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Psi Chi Journal Summer 1999

PSI CHI Journal of Psychological Research
Volume 4.2 | Summer 1999

RESEARCH ARTICLES

Predictors of Adjustment and Institutional Attachment in 1st-Year College Students
Cari A. Cohorn and Traci A. Guiliano, Southwestern University

ABSTRACT: The present study sought to synthesize and extend prior research by investigating predictors of several types of adjustment to college (i.e., general, social, academic, personal-emotional adjustment, and institutional attachment). The results showed that academic adjustment was positively correlated with the accessibility of faculty and negatively correlated with closeness of family relationships. The ability to make friends, self-esteem, and limited alcohol use predicted social adjustment. The ability to make friends also predicted personal-emotional adjustment, as did satisfaction with one's physical appearance and satisfaction with one's roommate. Examinations of the interrelations among these types of adjustment indicate that general college adjustment is most influenced by a student's academic and personal-emotional adjustment, whereas institutional attachment (i.e., loyalty to an institution) is determined by a student's social adjustment.

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Assessment of Perceptual Biases Extracted From the Visual Analogue Scale
Kimberly A. Walker, James E. Arruda, and Keegan D. Greenier, Mercer University

ABSTRACT: The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) is a self-report device that measures the magnitude of internal states such as pain and mood. Conventionally, the VAS is a 100-mm line that is either vertically or horizontally oriented with anchors placed at both poles. Participants place a mark somewhere along the line that best indicates the magnitude of their internal state. Though the reliability and validity of the VAS has been demonstrated, measurement error associated with each style of presentation (horizontal or vertical) still exists. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the measurement error associated with either style of presentation could be accounted for by existing perceptual biases. One hundred and six participants were instructed to make a mark (i.e., point estimate) that divided 9 vertically oriented and 9 horizontally oriented lines according to 9 predetermined lengths. Estimates of perceived line segment length were then derived by subtracting the obtained point estimates. The results of this study suggest that at higher magnitudes of internal state participants were likely to underestimate predetermined lengths using the vertically oriented VAS. The present findings suggest that the law of visual angle could account for the systematic bias associated with the vertically oriented VAS.

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Needs Assessment of Three Communities on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation
Monica Y. Bartlett, Lewis & Clark College

ABSTRACT: In this needs assessment 3 communities on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation were surveyed. The objective was to locate the most pressing concerns for each community and to compare these findings with the results from a 1987 reservation-wide survey. The communities surveyed included: Browning, the urban center on the reservation; St. Mary/Babb, a tourist community located along St. Mary Lake and adjacent to Glacier National Park; and Starr School, located 15 min west of Browning. Top 3rd concerns that reach into all 3 communities include: funding for small businesses, a recreational facility for youth, difficulty in finding a job, high dropout rate in schools, drug use among youth, alcoholism, and lack of organized activities for youth. As was reported in 1987, economic development and community services are still important. Although educational concerns were the next to last priority in 1987, they are currently a top 3rd concern for all 3 communities. Significant findings show that individuals age 18 to 29 say they are most likely to leave the reservation within 5 years.

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Culture Wars and Video Games: Ethnic Fighting, Competitiveness, and Aggresion
in Head-to-Head Fighting Games

Darnell Coleman, Chicago State University

ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of head-to-head, fighting video games on race relations, competitiveness, and aggression in adolescents. Twenty-five African American adolescents participated in this pretest-posttest research. Participants responded to questionnaires designed from previously tested scales before, immediately after, and 3 days after playing video games to determine if there were any effects of video game playing, and if so, whether these effects were temporary or long term. As hypothesized, most participants tended to pick video game characters whom they identified with respect to sex. However, African American men did not choose the African American male character as predicted. There was a significant widening in distance between how close participants would allow other ethnic groups to their ethnic group after playing video games as measured by the Social Distance Scale. Aggression and competitiveness did not significantly increase for all participants; however, those participants who were less aggressive and competitive before playing violent video games experienced significant increases in the suspicion subsection of the aggression scale and increases on the competitive scale. Results show that Mortal Kombat 3 causes racial divisions in adolescents and that adolescents who come to such games with low levels of aggression or competitiveness may be at risk for being adversely effected.

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Sex Differences in the Cognitive Processing of Schematic
Versus Landmark-Based Directions

Emily Balcetis and Katherine Linder, University of Nebraska at Kearney

ABSTRACT: An unsubstantiated stereotype suggests that differences exist between men and women in their ability to find their way. Testing the validity of this stereotype, sex differences in processing schematic versus landmark directions were examined. Research indicates that men perform more efficiently on visual and spatial tasks than do women. In this study, 85 students processed either schematic or landmark-based directions while tracing their path on a map. Errors based on the number of wrong turns and final distance from the specified goal were computed. The results indicated that men came closer to the specified goal when provided with schematic-based directions, whereas women performed equally well regardless of direction type.

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Role of Psi Chi in Preparing Students for Graduate Study in Psychology
William Buskist, Auburn University; Marcia Rossi, Tuskegee University

ABSTRACT: Students seeking admission to graduate study in psychology must successfully clear several hurdles during the application process. To determine the role that Psi Chi plays in providing students information about this process, we surveyed over 100 Psi Chi chapters. Although most chapters hold meetings on "how to get into graduate school," the frequency, content, format, and timing of these meetings varied considerably across chapters. We offer suggestions for improving these meetings and underscore the role that faculty may play in helping students gather information about graduate school and the application process.

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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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