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Psi Chi Journal Winter 2000

PSI CHI Journal of Psychological Research
Volume 5.4 | Winter 2000

RESEARCH ARTICLES

The Mozart Effect: Dichotic Listening and Visual-Spatial Test Performance
Matthew J. Neltner, Daniel J. O'Connell, and Lawrence Boehm,
Thomas More College


ABSTRACT: The Mozart effect occurs when participants exposed to Mozart's music score better on visual-spatial tasks than nonlisteners. Because hemispheric differences may play a role in visual-spatial test performance, we used a dichotic listening task to stimulate the Mozart effect. After attending to either Mozart's music or relaxation instructions, 4 counterbalanced groups completed a paper-folding and -cutting test (PF&C) and a maze. The experimenters timed and scored the tests. Participants then repeated the same procedure attending with the same ear, but to the opposite auditory stimulus (relaxation instructions or Mozart's music). After this second condition, participants completed a different PF&C and maze. The amount of time required to complete the tests revealed no significant differences. However, Mozart's music enhanced PF&C test performance compared to the relaxation condition. Additionally, the experimenters discovered that the relaxation condition facilitated the Mozart effect.

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Effects of Caffeine on Lexical Decision Performance
Edward J. Petruso, Mark V. Gentry, Matthew R. Lemming, and Charles J. Meliska, University of Southern Indiana

ABSTRACT: Undergraduates (4 men, 4 women) at a midwestern university participated in a study of the effects of caffeine on lexical decision making. The study also examined the effect of the medium in which caffeine was consumed, that is, water versus cola. Using a within-subjects design counterbalanced for order of presentation, the experimenters compared 4 treatments: caffeinated water, caffeine-free water, caffeinated cola, and caffeine-free cola. Contrary to expectation, caffeine slowed reaction times when consumed in either water or cola. However, caffeine improved lexical decision accuracy when it was consumed in a water-based beverage (Water Joe®); yet, accuracy was also marginally higher relative to control (spring water) after participants drank both caffeinated and decaffeinated cola. These unexpected results may be due to confounds arising from inadequate time to absorb the caffeine. Classical conditioning, whereby participants may come to associate cola taste with caffeine-induced enhancement of mental function, may also explain some of the unexpected results.

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Teaching Versus Non-Teaching Majors: How Closely Linked Are
Personality Factors and Teaching Designation?

Elaine M. Eshbaugh and Helen C. Harton, University of Northern Iowa

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine how 3 aspects of personality (self-esteem, agreeableness, and self-concept clarity) relate to female students' designation of a teaching versus non-teaching major. Students completed measures of self-esteem, agreeableness, and self-concept clarity, along with a demographic questionnaire. Female education majors (n = 54) had higher self-esteem and agreeableness than female non-education majors (n = 77). Self-concept clarity tended to be higher in education majors than non-education majors, although this difference was not statistically significant. These findings are encouraging because they imply that education majors have valuable and important qualities, such as self-esteem and agreeableness. These results support previous research that has found college major and career choice often overlap with personality. Recommendations for future research and implications for counselors in academic and career settings are discussed.

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Glancing Behavior of Participants Using Automated Teller Machines
While Bystanders Approach

Anastasia R. Gibson, Kristie Smith, and Aurora Torre,
The University of Alabama in Huntsville


ABSTRACT: We designed this naturalistic observation to discover a relation between the frequency of glancing behavior of a participant and the proximity of a bystander. The 4 investigators observed 108 participants using an automated teller machine (ATM) while at least 1 bystander waited behind each participant. Pertinent data included the approximate age of the participant, the number of bystanders waiting to use the ATM, the proximity of the bystander, and the frequency of glances from the participant to the bystander. Contrary to previous data, these results showed that as the proximity between bystander and participant decreased, glancing behavior increased, (p < .05).

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Sexuality, Gender and Sport: Does Playing Have a Price?
Brooke A. McKinney and Francis T. McAndrew, Knox College

ABSTRACT: Ninety-one undergraduate students (43 varsity athletes, 48 nonathletes) completed questionnaires assessing their attitudes toward homosexuality and their perception of stereotypes, sexuality, and values of athletes in various sports. The results indicated that attitudes toward homosexuality, sex of participant, and status as an athlete were predictors of the degree to which students were aware of and endorsed stereotypes about the values and sexuality of athletes. The groups had consensus regarding which sports had the largest and smallest proportion of gay participants for both men's and women's sports.

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The Effects of Romantic Content in Sitcoms on
Perceived Attractiveness of Photographs

Shandee L. Kempf, Jessica H. Lahner, Melissa J. Pecor, and Matthew T. Feldner, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the potential priming effect of romance in comedy television programming on attraction. Participants completed a questionnaire about themselves, including a shyness scale (Cheek & Buss, 1981). After completing the questionnaire, they watched a comedy with or without romantic content and then evaluated the attractiveness of a series of photographs. No differences between conditions were found in the attractiveness ratings of the photographs. Sex differences were found for the shyness scale such that women had lower scores than did men.

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The Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research educates, supports, and promotes professional development, and disseminates psychological science. Only original, empirical manuscripts that make a contribution to psychological knowledge are published. Authors are Psi Chi members at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty level.

 

 

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