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Psi Chi Journal Fall 2019


Volume 24.3 | Fall 2019
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The Values of Psychological Science: Student and Faculty Perspectives on Research Ethics

Daniel P. Corts and Tracy D. Pham, Augustana College

ABSTRACT: In this editorial, we encourage readers to consider how ethics are involved in every aspect of research including collaboration, mentoring, and analyzing data. We explore the values of psychology which motivate the creation of ethical standards and help people make decisions even when no formal codes are present. Finally, we argue that the values of psychology are more than just good behavior, they are a necessary part of a productive and effective science. As we address the various aspects of the research process, we incorporate the perspectives of student and faculty researchers.

KEYWORDS: ethics, human subjects protections, authorship, student research

An Experimental Study of Prejudice Toward Drivers With Political Bumper Stickers

Joy Drinnon and Amanda Largent, Milligan College

ABSTRACT: In this experiment, we tested whether a political sticker would affect prejudice toward a hypothetical driver. An online survey was made available to MTurk workers and a small convenience sample in October 2016. Participants were shown 1 of 3 randomly assigned pictures of a car with 5 nonpolitical bumper stickers or the same car with a Trump or Clinton campaign sticker added. Participants were asked: (a) how likely they would be to vandalize the car (1 = extremely likely to 5 = extremely unlikely), (b) how much money they would put in a timed out parking meter ($0.00 to $1.00), and (c) whether they could be friends with the driver (3 = yes, 1 = no, 2 = maybe). Although 214 people completed the study, only those with plans to vote for 1 of the 2 major parties were included for analysis. Thus, results were based on 180 participants (106 Clinton/Kaine voters and 74 Trump/Pence voters). As expected, Trump and Clinton supporters were significantly more generous, F(2, 174) = 9.57, p < .001, ηp2 = .099, and friendly, F(2, 174) = 9.6, p < .001, ηp2 = .10, toward the hypothetical owner of the car with a sticker supporting their candidate of choice and were more likely to say they would vandalize the car promoting a candidate they did not support, F(2, 174) = 4.4, p < .001, ηp2 = .048. The results confirm what was expected based on previous research on impression formation, group identity bias, and prejudice.

KEYWORDS: bumper sticker, impression formation, prejudice, group identity

/ / Social Distancing Individuals With Depression: The Impact of Symptom Severity

Anastasia Lundquist and Regan A. R. Gurung, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

ABSTRACT: People with depression experience stigma more than their nondepressed counterparts. Two studies focused on how symptom severity of depression affects stigmatization, operationalized as how people socially distance themselves from depressed individuals. In Study 1, college students and older adults (N = 316) read vignettes of depressed individuals and rated how socially close they would like to be with that person. Vignettes ranged in depressive symptom severity. Using a repeated-measures within-subjects design, we found that vignettes with a higher number of depressive symptoms correlated with greater social distancing, F(2, 314) = 6.14, p = .002, η² = .020. This finding was consistent for both college students and older adults. Participants higher in depression were also more likely to socially distance themselves from other depressed individuals with many symptoms. In Study 2 (N = 110), we increased participant knowledge of depression to reduce social distancing with a video intervention. The control group and intervention group showed similar stigmatizing behavior. Future research should test for other mechanisms to reduce social distancing acknowledging the role of participants’ mental health.

KEYWORDS: depression, social distancing, stereotypes, stigma, mental health literacy

The Effect of a Fabricated Stereotype Threat on Sex Differences in Object Location Memory

Samantha A. Boomgarden, Eastern Illinois University, Daniele Nardi, Ball State University, and Joshua M. Aronson, New York University

ABSTRACT: Monitoring a negative stereotype coupled with the fear of conforming to it poses the risk for targeted groups to underperform when completing a relevant task. We investigated the impact of a fabricated (empirically invalidated and not socially instilled) stereotype threat on an object location memory task, which tends to show a sex difference in favor of women. The threat stated that women tend to perform worse than men; thus, we tested if a fabricated negative stereotype would decrease performance of an advantaged group. Contrary to expectations, the negative stereotype improved women’s performance: women under threat actually performed better than when not under threat (p = .007, d = 1.094). Discussion focuses on the “mere effort” account and the impact of stereotype salience.

