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Psi Chi Journal Fall 1997

PSI CHI Journal of Psychological Research
Volume 2.3 | Fall 1997

RESEARCH ARTICLES

Perceived Control and Distraction in the Cold-Pressor Test
Michael Bennett and Larry Boehm, Thomas More College

ABSTRACT: The cold-pressor test was used to evaluate the effectiveness of perceived personal control in the reduction of pain ratings. Forty-seven college students were divided into three groups. Participants in the perceived-control group were subjected to the cold-pressor test and were led to believe they could control the temperature of the water. Participants then rated the pain they experienced on a scale of 1-20. Their results were compared to a group using a distraction task (letter shadowing) and a traditional control group. Pain ratings for both the perceived-control and the distraction conditions were significantly (p < .05) lower than the control group. The mechanism for this reduction in pain intensity may be the stress-reducing properties of perceived control and its mediation of stress in the pain experience.

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Behavioral Evaluation of the Stargazer Mutant Rat in a Tactile Startle
Megan A. Kazlauskas and Mark D. Kelland, Saint Anselm College

ABSTRACT: The stargazer rat displays abnormal behavior characterized by pronounced arching of the neck, head tics, and hyperactivity. Thus, stargazer rats may provide a behavioral model of Tourette syndrome (TS). The responsiveness of these rats to tactile startle stimuli was examined. Littermate controls showed significant prepulse inhibition and habituation over repeated startle sessions. Stargazer rats did not exhibit startle responses, even under conditions of haloperidol-induced reduction of abnormal behavior. These data disagreee with the hypothesis that stargazer rats would have increased responsiveness to startle stimuli due to their hyperactive dopamine systems. However, the reduction of head tics by haloperidol suggests stargazer rats are a model of TS. Thus, the mechanisms by which dopaminergic hyperactivity enhances eithe rhead tics or startle responsiveness appears distinct.

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No Suicidal Contagion in High School Students Who Knew a Suicidal Person
Camille L. Foster and Lillian M. Range, University of Southern Mississippi

ABSTRACT: To ascertain whether high school students report being adversely impacted by knowing of a suicide, 88 mainstream (n = 20) or disaffected (n = 68) high school students from four different public high schools in the Southeast answered questions about their personal experiences and reactions to stressful life events. During school, students recieved parental consent forms (approximately 44% of which were returned completed). Those who then assented themselves completed the Impact of Event Scale about a suicide (or another stressful event), the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire, and the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire. Disaffected students were enrolled in an in-school program for at-risk students. Average scores, consistent with research on college students, reflected a low level of suicidial ideas. Thode who knew someone who attempted or committed suicide (n = 19) were no more suicidal than those who reported a different stressful life event (n = 64), and all were impacted about the same in terms of both intrusion and avoidance. Disaffected students were no different from mainstream students in suicidality or impact. Apparently, high school students report moderate amounts of intrusion and avoidance following stressful events, whether the stressful event is knowing someone who commits suicide or something else such as death or divorce in the family.

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Field Independence/Dependence: A Hypothesized Relationship With Leadership
and Academic Spheres of College Students

Carolyn C. McNamara and Eileen M. England, Ursinus College

ABSTRACT: This study related field independence/dependence to leadership and academic realms. One hundred and twenty-two upperclass students, who were science majors, humanities majors, campus leaders, or leadership scholars, completed the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) as a measure of field independence/dependence. Bennis's (1989) theory of leaders versus managers was applied to field independence/dependence to test the hypothesis that leadership scholars would be comparable to Bennis's managers and would be field independent whereas campus leaders would be comparable to Bennis's leaders and would be field dependent. Although both leader groups did not differ significantly, natural science majors were more field independent than humanities majors, no sex differences were found, and switching majors was unrelated to field independence/dependence. Finally, participants accurately related their own analytical ability as measured by the GEFT but not their interpersonal ability. Although field independence's relation to the academic sphere has been reaffirmed, the manner in which leadership reflects cognitive style remains an unanswered question for future research.

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Attitudes of Older and Younger Adults Toward Mental Illness
and Mental Health Services

Kelly A. Fischer and Heidi M. Inderbitzen, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

ABSTRACT: This study investigated the attitudes of both younger and older adults toward mental health professionals and people with mental illness, as well as their willingness to seek help from mental health services. The Mental Health Services Questionnaire was administered to 49 college students (18-24 years) and 65 older adults (65 years and older). A series of 2 (age group) x 2 (sex) multivariate analyses of variance revealed that older adults had more postive attitudes toward mental health professionals than did younger adults. Older adults had more accepting attitudes toward the utilization of mental health services than younger adults. Results also indicated that older adults do not harbor negative attitudes about mental health services that impede them from utilizing mental health professionals.

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Going the Extra Mile: The Rewards of Publishing Your Research
Sheila Brownlow, Catawba College

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The Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research educates, supports, and promotes professional development, and disseminates psychological science. Only original, empirical manuscripts that make a contribution to psychological knowledge are published. Authors are Psi Chi members at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty level.

 

 

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