1994-2000 Allyn & Bacon Award Abstracts
Years: 1994-95 | 1995-96 | 1996-97 | 1997-98 | 1998-99 | 1999-00
1999-00 Allyn & Bacon Award Abstracts
The Effects of Ethanol and Dizocilpine on Reinstatement of Sucrose/Ethanol and Sucrose Self-Administration Behavior in Rats
Peter S. Vosler
Faculty Sponsor: Joan C. Bombace, PhD
Ethanol has the ability to act as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist. The present study examined whether the NMDA antagonist, dizocilpine, would reinstate ethanol self-administration behavior in rats. Two groups of male Sprague Dawley rats were trained to lever-press for either a contingent 2% sucrose/10% ethanol or a 3% sucrose solution for 30 min per day using a 2-lever procedure under a fixed ratio 2 (FR2) schedule of reinforcement. After responding stabilized, the rats underwent prolonged extinction wherein the lever-pressing failed to produce either sucrose or the ethanol. After extinction, the rats were given a 0.5 g/kg IP ethanol injection. Ethanol specifically reinstated ethanol responding as compared to the sucrose group and to the extinction days. The rats then underwent another extinction period, and were tested after an injection of dizocilpine (0.175 mg/kg IP). There was a significant main effect of drugs, but there were no differences between the ethanol and sucrose groups, nor any differences between active and inactive lever presses. These results agree with past literature in that they showed that ethanol reinstates ethanol-seeking behavior. However, dizocilpine appears to disrupt discrimination in both groups. The data suggest that it is unlikely that the NMDA antagonist effects of ethanol contribute to reinstatement of ethanol self-administration behavior.
Worried, Fearful, and Blue: The Effects of a Panic Prevention Intervention on Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
University of California at Los Angeles
Faculty Sponsors: Cara Gardenswartz, MA, and Michelle Craske, PhD
Numerous studies have demonstrated the high comorbidity between panic disorder and depression. This study investigated the effectiveness of a panic disorder prevention workshop on general anxiety and depression symptomatology. The 121 participants were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI), and were then randomly assigned into a workshop condition or a control group. All participants were followed up 6 months later. It was hypothesized that participants in the workshop condition would report fewer anxiety and depression symptoms than those in the control group. Results showed a trend for anxiety reduction but not for depression. Results also showed a significant main effect of time. The study casts doubt on the ability for panic prevention programs to reduce depression and investigated possible external factors that decrease anxiety and depression symptoms over time.
Examining Perceivers' Reactions to Behavioral and Self-Reported Self-Handicapping
Faculty Sponsor: Traci A. Giuliano, PhD
Although research suggests that there are two distinct types of self-handicapping (behavioral self-handicapping, which involves constructing an obstacle that makes a person's best effort unobtainable, and self-reported self-handicapping, which involves generating a verbal excuse for poor performance), little empirical research has addressed perceivers' reactions to these different strategies. The present study explored reactions to self-handicapping as a function of the type of strategy employed (behavioral or self-reported) and the resulting consequence (positive or negative) for the actor. As part of a 2 2 within-subjects design, 23 undergraduates (11 women and 12 men) read 4 hypothetical vignettes which described students who had self-handicapped in academic situations. Consistent with the predictions, participants reacted more favorably to self-reported self-handicapping than to behavioral self-handicapping.
1998-99 Allyn & Bacon Award Abstracts
Predictors of Adjustment and Institutional Attachment in 1st-Year College Students
Cari A. Cohorn
Faculty Sponsor: Traci A. Giuliano, PhD
The present study sought to synthesize and extend prior research by investigating predictors of several types of adjustment to college (i.e., general, social, personal-emotional adjustment, and institutional adjustment). 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.
Evolution, Sex, and Jealousy: Investigation With a Sample From Sweden
Ball State University
Faculty Sponsor: Michael Wiederman, PhD
When asked to choose which would be most upsetting, a mate's sexual or emotional infidelity, past research has demonstrated that men are more likely than women to choose sexual infidelity whereas women are more likely than men to choose emotional infidelity. Explanation of this sex difference has been controversial. In the current study we attempted to replicate previous research by examining a sample of college students in Sweden. In doing so, we also investigated the "double shot" explanation (DeSteno & Salovey, 1996a). In the current study, the majority of men chose the sexual infidelity scenario as most upsetting whereas the majority of women chose the emotional infidelity scenario as most upsetting. Contrary to the double-shot explanation, choice of scenario was unrelated to attitudes regarding whether the other sex was capable of satisfying sexual relations outside of a love relationship.
