Faculty Advisor Research Grant 2000-2001 Winners
Psi Chi congratulates these advisors for winning the Faculty Advisor Research Grants for the 2000-01 year. Faculty Advisor Research Grants will continue to be presented annually to faculty advisors in each of Psi Chi's regions to support a Psi Chi faculty advisor's research. Grants of up to $2,000 each (max: two per region), will be awarded to enable Psi Chi advisors to conduct empirical research. The purpose of this program is to recognize and reward faculty advisors who have committed their time and talents to their Psi Chi chapters by helping to defray the direct costs of a research project. Listed alphabetically, the 2000-01 winning faculty advisors are:
Elizabeth V. Brestan, PhD, Auburn University, Southeastern Region
Research Proposal: "Child Maltreatment Goes to the Movies: A Content Analysis"
David W. Carroll, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Superior, Midwestern Region
"Comprehension of Normal and Scrambled Research Reports by Advanced and Novice Psychology Students"
Amy K. Dicke-Bohmann, PhD, Texas Lutheran University, Southwestern Region
"Optimism and Dyadic Interaction"
Susan J. Larson, PhD, Concordia College, Midwestern Region
"The Effect of Lipopolysaccharide and Haloperidol on Conditioned Reinforcement in Operant Conditioning and Conditioned Place Preference Paradigms"
Cheryl S. Lynch, PhD, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Southwestern Region
"Kinship and Adoption in Macaques: Research in Progress"
Matthew J. Zagumny, PhD, Tennessee Technological University, Southeastern Region
"Predicting Condom Use Among Commercial Sex Workers in Poland"
Comprehension of Normal and Scrambled Research Reports by Advanced and Novice Psychology Students
David W. Carroll, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Superior
The present research examined how instruction in APA style influences student comprehension of research reports. APA style is a genre distinct from other styles of writing (Madigan, Johnson & Linton, 1995), and it takes students considerable effort to learn to write like a psychologist. Little research has examined the consequences of acquiring the APA style genre.
Participants were presented with brief descriptions of psychological research. Two variables were examined. One was the order of the sections of the research report: some were presented in the standard order (introduction, method, results, discussion), and others were presented in scrambled order. The 2nd variable was the level of expertise of the participants: senior psychology majors with experience in writing research reports in psychology, introductory psychology students with experience in writing reports in other fields, and introductory psychology students without research experience. Participants were timed as they read the portions of each report, and they also answered questions at the end of each report.
The results indicated that it took participants longer to read scrambled reports than standard reports. In addition, psychology majors had shorter reading times than the other 2 groups. Although the difference between standard and scrambled orders was present in all 3 groups, the difference was largest for the psychology students. Answers to test questions mirrored the reading time data.
This research suggests that experience with the APA genre may more fully prepare students to read psychological research reports than experience with related genre of other disciplines.
David W. Carroll, PhD, received his BA in psychology and philosophy from the University of California at Davis and his MA and PhD in experimental psychology from Michigan State University. Dr. Carroll is a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin - Superior, where he has served as psychology program coordinator and department chair. His core teaching courses include Memory and Cognition, Psychology of Language, Critical Thinking, History and Systems, and Senior Research. He has served as coadvisor for the Psychology Club and Psi Chi since their inception in 1999. He also mentors students in the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, which was established to prepare low-income, first-generation college students and students from groups underrepresented in graduate school for doctoral study. He has received the Outstanding Scholarship Award and the Outstanding Student Club Advisor Award from UW-Superior. Dr. Carroll was invited to the Psychology Partnerships Project (P3) Forum at James Madison University in 1999, and continues to collaborate with local high schools and community colleges. He is the author of Psychology of Language, currently in its third edition. He serves as a reviewer for Teaching of Psychology, Division Two's program for the APA convention, and the annual convention of the Society for Text and Discourse. His primary research interests are in psycholinguistics and critical thinking.
Optimism and Dyadic Interaction
Amy K. Dicke Bohmann, PhD
Texas Lutheran University
It was hypothesized that optimists were more likely to persist in working on unsolvable logic puzzles than pessimists, and that they would persist even longer if they were working with a helpful partner. Optimists and pessimists were either paired with helpful or nonhelpful confederates or left alone to work on an unsolvable logic puzzle, and the time they persisted was recorded. In addition, it was hypothesized that optimists working with helpful partners would be more likely to volunteer to try another puzzle than pessimists or others who were working either alone or with nonhelpful partners.
The only main effect found was that participants in the alone condition gave up sooner than the participants in the paired condition. The optional puzzle variable was measured with a chi-square analysis. Pessimists were more likely to attempt the optional puzzle than optimists. Surprisingly, fewer optimists opted to try another puzzle when they were helped by others than when they were hindered.
