Spring 2011 CSSME Undergraduate Research Conference

April 27, 2011


1. Exercise, Fitness and Weight Loss: A Qualitative Analysis of Two Strategies

Kearil Abraham & Brittany Anderson (PSY)

This study is a qualitative case study of two fitness goals: exercising for fitness, and running a 7 minute mile. Each researcher kept a daily journal of how their exercise and eating habits affected their performance and weight. Goals were a 10 pound weight loss and the ability to run a 7 minute mile. We further hypothesized that falling asleep would be substantially harder when exercise was done at night, before bed. We found that exercise and fitness was positively related to weight loss, and night time exercising negatively affected sleeping patterns.

2. Lincoln Case Study

Morganne Andrews & Brittan Spence (PSY)

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States who successfully led the U.S. through the great constitutional, military and moral crisis of the Civil War. Though he was a great leader, he suffered severely from depression, also known as melancholy during his time. This poster uses the Winter coding scheme to look at Lincoln’s depression by analyzing the three basic implicit motives and shows his relatively high need for achievement as well as power. Lincoln used his depression to fuel his greatness, through the need for achievement, to ultimately get a very powerful message across to the country, that slavery is wrong, all men are equal, and we must fight for what is right in the United States and reunify our people.

3. The Battle of the Majors: Examining Problem Solving Abilities Across Undergraduate Majors

Shahana Ansari (PSY)

Investigating which major area of study best trains college students to solve insight and logic puzzles helps us understand what style of higher learning best prepares students for well-rounded problem solving abilities so that we can adjust all learning to integrate the best methods. This paper examines which major best trains students to solve which type of problems. After recording participants’ accuracy and time in solving 2 insight and 2 logic puzzles, and analyzing the data using ANOVA, no significant results were found. While this study did not yield significant results, this would be a good area in which to continue and improve research because it may greatly help school curricula better adapt to the needs of the students in order to increase likelihood of future success.

4. Religious Attendance: Is there a better way of asking about it? A Comprehensive Analysis

Chelsea Bender, Eric Louderback, Jenine Rossington, & Amy Sevegny (SOC)

Religious attendance is a complex variable that can be measured by utilizing several different methods and survey questions. Previous researchers have encountered difficulties in accurately gathering data on church attendance due to participant bias, ineffective methods, and difficulty in gathering data. Our study surveyed a random sample of males (n=139) from a private Southern university, ages 20-26, from diverse majors, races, social classes, nationalities, and political affiliations. The survey instrument contained 100 questions, including ones using the paranormal beliefs scale, Christian orthodoxy scale, and religious doubts scale, as well as the essential study questions asking: “how often do you attend religious services?” and “have you attended religious services in the last seven days?”. A single-sample means test at α=.05 was employed to determine if the essential study questions on religious attendance yielded different responses and if one question proved to be a more valid and reliable method of asking about religious attendance.

5. Paranoid Personality Disorder: Advancements to DSM-V

Pheneva Blocker, Tammy Lemieux, & Elyza Toledo (PSY)

This study represents the investigation of the efficacy of the American Psychiatric Association’s proposed Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. We evaluated two cases diagnosable with Paranoid Personality Disorder according to DSM-IV-TR, then subsequently diagnosed the same cases using DSM-V. Pete Wentz who met the criteria for PPD in DSM-IV-TR was diagnosed as having moderate Borderline Personality, according to the proposed DSM-V criteria. Jim Jones, also diagnosable with PPD in DSM-IV-TR, was given a DSM-V diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, with strong characteristics of Schizotypal Personality Disorder. We concluded that DSM-V does not adequately cover PPD, as presented in DSM-IV-TR, and should be broadened to include some representation of paranoid ideations and suspicions.

6. A Qualitative Study of Student Autonomy in Undergraduate Courses

Giselle M. Boodoo & Nicole R. Burks (PSY)

Self-Determination Theory maintains that individuals benefit from the experience of autonomy because it enables psychological growth and well-being (Levesque, Zuehlke, Stanek, & Ryan, 2004; Vallerand, Koestner, & Pelletier, 2008). Twenty-nine (29) students responded to an online Survey of Autonomy for College Students, reflecting on their academic experiences with high- and low-autonomy instructors. For the high autonomy condition, five themes were extracted from the data: classroom interaction, integration of knowledge, instructor flexibility, course flexibility and motivation. Five similar themes were identified for the low autonomy conditions: lack of classroom interaction, stifled individualism, instructor inflexibility, course inflexibility, and lack of incentive. The extension of this research should include larger sample size, greater gender balance, broader subject representation, and use of quantitative methods to establish possible causal relationships among variables.

7. The Effect of Paper Color on Math Test Scores

Hannah Bouchillon (PSY 200)

The current experiment investigated whether the color of paper on which a math test is printed will alter the performance on the test. This experiment predicted that participants would incorrectly answer, or leave blank, more questions on a standard white test than on an off-white test, and more on an off-white test than a blue test. To test this hypothesis, a twenty-question math test was printed on three different colored papers: white, off-white, and blue. The tests were then distributed to 45 University of Tampa students, who had three minutes to complete the test. The results indicated that students incorrectly answered the most questions on the white tests, followed by the off-white test. Ultimately, performance was best on the blue tests. These results may indicate that the calming effects of the color blue, when compared to the anxiety associated with the color white, particularly in regards to examinations, allow for a more positive effect on math test performance.

