1990-2000 Guilford Award Abstracts
1990-91 | 1991-92 | 1992-93 | 1993-94 | 1994-95
1995-96 | 1996-97 | 1997-98 | 1998-99 | 1999-00
1999-2000 Guilford Award Abstracts
Implicit Indicators of Women's Persistence in Math, Science, and Engineering
Lora E. Park
University of Washington
Faculty Sponsor: Anthony G. Greenwald, PhD
The disproportionate dropout rate of female college students from math, science, and engineering (MSE) fields is an issue that has recently received much attention (Brainard & Carlin, 1998; Brainard, Laurich-McIntyre, & Mobley, 1997). However, the reasons for females' higher attrition rate form MSE fields remain unclear. Eighty 1st-year university students completed a computer task--the Implicit Association Test (IAT)--that measured identification with MSE, gender stereotypes regarding MSE, and attitudes toward MSE on an implicit, nonconscious level. The results showed that males showed stronger implicit identification with MSE than did females, and that both males and females showed strong implicit stereotypes about MSE being "male" fields. Surprisingly, males and females did not differ significantly in their implicit attitudes toward MSE. The implications of these findings as they relate to women's persistence in MSE are discussed.
The Effect of Victim Age and Relationship to Assailant on Attribution of Blame in Rape Cases
Emily C. Mull
Faculty Sponsor: Amy L. Otto, PhD
This study investigated the impact of the victim's age and her relationship to the attacker on levels and attribution of blame in male-against-female rape cases. Participants were 100 adults. The design was a 2 (age of victim) x 2 (relationship to attacker) x 2 (gender of observer) factorial. Participants read 1 of 4 artificial newspaper article descriptions of a victim of a sexual assault, then listened to a tape of a simulated call by the victim to an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) worker. Attribution of blame was measured with a questionnaire including Burt's Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (RMAS; Burt, 1980). It was hypothesized that participants would blame younger victims more than older victims, blame victims who knew their assailant, and that participants who rated high on Burt's RMAS would show more victim blame. Although there was no significant difference in blame for young versus old victims, a significant effect was found for Rape Myth acceptance as a predicator of blame. Women felt more empathy to the victim, and blamed her less. Relationship of victim to attacker yielded ambiguous results. Future research on the relationship between victim and assailant, and possibly also on empathy effect, is needed.
An Examination of Backward Priming and Nonword Facilitation in Post-Lexical Decision Making
Jennifer Leigh Harrison
Appalachian State University
Faculty Sponsor: Natalie Oransky, PhD
In the lexical decision task, participants determine whether target stimuli are words or not (e.g., flute or flub). Typically responses to targets preceded by backward-related primes, (e.g., boy-bus) are faster than responses to targets unrelated to their primes, (e.g., bus-dog). This is the backward priming effect (Seidenberg et al., 1984). The processes used to explain facilitation effects in lexical decision tasks, automatic spreading activation and expectancy, cannot account for backward priming. Neely & Keefe (1989) suggest that backward facilitation occurs because participants check the prime-target relationship and this influences the speed of lexical decisions. When there is a relationship, a "word" response is biased, and when there is not a relationship, a "nonword" response is biased. The nonword facilitation effect is taken as evidence for this strategy. This effect occurs when responses to nonword targets preceded by words are faster than to those preceded by neutral primes. The existence of this mechanism has never been examined using backward priming. The present study included conditions necessary to examine nonword facilitation. Results showed a backward priming effect and nonword facilitation effect supporting the use of backward checking by participants in this task.
1998-99 Guilford Award Abstracts
Recall of Emotional Autobiographical Memories in Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Jennifer E. Medina
University of Florida
Faculty Sponsor: Dawn Bowers, PhD
This study examined the ability of epileptic patients with mesial temporal sclerosis of the left temporal lobe (LTLE) or right temporal lobe (RTLE) and normal controls (NC) to recall personal autobiographical memories associated with specific cue works (happy, angry, fear, joy, neutral). These memories were blindly rated on a scale of 0-100 on emotional semantic content (i.e., how prototypically emotional), valence (i.e., positively and negatively), and emotional impact (i.e., how the raters were personally affected). The results showed that the groups did not significantly differ in terms of emotional content or impact. However, the LTLE patients recalled memories that were rated as significantly less positive than the RTLE patients or NC. These valence asymmetries between the groups did not appear to be due to depression, as there were no quantifiable differences in scores on standard measures of depression (e.g., Beck Depression Inventory) among the groups. There were no significant group differences for negative ratings. These findings are similar to those recently described in patients with cortical strokes of the left or right hemisphere. Taken together they partially support the view that subsystems within the left hemisphere may mediate the experience/recall of positive events.
