1991-1999 Newman Award Abstracts
1999 Newman Award Abstract | "Why Do Some Students Avoid Asking For Help? An Examination of the Interplay Among Students' Academic Efficacy, Teachers' Social-Emotional Role, and the Classroom Goal Structure"
Allison M. Ryan, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Faculty Sponsor: Carol Midgley
Using hierarchical linear modeling, student reports of the avoidance of help seeking was related both to personal characteristics and to characteristics of the classroom. As expected, reported avoidance of help seeking was related negatively to students' sense of academic efficacy. However, reported avoidance of help seeking was related less strongly to students' sense of efficacy in classrooms in which teachers believed that they should attend to their students' social and emotional needs. Average levels of reported avoidance of help seeking were related to students' perceptions of the classroom goal structure: a perceived emphasis on understanding and effort was related to lower levels of reported avoidance, whereas a perceived emphasis on relative ability was associated with higher levels. Teacher reports of their approaches to instruction (emphasizing understanding and effort or emphasizing relative ability) were unrelated to the reported avoidance of help seeking. Conceptualization and measurement of classroom goal structure is discussed.
1998 Newman Award Abstract | "The Role of Relaxation and Worry in the Reduction of Fear"
Holly Hazlett-Stevens, Pennsylvania State University
Previous research (Borkovec & Sides, 1979) has demonstrated the facilitative effects of relaxation on the reduction of fear and elicitation of cardiovascular responding via exposure to feared stimuli in imagery. Conversely, the process of worry has been found to inhibit this fear-reduction process associated with cardiovascular reactivity using imagery exposure techniques (Borkovec & Hu, 1990). The current study was designed to test for the facilitative effect of relaxation as well as the inhibitory effect of worry on cardiovascular responding and fear reduction via in vivo exposure to feared stimuli. Forty-two speech-anxious undergraduate psychology students were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions. Participants engaged in either progressive muscle relaxation, a neutral control procedure, or worry immediately before giving repeated speech presentations in front of a video camera. Between presentations, participants completed self-report ratings of anxiety and re-induced the relaxed, neutral, or worrisome state they had previously achieved. Heart rate was collected at various points throughout the procedure. Results indicated that the relaxation group reported significantly less subjective anxiety in response to exposures to the speech presentations than the other 2 groups and that the worry condition failed to demonstrate a decrease in subjective anxiety across exposure presentations. Although the condition effects previously observed in the phobic imagery research were not found in the cardiovascular data, participants displayed greater cardiovascular responses to the first speech presentation and showed a gradual decrease across the repeated presentations. Additional cardiovascular findings related to the role of parasympathetic activity during initial fear exposure coupled with gradual increases across repeated presentations. Implications for the role of relaxation and worry in the context of real life exposure to feared situations are discussed.
1997 Newman Award Abstract | "Distinguishing Subtypes of Anxiety and Depression: Further Construct Development and Neuropsychological Implications"
Jack B. Nitschke, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The lack of symptom specificity has proven to be a complicating factor in research on the emotional, cognitive, and physiological characteristics of anxiety and depression. Numerous attempts have been made to investigate the unique and overlapping features of anxiety and depression and to parse their symptoms into meaningful subtypes. In the current study, the relationship between anxious apprehension, anxious arousal, and melancholic depression was examined by administering the Penn State Worry Questionnaire and the Anxious Arousal and Anhedonic Depression scales of the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire to 783 college students. Correlational, principal component, and cluster analyses strongly suggested that these subtypes represent distinct affective states. Nonetheless, classification of extreme groups indicated the presence of substantial comorbidity between the subtypes. Implications for the neuroscience of anxiety and depression are discussed.
1996 Newman Award Abstract | "Corpus Callosum Morphology in Normal Controls and Traumatic Brain Injury: Sex Differences, Mechanisms of Injury, and Neuropsychological Correlates"
Sterling Charles Johnson, Brigham Young University (UT)
This study examined the relative cross-sectional area of the corpus callosum (CC) from magnetic resonance imaging scans of 166 normal controls and 97 patients who have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI). The issue of sex differences in the normal CC is addressed with regard to methodological limitations of many previous conflicting reports. Women had larger CC relative to cranial volume than did men, and this appears to be more than simply an artifact of larger heads in men. The TBI sample showed selective atrophy most notable in the genu and isthmus of the CC and may reflect cortical degeneration from common sites of injury or Wallerian degeneration secondary to diffuse axonal injury at sites other than the CC itself. The splenium of the CC was significantly related to functioning on the Digit Symbol task for the female TBI patients. The observed differences between gender on CC morphology and function may reflect global differences in brain organization.
1995 Newman Award Abstracts
First Place | "Is the Articulatory Loop Articulatory or Auditory? Reexamining the Effects of Concurrent Articulation on Immediate Serial Recall"
Prahlad Gupta and Brian MacWhinney, Carnegie Mellon University
Results from the paradigm of immediate serial recall form the basis of the influential "articulatory loop" model of auditory-verbal short-term memory (Baddeley, 1986). Central to the development of these ideas have been results obtained in immediate serial recall under the condition of concurrent articulation. We reexamine the effects of concurrent articulation, and show that findings from immediate serial recall do not uniquely support the articulatory rehearsal hypothesis: the data can be accounted for by assuming a purely auditory rehearsal process. The question of whether the rehearsal process in fact has an "articulatory" component or is purely "auditory" has significance beyond the immediate domain of working memory, and makes contact with a number of important issues concerning phonological processing. We describe a series of experiments aimed at discriminating between the 2 hypotheses. Our results support an articulatory component in rehearsal, but also indicate that auditory interference plays a significant, but previously unrecognized, role in the concurrent articulation effect.
