Psychology, 2011
  • Psychology, 2011



    Tattoos, Deviance, and Pro-social Behaviors
    Abigail Arhin, Sarah McIlvried
    Faculty Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    Tattoos have been associated with deviance and criminality in U.S. culture. Although tattoos are gaining in popularity, which might suggest that they are being adopted by a mainstream culture, there still remains much uncertainty over the relationship between tattoos and behavior. This study surveyed 80 undergraduate students at Capital University. Participants were asked for information on the number of tattoos they have and their engagement in various deviant and pro-social behaviors. Results showed a significant positive correlation between tattoos and number of sex partners, marijuana use, and use of other illegal drugs as well as a significant negative relationship between tattoos and volunteering and involvement in organizations on campus. The data suggest a positive relationship between tattoos and certain deviant behaviors and a negative relationship with certain pro-social behaviors, although this cannot be generalized to say that tattoos indicate all forms of deviance. The findings of this study are consistent with other research. Future research could focus on why some deviant behaviors correlate with tattoos while others do not.



    Multi-generational Images of Hope
    Arlene Baker
    Faculty Mentors: Michaele Barsnack, Andrea M. Karkowski

    Given the state of the contemporary world, one would think hope would be nonexistent. Floods are wiping out entire villages; violence and cruelty are reported along with famine and illness throughout the world. And yet, people are still hopeful. How do you know people are still hopeful? The purpose of the study is to determine what hope is using a multi-generational sample. Fifteen people in three age groups were asked to think about what hope means and to draw a picture representing hope. I expect hope to be represented in images of family and home as well as through color. In this time when hope may seem to be fleeting, these images can be a reminder of hope throughout the generations.



    The Poetry of Hope
    Addison Bare
    Faculty Mentors: Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Deborah Shields, Andrea M. Karkowski, Janette McDonald, Dina Lentsner, Renda Ross

    Hope is the belief that this lived moment is not the last. The purpose of my project is to succinctly illustrate the beauty of the relationship between hope and hopelessness. My project was developed by intertwining my view of hope with those of others to form a poem. The poem reveals the necessity of one emotion to the other, as good cannot exist without evil; hope cannot exist without hopelessness. My profession, law, may have a firm basis in reason and appear to leave no room for the whimsy of hope, but my project reveals that without hope there is no ability to live let alone practice law.



    The Effect of Presentation Modality and Recognition Modality on Memory Accuracy
    Jacqueline Baumann, Caitlin Bierman, Jessica Board, Greta Heid, Benjamin Hoffman, Cyle Tiller
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Memory accuracy can vary depending on how information is presented to us, known as presentation modality, and the methods used to retrieve information, known as recognition modality. The purpose of our study was to investigate the effects of the interaction between presentation modality and recognition modality to determine which combination of modalities produced the most accurate memory. The study focused on the interaction between three different presentation types (watching, reading, or hearing a story plot) followed by three different recognition tasks (seeing pictures of objects, reading a list of object names, or hearing a list of object names). We expected to find the most accurate memory for presented material when the presentation modality and the recognition modality match - watching a video and seeing pictures, reading a story and reading a list of objects, and hearing a story and hearing a list of objects. This is known as the modality match effect. The results of this study can enhance our understanding of how to ensure the most accurate memory retrieval in situations where memory for event details is important.



    The Effect of Presentation Modality on Memory Accuracy
    Ellen Bentley, Michelle Greenawalt, Kelsey Hutchinson, Casey Mason, Sarah McIlvried, Sarah Zipf
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Previous research has demonstrated that the accuracy of memory can be impacted by how the to-be-remembered material is presented. In particular, memory for pictures is often better than memory for words. The current study was designed to investigate whether the way that a story is presented impacts memory accuracy. Participants are presented with a story as a video clip, a narrative that is read aloud to them, or a narrative that the participant silently reads. After a short distracter task, participants complete a recognition test. It is predicted that recognition memory will be most accurate for material presented in video form, followed by material read by the participants, with material heard by the participants resulting in the least accurate memory. The results of the current study may expand our understanding of the effects of presentation modality on memory for more complex materials than single words or pictures.



