Psychology Students, Alum Present at EPA Conference

By Purnell T. Cropper | March 22, 2011

Two students and one alum presented posters of their research at the 82nd annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association held in Cambridge Massachusetts this March. The research comprised both sophomore-level projects and one senior thesis.

Jennifer Kacewich presented a poster on “Heath Framing of Orange Juice Brands Reduces Liking in College Students.” This presentation was co-authored by Mia Zarro and Anastasia Skroubelos, who are studying abroad this semester. Co-author Dr. Steven J Robbins, Professor of Psychology, supervised the project.

Christopher Schwartz ’11, a Psychobiology major and a pre-med senior, presented “The Effect of MK-801 on Tolerance to Stress-Induced Analgesia in the Rat,” a project co-authored by alumni Cory Mola, Psychology Department, and Katrina Wagner, Chemistry Department. Co-author Dr. Joshua E. Blustein, Associate Professor of Psychology, supervised this research.

Finally, alum Ashley Wise, who is in a Ph.D. program in Experimental Psychology at the University of New Hampshire, presented her senior thesis, “The Effect of High and Low Distraction on Pain Perception.” Blustein served as her thesis mentor on this project and was a co-author on this poster.

All three posters were well-received as evidenced by the large number of questions that the students received.


Health Framing of Orange Juice Brands Reduces Liking in College Students

Steven J. Robbins, Jennifer Kacewich, Mia Zarro, Anastasia Skroubelos (Arcadia University)

We examined whether “health” descriptions of food products might backfire and reduce preferences in younger participants. Forty undergraduates were asked to drink four cups of identical orange juice that came from “Original,” “Heart Healthy,” “Antioxidant,” or “Calcium” Tropicana containers. Participants gave lower preference ratings to the juices with health labels. Health framing effects may depend on pre-existing schemas – for younger participants, health descriptions may activate an “eat your vegetables” schema and paradoxically reduce consumption.

The Effect of High and Low Distraction On Pain Perception

Ashley M. Wise (University Of New Hampshire ), Joshua E. Blustein (Arcadia University)

The present study examined the effects of the magnitude of distracters (high vs. low on pain perception using both warm and cold water stimuli. It was predicted that high distractions would be significantly more effective at reducing pain perception than low distractions. We found that the latency to remove the arm from the hot water was significantly longer following the distraction conditions than baseline, but independent of magnitude of distraction.

The Effect of Mk-801 on Tolerance to Stress-Induced Analgesia in the Rat

Joshua E. Blustein, Corey Mola, Katrina Wagner, Christopher Schwartz (Arcadia University)

The effect of the MK-801 on adaptation to swim stress-induced analgesia in rats was examine. Rats were injected with 0.2mg of MK-801 or saline and swam for 3 min in 17.50C water. We found that Group MK-801 exhibited significantly more analgesia after the first swim than Group Saline.On the last day, both groups showed similar levels of analgesia. These data provide evidence that MK-801 failed to block adaptation to stress-induced analgesia.