Famous or Infamous? The Influence of Celebrity Status and Race on Perceptions of Responsibility for Rape
Jennifer L. Knight
Faculty Sponsor: Traci A. Giuliano, PhD
Although an extensive literature has explored the effects of race, socioeconomic status, and attractiveness on perceptions of rape defendants, few studies have considered the influence of celebrity status (and its potential interaction with race) on people's perceptions of events related to rape. As part of a 2 2 between-subjects design, 71 undergraduates (32 men and 39 women) read a fictitious newspaper account of an alleged rape which varied the defendant's race (Black or White) and celebrity status (famous or nonfamous), and were then asked to make judgments in response to the event. As predicted, being a celebrity had distinct advantages for White defendants, whereas for Black defendants, being a celebrity was a liability. This apparent backlash against Black celebrities is consistent with aversive racism theory (Dovidio & Gaertner, 1991; Gaertner & Dovidio, 1986), which proposes that although most people today are not openly racist, a subtle form of prejudice appears when people feel safe to express it and when they can justify their feelings.
1997-98 Allyn & Bacon Award Abstracts
Regional Differences in Dendritic and Spine Complexity: A Quantitative Golgi Analysis of Human Cerebral Cortex
The Colorado College
Regional variation in dendritic and spine complexity was examined by quantifying the basilar dendritic systems of supragranular pyramidal cells in 8 functionally distinct regions of human cerebral cortex. Ten cells from each region were quantified (N = 640) with a Neurolucida computer/microscope interface system (Microbrightfield, Inc.). Based on Benson’s (1994) functional hierarchy, regions were grouped as low integration (primary and unimodal cortex) and high integration (heteromodal and supramodal cortex). Low integration regions included Brodmann’s area (BA) 3-1-2, BA 4, BA 22, and BA 44. High integration regions included BA 6B, BA 39, BA 10, and BA 11. The effects of Brodmann areas and integration level were evaluated using a nested MANOVA design. The results indicated that dendritic complexity in high-integration regions was significantly greater than in low-integration areas for all dependent measures. These findings further support the relationship between dendritic complexity and regional processing abilities, and help to establish a hierarchy of morphological complexity across distinct cortical regions.
MRI Volumetric Analysis of the Amygdala and Hippocampus Involving Verbal Memory in Parkinson’s Patients
Christopher W. DeLisle
University of Florida
This study attempted to determine if patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have a smaller hippocampus and amygdala than controls due to the degenerative nature of the disease and if the size of these structures correlates with verbal memory performance in patients. The amygdala, hippocampus, and total brain volumes of 7 patients with PD were measured and the results compared with 7 controls. There were no significant differences in the volume of the amygdala and hippocampus between the two groups. The PD patients were also given the Hopkins Verbal Memory Test (HVLT), and their scores were compared within the group for performance. A significant correlation was found between a larger right and left hippocampus impairing performance on the false positive portion of the test. These results do not support the proposed hypothesis but does question whether a larger hippocampus or amygdala might impair performance of the structures around it.
Lending a Helping Hand: The Effects of Sex Stereotypes and Gender on Likelihood of Helping
Samuel E. Fiala
Our purpose was to investigate the effects of gender and sex-role stereotypes on judgements of help-giving. Specifically, it was assumed that people in gender-inconsistent situations would be judged as less responsible for their plight than would people in gender-consistent situations, with the former group eliciting more sympathy and help than the latter. As part of a 2 x 2 within-subjects design, 40 undergraduates read 4 different scenarios which described either a man or woman needing help in either a stereotypically masculine or stereotypically feminine situation. The results revealed that although male participants felt more sympathy for men in stereotypically feminine situations and for women in stereotypically masculine situations, they were no more likely to help these individuals than they were to help those in gender-consistent situations. By contrast, women were more likely to help people in gender-inconsistent situations, despite feeling the most sympathy for people needing help in masculine situations. Implications for Weiner’s (1980) attribution model of help-giving and Nadler and Fisher’s (1986) threat to self-esteem model are discussed.
