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Psi Chi Journal Fall 2003


Volume 8.3 | Fall 2003
Download This Issue - All articles are now free.

Conditioning Respiration With Positive Self-Reinforcement: Transferring Slow, Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing to Everyday Living

Brian P. Walker and Iver H. Iversen, University of North Florida

ABSTRACT: The experimenter trained 5 healthy participants in slow, deep diaphragmatic breathing (SDDB). Participants practiced SDDB in their everyday lives during 4-hr sessions, once a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks. During practice, participants carried a device that signaled them approximately every 20 min to evaluate and record whether they were breathing correctly and were aware of their breathing. After the baseline week, participants reinforced themselves if they were aware of correctly performing SDDB when signaled. The percentage of signals during which participants were aware of correctly performing SDDB was a measurement of their success during practice. The success of participants' practice after 3 weeks of reinforcement had increased 14.7 to 28.8 percentage points above baseline. Statistically significant improvements for 4 of 5 participants supported the hypothesis that self-reinforcement transferred participants' ability to perform SDDB from training to many activities in their everyday lives.

Effects of Rhythmic Sound on a Visual Counting Task

Kristina Davis, Stephen F. Austin State University

ABSTRACT: This experiment examined interactions between visual and auditory sense modalities. Eighty participants performed a visual counting task accompanied by auditory noise, which was either slow (2 beats/s), medium (3 beats/s), fast (5 beats/s), or white noise (static). Attention to the auditory stimulus was manipulated to determine its effects on the expected cross-modal interactions. Test arrangements consisted of both asymmetrical and symmetrical configurations of 13 and 15 dots arranged in both near (1.27 cm) and far (5.08 cm) proximities. Results indicated cross-modal effects for the medium sound rate so that response times were slower when attention to the auditory stimulus was given. This effect may be explained by interactions between saccadic eye movements, auditory stimuli, and display configurations.

A National Trauma: Coping Strategies and Positive Growth in College Students

Amanda McIntosh, Eric Cameron, and Laurel L. Camp, Marian College

ABSTRACT: Previous trauma research has focused primarily on coping and change resulting from individual traumas rather than from traumatic events shared by large groups. This study examined how college students coped with the traumatic events of September 11, 2001, and explored the degree to which personal traits and/or coping strategies were related to personal growth. College students (N = 145) completed packets containing a coping question and 4 standardized surveys, 6 weeks after September 11. Six primary coping strategies were reported. Students using acceptance had significantly lower levels of event impact and posttraumatic growth (PTG). Women were more impacted by the event and reported more PTG than did men. A regression analysis of PTG indicated that being female, having high impact, and high religiosity predicted more PTG. The similarities and differences in coping and PTG responses to individual versus group trauma are discussed.

Religious Orientation and Academic Performance Among College Students

Tomesha L. Johnson, Antisha C. Oates, Kelly M. Jackson, Melodie M. Miles, and Lela E. Strong, Spelman College

ABSTRACT: The purpose of the current study was to examine academic performance differences, as measured by grade point averages (GPAs), between intrinsically and extrinsically oriented college students. The investigation also explored whether these differences would be specifically demonstrated among African American students. A total of 116 college students (59 men, 57 women) from 2 universities in the southeastern United States participated. Participants were asked to complete a demographic survey and the Intrinsic Religious Motivation Scale (Hoge, 1972, as cited in Bassett, 1972). No significant difference was found in GPAs among the general sample of intrinsic and extrinsic students. However, results indicated that African American students who were more intrinsically oriented had significantly higher GPAs than African American students who were more extrinsically oriented. These results suggest that there may be cultural differences in students' approaches to achieving academic success. The emphasis on spirituality in the African American culture may explain the association between religious orientation and academic performance that was demonstrated in this investigation. Because of the underrepresentation of minority college students in the literature, further research should investigate the specific role of religion in the academic performance of African American students.

The Effect of Text Organization and Alignment on Memory

Andrea J. Snyder, Youngstown State University

ABSTRACT: Memory of text with various organizations and alignments was investigated. Each of the 200 volunteer students received 1 of 4 versions of text. The 1st and 2nd versions were of the original text, 1 with a ragged right edge (i.e., left edge aligned) and the other justified (i.e., both edges aligned). The 3rd and 4th versions were modifications of the original text to include coherence and linking organization aids. Again, 1 had a ragged right edge and the other was justified. Students took either a multiple-choice or summary quiz regarding text content. With the alpha set at .05, there were significant main effects for test type and alignment type, but no effect for text type or any significant interactions. Later, the summary quiz-only ANOVA revealed a main effect for alignment also. The research supports textbook writers using justified text alignment.

Birth Order and Locus of Control

Brittney L. Beck and Kenneth E. Brown, Jr., Bastyr University

ABSTRACT: Adler (1929, as cited in Ansbacher & Ansbacher, 1956) proposed the idea that birth order contributes to the later development of personality. Rotter (1966) developed the Internal/External (I/E) Control Scale, which measures an individual's locus of control. He found that internally controlled individuals felt more responsible for their life circumstances, whereas externally controlled individuals felt they were controlled by luck or fate (Engler, 1999). Studies have indicated a possible relationship between birth order and locus of control, but the results have been mixed (Walter & Ziegler, 1980). Researchers administered the I/E Control Scale to participants. In addition, demographic information was acquired including birth order. Research findings indicated that individuals occupying the "firstborn" position were not more likely to possess an internal locus of control, as compared to children occupying the position of "laterborn."

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