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Psi Chi Journal Spring 2017


Volume 22.1 | Spring 2017
Download This Issue - All articles are now free.

The Red Badge of Research (And the Yellow, Blue, and Green Badges, Too)

Steven V. Rouse, Pepperdine University

ABSTRACT: Following guidelines created by members of the Open Science Collaboration, Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research will begin awarding badges to journal articles that meet criteria for openness and transparency in the research process. The Open Data badge will be awarded to articles that post their research data in a public-access online repository. The Open Materials badge will be awarded to articles that post their surveys, tests, and other research materials. The Preregistration badge will be awarded to articles that publicly specify in advance their methodology and intended statistical analyses. In addition to the badges created by members of the Open Science Collaboration, Psi Chi Journal will also award a Replications badge, unique to this journal, to reward studies that replicate past research. With the Center for Open Science’s Open Science Framework as a free resource for researchers seeking any of these badges, these represent new best practices in contemporary psychological research.

"The Measure Ye Mete": Does Prosocial Priming Lead to Harsher Moral Judgment?

Jordan W. Moon, Robert R. Wright, Cody S. Broadbent, and Emily D. Robinson Brigham Young University–Idaho

ABSTRACT: The present research investigated the effects of general moral priming and social identity (i.e., institutional) priming on moral judgment. Undergraduate students (N = 233) from a private religious university were randomly assigned to 3 priming conditions, differing in the content of a paragraph of scrambled words they read; the prosocial cooperation condition was primed with a moral fable, the social identity condition was exposed to an institutional prime (i.e., the religious university), and the control condition was primed with a neutral paragraph. Participants judged 3 mildly disruptive social situations (jaywalking, speeding, and smoking) and 2 scenarios related to the university’s local honor code (facial hair and modesty). The fable group judged most harshly in the jaywalking scenario, F(2, 230) = 3.22, p = .042, η2 = .027, and the university group in the facial hair scenario (i.e., an honor code infraction), F(2, 230) = 3.27, p = .040, η2 = .028. Proselyting mission service, whether completed or planned, was a significant predictor of harsher judgment in the honor code scenarios—facial hair, F(1, 149) = 3.99, p = .048, η2 = .026, and modesty, F(1, 149) = 10.63, p = .001, η2 = .067. This variable also interacted with the experimental condition on the facial hair scenario, F(2, 145) = 3.05, p = .05, ηp2 = .040. Further, it seems that these primes were most efficacious in scenarios perceived as more morally harmful.

Evaluating Peer-Peer Depression Outreach: College Students Helping Peers Approach and Respond to Students in Crisis

Carter J. Funkhouser, Audrey L. Zakriski, and Janet Dee Spoltore, Connecticut College

ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the effects of a peer-peer depression outreach program for college students (Depression OutReach Alliance [DORA] College Program). Fifty-six college students participated in either the DORA program or a control program and completed pretest, posttest, and follow-up assessments. These assessments measured responses to and desired social distance from an at-risk male peer, self-stigma and perceived social stigma associated with psychological help-seeking, knowledge of depression and suicide, and crisis response skills. Results indicated that DORA participants reported improved crisis response skills, t(50) = 2.55, p = .014, d = .71, desired less social distance from the distressed peer, t(26) = 3.07, p = .005, d = -.60, and perceived there to be less social stigma related to seeking psychological help after the intervention, t(26) = 2.71, p = .012, d = -.52. Implications for college student depression and suicide outreach are discussed.

The Virtual Self: Avatar and Individual Determinants of Mood

Ivana Wang, Steven V. Rouse, and Elizabeth Krumrei Mancuso, Pepperdine University

ABSTRACT: Given the relevance of self-related process in avatar-based virtual environments, examining the role of avatar-self representation was intended for better understanding of its function in media users’ experiences. The current study examined the differences between actual- and ideal-self avatars in terms of impact on mood, as measured through positive and negative affect. Undergraduate students (N = 81) participated in an avatar-based gaming experiment, which assessed pre- and post-game play affect. Overall, participants experienced a statistically significant decrease in negative affect after game play, t(80) = 4.18, p < .001, d = 0.41, regardless of their avatar group condition. However, avatar group influenced the user experience in terms of positive affect, t(79) = 2.06, p = .04, d = 0.46, in that participants of the actual-self avatar group were associated with higher positive affect than those in the ideal-self avatar group post-game play. Self-esteem was found to be a statistically significant covariate in predicting both posttest positive affect, F(1,78) = 6.03, p = .02, ηp2 = 0.07, and negative affect, F(1,78) = 13.27, p < .001, ηp2 = 0.15. Avatar group intervention proved significant in predicting positive affect, despite the covariance of self-esteem, F(1,78) = 4.44, p = .04, ηp2 = 0.05; however, it was no longer statistically significant in predicting negative affect once the variance shared with self-esteem was accounted for, F(1,78) = 0.04, p = .84, ηp2 = 0.001. Specific mechanisms by which virtual self-representation might regulate affect were clarified; subsequent theoretical and realistic implications of the results are discussed further in the study.

