotional affects? This experiment examined a group of preschool-aged children to determine whether that age group demonstrates a bias for emotional stimuli, as well as if there was an emotional stimulus (happy or sad) that was favored more often. Happy, sad, and neutral faces were used to determine responses, and favored stimuli.


11:00 Playing with Siblings: Supporting Brothers and Sisters of Children on the Autism Spectrum. Vanessa Brown and Nikki Marvin, St. Olaf College

This presentation will describe the creation of a support group for school-age siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the United States. Children with ASD often behave in ways that create stress for family members in public settings as well as at home. Parents' focused attention on siblings with ASD may cause feelings of jealousy and resentment, while siblings unusual behaviors may create confusion, embarrassment, and discomfort around peers. Age-appropriate support groups can address these concerns and reduce feelings of isolation; however, especially when they incorporate games and play.



 Group Three: Ardolf 121

10:45 Note Taking: Laptop versus Pen and Paper. Lisa Galvin & Joshua Stebbins, Concordia University, Saint Paul

The objective of this study was to see if there was a difference in note taking attention or abilities between taking notes on a laptop and taking notes with paper and writing utensils (pen or pencil) in a classroom setting. This study was performed with college students from a university that utilizes laptops and wireless internet. The students were randomly assigned to use either laptops or paper for note taking from a video that had been preselected, simulating a classroom environment. Following the video was a quiz testing on the content, which the students were allowed to use their notes to complete. Along with the quiz was a survey gathering qualitative data regarding regular note taking experiences in class.


11:00 The Relationship between Social Phobia and Academic Performance. Ali Schulz, North Central University

Research was conducted to better understand the relationship between social phobia and academic performance among college students. Gender differences emerged, including females reporting higher levels of social phobia. Males, but not females, produced a significant positive correlation between the two main variables.



 Group Four: Gorecki 120 A

10:45 Pushing the Refresh Button: Restorative Effects of Photo Processing on Working Memory. Lisa Ott, Thomas Malloy and Molly Kurtz, University of St. Thomas

It has been found that exposure to nature has a restorative effect on cognitive functioning, as measured by working memory capacity (Berman et al., 2008). Interacting with the outdoors modestly captures involuntary attention, allowing voluntary attention to replenish (Berman et al., 2008). Even viewing pictures of nature can have these restorative effects. We hope to replicate these findings in our research. In addition, we are extending this question in two ways by comparing peaceful nature scenes to threatening scenery. In addition, we are investigating whether viewing attractive faces might have similar beneficial effects on cognitive processing.


11:00 Factors Influencing False Memory Development in Pseudo-Jurors. Kathryn Stroud, Carleton College

Schema theory and dual-processes theory both attempt to explain false memory. In this study, 39 participants watched a video of a courtroom scene in which the testimony contained four different scenarios that varied according to biasing verb presence (intense or neutral) and cueing type (gist or verbatim). Schema theory predicts that cue type will not influence false memory levels, while dual-processes theory predicts that verbatim cues will suppress false memory formation. Both models predict that intense verbs engender false memory where neutral verbs do not. The verbatim and neutral conditions produced significantly more false memory than gist or intense conditions. There was also a significant interaction between cue type and biasing verb presence with the gist/intense condition producing significantly less false memory than the other conditions. These results do not support the schema model or the dual-processes model. 



 Group Five: Ardolf 104

10:45 Emotion, Gender and College Professors: Do Angry Professors Make the Grade? Sarah Schwarzkopf, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

Previous research suggests that when people in positions of leadership, especially women, violate gender stereotypes they are harshly punished. According to gender proscriptions, it is undesirable for women, but not men, to show anger. Student participants were given a brief sample of a hypothetical professor's tenure file which included a student course evaluation in which researchers manipulated the hypothetical professor's gender and reaction to a potentially angering event. Participants were expected to rate the hypothetical professors differently based on anger expression and gender. Results showed a significant main effect for anger, with participants awarding the highest ratings to the "angry" professor.


11:00 The Influence of Attachment and Framing in Mentoring Preferences. Rebecca Carlson, Gustavus Adolphus College

Mentors influence people in all stages of life. From youth mentoring to workplace mentoring, they all support, encourage, and influence the development of a mentee by increasing social support, promoting goal setting and attainment, and increasing life satisfaction (Rhodes & DuBois, 2008, DuBois & Silverthorn, 2005). The purpose of the study is to examine how likely mentors who utilize different motivational strategies are to be chosen based on the attachment style of the mentee. This study hypothesizes that securely attached participants will be more likely to choose promotion-oriented mentors than will insecurely attached participants. Preliminary analysis suggests that self-regulatory focus (promotion or prevention) predicts mentor preference. Promotion-focused participants prefer promotion-oriented mentors while prevention-focused participants prefer prevention-oriented mentors.