8. Thinkin’ ‘bout Lincoln

Kaylin Brice, Haley Riddering, & Taylor Vaughn (PSY)

The question we asked in this study was “How did Lincoln’s early years influence his melancholy?” Using the Winter coding scheme as our method, we identified 14 incidents in Lincoln’s early years and appropriately coded them with themes. In general the results favored the need for achievement and need for affiliation. We felt that these two motives attributed to Lincoln’s depression because they were seen more frequently in his life experiences. While we found evidence to support our results, we still felt that the method used was too general.

9. Ambivalent Sexism in the Sixteenth Century: The Story of Anne Askew

Kady Bruce (PSY)

Anne Askew was an English gentlewoman who lived in the sixteenth century, and was executed as a result of her religious beliefs. She was bold, outspoken, and courageous, characteristics that were uncommon at the time for a woman. Ambivalent sexism is the theory that men see women subordinately, as a wife/mother figure, called benevolent sexism, and see strong women as a threat to their power, sometimes even physically retaliating, hostile sexism. After selecting excerpts, from Askew’s Examinations, that exemplify sexist themes, I found an overwhelming dominance of protective paternalism and competitive gender differentiation. I believe this is due to the fact that the overlying attitudes towards women of the period were benevolent. The men viewed the women as weak, docile and completely dependent on men. When Askew did not fit this mold, I began to see the competitive gender differentiation, and subsequent retaliation.

10. Torture and Society

Benjamin C. Bunn (GWA)

The use of torture to get information has been used by different groups in America since pioneers first arrived.  Over the years, however, American political policy and social standards have taken public stances against the use of torture and in favor global human rights.  This study tries to determine whether the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC and the ensuing war against terrorism waged across the globe have changed public and political opinions  in favor of using torture to avoid imminent attack and loss of American lives.  The survey of student attitudes about torture seeks to find relationships of several factors to either positive or negative attitudes about torture.

11. How the Effect of Color Enhances Memory

Stacie Call, Heather Gustafson, & Talia Victoria (PSY)

We examined whether color had an influence on memory.  Forty-three participants received one of two packets containing a list of 24 words, a page of simple math problems, and a blank page for recall.  The pages were either all blue (cool) or all yellow (warm), except the math sheet, which was white.  The word list contained eight words that were associated with yellow, eight words associated with blue, and eight neutral words.  Participants were given two minutes to memorize the words.  Next they completed the math problems and then were given two minutes to recall as many words as possible.  It was hypothesized that the words printed on warm paper would be recalled more.  Also, that the words printed on warm or cool colored paper that were also associated with the color of the paper would be more frequently recalled.  There were no significant differences.  Possible explanations will be discussed. 

12. Self-efficacy in Smoking Reduction and Stress: A Case Study

Alexander Carlton & Kelsie Cubit (Undergraduate Council on Smoking Cessation) (PSY)

In this small n, qualitative study we examined the effect of the gradual reduction method of smoking cessation on multiple factors, including its relationship to stress, mood, and appetite. Previous research showed that withdrawal symptoms included increased appetite and anxiety. We expected to find less severe symptoms based on the method of cessation used. Based on our analysis we discovered that while the method used was the same for both subjects, the results were completely opposite (one subject was successful in cutting down the number of cigarettes smoked while the other wasn’t). We hypothesized that this was due to differing levels of self-efficacy in carrying out this health-related behavior, as well as differing levels of daily stress.

13. Analyzing Lincoln’s Personality and Pathology

Addie Carothers, L. B. Lufriu, & Tessa Wimberley (PSY)

This study sought to explore and evaluate Abraham Lincoln’s personality and depression, during his midlife, using case study methods. Winter’s (1991) textual coding technique, based on McClelland’s (1987) Implicit Motive Theory, was used to evaluate episodes from Lincoln’s midlife. The needs for power and affiliation were found to be most prominent during this section of Lincoln’s life. Implications for these findings and potential for future lines of research are discussed.

14. How Risky are College Women Willing to be in Order to Fit In?

Rebecca Casey & Deletha P. Hardin (PSY)

College-aged women may make decisions about risky behavior due to a desire to belong. The Sociometer Hypothesis proposes that self-esteem (SE) serves to indicate degree of social exclusion. Need to belong (NB) is a desire to be accepted. We examined the willingness to engage in risky behaviors between women with high and low levels of NB and SE. Participants (N = 51) completed three scales—SE, NB, and willingness to engage in risky behaviors (created for this research). Participants were divided into 4 groups: low SE & NB, low SE/high NB, high SE/low NB, high SE & NB. ANOVA determined that women with higher NB indicated significantly greater likelihood of risky behavior. Level of SE did not predict risky behaviors.

15. The Effectiveness of Primary Prevention Programs on Changing Behaviors and Attitudes of At-Risk Parents of Child Abuse

Sarah Chamberlain & Rachael Williams (SOC)

The purpose of this paper is to determine the efficacy of two early intervention programs: The FRANC Nurturing Parents Program and the FRANC Nurturing Fathers Program. The programs are evaluated through five constructs that include specific behaviors of parenting and child rearing that put children at higher risk of abuse. Paired sample t-tests were used to compare pre-test and post-test data to determine if there was a significant difference in each construct. The results showed a p-value of less than .001 in all the constructs for each program. This indicated a significant improvement in the attitudes of participants towards parenting behaviors, which illustrates that the programs are effective in changing parenting attitudes in potential abuser populations.