Does Negation Lead to Suppression of the Inference Process?
Elizabeth J. Mulligan
Faculty Sponsor: R. Brooke Lea, PhD
Reading times were examined to determine whether the logical not-both inference was made while reading text. Previous research has predicted that this inference is made on-line (Lea, O'Brien, Fisch, Noveck, & Braine, 1990); however, the presence of negation in the conclusion has led to inconclusive results. Two previous experiments produced mixed results that seem to show that although activation of inference concepts was decreased for negated propositions, negation did not affect the inference process itself (Lea, 1997). The present experiment confirmed that negated inferences were drawn on-line, and thus suggests that negation does not suppress the inference process. These results also support previous research which indicates that elaborative inferences are made on-line.
The Effects of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy on Exposure to the Ideal Female Body Image
Shea M. Di Donna
Faculty Sponsor: Christopher Silva, PhD
The effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy on female participants' body image and body esteem following exposure to ideal body image stimuli were investigated. Participants' responses to nine dependent variables related to body image and body esteem were assessed using attitudinal self-report measures. The effects of the presentation of the ideal body image stimuli were compared to ratings provided by a no-treatment control group. Overweight preoccupation was found to be exacerbated by exposure to the ideal body image stimuli. A single session cognitive-behavior therapy intervention was administered to one group following exposure to the stimuli to assess the effects of differential timing of the treatment. The findings suggest that a single session cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention used prior to exposure approached significance in reducing the impact of the stimuli on overweight preoccupation.
1997-98 Guilford Award Abstracts
The Effects of Nicotine on Locomotor Activity in Differentially Reared Rats
Michael B. Thompson
University of Kentucky
Rats were raised in either an enriched condition (EC) or impoverished condition (IC) from 21–50 days of age to assess the effect of environmental influences on drug response. On Day 50, all rats were administered an assigned nicotine dose (0.00, 0.2, 0.8 mg/kg) and tested for locomotor activity for 8 consecutive days. On Day 9, all rats received the highest dose of nicotine. Results show that IC rats were more sensitive to both the acute and chronic locomotor stimulant effects of nicotine. While it was predicted that IC rats would be more sensitive to the chronic effects of nicotine, previous work with amphetamine led us to hypothesize that EC rats would be more sensitive to the acute effects of nicotine. This disparity may be explained by different neural mechanisms involved in the acquisition of tolerance to nicotine and amphetamine.
When Does a Rose Smell as Sweet? Priming in the Production and Comprehension Lexicons
Aimee C. Knupsky
Models of the lexicon differ in whether word forms are shared or separate between the production and comprehension. Experiments have found conflicting results. Cutting (1997) found no effect for phonologically related words in the ignored condition while Ferrand, Grainger, & Segui (1994) found a priming effect for these words. The present study was designed to investigate this difference. Eighty participants received course credit or 5 dollars. A masked word prime was followed by a picture to be named aloud. Pictures (e.g., a nun) were paired with 5 experimental conditions: identical (e.g., nun), pseudohomophone (e.g., nuhn), homophone (e.g., none), phonologically related (e.g., nut), and unrelated (e.g., arm). While the shared model predicted that homophones would result in picture priming, the separate model did not. Results showed that pictures following identical, pseudohomophone, and homophone primes were named significantly faster in comparison to unrelated primes, while pictures following phonologically related words were not. The shared model was supported although the facilitation reported by Ferrand et al. (1994) was probably not due to phonological priming.
