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Psi Chi Journal Winter 2019


Volume 24.4 | Winter 2019
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Examining the Effects of Exercise on Frustration-Induced Anxiety-Like Behavior in Rats

J. Eason Taylor , Bailee Ficzere, Jonathan St. Louis, and Timothy J. Schoenfeld*, Belmont University

ABSTRACT: Frustration is an emotional event arising from decreases in expected reward following motivated behavior and is associated with stress and anxiety in humans, albeit rarely studied in rodents. Rodent studies have shown that anxiety-like behavior is a potential side effect of frustration, although the mechanisms and potential preventative actions for frustration are unknown. To study anxiety interventions in rodents, running wheels are used to consistently decrease anxiety-like behavior. However, wheel running has not been used to study its effects on frustration-induced anxious behavior. Thus, we modeled frustration in both control and running rats, and predicted that running would buffer anxiogenic effects of frustration. Long-Evans rats (N = 16) were randomly assigned to either control or exercise conditions. All rats were trained on a progressive variable ratio (VR) lever pressing schedule up to VR20. After reaching criterion, rats went through a frustration trial, during which no reward was given. After both VR20 and frustration trials, corticosterone was measured from tail blood, and anxiety-like behavior was analyzed in an open field. Last, hippocampal tissue was analyzed for dendritic spine density. Control rats had increased anxiety-like behavior, t(7) = 4.84, p = .002, and corticosterone levels, t(8) = 3.31, p = .011, following induced-frustration. However, running rats showed no such increases, t(7) = -0.24, p = .82, and had higher spine density throughout the hippocampus, t(4) = -8.21, p = .001. The present findings suggest exercise as a preventative intervention against the maladaptive effects of frustration on physiology and anxious behavior.

KEYWORDS: frustration, anxiety-like behavior, running, corticosterone, hippocampus

Eating Pathology in International Vietnamese and White American Undergraduate Women in the United States

Ngoc Nguyen and Champika K. Soysa*, Worcester State University

ABSTRACT: Vietnamese women are understudied in the eating pathology literature (Ko et al., 2015). Addressing this gap, we used a social-cognitive perspective (Fiske & Taylor, 2017) to investigate aspects and predictors of eating pathology in 44 international Vietnamese and 40 White American undergraduate women, both studying in the United States. Our hypotheses were partially supported. Contributing to the literature, we found that there were significant differences across aspects of eating pathology between the two ethnic/cultural groups (p = .003, ηp2 = .25), where international Vietnamese undergraduate women reported significantly greater pathological eating than their White American counterparts. We confirmed that body dissatisfaction was the predominant aspect of eating pathology in both ethnic/cultural groups, and that culturally shaped self-schemata might have influenced compensatory pathological eating behaviors. Finally, we found that friend influence positively predicted pathological eating in international Vietnamese (β = .40, p = .014), and partner influence positively predicted pathological eating in White Americans (β = .46, p = .003). Our results may reflect cognitive schemata shaped by sociocultural norms in the relatively collectivistic culture in Vietnam compared to the more individualistic culture in the United States (Parks & Vu, 1994). Our findings could inform ethnic variations in interventions that target specific aspects of eating pathology in college students.

KEYWORDS: eating pathology, body dissatisfaction, culture, ethnic differences, college students

An Experimental Analysis of Emotion Induction Prior to Reading a Health Narrative on Personal Risk Perception, Health Intentions, and Behavior

Aisha L. Udochi, University of Central Arkansas, Lindsay A. Kennedy* , Hendrix College, and Marc A. Sestir* , University of Central Arkansas

ABSTRACT: When people find risk for diseases personally relevant, research shows they are more likely to engage in health-protective behaviors (Brewer, Chapman, Rothman, Leask, & Kempe, 2017). One way to make risk information more personally relevant is to present it in narrative form (Dunlop, Wakefield, & Kashima, 2008). Because positive emotions have been linked to broadened social categories (Waugh, & Fredrickson, 2006), improved processing of health information (Raghunathan & Trope, 2002), and better health outcomes (Kok et al., 2013), they may promote engagement in healthier behaviors, as well. Thus, we predicted inducing positive emotions in participants prior to reading a health narrative would lead to increased identification with the narrative figure and, subsequently, increased personal perceived risk for the diseases mentioned in the article and increased health behavioral intentions and behaviors. In the present study, 124 participants (29 men, 94 women, 1 did not report) watched a short video that induced either positive, negative, or neutral emotions, read a health narrative, then completed a packet of surveys measuring for risk perception for certain health diseases and intentions of engaging in healthy behaviors. Participants were then gifted a pedometer app, which they were asked to use for 2 weeks and share data from to assess their actual engagement in healthy behaviors. Results did not support our predictions, but findings suggested positive emotions may decrease perceived seriousness of certain diseases (obesity: p = .01, η2 = .07; diabetes: p = .04, η2 = .05). Future implications of findings are discussed.

KEYWORDS: mood-as-a-resource hypothesis, health narratives, identification, risk perception, emotions

The Effects of Conflicting Dietary Information on Dieting Self-Efficacy and Motivation

Vivian Wei Lin Leung, Elizabeth J. Krumrei-Mancuso*, and Janet Trammell*, Pepperdine University

ABSTRACT: There are many different popular diet trends, each with different recommendations. Such a proliferation of often conflicting information is likely overwhelming, may lead to confusion about how to eat healthily, and may influence self-efficacy and motivation to do so. In the current study, relationships among conflicting dietary information, dieting self-efficacy, motivation, and gender, were examined in 194 undergraduate college students (Mage = 19.25, SD = 1.37). Participants randomly received information on either one recommended diet (MyPlate) or on multiple conflicting diets. We hypothesized that (a) people’s level of motivation and self-efficacy for eating healthily would be lower when presented with conflicting information about healthily eating than when presented with consistent information about eating healthily, and (b) this difference would be larger in men than in women. Contrary to the hypothesis, consistency of diet information did not affect self-efficacy (p = .81, ηp2 < .01) or motivation (p = .75, ηp2 = .001). However, men showed lower intrinsic motivation to eat healthier than women (p = .02, ηp2 = .63), regardless of the consistency of information. Interestingly, those who viewed only one recommended diet (MyPlate) reported feeling more overwhelmed than those who viewed multiple conflicting diets, p = .001, ηp2 = .06, which could be explained by a lack of familiarity with MyPlate. These findings suggest that receiving conflicting information does not detrimentally affect motivation and self-efficacy to eat healthily, but that familiarity is an important variable for future consideration.