Second Place | "Spouse Similarity in Attitudes, Personality, and Psychological Well-Being"
Du Feng, University of Southern California
The study of the origin of spouse similarity is interesting because the extent to which spouse similarity reflects genetic resemblance between husbands and wives affects the genetic structure of a population. The sources of observed spouse similarity in attitudes, personality, and psychological well-being are discussed. Analyses based on data collected form an American adult sample assessed longitudinally showed that spouse correlations were high for attitudes, and low to moderate for personality and psychological well-being. Four competing explanations to spouse similarity were compared: initial similarity, attrition, convergence, and age covariation. The results did not support the latter 3 explanations, indicating that initial similarity may be an appropriate interpretation of observed spouse similarity. The findings are consistent with those of other comparable studies.
Third Place | "The Differential Impact of Gender Ratios on Women and Men: Tokenism, Self-Confidence, and Expectations"
Laurie L. Cohen, Pennsylvania State University
We explored the joint influence of gender ratios and self-confidence of group members on expectations about an anticipated group task. The results show that female participants who anticipated that they would be the only woman (token) in their groups were more likely to prefer a different group, desire a change in gender composition of their group, and expect to stereotype others as compared to nontoken women. These effects were stronger for token women with less confidence about an upcoming task. In contrast, male tokens and nontokens did not differ in their responses to these measures. Yet, potential female and male tokens regardless of confidence were both more likely to anticipate stereotypic evaluations from their group. We discuss the relevance of these results to career choices by women in nontraditional careers.
1994 Newman Award Abstract | "Dimensionality and Clustering in the Semantic Network of Patients With Alzheimer's Disease"
Agnes S. Chan, San Diego State University
Coauthors: N. Butters, D. P. Salmon, and K. A. McGuire
The organization of semantic memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) was investigated with a triadic comparison task. A multidimensional scaling statistic was used to analyze proximity data and to generate 3-dimensional cognitive maps that were then compared by a discriminant function analysis. The results suggest that the structure of semantic memory in AD patients differs from that of elderly normal controls (NC) in 2 ways. First, AD patients are less consistent in using the attributes (predation, domesticity, and size) of concepts. Second, AD patients focus primarily on concrete perceptual information (size), whereas NC Ss stress abstract conceptual knowledge (domesticity). These results are consistent with the notion that AD is characterized by a breakdown in the structure of semantic knowledge.
1993 Newman Award Abstract | "The Effect of Repressive Coping Style on the Immune System"
Julie Anderson, University of South Florida
The present study investigated several physiological parameters potentially involved in the association between a repressive coping style and increased risk and worsened clinical course of neoplastic disease. Measures of heart rate, cortisol, and mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation, and self-reports of state-anxiety were obtained for Repressor, low-anxious (LA), and high-anxious (HA) groups in response to a phrase association task and venipuncture. State-anxiety and heart rate data were also obtained for a pre-stressor period. The 3 groups of 9 participants each were selected from a pool of 156 male undergraduates based on trait anxiety and Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale scores. During the pre-stressor period and performance on the phrase task, Repressors and HA participants exhibited greater autonomic arousal (heart rate) compared to LA participants, and HA participants reported higher state-anxiety and a greater "fear of needles" than the Repressor and LA groups. During venipuncture, Repressors had significantly higher levels of arousal than the HA participants, who in turn were higher in arousal that the LA participants. The Repressors also tended to show the lowest T-lymphocyte response to mitogens Phytohemaglutinin and Concanavalin-A. No significant differences were found in cortisol values. These findings suggested that the Repressors' high physiological response to evoking stressors and lack of subjective awareness of distress may have an adverse impact on the immune system, providing a possible link between a repressive coping style and increased incidence of cancer.
1992 Newman Award Abstract | "The Effect of Varied Physician Affect on Recall, Anxiety, and Perceptions in Women at Risk for Breast Cancer: An Analogue Study"
Daniel E. Shapiro, University of Florida
Evaluated the effect of varied physician affect on participant recall, anxiety, and perceptions in a simulated tense and ambiguous medical situation. Forty women at risk for breast cancer viewed tapes of an oncologist presenting results of a mammogram with either worried or nonworried affect. Though the information and the oncologist were the same in both presentations, analyses indicated that women who received results of the mammogram from a worried physician recalled significantly less information than women receiving information from a nonworried physician. They also perceived the clinical situation as significantly more severe, reported significantly higher levels of state anxiety, and had pulse rates that were significantly higher than women viewing the nonworried physician. These results suggest that physician affect plays a critical role in patient reaction to medical information. Implications for compliance research, patient satisfaction, and physician training are discussed.
1991 Newman Award Abstract | "The Effect of Elaboration and Prior Knowledge on Recall"
Sung-il Kim, Utah State University
Three experiments investigated the effect of experimenter-provided elaborations and prior knowledge on memory. All experimental participants were exposed to 28 target facts, half of which were supported by two experimenter-provided elaborations. In Experiment 1 half of the target facts were associated with a different well-known individual. Prior knowledge about the well-known individuals enhanced recall; elaboration aided recall only when prior knowledge was low and when content cues were reinstated at recall. When prior knowledge was minimized uniformly in Experiments 2 and 3, then provided elaborations greatly enhanced recall. Apparently experimenter-provided elaborations are useful when prior knowledge is low and self-generated elaborations are unlikely.