2006 Research Fair Archive - Psychology Abstracts
Social Comparison and Body Dissatisfaction
Dissatisfaction with one’s body is a widespread problem, particularly among American females. Body dissatisfaction contributes to a plethora of psychological disturbances including lowered self esteem, feelings of worthlessness and depressed mood, and may lead to problematic eating behaviors and disorders. Research has implicated a variety of biological and sociocultural contributors to an individual's development of body dissatisfaction, with one of the most important being the extent and type of one's social comparisons. The present study explores the relationship between self-reported religious preference, body image preoccupation, and contour drawing ratings in a sample of college females. The specific dynamics of female social interaction within the LDS religion may foster a competitive environment centered on home, marriage, and family. The subjects were divided into LDS/non-LDS distinctions based on sample demographics. It was hypothesized that the LDS females would self-report differential levels of body dissatisfaction compared to non-LDS females.
Parental Age and Adolescent Deviancy:
Parental age at first birth has been correlated to a variety of adverse effects for adolescent children of young parents, including truancy, high school dropout, drug and alcohol consumption, legal problems, and early unwanted pregnancy. Studies have implicated poor parental monitoring as a key antecedent to these adverse outcomes. Research has sufficiently demonstrated young parents may struggle to provide a nurturing home environment and understand the developmental needs of their young children. The present study explored parental age as a factor in communication and the quality of parental monitoring. It was hypothesized that young parents are better equipped to communicate openly with their children as adolescents, resulting in a lower level of parent-adolescent conflict and adolescent deviancy.
Body Image Disturbance and Emotional Expressiveness:
Body image disturbance among college females is a pervasive concern to mental health professionals. Research suggests that such disturbance is a major precursor to both clinical and subclinical eating disorders. Studies have implicated various biological and sociocultural factors that may influence the development of body image disturbance and eating pathology; however, replication of such findings has proven difficult. A concurrent line of research has shown high rates of emotional expression to be related to positive aspects of psychological functioning. The present study explores the relationship between the self-reported emotional expressiveness, body image preoccupation, and contour drawing ratings in a sample of college females. It was hypothesized that an individual’s ability to express their emotions may function as a protective factor against body image disturbance, and females with higher rates of emotional expression would show lower levels of preoccupation with their physical appearance than individuals who expressed their emotions less frequently.
Multicultural Relations in Higher Education:
As the percentage of minorities enrolled in education increases, it is vital to consider how the racial background of students and teachers impacts students’ capacity to communicate with their instructors. The present study examined whether students’ ratings of professors’ verbal immediacy differed based on both the race of the student, and that of the professor. Two-hundred-seventy-eight college students (from White/Caucasian, Black/African-American, and Hispanic/Latino backgrounds) were surveyed about their perceptions of the verbal immediacy of a fictitious professor of a race either congruent or incongruent with their own. Results indicated that students viewed professors of an incongruent race to be less verbally immediate. This difference approached significance at trend level, and was strongest for the Black/African-American group. These findings underscore the impact of racial relations and perceptions on interactions in educational settings, regardless of subject content and pedagogical style.
Gender and Personality Biases as Shown in Rape Case Verdicts
The goal of the study was to investigate gender and personality biases within jury deliberation processes as well as verdict outcomes in rape cases. It was hypothesized that males would be less supportive of a conviction when the victim was a female rape victim, while women jurors would be more supportive of a conviction. Also hypothesized was the idea that participants would be more likely to find the defendant guilty if they were typed as an extraverted personality according to Kiersy Temperament Scale. The Desirability of Control and Brief Levenson Locus of Control scales were also used to determine participants internalized levels of control. There were 83 participants, ranging from ages 19 to 56 selected from a small, predominately white, Liberal Arts College.
Attention Span and Media Presentation Theory: Can Ocular Frame Snap in a Media Presentation Change the Outcome of Attention Span?
The aspiration of this paper is to analyze the effect of media presentation on the attention span according to the investigative studies already submitted. The early methods of filming for TV and movies have changed considerably since its inception. Media alterations may have deliberately directed technology to induce heavy use and increase audience size, gender, and age range. TV/movies scenes, camera vantage points, or frames result in a rapid metamorphosis. These changes occur every 1 to 7 seconds and sometimes less. Historically this began with cartoons and perhaps the key to holding and keeping attention in all age groups through use of rapid ocular frame snap (ROFS). The constant movement from scene to scene, or rapid frame change, requires focus to keep up with the storyline for most as well as creating an activity and challenge of constant anticipation. Additional investigation is needed.
Race Relations in the Classroom: Students Perceptions as Affected by Race
This study was conducted to determine if race affects students' perceptions of overall professor effectiveness. Research shows little information exists about perceptions towards professors of color. As the college classroom continues to shift toward a more diverse climate, it becomes essential to understand causes and effects of intercultural interactions within the classroom. This study analyzes professor effectiveness in communication and professor knowledge. We conducted an experiment in which students watched simulated lectures by professors of different races. The experiment was designed to isolate race as the only difference between the professors. We concluded that race may not have as significant an effect on student perceptions as previously believed. However, in some areas, such as professor knowledge, students in this study rated professors differently based solely on the professor's race. Thus, it appears there may still be racial barriers for intercultural interactions in the college classroom.