• The Effect of Instagram on Self-Esteem and Life Satisfaction

      Gonsalves, Joanna; Dion, Nicole Annette (2016-05-01)
      This quasi experiment examined the effects of Instagram, a social media site that consists of posting pictures, on self-esteem and life satisfaction. Specifically, I looked at the effects of following celebrities on Instagram in relation to the ideas of social comparison theory. Traditionally aged college females (N = 51) were assigned to either the control group where they were asked to use Instagram as they normally would, or the experimental group where they were asked to follow 15 specific celebrities for 4-6 weeks. Participants were given a pretest and posttest which included a self-esteem and a life satisfaction survey. There were no statistically significant differences found between the experimental group and the control group, nor between the pretest and posttest scores, and there was no interaction effect between time of measure and experimental group. However, a subgroup of participants that initially followed a minimal amount of celebrities before the experiment showed a decline in their life satisfaction at posttest which approached statistical significance. Further experimental research is needed to confirm that altering one's social comparison group on Instagram can lower life satisfaction among traditionally-aged college females.
    • The Effects Of Stereotype Threat On Elders' Memory Performance

      Miller, Benjamin; Zeren, Andrea; Evett, Sophia; Raffi, Michelle (2017-05-01)
      Elders often do poorly on memory tests compared to younger adults, but this may be due in part to elders believing that memory declines with age. Previous research has found that elders who are aware of this negative stereotype freely recall and recognize fewer words than elders who are not aware of this stereotype (Chasteen et al., 2005). In a meta-analysis of previous research, young adults and elders in non-threat groups had a more liberal response criterion and produced more information about what they believe they remembered, whereas elders in the threat group had a more conservative response criterion and produced less uncertain information. This study further investigates this stereotype and how it affects elders’ memory performance after watching a video. The study found that the young adult group had more correct answers from the memory test than the elder threat group and elder non-threat group. The young adult group had a higher d’ than both old groups and the old threat group had the lowest d’. The response criteria fluctuated between each group but not as much as expected. Results have found that young adults do better on a memory test and a stereotype threat can be seen between elders during videos.
    • Examining Sanity Testing: Past, Present, And Future

      Gonsalves, Joanna; Marchionda, Claudia (2019-05-01)
      This thesis explores the use and validity of sanity testing in the United States. The central question is how the legal determination of criminally insanity impacts the outcomes for accused individuals. The primary sources used in this thesis include federal laws and regulations, forensic psychology research, and case studies. The history of the insanity plea and the role of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders within the courtroom are explored. Also considered are current sanity testing practices, with emphasis on the consequences of type I and type II errors. My research suggests that these definitions are not consistent among the different organizations involved. The sanity plea is reevaluated when the public becomes involved and the nature of society changes. Implications for such inconsistencies are discussed.
    • Exploring An American Identity Crisis In Emerging Adulthood

      Gonsalves, Joanna; Siefken, Rebecca (2020-05-01)
      This study investigates the possibility of an American Identity crisis in emerging adults, where young, college-aged people are feeling conflicted and possibly rejecting a common American identity. The period of emerging adulthood in many first-world countries is a time between adolescence and adulthood where young adults are able to explore different roles, identities, and ideas independently from their parents, guardians, and hometown (Arnett, 2000). The goal of this research is to listen to young Americans regarding their conceptions of a common American identity and to explore the degree to which they accept or reject this identity for themselves. This research further explores the theme of emerging adults finding their voices and exploring new viewpoints to vocally question ideas that conflict with personal values, and possibly changing the future of America through active involvement as citizens. An original, online survey was created for students at Salem State University that includes open-response and Likert-style questions regarding their own identity and attitudes regarding a perceived common American identity. Qualitative and quantitative analysis are used to examine the possibility of a generational American identity crisis among emerging adults. The intersections between American identity and other participant identities, such as race, sexual orientation, and gender, are also analyzed and discussed.
    • Exploring McGurk Effect Through Tadoma Method Of Speech Perception