    Alcohol, Sleep and Academic Performance
    Arielle Bowers, Brittney Molnar, Alyssa Otto, Scott Robertson
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Many studies have been conducted regarding the relationship between academic performance and health-related behaviors. A recent study found alcoholic consumption and poor sleep behaviors negatively correlated with academic performance (Singleton & Wolfson, 2009). The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects alcohol and sleep patterns have on the academic performance of undergraduate college students at Capital University. A random sample of 150 students are administered an online survey regarding their sleep behaviors and alcohol consumption. A correlational analysis of the data collected from the surveys is used to determine the relationship between sleep, alcohol consumption and academic performance. The expected results are that poor sleep quality and frequent alcohol consumption have a negative impact on student’s grade point average (GPA). Research in this area is important because if a relationship is found between alcohol, sleep, and GPA it can be used to heighten awareness of the effects and can be used to promote healthy lifestyles.



    Relationships among Proximity of Life Transition, Egocentrism, and Perspective Taking
    Kristen Brandewie, Danielle Stanforth
    Faculty Mentors: Andrea M. Karkowski, Jody S. Fournier

    Egocentrism tends to reemerge upon the transition into college. While the focus of egocentrism is on the self, the focus of perspective taking is on understanding another person’s point of view. We examined the inverse relationship between egocentrism and perspective taking and how that relationship changes as students approach or move away from life transitions. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among egocentric thinking, perspective taking, and proximity to a life transition. Need for cognition, tolerance for ambiguity, and anxiety were examined as potential mediating variables. The hypothesis was tested using a correlational research design where each participant (n = 228) completed survey measures of egocentrism, perspective taking, need for cognition, tolerance for ambiguity, and anxiety and provided demographic information of the month and year when they started at Capital and their expected graduation date. We expected the strongest correlations at the freshmen and senior level closest to the life transition. The results showed that within a college student population, the inverse relationship between egocentrism and perspective taking is influenced by anxiety, need for cognition, and tolerance for ambiguity. These findings have implications for situations that require people to understand others’ perspectives.



    Depression Linked to Dating Status: A Study among College Athletes vs. Non-Athletes
    Christin Bryant
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Depression among college students is a concern for students, faculty and administrators on college campuses. Understanding what possible factors lead to depression and learning about prevention enables us to address a range of issues related to depression in college students. This study determines if there is a correlation between depressive symptoms and dating status among a sample of college students, and identifies potential variance between athletes and non-athletes. The method for this research is an online survey developed and distributed to a random sample of 150 Capital University Undergraduate students. With other research in mind, it is hypothesized that athletes will suffer less from depressive symptoms related to dating status, which may be explained by their busy schedules and belonging to a close-knit group. I expect to find increased depression among non-dating, non-athletes compared to non-dating athletes. These results enhance our understanding of the role athletics play in preventing feelings of depression concerning dating status among college students.



    Effects of Excessive Internet and Videogame Use on College Students
    Christian Bullinger, Chris Doemel, Dylan Helber, Rhett Durbin, Seth Nelson
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Prior studies have shown some of the detrimental effects of excessive video game and Internet use. This study attempts to build upon these findings. The researchers posed a variety of questions pertaining to Internet and video game use, as well as social and academic behaviors using a survey of students at Capital University. The expected findings are that students who play video games or use the Internet excessively will have lower G.P.A.s than their non-gaming counterparts. Further speculation is that relationships with those around them are reported to be of a lesser quality, and that they will likely have less involvement in other activities. This work is important in that it will give further insight into the potentially detrimental habits of college students.



    Social Network Usage at Capital University
    Ashley Burgess, Julie Brown, Scott Rife
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Gray Wilson

    The use of Social Networking Sites (SNS) has been growing vastly across college campuses all over the country. The purpose of our study is to determine the primary reasons college students use SNS. An online survey was created and distributed to a random sample of 150 Capital University undergraduate students. It is hypothesized that the main reason for SNS usage among college students is for social purposes. The study will show that there are many reasons for using SNS and reasons may differ across different demographics. With the evolution of SNS this research project increases understanding of the role that these sites play in the broader social structure of college campuses.