1996-97 Allyn & Bacon Award Abstracts
Synergistic Effects of Sex Steroids on the Vocalizations, Aggression, and Morphology of the Domestic Chicken
Melissa Diane Holmes
The effects of the sex steroids testosterone (T), estradiol (EB), and 5a-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or a combination of DHT/EB on the number of crows and aggressive acts emitted in the juvenile domestic chicken were examined. Testing was conducted at the end of each of 3 weeks of daily injections of 0.1 ml of a 25-mg/ml solution of 1 of the sex steroids or vehicle. Only T- and DHT/EB-treated chicks were ever observed crowing. T-treated chicks were significantly different from all other groups in the measures of crows and aggressive acts. DHT, DHT/EB, and T chicks were the only groups that produced adult typical combs. T and DHT/EB chicks had combs that were scarred, apparently from fighting. EB treatment seemed to suppress comb growth. The study concluded that DHT metabolism appears to be responsible for the morphological effects of testosterone, while the synergistic effect of the combination of EB and DHT seem to be responsible for the crowing and aggressive behaviors.
Maternal Attachment in Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents
Denise M. Popevis
Mount Saint Mary's College (MD)
Attachment attitudes and behaviors of pregnant and parenting adolescent mothers were examined. The participants consisted of 10 pregnant adolescents and 12 parenting adolescents, ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old. Prenatal attachment was measured using a modified version of Cranley's (1981) Maternal-Fetal Attachment Scale. Postnatal attachment was measured by a Maternal-Infant Attachment Scale developed by the experimenter. Contrary to the hypothesis, postnatal attachment was found to be significantly higher than prenatal attachment. Thus, similar to findings for adult mothers, attachment in adolescent mothers begins in pregnancy and continues to increase after the child is born.
Differential Effects of a Variable Parameterization Upon a Specific Motor Program
Eastern New Mexico University
The effects of differential amounts of practice variability created by parameter modifications on the acquisition and retention performance of a specific motor task was investigated. Three groups engaged in the task of dart throwing under practice formats of no variability, low variability, and high variability. Results indicated that the low-variability group experienced superior acquisition performance when compared to the no-variability and high-variability groups. Furthermore, the low-variability group also experienced superior retention performance in comparison to the no-variability group which in turn was superior to the high-variability group. These findings are incongruent with aspects of the variability of practice hypothesis, and suggest that other factors also play a role in the acquisition of expertise.
1995-96 Allyn & Bacon Award Abstracts
Loss of Parent in Childhood: The Role of the Surviving Parent
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Parental death in childhood or adolescence presents a uniquely stressful experience, one that can interfere in the social, personal, and academic domains of child life. Research to date on child bereavement is flawed and inadequate: much of the research has focused on child reactions and adjustment derived from adult paradigms of mourning; there has been little direct assessment of the reactions of children; and the majority of studies are retrospective accounts of adults. This study sought to examine the adaptation of children (N = 41) from families in which a parent died; in particular, children of different genders were compared on specific indices of adjustment using t tests and correlation analyses. The role of the surviving parent was emphasized as a mediating factor in the child's adjustment. Males and females did not differ significantly on dimensions of depression, aggression, nor did gender of the deceased parent have a significant effect on internalizing behaviors of the same-sex child. Lower levels of social support for the surviving parent were associated with increased levels of child aggression, social problems, and anxiety. Similarly, lower levels of surviving parent confidence and involvement with family were linked with disrupted child social interactions and aggression. The results suggest that surviving parent access to social support resources, confidence in their parenting skills, and high levels of involvement and warmth in the child's life lead to better child outcomes.
Teacher Effectiveness and Student Learning Motivations
The present study was conducted to determine how factors of information and animation influence ratings of teacher effectiveness and how those factors interact given different student learning motivations. Undergraduates (N = 98) watched 1 of 4 videotapes which manipulated variables of high/low information and high/low animation. Participant variables included the Need for Cognition and the Need for Affiliation scales. Dependent variables included Perceived and Actual Teacher Effectiveness measures. Significant main effects for information and animation, p < .001, and for animation and Need for Cognition, p < .013, and .050, in order, were obtained on the Perceived and Actual Teacher Effectiveness measures, respectively. Supporting previous research, this study found that animation had the greatest influence on student achievement. A better understanding of when Need for Cognition plays a part in student achievement was also obtained.
