This year, seven students presented research at WPUPC hosted by Robert Morris University (first time host).
Two additional students conducted research with Dr. William E. Kelly (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 or paper handouts (if available). You will need a pdf viewer (e.g., Adobe Acrobat) in
order to view these files.
Maria El-Tahch: This study examined how college students perceive
their same-sex friends', as well as their own, participation in activities as a result of peer pressure. Participants were undergraduate
students between the ages of 18-22 in Psychology classes. A survey was handed out that gave students two different situations in which a
character gave into peer pressure and conformed to a peer group despite the character's personal beliefs. Participants were asked to first
rate on a scale how likely they would have given into peer pressure if put in the same situation. Then, they were asked to rate how likely
they believed their closest same-sex friend would have given into peer pressure if they were put into the same situation. The area of
comparison is the difference in ratings of self and friends. Jade Hart: Studies show that students are less likely to make complete
stops on college campuses than non-students. Areas with fewer police or less traffic are more likely to show the "rolling stop" phenomenon.
The current study focuses on two intersections at Robert Morris University. A 3-way intersection and a 4-way intersection were observed.
Student, faculty, and others' stop-sign compliance were compared. The findings indicated that students were more likely to make rolling
stops or to not stop at all; and faculty members were more likely to come to complete stops. There was no significant difference in
compliance when comparing the 3-way intersection with the 4-way intersection. Maria Olausson: Studies have shown that various factors influence
multiple-choice exam performance. The present study examined the influence of students' ability to identify patterns in multiple-choice
exams on their final performance. If students have an expectation that answers will be distributed randomly, then a response pattern that
is not perceived as random could yield a change of answer from right to wrong. To test this hypothesis three exam versions consisting of
40 multiple-choice questions were constructed: (1) Long pattern, (2) short pattern, and (3) control (random pattern). It is predicted that
test scores will vary as a function of the degree to which the expectation for randomness is violated. Rachel L. Ragozzino: The present study explored the relationship
between self-esteem and social desirability via negative and positive self-comparisons. Participants completed personality and self-esteem
scales and were then divided into public/private reveal groups. Half of each group was led to believe their scores were similar to a
positive comparison person (e.g., Kennedy) or a negative comparison person (e.g., Hitler). All students were then given an opportunity to
revise their survey responses. Of interest was whether the number of survey items changed would be related to the valence of the comparison
and whether comparisons were public or private. Results found no correlation between self-esteem and socially desirable behavior but
negative comparisons did produce significantly more socially desirable behavior. Melissa Thompson: This study examined the influence of exposure to
food cues on weight gain. Campus dormitories were randomly selected to receive one of three visual food cues weekly for a period of 7
weeks. One dorm received healthy visual food cues, another received non-healthy visual food cues, and a third dorm received neutral visual
food cues. Cues were printed on small slips of paper and were placed on participants' doors each week. At the end of the 7 week period,
all participants were asked to report on various aspects of their health during the past seven weeks (e.g., weight gain, food choices,
etc.). Of interest was to determine the extent to which self-reported behaviors were influenced by the food cues received over the seven
week period. Ashley Wagers: Change blindness is the failure of an individual to
detect changes in an environment. The present study examines whether aspects of personality are related to susceptibility to change
blindness. Participants in the study completed a short personality test and then were asked to watch a video showing them how to spot a
liar. At least five changes took place during the video but participants were not told about the changes. After watching the video, the
participants filled out a survey that consisted of demographic information as well as questions about the changes that took place in the
video. The personality type and survey results were compared to determine whether introversion and extraversion were related to
susceptibility to change blindness. Erica L. Yalch: The present study investigated whether information
could be perceived from recorded messages played backwards. Specifically, verbal commands were constructed that fell into three
categories: Evil, Neutral, and Good. Participants listened to 33 sound files and for each file they were asked to rate how good/evil the
backward message seemed on a 7-point Likert scale. These ratings were compared to ratings of the sentences presented normally (in print).
The backward condition showed no indication that the messages were accurately perceived. The forward condition, however, showed a
significant effect of good/evil. Implications of these findings are discussed.
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 or paper handouts (if available). You will need a pdf viewer (e.g., Adobe Acrobat) in order to view these files.
|Genevieve Senovich: In this empirical phenomenological study, eight participants provided qualitative data through personal narratives regarding influences of both negatively and positively valenced affective states on smoking relapse. The results indicated that for all participants affect evoked a lapse or relapse in smoking cessation. Most relapses were precipitated by negative affective states arising from acute interpersonal conflict compounded with stress. Positive affective states were perceived to predict relapse in instances involving cigarette availability and exposure, alcohol use, and post-sexual experiences.|
|Kenneth Snyder: Previous studies examining the relationship between religiosity and intelligence have been criticized for over simplifying the relationship and producing vague results. The current study sought to further clarify the relationship between these variables. University students completed measures of self-reported religiosity and dogmatism in addition to brief measures of crystallized and fluid intelligences. The results are discussed in attempts to render more clarity to this controversial issue.|