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Psi Chi Journal Summer 2016


Volume 21.2 | Summer 2016
Download This Issue - All articles are now free.

Egocentric Inferences About the Values of Terrorist Groups

Nina Combs and Brian Collisson, Marian University

ABSTRACT: In the wake of a terrorist attack, people question terrorists’ motives and values. In the current research, we hypothesized that people may egocentrically infer that terrorists oppose values that are important and relevant to themselves more than values that are personally unimportant or are relevant to someone else. To test these hypotheses, participants inferred the values of a hypothetical terrorist group. They inferred the terrorist group’s position regarding values that were relevant/irrelevant and important/unimportant to themselves. As expected, people inferred that the terrorist group was more opposed to their own values than the values of others, F(1, 65) = 5.66, p = .02, ƞ2p = .08. People also inferred that the terrorist group was more opposed to important values than unimportant values, F(1, 65) = 7.67, p = .009, ƞ2p = .10. These findings suggested that egocentrism may guide people’s inferences about terrorists when little information is available. Implications regarding public perceptions of real terrorist groups are discussed.

Young Adults' Expectations About the Values of Religious and Spiritual People

Matthew Kobza, Montclair State University, Nicholas P. Salter, Ramapo College of New Jersey

ABSTRACT: Previous research has extensively studied the concepts of religion and spirituality. However, less research has been conducted that looks at how the general public characterizes the core values of religion and spirituality. The current study examined 225 participants enrolled in an undergraduate psychology class. Participants filled out 1 of 2 surveys. One asked what they believed were the values of spiritual people, and the other asked what they believed were the values of religious people. The findings showed that, compared to spiritual people, religious people where characterized as placing more importance on attending church services, t(223) = 3.47, p = .001, d = .46, 95% CI [.38, 1.23], more importance on prayer, t(222) = 4.53, p < .001, d = .61, 95% CI [.50, 1.26], and more importance on a connection to God, t(223) = 2.91, p = .004, d = .61, 95% CI [.22, 1.23]. However, both groups were seen as placing importance on doctrine and beliefs, t(223) = 1.73, p = .08, d = .61, 95% CI [-.05, .72]. The results reinforced the notion that the values of religious and spiritual people are seen as similar in some ways, but different in others.

Cross-Cultural Globalization of Advertisements

Julian B. Allen, Kimberly K. Lee, and Elena Escalera, Saint Mary's College of California

ABSTRACT: Globalization has amplified countries’ connectivity and shifted marketing strategies. Some believe that these changes have sparked a global view toward products, known as Global Consumer Culture Positioning (GCCP). Conversely, some argue that there has only been a shift toward Western individualistic ideals within Eastern and Western cultures. The present study replicated and extended Lin’s (2001) research on cultural values expressed in advertisements in China and the United States to determine what changes have occurred in product categories and cultural values since 1998. Further, the current study aimed to determine if these changes represent a shift toward individualism or GCCP. A total of 572 television commercials were analyzed from 3 U.S. and 3 Chinese networks. Results showed significant changes in the representation of cultural values toward GCCP for both U.S. and Chinese commercials between 1998 and 2014. The Chinese sample in the present study increased in individual/ independence appeal (t = 9.07, p < .001, d = 1.02), and the United States sample increased in group/consensus appeal (t = 8.19, p < .001, d = 0.81). Results suggested that both cultures have started to represent cultural values in a unified structure depicting advertisements globally. Furthermore, a specific shift appears to have occurred toward the representation of similar values across different cultures in advertisements.

Relationship Between Physical Activity and Cognition in Adults With and Without Alzheimer's Disease

Briana N. Sprague, Amber S. Watts, and Jeffrey M. Burns, University of Kansas

ABSTRACT: Physical activity is believed to improve cognition, particularly executive function and working memory, in older adults. The current study investigated whether self-reported physical activity as measured by the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) and an objective fitness measure of submaximal oxygen volume intake, VO2peak, predicted performance on tests of executive function and working memory in older adults with and without Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In a sample of 74 healthy older adults, we found that, of the individual PASE items, the walking-related question was the single best indicator of performance on executive function (verbal fluency-animals β = .30, p = .01) and working memory (digit span forward β = .31, p = .04). In the 72 participants with AD, the overall PASE score significantly predicted executive function performance (verbal fluency sum β = .29, p = .02), but neither the PASE individual items nor the VO2peak significantly predicted the working memory tasks. Future studies should analyze longitudinal data to determine the relationship between physical activity and cognition over time.