Psychological Effects of Severe Injury: Peritraumatic Dissociation and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Natalie C. Blevins
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
This study examined a population of trauma survivors and the resulting psychological consequences. The researchers predicted that peritraumatic dissociation is a precursor to subsequent difficulties, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thirty-five patients admitted to a University Hospital Trauma/Burn unit were interviewed and followed-up. Psychological assessments (Brief Symptom Inventory, Impact of Events Scale, Michigan Critical Events Perception Scale, Civilian Mississippi Scale for PTSD) determined pre- and postinjury status, symptoms of dissociation, and diagnoses of PTSD. Results indicated that those who experienced peritraumatic dissociation (N = 13) were more likely to experience increased psychosocial distress, in the form of anxiety (p < 0.001) and PTSD (p < 0.005). However, the data was not conclusive as to whether peritraumatic dissociation is the best predictor of PTSD. Implications and future research are discussed.
1996-97 Guilford Award Abstracts
The Mood Congruence Effect with Perceptual Versus Conceptual Tests of Implicit Memory
Angela J. Ruhl
This study investigated whether there is an implicit mood-congruent memory bias in depression by using a conceptual and a perceptual implicit memory task. Depressed (n = 15) and nondepressed college students (n = 27), as determined by the Beck Depression Inventory, were randomly assigned to either a conceptual or a perceptual implicit memory task condition. Positive, negative, and neutral word stimuli were used to determine if there was a differential priming effect according to word valence. Depressed participants were predicted to produce more negative than positive words on the conceptual implicit memory task than the nondepressed participants. No mood congruent memory bias for depressed participants were expected to occur on the perceptual implicit memory task. Analyses indicated a significant 3-way interaction between Depression x Task x Valence, F(2, 92) = 17.75, p < .01. The conceptual implicit memory task showed a trend toward the predicted mood-congruent bias, F(2,44) = 8.37, p = .08, but the perceptual implicit memory task showed a trend toward an unpredicted mood-incongruent bias, F(2,48) = 4.10, p < .05.
The Effects of Various Malingering Strategies on the MMPI-2 Clinical and Validity Scales
Susan N. LaVelle
University of Kentucky
One hundred outpatients who had taken the MMPI-2 at intake were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 conditions. The control group received standard instructions. The exaggeration group was instructed to exaggerate experienced symptoms. The global malingering group was instructed to generally fake-bad. The specific malingering group was instructed to fabricate PTSD. Results showed that the 3 malingering groups had significantly higher elevations on the validity scales (except for L, K, and VRIN) than control, but no significant differences between the 3 malingering groups. There was a significant difference across groups for all clinical scales except for 5 and 9. Although results suggest that the MMPI-2 validity scales cannot distinguish between various faking strategies, when cutting scores were used, differences were seen.
Parental Loss in the Formative Years: The Relationship Between Religion and Coping
Julie B. Kaplow
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
When a person encounters a stressful life event, one of the most prevalent sources of comfort called upon is religion. Religion has been shown to be especially effective in helping a person adjust to the loss of a loved one. Previous studies on this topic have focused only on adult outcomes, thereby overlooking children's reactions to a parent's death, which differ significantly from adult processes of mourning. This study examined bereaved children, ages 6 to 16, (n = 41), and the ways in which distinct components of religion were related to the children's postdeath adjustment. Pearson correlation coefficients suggested that neither strength of religious beliefs nor frequency of participation in religious activities played a significant role in the children's postdeath adjustment. After assessing each religious belief individually, it appeared that certain religious beliefs may have been related to the children's outcomes. A belief in spirits was weakly correlated with less anxiety after the parent's death, while a belief in the nature of a person's afterlife being dependent on his or her behavior while still alive was weakly correlated with higher depression levels. Children whose religious beliefs closely matched their parents' showed a trend in the direction of higher depression levels. Implications for the importance of assessing religion's various facets in relation to bereaved child populations are discussed.
1995-96 Guilford Award Abstracts
Something in the Way She Moves: Judgments of Traits and Motion From Point-Light Displays of Gait
Kathy D. Walter
The way people walk affects our judgments of others, as information about traits and characteristics are conveyed by physical motion. This study examined how women's gaits are affected by high heels, and how subsequent impressions of women change based on movement-altering footwear. To isolate motion from other nonverbal cues, the point-light technique (Johansson, 1973) was used to film women walking barefooted and in high heels. This procedure produced displays of moving dots against a black background. Judgments of motion and traits revealed that the gaits of women wearing high heels were smoother and stiffer, but included less hip sway and arm swing. More importantly, women in heels were perceived as more submissive than when barefoot. Furthermore, these findings could not be accounted for by perceived age of the walkers. Thus, high heels place women in a position of physical passivity, making them appear more submissive.
