If You Talk To Yourself, Are You Crazy?
The aim of this study was to test the effects of self-motivation (SM) on confidence in a public speaking situation. It was hypothesized that participants who employed SM before speaking (n = 8) would exhibit a greater decline in anxiety than participants in the control group (n = 8). All 16 participants were asked to speak for one minute about their favorite place, hobby, or food in front of the rest of the participants. Each participant completed the Personal Report of Confidence as a Speaker (Revised) both before and after speaking. The reports were scored using the keyed responses and the change in anxiety was calculated. The validity of the results was tested using a mixed 2 x 2 ANOVA, with whether the participant actually used SM (n = 9) as the grouping variable, rather than the assigned condition. Though the null hypothesis was retained, there appeared to be a considerable interaction effect. Were a higher alpha value used or the sample size slightly larger, that effect would presumably be statistically significant. Furthermore, the non-significance of the results disagrees with the majority of previous studies interested in the effect of ST on athletic performance, further validating the previous conclusion.
The Effects of Religious Connectedness on College-Aged, Non-Urban Students' Attitudes Toward Sexual Behavior and Contraceptive Use
The effects of religious connectedness on college-aged, non-urban students’ attitudes toward sexual behavior and contraceptive use were examined in an independent groups 1-factor design. Research has shown that evangelical Protestant teenagers are significantly less likely to use contraception than other groups (Talbot, 2008). In this study, 26 participants responded to 3 questionnaires on sexuality and 4 questionnaires on religion. Half of the participants received all of the religion questionnaires first, followed by the sexuality questionnaires; half received them in the opposite order. The participants receiving the religion questionnaires first were being primed to respond to the sexuality questionnaires with their religion subconsciously influencing their responses. After running independent sample t-tests, it was found that, at times, religion does significantly affect college students’ attitudes toward sexual behavior and contraceptive use. Previous research has found that while the influence of religion on sexual beliefs is quite strong, religion is only a good indicator of one’s attitudes toward sex, not of one’s actual sexual behavior (Regnerus, et al., 2003; Talbot, 2008). This study supported these results by finding that while religious college students believe they will be safe and use condoms, not only do they feel embarrassed, unable, and wrong to purchase or carry them, but they are also uneducated in how to use or explain how to use one correctly.
Does Music Make Us Angry?
The purpose of this study was to test if music of the metal genre increases the aggression of participants more than classical music. Participants were recruited from psychology classes at Gordon College. Participants were randomly assigned to a group that listened to a metal song and a group that listened to a classical piece. After being split into the groups, they were tested individually. The Experimental SMS test was administered to participants in each group before and after they listened to music. The data collected shows that there is a significant interaction between the type of music that was listened to and the scores on the pretests and posttests. Participants who listened to metal showed an increase in aggression, while those who listened classical music responded with lower aggression levels. This is contradictory to the findings other studies which found no increase in aggression due to music. The results are, however, related to the findings of a study that reported an increase of aggression in participants who listened to songs with aggressive lyrics. Since the metal song in the current study had screamed lyrics, the increase in aggression may have been influenced by the lyrical content.
The Correlation between Neuroticism and Depression in College Students
This experiment studied the correlation between personality types and the susceptibility to depression. After taking a personality test, the NEO-FFI, two groups were formed randomly. These two groups were subjected to different environments that stimulate their level of neuroticism, one group filled out a crossword puzzle and the other group played a social game. After participating in the activity for 10 minutes, everyone took a depression survey; The Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale. The correlation between the level of neuroticism and depression measured was calculated. The hypothesis was that people with high levels of neuroticism who were participating in the crossword puzzle group would have higher levels of depression. This hypothesis was not supported, yet there was a correlation between neuroticism and depression in the social game group. In most other studies, it has been found that neuroticism and depression have a high correlation. Some strengths and weaknesses of my study were the reliability and validity of the surveys but also the small number of participants.
