Community Development of LaVida vs. Discovery Programs
This study took a look at how two different Outdoor Education programs at Gordon College, the LaVida experience and the Discovery program, develop community within these groups. Going beyond that, the study also tested whether recollection of these programs is better in a classroom or in the outdoors, where the two programs actually took place. Surveys were completed in both locations by LaVida and Discovery participants. The surveys asked questions about the level of community developed on these trips and how much of that built community still exists and was retained in actual experience. Participants were 22 Gordon College students who had completed LaVida or Discovery, with about half doing each program. The result showed that there was slightly more community developed within the participants of LaVida; however, because of the small sample size, this conclusion is tentative. For future study in this area, the most important advancement would be to increase the number of participants.
How Close Are They?
Sung Eun Chung
Illegal immigration has been an issue for a long time in the United States. Recently, crossing the border from Mexico to the States has been increasing, and it has raised many issues such as lack of jobs for Americans, how taxes are used, etc. In this study, Americans’ views of Latino illegal immigrants were measured with the Bogardus Scale of Social Distance. Fourteen Gordon College students with American citizenship participated in this study. Participants were exposed to two biased videos from YouTube, each video for two minutes: one group watched the negatively biased video first and then the positive video, and the other group watched the positively biased video first and then the negative one. The negative video is CNN news, reporting how the Americans’ taxes are spent on illegal immigrants (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY6t2ckpb5g), and the positive video is a documentary talking about how Latino illegal immigrants are struggling in the States, why they are here, etc. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvRQEUZH-4k). They completed the Bogardus measure after viewing the first video. The result was that exposure to the videos did not have any effect on average social distance. The range of social distance for the first group was wider (1.00 to 5.71) than the second group (2.42 to 5.00). Participants’ religion may have confounded the results. In further study, it would be interesting to see if the participants’ personal rejection or acceptance experiences have an effect on the social distance toward the other group. Also, prolonged exposure to negatively biased clips might affect the result.
Studying: Should We Really Turn the Music Down?
Samantha Senna and Ryan Daley
Growing up we were always told to turn the music off while studying. Unfortunately there are some people who are so distracted by silence that they do better with some noise in the background. Previous research suggests that personality and experience with music may be factors. The hypothesis of this study states: Music majors or participants with experience performing music who are extraverts were expected to perform better on memory tests when music was playing in the background than introverts. Overall, silence was expected to be the ideal condition for providing the highest scores on memory tests for every personality type. Twenty-one Gordon College undergraduates took part in this study. All of the participants were given three memory tests, each with five sets of three numbers and five sets of three letters. The three conditions for the memory test were silence, music with lyrics, and music without lyrics. Two music tracks were used. Due to the music’s popular nature, the participants generally knew the songs. The participants heard a lyrical version of Amazing Grace by Chris Tomlin and the music without lyrics was Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major. Following the memory tests, each participant took a personality test to determine extraversion or introversion. The study found that extraverted participants scored the highest on the memory tests under all conditions, whether or not they had “music experience”. Due to the small sample size we could not reject or accept our hypotheses. The means however, suggest that, in future studies, with a larger sample size we may be able to accept the hypothesis that extraverted participants with prior music experience will perform better in the music conditions.
Testing Altruism as it Applies to Attraction and the Bystander Effect
Colby Esposito and Tim DeVries
This study was designed to test the good behavior that is within people through events that encourage helping behavior. The study observed the helping behaviors of people as compared to the attractiveness of the person needing help. The Bystander Effect was tested by two confederates, male and female, who wore clothing that altered their appearance. By dropping a file of papers, the confederates set up a situation where help was needed; it was assumed that the confederates in business attire would receive the most help. Results show this to be true, particularly for men. While testing the Gordon College campus, it was expected that a high percentage of students would help in all situations; however, this was not always the case.
