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PSYC2017NEAVES42636 PSYC

Birds and Words: How Children Learn Names from Contiguous Presentation

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Stephanie Neaves Psychology Orlexia Thomas Psychology
Advisor(s): Anna Petursdottir Psychology
Location: Session: 2; B0; Table Number: 2

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The pace of children’s vocabulary learning reaches a peak between the ages of 8 and 10 years; however, little research has focused children’s acquisition of new vocabulary after toddlerhood. The purpose of this study was to contrast two theories that address how contiguous presentation of words and images produces object naming. The Naming Hypothesis predicts an advantage to hearing the name before seeing the image (Horne & Lowe,1996), whereas accounts based on perceptual conditioning may predict an advantage to observing the image first (Greer & Longano, 2010). Children between the ages of 4 and 7 years participated. Each child received six training sessions, each consisting of 20 presentations of images of four novel birds paired with their spoken names. In the word-first condition (three sessions), the bird name was played before the image appeared on the screen, and in the bird-first condition (three sessions), the bird image was shown ahead of the auditory stimulus. After each session, the participants were tested for recall of bird names. Results are pending completion of data collection.

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PSYC2017REMONDINO45381 PSYC

Feeling crowded? Get creative: Crowding cues lead to increases in creative thinking.

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Molly Remondino Psychology Thomas Blue Psychology Londyn Bull Psychology Marjorie Prokosch Psychology
Advisor(s): Sarah Hill Psychology
Location: Session: 2; 1st Floor; Table Number: 7

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For years, animal researchers have demonstrated that animals living in crowded environments diversify both body and behavior, opening new resource niches for exploitation. Two studies tested the hypothesis that crowding should also lead to diversity in human psychology, illustrated by increases in creative thinking. Increased creativity would help secure new opportunities for resource acquisition in environments filled with competitors. In both studies, participants viewed a crowding or control prime, then completed measures of creativity. In Study 1, participants completed a measure of openness, a trait positively associated with creativity. Individuals exposed to crowding cues reported more openness than those exposed to the control. In study 2, participants completed self-report and behavioral measures of creativity, followed by measures of resource concern and early environment. Analyses using conditional process revealed that crowding led to increases in creativity, with these effects being mediated by increases in resource concerns and moderated by childhood environment.

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PSYC2017ROMERO23856 PSYC

Attenuating Pain with the Past: The Relationship between Nostalgia and Physical Pain

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Ramon Romero Psychology Caiden Berry Psychology Cathy Cox Psychology Christian Del Pozo Psychology Scotty Giberson Psychology Mike Kersten Psychology Natalia Vilcek Psychology
Advisor(s): Cathy Cox Psychology
Location: Session: 2; 1st Floor; Table Number: 1

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Previous work has demonstrated that nostalgia, a sentimental longing for the past, is associated with several psychological, emotional, and social benefits. More recently, research has found that nostalgic reflection can improve individuals’ physical health (Kersten, Cox, & Van Enkevort, 2016). Building on this, the current studies examined the relationship between nostalgic reverie and the experience of physical pain. In Study 1, a community sample of participants (Amazon’s Mechanical Turk; mTurk) reported their level of pain severity and then completed a measure of nostalgia proneness. In Study 2, participants were randomly assigned to a pain induction (versus a balance task; the control condition) and then everyone completed a measure assessing feelings of state-level nostalgia. Finally, participants were randomly assigned to write about either a nostalgic or ordinary event and were then either exposed to a painful procedure (i.e., algometer task; Study 3) or asked to rate their perceived pain severity (Study 4). The findings demonstrate that individuals who experience chronic pain are more prone to nostalgic thought (Study 1), and eliciting pain in participants results in greater feelings of nostalgia (Study 2). Further, in comparison to the control condition, nostalgic reverie led participants to report lower pain sensitivity (Study 3). Lastly, the current research examined whether nostalgic thinking helps to reduce the perceived severity of physical pain among chronic pain sufferers (Study 4). Collectively, these findings demonstrate the interventional potential of nostalgic reverie by being the first to show how nostalgia can be a potential mechanism to offset physical distress.

