• 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 (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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Mind Changers: Processes of Deliberation and Persuasion in a Civil Retail Discrimination Case

      Evett, Sophia; Sullivan, Cristen (2014-01-01)
      This research seeks to expand on the results of a mock jury civil trial study conducted by Sophia R. Evett, Anne-Marie G. Hakstian, & Liisa A. Burk (2012). In this study, 124 participants were placed on one of 20 juries (10 with black participants and 10 without). All participants were then asked to read a case involving an incident, at a department store. After reading the case, (Harmon vs. Reilly’s Department Store), participants were told that the plaintiff’s claim was either based on racial discrimination or unlawful detention. Deliberation analysis allowed researchers to observe topics used by jurors to persuade other jurors to change their mind from either siding with the plaintiff or the defendant. Results suggest that statements expressing empathy for the plaintiff were more prevalent when jurors found for the plaintiff while statements expressing a lack of empathy were found in juries that sided with the defendant. Statements implying that the case lies on a continuum (statements such as “His actions were not too extreme” or “Some things were right and some things were wrong”) were correlated with a finding for the defendant. Lastly juries that mentioned that the store followed policy were more likely to find for the defendant while statements about the store not following policy did not have an affect on the outcome of the case.
    • N-Queens Problem

      Crowe, Kathi; Reynolds, Ashley (2018-01-01)
      Using combinatorics in this paper, we will discuss three different methods in solving the n-queens problem. We will find the maximum and minimum number of queens we can place on an n x n chessboard. Also, we will use latin squares, latin rectangles and circulant matrices as another method of placing the queens on a chessboard.
    • Perspectivas De Acceso Y Tratamiento Para La Salud Mental En La Comunidad Latinx De Los E.E.U.U.

      Dávila Gonçalves, Michele; Hames, Ash (2022-05-01)
      Addressing the mental health crisis in the United States for members of Latinx communities is a matter of sociocultural limitations. Through a qualitative essay written in Spanish, this study investigates the attitudes of Latinx people in the U.S. regarding mental health care and their identity through qualitative face-to-face interviews or via Zoom. I had a group of eight subjects who were between 20 and 35 years old, identified as Latinx while living in the U.S., and were students or employees of a Massachusetts public university. First, the subjects completed a written survey where behavior was evaluated on the search for treatment, knowledge of treatment and its value, stigma, discomfort with the emotions generated, access and cultural barriers. After subjects completed the survey, I used a script of questions to facilitate our discussion of reactions to the survey, personal and relevant anecdotes, and one's own experience when seeking treatment for mental health (example: "Have you gone to therapy?"). I performed a thematic analysis of the information recorded during interviews to look for the significance in regard to the area of psychology. In the second stage of analysis, I collected evidence from the interviews and written sources, and organized them into four themes with three sub-themes for each category. I investigate the four themes of access to resources, discrimination and intersectionality, relationships with family and society, and psychological observations, specifically regarding how public health and psychology workers can improve the effectiveness of mental health care for the Latinx community.
    • Positive And Negative Effects Of Inclusive Education On Social Development For Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Literature Review

      Scott, Kristina; Coelho, Emily (2019-05-01)
      This research reviewed available literature on the positive and negative effects of educational inclusion on social development for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Spectrum Disorder is a spectrum of disorders characterized by deficits in social skills and nonverbal behaviors. With the prevalence of ASD steadily increasing, students with ASD are more frequently being placed in inclusive education classrooms among their peers without ASD. Research studies conveyed that positive inclusion harbors social inclusion, trained educators and cooperation from peers who are non-disabled. Other studies conveyed that inclusion can be detrimental to a student with ASD’s social development and success. Results of this literature review suggests that there are several supports required within an inclusive education environment in order for social developmental progress to be made for students with ASD.
    • Predictors of Undergraduate Choice of Major and Academic Performance in College Females

      Lyons, Teresa; Cornelio, Taicha (2015-05-01)
      The goal of the present research was to determine whether the degree of parental involvement, views of femininity ideology and amount of self-determination impact female college students’ choice of major and performance in college. The purpose of this study also was to gain a better understanding of what influences college students to study certain subjects and for what reasons and to identify trends of major choice and academic performance. The research included a sample of 100 female undergraduate students from an Eastern Massachusetts university. The present study combined the use of surveys and interviews in order to examine if parental involvement, feminine ideology and self-determination predicted college major choice and GPA. The participants took part in an online survey in which they were asked demographic questions and rated statements that had to do with parental involvement, femininity ideology and self-determination. The participants of the survey were also given the opportunity to take part in an interview, in which the researcher asked open-ended questions that required further elaboration. When measuring the effects these variables had on the students’ GPA solely, there was a significant association. In particular, students’ femininity ideas of purity, parent’s school involvement and parent’s beliefs of putting effort were associated with GPA. It was also found that the predictor variables did not have any significant association with female college students’ choices of male-dominant or female-dominant majors. With such results, society may better understand what causes individuals to choose certain areas of study and its relation with how well they actually perform.
    • Prolonged Exposure Therapy for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