The Preference of a Person to the Given versus the Family Name
The hypothesis for this study is that American, college students will gravitate towards either their given or their family name when forced to choose between them for a specified period of time. One of the two grading scales used, asked the participant to choose a value between +5/-5, the other asked participants to mark a check box for either ‘given’, ‘family’ name and sex. There was a list of names in the survey where participants marked whether or not they had a ‘common name’. Forty-eight participants took part in the survey over two nights, they were drawn from introductory psychology classes at Gordon College. A paired samples t-test showed that men and women strongly prefer their given names to their family names. This effect was even stronger for when only women (n=24) were analyzed. No correlation was found between the commonness of the given or family name and how much it was preferred by the person. The research that was done here cannot be tied to other previous research since there has never been a study regarding how people feel about their family versus their given names. Potential confounds of the study are that the survey has not been used in previous studies, the unknown validity value and the influence of a collective vs. an individualistic society on the results.
Art, Solitaire, and Stress
The effect of making art and playing computerized solitaire was examined in a 2x2 factorial design. Forty participants took a stress-arousal checklist, then 19 participants made art for 15 minutes by themselves, and 21 played computerized solitaire by themselves. After their independent activity, the participants took the stress-arousal checklist for a second time. The computerized solitaire and the art seemed to have little to no effect on the participants’ levels of stress, however the participants who made art had an increase in their arousal scores. The lack of effect on the participant’s stress levels were thought to be a result of the participants coming into the experiment relatively stress free.
Does Drinking Tea Decrease Stress?
This study investigated the impact of tea-drinking on perceived stress levels in students. It was predicted that over a one-week period of tea drinking, perceived levels of stress in college students would decrease. Twenty seven college students were self-selected and assigned into a control group or an experimental group. The experimental group was given 12 tea bags and instructed to drink them twice a day-around breakfast and dinner times. The control group was not asked to change their drinking habits. Both groups completed a Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) at the beginning and end of the study and results from these tests were compared. It was concluded that stress levels for those who drank tea for a period of one week had a larger decrease in stress levels than those who didn’t. New questions were raised as to whether gender plays a role in perceived stress levels, and whether these findings are generalizable to other populations. It is discussed what future directions should be taken in the area of stress levels and tea consumption, and decided that more research should be done.
Factors of Conformity
Dong Gun Sim
The well-known Asch’s study on social conformity reveals that people, in general, conform to the group at least once a while. However, people conform not only to the majority but also to minority individuals. This study examined whether minority individuals have the same degree of influence on members of the group as the majority individuals have. In a conversation-based discussion, 15 participants were asked to share their thoughts on different statements. Then, their shifts in opinions were measured in order to indicate the degree of influence. A confederate played the role of a minority individual in the discussion. The result showed that participants conformed 12 times out of 60 given chances to conform to the minority confederate and participants conformed to the majority individuals 9 times out of 33 given chances to conform. The result suggests that any form of interaction (i.e. conversation based discussion) within groups and ambiguity of situation are the big factors in the conformity.
Does Journaling Affect Stress Levels?
This experiment studied the effect of expressive writing on stress. College students from an introductory psychology class (N=29) were asked to either respond to one of two writing prompts or sit quietly; both assignments lasted five minutes. A survey before and after measured their stress and arousal levels and certain personality traits. Neither expressive writing nor sitting quietly was found to have an effect on stress levels. The lack of change in the participants’ moods may be due to uncontrolled environmental factors or to the limited time of the experiment. Two unanticipated correlations were found; one between the reported emotional tendencies of the participants and their arousal level, and another between reported optimism and stress levels.
Accuracy of Labeling Facial Expressions of Emotion Based on Situational Context
There are many questions regarding nonverbal communication. Researchers are interested in learning whether or not nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions, can be labeled accurately across cultures, and how much emphasis is placed on the situational context of the person exuding the facial expression. For this study, 25 participants were recruited via email from one residence hall on the Gordon College campus in Wenham, MA. The participants entered the testing room and were given a numbered survey containing 25 questions. A slideshow was shown with 25 photos on it displaying faces portraying a certain facial expression, and the participant was asked to record the emotion and how confident they were in their decision. At the end of the 25 photos, the researcher collected the first survey and handed each participant a second survey with the same number as the first one they received. The participants were then shown another slideshow containing the same 25 photos, only now the situational context was revealed. The hypothesis was proved true—people do feel more confident in their labeling of a facial expression of emotion when the situational context of a photo is shown. Even after receiving results, there are still many questions to be answered; are all emotions in fact universal, can more than one emotion be present at a time, and do the people around us impact the way we view emotions?