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Psi Chi Journal Winter 2015


Volume 20.4 | Winter 2015
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The Effect of Religious Priming on Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men

Corinne Gilad, Florida Atlantic University, Elena V. Stepanova, The University of Southern Mississippi

ABSTRACT: The current research investigated whether priming students with a religious message affected their attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Undergraduate students (N = 145) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: participants in a religious-positive condition were primed with a biblical passage containing a loving message (e.g., “love one another, for love comes from God”), participants in a religious-negative condition were primed with a biblical passage containing an angry message (e.g., “God takes revenge on all who oppose him”), and participants in a control condition were primed with a neutral passage. After reading the priming passage, participants completed questionnaires assessing various measures of religiosity such as religiousness, spirituality, religious affiliation, extrinsic and intrinsic religious orientation, religious fundamentalism, and their attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Consistent with previous research, religiosity was negatively related to attitudes toward lesbians and gay men (ps < .01). Self-identified Christians had more negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men (p = .002, ηp2 = .12) than participants of other religious affiliations. However, there was no effect of the priming manipulation on attitudes toward lesbians and gay men (p = .88, ηp2 = .009).

Beyond Politics: Opposition to Marriage Equality Predicts Negative Reactions Toward LGBT Individuals

Ryan Hutchings, Elizabeth Morgan, and Jennifer J. Ratcliff, The College at Brockport, State University of New York

ABSTRACT: Past research has examined various factors that predict heterosexual individuals’ attitudes toward marriage equality including sex, age, religion/religiosity, political ideology, and sexual prejudice (Herek, 2011). To our knowledge, no studies have examined the possibility that such attitudes predict consequential behaviors directed at LGBT individuals. Thus, the current work examined the role of opposition to marriage equality in predicting negative behavioral intentions and reactions to antigay hate crimes. Given the importance of sex in sexual prejudice and opposition to marriage equality (Herek, 2000a), these relationships were examined after including participant sex in the model. Fifty-nine heterosexual students participated in the present study. Separate hierarchical regressions revealed that opposition to marriage equality significantly predicted greater negative behavioral intentions (β = .46, p < .001), reduced recognition of a hate crime (β = -.30, p < .05), and marginally increased perpetrator justification (β = -.23, p = .09) above and beyond the influence of participant sex. Moreover, a two-way interaction indicated that opposition to marriage equality predicted negative behavioral intentions to a greater degree for men than women (β = -.55, p < .05). These results suggested that marriage equality attitudes are not merely political, but rather, predict influential behavioral intentions and reactions toward LGBT individuals.

Investigating Subjective Age, Level of Activity, and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults

Eric Cerino and Jennifer Leszczynski, Eastern Connecticut State University

ABSTRACT: Depression is one of the most prevalent diseases among older adults (Montesó et al., 2012). Limited research has been conducted investigating relationships between subjective age, cognitive and physical activity, and depressive symptoms in older adults. We hypothesized negative relationships between youthful subjective age and depressive symptoms, activity level and depressive symptoms, and more hours a week of cognitive activity than physical activity. The sample consisted of 62 older adults (60 years of age and older; 15 men, 47 women) from a Northeastern senior center. We found that more cognitive activity took place than physical activity and we also found correlations of small to medium effect sizes between depressive symptoms and general subjective age and the subjective age Feel subscale. A positive relationship with a small effect size was found between total activity and the subjective age Interests subscale. Interactions of medium to large effect sizes between sex and mild depression occurred for general subjective age, F(3) = 3.10, p = .03, subjective age Interests subscale, F(3) = 3.03, p = .04, and cognitive activity, F(3) = 2.78, p = .049. Baby boomers entering older adulthood should be encouraged to take advantage of community senior centers and be aware of their desired subjective ages.

The Virtual Destruction of Self-Compassion: Cyberbullying's Damage to Young Adults

Shannon K. Potts and Daniel J. Weidler, Northern Arizona University

ABSTRACT: Although cyberbullying is a growing concern, little research has examined cyberbullying’s relationship with self-compassion or its occurrence among young adults. Thus, the current research explored the association between cyberbullying and elements of self-compassion among 232 undergraduates with a mean age of 19.05 years (SD = 1.13). Participants reported being cybervictimized an average of 4.48 (SD = 6.90) times in the past week and cyberbullying others an average of 3.55 (SD = 6.51) times. Victimization positively correlated with self-judgment (R2 = .05, p < .001), isolation (R2 = .03, p = .008), and overidentification (R2 = .03, p = .02); perpetration positively correlated with self-judgment (R2 = .03, p = .02) and overidentification (R2 = .03, p = .02). These results suggested that victims of cyberbullying, more so than perpetrators, may have reduced propensities toward self-compassion. Clinicians should be mindful of this link to self-compassion when working with cyberbullying victims.