KEYWORDS: stereotype threat, fabricated stereotype, sex differences, object location memory

Internal Representations of Interparental Conflict and Withdrawn/Depressed Symptoms: The Moderating Role of Mother–Adolescent Attachment

Kortni Dubose, Abigail Downey, and E. Mark Cummings, University of Notre Dame, William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families

ABSTRACT: Insecure mother–adolescent attachment is predictive of the internalizing symptoms of withdrawal and depression (Buirst, 2016; Constantine, 2006; Essau, 2004). Additionally, research on the emotional security theory (Davies & Cummings, 1994) has indicated that adolescents’ feelings of emotional insecurity about interparental conflict may prospectively predict symptoms of withdrawal and depression (Cummings, Koss, & Davies, 2015). However, limited research has investigated the interaction between parent–adolescent attachment and emotional security. The present study investigated the role of adolescents’ perceived mother–adolescent attachment security as a moderator between adolescents’ emotional security measured through internal representations of interparental conflict and self-reported withdrawn/depressed symptoms (N = 225). The hypothesis was that mother–adolescent attachment security would serve as a moderator between emotional security about interparental conflict and adolescents’ withdrawn/depressed symptoms. A moderation analysis, using a standard multiple regression, was conducted. The Security in the Interparental Subsystem Scale (Davies, Forman, et al., 2002) served as the predictor variable, and the Inventory for Parent and Peer Attachment served as the moderator variable, with the dependent variable consisting of withdrawn/depressed symptoms indicated on the Youth Self–Report. Mother–adolescent attachment security was a significant moderator between emotional security about interparental conflict and withdrawn/depressed symptoms, F(3, 221) = 38.13, p < .001, f2 = 0.52. Findings support further investigation into the interaction of attachment and emotional security and its prediction of psychopathology.

KEYWORDS: attachment, emotional security, adolescence, withdrawal depression

Olfactory Identification, Odor Hedonics, and Atypical Behaviors

Julianne Cary, Joseph LaFrance, Sara Costello, and Emily R. Bovier, State University of New York at Oswego

ABSTRACT: Smell identification deficits have been found to coincide with diagnoses of schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. This study aimed to determine if olfactory functioning (in terms of smell identification and subjective experiences) differed depending on self-reported atypical behaviors in a subclinical sample. In Part 1, participants (N = 183) completed self-report questionnaires pertaining to atypical behavior and social interaction. Participants who were recruited for Part 2 (N = 59) completed additional measures of smell identification, odor hedonics, and an emotion recognition task. A one-way Analysis of Variance showed no significant difference in smell accuracy, pleasantness, or intensity ratings of odorants across groups. However, subjective ratings of irritation for the negative odorant significantly differed across groups (F = 3.05, p = .04, d = .13). These findings suggest that subjective perceptual experiences may be more informative than identification accuracy, especially if olfactory measures could be used as a sensory marker of early signs of clinical symptoms or to provide insight into possible underlying neurological and sensory deficits.

KEYWORDS: olfactory functioning, atypical behavior, smell identification, odor hedonics, schizotypy

Past Sports Participation, Self-Efficacy, Goal Orientation, and Academic Achievement Among College Students

Catherine McCreary, Cindy Miller-Perrin, and Janet Trammell, Pepperdine University

ABSTRACT: The relationship between past sports participation in high school and levels of general self-efficacy, goal orientation, and GPA in college were examined among 149 college undergraduates. Participants were recruited from both MTurk and a local university and completed an online survey, which included a demographic questionnaire, the General Self-Efficacy Scale, the Goal Orientation Instrument, and a sports participation questionnaire. Significant positive correlations were found between past sports participation and current levels of general self-efficacy (r = .20, p < .05), learning goal orientation (r = .22, p < .001), and prove performance goal orientation (r = .21, p < .001). No significant relationships were observed for college GPA. The findings suggested that high school sports participation may be beneficial in increasing levels of general self-efficacy in college, which could therefore improve academic performance in college. The current study was the first to evaluate the relationship between participation in sports during high school and current levels of self-efficacy, goal orientation, and academic performance in college students. Future directions for research are discussed.

KEYWORDS: sports, self-efficacy, goal orientation, academic performance, college students

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