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Psi Chi Journal Fall 2018


Volume 23.4 | Fall 2018
Download This Issue - All articles are now free.

INVITED EDITORIAL: How to Prepare Theses and Dissertations for Publication in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Erin E. Ayala , Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

ABSTRACT: Although research and psychological literacy are pivotal components to one’s education in psychology, the generation of scientific literature is often a novel topic to students. The purpose of this article is to demystify and outline expectations for the publication process in Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research and beyond, particularly for students who plan to submit capstone research projects (e.g., master’s theses, dissertations) for publication. There are a few important differences between theses and peer-reviewed articles, including the role of the committee or editorial board, the manuscript revision process, and the length of the manuscript. Students also need to be aware of typical review timelines, possible decisions, and expectations for correspondence with editorial boards. Finally, students must consider the ethical implications of submitting Electronic Theses and Dissertations for publication in peer-review journals.

The Effects of Physical Attractiveness and Political Affiliation on Facebook Friend Acceptance

Emily C. Koller , Abigail L. Swanda, Jamie N. Noonan, and Miranda T. Sisneroz Creighton University

ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects that physical attractiveness and political affiliation have on the likelihood of “accepting” a Facebook friend request. Participants included 120 undergraduate students randomly assigned to view 1 of 6 conditions of a White male Facebook profile. Physical attractiveness of the Facebook profile picture was manipulated in 2 conditions: physically attractive and unattractive. In addition, political affiliation, as identified in the “describe who you are” box on the profile, was manipulated in 3 conditions: Republican, Democrat, and Independent. Following each condition, participants were asked to answer how likely they would be to accept the Facebook friend request of the profile viewed. It was primarily hypothesized that participants would report a significantly higher likelihood of accepting the Facebook friend request for profiles that appeared to be physically attractive and similar to their own political affiliation compared to other profiles. Statistical analyses revealed that, although physical attractiveness significantly increased the likelihood of accepting a Facebook friend request (p < .001), neither similarity of the profile’s political affiliation to participants nor the interaction of the two variables were significantly related to acceptance. However, exploratory analyses (p = .03) highlighted that participants who identified as Independent were equally likely to accept the attractive and unattractive profiles. Democrat and Republican participants were more likely to accept attractive rather than unattractive profiles, with slight nuances depending on the profile’s political affiliation. Findings are discussed with an emphasis on characteristics associated with the different political parties.

Marital Satisfaction: The Role of Postformal Thought and Partner Blame

Kendall Jory, Janet Trammell , and Cindy Miller-Perrin , Pepperdine University

ABSTRACT: A recently identified stage of developmental cognition, postformal thought is a type of complex cognition involving recognition of paradoxes and multiple perspectives, which research suggests benefits intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning. The current study aimed to examine postformal thought in the context of romantic relationships, while specifically examining if postformal thought moderates the inverse relationship between partner blame and marital satisfaction. It was hypothesized that participants with enhanced postformal thought would project less blame onto their spouse, and thus have increased marital satisfaction. In a sample of 109 participants, findings supported past research in that blame toward one’s partner was negatively correlated with marital satisfaction on both the Causal, r(107) = -.21, p = .03, and Responsibility, r(107) = -.24, p = .01, Relationship Attribution subscales and the Marital Attitude Scale, r(107) = .38, p < .001. However, contrary to the hypothesis, postformal thought was associated with increased partner blame on both the Causal (r = .35, p = < .001) and Responsibility (r = .26, p = .007) Relationship Attribution subscales, as well as the Marital Attitude Scale, r(107) = -3.25, p = .001. The current study adds to the body of literature which has asserted that the more one blames a partner, the more dissatisfied one is with a relationship—a relevant finding for clinical work. Implications of a negative relationship between postformal thought and marital satisfaction are discussed, and this relationship may underscore the limitations of postformal thought as a relatively new and at times poorly conceptualized concept.