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PSYC2017SCHAD74 PSYC

To Eat or Not to Eat?: Unpredictability, Body Awareness, and Eating in the Absence of Hunger

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Sarah Schad Psychology Tori Giovenco Psychology Sarah Hill Psychology Randi Proffitt Leyva Psychology
Advisor(s): Sarah Hill Psychology
Location: Session: 2; B0; Table Number: 7

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Life History Theory predicts that growing up in harsh and unpredictable environments should promote the development of adult phenotypes that can survive such environments. Guided by these insights, researchers have recently proposed that growing up poor should promote eating strategies that promote survivability in resource scarce environments. Here, I build on this research, examining the role that body awareness plays in regulating patterns of eating behavior observed among those from unpredictable environments. Across three studies, I found that individuals’ exposure to unpredictable environments predicted lower body awareness, which predicted eating in the absence of hunger. Results suggest that body awareness may be a critical mediator of behavioral strategies that promote survival in unpredictable environments, including eating in the absence of hunger.

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PSYC2017SCHMITT53831 PSYC

What does dishonest signaling actually signal? Dishonest signaling and perceptions of mates and rivals

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Amber Schmitt Psychology
Advisor(s): Sarah Hill Psychology
Location: Session: 1; 1st Floor; Table Number: 2

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Men and women desire in their romantic and sexual partners traits that have historically provided cues to fitness. However, in the modern environment, it’s now possible to give off the cue (e.g., beauty) without actually possessing the trait that it signaled at the time that the mate preference evolved (e.g., appearing youthful due to cosmetic surgery). The current research examines how men and women view same and opposite sex others who falsely signal qualities that are paramount to the preferences of the opposite sex. Results indicate that dishonest signaling may have implications for how males and females are viewed by same- and opposite-sex others.

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PSYC2017SIMONS51414 PSYC

Do Judgments of Learning Influence Older Adults' Memory for Related Word Pairs?

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Taylor Simons Psychology Amber Witherby Psychology
Advisor(s): Uma Tauber Psychology
Location: Session: 2; B0; Table Number: 6

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It is well-known that as we age, episodic memory suffers. This decline can be especially problematic in crucial situations (e.g., remembering the time of a doctor appointment). Therefore, finding ways to improve older adults’ memory is important. Some researchers have found that young adults who make judgments of learning (JOLs) demonstrate better memory performance than those do not (e.g., Soderstrom et al., 2015), whereas others have found that JOLs do not improve memory (e.g., Mitchum et al., 2016). The present research evaluated how JOLs influence older adults’ memory. To do so, participants studied word pairs (e.g., loaf – bread). Half of the participants made a JOL for each and half did not. Finally, participants took a cued-recall test (e.g., loaf - ?). Results demonstrated that older adults did not benefit from making JOLs. One possibility for this finding is that memory performance for the JOL and no-JOL groups was already near ceiling, which would make it difficult to observe a benefit in the JOL group. Future research should continue to investigate the situations in which JOLs will be beneficial for memory, as well as investigate methods to improve older adults’ memory.

PSYC2017THOMPSON44477 PSYC

Effects of Codeine on Emotional Self-Medication

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Joanna Thompson Psychology Mauricio Papini Psychology Camila Ramos Psychology
Advisor(s): Mauricio Papini Psychology
Location: Session: 2; B0; Table Number: 8

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New social and economic issues have arisen with oral opioid medications such as codeine due to self-medication and misuse of the substance. Previous research shows that substances such as ethanol increase voluntary consumption after situations involving reward loss (Manzo, Donaire, Sabariego, Papini, & Torres, 2015). Since substances such as ethanol reduce negative emotions, the increase in ethanol consumption when experiencing reward loss may be viewed as “emotional self-medication” (ESM). ESM may relieve negative emotion, but can lead to dependence (Khantzian, 2013; Ortega et al., 2017). Although codeine is used to decrease physical pain, its effects on ESM have not been studied. A preliminary experiment is required to determine how animals respond to a variety of codeine concentrations. This information would allow the experimenter to choose the appropriate concentration to be used in an ESM experiment. We used a two-bottle free choice paradigm to test for codeine preference. Rats were given simultaneous access to two bottles, one containing distilled water and the other a series of increasing codeine concentrations (0%, 1.5%, 3.1%, 4.7%, 6.3%). Using a human to non-human dose conversion formula (Reagan-Shaw, Nihal, & Ahmad, 2008), we selected concentrations that would translate to low, medium, and high doses of codeine as prescribed for human patients. Rats received access to each concentration for two consecutive days beginning with 0% (i.e., two bottles of water). After two consecutive days with access to a specified concentration, the next highest concentration was introduced. Daily preference for codeine was calculated by dividing the codeine consumption by the total consumption of codeine and distilled water. Rats preferred a lower dose of codeine (3.1%) compared to a medium (4.7%) or high (6.3%) dose. These findings are important for determining how codeine can be used to study ESM induced by episodes of reward loss.

