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Psi Chi Journal Fall 2011


Volume 16.3 | Fall 2011
Download This Issue - All articles are now free.

Effects of Violation Type and Relationship Context on Perceptions of Crimes Against Women

Christy Allen and Jennifer Katz, State University of New York, College at Geneseo

ABSTRACT: Minimization of crimes against women may be influenced by many factors, such as type of violation and the victim’s relationship to the perpetrator. We examined undergraduates’ (N = 65) perceptions of 1 of 4 crime scenarios depicting a male perpetrator (a friend or a dating partner) and a female victim (of rape or theft). Dependent variables reflecting perceived minimization were perceived seriousness of the crime, perceived victim responsibility, and appropriate punishment for the perpetrator. As expected, participants perceived rape to be more serious than theft, although this effect did not differ across relationship contexts. Also as expected, participants perceived that the rapist deserved a longer prison sentence than the thief. Across both violations, participants rated the friend perpetrator as deserving a longer prison sentence than the partner perpetrator. Perceived responsibility did not differ by condition. We discuss relationship context and its role in minimization of crimes against women.

Links Among Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Characteristics and Facebook Usage

Sarah Stevens, Karissa Humphrey, TaLisha Wheatley, and Renee V. Galliher, Utah State University

ABSTRACT: Multiple researchers have studied various aspects of the social networking website Facebook. Due to the relative lack of literature on Facebook and anxiety, the goal of this study was to determine if individuals with obsessive-compulsive personality characteristics use Facebook more than average and if these individuals use Facebook compulsively as a way to manage anxiety. Participants were 222 Facebook users invited to complete a survey about Facebook use and personality characteristics. The survey included the Leyton Obsessional Inventory short form (Cooper, 1970) and a Facebook questionnaire posted online through a survey tool, Psychdata. We found no relation among frequency or time spent on Facebook and obsessive-compulsive personality characteristics, but found significant relations among reasons for accessing Facebook and obsessive-compulsive personality characteristics. These findings suggest that individuals with obsessivecompulsive personality characteristics may engage in Facebook as a way to ease stress.

Pornography’s Immediate Effect on Relationship Satisfaction

Mary E. Butler, F. Richard Ferraro, and Jeffery E. Holm, University of North Dakota

ABSTRACT: There is a persistent belief that viewing pornography has a wide range of negative consequences, but recent research has also indicated positive effects. The purpose of this experiment was to study the immediate effect of pornography on relationship satisfaction. The experimenters randomly assigned participants (N = 98) to one of three groups: Group 1 viewed neutral images of people, Group 2 viewed pornographic images, and Group 3 viewed images of scenery. Immediately after viewing the images, participants answered questions about their relationship and sexual satisfaction. In general, results indicated that participant responses did not differ among the three groups for either relationship or sexual satisfaction; however, an interaction existed in the sexual satisfaction subscales between gender and group assignment. Men and women indicated sexual dissatisfaction on different subscales depending on their group assignment. The results also indicated gender differences among pornography viewing and sexual satisfaction responses.

Self-Referential Memory for the Big-Five Personality Traits

Iiona D. Scully and Christopher P. Terry, Elmira College

ABSTRACT: A classic finding in the study of episodic memory, known as the self-reference effect, suggests that people who relate information to themselves typically show greater recall for that information compared to information processed in other ways. To our knowledge, researchers have not examined this effect using a set of trait adjectives based on the dimensions of the Big Five Personality Inventory (BFI). We aimed to (a) demonstrate a self-reference effect for trait adjectives, (b) indicate whether recall is enhanced for endorsed words ("yes–no” effect), and (c) determine if recall is better for words associated with one’s personality profile (trait effect). Results supported previous findings indicating that self-referential encoding promotes better recall than semantic encoding. However, the presence of a "yes–no” effect depended on the type of judgment being made (i.e., semantic versus self-referent), and we observed only a marginal trait effect.

Gender Differences in the Psychological Impact of the Dual-Income Lifestyle

Rachel E. Cook, Jennifer L. Hughes, and Elizabeth Brashier, Agnes Scott College

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore gender differences in role overload, stress, and marital satisfaction in dual-income couples and to measure how these differences change over time. We expected that wives would report lower marital satisfaction and higher role overload and stress than husbands. Further, we expected that age would contribute to differences in marital satisfaction, with older adults being more satisfied than young or middle-aged adults. Married, employed men and women (N = 314) completed our survey. Women reported higher role overload and stress than men. Participants in later adulthood were more satisfied in their marriages than early or middle adults. Our study updates the literature on the examined variables and communicates the importance of egalitarianism in marriage.

Conceptualizing Fatherhood: Maternal Perceptions of Responsible Fathering

Erica Elizabeth Coates, Catherine Batsche, and Robert Lucio, University of South Florida

ABSTRACT: We investigated maternal perceptions of responsible fathering among pregnant and parenting teenage mothers by interviewing 10 adolescent mothers. Mothers responded to what being a responsible father means to them and described the degree of involvement by the father of their children. Five primary themes emerged as characteristics of responsible fathers: "being there” for the child, helping to take care of the child, loving and caring for the child, providing financial support, and playing with the child. Seven major themes developed in response to mothers’ perceptions of their children’s fathers’ involvement: does not help take care of child, irregular or no contact, does not play with child, incarceration, financial support, left mother and child, and loves and cares for child.

Ethical Challenges in the Undergraduate Context: Navigating the Ethical Landscape

Daniel M. Niederjohn and Maureen A. McCarthy, Kennesaw State University; R. Eric Landrum, Boise State University

ABSTRACT: Although the American Psychological Association (APA) (Guidelines for the Undergraduate Major, 2007) recommends that students learn about the APA Ethics Code (Goal 2, Point 1, Subpoint e), most undergraduate programs do not offer a course in ethics (Stoloff et al., 2010), and only limited training, usually in the context of research methods or experimental psychology is provided. Most texts in these courses include a historical account of some of the most egregious ethical violations in humansubjects research, how these incidents spurred the development of legal regulations and ethical codes of conduct, and how research should be ethically conducted. Quite often, students may be directed to a web tutorial (e.g., for additional training, certification, and background information. In fact, student researchers must receive training in ethics if they are to be involved, in any capacity, in research. Although training in research ethics is extremely important and relevant, the APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (hereafter referred to as the Ethics Code; APA, 2010) provides guidance for the broader set of professional activities of a psychologist. The purpose of this article is to look beyond regulatory guidelines and address the two ethical arenas that we consider more likely to affect undergraduate students, namely authorship and boundaries.

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