Perceptions of Status and Expertise in Simulated Video Conference and Computer-Mediated Groups
Joseph C. Magee
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
This paper examined media effects on status attenuation in a series of judgment tasks. For each task, participants in the experiment were given diagnostic and nondiagnostic data by 2 informants who differed in status. Communication occurred either via a simulated video conference or via a simulated computer conference. After completing the judgment tasks, participants rated the expertise of the 2 informants. Results showed that participants associated diagnostic information with increased expertise, except when the high-status person communicated via the simulated video conference. In this case, the high-status informant was rated more expert when providing nondiagnostic information than when providing diagnostic information. These findings suggest that computer-mediated communication allows people to pay more attention to what is being said rather than who is saying it, particularly in communication involving high-status individuals.
1994-95 Allyn & Bacon Award Abstracts
Quantitative Dendritic and Spine Analyses of Human Prefrontal and Occipital Cortices: A Preliminary Report
The Colorado College
Recent studies have associated increased neuropil with greater cognitive processing demands, but few areas of cortex have been investigated for these effects. The present study compared basilar dendrites in human supramodal prefrontal (area 10) and unimodal occipital (area 18) cortices. Tissue from the left hemisphere of two neurologically normal participants were processed with a modified rapid Golgi technique, and 20 cells per participant (10 cells per tissue block) were selected for qualification on a Neurolucida system (Microbrightfield, Inc.). Dendrite systems were analyzed for measures of total dendritic length (TDL), mean dendritic Length (MDL), dendritic segment count (DSC), dendritic spine number (DSN), and dendritic spine density (DSD). Dendritic systems of area 10 exceeded those of area 18 by 25% on TDL, 12.3% in MDL, 7% in DSC, 32.6% in DSN, and 8.1% in DSD. The largest differences occurred in 3rd and 4th order branches for TDL and DSN. Although proportions of distal to proximal segments were roughly similar for both areas, distal segments were higher than proximal segments in TDL (46.5%), MDL (87%), and DSN (74%). The greater amount of dendritic neuropil in area 10 over area 18 supports the proposed relationship between the level of cognitive processing and dendritic complexity.
Student-Teacher Interactions Related to Gender and Cognitive Levels of Questions
Ellen A. Rydell
This study reexamined the hypothesis that male students are asked more "higher-level" questions than their female peers as a literature review revealed that there is insufficient empirical evidence to support the hypothesis. Six student teachers and their 4th- and 5th-grade classes participated. Two language arts, 1 social science, and 3 science lessons were observed. Student responsiveness to each of J. P. Guilford's memory, convergent, and divergent question types and teacher selection of students relative to the number of boys and girls who volunteered for a particular question were separately assessed. Two (Gender) x 3 (Question Type) ANOVAS for each class indicated that in none of the 6 classrooms observed were boys significantly more likely to be selected to answer convergent and divergent questions than their female peers. In the 2 language arts classes, girls volunteered significantly more questions than boys, and it was only in the presumably easier memory questions category that males were given a greater opportunity to respond. In the science classrooms, no overall differences in teacher responsiveness across genders were found. The results suggest that differences in teacher responsiveness to males and females may be the result of teacher sensitivity to student participation rather than to any gender bias.
Effects of Locus of Control and Task Expectancy on Performance
David A. Menk and Dora Haugen
Gustavus Adolphus College
This experiment was designed to examine the effects of locus of control in combination with task expectancy on performance on a logical reasoning task. Participants were tested using the Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale. Those who were classified as internals or externals were led to believe the task was either "easy" or "difficult." In actuality, all participants received the same task. A statistically significant interaction was found between locus of control and task expectancy on performance. Within groups, a significant difference was found between the "easy" and "difficult" conditions. Given the expectation that the task was "difficult," externals showed a significant decrease in their score relative to the "easy" condition, following the belief that the situation was out of their control. At the same time, internals did significantly better in the "difficult" condition, indicating that they were able to maintain their sense of control over the situation.