Annual Symposium for Undergraduate Psychology Engagement and Research (SUPER) Poster Sessions
The 9th Annual SUPER Poster event was held on Thursday April 26th, 2018 from 3:00 - 5:00 PM in the Big 12 Room in the Kansas Memorial Union.
Here is a link to the Abstract booklet from the event detailing the engaging presentations that were given!
Winners from 2018 were:
BEST HONORS THESIS: Taylor McMurtry
Associations Between Military Sexual Trauma and Eating-Disorder Risk
Previous studies indicate that experiences with military sexual trauma (MST) are associated not only with trauma-related disorders (e.g., PTSD) but also eating disorders. Veterans entering the US Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system complete a screen for MST. However, the MST screen is brief and comprised of two general questions: “While you were in the military: a) Did you receive uninvited and unwanted sexual attention, such as touching, cornering, pressure for sexual favors, or verbal remarks; or b) Did someone ever use force or threat of force to have sexual contact with you against your will.” The purpose of this study is to test the association of specific types of sexual trauma (i.e., touching or sexual assault) measured by the MST screen with disordered-eating behaviors and eating-disorder risk. Participants are being recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and complete self-report measures that assess eating behaviors, traumatic experiences, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Based on previous literature, I hypothesize that more “severe” forms of MST (i.e., sexual assault) will have higher associations with eating-disorder risk, particularly for purging (e.g., self-induced vomiting). I also hypothesize that associations between PTSD and disordered eating will be stronger in women (vs. men). Results are expected to lead to an improved understanding of the associations among trauma and disordered eating in veterans which, in turn, may facilitate the development of more targeted prevention and intervention programs for veterans.
BEST INDEPENDENT STUDY: Tristan Hayes
First Impressions and Sexual Partner Value
Little research focuses on the impact of first impressions on the selection of sexual mates. Here we examined two potential factors that are likely to predict positive evaluation of sexual partners in the process of first impressions. According to a recent meta-analysis, bilateral symmetry is associated with higher ratings of attractiveness. Likewise, studies show that people look for others who are similar to them, and prefer others that reflect higher hygiene. Based on these findings we hypothesize that bilateral facial symmetry, fit of race (white/black), and hygiene (absence of acne) will all positively predict positive first impression of a target individual as an appropriate sexual partner. We used 20 faces per sex (group), half African-Americans and half Caucasians. Half of each group of faces were symmetrical and half asymmetrical, and finally, half looked clean and hygienic and half not hygienic with acne, smear and residual in the area of the nose/mouth.
BEST CLASS PROJECT: Ellen Honas, Joseph Denning, Sergej Grunevski, Brianna Marsh & Drew Mutschelknaus
Task Switching: The Effect of Task Similarity on Stress and Performance
In our modern society, we are often expected to juggle many tasks that may span a broad range of topics and skill sets. Although the available literature on the topics of multitasking and task switching has come to a consensus that both activities cause stress, our group was interested to find out whether task similarity mediates stress and performance while task switching; we hypothesized that dissimilar tasks may cause greater stress. We recruited 20 participants to switch between A) two similar tasks and B) two dissimilar tasks while we recorded stress levels via heart rate and skin conductance response. These physiological measures showed a marked increase in stress levels while completing a task as compared to a no-task baseline; however, no significant difference was found between the similar and dissimilar tasks conditions. Self-report stress surveys, however, did show that the participants reported feeling more stressed in the dissimilar tasks condition. We concluded that task switching with dissimilar tasks may be more stressful, but this difference may be too small to detect physiologically without a larger sample size. If true, this would imply that grouping similar tasks may be less psychologically taxing and more efficient in terms of mental energy than grouping dissimilar tasks. Keywords: task-similarity, stress, performance
BEST USE OF STATISTICS: Kelby Clements
Self-Complexity Theory and How It Relates to Mood
People’s personality tends to change when an individual’s self-aspects are distinct or integrated into a single self-concept. In this project, we will be looking at the two extremes on the continuum of self-complexity, compartmentalization and integrated. People usually differ on if they are more compartmentalized or integrated in their self-aspects, but these can change and fluctuate based on different situations. From the past research, they have found conflicted findings on how these different self-structures relate to mood. The research team is looking at how the individuals organize their self-concepts in different ways, and how they change in relation to external stressors. We will then look at those changes in the self-concept over time, and how vulnerable people are to negative influences. To look at the changes in the self-concept we will look at how people adapt to stressors by re-organizing concepts of their identity across different situations and time. This research aims to find out how and when different self-structures react when dealing with mood and external stressors.