2003-2004 Guilford Award Abstracts
"His and Her" Heart Attacks: The Effects of Gender Relevance on Women's Receptiveness to Health-Related Information
Abigail Riggs, Southwestern University (TX)
First Place Guilford Award Winner
Faculty Sponsor: Traci A. Giuliano, PhD
Heart disease is the number one killer of woman, yet woman often fail to appreciate their risk of experiencing a heart attack. The current study hypothesized that women may underestimate their risk of a heart attack because the media's use of sexist language, and male examples leads women to believe that heart disease primarily affects men. To test this hypothesis, 98 female participants were given an article about heart disease that manipulated the gender of an accompanying picture (male or female) and the inclusiveness of the language used (e.g., the pronoun he versus the pronouns he or she). Interestingly, the results revealed that whereas women older than 60 were more influenced by the male-focused health-related information, younger women appeared more responsive to female-focused information.
A High-Dimensional Computational Model of Racial Bias in the News Media
Christopher Marcus Crew, University of California, Riverside
Second Place Guilford Award Winner
Faculty Sponsor: Curt Burgess, PhD
The media is a major source of information about the world and is instrumental in helping form people's social perceptions (Fujioka, 1999; Schiraldi, 2001). Although previous research suggests that television news perpetuates stereotypes of minority groups (Armstrong et al., 1996), little empirical research has been conducted to validate this hypothesis. Using the Hyperspace Analogue to Language (HAL; Burgess, 1998), a contextual memory model of meaning representation, the present study examines the portrayal of African-Americans in news reporting. HAL is a computational model that "reads" in millions of words of language and then learns what words mean based on lexical co-occurrence. Memory models trained on CNN, FOX News, and Reuters on text were compared along pleasant and unpleasant dimensions in order to assess potential racial bias. Results suggest that the networks do not differ with respect to the unpleasant contexts in which African-Americans are presented; however, CNN and Reuters present African-Americans in a more positive manner that does Fox. Results are consistent with a theory of modern racism.
Chronic Pain and Disability in HIV-Associated Distal Symmetric Polyneuropathy
Kinjal Doshi, New York University
Third Place Guilford Award Winner
Faculty Sponsor: Richard Bock, PhD
Background: Chronic pain and disability are multidimensional phenomena that include psychological, psychosocial, and environmental components. For individuals infected with the HIV-1 virus, HIV-associated Distal Symmetric Polyneuropathy is the most common source of chronic pain and disability.
Objective: We describe the sensory, affective, cognitive, and cognitive-behavioral aspects of the chronic pain experienced among patients with HIV-DSP, especially those that distinguish individuals who are disabled as a result of the pain from those who are not disabled. Participants were recruited from an infectious disease clinic, with their HIV-DSP confirmed by a neurologist. Seventeen eligible participants completed self-report questionnaires that assessed psychological components of pain as well as features of disability. Correlational and regression analyses were used to describe the associa-tions between the chronic pain experience and disability.
Results: Significant correlations between all four components of psychology with disability, as well as with one another, were found. However, only sensory components were significantly predicative of disability when all components are considered jointly.
Conclusion: Even in a small sample, psychological factors are significantly associated with the chronic pain experience and disability status of an individual with HIV-DSP. It will be worthwhile to collect additional data to fully describe these associations.