    Learning New Scientific Material: A Comparative Study
    Michael Burgess
    Faculty Mentor: Sabato Sagaria

    According to Isarida et al. (2007), when there is background color, participants are able to associate background color with each item that they learned; thus, associating a background color likely enhances the memorization of an item. Does color in learning scientific material inhibits or enhance learning? Four groups of college students were randomly assigned to one of four groups to learn the structure and names of amino acids. After studying the material participants were asked to recall the amino acid structures and names. The results support, when learning scientific material, it is best done in black and white with examples. These findings are important because this knowledge can guide in the development of textbooks and enhance the teaching of scientific material.



    Out of Control: Procrastination as a Predictor of Other Self-Regulatory Failures
    Melissa Bussey, David Jackson
    Faculty Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    Procrastination, overspending, and overeating have been extensively studied as distinct behaviors or addictions, but the relationships among them have not been explored. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between procrastination and two other self-regulatory behaviors, overspending and overeating. A sample of 112 undergraduate students completed questionnaires to evaluate the extent to which they took part in procrastination, overspending and overeating. Relationships were found among all behaviors, with the strongest relationship found between overeating and overspending. These findings suggest that self-regulatory abilities are consistent across behaviors, and self-regulatory failures can be further examined as a cluster of behaviors. This study provides valuable information for researchers studying self-regulatory behaviors, which were previously studied as distinct dysfunctions.



    The Effect of Recognition Modality on Memory Accuracy
    Melissa Bussey, Alexia Balahtsis, Ciara McClellan, Aleksandra Petruseva, Kelly Sullivan, Megan Trimble
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Previous research has indicated that the accuracy of memory might be influenced by how information is retrieved. The current experiment is designed to determine whether seeing pictures of objects, hearing object names, or reading object names during a recognition task results in differences in recognition of previously experienced material. Participants are presented with a story as a video clip, a narrative that is read aloud to them or a narrative that the participant silently reads. After the information has been presented, the participants are given a recognition task for objects from the story. It was predicted that recognition is highest when the recognition task consists of objects presented as pictures, followed by objects read by the participant, with objects heard by the participants resulting in the lowest recognition accuracy. The results of this experiment contribute to our understanding of factors that influence the accuracy of one’s memory. The accuracy of memory is particularly important in areas such as eye-witness testimony where the consequences of inaccuracy are significant.



    Breakfast and Mood
    Moira Carr, Hannah Dry
    Faculty Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    Benton and Brock (2010) found that eating breakfast improves a person’s mood later in the day. Students who are in a good mood tend to learn better in classes and interact better with peers, both of which affect students’ academic performance. The purpose of this research was to partially replicate and extend the findings of the prior research. We compared the moods of college students who had eaten breakfast with the moods of college students who had not eaten breakfast. The students completed an online survey that consisted of the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and three items about demographics and whether or not they had breakfast. We expected to find that students that ate breakfast, as compared to students that did not eat breakfast, were in a better mood later in the day. As a quasi-experimental design no strong causal statements can be made; however, we hope this study gives insight to the potential effects of breakfast on our daily interactions with others.



    Factors that Influence Drinking in College Students
    Stephanie Crawford
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Drinking is common among college students. This research study is designed to answer the question of what factors are associated with drinking in college students, including personality factors as well as outside influences, such as peer relations. An online survey is distributed to a random sample of Capital University undergraduate students. The expected outcome is that students with higher stress levels and weak peer relations will report drinking more than students with lower stress levels and strong peer relations. This is an important study because excessive drinking is a nationwide problem on college campuses and this study can help to identify why many college students drink.



    The Effects of Stress on the Collegiate Student
    Justin Damron, Asley Senter, Emma Kidwell, Jesse Heck, Ralphie Beal
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Although college can be one of the best times, it can also be one of the most stressful. With the use of various coping strategies, both maladaptive and adaptive, students find a way to handle it. Using an online survey, this study investigates the amount of stress Capital students deal with and the various coping strategies they use. Expected findings include, students involved with more activities show higher levels of stress and demonstrate the use of more adaptive coping strategies. Further, female students show higher stress levels than males and use more adaptive coping strategies than males. This research increases understanding of the types of stressors experienced and consequent coping strategies used by college students.