16. Evaluating Parenting Program Effectiveness Using Multiple Demographics

Cindy Conlon, Rebecca Kiszkiel, Kristina Cappello, Melinda Kern, & Latreece Perry (SOC)

The purpose of the study was to examine the role that demographics play in child abuse and rehabilitation outcomes. Since child abuse and rehabilitation cannot be measured using only one variable, our study included multiple demographics. Participants in the study were both males and females (N=4,000) of all ages from the Hillsborough and Sarasota County area. A majority of the sample were referred to the Child Abuse Council’s program by courts and government agencies. Both prior drug use and child abuse were important predictors for participants that were involved in the study. The findings in our study indicate that a majority of participants found success upon completion of the programs, though there are variations based on demographics. A great number found they now had the tools to be successful parents and felt a stronger personal relationship to their child.

17. Effects of Extracurricular Involvement on GPA

Tawsha Creason (PSY 200)

The purpose behind the current experiment was to determine if there is a correlation between involvement in extracurricular activities and average GPA for students at the University of Tampa. Twenty-five students were asked if they would participate in the experiment and, once consent was obtained, the students filled out a survey and returned it to the researcher via the on-campus mail system. The students were asked questions about their GPA and involvement in extracurricular activities for the previous semester. It was found that involvement in extracurricular activities 7-9 times per month yielded the highest average GPA. Involvement past 9 hours showed a decline in the average GPA of students and no involvement at all in extracurricular activities showed a lower average GPA overall.

18. Comparison of Child abuse and Neglect Intervention and Protection Programs

Caroline Crowley, Koryna Felt, Timothy Russel, Cara Sceppaquercia, Elizabeth Shults, & Katherine Stroker (SOC)

The purpose of this research paper is to compare the differences between child abuse prevention programs and techniques employed by the Child Abuse Council. Child abuse and neglect take various forms, including: sexual abuse by parents and stepparents, neglect of a child’s basic needs, physical abuse, or emotional abuse. Abuse of a child comes at a cost to the family and the child’s future. Children brought up in abusive relationships are more likely to abuse others as adults. Abuse of a child also costs the society or community in which they live. There is also psychological trauma to the child that can control their future. The community and society in which a child is raise has a moral responsibility to control, stop, and prevent child abuse. Through programs employed at community centers like The Child Abuse Council in Tampa, Florida families are helped, parents are given guidance, and children are given hope for the future. The following research reviews various programs and their effectiveness then test the effectiveness of various programs employed at The Child Abuse Council in Tampa.

19. The Effect of Age in Revolution

Kristin Curatola (GWA)

Revolutions are a political phenomenon. History has shown us that most often they fail in bringing about political change, as many elements affect the ability of citizens to transform their government. In this paper I will investigate the age of participants in revolutions and determine which ages involved make a revolution more or less successful. I argue that a revolution will be more successful if a large number of both younger and older protesters participate. Revolutions that are pushed by one age group are less likely to have enough power to transform governments. Successful revolutions are characterized by a large percentage of support from various factions of the population. Age is an overlooked faction that can indicate the fate of a revolution. Researchers have looked at social class when studying revolution, but this paper argues that age transcends social class and can achieve unity among revolutionary participants to successfully transform government. This research will use comparative analysis of two/three countries and employ the most different design method. I expect that this research will suggest that age transcends social class and promotes unity among populations that can achieve a successful revolution.

20. Attending Religious Ceremonies with Friends & Family

Deanna Deeb, Dezaray Distasio, & Jillian Palmer (SOC)

The study focuses on the effect that attending church with someone has on the frequency of attendance in general. Previous literature suggests that individuals who begin an exercise or diet plan with a partner are more likely to have better results in terms of weight loss and fitness success than if they were to work alone. Similarly, frequency of religious attendance may also increase if it occurs with friends and family, like exercise. The study included a sample of college students who were surveyed through email. The students were asked numerous questions, though the variables regarding the frequency of attendance and whether the respondent attended with someone or attended alone were examined closely for this study. The study found that there is a significant relationship between the variables of attending with someone and frequency of attendance. Individuals will attend religious service more frequently than individuals who attend alone.

21. Histrionic PD in DSM-V

Lauren M. DeLisi & Jessica A. Casey (PSY)

Using two case studies, Marilyn Monroe and Lindsey Lohan, we used DSM-IV-TR criteria to diagnose the two celebrities with Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) and then investigated how they fit into the American Psychiatric Association’s proposed DSM-V diagnostic criteria of Borderline Type, which we propose is the closest match in the fifth edition. Borderline Type fits the case of Marilyn Monroe, but Lindsey Lohan’s HPD diagnosis does not fit the Borderline Type diagnosis. DSM-V does not adequately cover what was formerly the HPD. Borderline Type does not include any of the characteristic criteria, which is exhibited in HPD. It is our recommendation that the Borderline Type be revised to add more criteria to cover HPD or to adapt HPD to the dimensional model of DSM-V.

