Faculty Advisor Research Grant 2001-2002 Winners
Psi Chi congratulates the faculty advisors who won this year's competition for the Faculty Advisor Research Grants. Listed alphabetically, the 2001-02 winning faculty advisors are:
Jeanette Altarriba, PhD, University at Albany, State University of New York, Eastern Region
"Creating False Memories in Bilingual Speakers: The Role of Language in False Recall"
Lorinda B. Camparo, PhD, Whittier College (CA), Western Region
Research Proposal: "Peer and Familial Influences on Adolescents' Prejudices and Attitudes About Violence"
Laurie L. Couch, PhD, Morehead State University (KY), Southeastern Region
"The Effects of Rejection on Self- and Body-Esteem"
Gregg J. Gold, PhD, Humboldt State University (CA), Western Region
"The Social Neuroscience of Predicting the Intentions and Behaviors of Others"
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD, George Mason University, Southeastern Region
"The Effect of Prenatal Visual Stimulation and Propranolol Exposure on Leopard Geckos' Growth Rates, Hatching Times, and Postnatal Preferences"
Frank M. Webbe, PhD, Florida Institute of Technology, Southeastern Region
Research Proposal: "Soccer Heading in Children: Incidence and Neurocognitive Correlates"
Creating False Memories in Bilingual Speakers: The Role of Language in False Recall
Jeanette Altarriba, PhD
University at Albany, State University of New York
This work examined whether false memories can be generated equally within a bilingual’s two languages. These memories result from hearing or seeing a list of words that are semantically related to a falsely remembered word—a word that is not actually presented. Evidence of false memories where participants recall events that did not happen or remember them differently has been obtained using a variety of methodological paradigms and materials (see e.g., Roediger & McDermott, 1995). These include the presentation of word lists, sentences, prose passages, pictures, and videotapes. However, little is known regarding the relationship between language of encoding and the creation of these false memories.
In the current work, English-Spanish bilinguals listened to eight lists of 11 words (e.g., river, climb, etc.) associated to a critical nonpresented lure (e.g., mountain) and recalled the words after each list. Lists were presented in English or in Spanish and for half of the participants, there was a delay between encoding and recall while for the other half, recall was immediate. Results indicated that for English, the dominant language for these bilingual participants, memory for presented items was higher in the immediate condition than in the delayed condition. However, the reverse was true for false memories. The proportion of falsely remembered items increased from the immediate to the delayed condition.
In Spanish, however, the subordinate language for these bilingual participants, veridical memories decreased over time, as in the English group, but there was no effect of time delay for false memories. The "language tag" present at encoding for the Spanish language created a saliency for these items diminishing the probability of falsely recalling items. In fact, overall recall rates for false memories in Spanish were lower than English. Thus, the saliency of a subordinate language tag minimizes false memories. Future research should uncover the ways in which language tags develop and are moderated over time.
Jeanette Altarriba, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She is also currently serving as associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. She received her BA in psychology from Florida International University, Miami, and her MA and doctorate in cognitive psychology from Vanderbilt University. She has taught courses in Memory and Cognition, Statistical Methods for Psychology, and History of Language Laboratory at the University at Albany. Her published works in the areas of bilingualism, second language acquisition, language and emotion, and topics in memory and perception have been published in sources such as the Journal of Memory and Language, Memory & Cognition, and the International Journal of Bilingualism.
As faculty advisor for the SUNY-Albany Chapter of Psi Chi from 1993-2003, she worked with students on various projects involving student service and leadership. This chapter’s work earned them a service award from the Capital District Psychiatric Center, Albany, New York, various student research awards, a Faculty Advisor Award for the Northeastern Region from Psi Chi, and a Presidential Award for Undergraduate Leadership from its most recent president, Michelle Rechenberg. Dr. Altarriba has been honored with an Excellence in Teaching Award from the University at Albany as well as a Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching from the SUNY system. Early in her career, she was honored with the Early Career Award for Teaching and Training from the American Psychological Association.
The Effects of Rejection on Self- and Body-Esteem
Laurie L. Couch, PhD
Morehead State University
Much research suggests a link between the feedback one receives during social interactions and one’s level of self- and body-esteem; however, relatively little attention has been paid to the factors that may influence this link. In the present study, four factors (the sex of the participant, the romantic satisfaction of the participant, the general relational satisfaction of the participant, and the participant’s general fears about negative evaluation) were assessed to determine their impact on self- and body-esteem after participants received either positive or negative social feedback.
Participants first completed an at-home questionnaire in which their sex, general satisfaction with all social network relationships, romantic satisfaction, and general level of fear about negative evaluation were assessed. Within two weeks, participants came to the laboratory individually where they were given a cover story and their picture was taken and supposedly shown to a group in another room while they completed a filler task. Participants were randomly assigned to hear that they had either been selected or rejected from membership by the group based on the picture. Subsequently, all participants completed a post-manipulation questionnaire that assessed their self- and body-esteem after social feedback.