    Ovarian Cancer Survivors: Programs and Hopes
    Leah Ferdelman
    Faculty Mentor: Janette McDonald

    Research indicates social support is vital to ovarian cancer survivors. As an intern for the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Ohio (OCAO), I have spoken with many cancer survivors about what kinds of activities they want and what gives them hope in order to incorporate their ideas into 2011 programs. A survey was given to 109 ovarian cancer survivors and 51 responses were received. Of the 43 survivors who filled out the program portion of the survey, the highest responses were workout programs, Blue Jackets game, Gynecologic Cancer Foundation one day seminar, and a Big Sister program. This indicates while the survivors wanted to have entertaining events, they also wanted to be well informed on new treatments for ovarian cancer. The 41 survivors filled out the hope portion of the survey made clear faith, family, friends, and fellow survivors gave them hope even through their most troubling times. Approximately 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, so it is vital to know what they want and what gives them hope to continue to survive.



    What Do You Eat on a Date? The Role of Gender and Athletic Status in Food Choice on Dates
    Brooke Fox, Kelsey Hutchinson, Katie Lynch
    Faculty Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    Eating is a common activity on dates; food choice on dates is a part of the overall impression management process. This project examined impression management in the context of eating while on a date. Undergraduate students were e-mailed a survey that asked them to rate on a Likert-type scale how dating-appropriate specific food items were and how much they considered certain characteristics when making food choices while on a date. Men (n = 103) rated ethnic foods as less appropriate and considered the memorability and slow preparation and consumption of food more than women. Women (n = 289) rated healthy foods as more appropriate and considered ease of eating, cost of the food, and whether the food made them feel sick or uncomfortable more than men. This study shows what foods men and women consider dating-appropriate and how they make food choices on dates. Differences between athletes and non-athletes were inconsequential. This research extends understanding of impressions management during a dating situation. Further research is needed to explore how ethnicity, cost, memorability, and consumption time of food impacts food choice on dates.



    The Impact of Familiarity and Attention on Suggestibility
    Suzy Gantz, Haleigh Lanham, Sierra Hill
    Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Previous research has demonstrated that eye-witness memories are highly suggestible. That is, the introduction of post-event information or the wording of questions during interrogation can negatively impact the accuracy of witnesses’ memories for an event. The current research was designed to investigate the impact of familiarity with a witnessed event and how chaotic the event is on suggestibility. Participants viewed a brief chaotic or calm scene from either a familiar or unfamiliar movie. They then read a narrative description of the viewed scene that contained misleading information and were tested on their knowledge of details from the original scene. Accuracy of participants’ memories was greater for details from familiar movies and calm scenes. Participants were most susceptible to misinformation after viewing a chaotic scene from an unfamiliar movie. The results of the current study add to our understanding of factors that might influence the accuracy of eye-witness testimonies.



    Experiencing Hope through the Expression of Dance
    Amber Gibson
    Faculty Mentors: Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Deborah Shields, Dina Lentsner, Andrea M. Karkowski, Janette McDonald, Renda Ross

    Hope can be achieved in many ways. This project provides an understanding of how hope can be gained through the art of dance. The purpose of this research was to describe how the experience of dancing influences the expression of hope. The investigator choreographed a developmentally appropriate dance targeted to help adolescent students express emotions about a situation that occurs frequently in junior high school, specifically bullying. The dancers were taught the choreography and asked to dance. Immediately following the dancing, students were interviewed and asked to describe what they learned about hope from the movement. The results showed that adolescents were able to express feelings and gain a better understanding of hope through dancing. This research suggests that dance could help children express hope in difficult situations.