Amy K. Dicke Bohmann, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at Texas Lutheran University. She received her bachelor of arts in psychology and Spanish from Texas Lutheran University, and her master of arts and doctorate in experimental psychology with an emphasis in social psychology and quantitative analysis from Texas Tech University. Her teaching responsibilities include Social Psychology, Psychological Testing, and Research and Quantitative Methods. She is also the internship coordinator. Her research interests encompass the areas of romantic relationships, optimism, and stereotyping and prejudice. She is the faculty advisor of the TLU Psi Chi chapter, the Psychology Club, Beta Alpha Sigma social sorority, and the TLU chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
The Effect of Lipopolysaccharide and Haloperidol on Conditioned Reinforcement in Operant Conditioning and Conditioned Place Preference Paradigms
Susan J. Larson, PhD
Concordia College (MN)
Immune activation produces changes in behavior and psychological functioning, including anhedonia, or decreased interest in pleasurable stimuli. As a means of assessing the anhedonic effect of sickness, this project investigated the effect of immune activity on behavior maintained by conditioned reinforcers, and these effects were compared to the effect of dopamine receptor antagonism. It was shown that immune activity, induced with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), disrupted operant responding for a conditioned stimulus but did not disrupt the expression of a conditioned place preference in rats. Dopamine receptor antagonism, induced with haloperidol, disrupted the expression of a place preference but did not affect operant responding for a conditioned stimulus. Based on these data, it appears that immune activation induces differential effects on conditioned behavior, depending upon the conditioning paradigm. Given the differences in the LPS and haloperidol animals, dopamine antagonism is an unlikely mediator of the effect of LPS on conditioned behavior.
Susan Larson, PhD, earned a BA in psychology from the University of Manitoba in 1991. She completed her doctorate in experimental psychology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Department of Pharmacology. She joined the Department of Psychology at Concordia College in 1998. Dr. Larson teaches courses in Learning, Physiological Psychology, and Behavioral Pharmacology as well as Research Methods and Introductory Psychology. Dr. Larson served as Psi Chi faculty advisor from 1998-2001. During this time, she organized a faculty-led journal club to facilitate research discussions among students. Dr. Larson's research program focuses on the behavioral effects of immune system activation, and she regularly involves students in her research. Students Ostin Warren and Katie Richardson assisted Dr. Larson with this Psi Chi-funded research project, and they presented their findings at the Council for Undergraduate Research Posters on the Hill session in Washington, D.C., in April 2002.
Kinship and Adoption in Macaques: Research in Progress
Cheryl S. Lynch, PhD
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
The present study examines the role of kinship in adoption in nonhuman primates. Orphans at our nonhuman primate facility are usually hand-reared by humans. This time-consuming task is less than ideal, considering that these animals will have to be returned to colonies where they will be challenged with nonhuman primate socialization. Therefore, we proposed that it would be best for orphans to be adopted or fostered by others of their own species. However, because kin-relatedness has been proposed to be a factor in adoption in colony situations, kin-relatedness may have to be accounted for in the implementation of any adoption program at a nonhuman primate facility. In this study, 30 orphaned monkeys are being introduced to 30 kin and non-kin-related mother-infant pairs. The maternal responsiveness of the mother is assessed before, during, and after introduction. It has been hypothesized that maternal responsiveness will be greater in kin-related females.
Cheryl S. Lynch, PhD, received her doctorate in psychobiology in 1991 at Tulane University, then completed two postdoctoral fellowships in the Anatomy Department of Tulane Medical School. She is an associate professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Since 1994, she has served as UL's Psi Chi coadvisor until this year, when she assumed the advisor role. Her research focuses on the hormonal regulation of behavior. Throughout the years, both graduate and undergraduates at UL have worked extensively with Dr. Lynch on projects examining hormonal regulation of behavior in rodents, birds, monkeys, and humans. She has published extensively on topics such as anabolic steroid abuse and female sexual behavior. Eclectic in her research interests, Dr. Lynch's most recent projects examine learning and memory in human and nonhuman primates, maternal behaviors in monkeys, and stress responsiveness in human cancer patients. She has received two teaching awards from UL student organizations, and has been named in Who's Who in Science and Technology and Who's Who in the World.
Predicting Condom Use Among Commercial Sex Workers in Poland
Matthew J. Zagumny, PhD
Tennessee Technological University
Whereas over 50% of the HIV infections in Poland are resultant of injecting drug use (IDU), it is estimated that a substantial proportion of these IDU infections are among people who are actively engaged commercial sex workers (CSW; UNAIDS, 2000). Utilizing the theory of planned behavior, 102 CSWs in southwestern Poland were surveyed to develop a prediction model for condom use among this group of women at high risk for HIV infection. Regression analysis showed that the expectations of sexual partners, close friends, and health care providers significantly predicted intentions to use condoms during the participant's next sexual activity. It is argued that HIV prevention efforts in Poland should focus on changing sexual norms concerning condom use among the men who buy sexual services from CSWs, through individual- and group-level interventions. Additionally, physicians and other health care providers should collaborate in individual-level prevention activities with their CSW clients.
Matthew J. Zagumny, PhD, received his doctorate in organizational psychology from Central Michigan University and is associate professor of psychology at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tennessee. He teaches Statistics and Research Methods courses as well as General Psychology. Dr. Zagumny's research agenda includes examination of psychosocial models of health promotion behaviors, including sexual behavior and drunk-driving interventions. He has an active international health psychology research agenda in Poland and other regions in Eastern Europe along with his coauthors from Tennessee Tech and Poland.