Sibling Rivalry: The Link Between Birth Order and Leadership Styles
What do Oprah Winfrey, Saddam Hussein, Hillary Clinton, and Neil Armstrong all have in common? Aside from their renowned statuses and heaping lists of accomplishments, they are all first born siblings. Stereotypically, first-borns tend to be achievers, people pleasers, reliable, perfectionists, driven, assertive—the list goes on and on. Links between birth order and various characteristics/tendencies have been researched over time, yet no concrete conclusions can be established in full. This study explores the possibility that first-borns take on initiative with leadership roles in situations that promptly call for a leader. Seventeen undergraduate students (16 women, 1 man) from introductory psychology courses were recruited on a voluntary basis to participate in the study. They were randomly assigned to groups and given a jigsaw puzzle to complete together while being observed. Each participant then completed a survey containing questions on leadership styles and family characteristics. The results demonstrated that first-borns and middle-borns both perceive themselves as “average” leaders; that is, they don’t find their leadership skills to be particularly strong. Later-borns perceived themselves as having weaker leadership skills. Based on the observations, first-borns demonstrated stronger initiation abilities, and positively encouraged group members to complete the task successfully. While this study does suggest that first-borns are more dominant when it comes to leadership, it does suggest that all birth orders are more similar than we may think, and that perhaps the correlation between personality and leadership skills derives more from family structure, and less from birth order.
How is Future Love Found in College Students? (or, “Are You Attracted to the Babysitter?”)
Megan Lynn Grant and Shannon O’Leary
When looking at relationships, there are many different aspects to study. The present study looks closely at how attractive male and female students find a person of the opposite sex playing with or ignoring a child. Twenty-three college students, 11 males and 12 females, from a small, private Christian college in Massachusetts participated in the study. Participants took a survey before and after watching a video of an actor of the opposite gender either playing with or ignoring a child. Survey questions revolved around future spouse thoughts (i.e., “Do you want to be married?” “Do you want to be a parent?”) The study concluded there was no difference in how attractive parenting was between males and females. A difference was found in the type of play. Playing with the child was seen as much more attractive than ignoring the child, by both males and females. These results open up discussion for future research on how individuals rate other traits of potential future spouses.
Do I Control My Future? Explaining Success and Failure through Attributional Styles
The present study deals with the effects of failing on the future achievement and attributional styles of students. Students were given a time limit to complete a difficult logic puzzle where they either experienced perceived success or perceived failure. Following the puzzle, the participants completed the new Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ) to test the relationship between perceived agency and achievement. Finally, students completed another timed puzzle of the same type as the first. Results were consistent with the prediction that experiencing perceived success primes students for future improvement. However, the data showed conflicting results regarding the prediction that experiencing failure primes students for future failure by decreasing their sense of agency. Results showed that those who succeeded in the face of failure had a greater sense of agency than those who failed repeatedly.
Does a Label Lead to Social Distance?
Maggie A. Helfrich
Is a label harmful or helpful? This question is debated among researchers and psychologists. Those that see a label as harmful support labeling theory, which discusses the way society describes behavior out of the norm. Labels influence the way that a person behaves and is treated. The label leads to stereotype and, at times, to stigmatization. This study looked at labeling theory and stigmatization by considering whether the label “Asperger’s Disorder” had an impact on a person's desire for social distance. Twenty-eight Gordon College students read a story about a fictional man named “Stephen”. Half of the stories explained at the top that the man had Asperger’s Disorder, and the other half did not have the label. To measure the amount of social distance desired, participants filled out a modified Social Distance Scale. At the end of the session, participants received a debriefing form explaining “Stephen” and his “Asperger’s Disorder”. The study concluded that more social distance was desired without the presence of the label. It appeared that the behavior alone caused the stigmatization. The results were not in support of labeling theory. The conclusion calls for more research on the subject. Perhaps results could be explained by asking participants about prior experience with “Asperger’s Disorder”. The study could also be applied to a multitude of other mental disorders. Use of video clips, audio interviews, and clinical observations could yield different outcomes as well.