Surprisingly, our analyses of participants’ self-esteem after social feedback suggested that it was not associated with whether they had received including or rejecting feedback, and our analyses of body-esteem after social feedback suggested that participants actually showed increased body-esteem after rejection. Our initial speculation is that a defensive strategy was employed with regard to body-esteem because rejection was based on appearance and participants were not afforded the opportunity to alter the impressions of others, engage in behavioral responses, or vent their emotions in this study, as has been the case in many other studies. In addition, although sex of the participants was unrelated to self- or body-esteem after feedback, it was observed that those with general satisfaction on their social network relationships, and romantic relationships in particular, had higher self- and body-esteem after feedback. In addition, those with a lower level of fear about negative evaluation showed higher self- and body-esteem after feedback than those with higher levels of fear about negative feedback. No interactions between these factors and the type of feedback received by participants were observed.
Laurie L. Couch, PhD, received her BA in psychology from Mississippi State University and her MA and PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Couch currently is an associate professor of psychology at Morehead State University in Morehead, KY, where she teaches Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Social Psychology, Seminar in Social Psychology, and specialty courses about careers in psychology and in the study of relationships. Although this project was inspired by one of her students, her general research interests involve the investigation of how personality and social cognition operate in interpersonal relationships. In particular, recently she has been studying experiences of betrayal and trust from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives as she has investigated the process of coping with betrayal, the cognitive processes involved in the experience of betrayal, and the mental and physical health risks associated with betrayal. Dr. Couch has been the faculty advisor for the MSU chapter of Psi Chi since 1997.
The Social Neuroscience of Predicting the Intentions and Behaviors of Others
Gregg J. Gold, PhD
Humboldt State University
Predictive accuracy regarding others’ intentions and behavior dramatically affects success in such areas as interpersonal relations, business, politics, and health. Previous research (Gold, 2000) has shown that accuracy is significantly affected by the predictor’s mindset. In this study, electroencephalographic (EEG) readings were used to identify physiological differences between different mindsets. Each participant experienced a role condition (making predications by imagining themselves in the role of another person) and a non-role condition (making predictions by imagining themselves observing another person). Each condition was presented twice, and presentation order was counterbalanced. Numerical EEG analysis indicated that the role condition evoked significantly different (p < .05) cortical brainwave patterns than the non-role condition. These findings support the position that physiological factors are involved in predictive accuracy.
Gregg J. Gold, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at Humboldt State University located on the north coast of California. He received his BA in psychology from UCLA, his MA in experimental psychology from California State University Northridge, and a MA and doctorate from UCLA (2000) with an emphasis in social psychology and a minor in measurement. He runs an active lab where each year students present their research at the Western Psychological Conference. The focus of the lab is on social influence/social power, attribution theory, social cognition, and forgiveness. The lab has recently been shifting to a social neuroscience orientation. His teaching responsibilities include social psychology, psychology of prejudice, and advanced social psychology. In addition to being faculty advisor to Psi Chi, he also serves as faculty advisor to the Psychology Club, and the Wilderness Protection Club.
The Effect of Prenatal Visual Stimulation and Propranolol Exposure on Leopard Geckos’ Growth Rates, Hatching Times, and Postnatal Preferences
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD
George Mason University
This study examined leopard geckos’ sensitivity to prenatal visual stimulation. Experimental embryos (N = 53) were exposed to visual stimulation from day 30 of incubation to hatch. Control embryos (N = 54) received no augmented sensory stimulation. A subset of 18 embryos in each condition received injections of Propranolol, a common beta blocker, in saline every 5 days, from day 30 to 45 of incubation. A different subset of 18 embryos in each condition received saline injections only. Experimental and experimental/saline (ES) embryos hatched significantly earlier than all other groups. Embryos in the experimental/Propranolol (EP) condition and in the three control conditions had similar hatch rates. Hatchling mass was not affected. Experimental hatchlings demonstrated the strongest postnatal preference for patterned light at 24 hours of age, with ES and EP showing lessened preference. In contrast, hatchlings in the three control conditions demonstrated a preference for normal light. These findings indicate that the SNS may not be only mechanism responsible for the effects of prenatal sensory stimulation.
Merry J. Sleigh, PhD, received her BA in English and psychology from James Madison University (VA). She received her doctorate in developmental psychology at Virginia Tech, then worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Indiana University. Dr. Sleigh began teaching as an adjunct faculty at GMU in 1997 and became the full-time director of the Psychology Honors Program and the advisor of Psi Chi in 1999. In 2000, she won a Teaching Excellence Award from GMU and in 2003 was the recipient of the Psi Chi Faculty Advisor Award in the Southeast Region. Her dual research programs focus on the role of prenatal sensory experience in constructing developmental outcomes and on teaching effectiveness. She recently accepted a faculty position at Winthrop University and will begin teaching in the Psychology Department with her husband this fall.