Psychology Faculty, Students and Alumni Present at EPA Meeting

By schwartzsa | March 8, 2013

[wzslider autoplay=”true” interval=”4000″ height=”360″ info=”true”]Six faculty members, 12 undergraduate students, one graduate student and two alumni attended the annual meeting of the 84th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association in New York City, from March 1 to 4. They presented 10 research posters—representing 28 student authors and co-authors—which appeared as published abstracts in the conference proceedings.

Undergraduate participation was made possible through the President’s Undergraduate Conference Travel Fund.


An Examination of the Effects of Subliminal Priming on Pain Thresholds

By Tanisha Thelemaque, Wade L.E. Green, Akilah J. Pierre, Steven J. Robbins, Joshua E. Blustein

The study examined whether subliminal priming had an effect on pain thresholds. Thirty-seven participants were primed with happy, painful, and neutral faces shown for 200 ms. Then they performed cold pressor tests to measure pain thresholds. No statistically significant results were found for the self-reported pain measure. However, a nonsignificant trend was found for the latency to remove hand; participants removed hands more quickly after viewing the painful face and more slowly after the happy face.

Does Milgram’s Obedience to Authority Still Apply? Obedience in the Context of Identity Theft

By Jessica Leathem, Adam M. Levy, Marianne Miserandino

Milgram’s groundbreaking obedience to authority studies was updated and applied in a more current context: identity theft. In the present study, a perceived authority requested personal information from 39 undergraduates. Results indicated that participants readily gave out personal information including student ID number, username and password, addresses, bank account information, social security number and more, at rates of obedience comparable to the Milgram experiment.

Does Administering Aripiprazole Decrease Depressive Symptoms in Rats?

By Renee Diane Patrick, Joshua E. Bluestein

The present study investigated the effect of aripiprazole on depressive symptoms in rats using the forced swim test. The experimental group received aripiprazole over six days with a 24hr inter-injection-interval. The control group received saline. The degree of depressive symptoms were quantified based on the amount of time the rat could keep its head above water. The results showed that rats given aripiprazole showed significantly longer latency to stick head under water during swim compared to baseline and the saline group during swim. These data suggest that aripiprazole is involved in reducing depressive symptoms.

The Effect of Different Types of Distracters on Pain Sensitivity

By Katherine Ruthann Bauer, Rana Elsayed, Teresa Greisemer, Sarah Kennedy, Joshua E. Blustein

The present study investigated the effect of distracters on pains sensitivity. A baseline measure of pain sensitivity was followed by three types of distracters and a second measure of pain sensitivity was obtained during each task. The distracters consisted of a word search puzzle, listening to music, and drawing a picture. The results indicated that pain sensitivity decreased more during the puzzle task than either listening to music or drawing a picture. Distracters that required greater cognitive load decrease pain sensitivity the most.

Receptor Antagonist MK-801: Effects on Ketamine Produced Analgesia and Tolerance

By Jin Zhao, Zachary Baker, Chris Schwartz, Ryan Lantzy, Marissa Paesano, Sadie Friday, Yevgeniy Olkhov, Joshua E. Blustein

This study investigated the effect of MK801 on Ketamine analgesia and tolerance. Following baseline tail-flick latencies, rats were injected with either Ketamine or Ketamine + MK801 over fifteen days. The results showed that both Ketamine and Ketamine + MK801 produced significant increases in tail-flick latencies on the first day compared to baseline. However, both groups showed significantly and equivalently faster tail-flick latencies on the last day compared to the first day. These data suggest that MK801 failed to block the development of tolerance to the analgesic consequences of Ketamine.

Parent Motivation and Attendance in Child Behavior Therapy

By Matthew Morris, Michael Morrow,Lydia Barhight, Jennifer Shroff-Pendly, Meredith Lutzstehl

This study examined the relationship between parent motivation and attendance in child behavior therapy. Participants were 76 youth in an outpatient therapy clinic for young children. Parents with higher levels of overall motivation attended significantly more sessions. Additionally, the combination of high motivational readiness and perceived ability was linked to the highest levels of attendance. Accordingly, parental motivation represents an important variable to assess and target when working with families in child behavior therapy.

Cross-Cultural Obedience in the Context of Identity Theft

By Zachary Baker, Harrison Stoll, Jessica Leathem, Adam Levy, Lelanie Malan, Alida Nienaber, Marianne Miserandino

Milgram’s paradigm is difficult to replicate today, however an authority figure asking for intensely personal information may be a new, valid measure of obedience. Our study tested this cross-culturally at Northwest University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. Results indicate that South African students are less likely to give out all of their information, compared to American students; they were more likely to give out all but their most personal information.

The Effects of Priming on Self Body Image

By Harrison Stoll, Zachary Baker, Alexandra Diorio, Adam Levy, Marianne Miserandino

Do media images of smiling models subliminally prime women to feel dissatisfied? Women participants (n=26) saw images of either plus size or skinny women preceded by a subliminal smiley face or no smiley face, in a 2×2 factorial design of prime by model type. Participants in the plus size-prime group had more positive self-body image scores. Results suggest that campaigns to promote “big is beautiful” can be effective.

The Effects of Chocolate on Mood

By Coryn N. Campbell, Brittany Granquist, Shannon Massot, Lauren Shunk, Steven J. Robbins

Mood effects of chocolate were studied in 20 undergraduates. Participants filled out a baseline Profile of Mood States Survey (POMS), then ate one piece each of dark and white chocolate in balanced order. Mean negative mood on the POMS was lower after the white chocolate compared to the dark. The better mood following white chocolate compared to dark may have reflected a taste effect which overshadowed the chemical properties of the dark chocolate.

Effects of Music Priming on Exercise Performance

By Selena M. Hengy, Julia McLean, Thomas J. Barnes, Brian T. Schneider, Steven J. Robbins

Our study investigated the effects of music priming on physical performance. Participants listened to either fast or slow music while completing a cognitive task prior to completing three minutes of step-up exercises. Individuals completed more step-ups following the fast music. Thus, music tempos can influence physical performance even when presented in advance and outside of conscious intention.

Photos courtesy Josh Blustein