22. Secrets of Tourism

Andrea Fornaro (GWA)

This paper will analyze how the internet has impacted tourism. Tourism is more prominent in the wealthier countries even though some countries try to create their own. Tourism is a good way to communicate between the different nations, cultures and regions. Through globalization, such as the internet, tourism will be promoted online for the future tourists. The role of new technology in tourism is marketed through the internet. An internet based economy has a higher success rate in promoting their valued attractions. Through the internet more communication and social networking with citizens and local travel agencies allows for the tourist to become more familiarized with the destination. Attraction to the destination is necessary and the internet allows for the best way to bring tourists to the country. There are positive effects from globalization however there are some negative factors for the internet. Internet is expensive to developing countries and do not have a lot of resources. Countries do not want to lose tourism due to limited internet. The industries have to find the most strategic ways to promote a country’s tourism. There are multiple factors that affect tourism, such as globalization, the economy and culture, not only the internet. This paper will examine the tourism in Cyprus, Hong Kong and Belize. In this paper data will demonstrate how the internet and other factors affect the tourism of each of these countries.

23. Government Spending and Corruption

Elyse Ivy Fulton (GWA)

Occurrences of political corruption span nations of every type; common corruption practices include bribery, embezzlement and favoritism to name several examples. Studies conducted each year by Transparency International give quantitative measurement to these subjective, obscure practices of corruption. For the purposes of this paper, the Corruptions Perceptions Index, compiled by expert assessments and opinion surveys, will serve as the indicator for amounts of corruption within the countries I study. I argue that increases in government spending help to decrease political corruption; and nations found to be more corrupt will have lower government spending thus creating a more anarchic environment with less checks, lower government salaries, less social programs and a higher likelihood of engagement in corruption. I will conduct a comparative analysis, using the most similar systems design, on democratic Latin American countries with similar sizes, economic development, GDP, and cultures. I expect this research to show that countries with larger governments, indicated through higher government spending in relation to GDP will have noticeably lower ratings of political corruption. Furthermore, I expect that a closer look at how governments spend their money will show that higher spending on social programs and lower military spending will have a negative correlation with political corruption as well.

24. UT Student’s Interaction to a Stranger

Kathy Guvercin (PSY 200)

The purpose was to determine how students who live in a dormitory respond to a stranger. The observer walked down the hallway (either to her room or to the elevator), smiled and said “hi” to every person she encountered, but did not stop to make conversation, while holding an open notebook. She looked like she was either going to or coming from a class, and she discreetly recorded her observations in the notebook at the end of the hallway, after passing the people by. The students’ responses were classified as negative, positive, or indifferent. Seventy-sex percent of the students responded in a positive manner, supporting the hypothesis.

25. The Gambler’s Fallacy: Understanding Pattern-Making in Outcome Predictions

Camille Hanks & Corinna Halteman (PSY)

This research deals with the gamblers fallacy, which is the understanding of pattern-making in outcome predictions. The goal of this experiment was to see whether or not participants follow the gamblers fallacy after a predetermined outcome of dice rolls (which would create “runs” in a certain sequence) in two different conditions. Previous research has shown that there is a tendency for people to follow the gamblers fallacy after a series of “runs” of the same outcome of events. Researchers performing this experiment studied 49 first year undergraduate students at the University of Tampa in a standard classroom setting. Results showed that participants followed the gamblers fallacy in one condition and failed to follow in the other condition, (χ² (1, n = 42) = 4.67, p < .05).

26 .Gender Differences in Basic Social Etiquette

Hannah Holmes (PSY 200)

The purpose of this observational research project was to determine if gender had any effect on basic social etiquette, in particular saying thank you when the door is held open. The hypothesis was that more women would say thank you when the door was held open for them than men would, because women are naturally more social beings. The research was conducted by observing individuals as the observer held the door open for them. After the individual walked away, the observer recorded whether the individual was male or female and whether the individual said thank you or did not say thank you. It was calculated that 73.3% of females said thank you when the door was held open for them, versus only 55.6% of males that said thank you when the door was held open for them. Thus, the results supported the hypothesis for this project. Gender does have an effect on social etiquette, causing females to be more likely than males to say thank you when a door is held open for them.

27. Separate but Equal

Brittany Immenhausen (GWA)

Church and state separation has long been believed by scholars to have a direct impact on religious tolerance. The questions are how and why. The separation of church and state promises religious freedom, while also distinctively dividing religion from politics. This being said, church and state separation does not entirely prevent politics from possessing a religious depth. Here I have offered the example of a secular Turkey, where state and religion are separate entities but still very much connected. I argue that higher levels of religious tolerance are associated with church and state separation and that those countries in possession of more democratic political systems are more accepting of the religious freedom of their citizens. Through my research, I have found that this hypothesis cannot necessarily be proven one way or another. The idea that, generally speaking, that surrounds the Middle East as being not well known for its high levels of religious tolerance continues through modern times. That being said it is still important to note that the notion of complete religious tolerance in a government faces certain obstacles. Historically speaking, he Middle East is a region that has long fought for both democracy and Westernized ways and this extensive achievement is a constant and current work in progress.

28. Do Looks Sell?

Susan Israel (PSY 200)

When being approached by a salesperson, most people are more likely to buy products from him/her when they are dressed nicely and look sophisticated. In order to test this belief, a saleswoman went to sell chocolate bars to two different floors of a residence hall at the University of Tampa, dressing nicely on the first floor and sloppily on the second. On the first floor, 12 out of 20 people who were approached decided to buy the chocolate bars. On the second floor, only 7 out of 20 people bought the chocolate. The results of the study proved that the hypothesis was correct. A salesperson’s style of dress is very important when trying to sell products because to a consumer, a person who is dressed nicely positively reflects their character.

