Students in the psychology department have the opportunity to take part in several research projects predominantly during their junior and senior years. Research opportunities are available through independent studies, the research 400 classes, as well as in the form of a senior thesis. The department has several rooms and labs available for research purposes. Rooms 110-114 are available upon approval of a department member. If you would like to reserve a room please see Elizabeth Howe.
Here are some examples of some research projects that students have done.
Erin Berger ’10
“The Relationship Between Fungiform Papillae Density, PTC Supertasting, Food Preferences, and Eating Behaviors in College Students.” The present study examined taster status, BMI, food preferences and eating behaviors for 63 Wittenberg University students. Results from this study have shown that taster status, indicated by PTC intensity scores and fungiform papillae densities, explains heightened taste sensitivity and therefore influences food preferences.
Sarah Murray ’10
“Hemespheric Responses to Different Musical Selections.” The aim of this study was to detect, using electroencephalography, whether or not individuals respond differently to modalities within Western tonal music. Specifically I investigated whether or not hemispheric dominance had any effect on the participants' responses to specific musical selections, and if men and women respond differently.
Kathleen Snead ’10
“Toxis Leadership: Sour Milk Rising to the Top.” This study evaluated leader emergence in relation to the Dark Triad, controlling for the Big Five personality constructs. A sample of 120 Wittenberg University students completed a battery of questionnaires assessing each Dark Triad and Big Five trait. Participants then collaborated with three other students on a task and subsequently answered questions about the group's leadership.
Monica Karsai ’09
“Distinguishing Between Rational and Experiential Information Processing Styles.” The purpose of this study was to examine differences in rational and experiential thinking styles. Eight measures were used in conjunction with the Rational-Experiential Inventory to determine strengths and weaknesses of each style.
Courtney McNutt ’09
“The Effects of Neighborhood Disorder and Moderator Variables on Physical Health and Psychological Well-Being.” A sample of 77 participants was given a questionnaire that assessed their perceptions of disorder in their neighborhood, their individual assets, and their physical health and psychological well-being. Neighborhood disorder predicted physical health, fear, and mistrust. Formal social ties and church attendance buffered the effects of neighborhood disorder on health, fear, and mistrust.
Kristina Steiner ’09
“Hemispheric differences in processing anaphoric inferences: Application of the stop-signal paradigm.” Participants in this experiment viewed either constrained or neutral texts that required making an anaphoric inference and then performed a lexical decision task in response to target words that were the inconsistent antecedent to the anaphoric inference. We expected to find that the RH would respond similarly to targets after both constrained and neutral texts, but that the LH would respond slower to targets after constrained texts than neutral texts.
Kari Phelan ’08
“A Typology of Retaliation Strategies Against Social Aggression Among Adolescent Girls.” The objective of this study was twofold (1) to examine which socially aggressive topics were most provocative and (2) to develop a typology for retaliation against social aggression. These concepts were analyzed through qualitative interviews with a sample 15 girls, ages 10-16.
Abigail Sjostrom ’08
“Parental Divorce, Parent-Child Conflict, and College Student Well-Being.” This study examined the effects of parental divorce and parent-child conflict on college students' depressive symptoms, eating behavior, and alcohol use. It was hypothesized that students from divorced homes would experience more depressive symptoms, disordered eating, and alcohol use than students from intact families.
Jennifer Storer ’08
“Face Processing in the Brain in Left Handed Individuals” The experiment investigates hemispheric specialization for face processing in neurologically intact left handed individuals with parental sinistrality.
Christine Maddox ’07
“A Comparision of Bulimic Tendencies in College and Non-college Women.” Following research by Hesse-Biber, Marino, & Watts-Roy (1999) on individuals with undiagnosed eating problems, the bulimic tendencies of college (n = 57) and noncollege women (n = 56), ages 18 – 22, were compared in order to assess the effect that living on a college campus has upon disordered eating.
James Martin ’07
“Inter-hemispheric interaction and degree of handedness in relation to social, political, gender, and philosophical beliefs in undergraduates.” The current study replicated Niebauer's study and additionally sought to find similar correlations between mixed-handedness and progressive beliefs in the areas of egalitarianism, political ideology, and moral traditionalism. No significant correlations (merely several trends) are established between handedness and belief systems.
Jami Unger ’07
“Examining the Effects of Achievement Events on Children’s Positive and Negative Affect.” The current study examined the effects of achievement orientation and events (positive and negative) on positive and negative affect in 71 fifth and sixth graders.
Liz Asta '06
"Effectiveness of Family Therapy with Children: A Meta-Analytic Study."
This meta-analysis is looking at whether family therapy is more effective with children than other populations. This review of 24 studies is also looking at whether family therapy is more effective with minority families, children in two-parent families, and several other variables.
Tracy Butler '06
"Hemispheric lateralization of emotion in relation to levels of sociotropy and autonomy following achievement and interpersonal experiences."
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of sociotropy, autonomy, depression, and neuroticism on drawing placement after a positive achievement and interpersonal experience or a negative achievement and interpersonal experience.
Ashley Huffman '06
"Romantic College Relationships and Personality Type as Predictors of Homesickness Symptomatology among College Freshmen."
This study analyzes students'relationship status, and correlates this with their feelings of homesickness and depression during their first month at Wittenberg.