    The Criminal and Psychological Profile of the Standard Serial Killer
    Diana H. Crandall, Brianna Murphy
    Faculty Mentor: Sabato Sagaria

    Throughout this analysis, we composed a criminal profile based upon scientific data and evidence gathered through means of scholarly analysis and expertise. The purpose of this project was to analyze multiple facets of serial killers and their corresponding profile in order to create our own conclusive hypothesis and criminal profile. Our research explored the neurological basis and inclination of serial killers, as well as investigative offender and spatial profiling, while incorporating any corresponding mental illnesses that are linked to serial murdering. Serial killing is widely romanticized and used as a method of entertainment in the media, movies, and music. Our research dispels these myths and brings the truth about serial killing and mental illness to light.



    Are Students More Likely to Drink Alcohol if Living On or Off Campus?
    Zach Himmer, Andy Garcia
    Faculty Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    Valliant and Scanlan (1996) have shown that the closer students live to a college campus, the more alcohol they consume within a given week. The purpose of this research was to further demonstrate that there is a relationship between alcohol consumption and where college students live. Students were given an in-class survey including questions about where they live and their consumption of alcohol. We expected to find a strong correlation between how close students live to college campus and alcohol consumption. Possible reasons for this relationship include age, greater concentration of students, being away from home, and greater participation in student groups and organizations. Understanding the relationship between college student housing and alcohol consumption can lead better designed educational programming on college campuses.



    Gap Analysis of the Academic Advising Snapshot
    Kelsey Hutchinson
    Faculty Mentors: Andrea M. Karkowski, Stephen Bruning

    This research built upon work that determined the reliability and validity of a survey to measure advising effectiveness, the Academic Advising Snapshot (Dwyer et al., 2009). A gap analysis was conducted to examine the relative importance of the survey items. A sample of students in upper division classes completed the advising assessment survey and responded to each item in two ways: how much the advisor engages in the behavior and how much the student wants the advisor to engage in the behavior. While all of the behaviors assessed by the Academic Advising Snapshot are important, understanding the value of the behaviors relative to how well faculty perform advising behaviors helps to focus educational activities about academic advising on the areas with the greatest need. This research has the potential to improve academic advising at Capital University.



    Dispositional Optimism and Perceived Academic Control's influence on Academic Performance
    Anne Huttleston, Jessica Weisflock
    Faculty Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    Ruthig et al., (2008) showed that students who are optimistic feel they have more control of their academics, and in turn do better academically. The purpose of this research was to find whether dispositional optimism and perceived academic control were different for a student in a general education course versus a student in a course within the students’ major. Students completed a survey measuring the students’ dispositional optimism (Segerstrom et al., 1998), perceived academic control (Ruthig et al., 2008), estimated GPA, and estimated grade in the course. We expected to find students with higher dispositional optimism and perceived academic control would do well in both major and general education courses, whereas the students who have lower dispositional optimism and perceived academic control do better in either the general education course or major course. This study is an attempt to replicate the finding that people who are more dispositionally optimistic also do better with academics.



    Music: An Inspiration for Hope
    Jennifer Kepler
    Faculty Mentors: Deborah Shields, Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Nursing; Renda Ross, Social Work; Janette McDonald, Andrea M. Karkowski

    Hope is emotion embedded deep within our hearts that is necessary for survival. In times we experience failure, we endure a loss of hope. Many people around the world turn to music to gain the inspiration needed to find hope. I interviewed a variety of people to determine how beneficial music has been in their life, and how music helped to instill hope within them. I found no difference in age, language, or culture. Music is a universal expression of hope. I believe hope carries us through life, and music helps to heal us in times of despair. My prayer is for you to be able to find hope in your life, and when you are searching for inspiration, I hope you may find peace in music.



    You're Dating Someone Just like Your Mother (or Father): A Look at how Parents Influence Your Relationships
    Kassandra Lowery
    Faculty Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    During childhood, individuals develop a sense of self and begin forming relationships with each other and their parents. Parents are often the prime source of information for children until they begin school; consequently, children form relationships that often mimic their parents’. This study examined the correlation between childhood relationships (i.e., the parents’ relationship and the relationship that the child had with his or her parents) and dating relationships in college. Undergraduate students completed an anonymous online survey about the participants’ childhood, parental figures, and their current dating partners and relationships. Students (n = 63) whose parents had worse relationships (i.e., more psychological and physical abuse) reported having relationships that were unlike their parents’ relationship. Students who had worse relationships with their parents (i.e., more psychological and physical abuse) had dating relationships that were dissimilar to their parents’ relationship. The key message from this research is that children are influenced by the quality of their parents’ relationship and by their relationship with their parents.