Stress, Mental Health Symptoms, and Help-Seeking in College Students

Kimberly Hubbard, Paige Reohr, Lauren Tolcher, and Andrew Downs , University of Portland

ABSTRACT: College students show low rates of help-seeking behavior despite being at risk for experiencing stressors and mental health problems. The present study aimed to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the relationships between different stressors, mental health, and help-seeking behavior among college students. An online survey distributed locally and nationally asked college students aged 18 to 24 (n = 564) about their stressors, mental health symptoms, and past and current help-seeking behavior. A factor analysis suggested that college students experience stress in four domains: intrapersonal, interpersonal, performance, and financial. Regression analyses revealed that intrapersonal and interpersonal stress predicted anxiety and depression in both women and men (p < .001), whereas performance stress predicted anxiety and depression in women (p < .001) but not men. Financial stress was not related to mental health symptoms in either gender. Regarding help seeking, 37.5% of women and 16% of men had received help for a mental health problem, although none of the men and only 5.8% of the women were currently receiving counseling or therapy. Help-seekers reported significantly higher levels of performance (p = .007, d = 0.25), interpersonal (p < .001, d = 0.54), and intrapersonal stress (p < .001, d = 0.65), as well as more eating problems (p < .001, d = 0.34), anxiety (p < .001, d = 0.78), and depression (p < .001, d = 0.72). These results suggest the need for colleges to consider new ways of identifying at-risk students and encouraging those students to seek help.

/ The Effects of Age and Sex on Saving Pets Over Humans

Linsey M. Malia, Margaret A. Bohrmann, and Christopher R. Poirier , Stonehill College

ABSTRACT: The relationship between humans and animals is a bond that resembles the relationship between humans and family members. To better understand this relationship, we presented 122 undergraduates (18-to 22-year-olds) with 3 moral dilemmas in which they were forced to save their pet or a human (infant, 40-year-old, or 80-year-old) from death. We hypothesized that the older the human in the scenario, the more likely participants would be to choose saving their pet. We also hypothesized that women were more likely than men to save the pet than the human. A 3 x 2 mixed Analysis of Variance was performed to analyze the data. Our findings suggest that both age and sex influence people’s saving preference. Although most participants indicated a preference for saving humans over pets, participants were more likely to save their pet as human age increased (p < .001), and women were more likely than men to save the pet (p = .037). The findings from this study shed light on human-animal relationships, suggesting that some people value their pet’s life over human lives.

The Size Congruity Effect in Visual Search: Further Evidence for Late Interaction

Kayla A. Wilson and Kenith V. Sobel, University of Central Arkansas

ABSTRACT: In traditional numerical comparison tasks, participants view 2 digits that have different numerical and physical sizes, and select the digit that is numerically (or physically) smaller (or larger). Responses are typically faster when the numerical and physical sizes are congruent (e.g., the numerically larger item is also physically larger than the other item) than when they are incongruent; this is the size congruity effect (SCE). The SCE reveals that numerical and physical sizes interact, but there is currently disagreement about whether the interaction occurs early or late in mental processing. Recent studies have revealed an SCE in visual search for multiple (i.e., more than 2) search items. In one of these studies, search was slower for participants who were instructed to search for the item with unique numerical size than for participants who were instructed to search for the item with unique physical size. In our experiment, we primed participants in the first block to search for the item with unique physical size. The early interaction model predicts relatively fast search in the second block, but the late interaction model predicts relatively slow search in the second block. Results from the second block were relatively slow, F(1, 13) = 96.40, p < .001, ηp2 = .88, thereby supporting the late interaction model, which is consistent with a growing number of studies that also support the late interaction model.

What Makes You Swipe Right?: Gender Similarity in Interpersonal Attraction in a Simulated Online Dating Context

Sierra Peters and Hannah Salzsieder, St. Norbert College

ABSTRACT: Online dating is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to select a prospective dating partner. With this in mind, we examined 2 factors influencing interpersonal attraction and deliberate evaluations of a partner, facial attractiveness and ambition, in a simulated online dating context. College-age participants viewed an online dating profile that depicted either a more or a less physically attractive college-age individual of the other sex and described the individual as either more ambitious or less ambitious. Participants then completed a brief likeability questionnaire to measure their interpersonal attraction to the person in the profile. Participants rated the profile higher (more favorably) on the scale of interpersonal attraction when it displayed a more physically attractive person, F(1, 116) = 23.68, p < .001, η2 = .16. Participants also rated the profile higher when the autobiography depicted a more ambitious person, F(1, 116) = 20.92, p < .001, η2 = .16. None of the interactions were significant. This investigation highlighted gender similarity by demonstrating that both women and men viewed physical attractiveness and ambition as desirable characteristics when selecting a potential dating partner.

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