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Psi Chi Journal Summer 2009


Volume 14.2 | Summer 2009
Download This Issue - All articles are now free.

Exercise and Autism Symptoms: A Case Study

Brenna T. Burns and Ruth L. Ault, Davidson College

ABSTRACT: The current study employed a single-subject design to examine the effects of exercise on core autism symptoms in a 12-year-old boy. We recorded the frequencies of selfstimulation, eye contact, verbal initiation, negative mood, and positive mood before and after a 5- to 8-min mildly strenuous running intervention twice a week. In replication of previous autism research, the results revealed a significant postexercise reduction in self-stimulation across all 18 days of data collection. The intervention failed to produce significant improvements in the other 4 behaviors. A brief period of physical activity appears to be an inexpensive and easy method to decrease self-stimulation. Future autism research should further investigate the differential effects of various exercise durations on core autism symptoms.

ADHD, Boredom, Sleep Disturbance, Self-Esteem, and Academic Achievement in College Students

Amber R. Castens and Gail A. Overbey, Southeast Missouri State University

ABSTRACT: The study examined boredom, sleep impairment, self-esteem, and symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in relation to academic achievement and performance. Participants (n = 166) from general studies courses across a midwestern university’s campus were examined using the Boredom Proneness Scale (BPS), the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), and the Adult Behavior Checklist (ABC) in relation to grade point average (GPA) and ACT scores. The results indicated significant correlations (p < .01) among the BPS, AIS, RSES, and ABC, but only the BPS and ABC were correlated with GPA. No correlation existed for the variables in relation to ACT scores. Results suggest that more sensitive measurements of academic achievement are needed.

Social Relationships Mediate the Relation Between Emotional Intelligence and Meaning in Life

Joseph J. Donohoe, Denise R. Greene, Shippensburg University

ABSTRACT: Emotional intelligence has been consistently associated with higher quality social relationships (Rivers, Brackett, Salovey, & Mayer, 2007). Social relationships have been deemed a vital source of meaning and purpose in life (DeBats, 1999; Kraus, 2007; Settersten, 2002). This study examined the role of meaningful social relationships in the association between emotional intelligence and meaning in life. Participants (N = 50) completed the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2002), the Personal Meaning Profi le (PMP; Wong, 1998), and the Purpose in Life test (PIL; Crumbaugh & Maholick, 1964). Results indicated that the relation between emotion management (branch 4 of emotional intelligence) and meaning in life was mediated by the quality of social relationships.

Perceiving Mood in Color: The Effects of Mood States on Reaction Times

Haley Duncanson, Worcester State College

ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of a musical mood induction procedure on the reaction time required to perceive the colors yellow and blue. Thirty-six undergraduates listened to 5 min of happy music, sad music, or white noise. The participants then completed the Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist-Revised to assess their current mood, and reaction times to yellow and blue stimuli of varying intensities were recorded. Results showed that participants who listened to happy music felt happier, and participants who listened to sad music felt sadder. Significant differences were not found between the happiness and sadness groups for reaction times to yellow and blue stimuli. Surprisingly, the white noise group was significantly slower in reaction times to yellow and blue stimuli.

The Generation Effect in the Context of Lyrical Censorship

Brittany A. Goldman, Matthew R. Kelley, Lake Forest College

ABSTRACT: When people are actively involved in generating information (e.g., solving a word fragment), they tend to remember that information better than when they process the information more passively (e.g., hearing a word). This phenomenon—the generation effect—has been applied to numerous settings including the field of education (e.g., teaching, learning, mathematics) and marketing (e.g., advertising). The current study reviewed the applied generation effect literature and then explored this effect within a new applied setting—lyrical censorship. Participants listened to and shadowed an original song which contained a mixture of partially or completely censored nouns. Participants were asked to repeat every word and generate the censored words throughout the song. Results showed an ironic effect of censorship: censored items were remembered significantly better than heard items. Results and implications are discussed.

Effect of Adult Disapproval of Cartoon Violence on Children’s Aggressive Play

Priscilla Miranda, Nicholas McCluskey, Benjamin J. Silber, Christian M. D. von Pohle, and Charlene K. Bainum, Pacific Union College

ABSTRACT: Studies show that children’s exposure to violent media increases aggression (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005). Alternatively, in some cases parental involvement suppresses aggression (Singh et al., 2006). We hypothesized that children’s behavior would be less aggressive after viewing a violent cartoon with an aggression-disapproving adult (ADA) than with a silent adult (control condition). Second and third graders (6 boys, 10 girls) were randomly assigned to either the ADA or control condition to watch a violent cartoon clip. Afterwards, children played with a variety of toys while observers recorded their behaviors using a 30-second time-sampling method. Children in the ADA condition showed significantly less toy and verbal aggression than those in the control. The parental role in children’s media viewing is discussed.

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