Donate, Everybody's Doing It: Social Influences on Charitable Giving

Anne C. Partika, The College of Wooster

ABSTRACT: The present study examined social factors, specifically the bystander effect, social comparison, and dyadic sex similarity, on charitable giving. Using experimental methods, participants were told that they would be entered in a raffle where 10 participants would win $20 each, and then asked if they would be interested in donating a portion of their $20 award to the American Red Cross. Results showed a main effect of social comparison, with upward social comparisons increasing donations (p = .04, partial η2 = .04). However, there was no main effect of bystander presence (p = .28, partial η2 = .01). Additionally, no main effect of dyadic sex similarity was found (p = .61, partial η2 = .004), but an interaction effect showed that social comparison increased donations only in different-sex dyads, not same-sex ones (p = .03, partial η2 = .08). The findings of this study expanded the scope of research on prosocial behavior beyond traditional helping behavior and can inform nonprofit organizations as to which social variables can be harnessed and adapted to increase charitable donations.

Student Perceptions of Their Psychology Department's Learning Objectives for the Major

Veronica E. Scherbak, Joan T. Bihun, and Mitchell M. Handelsman, University of Colorado Denver

ABSTRACT: The literature has shown that employers expect applicants to have a range of skills including interpersonal skills and critical thinking. In the present study, psychology majors rated their beliefs regarding the importance of 30 learning objectives, which have been identified as important by the American Psychological Association, employers, and the literature. Generally, participants’ top-rated goals included more knowledge-related goals higher than their lowest-rated goals, t(74) = 10.00, p < .001, d = 1.15. In general, participants were more likely to identify knowledge-related goals as ones to which they were more exposed and in which they had the most confidence. Based on these results, departments may want to ensure that there is a focus on both knowledge- and skill-related goals, and to communicate their goals more effectively to students.

Burdensomeness, Belongingness, and Suicidal Desire Among Hispanic/Latino Individuals: Examining the Effect of Ethnicity in the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide

Laura Acosta, Christopher R. Hagan, and Thomas E. Joiner, Florida State University

ABSTRACT: The interpersonal theory of suicide states that thwarted belongingness, a perception of social isolation and lack of social connectedness, and perceived burdensomeness, a perception of being a burden on others, are important factors related to the development of suicidal desire. A strong familial connection, characteristic of Hispanic/Latino cultures, is associated with lower levels of thwarted belongingness. In this study, we tested the ability of thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and ethnicity to determine current levels of suicidal desire among Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic White undergraduate college students. Based on previous research and the typically high value placed on family, Hispanic/Latinos were predicted to experience lower levels of thwarted belongingness and suicidal desire. Hispanic/Latino status was hypothesized to moderate the role of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness such that Hispanic/Latinos who reported high levels of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness respectively would experience the highest levels of suicidal desire. Undergraduate college students (N = 336), 24% Hispanic/Latino and 76% non-Hispanic White, completed self-report measures. Ethnic groups significantly differed on their current suicidal desire, t(193.81) = 2.21, p = .03, and perceived burdensomeness, t(229.74) = 3.06, p = .003, but not thwarted belongingness, t(333) = 0.74, p = .46. Ethnicity moderated the effect of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness on current suicidal desire. However, the direction of the effect was opposite of the predictions. These findings highlight the role of ethnicity to moderate the effects of established suicide risk factors, thwarted belongingness, and perceived burdensomeness in college students.

Memory for Missing Parts of Witnessed Events

Lindsay T. Hobson and Kenith V. Sobel, University of Central Arkansas

ABSTRACT: This study examined how children and adults fill in missing parts of witnessed events. In 2 experiments, children and adults studied 6 series of PowerPoint slides that each depicted a single event. At test in Experiment 1, participants viewed old slides, new slides, and slides that had been missing from studied events. Both children and adults falsely recognized missing slides more than new slides: F(1, 104) = 162.97, p < .001, ηp2 = .61 for children, and F(1, 104) = 497.23, p < .001, ηp2 = .83 for adults. These results suggest that participants filled in the missing parts of witnessed events. However, an alternative explanation is that children falsely recognized missing slides because the missing slides superficially resembled the studied slides. At test in Experiment 2, participants viewed old slides, new slides, and slides that contained the same items as studied slides but with the items rearranged in the slides so they were incongruent with studied slides. Both children and adults recognized old slides more than incongruent slides: F(1, 90) = 16.86, p < .001, ηp2 = .16 for children, and F(1, 90) = 215.20, p < .001, ηp2 = .70 for adults. This undermined the alternative explanation, thereby supporting the original explanation that the false recognition of missing slides in Experiment 1 is attributable to the filling in of missing information.

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