Bilingual Generation Effect: Participant Type or List Type?
Ramit K. Basi
University of Central Florida
In order to gain more information about the nature of bilinguals' lexical memory systems, prior researchers have attempted to ascertain whether a generation effect occurs with bilingual stimuli. This experiment was designed to examine and clarify the reasons for differing results found by 2 research teams. Both a procedural variation and a participant characteristic which had differed in those studies were directly compared. The present study used 2-stimuli and 3-stimuli lists with compound and coordinate bilinguals. It was hypothesized that coordinate bilinguals would recall more generate items than would compound bilinguals. There was a very large generation effect for both compound and coordinate bilinguals. In contrast to predictions, however, the generation effect was much greater for compound bilinguals rather than coordinate bilinguals. This finding is consistent with the "cognitive challenge" explanation of the generation effect.
Influence of Ethnic Identity Complexity on Reactions to Racial Discrimination
Pamela K. Smith
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
In an extension of Linville's (1985, 1987) self-complexity theory, data from 69 undergraduates were analyzed to test whether persons with more complex ethnic identities show milder cognitive and affective reactions to perceived racial discrimination. Students with at least 1 Black parent completed a modification of Linville's card sort task, the Rosenberg (1965) Self-Esteem Scale, and the Collective Self-Esteem Scale (Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992) and indicated cognitive and affective reactions to vignettes of possible racial discrimination. Higher ethnic identity complexity predicted more reported prior experience with discrimination. Higher collective self-esteem, but not complexity, buffered affective reactions to vignettes. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.
1994-95 Guilford Award Abstracts
Body Language of Women and Judgments of Vulnerability to Sexual Assault
Southern California College
The present study experimentally examined the effects of body language on judgments of vulnerability to sexual assault. Four features of body language (stride length, weight shift, body-limb movement, and foot movement) were manipulated to create 2 typical victim profiles and 1 typical nonvictim profile. Short videotapes of 3 adult female models walking alone in each of the 3 body language profiles were filmed. Forty-one college students and 33 police officers individually viewed 3 videotapes (each showing a different model and a different body language profile) and made judgments for each about the woman's confidence level and vulnerability to sexual assault. As predicted, women in the 2-victim profiles were judged to be significantly more vulnerable to sexual assault (p < .001) and significantly less confident (p < .01) than women in the nonvictim profile. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
The Effects of Model Similarity in HIV Prevention Messages
Gary R. Henderson
University of California, San Diego
Previous research has shown that people's self-perceptions and behavioral intentions are influenced by exposure to information about another person's HIV status. To date this "self-protective similarity bias" has only been examined with respect to a male population. The present study examines whether such a self-protective bias generalizes to females and, more importantly, whether the bias occurs only in response to information about same-gender models. These issues were addressed using college students (N = 150) participating in a 2 (Gender of Participant) x 2 (Gender of Model) x 3 (HIV status: HIV-positive, HIV-negative, or no information) between-participants design. Results indicate that the self-protective bias does indeed generalize to females, and furthermore, that the bias is restricted to same-gender models. In addition, although this bias reduced personal perceived susceptibility, intentions to adopt safer sexual practices were raised by HIV-positive models. Theoretical implications for cognitive dissonance and conceptions of similarity in social comparison theory are considered, as well as practical considerations for HIV prevention media messages.
The Role of Family Conflict and Marital Conflict in Adolescent Functioning
University of Georgia
[This research was supported in part by the William T. Grant Foundation and the University of Georgia's Institute for Behavioral Research.]
Recent research has suggested that general family conflict is more disruptive to child functioning than is marital conflict. We hypothesized, in contrast to earlier work, that marital conflict will contribute unique variance to our understanding of child functioning but only when it occurs in front of children. One hundred and forty-six mother/adolescent pairs served as participants. Mothers completed measures of marital and general family conflict. Both mothers and teachers completed measures on child functioning at 2 points in time separated by 1 year. Consistent with the earlier findings, general family conflict was more predictive of child adjustment problems than marital satisfaction. However, marital conflict occurring in front of the child was equally predictive of child problem behaviors as was general family conflict.