KEYWORDS: diet, conflicting information, self-efficacy, motivation, diet, eating

Young Women's Sexist Beliefs and Internalized Misogyny: Links With Psychosocial and Relational Functioning and Political Behavior

Adrian J. Dehlin and Renee V. Galliher* Utah State University

ABSTRACT: The current study examined links among sexism, psychosocial functioning, and political behavior in 210 young women from the United States. Participants completed a survey including the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, Revised Religious Fundamentalism Scale, Attitudes Toward Women Scale, Internalized Misogyny Scale, and Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale. Higher religious fundamentalism was associated with lower relationship quality, mediated by internalized misogyny, traditional gender roles, and hostile sexism. Although mental health outcomes were also collected, associations with sexist attitudes were nonsignificant. The intersection of sexist attitudes and internalized misogyny with political affiliation and voting behavior was also explored. Participants who voted for Clinton/Kane reported lower levels of internalized misogyny when compared to those who voted for Trump/Pence. In addition, Democrat and Independent individuals reported significantly lower levels of internalized misogyny and hostile sexism when compared to Republican and Not Affiliated individuals.

KEYWORDS: sexism, relationship quality, religious fundamentalism, Trump, internalized misogyny

//Social and Cognitive Effects of Smartphone Use in Face-to-Face Verbal Interactions

Timothy J. Johnson, Marygrace Y. Kaiser*, and Alexander B. Swan* , Eureka College

ABSTRACT: Smartphone possession is on the rise in the United States, and their presence may have detrimental effects in face-to-face (f2f) interactions. Two potential theories were explored: expectation violation theory, which suggests that smartphone presence in a conversation could lead to negative social evaluations, and cognitive load theory, which suggests that smartphone use during f2f conversations could be a distraction. Participants engaged in a scripted dyadic conversation scenario with a confederate, where the confederate did or did not appear to use a smartphone during the conversation, and/or the participant did or did not use a smartphone for a simultaneous texting task. In each condition, participants were asked to socially evaluate their confederate partner’s conversation behavior and perform a conversation recognition task. As predicted, participants had more negative social evaluations for behaviors of confederate partners using their smartphones (ηp² = .07) and scored lower on the recognition task (ηp² = .22) when engaged in their own smartphone use. Results of this study suggest social and cognitive rationales for not using smartphones in f2f interactions and encourage continued research on the effects smartphones may have in different f2f interactions.

KEYWORDS: smartphones, face-to-face, cognitive load, expectation violation

Helicopter Parenting and Emotion Regulation in U.S. College Students

Susan J. Wenze* , Anna B. Pohoryles , and Jennifer M. DeCicco*, Lafayette College

ABSTRACT: Most research has suggested that helicopter parenting is associated with negative outcomes. Few studies have explored underlying mechanisms. The present study examined the mediating role of emotional processing. Participants (n = 104 U.S. college students) completed measures of helicopter parenting behaviors, emotional processing, depression, and anxiety. Relationships between helicopter parenting and depression (95% BCa CI = .01 to .33; R2 = .23, f2 = .30) and helicopter parenting and anxiety (95% BCa CI = .01 to .13; R2 = .14, f2 = .17) were mediated by experiential avoidance. The relationship between autonomy support and depression was mediated by expressive suppression (95% BCa CI = -.27 to -.01; R2 = .08, f2 = .08), cognitive reappraisal (95% BCa CI = -.36 to -.03; R2 =.09, f2 = .10), psychological flexibility (95% BCa CI = -.59 to -.04; R2 = .46, f2 = .86), and experiential avoidance (95% BCa CI = -.39 to -.03; R2 = .24, f2 = .31). The relationship between autonomy support and anxiety was mediated by cognitive reappraisal (95% BCa CI = -.17 to -.02; R2 = .09, f2 = .10), psychological flexibility (95% BCa CI = -.28 to -.02; R2 = .49, f2 = .97), and experiential avoidance (95% BCa CI = -.16 to -.01; R2 = .14, f2 = .17). This was one of the first studies to identify mechanisms underlying links between helicopter parenting and negative outcomes. Results have implications for parent education and psychotherapy with college students.

KEYWORDS: helicopter parenting, college students, depression, anxiety, emotional processing

Invited Editorial: Psychological Science Plays a Critical Role in Addressing the Environmental Crisis

Ethan A. McMahan, Western Oregon University

ABSTRACT: Psychology involves the study of human behavior and the application of knowledge to address real-world problems that involve human behavior. Psychologists are, therefore, problem solvers. The environmental crisis is perhaps the most critical problem facing humanity at this point in history, and there is scientific consensus that observed problematic climate changes are the result of human behavior. Given the nature of our field, psychology is uniquely and well-positioned to assist in addressing this issue by describing and understanding how psychological factors contribute to the degradation of the environment and by encouraging environmentally responsible and sustainability oriented thinking and behavior. Indeed, the field has a responsibility to do so.

KEYWORDS: psychology, environmental, climate, problem solving

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