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Abstracts - Poster Session I

Poster Session I

9:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Gorecki 204

 

1 The Effects of Distraction on Concentration. Laura Althoff, Katrina Reker, and Katie Vogel, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

The present study explores the effects of distraction on concentration. The participants completed two separate grids numbered 00-99. The scrambled numbers were crossed off in chronological order with a time limit of 30 seconds per trial. The independent variable is the level of distraction, which was manipulated through an audio segment for one trial, and silence as the dependant variable in the other. It is predicted that the trials completed in silence will score higher than the trials that used the audio distraction. It was found that the distraction did not have an effect on the participants' concentration.

 

2 Disgust and Attitude Change: Implicit and Explicit Measures of Worm Composting. Maxwell Cady, Macalester College

This experiment measured disgust sensitivity and tried to manipulate the subject's explicit and implicit attitudes towards worm composting by reducing disgust. It hypothesized that after an intervention where subjects were shown altruistic information about worm composting, images of people smiling holding worms and given a question designed to frame opposition to worm composting as irrational, the subjects would have a more positive attitude towards worm composting.

 

3 Rape Myth Acceptance and Masculine Socialization: A Literature Review. Heidi Larson, College of St. Catherine

Rape myths are a set of attitudes and beliefs that contribute to the perpetuation of sexual violence by shifting the blame for incidences of sexual assault from perpetrators to victims. Research has indicated that men are the perpetrators of violent crimes such as rape on more occasions than women. Additionally, studies have demonstrated that high rape myth acceptance is highly correlative with sexual assaults. If RMA is associated with sexual assault, and more men commit crimes of sexual assault than women, it may follow that men endorse rape myths to a greater extent than women. This review explores the existence of gender differences in RMA and various components which are theorized to contribute to the acceptance of rape myths.

 

4 Responses to Peers: A Study of Unintentional Singlism. Sarah Maslonka, Buena Vista University

Of all the "-isms" that are studied in psychology, singlism is the newest and least researched. While some research has been done to determine if singlism is a factor in scenarios such as renting/buying a house, little research has looked at when singlism exists based on relationship situation. It is hypothesized in this study that those who are in relationships spend less time with their single peers, and more with their peers in relationships, than those who are single. College students at Buena Vista University completed a survey consisting of items hypothesized to measure when they spend time with their single peers versus their peers who are in relationships. Another depended measure is the Extended Satisfaction with Life Scale.

5 Violent Videogames and Aggression. Jason Fernandez, Buena Vista University

This research examines the aggressive thoughts that may arise from playing a violent video game for a short period of time. The hypothesis is that those who play the violent videogame will have an increase in aggressive thoughts compared to those who play the nonviolent videogame. This was measured by the participant's responses to inkblots by circling words on a list of ten pleasant and ten unpleasant words in random order. It is predicted that those who play the violent videogame will circle more unpleasant words than those playing the nonviolent videogame. Previous research suggests that aggression increases after playing violent videogames. A questionnaire and a post survey will examine realism of the videogame, previous exposure to media violence and the experience of playing videogames may further increase aggression.

  

6 The Relationship between Physical Activity Level and Stigmatization of Overweight Peers. Jennifer Chon, Macalester College

This study examined the relationship between college students' level of physical activity (high, low, and student athletes) and stigmatization of an overweight peer. Participants received a photo of an average weight student or an altered image of the same model, appearing to be overweight and rated their likeability. Attitudes and beliefs about obesity and belief in a just world were also assessed. There was a significant correlation between higher belief in a just world and stronger negative attitudes and beliefs toward obese college students. Higher activity level students also rated the overweight stimulus as less likeable than the other groups. Recommendations for research in this area should be pursued and expanded to other institutions to understand weight stigmatization issues.

 

7 Effect of Personal Interest and Choice Behavior in Selection of Major. Camilla Gidio, College of St. Catherine

Female college students participated in an experiment that investigated the effect of personal interest and choice behavior in choosing a major. Surveys given to participants included 20 questions related to factors contributing to selection of major. Participants were asked to rate each factor on a scale of 1 to 5 on how much it contributed to their selection of a major. Participants were also asked to specify their major. Correlations were calculated between the effect of contributing factors and selection of majors.

 

8 Gender Stereotypes: Task Instructions' Effect on Tenacity. Andrew M. Obritsch, Laura E. Bloch, and Rachel M. Vanderheyden, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

  

This study was designed to test the effect that task instructions have on a person's determination to complete an assigned task. The experimental group's participants attempted to solve digital anagrams and were told that anagrams in pink font are easier for women to solve, while anagrams in blue font are easier for men to solve. Participants in the control group were presented with the same anagram task, excluding the gender-biased instructions. Participants' tenacity was measured by recording their committed duration to solving the presented unsolvable anagrams. Women in the experimental group were expected to spend more time solving pink anagrams, while a longer duration was expected for men solving blue anagrams. The results yielded did not support the hypothesis.

9 Stereotype Threat Related to Spatial Memory. Laura Connelly and Annemieke Lagerwaard, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

Unavailable

10 The Effect of Adding a "Not Sure" Response Option to Lineups. Alisha Anderson, Hamline University

The purpose of my research is to improve the quality of eyewitness identifications from police lineups. The research examines three independent variables: culprit present vs. culprit absent lineups, simultaneous vs. sequential lineup presentation, and having a yes/no vs. yes/no/not sure choice option for the witness. The dependent measures are eyewitness accuracy and confidence. Witness-participants viewed a short video of a crime and were then asked to make an identification decision from a 6-person lineup. We predict reduced witness choosing in sequential lineups with a "yes/no/not sure" option, resulting in fewer errors.