Consensus as a Function of Acquaintance Level
Recent research in person perception has focused on factors, such as acquaintance level, that may influence consensus, or the extent to which a perceiver's perception of a target agrees with that of another perceiver. Due to limitations of the research designs utilized the majority of these studies have failed to adequately assess the relationship between consensus and acquaintance. Therefore, many researchers have noted a need for residential longitudinal studies (Jones, 1990; Kenny, 1994). The current study examined the relationship between consensus and acquaintance 3 times over a 6-month period. Participants, 131 first-year campus residents, rated themselves and a randomly assigned group of peers on the Big Five personality constructs after living together for 2 weeks (Time 1), 10 weeks (Time 2), and 6 months (Time 3). The results showed that consensus levels increased over time for 4 of the 5 personality constructs. Additionally, greater change in ratings occurred between Time 1 and Time 2 than between Time 2 and Time 3. It is concluded that consensus increased as a function of increased acquaintance, especially during the initial acquaintance period.
1993-94 Guilford Award Abstracts
Search Assymmetries in 3-Month-Old Infants
Sabra S. Inslicht
Rutgers University-New Brunswick (NJ)
Visual search tasks with adults have shown that an addition of a feature is detected more rapidly than the deletion of a feature. In two experiments, we explored whether 3-month-olds exhibit similar asymmetries. In Experiment 1, infants were trained to kick to move a 7-block mobile displaying either Ps or Rs and were tested with the other mobile. For infants trained with Ps, the additional feature in the Rs disrupted retention; for infants trained with Rs, the absence of this feature did not. In Experiment 2, infants were trained as before but tested with a mobile containing a single P block amid 6 R blocks or vice versa in a visual pop-out paradigm. Infants detected the addition of a feature but not its deletion only when the unique feature was novel. These findings indicate that search asymmetry is not specific to adults but is present in earliest infancy.
Relationship of Sophistication Variables and Faith With the Acceptance of Bogus Personality Feedback
Thomas R. Rutledge
University of Alaska Anchorage
The present study examined the relationship between student's level of sophistication and faith in personality assessment procedures with their susceptibility to the Barnum effect--the tendency for individuals to accept highly generalized, ambiguous profiles as accurate descriptions of their personality. Three groups of participants completed a brief personality questionnaire under the impression they would be receiving an interpretation from (1) a master's-level clinician, (2) a clinical psychologist (PhD), or (3) a form of computer assessment. A pretest asking for the participant's age, sophistication, perception of the 3 assessment sources, and for predictions of their test results accompanied the questionnaire. Participants received 1 of 2 profiles categorized by moderate or high favorability, and were asked to rate both the accuracy and degree to which the profile described their unique personality. While neither the main effects for feedback source or favorability showed significance, regression analyses found participants' sophistication and initial faith in personality assessment procedures to be effective predictors of their accuracy and uniqueness ratings.
Prevalence of Rape and Rape Myth Acceptance of College Students in a Rural Setting
Lisa Ann Stroupe
Clarion University (PA)
Several studies have focused on the prevalence of sexual aggression on college campuses and have found that rape is reported by about a quarter of college women who have participated in studies. This study also examines the prevalence of rape; however, it was conducted in a rural, as opposed to urban, setting and studies rape prevalence during college attendance as opposed to up to college attendance. We also examine the prevalence of rape myths in both males and females. Previous research has not compared rape myth acceptance between males and females. Females and males in a health education course required by all students were asked to complete a questionnaire which included Burt's (1980) Rape Myth Acceptance Scale and additional questions regarding experiences of rape. Approximately 3% of females and 1% of males reported being raped while a student at the research institute. The majority of the rapes were described as acquaintance rapes. High rates of rape myth acceptance were found among participants, with males being more likely to believe in the myths in comparison to females. A statistically significant positive correlation was found between rape myth acceptance and scores on the likelihood of raping measure in males.
