Students to showcase projects at 2020 SNU Psychology Fair virtually

Courtesy of SNU.

Courtesy of SNU.

Eagle's Eye Staff

Every year, psychology seniors create an original research project. They review journals and either prove or debunk a hypothesis they create. Research is usually conducted with the participation of SNU students throughout campus. Results are analyzed and the findings are written up for publications. 

Their projects are then presented at the SNU Psychology Fair and the Nevada Undergraduate Research Symposium at UNR. Students who submit their abstracts to a blind panel of judges are reviewed and individually selected to present their posters or give a talk at schools like UCLA or Stanford. 

Due to COVID-19 however, things will be running differently this year. The SNU Psychology Fair will be held virtually. Currently, the fair is planned for April 20, but Christina Frederick, chair of the psychology department, is planning to push the event to sometime during the short block. A date is still in the works.

It is unclear if UCLA or Stanford will have a fall conference to make up for the conferences this spring, but UNR is holding a Nevada Undergraduate Research Symposium over the summer. 

“Several students are excited to present at that one,” Frederick said. “That says something about their motivation because at that point it’s not required, they’re doing it because they care and they actually are passionate about their research.”

All psych students got their research done before SNU went to virtual classes. If they weren’t able to do data collection in person, the projects would not be possible. 

“I’m definitely trying to keep them motivated and happy,” Frederick said. She believes the research projects help give students a “more complete experience” when wrapping up their undergraduate education. 

Megan M. Brown

In one sentence, who are YOU?
I am a sister, a friend, and someone who loves music, animals, and travel.

Tell us your one “big dream”
I want to continue to travel as much as possible learning and immersing myself in other cultures. I would also like to do my part and participate in projects helping children, especially those transitioning out of foster care.

What are your plans after SNU?
My immediate plan after SNU is to move back to Oakland and work before moving abroad to teach English.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
The Impact of Sanitization Modeling and Food Recipient on Hand-Sanitizer Use

Hand hygiene minimizes the spread of germs. Facilitating improved sanitization practices must be a priority. The current study examined the role of sanitation modeling during a food preparation activity with food provided for different audiences and the impact of these factors on hand sanitizing behavior. Participants handled food for peers or elementary students and the amount of hand sanitizer used was measured. Although no difference (p = .562) existed in hand sanitizer used by modeling conditions, a significant difference (p = .001*) did exist when participants prepared food for peers versus elementary students with more hand sanitizer used for peers.

 

Brenda Cartagena-Garcia

In one sentence, who are YOU?
I am an awesome single mother learning how to be the best version of myself so I can teach my vivacious daughter to always be her authentic self.

Tell us your one “big dream”
I want to start my own organization providing counseling services to at-risk youth within the Christian community.

What are your plans after SNU?
I plan on moving to Sacramento and working directly with children in a therapeutic setting before pursuing my MS degree in counseling.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
Phone-Typing, Computer-Typing, and Handwriting: The Impact of Writing Modality on Word Count and Emotional Content

Negative emotional (NE) and positive emotional (PE) output in and word count of expressive writing responses produced via tested writing modalities (hand, computer, or cell phone) were explored. 90 participants were randomly assigned to a writing modality to write about a negative event. The percentage of NE and PE outp
ut was quantified. A one-way ANOVA (ɑ = .01) indicated no significant difference in NE (p = .304) or PE (p = .585) output by writing modality, but word count was significantly greater in computer typed versus handwritten (p = .009*) responses indicating computer typing maximized word count.

 

Annie Clements

In one sentence, who are YOU?

I am a determined and open-minded person who wants to succeed and enjoy life as much as possible.

Tell us your one “big dream”
To travel around the world and to take many more vacations. I especially would love to visit Australia and snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef.

What are your plans after SNU?
Right after I graduate, I am planning on taking a year off to focus on completing research and teaching internships and study for the GRE. I would like to work more with Christina. My future goals are to earn my master’s and, hopefully, my Ph.D. too!

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
Gender Differences in Exercise Motivation

The current study examined the impact of workout video instructor gender on exercise motivation. 60 participants were randomly assigned to watch a female or male workout video and completed a questionnaire (MPAEWQ) to quantify exercise motivation both before and after watching the video. Differences in MPAEWQ scores were calculated. A two-way ANOVA (α = .05) confirmed a main effect of participant gender (p = .027*) indicating female motivation increased from watching the workout video, regardless of instructor gender. There was no main effect of instructor gender (p = .624) and no interaction between participant and instructor gender (p = .913).

 

Zac Compton

In one sentence, who are YOU?
I’m someone who is always looking to make things better through myself and others.  I am also a confident individual who is not afraid to express their opinions and give insight to what is happening around me.

Tell us your one “big dream”
To make a name for myself in whatever I do, while improving whatever I can.