29. Descriptions of Dispositions for Assessment in Pre-Service Teacher Education Field Experiences

Pattie Johnston, Gina M. Almerico, Deanna Henriott, & Mykel Shapiro (EDU)

Assessing the dispositions of pre-service teachers who are in field internship experiences has been gaining attention by those persons responsible for the education and training of pre-service teachers.  Disposition indicators have already been validated by researchers so that now raters know what to rate.  There is an amorphous quality to the validated indicators which suggests a need for clearer descriptions of each indicator so that ratings agreements are enhanced among raters. The purpose of the current study was to expand previous disposition assessment efforts by operationally defining the validated indicators so that the construct represented by each indicator is better understood by raters and ratees.  Researchers strived to develop a greater understanding of dispositions being assessed in teacher field education programs by identifying descriptors which clearly focus on the conceptual meaning of a given disposition. Through a search of related literature and a series of interviews conducted by the research team, an instrument with more indicator clarity and description was developed to measure candidate dispositions in the field/clinical experience for teachers in training.

30. Physiological and psychological effects of morning exercise

Jordan Joy (PSY)

This was an eight week qualitative self-case study conducted to observe the effects of time based exercise both on physical performance and cognitive ability. Does one “awaken” faster if exercise is conducted in the morning? Does one’s attention and alertness heighten and remain heightened throughout the day? Will the addition of short duration, low intensity exercise impact an existing resistance program? Based on the analysis of my journal, morning exercise does not impact alertness throughout the day. Similarly, morning exercise does not impact athletic performance. Morning exercise does impact the sense of quicker wakefulness.

31. Pain or Progress

James Joyce (PSY)

This study was a qualitative case study of recurrent pain in the right knee. The goal was to reduce pain in the knee by using a personalized exercise regimen designed to strengthen knee ligaments. A daily journal recorded observations, largely centering on a 10-point pain rating scale. The data were subsequently analyzed for patterns in stress and lifestyle related to pain, and whether or not the exercise regimen was alleviating my pain. Analysis showed that the exercise regimen was ineffective, stress contributed to pain, and lifestyle contributed to pain.

32. International Nongovernmental Organizations and Ethical Dilemmas: The Case of the Lutheran World Relief

Jeremiah R. Kerr (GWA)

In the 20th Century there has grown an increasing public awareness of the many problems facing the least developed parts of the world. This has correlated to the development of an array of international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs). While INGOs often operate with only the best of intentions they are often met with resistance from donors as well as local conditions where they intend to provide services. These challenges are often compounded by project failings and unexpected dilemmas. This paper provides a case study analyses of the Lutheran World Relief’s effort to relieve hunger in the developing world to determine whether ethical considerations impact service delivery. The findings suggest that INGOs need to navigate the emotional sensibilities of donors while appealing to their own sense of mission. Coping with Grief: A Case Study

33. Coping with Grief: A Case Study

Brittany Kieslor (PSY)

Grief at the death of a loved one is a very difficult process. This study analyzes eight weeks of coping with the loss of my grandfather, recorded in a daily journal. The journaling also included a self-constructed rating scale of emotion (angry, ok or upset on a 1 to 10 scale). Four questions were posed at the start of the project. What was the progression through the grief process? What aspects of shock or denial continue? What “stages” of grief models were apparent, if any? Were avoidant or active strategies common? Through eight weeks, emotions changed erratically, and differently than expected.

34. Newton, Leibniz, and the Priority Dispute over the Invention of Calculus.

Kristine King (MAT)

This presentation examines the origins of the dispute between two mathematicians: Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, regarding the priority over the invention of calculus. It also looks at their individual contributions to calculus and the resolution of the infamous dispute.

35. Gender Cereal Consumption

Amber Koeller (PSY 200)

The purpose of this experiment was to obverse similarities and/or differences in the consumption of cereal during dinner hours based on gender. The observer hypothesized that females would consume more cereal than males. In order to collect data, the observer recorded the eating behavior of University of Tampa students during dinner time. While eating dinner, the observer tallied the number of males and females who included a bowl of cereal with their meal. Results have shown that the hypothesis was supported. Female students consumed more cereal during dinner than did males. The observer believed that such data could prove useful for cereal companies and commercial agencies alike.

36. The Effect of Expertise on Tactile Perception

Myrsha Lazarre (PSY)

Tactile perception, more commonly known as touch, is a very integral source of sensory information. It protects us from possible harm through sensing whether something is too hot or cold, allows us to bond intimately with our loved ones, and provides us with information about the environment around us. Without it, we would not know where we were within the dimensions of time and space, nor would we be able to detect if our bodies were in distress as a result of discomfort or injury. One unique aspect of tactile perception is its spatial aspect. This allows us to sense different points on our bodies and map out distances between various tactile stimuli. The experiment looks at the role which expertise plays in spatial aspects of tactile perception by comparing the performance of pianists and novices on a task.

37. The Effect of Musicality on Auditory Retention and Short-term Memory

Britney Hogan & Myrsha Lazarre (PSY)

Music is a universal language and can be heard all around us. From the beating of our hearts to the background music at our favorite store in the mall, music serves to enrich our lives in many different ways. As we are bombarded with a wide array of genres and styles, how is it that our minds are able to recognize one selection as opposed to another? Does an inclination for making music or a high level of musical intelligence affect our ability to retain and recognize a piece of music? Finally, how does our auditory short-term memory for music fare when immediately exposed to other auditory stimulus? This study compares the performance of musicians and non-musicians on a musical auditory recognition task in order to provide empirical evidence to provide some insight into these aforementioned questions.

