SNC psych students display work at research fair

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Yulisa Mendez

Yulisa Mendez

“My project is called On Empathy Gaps: The Impact of Psychological Stress on Perspective-taking. What got me interested in doing the study was this cognitive bias I learned about called the empathy gap.

“It’s a cognitive bias accounting for difficulties in the prediction of another’s mental or physical state based on the context of one’s own mental or physical state. What also got me interested in my research topic was stress in itself, I am someone that personally deals with stress as well as other college students, and I wanted to see how it related to perspective taking and this empathy gap.

“My study consisted of two conditions, a stress induction and non-stress induction. The participants in my non-stress induction completed a series of stress-inducing tasks. They were presented with a word search, long division math problems and then a coloring page with specified instructions. Everyone in the stress induction group had to complete these three tasks all while listening to audio stimuli of cars honking in traffic and all these other (stress inducing) noises in conjunction with a five-minute time limit. The non-stress participants completed a coloring page with no instruction. All participants then were presented with an emotional stress questionnaire SRQ that assesses immediate stress. Then they were presented with a scenario of a lost hiker, and read the scenario, and then were presented with the same SRQ to complete it from the perspective of the hiker in the story. What I was trying to see was how the different groups would predict the hikers’ stress.”

 

Nicholas Kozeniesky

Nicholas Kozeniesky

“I picked a topic that was meaningful to me because it is something that I will deal with for the rest of my life. SNC gives us an awesome opportunity to choose our own topics, which makes it even more meaningful once we start the process. My study was about the impact of visible tattoos on hireability which is meaningful to me since I transitioned from the military with a bunch of tattoos.

“I was interested in this because all of the background research I did had nothing but negative results when it came to visible tattoos. When it comes to employment, I haven’t had any hiccups with my tattoos and that led me to think if the younger generation who see tattoos differently would have the same results as my background research. Overall, my research went very well, of course a few issues here and there, but nothing to derail my research. I am currently looking at grad school options to achieve my goal of being a marriage and family counselor to help veterans and their families transitioning out of the military.”

 

Alisa Robinson

Alisa Robinson

“The name of the project is, What You See is What You Get: Low and High Spatial Frequency Priming and the Global Precedence Effect. The study looked at the impact of spatial/visual priming and how that impacted reaction times of our global precedence effect. Global precedence effect is the perceptual tendency to visually intake the entirety of a scene before we intake local details and elements.

“So how we saw how those were impacted is we took the image of a lighthouse and we put either a high or low spatial frequency filter on the image and primed participants with the image before they viewed a series of non-linguistic navon figures. Participants were asked to either press the B if they saw a square or a triangle, and if they didn’t, they would press N. We wanted to see if when they were primed with the detailed high spatial frequency image, their reaction time for global precedence effect would slow down versus when we were priming with the low spatial frequency image which was a blurry picture, if their local precedence effect would increase, therefore we would see an increase in the global precedence effect.”

 

Erika McCormick

Ericka McCormick

“The name of my project is Does Watching Food Advertisements Influence Food Choice? The project was about people who would watch The Voice and in-between they would see commercials based on which group they were put in. So there was a processed food group, non-processed food group, and a neutral group that didn’t have any food-related material and then afterwards I gave them a menu and they chose from the menu based on what they were craving at the moment and I wanted to see if the food advertisements would influence the choices of foods that they saw.

“I’m really interested in nutrition and why people choose to eat the way they do and the reasons behind it. I think food advertisement is a huge industry and I wanted to see how it affects people. I thought that people who saw processed foods would choose the processed foods from the menu but there was no significant difference. (In addition) a few of us got into the UCLA conference and we are really excited to be able to present our posters and talk about our projects that we did this whole year!”

 

Charlene Jones

Charlene Jones

“My projects name is Self-Talk, Self-Esteem, and Art Therapy and I did my study on an artful task. I had three conditions which were positive statements, negative statements, and no statements.

“So they came in and they got a baggie with a piece of origami paper and a strip of rhinestones and these five teardrops. In the positive statements condition they came in and they were instructed how to fold an origami cup and they embellished them in rhinestones and markers in each condition. In the positive statements condition they wrote positive things about themselves on the teardrops and placed them into the cup, the negative statement conditions they wrote things they would want to work on about themselves and put those in the cup, and in the control just put them in the cup with nothing written on the teardrops. And then they took a survey on self-esteem, then I collected all the data but didn’t find a significant difference. I did this project because I love art and I love psychology and I want to be an art therapist after I’m done with school.”

 

Grace Freedman

Grace Freedman

“The name of my project is The Effect of Humanizing Language and Scale Order on Blame Attribution and Acquaintance Rape. I decided I wanted to do something regarding perceptions of rape victims and perpetrators of rape because I think, as we’ve seen in the media for the past couple of years, it’s becoming a topic that’s being talked about more. It’s always been there but people are finally being called out it’s becoming a conversation and I just wanted to do my part in continuing this conversation.

“By having a conversation about this uncomfortable topic it helps change the stigma that surrounds it, and it’s that stigma that continues the rape culture that we have right now. I just started doing background research about what’s already been done, but I wanted to specifically look at how certain types of language impact people’s views of victims and perpetrators of rape. So I looked at humanizing language which is basically just giving human qualities to someone and using their name and using that to describe a rape scenario.