What are your plans after SNU?
Search for my calling a find my place.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
Impact of Table Color on Blackjack Betting Behavior

The current study investigated whether the use of common casino table colors presented in an electronic setting led to differences in blackjack betting behavior. 90 participants were randomly assigned to a red, blue, or green blackjack table and played a series of 10 blackjack hands. Participants recorded the amount of each bet ($5-200). A one-way ANOVA (ɑ = .05) showed no significant difference in average betting amount by table color condition (p = 0.61). These results indicate blackjack table color does not impact betting behavior in electronic settings. It is recommended future research examine betting behavior by other table colors.

 

Mackenzie Gobbi

In one sentence, who are YOU? 

I always strive to get the best out of life and try to be an inspiration for others.

Tell us your one “big dream”
One of my big dreams is to work with professional athletes in the MLB or NFL as a sports psychologist.

What are your plans after SNU?
After SNU, I plan to take a year off and move to Montana, get a job or an internship in sports psychology, and figure out what I want to do with life. I will be applying to grad school the following year.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:

Likeability and Online Dating Biography Style

The current study explored the likeability of a person presented via either a humorous or informational biography in an online dating profile. 60 participants were randomly assigned to read about a person in one of the two biography styles and complete Reysen’s Likeability Scale. A two-way ANOVA dicated significant main effects in RLS score by biography style (p = .007*) and participant gender (p = .012*). No interaction existed between biography style and participant gender (p = .067). It is suggested future research expands on the topic of internet communication and its impact on dating and relationships.

 

Alexis T. Goris

In one sentence, who are YOU?

An old soul who is idealistic enough to imagine how the world could be and pragmatic enough to make this idea more than imagination.

Tell us your one “big dream”
My dream is to help as many people as I can in this lifetime by revolutionizing the mental health field.

What are your plans after SNU?
I plan on taking a gap year to focus on personal growth before pursuing a doctorate in psychology.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
Diversification of Ideal Body Types Does Not Impact Body Image Satisfaction

With increasing acceptance of different body types as ideal (e.g., ‘slim-thick’), one may wonder how these broader beauty standards affect one’s body image. The current study examined whether diversifying the quantity of ideal body types impacted body image satisfaction. 90 female participants reviewed a pamphlet containing different quantities (1, 3, or 7) of software-generated body images and presented them as ideal. Participants, then, completed a questionnaire measuring their own body image. Results showed no significant difference in body image (p = .305) among body quantity conditions, thus, it seems diversifying ideal body types does not facilitate body image in females.

 

Melanie Hanson

In one sentence, who are YOU?

I am an adventurous and enthusiastic young woman who is looking to help others become better just as others have helped me to become better.

Tell us your one “big dream”
After graduate school, I want to become a counselor for veterans, specifically working with those who have PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.

What are your plans after SNU?
I plan on moving to Florida and living by the beach where I will begin working with veterans at the local VAs. In September, I will be coming back to beautiful Tahoe to hike the Tahoe rim trail.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
The Impact of Fidget Items on Inattentional Blindness

The current study examined the impact of fidget item use on inattentional blindness (IB). 90 participants were randomly assigned to fidget for 90 seconds prior to a video where IB was previously detected, during, or not at all. The video required tracking items in the visual field while objects were introduced or modified. Missed detections were assessed. A significant difference (p = .029*) existed in missed detections by fidget condition, specifically, those fidgeting during the video relative to those who did not fidget experienced the greatest IB. While it is often argued fidgeting improves attention, results indicate otherwise.

Makenna Hazelton

In one sentence, who are YOU? 

I am a hard-working and determined person who tries to learn from her mistakes and use those lessons to thrive.

Tell us your one “big dream”
I want to become an elementary school teacher, specifically 1st or 2nd grade, and dig deeper than just teaching with them. I want to make the classroom a safe space that allows the kids to express themselves as much as they want!

What are your plans after SNU?
I plan on moving home to the Bay Area. When I am home I will be working on my teaching credential and be getting as much experience in the classroom environment as I possibly can. Eventually, I will apply to graduate school for my Master’s in Teaching.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
The Impact of Accessory Expense on Approachability

Approachability arises from factors including the clothing and accessories a person is wearing. The current study examined the role of handbag expense (replica, expensive, or inexpensive) on the approachability of an individual depicted in a scenario. 90 participants were randomly assigned to one of these three handbag expense conditions and completed a packet containing a scenario with a picture of a woman carrying the handbag, 3 short answer questions, and an approachability scale. A one-way ANOVA showed no significant difference in the woman’s rated approachability among handbag expense conditions (p = .579). Approachability was not impacted by handbag type.

Sarah K. Lingg

In one sentence, who are YOU? 

I am an east coast girl who fell in love with the desert. I love to ski, workout, and spend time outside.

Tell us your one “big dream”
I would like to open a rehabilitation center for abused and anxious animals and human survivors as a place to heal. I would also like to start my own private counseling practice.

