This year, four students presented research at WPUPC hosted by Pennsylvania State University, Behrend. Two
additional students conducted research that was not presented (see below).
For those interested in seeing RMU students "in action" at a conference, please take a peek at the
The links below are to the pdf versions of the poster handouts. You will need a pdf viewer (e.g., Adobe Acrobat) in order to view these
Todd Hart: Research suggests that paranormal belief may be greater in
the United States than other countries. Attitudes, or beliefs, are said to be made up of affect, behavior, and cognition. Of these, affect
has been strongly linked to paranormal belief. People believe because such beliefs can provide comfort and consolation. The present study
examines whether typical surveys of paranormal belief may be particularly sensitive to the affect component of attitudes. Four surveys were
created. One was a standard belief survey, a second asked participants to respond two times: once focusing on affect, and again on
cognition. The third focused on affect, while the fourth focused on cognition. Findings across surveys were compared to determine the
extent to which affect and cognition can be separated. Rachel Hauser: Nine out of ten American adults admit to having at least
some belief in paranormal phenomena. While there is no significant sex difference in amount of belief, females tend to believe in phenomena
such as psychic ability, more than males. Males are more willing to believe in UFOs than are females. One explanation for this sex
difference is that men are agentic-instrumental; taking an active approach to thinking and learning, while women are communal-expressive,
putting emphasis on emotions. Phase I of this study assessed undergraduates to determine whether the population of students exhibited the
sex difference in belief. The goal of Phase II was to attempt to increase belief in psychics among males by providing concrete anchors for
them to associate with a ("pseudo") psychic reading. Kellie Radovich: Our capability to distinguish among faces is superior
when the race of the stimulus face matches our own. However, the more a person is exposed to a racial group the better they will be able to
distinguish among faces of that group. Television has the potential to provide a wide exposure to all racial groups equally. To the extent
that television represents races unequally, it seems reasonable that the other race effect might be affected. The present study analyzed
commercials presented during the Super Bowl to determine the relative representation of race and gender. In addition, college students
were asked to generate as many names of famous people (differing in gender and race) as possible within two minutes for each race-gender
combination. The results of these analyses were compared. Ashlea Wiegand: The present study examined whether awareness of an
individual's disability would influence respondents' ratings of job applicants with disabilities (compared with equally qualified
applicants without disabilities). It was predicted that respondents would rate individuals with a disability higher when specific
information is provided regarding the individual's disability than when little or no additional information is provided. Participants were
instructed to read the job applications provided and then rank order them according to their perceived fit for the job description.
Implications for real world hiring decisions are discussed along with recommendations that may reduce the potential for prejudice in
For those interested in seeing RMU students "in action" at a conference, please take a peek at the PHOTO GALLERY!
The links below are to the pdf versions of the poster handouts. You will need a pdf viewer (e.g., Adobe Acrobat) in order to view these files.
|Lauren Hartsfield: Research has shown correlations between color preference and psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol addicts, and changes in preference in age progression. However, there is a shortage of research on the effect of color on personality assessment. College students were administered the Big Five personality test on one of two different colors of paper (red or blue). Although it was expected that red would increase extroversion scores and that blue would decrease extroversion scores, results showed no differences between groups.|
|Brenna Reed: To what extent do built-in answer patterns on exams influence students' response decisions? Underlying test-taking strategies (heuristics) tend to be invoked when answers do not appear to be "random" (when random patterns are expected). This study will examine two basic conditions: (1) Random answers (2) Patterned answers. If participants see too many of a certain answer coming up, they may be more likely to change their correct answer to an incorrect one in order to adhere to the "expected" (more representative) random pattern. In which case, scores are expected to be lower on "patterned" exams than on "non-patterned" exams.|