Khantzian, E. J. (2013). Addiction as a self‐ regulation disorder and the role of self‐ medication. Addiction, 108(4), 668-669. doi:10.1111/add.12004
Manzo, L., Donaire, R., Sabariego, M., Papini, M. R., & Torres, C. (2015). Anti-anxiety self-medication in rats: Oral consumption of chlordiazepoxide and ethanol after reward devaluation. Behavioural Brain Research, 27890-97. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.09.01
Ortega, L. A., Solano, J. L., Torres, C., & Papini, M. R. (2017). Reward loss and addiction: Opportunities for cross-pollination. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, & Behavior, 154, 39-52.
Reagan-Shaw, S., Nihal, M., & Ahmad, N. (2008). Dose translation from animal to human studies revisited. Faseb Journal, 22(3), 659-661. doi:10.1096/fj.07-9574LSF

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PSYC2017TIEDEMANN65215 PSYC

The Association between Attachment and Physiological Responses to Relational Aggression during Emerging Adulthood

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Gianna Tiedemann Psychology Megan Pruitt Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: Session: 2; 3rd Floor; Table Number: 5

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Introduction: Relational aggression refers to behaviors that are intended to harm others through the manipulation of relationships, social status, and/or feelings of belonging (Crick, 1996; Grotpeter, 1995). It is important to understand the factors that might predict why some individuals engage in relational aggression. Heightened reactivity to witnessing relational aggression may promote feelings of discomfort and deter the individual from engaging in this type of aggression (Wagner & Abaied, 2016). Other characteristics may also influence not only participation in but also reactivity to relational aggression. Studies have found that parenting styles are a predictor of relational aggression during emerging adulthood (Jordan, 2007). A person’s attachment to his or her parent sets a working model for future relationships. Therefore, it is possible that attachment working models may influence engagement in relational aggression. Finally, self-esteem is another factor that influences aggression (e.g., Baumeister et al., 1996; Donnellan et al., 2005; Golmaryami & Barry, 2010). The current study asks if attachment representations, parenting styles, and self-esteem impact female engagement in, and physiological responses to, relational aggression.

Method: For this study, 90 college female students between 17–23 years of age participated. Prior to the visit, participants filled out questionnaires about their demographics, their experiences with their parents (CRPBI; Margolies & Weintraub, 1977), their attachment style (ECR; Brennan et al., 1998), their self-esteem (RSES; Rosenberg, 1995), and their participation in relational aggression (SRASBM; Linder, Crick, & Collins, 2002) Participants’ physiological response was measured with galvanic skin sensors while they watched a video clip from Mean Girls depicting relational aggression and also participated in an interview about social stressors and experiences.

Results: The results revealed a significant influence of attachment anxiety, b = -.666 (SE = .322), p = .041, R2 = .23, on relational aggression. Additionally, greater maternal autonomy had a significant effect on relational aggression, b = .122 (SE = .051), t = 2.39, p = .019, R2 = .23. Maternal firm control, b = -.111 (SE = .058), t = -1.92, p = .058, R2 = .12, had a marginally significant effect on relational aggression as well. Attachment anxiety had a significant influence, b = .180 (SE = .075), t = 2.40, p = .018, R2 = .28, on proactive relational aggression. Attachment anxiety also had a significant effect on reactive relational aggression, b = .223 (SE = .068), t = 3.26, p = .002, R2 = .26. Maternal autonomy had a significant influence on proactive relational aggression, b = -.036 (SE = .011), t = -3.23, p = .002, R2 = .28. Additionally, there was a marginally significant influence of maternal autonomy, b = -.020 (SE = .011), t = -1.80, p = .075, R2 = .26, on reactive relational aggression.