    Hope in a Child's World
    Kassandra Lowery
    Faculty Mentors: Andrea M. Karkowski, Sharon Stout-Shaffer

    Hope is an individual experience that is learned through life events. Hope and hopelessness are intertwined, and attitudes about hope are learned through situations that at first appear hopeless. The purpose of this study was to determine whether children’s expressions of hope are related to the children’s attitudes and ideas about hope. Volunteers from an after school program were asked to complete a story prompt expressing hope. Stories were collected and a book was developed. The book was read to all children in the program. These children then talked about the story in order to capture the attitudes and ideas about the story. Themes of hope were identified. This study contributes to an understanding of how children learn and experience hope.



    Correlations between Extracurricular Activities and Cheating
    Ashley Mason, Kendra Bryant
    Faculty Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    Pino and Smith (2003) found that out of 675 college students, 47% said they had cheated 1-11 times per semester, indicating that cheating is a big issue on college campuses. The purpose of this research was to determine the correlations between cheating behaviors and extracurricular activities. Students were surveyed online and were asked about the number of extracurricular activities they were part of and the number of cheating behaviors they participated in. We expected to find that cheating behaviors increase when students participate in more extracurricular activities. Possible reasons for this counterintuitive finding include poor time management skills and spending more time on extracurricular activities and not enough time on academic work.



    Serving Size and Caloric Intake
    Patricia Morrison, Lauren Bolinger
    Faculty Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    Research (Lei & Gill, 2009) has shown that adults provided a larger serving size ate more than those provided a smaller serving. The purpose of this research was to partially replicate this finding on Capital’s campus by determining whether students eat more when given larger portions and less when given smaller portions. Students were given the opportunity to eat pretzels from pre-measured servings while completing a word search. We expected to find that students provided with a larger portion would eat proportionally more than students provided a smaller portion. We hope that those viewing our poster learn about the significance of portion size and its effects on consumption.



    Capital University Climate Survey of Attitudes
    Justin Poole
    Faculty Mentors: Andrea M. Karkowski, Suzanne Marilley

    From Gordon Allport’s path breaking research on the nature of prejudice to the present, scholars have made important discoveries on how homophobia, racism, and sexism emerge and pervade society. For example, Roper and Halloran (2007) found that male student athletes, as compared to other students, hold more negative attitudes towards gay men and lesbians. Bowen and Bourgeois (2001) reported that significant homophobia and heterosexism occurs on campuses. The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency of offensive and hate-based homophobic language on Capital's campus. By answering the survey adopted and amended from Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) Local School Climate Survey, we determined whether students are accepting or tolerant of homosexual students. We also investigated whether there is a relationship between hearing offensive and hate-based homophobic language and student athletic status. To acquire information we administered online surveys to all Capital’s students. The students’ responses were analyzed to discover the type of climate present at Capital. Results can inform educational programming about prejudice.



    Identity and Participation in Student Organizations
    Justin Poole, Jackeline Castro
    Faculty Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    Researchers have studied participation in identity-based organizations and de facto segregation on college campuses. The purpose of this study was to determine whether students not in identity-based groups have different attitudes about identity-based groups than those who do participate in the groups. We hypothesized that students who do not participate in identity-based groups view identity-based organizations differently than students who do participate. A survey was given to members (n = 82) of five student organizations asking participants to respond to demographic questions and whether they agreed with or disagreed with statements concerning identity-based groups. Students without an identity targeted in the survey lack knowledge about these groups and therefore were also less likely to understand the need for the identity-based groups. However, all participants reported that they would feel comfortable in an identity-based group. In conclusion, more literature and publicity about such groups need to be available on college campuses to increase knowledge and understanding. This study contributes to understanding why students without a specific identity do not join identity-based groups.