 Group Six: Ardolf 107

10:45 Stranger Rape, Acquaintance Rape, and Gender: Perceived Attributions of Victims and Perpetrators. Erin Ring, College of St. Catherine

This study assessed the perceived attributions of victims and perpetrators in sexual assault scenarios by manipulating the type of assault and the gender of victims and perpetrators in each scenario. Male victims received significantly more blame than female victims, and perpetrators of acquaintance rape received significantly more blame than perpetrators of stranger rape. Rape myth acceptance was significantly correlated with the amount of blame that victims received. Results suggest that attributions of victims and perpetrators differ depending on the situational factors of the assault. Results also suggest that there are still stigmas surrounding male victims of sexual assault. We must continue to conduct research on sexual violence in order to obtain a more thorough understanding of attributions surrounding sexual assault.


11:00 Perceived Threats Predict Prejudicial Attitudes toward Somali Refugees. Sara McGirr, Bethel University

While much research has been conducted regarding the integrated threat theory and negative attitudes toward immigrant populations, the body of research applying this theory to understanding prejudice against refugees is quite limited. This gap in the research is especially pronounced in the U.S. context. The present study examined the prevalence of perceived realistic threat, symbolic threat, and prejudice against Somali refugees in a sample of U.S. citizens (n=51). Individual differences, such as American identity, political ideology, and religious fundamentalism were also measured in this online survey. Preliminary results suggest that both realistic and symbolic threats significantly predicted heightened prejudicial attitudes (p<.001). Results are discussed in relation to the integrated threat theory of prejudice and in terms of potential strategies for improving intergroup relations.



 Group Seven: Ardolf 127

10:45 Children Dealing with Autism and Asperger's Disorder and the Treatments Used. Kiley Wear, Bemidji State University

Autism diagnoses have been increasing dramatically in recent years. The cause is still unknown, but there are many different treatments for these cases. Along with the different treatments, there are multiple theories of Autism. The questions that the presentation will focus on are the following: what are the current treatments for Autism and other Autism Spectrum Disorders? How effective are these treatments? Are there treatments that are more widely used than others? The answers to these questions will come from reviewing peer-reviewed literature on the effectiveness of various treatments.



11:00 Children's Conceptualizations of Psychological Disorders: Increasing Knowledge and Decreasing Stigma in Elementary Schools. Elnora Romness and Robin Parritz, Hamline University

Children often socially ostracize peers who struggle with psychological disorders due to inaccurate beliefs and negative attitudes. The impact on children with disorders is concerning-ranging from feelings of diminished self-esteem and self-efficacy to impaired peer relationships. Given that most children will interact with peers who have psychological disorders throughout their school years, it is important to directly address inaccurate beliefs and negative attitudes. We will implement an education intervention in 3rd and 4th grade elementary school classrooms. Students will participate in two 1-hour sessions (one focused on ADHD and another focused on autism). Analyses of pre- and post-test measures are expected to reveal that the intervention resulted in multiple, significant, and lasting positive effects.



 Group Eight: Gorecki 120 B

10:45 Resolution Acuity Thresholds for Chromatic Grating Patterns. Trista M. Weber, Hamline University

This study compared resolution acuity thresholds for opponent-color chromatic gratings and non-opponent chromatic gratings using computer-generated, square wave stimuli. Using the staircase method, distances at which horizontal patterns and vertical patterns could not be discriminated were recorded for eight participants. Results indicate that resolution acuity thresholds are significantly higher for Red-Green (opponent) stimuli than for Blue-Yellow (opponent) stimuli. It was also determined that thresholds were significantly higher for stimuli with longer averaged wavelengths. 


11:00 Intergenerational Differences in Detecting Sexual Orientation: Effects of Exposure to Homosexuality.  Christopher Westergaard, Buena Vista University

Gaydar, the ability to detect the sexual orientation of strangers using only visual cues, has become an increasingly popular term. Saghir and Robins (1973) first found that gay men claimed this ability, but it has been a little explored phenomenon in the psychological literature. Past research has been inconclusive, but the term gaydar remains and has penetrated media and even become the premise of television game shows. In addition, media exposure to gays and lesbians has increased. The current research seeks to support previous research on detecting sexual orientation and to also test the relationship between accuracy of detection and amount of exposure to homosexuality.