2004-05 Guilford Award Abstracts
Gender Differences in Perceived Sociocultural Pressure to be Thin
Laura Hoch, University of San Diego (CA)
First Place Guilford Award Winner
Faculty Sponsor: Jennifer Lento, PhD
Media, parents, and peers are key factors in body comparison and internalization of thinness, which can lead to the development of body dissatisfaction. Although several factors contribute to perceived pressure to be thin, little is known about the influence of gender. This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between sociocultural drive for thinness, parental concern over weight, peer concern over weight loss, and body comparison to peers. More specifically, this study examined how males and females differed on these variables. A total of 157 college students participated in this investigation. Females reported significantly more perceived sociocultural pressure to be thin, body comparison tendencies, and parental and peer pressure to be thin, compared to males. Multiple linear regression analyses performed separately for males and females offer preliminary support that the perceived sociocultural pressure to be thin tends to be most related to peer influences and body comparison in females and to parental influences in males.
Effects of Self-Evaluation on the P300 Event-Related Potential
Kelly A. Machan, Western Oregon University
Second Place Guilford Award Winner
Faculty Sponsor: Joel Alexander, PhD
The effects of self evaluation on the P300 event-related potential (ERP) were explored with 56 participants (16 men, 40 women; M age = 23.4 yr., SD = 1.2) across the three conditions. The conditions included (1) a standard ERP auditory oddball discrimination between a random target (15% occurrence) and standard stimuli (85% occurrence), (2) the oddball task followed by the additional cognitive task of maintaining a mental count of the target tones, and (3) the oddball task followed by the additional cognitive task of self-evaluating whether they felt surprised by the current occurrence of the target tone. The added cognitive requirements for Conditions 2 and 3 required the subjects to maintain a cognitive readiness for the secondary stimulus-related task during their sensory discrimination response for the standard oddball task. During the self-evaluation condition, the P300 amplitude was significantly larger across all recording locations than the regular oddball condition and the cognitive count condition.
Effects of Generating Critical or Distorted Terms on Semantic Illusions
Karla Maria Batres, Saint Peter's College (NJ)
Third Place Guilford Award Winner
Faculty Sponsor: Maryellen Hamilton, PhD
The failure to detect distortions in a question is known as a semantic illusion. When asked, "How many animals of each kind did Moses take on the ark?" people answer "two" although most know it was Noah who brought animals onto the ark. Ninety-three participants were tested across two experiments. Each experiment sought to increase participant's accuracy in detecting distortions by having them see or generate the distorted (e.g., Moses) and/or critical (e.g., Noah) terms. Accuracy in detecting distortions actually decreased when the distorted term was presented or generated at study while studying the critical term did nothing for participant accuracy. Results are consistent with the partial-match hypothesis, but the possible importance of biasing sentence context is also discussed.