 

11 Phone-home Tendencies of College Students. Eric Khuong, Diana Musoke, Daniel Plunkett, and Ashlee Stadt, St. Olaf College

Do college students phone home often? The purpose of this study was to examine gender differences in behavioral responses to indicated positive and negative scenarios. The sample consisted of 30 undergraduate students enrolled at St. Olaf College. The independent variable was the likelihood to call home which was measured using a likert scale, ranging from unlikely to likely. Exposure to events was measured in terms of valence (positive or negative events), and further determined by intensity (low, medium or high). Additionally, a mom-dad preference, defined asa the likelihood of a participant to call home to specifically talk to mom or dad was recorded using an analog preference scale.

 

12 The Relationship of Self-Esteem to Optimism and Sensation Seeking. Jessica Saemrow and Jillian Daleiden, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

The current study examined how the personality variables of self-esteem and optimism related to sensation seeking. Researchers used a one-shot survey research design collecting data through personal interviews from 112 college students. A significant linear relationship was not found between self-esteem and sensation seeking nor between sensation seeking and optimism.

 

13 Why Am I So Drunk? The Relationship between Personality and Drinking Motivations. Kaitlyn Hawkinson and April Palo, Hamline University

To expand upon the current body of research regarding alcohol use and personality, this study examined the correlations between the Big Five personality traits (Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) and four drinking motivations (Coping, Conformity, Enhancement, and Social motives). Each participant completed two questionnaires measuring personality and drinking motivations respectively, and researchers analyzed the correlational results between them. As predicted, Neuroticism is significantly positively correlated with Coping motivations for drinking, and Conscientiousness is negatively correlated with Enhancement. Also, Conscientiousness and Social motives are negatively correlated, while a multiple regression analysis reveals that Openness adds significantly to predicting Social motives. Further research in this field seeks to explore correlations between drinking motivations and alcohol abuse.

 

14 Self-esteem as Related to Gender and Optimism in Young Adults. Lauren Pehler, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

This study examined the self-esteem differences in males and females. It also examined the connection between self-esteem and optimism in females. This survey project used a one shot design and pencil-and-paper personal interview and a convenience sampling of 57 female and 55 male college students. The survey failed to reveal a significant mean difference across gender and self-esteem. Conversely, the survey findings did reveal a significant difference between self-esteem and optimism in females.  

 

15 The Effects of Self-Monitoring on Aggressive Responses to Ostracism. Dorothee Dietrich, Kaitlyn Hawkinson, and April Palo, Hamline University

Recent research has demonstrated that ostracism leads to aggression (Twenge, Baumeister, Tice & Stucke, 2001). Studies have also found that individual differences can moderate the effect of ostracism on aggressive responses. One study by Dietrich and Otterson (2009) found that other-directedness, one aspect of self-monitoring, moderated reactions to ostracism. When socially rejected, participants scoring high on other-directedness were significantly more hostile than those scoring low on other-directedness. The purpose of this study is to use a different and possibly stronger manipulation to see if other aspects of self-monitoring have a moderating effect on aggressive responses to ostracism. We are currently still in the data collection stage and will be analyzing our data to present our preliminary findings at the conference.

 

16 The Effect of Feedback and "None of the Above" Alternatives on Multiple Choice Testing. Jacki Knutson, Angie Lauer, and Melissa Redfearn, University of St. Thomas

The purpose of our study is to examine the effect of feedback and none-of-the-above alternatives on multiple choice test performance. Testing effects are shown when the "none-of-the-above" alternative is the incorrect response, but not when it is the correct response. In the current study participants read passages and were given a multiple choice test on the information. After a filler task, they completed a cued-recall test on the same information. Participants also rated their confidence for each answer on both tests. We hypothesize main effects similar to those of past studies. We also hypothesize an interaction. A "none of the above" alternative should have a negative effect on later recall, unless the item is accompanied by feedback.

 

17 What's on Your Mind? The Effect of Misinformation in Social Networking. Krista Armbruster, Austin Bash & Angela Duffy, University of St. Thomas

A robust finding in memory research is the misinformation effect, which refers to the negative influence that post-event information has on memory for the original event (Loftus 1979). Gabbert et al. (2004) proposed that information encountered in social situations is more likely to distort one's memory than information encountered non-socially. Given the proliferation of communication technologies, the possible effects of misinformation in social networking is an important question. Participants discussed a video either in person, or in a Facebook-based online discussion group. For some groups, confederates discussed either true or false information. Participant memory for the original event was tested. We hypothesize that participants will be more likely to show misinformation effects after interacting with in-person confederates.

 

18 Relationships between Mindfulness, Goal Orientation and Well-Being. Abby Russell, Macalester College

Individuals who emphasize intrinsically oriented goals (personal growth, relationships, and community) over extrinsically oriented goals (financial success, social recognition, and physical image) have higher levels of well-being. This has been explained by the fact that intrinsic goals are congruent with innate psychological needs and are inherently satisfying, while extrinsic goals are contingent on external rewards and evaluation and serve as a means to a desirable end. Mindfulness has been demonstrated to correlate with well-being by fostering self-regulation and awareness of emotional states. It has been suggested that mindfulness may link with well-being by regulating goal pursuits according to innate psychological needs. This study looked at mindfulness, well-being, and goals to examine whether mindful individuals set more intrinsically oriented goals.

