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Psi Chi Journal Spring 1999

PSI CHI Journal of Psychological Research
Volume 4.1 | Spring 1999

RESEARCH ARTICLES

Effects of Exogenous Melatonin on Sleep Quality in Healthy College Students
Daniel A. Rose, Jeri L. Chase, Emily S. Blazej, and Tracey L. Kahan,
Santa Clara University


ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effects of melatonin on the sleep quality of healthy college students with aerobic exercise as a covariate, using a single-factor, repeated measures design. Twenty-seven students (11 men and 16 women) were administered either 6 mg of melatonin or a physically identical placebo over a period of 6 nights. These participants, age 18-22, were prescreened for unstable sleeping patterns and excessive intake of sleep-altering substances. Each morning, participants rated the previous night's sleep and the previous day's exercise activities on a sleep and exercise questionnaire. Findings indicate that certain components of sleep quality, including the ease of falling asleep and the depth and continuity of sleep, significantly improved (p < .05) in the melatonin condition. However, subjective ratings of overall sleep quality and the psychological aspects of post-sleep experiences showed no significant improvement. This pattern implies that melatonin may have a limited effect among a healthy population that is not chronically sleep deprived.

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The Relationship Between Eating Disorders and Conformity
in Female College Students

Natalie Nicole Smith and Chuck Ransford, Hillsdale College

ABSTRACT: The relation between conformity and eating disorders was investigated in female college students. Undergraduate college women answered questions from the Cooperativeness (formerly Conformity) subscale of the Jackson Personality Inventory and completed the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI). Results indicated a significant positive correlation between conformity scores and EDI scores. Sorority members scored significantly higher than nonsorority members on both the conformity scale and the EDI. These findings are congruent with Gaylor, Meilman, and von Hippel (1991) who focused on the relationship between sorority membership, pressure to be thin, and the incidence of eating disorders.

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The Role of Driver's Race and Victim Status in Attributions Toward Drunk Drivers
Brandon A. Gaudiano and Mark A. Statler, Saint Vincent College

ABSTRACT: The present study assessed the effects of varying driver's race and the presence or absence of a victim on attributions of responsibility, punishment, and trait ratings of a drunk driver. Ninety-one participants, college students and members of surrounding communities, read 1 of 6 drunk-driving scenarios differing by driver's race and victim status and then completed a memory recall test and an attitude survey. Participants gave Caucasian drivers higher penalties and found them to be more daring and to have less self-control than African American drivers. An interaction existed between driver's race and victim status for cautious/daring trait ratings. In general, participants viewed African American drivers more favorably than Caucasian drivers. Results are explained by possible participant bias and internal attributions of the Caucasian driver.

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The Effects of Exposure to Crime Reports on Perceptions
of Minority Criminal Involvement

Tom Carmony, Pacific Lutheran University

ABSTRACT: The effects of exposure to a newspaper crime report on individuals' perceptions of minority arrest rates were investigated. Data were collected through a 22-item questionnaire administered to 154 undergraduate students. Contrary to expectations, exposure to a crime report was not found to significantly affect participants' estimates of minority arrest rates. A second hypothesis, that participants would tend to overestimate arrest rates for minorities and underestimate arrest rates for Caucasians, was partially supported; arrest rates of Caucasians and African Americans were generally underestimated whereas rates for Native Americans and Asian Americans were overestimated. Additional findings of interest were the significant correlations between participants' estimated arrest rates for a variety of ethnic groups and their U.S. population estimates for those ethnicities. Implications and avenues for future research are discussed.

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Psychological Factors Related to Academic Performance and Retention
in 1st-Year College Students

Andrea L. Rittman, Missouri Western State College

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine psychological predictors of academic achievement and retention. During the 1997 summer registration/orientation programs at an open-admission college in the Midwest, 895 incoming students completed standardized measures of optimism, self-esteem, locus of control, need for achievement, and fear of success. Follow-up assessment with the Life Orientation Test of Optimism (Scheier & Carver, 1985) and the Stress-Related Growth Scale (Park, Cohen, & Murch, 1996) was done after midterm. Academic performance and retention were correlated with the psychological factors. A regression analysis indicated that the psychological variables together with American College Test achievement scores significantly predicted academic performance, but not student retention. Results indicate that psychological factors should be considered when establishing programs for entering college students.

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How Sex Affects Perceptions of Aggression in Negative Campaign Advertising
Heather Leigh Littleton and Benjamin R. Stephens, Clemson University

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine whether female political candidates are negatively evaluated when they violate gender role stereotypes. Participants received one campaign advertisement that focused solely on attacking the opponent and another advertisement that was tempered with positive statements about the candidate; the candidates were either men or women. Participants then evaluated the candidate on aggressiveness and leadership effectiveness using a semantic differential scale. No significant differences were found in the evaluation of the candidate's leadership effectiveness based on sex. However, male candidates were rated as significantly more aggressive than female candidates in the assaultive advertisement condition (the advertisement that focused solely on attacking the opponent). One interpretation of this finding is female candidates were dissociated from the aggressive act.

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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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