      Gow, David; Miller, Benjamin; Moore, Ashley (2017-05-01)
      The process of understanding speech perception is one that also poses a handful of questions. The motor theory of speech perception was proposed to resolve some of these issues that arose. While this accounts for things like coarticulation, the evidence for both sides of the fence is mixed. The discovery of mirror neurons and the findings of fMRI studies support the motor theory, whereas work done with Japanese quails tends to contradict this. The current study explores the speech phenomenon the McGurk effect, what happens when an individual fuses the speech sounds they hear with the one they see being articulated. The problem that comes up is whether the McGurk effect is a result of articulatory cues or training. To examine this claim in a different way than in the past, eighteen subjects were taught the speech perception method of Tadoma. After two days of training, the participants were given mismatched sounds that would potentially result in a McGurk effect. The number of fused responses from subjects increased after the training; however the statistic was not significant. Therefore, it can be concluded that while more of a McGurk effect did in fact appear after the two days of training, it was not valuable enough to prove that speech perception is a product of experience and not just articulatory information.
    • Exploring The Line Between Representation And Exploitation Of Disabilities In Entertainment Media

      Gonsalves, Joanna; Crowley, Sophia (2022-05-01)
      Consistent with the sociocultural model, consumption of popular media influences a community's thoughts, opinions, feelings, and actions towards groups of people represented. Because of this it is important that historically marginalized groups of people are accurately represented in the entertainment media. However, this is often not the case, especially in regard to the disabled community. To showcase the lack of representation a content analysis of 100 popular media sources with disabled characters was conducted. These sources were then analyzed to see the types of representation in much of the popular media of today, i.e., if characters were played by an actor with a disability or if the disability was a main plot point of the story. Along with the content analysis, ten qualitative interviews with people within the disabled community were conducted to learn about their views of disability representation, exploitation, and existing examples in the media. These interviews asked questions about their view of representation, exploitation, and opinions on the existing examples in the media. This research found that not only is there a lack of representation in the media, but a lack of accurate representation, and this is viewed as problematic by participants in the current study. This research provides guidance on how the entertainment industry can improve the representation of the disabled community.
    • Factors That Affect The Stigma Of Mental Illness In College Students

      Krugman, Martin; Lyons, Teresa; Miller, Benjamin; Campbell, Colleen (2018-01-01)
      Nearly 50% of American 18-24 years olds are enrolled in college at least part time, and these years in college are often difficult, stressful times for students. In a study of over 200,000 first year college students, Iarovici (2014) found that students are reporting the lowest levels of emotional health in 25 years. Blanco et al. (2008) found that in a sample of students with mental illnesses, fewer than 25% sought treatment in the year before the survey, even though they were struggling, and this may be due to the stigma of mental illness. Stigma, according to Goffman (1963), is the application of negative characteristics to a person or group of people. This study sought to examine factors that may affect the stigma of mental illness. Variables examined included perceived public stigma, personal stigma, social desirability, locus of control, and stigma of depression specifically. The results showed a significant correlation between perceived public stigma of mental illness and perceived public stigma of depression and a significant correlation between personal stigma of mental illness and personal stigma of depression.
    • The First School Shooter: Examining Multiple Causation In A Case Of Mass Murder

      Gow, David; Lowe, Madison (2022-05-01)
      Violence in schools and in public settings is an unfortunately growing problem in modern society, and understanding why and how these crimes happen is an integral part to preventing future occurrences. This thesis is a case study of Charles Whitman, the person recognized as perpetrating the first mass shooting on a college campus. This case study examines multiple causation theory using Charles Whitman’s case as an examine and guide for discussion. Areas of discussion include childhood abuse, drug use, self esteem, brain chemistry, social learning, locus of control, limbic system dysfunction, and cancer. It is argued through the case study that multiple causation theory provides the strongest, most encompassing explanation for why a person may end up committing a violent crime. Connections between sections, relation to the Whitman case, and discussion about how multiple causation theory is applicable to preventing similar cases are discussed.
    • Future Educators' Preparation And Well-Being: A Qualitative Study

