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Psi Chi Journal Spring 2012

PSI CHI Journal of Psychological Research
Volume 17.1 | Spring 2012

RESEARCH ARTICLES

Make ’em Laugh? The Mnemonic Effect of Humor in a Speech
Maria J. Baldassari, University of Victoria;
Matthew Kelley, Lake Forest College


ABSTRACT: The present study investigated the mnemonic effects of using a joke and the influence of the location of the joke within a speech. In Experiment 1, participants heard 2 passages—one beginning with a humorous limerick and the other with a nonhumorous one. In Experiment 2, the limericks were presented at the end of the passages. Across both experiments, humor enhanced memory only for the humorous limericks, t(44) = 3.22, p < .01; t(35) = 2.59, p < .002, and did not influence memory for the rest of the passage. These results were discussed in context of the current literature, and future directions for study were outlined.

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Reactions to Homelessness: Social, Cultural, and Psychological
Sources of Discrimination

Brooks J. Baumgartner, Lisa M. Bauer,
and Khanh Van T. Bui, Pepperdine University


ABSTRACT: This study examined social, cultural, and psychological sources of prejudice toward homeless people. Six potential predictor variables were taken into consideration: belief in a just world, individualistic orientation, collectivistic orientation, and causal attributions made toward homelessness (including locus, stability, and controllability). The outcome variable was attitudes toward homeless people. In terms of zero-order correlations, belief in a just world, collectivism orientation, locus, and controllability were all significantly correlated with attitudes toward homeless people. A simultaneous multiple regression also revealed that the six variables (minus the causal attribution of stability due to its low internal consistency) accounted for 28.7% of the variance in attitudes toward homeless people, with the causal attribution of locus emerging as a significant predictor. 

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The Effects of Self-Esteem and Aggression on Depression
in Scottish Young Adults

Rachel C. Garthe and Patricia M. Schacht,
North Central College


ABSTRACT: In recent years, increases in cases of adolescent and adult depression in Scotland have raised concerns and questions about Scottish youth. Research has shown that commonly examined risk factors, aggression and low self-esteem, are related to the development of childhood and adolescent depression in Scotland (Bandura, Pastorelli, Barbaraneli, & Caprara, 1999; Bolvin, Hymel, & Bukowski, 1995; Kistner, Ziegert, Castro, & Roberson, 2001; Morrow, Hubbard, McAuliffe, & Rubin , 2006; Orth & Robins, 2008; Sweeting, Young, West, & Der, 2006; Panak & Garber, 1992). The present study seeks to examine the relationship between aggression, low self-esteem, and depression with a purpose to extend generalizability to Scottish young adults. It was hypothesized that aggression and low self-esteem would be significant predictors of the development of depression. In this study, 63 Scottish young adults were given self-assessments on self-esteem, aggression, and depression. Results found that low self-esteem and covert aggression were significantly correlated with depression, and were also significant predictors of depression in Scottish young adults. These results demonstrate that adolescent risk factors may affect Scottish individuals into early adulthood. This research may help organizations in Scotland understand some of the predictors of depression in young adults.

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Prototype Use in Perceptions of Prejudice in Interactions Between
Whites and Latinos

Daniel Mills and A. Celeste Gaia, Emory and Henry College


ABSTRACT: This study examined the use of prototypes in the perception of prejudice in interactions between White and Latino individuals. Participants were students at a small liberal arts college. Participants read vignettes portraying interactions where it was unclear whether the actor was demonstrating prejudicial behavior and then supplied words to describe the actor. Results indicated that participants were most likely to perceive prejudice when the perpetrator was White and the victim was Latino, confirming the hypothesis that participants would use expected prototypes to judge the presence of prejudice in ambiguous situations. Gender and intolerant beliefs did not play a primary role in the perception of prejudice in ambiguous situations. Data support previous research using a prototype model to explain how individuals perceive prejudice between Whites and Blacks and suggest that this model can be used to explain the perception of prejudice in interactions between Whites and Latinos.

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Attachment Style Convergence and Divergence Across College Students’
Friendships and Romantic Relationships

Victoria J. VanUitert, University of Virginia;
Renee V. Galliher, Utah State University


ABSTRACT: Attachment representations in friendship and romantic relationship contexts were examined in a sample of 398 college students. Analyses examined patterns of attachment style in both relationship contexts, divergence and convergence in attachment style, and links between attachment representations and negative peer and romantic relationship experiences (i.e., relational and physical victimization and betrayal). The majority of participants reported more secure attachment representations, relative to preoccupied or dismissing attachment. However, analysis of biological sex indicated that men reported more dismissing attachment styles with both friends and romantic partners, relative to women. Additionally, significant links were observed between negative peer and romantic relationship experiences and attachment representations, in theoretically consistent directions.

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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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