 

19 Spending Habits, Environmental Awareness and Pictorial Priming Effects on Modes of Consumerism & Materialism. Nicholas Frantzides, Macalester College

Many studies have investigated the effect of advertising on consumerism, but few have considered environmental awareness as a factor. This study examined the relationship between consumerism, materialism, and environmental awareness using pictorial priming. Images in the High-Priming Condition (fashion and high-end product advertisements) portrayed consumerism in a positive light. Images in the Low-Priming Condition (landscapes and environmental destruction) portrayed consumerism in a negative light. Several measures of consumerism, materialism and environmental awareness were administered to test the hypothesis that pictorial priming would alter participants scores on the materialism scales. Data analysis indicated confounding factors, which influenced the results. Problems in the existing methodology that limit psychological research and the need for a specific set of empirical tools are discussed.

 

20 Chewing Gum and Memory Retention. Timothy Backes, Brianne Boardman, and Amanda Phan, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

This experiment is designed to test the effect of chewing gum on memory. The results of the independent group that receives the gum will be compared to the results of the group that does not receive gum in terms of memory retention. We expect to find that chewing gum will have a positive effect on memory retention.

 

21 Happiness Related to Alcohol Priming. Elliot Elm, Michael Pederson, and Chase Burtis, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

The present between subjects design looked at the effects alcohol cueing has on reported happiness. The study involved eighteen undergraduate students (4 male and 14 female) from the College of Saint Benedict/ St. John's University. Nine of the students were alcohol cued and the others served as a control group with both groups completing the Oxford Happiness Inventory at the conclusion of the experiment. Both groups were told the experiment was a reaction time experiment as to secure validity. The results showed the alcohol cued group reported more happiness in comparison to the control group, however, when analyzed statistically there was no significance. Although the results showed no significant results, our prediction that the alcohol cued group would score higher on the happiness inventory was correct.

 

22 The Relationship of Optimism to Shyness and Self-Esteem. Hannah Nelson, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

This study's purpose was to investigate aspects of optimism, specifically the relationship of optimism to shyness and self-esteem among college students, in order to enhance mental health, well being, and coping strategies of young adults. Researchers surveyed 112 participants, 57 females and 55 males, from two private, Midwestern colleges. The results showed that optimism had a positive correlation with self-esteem and a negative correlation with shyness.

 

23 Parenting Styles and Self-efficacy. Julie Hoehn and Michael Schreiner, University of St. Thomas

The psychology students, in Dr. Buri's Learning and Memory calss at the University of St. Thomas, were asked to conduct a research project conserning people's schemas. Our group is conducting a research project about parenting styles and the conection to self-efficacy. We are taking a convienent sample of fifty University of St. Thomas students and we are expecting to find that students from authoritative parents will score higher on self-efficacy than those with permissive or authoritarian parents. The results of this study will be described in detail on the poster at the conference.

 

24 You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman: The Effect of Self-Objectification and Connectedness to Nature on Woman's Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors. Kendall Beck, Amanda McClellan, and Dorothea Graff, University of St. Thomas

According to social psychologists Fredrickson & Roberts (1997) and McKinley & Hyde (1996), our culture routinely sexually objectifies women, training them to take an observer's (critical) perspective on their physical selves. This "self-objectification" preoccupies women with evaluating how they fall short of the feminine beauty ideal portrayed in media. This ideal requires substantial modification of women's bodies, separating women from their natural bodies and from nature-embedded experiences. Therefore, we hypothesize that women in a state of heightened self-objectification will have lower environmental concern and engage in less proenvironmental behavior. We propose to test this hypothesis by experimentally manipulating women's self objectification and their connectedness to nature, and then measuring the impact on their self reported environmental concern and behavior.

 

25 Effects of Positive and Negative Emotional Contagion through Observations and Surveys. Anna Crouch, Ellie Holtz, and Jill Humble, St. Olaf College

Two studies were conducted to examine emotional contagion. One was an observational study that examined 40 participants' reactions to the displayed emotion of a cashier. The other was a survey that analyzed the effects of positive and negative emotional contagion. Results between the studies were both significant. However, they were contradictory to each other. The observations found stronger effects of negative emotional contagion than positive, while the survey discovered greater effects of positive emotional contagion. Neither study found significant differences between males and females; however, the observational study found a trend that men responded more to negative contagion.

 

26 Genetic Differences in Water Maze Performance in Mice. Lauren Bahls, Nicole Boyd, Kaley Huettl, Daniel Mork, Amanda Rorem, and Monica Sharratt, St. Olaf College

Previous research in mice has shown genetic differences in spatial learning as demonstrated by performance in the Morris water maze. The present study will test this phenomenon in two genetic strains of mice: Swiss-Websters and DBAs. Initial observations suggest more learning in the DBA mice. T-tests will be used to determine the genetic differences after the probe test.

