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Psychology

SENIOR PROJECTS AND STUDENT RESEARCH

Critical Literature Reviews

Nicole Alexander ’14, Moral Foundations Theory: Howe well does it explain the political division between conservatives and liberals? Advisor: Chandra Mason 

Taylor Butler ’14, Household income and effects of cognitive ability. Advisor: Kimberly Craig

Jalynn Edwards ’14, The relationships among social dominance orientation, gender role ideology and offender’s gender on criminal sanctioning. Advisor: Chandra Mason 

Alessandra Gonzalez-Rivera ’14, What factors contribute to perceived blame in sex crimes? Advisor: Kimberly Craig

Kirsten Hogan ’14, The influence of forgiveness and shared social identities on need for revenge of non-victims. Advisor: Chandra Mason 

Christina Leyton ’14, How do therapies help the recovery process of children and adults who were physically abused as children? Advisor: Kimberly Craig

Tina Pagan ’14, The effect post-traumatic stress disorder has on sleep quality. Advisor: Kimberly Craig

Jillian Palomo ’14, The importance of intrinsic motivation. Advisor: Kimberly Craig

Data Collection Projects

Kelly Brose ’11 

Advisor: Chandra Mason

Cognitive Aspects of Attitudes Toward Adoption
Each year in the United States, there are at least 6 million pregnancies (Arons, 2010). Almost 40% of these pregnancies are to single women (Stein & St. George, 2009). Of those, 40% of such pregnancies result in abortion, while only one percent of single women with an unplanned pregnancy choose adoption (Arons, 2010). In an effort to better understand attitudes towards adoption, the study tested a model in which knowledge about adoption and abortion was hypothesized to predict attitudes towards adoption and abortion. Participant recruitment targeted American citizens who were 18 years of age or older, and a total of 97 respondents completed multiple adoption attitudes scales, an abortion attitudes scale, an abortion knowledge test, and an original adoption knowledge test that was developed by the researcher. Path analysis of the data yielded support for the original model. However, post hoc testing revealed a better fit between the data and a slightly modified version of the model in which knowledge about abortion and adoption predicted abortion attitudes, but only knowledge about abortion predicted adoption attitudes. Adoption and abortion service providers may find this information useful when providing education and services to single women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, as well as to the general public.

Rebecca Frost ’11 

Advisor: Louise Freeman

Odor Preference in Asian Musk Shrews
Asian musk shrews are thought to communicate with each other using scent markings, although the specific ways they do this are not well understood. Previous work concerning odor preference in our colony has shown that male shrews are attracted to female urine, but females are not attracted to to male urine [F(1,17) = 7.514, p=0.014]. A study using opossums (Zuri, Su, & Halpern, 2003) shows the same sort of urine preference in that species, but also found that females are attracted to male musk. Male and female shrews were given two 2-minute preference tests and the time spent investigating wooden or cotton balls scented with their own, a male’s, or a female’s musk was recorded. Preliminary data analyzed with a two-way ANOVA has shown that neither sex shows musk odor preference [F(1,16) = 0.163, p=0.692], but changes to the experimental methods could lead to significant data.