      Krugman, Martin; Livingston, Courtney Maxine (2016-05-01)
      Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the mental health condition that is triggered by the experience of a traumatic event and results in mental and physical health problems as well as interpersonal and social problems (Foa, Gillihan, and Bryant, 2013). There are currently many psychological treatments for individuals with PTSD. Although the literature covers a wide variety of therapies, this review will focus on prolonged exposure therapy (PE) for treatment of veterans with PTSD. This review will be broken down into five categories which are: manualized PE, PE with the presence of a traumatic brain injury, PE delivered via telehealth, PE with veterans who expressed a treatment preference for PE, and PE with active duty military personnel. All studies found prolonged exposure therapy as an effective treatment for veterans with PTSD.
    • Racial Injustices: The Menstrual Health Experiences of African American and Latina Women

      Moore, Sara B.; Martinez, L. Virginia (2020-05-01)
      The goal of this research is to examine racial disparities among college-age African American and Latina women with a focus on menstrual health issues and their experiences with health care. This research includes a literature review that explores the existence of institutionalized racism and sexism in medicine, giving attention to reproductive justice and ultimately menstrual justice for women of color. It also entails four semi-structured, in-depth interviews with African American and Latina women, through which I identified four common themes: 1) the normalization of pain, symptoms, and experiences, 2) feelings of not being taken seriously by medical providers, 3) the disruption of daily activities and self-image, and 4) feelings of frustration that treatments are not working. Previous research supports the findings that women of color are disproportionately disadvantaged compared to their White counterparts in terms of birth outcomes and infant mortality, quality of medical care, and their relationship with medical professionals. Although the area of menstrual justice is particularly understudied, this research sheds light on the experiences of women of color who have sought medical care for menstrual health conditions in the hopes that their health care experiences will not go unnoticed or be dismissed. Medical professionals can draw on this study to address the problem of racial disparities in medical treatment, menstrual health, and health care in general to provide a meaningful and effective path for women of color.
    • The Relationship: Partners’ Behaviors and Their Impact on Overall Satisfaction

      Crone-Todd, Darlene; Boucher, Ashley Christine (2016-05-01)
      Relationships are a top priority for many people, perhaps because relationships fulfill an important human need: love. Relationships tend to be complex and have many predictors related to whether or not a relationship will be satisfying. It is important that one evaluates how satisfied he/she is with the relationship in order to decide whether to continue. If one learns early in the relationship that they are not satisfied, then they can terminate the relationship before it continues too long. Relationship satisfaction was examined in terms of positive and aversive behaviors commonly demonstrated in relationships. The positive behaviors analyzed included support/praise, affection, security, and communication, while the aversive behavior categories included exclusion, deceit, avoidant behaviors, undesirable actions, and potential competitors. A survey was administered through surveymonkey, in which participants completed demographic information, a pre-survey rating of their overall level of relationship satisfaction, questions regarding the frequency of certain behaviors, and a post-survey rating on their level of relationship satisfaction. When analyzing the pre and post survey responses, participants were more satisfied with their relationship after completing the questionnaire. Regarding the pre-survey satisfaction rating, a stepwise regression procedure indicated exclusion and support/praise as having the most significance in a relationship, where as the post satisfaction rating was most closely associated with exclusion, support/praise, deceit, and potential competitors. Therefore, the clearest correlations appear to be exclusion, deceit, support/praise, and potential competitors. Another finding is that filling out the survey changed both the satisfaction level and the predictor variables. It is likely that the behavioral categories tend to produce satisfying relationships because both people in the relationship are experiencing both generic and idiosyncratic reinforcement from the significant other. Also, participants' satisfaction ratings appear to increase as a result of completing the survey. Is is not clear why this is the case; however, it may be that "taking stock" of the positive and aversive behaviors may have led this sample to be more satisfied with their current relationship. These findings suggest that reviewing the positive and negative aspects of a relationship can be beneficial, but more research is indicated.
    • Smartphone Technology And Social Interference

      Gonsalves, Joanna; Lyons, Teresa; Miller, Benjamin; Potorski, Emily (2016-12-01)
      The purpose of this experiment was to assess the impact of smartphone usage on social interactions. Previous studies have examined the relationship between smartphone usage and social relationships, but little or none with experimental designs. A particular question was whether smartphone use can detract from the establishment of commitment to a new organization and its members (specifically a university program). It was hypothesized that students who limit their smartphone use would have higher levels of belongingness and commitment to their new program and to their new college and less newcomer anxiety than students in the control group. Twenty incoming freshmen (male = 1, females =19) from a New England university completed pre-tests and post-tests. Participants attending a pre-planned college freshman retreat were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (n = 6) or the control group (n = 6), where the experimental group were asked to limit their smartphone use on the two-day retreat. The between group variable had three levels (experimental retreat group, control retreat group, and a non-retreat comparison group) and the within group variable was time of measurement (pre-retreat test and post-retreat test). Change in six dependent variables from pre-test to post-test was measured, including college anxiety, affective group commitment, and attitudes toward smartphone use along four dimensions (attachment, social connectedness, exclusion, and social assurance). Results only indicated a significant difference between the experimental and control group on the smartphone exclusion variable (U = 3.5, p = .03). This study should be replicated with a stronger manipulation of the independent variable (full limitation of smartphone use vs. regular use) and include a larger sample.