 

27 The Effects of Reward Schedules on Altruistic Behavior in Cotton-top Tamarins. Mai Kao Yang, Carleton College

Research has attempted to investigate if altruism is a unique human trait. Recent literature suggests that altruism may come more naturally to cooperative breeders, like humans. To test the cooperative breeder theory, a group of eight Cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) participated in four conditions that required them to pull a piece of felt for rewards. Baseline rewarded monkeys each time they pulled; the pulling monkey and their partner were rewarded in Altruism-sharing; Altruism rewarded the partner when the puller pulled; and subjects were randomly rewarded 50% of the time in Partial Reward. Monkeys' pulling rates were affected by reward schedules although there were downward or upward trends depending on whether only the partner or both monkeys were rewarded.

 

28 Anesthesia and Ethanol Disrupt Head Direction Cell Activity in Freely-Moving Rats. Zuehl, A.R., Kasch, A.R., Khuong, E.C., & Hedstrom, B.A., St. Olaf College

Head direction (HD) cells in the freely-moving rat fire as a function of the animal's head direction, and are thought to be part of a navigation system. Head Direction cells (n=22) were recorded from the antero-dorsal thalamus (ADN) of two male sprague-dawley rats while they foraged freely in a cylinder. Under Nembutal (30mg/kg) and high doses of Ethanol (2g/kg and 1.5g/kg), HD cells would begin to fire non-directionally, accompanied by desynchronized hippocampal EEG with decreased amplitude and an absence of theta rhythm. Under 1g/kg Ethanol, HD cells fired in a stable, directional manner while the animal was actively moving but while immobile, HD cell firing also became random. This non-directional firing may represent a loss of the directional signal within the HD cell network.

 

29 Overly Involved Families Causing More Than Embarrassment: A Study of Family Intrusiveness and Emotional Intelligence. Brandyce Edson, Stacy Randolph, and Rachel Zilles, University of St. Thomas

Students from the University of St. Thomas were asked to participate in a two-part survey that asked specific questions about each individual's emotional intelligence and family relationships. The two surveys used were the Emotional Intelligence Scale (EIS) and the Family Intrusiveness Scale (FIS). The FIS will show the degree to which a family has control over the participant's life choices. The EIS measures the awareness and understanding of interpersonal and intrapersonal emotions. The hypothesis derived from the literature is that the more intrusive a family is on the individual the lower they will score Emotional Intelligence Scale. The results are discussed in detail.

 

30 Understanding Others: The Role of Empathy in Loneliness. Vanessa Brown, 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.

 

31 The Effects of Conscious Versus Unconscious Processing on Decision Making. Robert A. Coder and Douglas J. McQuarrie, Hamline University

This adaptation of Dijksterhuis' and Nordgren's (2004) research investigated which of three thought-conditions produce better results in a complex decision-making paradigm. The thought-conditions are: unconscious (thought-without-attention), conscious (thought-with-attention) and immediate (decision-without-thought). The complex problem (a task with seven or more attributes) involves determining which of four apartment profiles (12 attributes each) is the objectively best apartment. The participants will be asked to rate the attractiveness of each apartment profile. Data collection is currently in progress; once obtained a repeated measures ANOVA will be run. It is hypothesized that the unconscious-thought condition will outperform the other conditions, supporting the idea that thinking unconsciously can lead to better decision making for complex problems.

 

32 Predictors of Optimism. Mai Cha Vang, Tatia J. Nawrocki, and Ruth A. Soucie, University of St. Thomas

This study focuses on optimistic /pessimistic outlook on life and the variables that could contribute to it. Multiple surveys are used to measure individual's relationship with his or her parents, self efficacy, religiosity, and whether the individual is from an intact or non-intact family. The study hypothesized that an individual who is close to his/her parents, from an intact family, and has high levels of self-efficacy and religiosity is more likely to be optimistic as well as having overall life satisfaction. Results of this study will be discussed in details.

33 Battling Stress: Which Technique Will Win the Fight? Daniel Braman, Macalester College

This study evaluated two specific relaxation techniques, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), and guided imagery (GI), to evaluate their efficacy in reducing stress in college students. Participants listened to a recording of PMR, GI, or sat quietly during the relaxation session. Anxiety was measured pre/post treatment using Spielberger's STAI. Treatment significantly affected stress reduction, and both experimental groups had significantly lower STAI scores after the intervention, but were similar to each other. The control group had significantly higher initial state anxiety levels invalidating comparisons with the experimental groups. Overall, PMR and GI appear to be equally effective in stress reduction, but future work should use a placebo group in order to provide a more rigorous evaluation of the efficacy of intervention.

 

 

 

34 Personality Profile of President Barack Obama: Leadership Implications. Sarah Moore and Angela Rodgers, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

 

The poster presents the results of an indirect assessment of the personality of President Barack Obama. Information concerning Obama was collected from biographical sources and media reports and synthesized into a personality profile using the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria (MIDC), which yields 34 normal and maladaptive personality classifications congruent with Axis II of DSM-IV.

The profile reveals that Obama is ambitious and confident; modestly dominant and self-asserting; accommodating and cooperative; and relatively conscientious. The combination of ambitious, dominant, and accommodating patterns in Obama's profile suggests a "confident competitive, conciliator" personality composite.

The study offers an empirically based framework for anticipating Obama's leadership style as president. The poster makes specific predictions regarding the likely tenor of the Obama presidency

 

35 Personality Profile of Dick Cheney. Carl Haefemeyer, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

The personality of former Vice President Dick Cheney was assessed at a distance from the conceptual perspective of Dr. Theodore Millon through methods established by Dr. Aubrey Immelman. The information pertaining to Dick Cheney was collected from published biographical material and used to create a personality profile using Millon's diagnostic criteria. The results indicate that Cheney is deliberative/conscientious while scoring low on agreeableness. These results can be reflected onto Dick Cheney's influence on the actions taken by the Bush administration.

