Student dissecting brain

Senior Theses: 1999-2000

Impression formation: Category based processingNatalie Flood, Amanda Leyland, Kelly Ruddock, and Mackie Walker
Faculty advisor: C. B. McAninch, Ph.D.

The question of whether partner type (popular/unpopular) and outcome dependency (dependent/independent) affects impressions of others was addressed using college students as subjects. There were 39 participants (24 male and 15 female). The experimental methods included reading a self-description form and twelve index cards with responses to popular/unpopular adjectives. They then rated their “partner” on a Likert-type scale and performed a free recall of the information. The results indicated significant findings for the rating and recall data. These findings help to support the idea that categories influence impression formation

The Cross-Sectional and Daily Assessment of Pain, Coping, Functional Status and Mood in Chronic Pain PatientsWill Hunter, Ashia Jeter, Lee Lewis, Lakeitha Patterson, Jennifer Ross
Faculty Advisor: J. C. Lefebvre, Ph.D.

The use of self-report measures is prone to the errors and biases that are characteristic of autobiographical memory.  One solution is to implement methodologies that focus on the moment-to-moment data in real-world settings.  One limitation of this methodology is that the emphasis on repeated assessments may lead to some form of reactivity on the part of the participants.  Fourteen chronic pain patients (7 women, 7 men) served as participants in this study.  Each participant completed two evaluation sessions during which they completed measures of pain, coping, functional status, and mood.  Participants were randomly assigned to either complete 20 daily diaries or not.  The diaries contained measures of pain, coping, functional status and mood.  The results of the analyses suggest a possibility of significant differences between the two conditions in terms of use of coping strategies and functional status.  In terms of coping strategies a significant difference was found between the diary versus the no diary condition in terms of the use of ignoring pain sensation.  This result suggests that the diary group showed less change in using the ignoring pain sensation coping strategy versus the non-diary group.  The non-diary group seemed to ignore pain less than the diary group.  In terms of functional status a significant difference was found between the diary versus the no diary condition in terms of psychological functioning.  These results suggest that the non-diary group had a greater change in psychological functioning than the diary group.

Popularity as a Category in Forming Impressions
Sara Arnette, Meredith Brogdon, Blythe Farish, Shae Goss, Kelly Henry, Lauren Waddell
Faculty advisor: C. B. McAninch, Ph.D. 

Schemas and their relationship with person perception were reviewed. These schemas were associated with categories one uses when forming an impression of others. Of special interest was the issue of popularity as it relates to schemas. The question of whether popularity serves as a category when forming impressions of others was addressed using college students as subjects. Significant differences were found on how the subject perceived a character based on a popular, unpopular, or neutral condition. This indicates it is probable that popularity serves as a category in impression formation.

Effects of Delay on Concurrent Sequence Schedules
Jane Ferguson & Lindsay Roberts
Faculty Advisor: Alliston K. Reid, Ph.D.

The purpose of this experiment was to determine if there is a predictable pattern in which subjects are able to discriminate between differing delays of reinforcement. The subjects were three male and one female Homing pigeons, which were previously exposed to experimental conditioning. The subjects were exposed to four conditions with a 0-4 second range of delays and a 0-8 second range of delays. There were four conditions within each of these ranges. These findings exhibit differing degrees of discrimination between rates of reinforcement and shows indications of scalar invariance. These conclusions suggest a scalar patterning of behavior when influenced by the subject's discriminative ability.

Visual Displays Necessary for Illusory Biases in Judged Eye Level
Jenny Sullivan
Faculty Advisor: Don Scott, Ph.D.