“What I did for my method was I had people who were assigned to one of three conditions which had humanizing language, neutral language, or non-humanizing language. So if they were assigned to the humanizing condition the scenario contained names, age, descriptive features. The neutral condition contained just Jane Doe and John Doe and non-descriptive pronouns. The non-humanizing condition used impersonal terminology just saying victim and perpetrator. Then participants would complete a rape victim blame scale and a rape perpetrator blame scale, and that measured attribution of blame. What I found was that there was no impact on language, but I did find that when people were first presented with the perpetrator blame scale, they blamed the perpetrator less than those who were first presented with the victim blame scale. So I think this could be applied to real life and sexual education – we should be talking more about the victim and not giving so much time to the perpetrator.”

 

Kaitlin Ann Cabral

Kaitlin Ann Cabral

“The name of my project is Cause Related Marketing; Making Money Moves Matter. Basically I created my own cause-related marketing campaign and the company I made was made up as well – it was called ‘The Grind.’ It delivers coffee and tea beverages and small snacks. It’s run through an app and you would order through that app and the company donates 10% of profits to a chosen charity.

“I had three conditions: my first condition was the Rise Against Hunger Fund, second condition was World Wildlife Fund, and my third was Environmental Defense Fund. I tested in groups and passed out a company packet. The contents of the packet were a company summary and the fund that they were pledging to donate to, and then the next page was a visual advertisement. The third page was a weekly intent to spend graphic reading scale 0-100. The last page was a company perception survey, which questions such as ‘do you believe this company would be successful?’ and they would put strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, or strongly agree. I found a significant difference in the intent to spend. (Also) The Environmental Defense Fund was a little bit ahead of the World Wildlife Fund and the Rise Against Hunger Fund was way below and got the lowest money. My company perception scores didn’t have any significant differences.”

 

David Ikela Moniz-Lewis

David Ikela Moniz-Lewis

“My study was called Isochronic Tones; the Impact of Sound on Brainwave Entrainment and Stress. So basically what isochronic tones are, are any sound set at any frequency or emptitude that turns off and on at a given frequency a certain amount of times per second. For my study in particular I was looking at the alpha frequency so the isochronic tones turning off and on at eight times every second.

“So if you measured the electrical signals on your brain and your brain is in the alpha state when your neurons are cycling eight to ten times per second – that’s the same state as if you’re falling asleep, just waking up, or meditating. So the idea was if these isochronic tones could cause people to fall into that state naturally. So I had people come in and take a questionnaire to measure their stress level before I did anything with them, then I took a EEG reading which measured their brain wave states specifically at what their alpha was set at when they walked in and then I had them listen to a song. The song either had isochronic tones it did not, the participants weren’t aware of if the tones were in there and nor was I aware what it was so it was a double-blind procedure. After listening to the song for five minutes they took a second EEG reading and a second ESRQ and that measured the differences from where they started with stress in brain waves versus where they finished without stress.”

 

Ryan Knuppenburg

Ryan Knuppenburg

“I graduated last year. So this is like a part two experiment of the research I conducted last year. Last year my project was Linguistic Effect Priming Impacts: Likability and Word Choice.

“I found that when groups were exposed to either positive or negative language the positive individual was much more likeable, and also whatever condition you were exposed to when you’re explaining why or why not you like that person that you use more positive language if you were in the more positive condition or more negative language if you were in the negative condition. So then I was really interested also with mood and that was one of the things I tested and I didn’t find a significant difference. So then this year I did a new project called The Words We Choose are More Powerful Than They Appear.

“I tested four conditions describe either positive or negative events. Then I gave them a list of 15 words that were either positive or negative words. So they had to describe negative events using negative words, negative events using positive words, positive events using negative words, or positive events using positive words. I tested their effect at the end of it and I found that when you were describing negative events using positive words you had a significantly increased positive effect over negative events with negative words. So it’s kind of saying that the words we use to describe events are actually more impactful to our mood to the actual event we’re describing.”

 

Jeweliah Rock

Jeweliah Rock

“My project is It’s 420 Somewhere: Does Social Smoking Create a Measurable Difference in Trust? Pretty much how I thought of doing this project was I just noticed a lot of people having different opinions about people who smoked cigarettes versus people who didn’t. Like if you saw someone outside a bar you wouldn’t go up to them and talk to them if they were smoking – and if they weren’t you might go up to them and talk to them. My research was pretty simple, I just had a simple packet with three pages and there was a cover page, a scenario, and a survey.

“So I was able to come into a whole classroom and test a big group because there was no confounding issues with privacy. I handed out these packets that had a scenario they answered a 10-question trust survey and then a one-question demographic survey. I actually found no big difference in the way that people responded to smoking a cigarette versus smoking marijuana, versus not smoking at all. I thought that people would interact less with someone smoking marijuana than with someone smoking a cigarette, and then I thought that people would interact less with someone smoking a cigarette than with someone not smoking at all.”

 

Jacob Luas

Jacob Luas

“The name of my project is Intrinsic or Extrinsic: How Coaching Style Affect Golf Performance?

“I’m interested in sports psychology so I decided to do my project on something that’s more related to that. So what I did was I had the participants to a golf exercise where I laid out a putting mat that’s approximately seven feet in length and I had them hit golf balls into a hole and I recorded their results based on how many were made. The way that each condition differed was dependent on the type of coaching I would give them. So I had three different conditions, one of them was the authoritarian condition which I gave them no leeway and I set the rules and their goal for them. The second condition was authoritative, which I kind of worked with them more on setting the goal for themselves, something that they think they could’ve reached. The third condition was a permissive style and that was just whatever they wanted to do, they didn’t have to set a goal but could if they wanted to. I just tried to compare the scores based on the different conditions and see if any of them had a significant effect on them.”

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