 

36 The Personality Profile of Vice President Joe Biden. Jaclynn Beier, Katie Carlson, Melinda Dugas, Lindsey Holm, and Brianna Ricci, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

The poster presents the results of an indirect assessment of the personality of Vice President Joe Biden. Information concerning Biden was collected from biographical sources and media reports and synthesized into a personality profile using the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria (MIDC), which yields 34 normal and maladaptive personality classifications congruent with Axis II of DSM-IV.

Preliminary analysis of the data reveals that Biden is highly outgoing and gregarious; modestly ambitious and confident; and substantially accommodating and cooperative. The poster will discuss the implications of this particular amalgam of personality patterns and outline some leadership implications of Biden's personality profile.

 

37 The Personality Profile of Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin. David Wutchiett, Becky Klein, Katherine Mandelin, Andrea Schiebe, and Sean Wold, College of St. Benedict /St. John's University

The poster presents the results of an indirect assessment of the personality of 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Information concerning Palin was collected from biographical sources and media reports and synthesized into a personality profile using the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria (MIDC), which yields 34 normal and maladaptive personality classifications congruent with Axis II of DSM-IV.

The profile reveals that Palin's most prominent personal attribute is a dominant, dauntless quality. Her scores also indicate ambitious, outgoing, and contentious tendencies.

Palin's constellation of personality patterns is congruent with several personal qualities associated with success in politics - assertiveness, determination, and ambition. The poster will discuss the implications of this particular amalgam of personality patterns.

 

38 Student Perceptions of Past Parent-Child Interactions and Their Effects on Current Parent-Child Relationships. Ananya Mukhopadhyay and Anna Crouch, St. Olaf College

In the current project, we investigated the relationship between college students' retrospective accounts of parental rearing and their current relationship and communication patterns with parents. Participants include 289 college students (balanced by gender). Each completed a series of questionnaire measures, including the EMBU, which assessed parental overprotection, rejection, and warmth. Students also completed questions pertaining to their current parent-child relationship.
Results indicated that recollections of maternal rejection were negatively associated with current mother-child communication and relationship satisfaction. However, recollections of paternal rejection did not appear to impact current relationship or communication with fathers. There was a positive correlation between parental warmth and frequency of communication with both parents. Parental warmth also associated with greater parent-child relationship satisfaction and closeness.

 

39 Empathy as a Moderator of Vicarious Dissonance. Jeanne Borash, Kelly LaBelle-Lewis, May Ly, and Amy Voigt, Augsburg College

We investigated the possibility that empathy might moderate feelings of vicarious cognitive dissonance. Specifically, we predicted that people who were induced to experience empathy before reading a scenario designed to generate vicarious cognitive dissonance would experience more dissonance than those not experiencing the empathy manipulation. Results indicated that participants in the empathy inducing condition experienced significantly greater levels of cognitive dissonance than those in a control condition. This finding is supportive of the idea that empathy may moderate feelings of vicarious cognitive dissonance.

 

40 A Study of Attitudes toward Crime and Punishment: A Survey of Undergraduate Environmental Science Students. Daniel Skolte and Jeremy VanOrmer, Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, MN


This paper discusses ways in which awareness of our own law-breaking behavior might affect our attitudes toward punishment. Specifically, we are interested in how individuals might view punishment when first confronted with their own wrong doing. A total of 91 students completed surveys regarding their attitudes toward crime and punishment. We found that attitudes were less punitive for those students who were first questioned about their own personal involvement in crime, but results were not significant. If individuals - especially those in law enforcement - first took a look at their own behavior as it relates to being law abiding, then the relationship between law enforcement and the public might be more positive.

 

41 Reading Compliance: Do College Students Read Their Assignments? Cassius Smith, Buena Vista University

There is concern today about reading compliance among college students. Studies have been conducted over the years that indicate a drop in required reading assignments completed by students. It is expected that compliance will be low in introductory classes and will increase as in upper level courses. Reading compliance was investigated by giving undergraduate students a questionnaire about their reading compliance to a class they are currently taking. The questionnaire requested information about the class, whether it was a major/minor requirement, course-load that semester, and reasons about why the reading was not completed. Results should show an increase in compliance as interest and class level increase.

 

42 The Effects of Caffeine in Coffee. Jack Irvine, Macalester College

Previous research into caffeine has yielded conflicting results about its stimulant effects. Relatively few studies have administered caffeine in its most commonly consumed form, coffee. This study hypothesized that caffeine would increase speed and decrease accuracy on the Attention Network Test (ANT), a flanker task. In this study 34 college students were assigned to either the experimental group and received caffeinated coffee, or the control group and received decaffeinated coffee, after which they had a period of digestion and filled out a questionnaire before being administered the ANT. The results of the study indicate that the control group had significantly faster reaction times, while the experimental group made significantly less errors; the opposite of the public image of caffeine.

