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Psi Chi Journal Spring 2013


Volume 18.1 | Spring 2013
Download This Issue - All articles are now free.

Perceptions of Competency as a Function of Accent

Cheryl J. Boucher, Georgina S. Hammock, Selina D. McLaughlin, and Kelsey N. Henry, Georgia Regents University

ABSTRACT: Verbal communication provides explicit cues about groups and individuals (Lambert, Hodgson, Gardner, & Fillenbaum, 1960). Accented speech reflects individuals’ characteristics such as race, biological sex, social class, and education and functions to categorize individuals according to group membership from which stereotyped evaluations may arise (Riches & Foddy, 1989). Specifically, regional dialects elicit evaluative judgments based on preconceived stereotypes associated with a geographical region (Schenck-Hamlin, 1978). The distinctiveness of the Southern region, due in part to perceptions of its nonstandard dialect, has been consistently established in linguistic and folk dialectology research (Fridland, 2008; Fridland & Bartlett, 2006; Preston, 1993). Based on these findings, the current study evaluated the effect of the Southern accent on perceptions of speaker competency. Regional accent (i.e., Southern and neutral1) was systematically varied in audio taped instructions presented to participants. We expected that participants would evaluate the neutral speaker’s abilities more positively than the Southerner. As predicted, participants viewed the neutral accented speaker as more competent (e.g., grammatically correct, effective instructor, professional manner) than the Southerner.

Perceptions of Pain Tolerance and Preference for Social Support as Functions of Personality

Frances L. Mican, Bellarmine University

ABSTRACT: The current research focused on the convergence of personality, perceptions of pain tolerance, and preference for social support as a pain management technique. We expected that those scoring higher in extraversion would have a preference for social support as a pain management technique as opposed to nonsocial options. Additionally, we hypothesized that those scoring higher in extraversion would rate themselves as having higher levels of pain tolerance. Ninety-five college students participated in this study. We found support for the latter hypothesis (r = .22, p = .02 [1-tailed]). Additional analyses revealed an inverse relationship between neuroticism and self-reported pain tolerance (r = -.33, p = .001 [2-tailed]) and an interaction between sex, sports participation, and neuroticism with regard to pain tolerance ratings, F(1, 79) = 4.79, p = .03, η2 = .05. This research supports existing literature associating extraversion, sex, and athleticism with pain tolerance and provides additional foundation for future studies that consider these variables in real-world settings, moving past the survey format.

The Nonphysician Clinician Experience: Attitudes Toward Communication and Collaborative Patient Care

Stacy A. Ogbeide, David Bauman, Bridget Beachy, Cassandra Neuhaus, and Michael Leftwich, The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute

ABSTRACT: The collaborative care model and the patient-provider relationship are associated with encouraging treatment outcomes in medical settings. In order to ascertain if these variables intersected, the goal of this study was to examine the relationship between attitudes toward collaborative care and attitudes toward patient-provider communication in nonphysician clinician students. Sixty-one students currently enrolled in either physician assistant or nurse practitioner programs completed the Physician Belief Scale (PBS) and the Attitudes Toward Health Care Teams Scale (ATHCTS). We found that physician assistants (M = 85.6, SD = 7.6) have more positive attitudes toward collaborative care than nurse practitioners (M = 82.1, SD = 10.9). These findings have important implications regarding the impact of interdisciplinary care on attitudes toward collaborative care and patient-provider communication.

The Effect of Anger and Relaxation on the Visual Perception of Distance

Tory R. Spindle, Cedar R. Riener, Randolph-Macon College

ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that negative emotions such as sadness (Riener, Stefanucci, Proffitt, & Clore, 2011) and fear (Stefanucci & Proffitt, 2009) can alter distance perception so that distances are perceived as farther away. The current study inquired whether anger and relaxation also alter distance perception. We hypothesized that angry participants would overestimate distances compared to relaxed participants because other negative emotions lead to similar relative overestimations. Forty-two students participated in the study. Anger was induced in half of the participants by asking them to solve impossible anagrams while listening to a high-pitched sound. The other half listened to relaxing music for 5 min. The manipulation was effective, as participants in the anger condition were angrier than those in the relaxed condition as assessed by the Anger Onset Scale (Mittleman et al., 1995). Following this mood manipulation, participants viewed three targets located at different distances and were asked to estimate the respective distance to each both verbally and by walking blindfolded. Participants in the anger condition judged the targets to be farther than those in the relaxed condition, but only when blind walking, F(1, 40) = 6.58, p = .01, η²p = .13. Verbal estimations were not different between the groups. A possible explanation for no difference between the two groups’ verbal estimations is that anger may have affected the participant’s walking response but not their perception of the targets. Additional research should investigate whether other negative emotions like sadness and fear also lead to relative blind walking overestimations.

Conditional Beauty: The Impact of Emotionally Linked Images on the Red Effect in Sexual Attraction

Catherine L. Williams, Michael Neelon, University of North Carolina at Asheville

ABSTRACT: Studies have shown that the color red surrounding a photograph of a woman increases men’s reported sexual attraction to her. The emotional factors that interact with this phenomenon are not well understood. To measure the susceptibility of the red effect to emotional salience, 111 undergraduate men were exposed to high- and low-arousing images of distinctive valence categories before rating the attractiveness of a target woman’s photo as it was surrounded by a red or blue border. ANOVA, F(1, 72) = 2.39, p = 0.13, ηp2 = .03, and t test, t(13) = 3.01; p = 0.01, d = 1.67, analyses partially confirmed the anticipated red effect in the positive picture condition, but an overall effect of color border or picture valence was not found. Approach and avoidance systems are addressed from an emotional and neurological perspective, and brain structures that may process or contribute to the red effect are suggested.

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