Predictors of Psychological Outcomes in Nonheterosexual Individuals

Emily K. Sanders and Holly McCartney Chalk, McDaniel College

ABSTRACT: Gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, and queer (GLBPQ) individuals have higher rates of negative psychological outcomes, but the reasons for these trends are unclear. Gay-related stress including internalized homophobia, perceived stigma, and overt discrimination may contribute to these heightened rates, but gay identity may buffer these consequences. GLBPQ individuals (N = 1,169) completed online surveys of gay-related stress, protective factors, and outcomes including depression, anxiety, stress, nonsuicidal self-injury, and suicidality. Hierarchical regressions were used to examine predictive relationships between gay-related stress, gay identity, and negative outcomes. Among gay/lesbian participants, overt discrimination predicted all outcomes; gay identity predicted Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) depression, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) depression, and DASS stress; and internalized homophobia predicted Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) stress (p < .001). Among bisexual and pansexual participants, perceived stigma predicted CES-D depression, DASS depression, and Pereceived Stress Scale (PSS) stress, and overt discrimination predicted CES-D depression (p < .001). Gay identity predicted reduced negative outcomes among gay and lesbian people, but did not affect bisexual or pansexual people. Gay identity did not interact significantly with overt discrimination, perceived stigma, or internalized homophobia, challenging the hypothesis that it would buffer their effects. These results indicated that the factors may function differently in different populations, highlighting the need for further research on the topic.

The Relationship Between Corumination and Health in Young Women: Evidence From Facebook Communications

CaSandra Swearingen, Jennifer Byrd-Craven, and Shelia M. Kennison, Oklahoma State University

ABSTRACT: Prior research has shown that face-to-face communications that involve excessive focus on problems and negative aspects of situations are related to higher stress. This type of communication has been called corumination (Rose, 2002). We hypothesized that corumination can also occur in communications carried out on Facebook®. We analyzed 100 female college students’ communications carried out through Facebook and examined their self-reported corumination behaviors from daily life. The results supported the hypothesis that individuals coruminate when communicating through Facebook conversations similar to the way that individuals communicate face to face. The results showed that corumination in daily life had a significant negative association with health in an analysis that took into account the positive effects of social support, F(3, 89) = 3.81, p = .02. Implications for interventions designed to reduce stress and to improve overall health of Facebook users are discussed.

The Effects of Empathy on Disparagement Humor

Peter Bui, Maria Kalpidou, Lauren DeVito, and Todd Greene, Assumption College

ABSTRACT: Explanations of why individuals find other people’s misfortune amusing range from unconscious urges to elevated self-esteem. The present investigation was about the influence of induced empathy on reducing ratings of disparagement humor. Sixty-four undergraduate students participated in this experimental study. In the pretest, they rated video clips eliciting disparagement humor in terms of funniness and pleasure. Afterward, the experimental group read an empathy-inducing story whereas the control group read a neutral story. Both groups then watched and rated 2 new video clips in the posttest. Participants also completed questionnaires for dispositional empathy and humor. As expected, the experimental group showed a significant decrease in ratings of funniness, F(1, 61) = 3.76, p = .05, ηp2 = .05, and pleasure, F(1, 61) = 5.43, p = .023, ηp2 = .08, whereas the control group did not. Dispositional empathy was positively correlated with coping humor, r = .34, p = .006, and negatively correlated with negative attitudes toward humor, r = -.42, p = .001. Future research could expand the understanding of disparagement humor by investigating the cognitive appraisal that takes place and the associated feelings created before the experience of disparagement humor. Empathy appears to have the potential to alter the feelings resulting from such appraisal, thereby, tempering the perception of humor.

INVITED EDITORIAL: Of Teacups and t Tests: Best Practices in Contemporary Null Hypothesis Significance Testing

Steven V. Rouse, Pepperdine University

ABSTRACT: Set in the context of the history of null hypothesis significance testing, a debate among contemporary researchers and statisticians focuses on whether inferential statistical methods should be revised, reformed, or completely rejected. Although significance tests have been misused and misunderstood in the past, these statistical methods do provide information that, when interpreted accurately, may be valuable. Researchers who use these methods should follow best practices such as calculating and reporting effect sizes, constructing and reporting confidence intervals, and presenting replicated or repeated analyses of the same research questions. When presenting nonsignificant research results such as when the findings contradict previous literature or widely held common assumptions, researchers should evaluate findings in the light of statistical power and score reliability. Several best practices for the use of significance tests help researchers ensure that they are most likely to use inferential statistics in an appropriate manner.

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