      Noonan, Anne; Miller, Patrice; Krugman, Martin; Sobotka, Victoria (2017-05-01)
      This qualitative interview study examines the retrospective accounts of junior and senior undergraduate students enrolled in a teacher preparation program. A phenomenological research approach (Creswell, 2013) was utilized during the data collection process. Ten students were interviewed to explore their experiences with test anxiety, their experience with test preparation methods for the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL), and their overall well-being during their academic experiences. Four thematic categories emerged after the completion of the data analysis: variance in preparedness, discrepancies in informed attitudes, positive emotions, and negative emotions. These thematic categories were further analyzed to determine how much students believed their experiences helped them achieve passing scores on licensure examinations. Results are discussed in terms of measures that can be taken to improve the overall well-being of students while they are enrolled within the preparation program.
    • How Our Relationships With Ourselves Impact Our Relationships With Others

      Mark, Christopher; Kollman-Veit, Chloe (2022-05-01)
      Out of the many theories as to why and how humans choose their long-term mates, two different models are explored in the present study. Evolutionary models examine the mating strategies used by the two sexes, focusing on the resources each sex can provide to their mate and any subsequent offspring. Alternatively, cognitive models explore the reasons behind a human’s thought processes and potential emotions that contribute to mate choice. Evolutionary models cannot explain all human mating, especially those who cannot reproduce heterosexually. Specifically, the LGBTQ+ community have been historically overlooked regarding these theories. The present study investigated whether human mate preference is most accurately described using a cognitive versus an evolutionary model. It was hypothesized that the mating preference for those who identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ community will be best explained by a cognitive model, while the mating preference of heterosexual participants will be best explained by an evolutionary model. Participants (N=97) were asked to rate certain traits, first for themselves and then for a potential future partner. Results showed that a cognitive model could explain mate preference for both LGBTQ+ and heterosexual individuals [linear regression: df = 1, F = 983.528, p < .0001, R2 = .912] Someone who rated a characteristic in themselves highly would rate that characteristic important in a partner highly as well. Those who recreate this study should try a random sampling method, and further, explore how people’s expression of their sexuality impacts their long-term mate preference.
    • Identification Of Psychosocial Factors In The Development Of Serial Killers In The United States

      Gonsalves, Joanna; Brennan, Tiffany (2019-05-01)
      The purpose of this study is to attempt to identify risk factors associated with serial killing. This line of investigation can aid criminal justice and mental health professionals in preventing murders in the future. Twenty-five case studies of serial killers convicted in the United States between 1967 and 2016 were examined using newspapers, books, biographies, and social science peer reviewed articles. The analyses focused on demographic, psychological, and sociological factors, such as mental illness and criminality, that may have predisposed the sample to become serial killers. The results of the study are discussed in terms of prevention, including early detection of risk factors, treatment, and improving social systems currently in place.
    • Improving Tier-1 Mental Health Programs In Schools

      Aparicio, Carlos; LeClerc, Hannah K. (2019-05-01)
      Tier-1 mental health education programs are designed to educate young people about general mental health issues in school settings and everyday life situations. In practice, however, they have not been efficient at delivering a generalized mental health education to individual’s ages 5-18 years old, because these programs do not consider socioeconomic, sociocultural, and gender differences; and these factors are important to effectively educate individuals. The thesis of the present study is that if these factors are included in the design and implementation of tier-1 programs, they will succeed in educating individuals about mental health issues. Accordingly, the present study reviewed research assessing socioeconomic, sociocultural and gender factors in determining the successful implementation of tier-1 mental educational programs. The main findings and their implications to the development and implementation of tier-1 programs are discussed in this paper.
    • An Investigation Into Which Techniques Of Play Therapy Are Most Effective Across A Spectrum Of Behaviors In Children

