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Psi Chi Journal Summer 2015

PSI CHI Journal of Psychological Research

Volume 20.2 | Summer 2015

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Religiosity and Environmental Attitudes: Engagement of
Proenvironmental Behavior
Rebecca J. Baylor and Scott R. Brandhorst
Southeast Missouri State University

ABSTRACT: The finding that certain religious variables such as stewardship and biblical inerrancy (Sherkat & Ellison, 2007) have a contrasting effect on engagement in proenvironmental behavior (PEB) has complicated the understanding of the religion-environment connection. The present study examined 4 religion-based items and 3 nonreligious items as predictors of public and private PEB. Stewardship, β = .26, p = .02, and biblical inerrancy, β = -.38, p < .001, emerged as significant predictors of private PEB. Importantly, participants’ willingness to sacrifice for the environment predicted both public, β = .30, p = .00, and private, β = .38, p < .001, PEB. No significant correlation between explicit and implicit concern for the environment (p = .34) emerged. Data revealed that implicit concern was not a predictor of either public, β = .08, p = .41, or private, β = .06, p = .53, PEB. These results provided evidence that social structures like religion have the potential to benefit and impede progress toward a more sustainable society. Further, the socialization of perceived norms such as stewardship and a willingness to sacrifice within an individual’s religion can help produce a positive change in the relationship people have with their environment.          


Biological Significance in Human Causal Learning

Prescilla John and Oska Pineño
Hofstra University

ABSTRACT: The present study was conducted to assess the influence of fearful cues on human causal learning, specifically on extinction and spontaneous recovery of causal relationships. Two experiments employed a learning reversal procedure, in which two cues (i.e., X and Y) were first paired with two outcomes (i.e., O1 and O2), followed by a reversal of these relationships. In other words, the treatment consisted of X-O1 and Y-O2 pairings in Phase 1, followed by X-O2 and Y-O1 pairings in Phase 2. Experiment 1 manipulated the nature of the cues across groups according to a 2 (artificial vs. naturalistic stimuli) x 2 (low vs. high fear level) factorial design and found a reversal of the causal roles of X and Y cues, which was not affected by the nature of the cues. Experiment 2 replicated the main treatment of Experiment 1 involving artificial stimuli as cues and, additionally, found a noticeable effect of a 5-min interval on the causal roles of both X and Y cues (i.e., spontaneous recovery), a result that was seemingly stronger for the condition trained with fearful stimuli. In other words, although prior differences in the causal ratings of X and Y tended to disappear following the retention interval in both high and low fear conditions, this effect was found to be stronger in the high fear condition than in the low fear condition. Possible explanations for these findings as well as directions for future research are discussed.

Working It Out: Examining the Psychological Effects of Music on
Moderate-Intensity Exercise

Caroline R. Campbell and Katherine R. G. White
Columbus State University

Exercise has been demonstrated to benefit mood and music may increase this effect. In the present study, exercise was hypothesized to increase pleasant and aroused mood, and decrease tiredness more significantly in those who listened to music. Listening to music while exercising was also hypothesized to lead to lower perceived exertion and higher exercise enjoyment. Participants (N = 148) recruited from undergraduate physical education courses completed 20 min of moderately paced walking, with or without a personal music player. Mixed model Analyses of Variance revealed that exercise significantly increased participant mood in all measured dimensions (ps ≤ .001). Analyses also supported the moderating role of music to the effect of exercise on mood pleasantness because those who listened to music during exercise reported feeling significantly more pleasant after exercise than those who did not listen to music (p = .009, d = 0.42). Using an independent-samples t test, exercise enjoyment was significantly higher among participants who exercised with music (p = .049, d = 0.33). Because this study examined moderate-intensity walking, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011a) to those beginning physical activity, results demonstrated that music may provide a valuable and accessible addition to an exercise program. The theoretical implications of these results in promoting exercise adherence are discussed within the context of the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991).