How Handedness Direction and Consistency Relate to Declarative Memory Task Performance

Alessandra McDowell, Janet Trammell, and Elizabeth J. Krumrei-Mancuso, Pepperdine University

ABSTRACT: Although previous research has demonstrated that significant episodic memory differences exist between left- and right-handed individuals as well as consistently and inconsistently handed individuals, these differences have been contradictory from study to study (Lyle, Hanaver-Torrez, Hackländer, & Edlin, 2012). Furthermore, little inquiry has been conducted regarding semantic memory ability among people who are left handed in comparison to their right-handed counterparts. To examine potential long-term memory performance differences between left- and right-handed people, as well as consistently and inconsistently handed people, 106 college students completed a handedness inventory and episodic and semantic memory tasks. The results indicated that left-handed individuals had significantly better semantic memory recall than right-handed individuals, t(101) = 2.26, p = .026, d = 0.54, a new finding which suggested that cerebral lateralization of memory performance and of handedness direction may be independent of one another.

Reliability of a Recently Developed Clinical Prospective Memory Task in a Community-Dwelling Sample of Older Adults

HaYoung Ko and Laura A. Rabin, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

ABSTRACT: Although recent research has identified a prominent prospective memory (PM) deficit in mild cognitive impairment, a preclinical dementia condition, PM tasks are not routinely utilized in neuropsychological assessments of older adults. With a limited number of PM tests available for use, the Royal Prince Alfred Prospective Memory Test (RPA-ProMem; Radford, Lah, Say, & Miller, 2011) was developed as a measure that includes both time- and event-based tasks measured over short- and long-term retention intervals. We investigated 3 aspects of reliability of the RPA-ProMem in community-dwelling older participants without dementia (N = 257) and with varying degrees of cognitive complaints and impairment. Interrater reliability was strong for total scores (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient; ICC = .97, p < .001) and for the 4 parts (ICCs > .90, p < .001). Internal consistency reliability was comparably weak (α = .50) due to the multidimensionality of the measure. Statistical equivalence of mean scores across the 3 RPA-ProMem forms was used to demonstrate parallel forms reliability. The RPA-ProMem demonstrated adequate reliability, was well-tolerated by participants, and was easily incorporated into the test battery. We offer suggestions for altering the RPA-ProMem so that it may be used more effectively with older adults with various cognitive profiles.

Experimenter Characteristics, Social Desirability, and the Implicit Association Test

Benjamin A. Berry, John Carroll University

ABSTRACT: The Implicit Association Test (IAT) was designed to measure attitudes at the level of automatic unconscious associations. The IAT has largely been shown to be effective in eliminating the ability of test takers to alter their scores toward a socially desirable outcome through intentional conscious cognitive processing. However, some limited evidence has also suggested that IAT scores are influenced by the characteristics of an experimenter, much like many explicit tests, by an effect usually explained in terms of social desirability. The present study was intended to illustrate and resolve this apparent conflict in the literature. Participants expressed less antigay prejudice when in the presence of a gay male experimenter (p = .018), experienced ego-depletion when consciously attempting to manipulate their expressions of prejudice (p = .040), and were not capable of influencing their IAT scores. Results suggested that the IAT is susceptible to an experimenter characteristics effect, and it is argued that this effect is not caused by conscious cognitive processing.

INVITED EDITORIAL: The Benefits of a Bigger Toolbox: Mixed Methods in Psychological Research

Debi Brannan, Western Oregon University

ABSTRACT: Recently, researchers have paid increased attention to integrating qualitative and quantitative methods (Bryman, 2006; Johnson, Onwuegbuzie, & Turner, 2007; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003). However, in many psychology programs, students are trained in either quantitative methods or qualitative methods, and it is still relatively rare for students to be trained in both methods as well as mixed-method designs (Yardley & Bishop, 2015). Consequently, if students want to later utilize such methods, they are not adequately prepared. As Hesse-Biber and Johnson (2013) put forth, it is time to “expand the conversation” and discuss how quantitative and qualitative methodologies are not mutually exclusive but rather cohesive and beneficial. As the field of mixed methods keeps expanding and more people are engaging in projects that are integrative, collaborative, and complex, it is possible that researchers could rethink the traditional models with ones that have a greater effect on the population of interest. These models will likely integrate qualitative and quantitative methods for maximum impact.

EDITORIAL: 2015 Year in Review

Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez , Editor, Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research

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