    Expressions of Hope
    Emily Porter
    Faculty Mentors: Andrea M. Karkowski, Renda Ross

    Hope is expressed in a variety of ways, depending on the individual and the person’s definition of Hope. This project focused on the expression of hope in today’s culture. The purpose of this project was to set the scope for what hope is and how it is and is not expressed. Interviews were conducted with individuals ranging in age, ethnicity and culture. These individuals were asked to define hope and then express it however they choose. The interviews were recorded. I expected to find that while there are many definitions of hope, the definitions are similar. I expected to find that the way hope is expressed varies, but is influenced by culture or ethnicity. This study contributes to the growing field of the study of hope.



    Student Uses of Social Networking
    Alexandra Ronan
    Faculty Mentors: Suzanne Marilley, Stephanie Gray Wilson

    Recent surges in young adult users of the Internet and social networking sites have made social networking sites a target for mobilization (Zhang et al., 2010). Park et al. (2009) note that social networking sites are used by informational, entertainment, socializing, and self-seeking users. Individuals who use the Internet, specifically social networking websites, in an information-oriented manner also learn political information. Therefore, an online survey was administered to Capital University Undergraduate Students with an expected result that students who are most exposed to social networking are more likely to be informational users, have more discretionary time, and participate most in the political process. Results were analyzed to find a correlation between exposure to social networking and political engagement. This survey adds to previous literature by gauging political participation that results from social networking sites depending on the users’ gratification as a product of time.



    Electrophysiological Studies in a Formerly Incarcerated Population
    Alex Willmarth, Kristen Howell
    Faculty Mentor: Michael W. Torello

    Previous research has shown that there are measureable, physiological differences in emotional affect between sociopathic, violent criminals and non-sociopathic, non-criminals (Hare et al., 1991). Many non-sociopathic, non-violent criminals have unfairly received a similar label of sociopathic with respect to their emotional responses to stimuli. In this study, we tested a group of non-sociopathic, non-violent, formerly incarcerated subjects against a control group of college students to determine differences in emotional affect. Past studies have shown that Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) is an excellent measure of emotional affect (Dindo & Fowles, 2008). Each subject was shown eighteen words with positive, negative, or neutral emotional valences and autonomic nervous system activity was measured using a GSR. There was a significant difference between the two groups, p < .006. That is, the formerly incarcerated subjects had lower autonomic nervous system activity to all stimulus types. This supports the notion that criminals may have underactive autonomic nervous system activity. Our study should be expanded to include a larger population of subjects and a rigorous assessment of psychopathology within the subjects.



    The Implications of the Relationship between Trauma and Spirituality
    Kaitlin Winter-Eulberg
    Faculty Mentors: Joy Schroeder, Craig Burgdoff, Janette McDonald

    The relationship between trauma and spirituality is complex and can be viewed in different ways. Many researchers have concluded that spirituality and a sense of meaning-making is helpful in the trauma recovery process. Trauma, specifically post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has objective symptoms and outcomes for a person. A person’s relationship with spirituality after a traumatic event is varied and more individualistic than their trauma symptoms. While trauma symptoms are seen as more universal, spiritual reactions to trauma are viewed on a more personal level in the recovery process and outcomes. Spirituality and meaning-making have been correlated with better outcomes and attitudes for a person coping with a traumatic event. Further research is needed after correlating that spirituality and meaning-making is helpful in trauma recovery. How are ideals of spirituality and higher sense of being instilled in a person struggling with their beliefs after a traumatic event? How can spirituality be discussed within the counselor-client sessions?



    Hope and Hopelessness: A Comparison of Two Perspectives
    Haley Woods
    Faculty Mentors: Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Andrea M. Karkowski

    Hope is a paradoxical concept including hope and hopelessness; it is both an emotion and an action. Hope is light in a world of dark and a continuous reciprocal process. The purpose of the project is to contrast two perspectives of hope through artwork. The investigator used a camera to capture hopeful and hopeless moments from two individuals and interviewed those individuals for their perspectives. The results are expected to show some differences between perspectives; however, some themes should emerge. This project helps others to understand that while hope may be different for individuals, there are some universal themes throughout.