38. Child Labor and International Dependence Between Countries

Vanessa Marin (GWA)

The main purpose of this study is to observe our growing world and how children are likely to be forced into child labor by methods that do not necessarily fall under human rights violations because globalization causes such a significant gap between the upper and lower classes that they have no other choice but to work. Human rights violations such as child labor can be committed and take place, without the intent of causing harm to the children. In some cases it is the companies that we send overseas that are secretly hiring children to complete certain labor practices, disregarding currently established international labor laws because it is culturally accepted for a child to be working at an early age. Granted there are different definitions of child labor and what is permissible across borders between the United States and other countries. Along with this understanding, is the fact that in certain cultures a child often becomes legally responsible at an earlier age. At the same time by disregarding international labor laws and practices, it is through globalization and the growing levels of interdependence between countries that unknowingly more developed countries are contributing to child labor practices. There have been instances in which families have their children begin working at early ages in order for them to assume responsibility. At other times it is out of pure necessity that some families allow and need their kids to begin working at early ages. This investigation has found that child labor is still prominent in many countries, but due to the international relations that exist with other countries, it is not reported. I have concluded that trade as well foreign direct investments are not the main causing factors of child labor.

39. Adolescent Use of Analogies on a Non-Word Language Task

Jackie McKewon & Kelsey Brenneman (PSY)

The current study addresses the use of analogies in the continued reading development of adolescents based on previous research that investigated children’s analogy use. Participants were presented with a non-word language task and asked to read the words aloud after viewing a clue word. The strategies used by participants to decide on non-word pronunciation and pronunciation errors were recorded. There was a marginal interaction found between gender and error rate on the non-word task, but no other significant effects or interactions between strategy choice and error rate were found. The results of this study compared to the research done with children show implications that analogy use as a reading strategy continues to be utilized as reading ability develops.

40. Generosity or greed?

Tobias Nielsen (PSY 200)

The experimenter dropped a coin, seemingly without knowing he had dropped it, and awaited the response from a random passer-by on the University of Tampa campus. A research assistant nearby recorded the gender, formality of clothing, and response of the participant. The experimenter wore formal or informal clothing. Fifty-six participants were observed. There was no significant difference in giving the money back when comparing the formal and informal dress of the experimenter. Females gave the money back much more often than males. The dress of the participant did not seem to have any effect. The results of the current experiment supported the ideas that women are more helpful and/or generous than men and that the formality of one’s attire does not influence how one is treated on The University of Tampa campus.

41. College Student Cell Phone Use in Dorm Building Elevators

Kaylee Nonenemacher (PSY 200)

The purpose of this experiment was to determine when college age students are more likely to use their cell phones for non-calling purposes in an elevator. The prediction was that students would be more likely to use their phones in an elevator with four or less people than one with five or more people. Additionally, females were predicted to use their cell phones more often than males. Results of the observations showed that only about 19% of students used their cell phones on elevator rides. Students riding in an elevator of four or fewer people were only 0.2% more likely to use their phones than students riding with a large group of five or more. Contrary to the predicted behavior, males were about 1% more likely to use their phones in the elevators than females. These results suggested that both large and small groups are susceptible to the same uncomfortable silences in elevators that students attempt to avoid by using their cell phones. The difference in cell phone use between sexes could have been caused by the idea that females are more social and talkative than males, but because the margin between the percentages of cell phone use for the two genders was so small, any interpretation would be speculation.

42. Smoking and Drinking Away a GPA

Melissa Pellitteri (PSY 200)

The purpose of this experiment was to determine if there is a correlation between how much a student drinks or smokes and their GPA for both non-honors and honors students. The hypothesis was that there would be a correlation. Surveys were given to students at random, filled out, and returned into a large bag. After the surveys were sorted, four graphs were made. Figure 1 showed the average GPA of participants. Figure 2 showed the average age, Figure 3 showed the amount drank, and Figure 4 showed the relationship between smoking and drinking. Through this data, the experimenter found that when a student drinks very little, there is a positive correlation between a student’s GPA and their age; however when a student drank more often, there became a negative correlation between their drinking habits and their GPA, meaning age had little to do with the GPA. There were too few smokers who participated in the survey to determine the effect smoking cigarettes has on a student’s GPA.

43. Nuclear Weapons and Latin America: Establishing Non-Proliferation Norms through Regional Treaties

Nathalia Pirela & Chloe Savenko (GWA)

As a forerunner in international nuclear non-proliferation efforts, Latin America and the Caribbean were the first to establish a nuclear weapons free zone under the Treaty of Tlatelolco in 1967. Effective since April 1968 and ratified by all thirty-three nations in the region, its provisions preclude member states of “testing, use, manufacture, production or acquisition by any means whatsoever of any nuclear weapons” as well as the “receipt, storage, installation, deployment and any form of possession” either directly or indirectly of the same. Preceding the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the treaty begins with a strict explanation of specific jargon used in the provisions outlined by its clauses and gradually moves into its branches and organization. In this paper we seek to answer a question that so far, seems to remain unasked: are regional treaties more effective in purposefully limiting the spread of nuclear weapons? In order to do so, we have chosen to focus our research on the regional models established through the formation of the nuclear weapons free zones in Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central Asia. In doing so, we will study the treaties’ effectiveness in contrast with the NPT in prohibiting and thus preventing the development of nuclear weapons programs for military use. We believe that the juxtaposition of the language and provisions of these documents to each other as well as the NPT will allow us to better analyze their effectiveness in the present nuclear world. We will also analyze how the dynamics within regional blocs and their efficacy to push agreeable agendas differ from an international agenda plagued by international actors possessing conflicting interests.