1992-93 Guilford Award Abstracts
Learning and Memory at 12 Months
Jessica R. Gilch
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Many studies of changes in cognition through childhood have reported an increase in the ability to remember with age. Studies of learning and memory with prelinguistic infants have demonstrated a similar trend over the first half-year of life. The latter work was limited, however, in that the paradigm used with these young infants was not appropriate for infants at older ages. The present study exploited an analogous paradigm that was originally developed for use with 9-month-olds in order to extend the study of learning and memory to 12-month-olds. In an initial experiment, we compared the effects of contingent and noncontingent reinforcement on responding during training and a 1-day retention test, determining that the contingency was necessary both for the increased responding during acquisition and for retention. In a second study, we extended the retention interval to 28, 35, and 42 days. Evidence of retention appeared only after a delay of 28 days--twice the delay after which 6-month-olds had previously been found to remember. These results extend previous findings showing a gradual increase in retention capacity with age during the infancy period and are consistent with a similar trend that has been found with older children.
Suppression and Enhancement in Young and Older Adults
Stephanie L. Johnson
University of Southern California
The present experiment tested the hypothesis that with old age there is a greater weakening of inhibition relative to facilitation. This prediction was examined in the context of Gernsbacher's theory of the structure building framework, which is based on the assumption that the mechanisms of suppression and enhancement are fundamental to successful comprehension. Twenty-four college students and 24 older adults performed a task that was designed to measure how well participants can suppress irrelevant information (inhibition) or enhance pertinent information (facilitation). A sentence-reading task with ambiguous words was used to assess age differences in inhibition, while a sentence-reading task with biasing verbs was used to assess age differences in facilitation. Our results demonstrate that older adults suffer from a less efficient suppression mechanism, whereas enhancement mechanisms are spared. These findings are interpreted in the context of age deficits in inhibitory processes, which may lead to decreased performance on selective attention tasks.
Paternalism and Substance Perceptions: Just Say No, If You Say So
University of Redlands
Little empirical research exists on the law's effect on people's perceptions. This experiment aimed to demonstrate the law's influence on perceptions of legal and illegal recreational substances. It also attempted to show that certain characteristics (attitude toward authority and previous drug use) would affect the law's influence on an individual. In this study, a 3-part questionnaire was administered to 84 university students enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses. Perceived physical and psychological health risks of a hypothetical substance, attitude toward authority, and previous drug use were addressed by the questionnaire. A 2 (Legality) x 2 (Attitude Toward Authority) x 2 (Previous Drug Use) ANOVA for each of 2 dependent variables demonstrated significant main effects for legality and previous drug use. No significant interactions were found. The results imply that the government has extreme power in influencing perceptions through legislation.
1991-92 Guilford Award Abstracts
Neglected Attention to Objects and Locations: Representational Constraints on the Hemispheric Control of Visual Attention
Carnegie Mellon University
Do we attend to objects or locations? This is the basic question that has guided much recent research in visual attention. While the answer appears to be that we can attend to both, the inherent constraints that object- and location-based representations may place on the distribution of attention within the visual field have yet to be directly researched. The questions addressed in this study are (a) does neglect, or visual inattention, affect attention to objects and locations equally, (b) is mental imagery more dependent on object-based or location-based representations, and (c) can neglect patients' worse inattention in imagery tasks than in perceptual tasks be explained by their differential use and neglect of object- and location-based representations between tasks? Normal participants were given a line-bisection task in which they decided whether the 2-line bisections of presented pairs were the same or different. By lateralizing spatial- and object-based presentations of stimuli and forcing reliance on imagery at longer delays between the line bisections of each pair, higher levels of hemispheric activation contributed to participants' attentional biases and levels of neglect. Attentional limitations were found to differ depending on the type of representation adopted and the need to invoke mental imagery. These deficits are analogous to those that have been observed in patients suffering from attentional deficits and may explain why neglect patients' inattention in mental-imagery tasks is more severe than in perceptual tasks.