      Gonsalves, Joanna; Boghosian, Jamie (2022-05-01)
      Play Therapy, a type of therapy in which play is used to help a client share their emotions and work through their issues, is a globally used practice (Cassado-Frankel, 2016). It is used to help many children combat their trauma, anxiety, depression, and several other disorders and conditions. This thesis reports on a meta-analysis of 11 previous research studies in the psychological literature research conducted on this subject and an analysis of data collected via an original survey completed by seventeen child therapists in the New England area who use play therapy on a regular basis with their clients. Consistent with previous studies in the literature, survey respondents reported that play therapy is very effective in helping children clients with their struggles. The survey found that the participants believed a play therapy session should be 30-60 minutes on average in order for it to be effective. The survey also found several patterns in which types of play therapy are most commonly practiced for different types of conditions. For example, the most preferred types of play therapy to practice were Child- Centered Play Therapy and Non-Directive Play Therapy. Another pattern found was that play therapy was most popularly practiced with clients who have anxiety disorders and least used with clients who have oppositional defiant disorder.
    • An Investigation of Cultural Awareness: Knowledge, Attitudes Experience and Education

      Evett, Sophia; Terrell, Danielle Marie (2015-12-01)
      For my senior honors thesis, I surveyed 84 convenience sampled participants to uncover their attitudes, knowledge, experiences, and to decipher how Salem State University has impacted diversity in their lives. This study is important because the faces of the world are ever changing and inter-racial experiences will shape professionalism. Therefore I wanted to discover how diversity has played into the lives of Salem State University students. Significant correlations were found between the four variables, and between the second part of the survey. Students were surveyed based on a seven point scale and one open response question. Participants were then asked to label a map of the Unites States or list as many states as they could if they could not identify states, then asked to name as many countries as they could according to continent. Implications of these findings are further discussed.
    • Is Polydipsia a Predictor of Cognitive Impulsivity?

      Aparicio, Carlos; Lilja, Shannon (2020-05-01)
      Two nonhuman animal models of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the Spontaneously Hypertensive rat (SHR) and Lewis (LEW) rats, were used to explore the possibility that schedule-induced polydipsia is a predictor of cognitive impulsivity. A concurrent-chains procedure consisting of 60 choice cycles was used. Each cycle began with one response on the back lever causing two front levers to extend into the experimental chamber. Choice was measured in the initial link with the levers using Random Interval schedules arranging entries to two terminal links. In one terminal link, the left lever produced one food pellet immediately (SSF). In the other terminal link, the right lever produced 4 food pellets (LLF) after a delay of 0.1, 5, 10, 20, 40 or 80 seconds. A bottle of water could be available (B), or could not be (A) available, to the rats in the choice situation according to an ABABA design. The results showed that the rats discounted the value of the LLF as a function of the delay to deliver it. Both strains of rats drank water during the one-minute blackout following 10 choice cycles during the session. But the SHRs drank more water than the LEWs, especially during the delays to the LLF. A negative correlation between polydipsia and discounting rate suggests that: (1) polydipsia is not a predictor of impulsive choice, and (2) polydipsia is not related to motor impulsivity.
    • Is Vegan Food Really that Bad? The Relation between Moral Identity Threat and Flavor Preference

      Evett, Sophia; Hennigan, Paul (2015-12-01)
      Vegans often report finding themselves and their diets as the subjects of ridicule and disparaging attitudes. These attitudes could be due to moral identity threat, a self-defense mechanism that preserves one's concept of being a good person in the face of perceived moral exemplars. The present study tested this hypothesis by having participants sample the same cookie from two baskets, with one basket being labelled as "vegan" and the other being labelled as "classic." Moral identity threat and attitudes towards vegans were measured using surveys adapted from prior moral psychology studies. The results show that those with high moral identity threat show a statistically significant preference for the cookie labelled as "classic" and no preference for the same cookie labelled as "vegan". Furthermore, high scores of moral identity threat were correlated with negative vegan attitudes. These results show that negative attitudes towards vegan food and vegans may be influenced by internal self defense mechanisms rather than the actual quality of the food and people being judged.
    • Learn To Meditate: Breath In Calm, Breath Out Stress