What are your plans after SNU?
After I graduate, I plan on staying in the Reno/Tahoe area permanently and I am looking to work with animals while I apply to graduate school through UNR’s psychology program.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
Learning Styles Examined: Does Modality of Word List Delivery Impact Free Recall?

In the current study, visual and auditory learning styles were examined, separately and in conjunction. 90 participants were randomly assigned to be exposed to a 25-item, high frequency, word list (Roodenrys & Quinlan, 2000) visually, auditorily, or with both simultaneously. A distractor task followed to extinguish short-term memory. Participants then completed a free recall task of the words from the list to gauge long-term memory. A one-way ANOVA showed no significant difference (p = .116) in the number of words recalled among delivery modalities. Delivery modality, as it relates to learning style, does not impact word list free recall performance.

 

Brooklyn T. Morris

In one sentence, who are YOU? 

I am a very spunky person who enjoys helping others as much as I can.

Tell us your one “big dream”
I would like to work for the FBI as a forensic psychologist.

What are your plans after SNU?
I will be attending grad school to work toward my Ph.D. in forensic psychology.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
Validating the Gender Gap in Domestic Violence Sentencing

The current study explored the gender gap in domestic violence sentencing and the emotional content present in a written explanation of a sentencing decision. 64 participants were randomly assigned to review a fictitious police report about a male or female defendant who committed a violent crime against someone of the opposite gender. After sentencing, participants wrote their decision rationale. Male defendants were sentenced to significantly more years than females (p = .04*), however, no significant difference in the amount of positive (p = .67) or negative (p = .62) emotional content existed in the rationales provided in sentencing decisions.

 

Kelsey Nalder

In one sentence, who are YOU? 

I am a soon-to-be college graduate and a lover of travel, the ocean, my family, and the little things in life.

Tell us your one “big dream”
My one big dream is rather simple: To live a life filled with family, travel, purpose, and happiness. Someday I would love to start a business of my own and to publish a book.

What are your plans after SNU?
I plan on taking a gap year before attending grad school for my master’s degree in either occupational therapy or elementary education.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
Cell Phone Photo/Videography Does Not Impact Motivation and Engagement in Individual Experiences

The current study examined how cell phone use affects our ability to be present. 90 participants were randomly assigned to a cell phone use condition (photography, videography, or none). Participants built a structure using gumdrops and toothpicks. While building, those in the photography condition took 8-10 photographs, those in the videography condition recorded video continuously, and those in the control condition did not use a cell phone. Following, participants completed an engagement survey and the number of materials used indicated motivation. One-way ANOVAs (α = .05) showed no significant difference in engagement (p = .657) or motivation (p = .177).

 

Alisa Robinson: Valedictorian

In one sentence, who are YOU? 

I am an ambitious individual who loves to learn. Through the steady source of motivation my family provides, I am driven to do my best.

Tell us your one “big dream”
I aspire that one day when I am referred to as “Miss” or “Mrs.,” I can respond “Dr.”

What are your plans after SNU?
Upon graduating from Sierra Nevada University, I will be taking a hiatus from my formal education to marry my best friend!  During this time, I also plan to return to campus and gain more research experience before applying to graduate school in Spring 2021 to attain a PhD.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
What is a Slut? Using the Implicit Association Test to Define Slutty

The slutty label is almost exclusively used to derogate women for either appearing or behaving sexually deviant, an act known as slut-shaming.  To determine how participants, across gender (30 male, 30 female) defined slutty, an implicit association test (IAT) was adapted for the current research.  Participants completed one of two IATs wherein response latencies were recorded as they categorized either appearance- or behavior-based words of slutty. Although across gender men and women do not discriminate by appearance or behavior when labeling an individual as slutty, it is noteworthy all participants showed an association between both definitions of slutty and shame.

 

Mikaila C. Smith

In one sentence, who are YOU?

I am a strong-willed and intensely motivated woman who enjoys being challenged by life’s twists and turns.

Tell us your one “big dream”
I hope to own a farm sanctuary for research dogs rescued from animal shelters where they can live out the rest of their lives knowing they are loved.

 What are your plans after SNU?
I plan to move back to the east coast to be closer to family and gain more experience in the animal behavior world before applying to grad school.

Research Project Title and Brief Summary:
The Blame Game: Perspective and Order Effect in a Bullying Scenario

The present study explored blame attribution following exposure to a bullying incident and varying whether the first exposure was to the victim or bully’s perspective. Participants read either the victim or bully’s perspective about the incident, assessed blame for the victim and bully, read the opposite perspective, and reassessed victim and bully blame. A significant difference in amount of blame attributed to the victim (p = .004*) existed by exposure order indicating more victim blame when participants were exposed to the victim’s perspective first, but no significant difference existed in the blame attributed to the bully (p = .296).