Emerging Adulthood: A College Student, Middle Class Perk?
Rebecca L. Smith, Ann M. Carroll, Kathryn T. Callaghan, Mara A. Rowcliffe,
Molly A. Sullivan, and Debra C. Steckler
University of Mary Washington

Arnett (2000) postulated that, in industrialized nations, many people between 18 and 29 experience the stage of emerging adulthood (EA). Researchers including Arnett have suggested that EA might be limited to individuals of certain education and income levels. We investigated how income and education influence EA traits. Participants completed the Inventory of the Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood (IDEA) to measure the extent to which they exhibited EA traits. The IDEA and demographic survey were distributed through our university’s general psychology subject pool and social media. Results from the study indicated that participants with more education exhibited more EA traits, F(6, 346) = 6.94, p < .001, partial R2 = .11. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between family and/or personal income and EA traits, F(42, 303) = 2.03, p = .006, partial R2 = .11. Participants who reported lower personal incomes expressed more EA traits. Likewise, participants who grew up in families that earned around $75,000 exhibited more EA traits compared to families with lower or higher income levels. The results suggested that emerging adulthood is experienced by individuals with more education and a middle class financial background.


College Students' Perceptions of Inappropriate and Appropriate
Facebook Disclosures

Taylor M. Roche, Dusty D. Jenkins, Luis E. Aguerrevere, Rebecca L. Kietlinski,
and Eleanor A. Prichard
Stephen F. Austin State University

The current study aimed to understand college-age Facebook® users’ perceptions of others’ self-disclosure, and additionally sought to determine what actions participants were likely to take when they perceived that a post was inappropriate. Participants (N = 150) were asked to read mock Facebook newsfeeds and to respond to items that assessed their perception of the appropriateness or inappropriateness of each user’s posts (romantic relationship drama, negative emotion, passive aggression, and frequent status updates), as well as how they would respond to such posts. Results indicated that posts related to romantic relationship drama were rated by most as inappropriate or very inappropriate (74.0%; p < .001). Passive aggressive posts were also rated as inappropriate or very inappropriate more often than the other types of posts. In addition, for participants who perceived that romantic relationship drama posts were inappropriate, they reported that they would be most likely to ignore (63%), block (19%), or defriend (10%) someone who made similar types of posts, p < .001. Further, results revealed some sex and racial/ethnic group differences in regard to perceptions and actions. The current research added to the knowledge base about the types of Facebook self-disclosure that college-age users find to be inappropriate and identified actions that users are likely to take when they have such perceptions.


The Relationship Between Participation in Alcoholics Anonymous
and Social Anxiety

Jared C. Moser and Cynthia L. Turk, Washburn University
Jenna G. Glover, Utah State University

Alcohol use disorders and social anxiety disorders are commonly comorbid. Fear of negative evaluation may impair the ability of socially anxious individuals to participate in treatments such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which is provided in a group format. The current study recruited AA participants (N = 376) anonymously through advertisements on Facebook®. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test, the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, and the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire-Short Form. Hierarchical regressions demonstrated that higher levels of social anxiety are associated with significantly (p = .04) less AA engagement and with a significantly (p = .04) shorter length of sobriety after controlling for anxiety and depression. Consistent with previous research, AA engagement was predictive of length of sobriety. Results indicated that participants who maintained long-term participation in AA (i.e., 20 years or more) demonstrated significantly (p = .007) less social anxiety relative to those who were in early in recovery (i.e., less than 5 years of participation in AA). Clinical implications are discussed including a need for alternative or supplemental treatments for individuals with alcohol use disorders who are affected by social anxiety.


Nyctophobia: From Imagined to Realistic Fears of the Dark
Joshua Levos and Tammy Lowery Zacchilli
Saint Leo University

Fear is a quick response, which allows for a reply to an imminent threat (Coelho & Purkis, 2009). The lack of any kind of visual stimuli increases anxiety, uncertainty, and tension (Grillon, Pellowski, Merikangas, & Davis, 1997) and thus can lead to fear of the dark. It may be that the unrealistic fear of the dark transforms to a more realistic fear in adults. Participants in the present study included 31 male and 91 female undergraduates attending a small private university. Participants rated different fears including the fear of the dark, completed an anxiety survey modified to examine fear of the dark, and rated their comfort in regard to images taken at locations both during the day and at night. Over 50% of all participants rated the dark within their top 5 fears. Significant differences were found between all 7 pairs of day/night photos, indicating that participants were more uncomfortable with the night photos. Effect sizes ranged from 0.65 to 1.63. There were also significant sex differences for all but one of the paired photos. Effect sizes ranged from 0.42 to 0.80. Future studies could create a fear of the dark inventory to use along with images or actual nighttime walkthroughs.





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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