 

43 The Effect of Locus of Control on Susceptibility to Stereotype Threat. Daniel J. Laskey, University of St. Thomas

Stereotype threat is a theory that was introduced by psychologist C.M. Steele. He outlined the theory behind stereotype threat with the basic premise that a person's "social identity"-defined as group membership in categories such as age, gender, religion, and ethnicity-has significance when "rooted in concrete situations." Steele defines these situations as "identity contingencies"-settings in which a person is treated according to a specific social identity. Through many studies done by Steele, he found that when a persons' social identity is attached to a negative stereotype, that person will tend to achieve under-performance in a way that holds with the stereotype. He attributes this underperformance to the persons' anxiety that he or she will perform according to the stereotype threat, or in other words conforming to the negative stereotype. Steele holds that anxiety manifests itself in various ways, showing increased body temperature and distraction, which cumulate in the decrease of performance level for an individual.
Locus of control refers to the extent to which an individual feels their control in life comes from. Internal locus of control refers to a person believing that they possess the ability to make their actions persuade their outcomes. External locus of control refers to a person believing that they have no control on the outcomes and can be perceived as believing in fate, control of boss's, or other people having control over their lives.
It has been shown that males perform better than females with tests on manual dexterity. (Campagnaro & Peters 1996) Stereotype threat has been shown to alter performance levels in females and males across multiple studies. With certain tasks that have been proven over the years to be better performed by gender base, studies have shown how a negative stereotype threat to females can decrease their performance on such stereotypes that males are better with manual dexterity (Epting & Overman 1998). There are a few theories that have been recognized and experimented on as to why this affect of the threat occurs. However, being that the theory is new, there are not that many studies done relative to other areas within psychology. The main recognized theory is that the stereotype activation sets off a psychological reaction in the participant resulting in higher levels of anxiety, and leading to poorer performance on the given task or skill performance test. There is another theory though, that is a little newer, which suggests that it is due more to an affect on one's cognitive abilities. Research has shown that the "...stereotype threat reduces an individual's performance on a complex cognitive test because it reduces the individual's working memory capacity..." (Schmader & Johns). In other words this is an elaborate way of saying that the person who has been stereo type activated is experiencing higher levels of distraction and therefore not all of their cognitive abilities are focused on the task at hand. This is not to say that the previous theory is false or incorrect, but it is simply saying that there is another explanation that could account for the affect in addition to previous theories or not.

 

44 Spending Habits, Environmental Awareness and Pictorial Priming Effects on Modes of Consumerism & Materialism. Nicholas Frantzides, Macalester College

Many studies have investigated the effect of advertising on consumerism, but few have considered environmental awareness as a factor. This study examined the relationship between consumerism, materialism, and environmental awareness using pictorial priming. Images in the High-Priming Condition (fashion and high-end product advertisements) portrayed consumerism in a positive light. Images in the Low-Priming Condition (landscapes and environmental destruction) portrayed consumerism in a negative light. Several measures of consumerism, materialism and environmental awareness were administered to test the hypothesis that pictorial priming would alter participants scores on the materialism scales. Data analysis indicated confounding factors, which influenced the results. Problems in the existing methodology that limit psychological research and the need for a specific set of empirical tools are discussed.

 

45 The Relationship of Self-Esteem and Neuroticism to Relationship Status. Katherine Kenefick, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

Fifteen researchers administered surveys to 118 participants from two private, liberal arts colleges, examining the differences in self-esteem and neuroticism ratings among college students and their romantic relationship status. This study found that self-esteem was lower for those not involved in romantic relationships. Those not involved in romantic relationships tended to have higher ratings of neuroticism. An individual may be less emotionally stable and less capable in adapting to stressful situations the higher their neuroticism rating. This seems to inhibit or deter them from being in romantic relationships.

 

46 OMG! A Study of Three Factors That Influence a Personal Relationship with God. Rebecca Antonelli, Annie Gatto, and Amy Gosselin, University of St. Thomas

Many factors contribute to the level of a personal relationship with God. This project examines how pride, religiousness of friends, and the ability to forgive help explain the variance found in intrinsic religiosity. Eighty students took four surveys online to measure their levels of pride, forgiveness (situational, others, self), religiousness of friends, and intrinsic religiosity: the Character Assessment Scale (Schmidt, 1987), Heartland Forgiveness Scale (Thompson et al., 2005), a Religiosity Scale (Morgan & Scanzoni, 1987), and a Religious Orientation Scale (Allport, 1966). Pride, religiousness of friends, and the ability to forgive situational factors all significantly accounted for variance in intrinsic religiosity. These results suggest that pride, forgiveness and social factors all influence an individual's personal relationship with God.

 

47 Gender Differences in Motivation for Physical Activity. Katie Brown and Logan Thomson, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

The purpose of this study was to use observational research to examine if men and women had different motivations for engaging in physical activity. Participants were 53 females and 61 males that used a bike path which runs through three rural communities, which are near two, same-sex, liberal arts campuses. Observers recorded the gender of participants, type of activity, and whether participants were alone or in a group. Consistent with the research hypothesis, women tended to engage in physical activity in a group, which supports previous research that women participate in physical activity due to social motivations. However, inconsistent with the research hypothesis, there was no difference in whether men engaged in physical activity alone or in a group.

 

48 The Impact of Serious Crimes on Family Members of Perpetrators. Katherine E. Miller and Lisa E. Jack, Augsburg College

Research examining the impact of violent crimes on perpetrators' relatives is limited. This study seeks to describe the process of stigma, stigma management, health changes, and emotional repercussions in the context of their association to a convicted criminal by analysis of in-depth interviews with two family members of convicted murderers. Preliminary results reveal themes of concealment and avoidance, perceived stigmatization, and world-view transformation. Overall, the association to serious crimes led these family members to feel tainted, despite limited occurrences of outward persecution. Given the exploratory nature of this analysis, future research should include more participants and a detailed focus on the relatives' identity transformation, which could benefit these individuals by developing strategies to challenge and limit their perception of shame.