Media Violence and its Effects on Young Adults
Media violence is extremely prevalent in today’s society. Over the years, there has been an increase in the amount of violent video games, TV shows, and movies. The NTVS (National TV Spots) conducted a study and found that over the course of a year, excluding sports, news, and documentaries, the average household has access to 3 million acts of violence. While a lot of research shows that playing violent video games leads to a rise in general aggression levels, there is not much research on differences between sexes. In this study, it was expected that males would have a higher magnitude of change in their aggression levels after being exposed to a violent video game than females. In the present study, each participant filled out an anger questionnaire before playing the video game, and then re-took the questionnaire after playing. Twenty-six participants (13 men and 13 women) were involved in this experiment. On average, each sex became more aggressive as a result of performing the task. Males became somewhat more aggressive than females; however, the difference was not enough to be considered statistically significant. Almost half of the variability in anger at the end of the study was due to the aggressive task, while only 3.7% could be accounted for by the interaction with participants’ gender. In the future, potential changes in the study could include having a more controlled environment and better consistency from player to player. Some players were not as experienced; therefore frustration could have become confused with aggression. Overall, the experiment did not produce the statistical answers expected, but it showed that people do become more aggressive after performing an aggressive task.
Interpersonal Rejection: How Attribution Style Moderates Negative State Mood
Attribution theory focuses on how an individual perceives a cause to a situation. One such situation that can be perceived in various ways is interpersonal rejection. Research has shown that rejection elicits many different responses; depending on attribution style, the perception of rejection can specifically elicit negative state mood. In this study, 26 Gordon College students completed a mood questionnaire, wrote about a recent time when they were rejected, and took the mood questionnaire again along with an attribution questionnaire. Lastly, they were asked to write from another prompt about happier times. In this study, participants scoring high on global and stable attribution styles had more negative moods following rejection. Both attribution styles being tested, global/specific and stable/unstable were strongly correlated with each other. Further research with more participants and a different method of rejection are suggested.
The Three Stooges or Mozart? The Effect of Humor and Music on Stress Levels
Erika Sandwick and Alexis Rao
Stress is a major problem in the world today, and consequently stress relief is an important topic to be researched and explored. Among a plethora of modes of stress relief lie both music and laughter. These broad topics can be broken down even further: aggressive and soothing music have been said to affect stress differently, as have adaptive and maladaptive humor. The extent to which these differences in stress relief occur was explored among 24 Gordon College students using the Stress-Arousal Checklist. Students were assigned to one of the 5 conditions, and the stress survey was presented to the participant before and after they were exposed to music, humor, or silence. The researchers found that stress levels decreased from pre-test to post-test under the conditions of adaptive humor, maladaptive humor, classical music, and silence. Stress levels increased from pre-test to post-test under the heavy metal music condition. Future studies would benefit from a larger sample size in order to decrease a possible floor effect and increase power.
The Effects of Media on Body Image and Self-Esteem
The issue of the media and its effect on body image and self-esteem in females has been studied by many researchers in a variety of contexts. Several connections have been found between media, body image, and self-esteem. The current study addressed this issue with 18 female participants who were given a series of surveys to assess magazine reading habits, body image, and self-esteem. It was hypothesized that those who regularly read fashion magazines would have a more negative body image and lower self-esteem than those who do not read such magazines. The results did not support the hypothesis, but they did show some interesting findings. While the type of magazine read did not affect participants’ body image, reading neutral magazines was associated with having higher self-esteem. In future research, it will be important to have solid operational definitions for all variables, something this study lacked.
Face-to-Facebook: Confidence Levels in Internet vs. Face-to-Face Interaction
In psychology it is well known that people try to make good first impressions as well as judge others on the first impression that is made. The hypothesis of this study is that confidence levels rise when an interaction takes place over the Internet as opposed to face-to-face. It is expected that the lack of factors such as physical appearance and pressure when interacting on the Internet will result in rising confidence and revealing of the individual’s true self. Only women participated in this study, to eliminate any differences related to gender. Each of the 30 women was randomly assigned to be in either the face-to-face interaction group or the Internet interaction group, but they did not know that there was a group different than their own. After giving consent, each participant involved themselves in an interaction with a person that they had never met, either through their Facebook account or through a face-to-face interaction. After the interaction took place, they then went through and completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale based on their experiences during the interaction. This study did not support the proposed hypothesis. The results of this study suggest that there is no difference in confidence levels in people after an interaction that took place over the Internet and one that took place face-to-face. If this study were to be done again in the future, it would be interesting to find out any difference in gender confidence levels in these situations.