Absolute Memory for Musical Pitch: More than the Melody Lingers On
Forty-four participants who claimed not to possess absolute pitch (some even claimed vehemently to be tone deaf) were tested for absolute pitch memory, a concept introduced as a necessary component of absolute pitch. Previous studies of absolute pitch have tested for the ability in musical populations, because nonmusicians do not have the vocabulary necessary to identify musical notes. A method was designed to test this population's abilities that did not require knowledge of specialized music vocabulary. Participants were tested on the ability to remember, and subsequently reproduce, specific pitches after a long time interval with much intervening distraction. Eleven of these participants (25%) demonstrated absolute pitch memory, and 23 (66%) made errors which clustered within 2 semitones of the target tone. This runs counter to traditional notions of "absolute pitch" as a rare ability, found exclusively in trained musicians.
UPDATE: Daniel Levitin, PhD, wrote the Psi Chi National Office to say that his paper later was published as follows:
Perception & Psychphysics (citation: Levitin, D. J. (1994). Absolute memory for musical pitch: Evidence from the production of learned melodies. Perception & Psychophysics, 56, 414-423.)
The Effect of Duration of Eye Contact on Attributions of State, Trait, and Test Anxiety
Male and female college students were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 groups and viewed a 60-s videotape. The content of the tape was derived from the factorial combination of sex of model on the tape and duration of eye contact (5 s, 30 s, or 50 s) maintained by the model with an interviewer. After viewing the tape, participants completed 3 inventories as they thought the model in the tape they had viewed would do so. The inventories measured state, trait, and test anxiety. The results showed that as eye contact maintained by the model increased, the model was judged as having less state anxiety, less trait anxiety, and less test anxiety. This effect was more pronounced for the female model than for the male model. The data extend previous experimental and correlational findings that as eye contact increases, an individual is judged more positively. Additionally, the present results show that these positive attributions are made with respect to both situational and dispositional personality characteristics.
1990-91 Guilford Abstracts
PMS as an Excuse? The Effects of Dispositional Self-Handicapping, Premenstrual Syndrome, and Success Contingency on Situational Self-Handicapping
Cynthia A. Bates
This study investigated the possible relation between premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms and self-handicapping. Participants were 213 female undergraduate introductory psychology students. Participants completed a calendar, the Premenstrual Assessment Form (PAF), the short form of the Self-Handicapping Scale (SHS), and a bogus social intelligence test. Participants were told they had to role-play a social situation with a clinical psychologist. Prior to this task they completed a questionnaire assessing the possible use of PMS symptoms as a self-handicap. They then were informed that they did not have to role-play and were debriefed. Results indicated a significant correlation between the PAF and SHS, and significant main effects such that high-PMS participants claimed PMS as a self-handicap more than low-PMS participants. Additionally, participants receiving contingent success feedback self-handicapped more than those receiving noncontingent success feedback. These results suggest that individuals may use PMS symptoms as self-handicaps in social-evaluative situations, and noncontingent success is not necessary for self-handicapping to occur.
Spectral Differences in Calls Produced by the Budgerigar (Melospittacus undulatus) in Air and Helium
Elizabeth F. Powell
University of Maryland, College Park
Studies of songbirds vocalizing in a helium environment show that vocalizations are affected by resonances of the vocal tract. These resonances act as an acoustic filter which attenuate some frequencies while letting others freely pass. This study's main focus was to extend the earlier findings using a small parrot, the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus). The vocal signals of budgerigars in air and helium were compared and perception of these signals was tested. The results of this experiment corroborate previous findings in songbirds and also show that resonances affect the quality of vocal signals in budgerigars. The perception study concluded that the differences between air and helium calls is salient to budgerigar.
Story Generation, Story Retelling, and Story Comprehension Skills of Preschool Children
Nicole Brundo, Amy K. Kern, and Laura D. Warner
Story generation, story retelling and story comprehension skills of 82 children ages 3 to 5 were compared using Stein's macroanalytic model. This model analyzes the overall story schema into 6 component parts: setting, initiating event, internal response, attempt, consequence and reaction. Previous research using this model has been limited to studies using older children or handicapped children. Children's story comprehension was more advanced than story generation or story retelling skills at each age. Though we expected a linear advance in all 3 skills, 5-year-olds did not perform significantly better than 4-year-olds. No main gender effects were found, though 3-year-old girls gave the poorest performance on all tasks. In all 3 tasks the children performed exceptionally well on the setting.