 

49 Dimensions of Political Leadership: An Exploratory Analysis Using Multi-Dimensional Scaling. Daniel Elchert and Kyle Biesecker, St. Olaf College


This experiment aims to identify how perceptions of political leadership differ between Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Thirty-nine participants rated the similarity of 15 prominent politicians in each of the 105 possible pairings using a 1-9 scale (a rating of 9 being very similar). The output was analyzed using multi-dimensional scaling (MDS) and graphed in two and three dimensional models. The data indicated definite trends regarding political affiliation along dimension 1 and more ambiguous interpretations along dimensions 2 and 3.

 

50 The Impact of a Second Sequential Lineup Lap on Eyewitness Accuracy. Jeanette Raczynski and Kali James, Augsburg College

The study purpose is to reduce the number of false identifications in police lineup procedures. A previous experiment established the negative impact of a second sequential lineup "lap" on eyewitness identification accuracy. The current study will examine whether the reduced accuracy associated with an extra viewing of the lineup is due to the procedure itself or the type of person requesting the second lap. Witness-participants view a purse-snatching video and attempt to identify the perpetrator from a 6-person lineup. Participants are randomly assigned to either a required or an optional additional lap of the lineup. We predict increased eyewitness errors with a second lineup lap, whether that lap is required or optional for the witness.

 

51 Moody Recall: A Study of Daily Emotional Disposition as it Affects Memory for Emotive and Non-emotive Words. Stephen J. Duholm and Martha I. Dickey, University of St. Thomas

The relationship between mood and its effects on memory and recall is a documented phenomena commonly referred to as associative network theory of semantic memory (Bower, 1981). This theory asserts that the current affective state of an individual can prompt the subsequent recall of items that mirror the mood of the individual. However, past literature has only shown support for an affect-recall relationship between positive mood and positive items, while a relationship between negative affect and recall has yet to be reliably demonstrated (Taylor, 1992; Chi-Shing & Altarriba, 2009). The current study seeks to discern a relationship between negative affect, specifically anger, and memory for negative words. Although results are still pending, we hope to find a converse relationship in negatives mirroring the literarily-established positive affect-recall relationship.

 

52 To Hire or Not to Hire: Internal and External. Kaitlin M. Andreasen, Kristina A. DeMuth, and Alison M. Gresback, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

A within-subjects design was used to compare individuals' implicit and explicit weight biases in the hiring process. Thirteen undergraduate students completed a two part experiment: an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to measure reaction times for heavy/ thin and hire/ no-hire combinations, and a resumes ranking task that included pictures and a survey. A t-test was used to analyze the IAT data, and a Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test was used to analyze the ranking and surveys. Result for the IAT showed that participants had longer reaction times when heavy pictures were paired with the word hire than when thin pictures were. The resume rankings and survey results showed that participants were consistent in ranking applicants for characteristics rather than their image.

 

53 College Students' Self-esteem and its Relation to Shyness, Sensation Seeking, and G.P.A. Katelynn Sobraske and Madeline North, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

The current study examined the linear relationships of self-esteem with shyness, sensation seeking and GPA. Researchers surveyed college students (N = 112) at two private colleges. Researcher assistants chose participants at their convenience and stayed in the room while each participant completed the survey. Each participant signed a consent form before they completed the survey. The survey was then scored. Data showed self-esteem does correlate negatively with shyness but not with sensation seeking or GPA.

 

54 Student Alcohol and Facebook Use: An Investigation of Alcohol-Related Social Norms. Sarah Elstad, Katie Trepanier, and Emily Sladky, Bemidji State University

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a wide range of negative consequences for students (Presley, Meilman, & Lyerla, 1993; Wechsler, Dowdall, Maenner, Gledhil-Hoyt, & Lee, 1998). As a result, many colleges are currently implementing the social norms marketing approach to reduce dangerous drinking. The present study explored other ways in which students receive messages about peer alcohol use, by examining student use of social networking websites, namely, Facebook. Researchers viewed student participants' Facebook page, recording the presence of alcohol-related content, as it may foster perceived social norms on student drinking. The quantity of alcohol-related content on student Facebook pages will be discussed, in the context of perceived social norms on student drinking.

 

55 Understanding Resilience Through Child Traits. Nash Traylor, Macalester College

The purpose of this study was to find a relationship between personality and resilience at a specific time in a child's life. Social support and resources along with life events were also studied to find an association with resilience to compliment the personality dimensions. There were 200 participants in the grades 5-8. The Intellect/Openness and low Emotional Instability dimensions of personality were related to resilience along with social support.

 

56 Motivation for Supporting an Equal Rights Group. Kelsey Crowder, Ian LaForge, Maurita Gholston, Christopher Westergaard, Jennifer McKasson, Steven Larson, Sarah Maslonka, Tyler McDanel, and Wind Goodfriend, Buena Vista University

Previous research (Williams & Eberhardt, 2008) indicated that when race is cast as biological derived, instead of socially constructed, it is more likely that individuals will identify with racial outgroup members. The current research explored the same phenomenon regarding gendered behaviors and sexual orientation. Participants were primed to view either gender differences or sexual orientation as either biologically derived or socially constructed. Support for a group promoting women's equality was greater when participants were primed to view gender as socially constructed, whereas support for gay rights was greater when participants were primed to view sexual orientation as biologically derived. Female participants were also more likely to forecast supportive behaviors toward minority outgroups, regardless of priming condition (interaction p = .014).