44. Effects of Calorie-Counting Diet and Moderate Exercise: A Case Study

Teagan M. Quillen (PSY)

This qualitative case study investigated the effectiveness of a calorie-counting diet paired with at least 30 – 60 minutes of daily exercise. The hypotheses were: There will be a change in diet, such as cravings and less caloric intake; Participant will experience psychological changes like feelings of dependence and stress reduction; Physical changes will occur, such as more flexibility, weight loss, and increased energy. Upon completing eight weeks of this program, weight loss was minimal (1.4lbs total lost), however, there was marked increased energy. There was no significant effect on stress-level reduction.

45. The Effects of Music on Studying

Lauren Roberson & Matthew Noble (PSY 200)

The purpose of this experiment was to observe whether or not background noise, like music, had a negative effect on students’ grade point average. This experiment was performed through the use of surveys which contained three questions. The questions asked whether or not the student listened to background noise while studying, if so, how often, and what was the students’ GPA. The results showed that those who did not listen to background noise while studying, maintained a higher GPA overall compared to all of the students who listened to music. Based on the results acquired from the experiment, it seems that when students have background noise while studying they are usually unable to clearly concentrate on the task at hand like studying or doing homework.

46. Future Direction of Schizoid Personality Disorder with DSM-V

MariaAnna Serricchio & Thiago De Queiroz (PSY)

This case study examined the efficacy of the proposed model of DSM-V, and how effectively it prototypes schizoid personality disorder (APA, 2011). There have been numerous controversies over the efficacy of the DSM, in particular to Axis II Personality Disorders (PDs). Research has shown extreme co-morbidity among DSM-IV-TR PDs, as well as inadequate validity, unstable criterion sets, and arbitrary analytical thresholds (O’Dnohue, Fowler & Lilienfeld, 2007). We identified two separate schizoid personality disorder cases: Thomas Pynchon (contemporary figure) and Emily Dickinson (historical). A pre-diagnosis for both cases was made with the use of DSM-IV-TR schizoid criteria, followed by a diagnosis using the proposed DSM-V criteria. Results demonstrated little support for the effectiveness of the proposed model of DSM-V as it relates to Schizoid PD.

47. The Effect of Anticipated Regret on Performance in a Stock Trading Simulation

MariaAnna Serricchio, Brianna Vaughan, & Joy Edry (PSY)

High anticipated regret (AR) stock traders realize weaker gains than do low AR traders (Lee, Kraeussl & Paas, 2009; Odean, Strahilevitz & Barber, 2009). A sample of 74 undergraduate psychology students was randomly distributed among one of three conditions in a simulated stock trading game: low AR, moderate AR, or high AR. We found that low AR traders performed significantly better on the simulation than did high AR traders: F (2,71) = 3.784, p = .027, for the effect of anticipated regret on percent gained trading. Our overall simulation methodology appears to hold promise for an extension of this research to investigations of such behavioral finance phenomena as inaction inertia and the disposition effect

48. Behavioral Observations

Romina Vitelli (PSY 200)

The hypothesis of the current experiment was that older women prefer to shop alone, while younger girls prefer to shop in groups. Throughout the study, 20 groups were observed: young and older women in groups of 1, 2, or more than 3. These were randomly selected women at a shopping mall, of ages 14 to 19 for the young group, and 20 and up for the older group. The variables in this observation were the two different age groups, and their shopping behavior: alone or with people. The data showed that women under 19 prefer to shop in groups of 3 or more, while women above 20 prefer to shop alone. The reason for the prediction was due to personal experiences in the shopping mall.

49. Sick Sadistic Studs

Alice E. Walker & Jasmyne E. Johnson (PSY)

This research examines two extreme celebrity cases diagnosable for Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD) under DSM-III-R criteria. The fifth and newest DSM restructures the Axis II personality disorder diagnosis, eliminating more than half of the disorders found in the previous DSM-IV-TR edition. SPD was not in Axis II of DSM-IV-TR, and is likewise not being retained by DSM-V. This research analyzes the effectiveness of DSM-V’s ability to account for individuals presenting Sadistic diagnoses. The research utilized purposive sampling to gather one historical figure, Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, and one contemporary figure, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The study suggests that DSM-V cannot perfectly account for the excluded PDs without including a category for “Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified” to be diagnosed using their trait domain and facet method.

50. Gender Differences: Does the Type of Math Problem Matter

Stephanie Theiss & Tiffany Hills (PSY)

The current study looked at gender differences in fifth grade students when completing two types of math problems, word problems and equations. Past research has shown that girls are better at solving equations, whereas boys are better at solving word problems. In this study, 33 fifth grade students from a southeastern Florida public school were given four math problems, two of each type. The researchers compared the problem type accuracy with gender and group, accelerated versus average math skills, as well as the time it took each participant to complete all four math problems. The data shows a significant difference between problem types and an interaction between problem type and gender. The current study is not congruent with past research, though this may be due to a small sample size.