      Crone-Todd, Darlene; Miller, Benjamin; Snyder, Ryan; Ouellette, Renee (2017-05-01)
      The high stress and anxiety levels reported by college students are a concern for many students pursuing a degree. Meditation is a research-supported method of reducing stress and anxiety. While many students would like to learn how to meditate, it is difficult to do so without some form of instruction. The present study uses behavioral fading procedures to gradually diminish the use of verbal and audio prompts in a guided meditation program to eventually transfer stimulus control from the prompts to the participants themselves to meditate successfully on their own. The goals of the present study were to increase the probability of maintaining a frequent practice of meditation, and to increase the participants’ success in meditating. Success in meditating was defined by the participants’ decrease in heart rate, along with the number of fidgeting behaviors they emitted in each session. The participants (n=6) were introduced to the fading procedures at different times, using a multiple baselines across participants (MBAP) design. Physically recorded measures indicate that the program decreased participants’ overall resting heart rate as well as their heart rate within sessions, fidgeting behaviors during meditation, and their self-reported anxiety levels. Further, some of the participants persisted with their meditation practice after the study was terminated. However, overall stress levels appeared to remain the same across the program. These results imply that a MBAP design that uses fading procedures for this limited amount of time is effective in decreasing heart rate and anxiety levels, but not stress levels.
    • A Literature Review Of Alternative Approaches To Escape Extinction In Feeding Protocols

      Gonsalves, Joanna; Setzer, Olivia (2022-05-01)
      This literature review investigated different treatment packages for feeding protocols in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A literature review was conducted on case studies that were conducted on children under the age of eighteen with at least one problem behavior related to feeding. The case studies included were peer-reviewed and published in a journal article in the past twelve years. The review considered a set of variables for each study that included: the number of children who were treated, the effectiveness of the treatment, consistency of results between participants, consistency of results across studies, and follow up treatment effectiveness. Based on the literature reviewed, the results indicated there was no single treatment package that consistently demonstrates a decrease in inappropriate mealtime behavior and an increase in acceptable mealtime behavior. High probability sequences, noncontingent reinforcement, behavioral skills training, least-to-most prompting, and lag schedules of reinforcement were at least moderately effective at decreasing inappropriate mealtime behavior and increasing appropriate mealtime behavior without using escape extinction.
    • A Literature Review Of Alternative Approaches To Escape Extinction In Feeding Protocols

      Gonsalves, Joanna; Setzer, Olivia (2021)
      This literature review investigated different treatment packages for feeding protocols in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A literature review was conducted on case studies with participants under the age of eighteen with at least one problem behavior related to feeding. The case studies included were peer-reviewed and published in a journal article in the past twelve years. The review considered a set of variables for each study that included: the number of children who were treated, the effectiveness of the treatment, consistency of results between participants, consistency of results across studies, and follow up treatment effectiveness. Based on the literature reviewed, the results indicated there was no single treatment package that consistently demonstrates a decrease in inappropriate mealtime behavior and an increase in acceptable mealtime behavior. High probability sequences, noncontingent reinforcement, behavioral skills training, least-to-most prompting, and lag schedules of reinforcement were at least moderately effective at decreasing inappropriate mealtime behavior and increasing appropriate mealtime behavior without using escape extinction.
    • Medical Mistrust across Different Ethnic Groups

      Todaro, Janet; Ciulla-Monteiro, Susana (2016-06-01)
      This study explores various factors that contribute to medical mistrust among a population of college students from a medium sized, public university. The hypothesis of the study was that ethnic minority status would be related to high levels of medical mistrust. This was tested using a self-authored instrument, which was made available to participants online. Participants were asked to rate various statements pertaining to medical mistrust (i.e. "I feel a high amount of anxiety when going to see a doctor" on a Likert scale, ranging from 1 to 7, 1 indicting that the participant strongly agreed and a 7 indicating strongly disagreed with the statement. Results were analyzed using statistical tests such as independent samples t-tests, one-way analyses of variance, and a factor analysis. While a relationship was not found between ethnicity and medical mistrust, other factors such as gender, age, citizenship status, socio-economic status, and birth country were found to be related to medical mistrust.