 

57 Gender Differences in Sensation-Seeking and its Relationship with Self-Esteem. Alyssa Kubesh, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

The purpose of this study was to examine sensation-seeking between gender and its relationship to self-esteem. The 112 subjects filled out a survey on various variables while a researcher was present. The hypotheses were that men would be a gender difference in sensation-seeking in which men would score higher and that there would a positive linear relationship between sensation-seeking and self-esteem. The overall result revealed that there was a gender difference in sensation-seeking in which it was consistent with the research hypothesis. However, there was not a significant relationship between sensation-seeking and self-esteem.

 

58 Gist or Spreading Activation: The Cause of False Recall. Alex Claxton, Hamline University

This study examines false recall of critical lures in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. One side claims that gist memory causes false retrieval, and the other side attributes false recall to spreading activation. The goal is to find confirming evidence for either the gist or the spreading activation hypothesis by examining effects of presentation rates on false recall. As such, if people rely on gist memory for recall, the change in presentation rate should affect CL selection slightly, if at all. However, if spreading activation is the cause of false recall, participants in the slower presentation rate groups should show a higher CL recollection than those in the shorter presentation rate groups.

 

59 Musical Preferences and Personality Traits. Renee Fagen, Buena Vista University

Using the Short Test of Musical Preferences (STOMP) and Big Five Inventory (BFI) this study seeks to determine the relationship between musical preferences and personality traits. This present research is looking for correlations between the individual's self-assessed personality traits and music listened to. The results indicate relationships between the types of music one listens to personality. Among the significant correlations were energetic and music and reflective and complex personality traits as well as openness personality traits and being reflective and complex. The largest correlation was with upbeat and conventional music and the agreeableness personality trait.

 

60 The Relationship of Shyness with Self-Esteem and Sensation Seeking. Anna Kalmi, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether self-esteem and sensation seeking have a relationship with shyness in college students. Researchers used a one-shot, personal interview written survey to 112 of their college peers, 57 females and 55 males. The results revealed a significant negative linear relationship between self-esteem and shyness, as well as between sensation seeking and shyness.

 

61 Relationship of Sensation Seeking to Optimism and Self-Esteem in Females. Katie Merkley, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

The purpose of this study included the evaluation of the relationships between sensation seeking to both optimism and self-esteem in females. The one-shot design involved using a convenience sample in which the researchers administered surveys to the participants (N = 57). The hypotheses predicted a positive correlation between both sensation seeking and optimism as well as between sensation seeking and self-esteem in females. However, the results of the study were not significant.

 

62 An Investigation of Intoxication Levels of Designated Drivers. Sara Zimmermann, Megan Stow, Collin Sainio, Bemidji State University

Reports show that 20.7% of college students frequently become intoxicated from alcohol (Wechsler, Lee, Kuo, & Lee, 2000) and that some students serving as designated drivers actually drive while intoxicated, putting them at risk for alcohol-related vehicle crashes. The present research involved assessing the actual intoxication level and level of psychomotor impairment of students serving as designated drivers. Data were collected outside of local drinking establishments via self-report survey questions, a standard field sobriety test, and analysis of blood alcohol concentration via hand-held breathalyzers. Findings will be presented and implications for future intervention will be discussed.

 

63 Effect of Cognitive Load on Reaction Time and Psychophysiological Measures. Kameko Halfmann and Greg Peabody, St. Olaf College

In this study, we are quantifying reaction time as a function of cognitive arousal, with measures of electroencephalogram (EEG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) activity to analyze sympathetic and parasympathetic arousal. A recording of Jacobson's Progressive Relaxation, two simple mazes, and one complex maze were used to manipulate the level of relaxation/stress. Results were inconclusive; however, there were trends in sympathetic/parasympathetic activity and reaction time decreased throughout the experiment. These trends may be due to the increased level of cognitive arousal as the experiment progressed.

 

64 The Weakest Link: Bilingual Lexical Access and the Orthographic Size Congruity Effect. Adam S. Brown, Carleton College

According to the selection-by-competition model of bilingualism, individuals who know two languages achieve fluent performance by suppressing the non-relevant language during processing. Suppression is accomplished by the same executive functions that control attention and inhibition, resulting in a cognitive control advantage in bilinguals (relative to monolinguals). Bilinguals also possess weaker links between phonology and semantics than do monolinguals, because of reduced production frequency of a given word. I investigated orthographic-semantic links in bilinguals who read in multiple languages. When comparing animal names on orthographic and semantic dimensions, I predicted that bilingual readers would ignore irrelevant information more successfully than would monolinguals and bilinguals non-readers. However, I found few performance differences between the three groups.

 

65 Self-esteem as it Relates to Optimism and Shyness among College Students. Lauren Brandes and Anna Weber, College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University

This study examined optimism and shyness as they relate to various aspects of self-esteem. Researchers collected data on college students (N = 112) though written surveys using survey packets pertaining to optimism, self-esteem, and shyness. Analysis of the survey data supported the research hypotheses that among college students, self-esteem is positively correlated with optimism, and is negatively correlated with shyness.