51. Does Priming Work?

Erin Hennelly & Emily Watt (PSY)

Research on the phenomenon of priming has been conducted throughout psychology’s past. The research is divided on whether or not priming is accomplished through automatic spreading of activation or through a limited capacity attention. Although researchers are unclear as to how priming occurs, they are conclusive in that people can be primed to recall target words based on what they previously were exposed to. The present experiment explored whether or not participants could be primed to unscramble target words in a specific direction. Participants were asked to unscramble a series of words contained within a booklet, some looking for priming some for a baseline. Our results suggest that priming occurred, but not equally across all circumstances.

52. Narcissistic PD

Emily Watt & Stephanie Theiss (PSY)

The current proposal for DSM-V personality disorders is adopting a dimensional diagnostic system rather than a categorical one. In doing so, the DSM is reducing the total personality disorders from thirteen to five. Adolf Hitler and Kobe Bryant are diagnosable with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in DSM-IV-TR, both satisfying at least five of the nine criteria. Using the proposed DSM-V, Hitler exemplifies the prototype for Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD). However, using DSM-V, Kobe best fits the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder, though he is only a slight match with the prototype. The DSM-V does not do a good job of accounting for individuals diagnosed with NPD in DSM-IV-TR that are not comorbid with APD.

53. An Examination of Entrepreneurs and Countries’ Taxation

Eric Whitmer (GWA)

In this paper I hope to obtain the reason why and the causes entrepreneurial individuals are willing to move to countries to conduct business in another country for different reasons such as education. I argue that these individuals move to these countries because of education, and simplicity in order to start up in the new country. This paper will argue that people will move in order to better their economic standard of living. Another argument that will be posed is the regulations in starting up of a business will deter the individual from starting up is the regulations that are imposed in the country, so they move to another country.

54. Social Media Revolution: An Analysis of the Role Social Media Plays in Facilitating Political Change

Adam Willis (GWA)

The way revolution is conducted is changing. Social media has become a coordinating tool for nearly all of the world's political movements. Activists now have new tools available such as text messaging, e-mail, photo sharing, and social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. This research will examine if social media plays an important role in facilitating political change and if as social media access increases in a country, the chance of successful revolution also increases. As the communications network gets denser and more people are able to participate in it, the networked population is gaining greater access to information, more opportunities to engage in public speech, and an improved ability to carry out collective action. I argue that social media plays an important role in facilitating political change and that as social media access increases in a country; the chance of successful revolution also increases. My research will conduct comparative analysis of 3 countries; Egypt, Iran, and Tunisia. I will be using the most similar systems method in that all countries are from the Middle East/North African region, are primarily Muslim, and have all experienced a revolution. I expect that this research will suggest that social media plays an important role in facilitating political change and that it is a key ingredient in leading to successful revolution.

55. Perfectionistic Thoughts and Problem Solving Performance

Tessa Wimberley & Quentin Johnson (PSY)

The current study explored the relationship between perfectionistic thoughts and problem solving performance on a logic-based puzzle. Using correlational methods, perfectionistic cognitions were examined via a self report measure and performance on an easy-level Sudoku puzzle was measured via both completion time and number of notes taken during the problem solving process. Findings indicated no significant correlations between perfectionistic thoughts, puzzle completion time, or amount of notes taken. Additional results, factors contributing to these findings, and implications for future research are discussed.

56. Perfectionism and Psychological Adjustment in First Year College Students

Tessa Wimberley & Mike Stasio (PSY)

This study explored the relationship between perfectionism and psychological adjustment in first year honors (n = 60) and non-honors (n = 53) students. Participants completed the Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS), the Perfectionistic Cognitions Inventory (PCI), and the Profile of Mood States (POMS) at the start of the semester and then again about 6 weeks later. Findings for the whole sample showed that higher mood disturbance scores were significantly correlated with higher scores on both measures of perfectionism. There were no differences between honors and non-honors students on any of the baseline dependent measures. There were also no within-subject differences from baseline to posttest on any of the dependent scores. Factors contributing to these findings and implications for future research are discussed.

57. Analysis of Fish Consumption in the Asiatic Region

Christina Young (GWA)

Dietary staples are often a function of a geographic region and its resources. For instance, in the U.S. meat and other livestock tend to be a staple of the American diet. Fish is a dietary staple within Asia because often it is cheaper than livestock products in comparison with other countries. Generally, it is understood that the economy plays a significant role in food and consumption patterns; within the Asian region it would be fish. In this paper I will research fish consumption within Asian cultures and relate it to economic trends. I argue that there are alternative aspects at work, in conjunction with the economy, to impact and effect fish consumption in the Asian region. I will conduct a qualitative analysis of countries in Asia (Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) with varying levels of development using the Most Dissimilar Systems (MDS) and compare and contrast the economy, its effect on fish consumption, and look for a way to explain the levels of fish consumption within that region. I expect my research to suggest a cohesive explanation as to what contributes to the high level fish consumption within the Asiatic region. Such an explanation would link and/or include culture, economic trends, resource availability, aquaculture, and the business of imports and exports.


About the Conference

The University of Tampa Undergraduate Research Conference allows students to present original, empirical research within any area of the disciplines represented by the College of Social Science, Mathematics and Education. The first conference was in April 2006 and has been held annually since. At the third event held in April 2008, prizes for the best posters were awarded. The fifth event (April 2010) saw a wider representation of posters from across the college.


Example citation for the work presented here

Einstein, A. & Blessing, S. B., (2011, April). Investigations into the psychology of time perception. Poster presented at the Spring 2011 CSSME Undergraduate Research Conference, Tampa, FL.

Copyright © 2006-2007 Stephen Blessing. All rights reserved.