Discussion: It appears that parenting and attachment influence both reactivity to and engagement in relational aggression. Good parenting serves as a protective factor against relational aggression. On the other hand, insecure attachments appear to be a risk factor for engaging in relational aggression. This research helps with understanding the mechanisms behind relational aggression and ways to support and help emerging adults so that they do not engage in relational aggression.

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PSYC2017TODD5617 PSYC

Childhood Unpredictability in Urban Environments Promotes Faster Life History Strategies

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Laura Todd Psychology Giselle Barcena Psychology Jeffrey Gassen Psychology Sarah Hill Psychology
Advisor(s): Sarah Hill Psychology
Location: Session: 1; B0; Table Number: 5

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Unpredictability, particularly when experienced during childhood, is a key feature of the environment that has been demonstrated to promote faster life history strategies. We first examined if unpredictability would increase with population density. Population density was quantified both using a perceived density measure and by retrieving census data tied to participant zip codes. Next, we assessed the impact of density-related unpredictability in childhood on life history outcomes. Our results revealed that growing up in a more urban environment was related to more unpredictability, and as a consequence, a faster life history strategy. These results emerged both for perceived population density and census data.

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PSYC2017WATSON24709 PSYC

Hot and (not) bothered: High testosterone is associated with lower disgust sensitivity

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Laureon Watson Psychology Hannah K. Bradshaw Psychology Jeffrey Gassen Psychology Sarah E. Hill Psychology Jake Yang Psychology
Advisor(s): Sarah Hill Psychology
Location: Session: 2; B0; Table Number: 3

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The sex hormone testosterone has been shown to be related to a variety of personality characteristics and behaviors, such as aggression and dominance. The current research examines another aspect of human behavior potentially affected by testosterone – disgust. Our results find a negative relationship between prenatal testosterone and disgust. In other words, high levels of prenatal testosterone were found to be associated with lower levels of disgust. Preliminary results of research assessing blood testosterone levels and behavioral data will also be discussed.

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PSYC2017WHITTINGTON64130 PSYC

Shocking News: A Rat's Tail of Uncertainty

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Megan T Whittington Psychology Brenton G Cooper Psychology James O Taylor Psychology
Advisor(s): Brenton Cooper Psychology
Location: Session: 1; 3rd Floor; Table Number: 4

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The ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) of rats are produced at frequencies above the level of human hearing. USVs are often used as a tool to assess the emotional state of rats. Previous research has identified two main call types for rats: 22 kHz (related to strongly negative emotion) and 50 kHz. 50 kHz calls can then be further broken down into constant frequency (CF) and frequency modulated (FM) subtypes. FM calls are produced with a bandwidth greater than 15 kHz; these calls are related to positive emotional states. Whereas, CF calls are produced with a constant frequency and a bandwidth less than 10 kHz. Our lab hypothesizes that CF 50 kHz calls are expressions of anxiety in rats. Our lab has previously explored the vocalizations of rats across a continuum of negative affective state (i.e., from anxiety to fear) within a single testing session using a sequence of temporally consistent mild footshocks. The current experiment explores USV production in male and female rats when the temporal predictability was reduced by randomizing the time between footshocks. We utilized an unpredictable footshock paradigm with the goal of increasing or prolonging a state of anxiety as compared to our previous procedure. In this paradigm, shocks were administered across three successive days: on Day 1, mild footshocks were administered in a pseudo-randomized pattern, on Day 2, subjects were returned to the same context but did not receive footshocks, and on Day 3, a single reinstatement shock was administered. In addition to USVs, rearing and freezing behavior were also recorded and used to assess anxiety and fear. To explore sex differences, both male and female rats were tested in this paradigm. Significant differences between sexes were found in both overt behavior (rearing and freezing) as well as USV production. Specifically, the male rats exhibited behavior that suggests a more strongly negative emotional state (i.e., fear). These results could aid in the construction of a more efficient animal model to use in research for the study of anxiety disorders and potential therapeutic interventions.

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