Journal of Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences - 1989

Volume 4


Relating Behavioral Objectives to Bloom's Cognitive Taxonomy: Going Beyond the Verb-level Link

James R. Macey

Air Command and Staff College

The most prevalent scheme for classifying behavioral objectives in Bloom's cognitive taxonomy has been to associate action verbs with levels in the taxonomy. Many writers assign verbs to particular taxonomic levels on the assumption that they capture the cognitive processes involved in those levels. This article addresses concern over reliance on this system, argues against any scheme that relegates an action verb exclusively to a single level in the taxonomy, and suggests other considerations that must be taken into account when attempting to make such classifications.

The Relationship Between Rape Myths and Attitudes Toward Women in College Students

Stacy L. Janowiecki

Heidelberg College

The relationship between belief in rape myths and attitudes towards women was investigated. The participants (N= 61) were college students (n = 33 males and n = 28 females). An adaptation of the Attitudes Towards Women Scale (Spence, 1973) was used to measure attitudes toward women, and an adaptation of the R Scale (Costin, 1985) was used to measure attitude towards rape. The 2 measures were found to be significantly related, and analysis of variance indicated a main effect of gender for both measures with male  participants having more traditional views of women and greater beliefs in rape myths than female  participants.

Offenders' and Nonoffenders' Perception of Crime Seriousness

Mark W. Durm and Tim R. Jones

Athens State College

A random sample of 100 criminal offenders and 100 non-offenders participated in this study to determine if there is a difference between the way convicted offenders and non offenders perceive the seriousness of given crimes. A questionnaire similar to that used by Rose and Prell (1953), listed 10 selected criminal offenses which participants were asked to rank order on a scale of 1 to 10 according to the seriousness of the offense. The questionnaire also provided an area of response concerning the sex, age and educational level of the participants. This information was also evaluated to determine if any differences in the seriousness of the crime existed between male and female participants. A significant difference was found between offenders and non offenders concerning the seriousness of criminal offenses. Significant differences were also found between male offenders and male offenders and male non-offenders, between female offenders and between female non-offenders and between female non offenders and male non-offenders. No significant difference was found in the category of female offenders and male offenders.

Attribution of Guilt: The Impact of Perceived Defendant Choice on Juror Verdict

Mary Ellen Rix, Darrell Donakowski, Joann Georgic and Liz Stone

University of Michigan-Dearborn

The purpose of this research was to study the effects of 3 factors which may play a part in the biasing of juror's verdicts: seriousness of the crime, the defendant's prior criminal record, and the defendant's choice to participate in the crime. Participants read stimulated legal stories and were asked to reach a verdict. As predicted, seriousness of crime and defendant's prior record played a role in the participant's decision-making process. Participants found defendants guilty with greater confidence and assigned longer sentences when the crime was severe, and the defendant had a previous criminal record. Most important, participants found defendants guilty more often when all 3 factors were present. Of the 3 manipulations, seriousness of crime appeared to have the greatest substantial effect. This raises the question of how each factor in the decision process is weighed, in the juror's determination of guilt or innocence. The implications of these results for further research were discusses in an attributional framework.

Disputant Characteristics and Favorability of Medicated Settlements

Karen N. Hall and Michele R. Tucker

State University of New York at Geneseo

Out of 100 randomly selected cases from a community mediation center, chi-square analyses of 2-person cases indicated that there was no relationship between a claimant or respondent's income or education level and these rated by 2 trained independent judges. Favorability of the final consent agreement was rated by 2 trained independent judges. However, a chi-square analysis of the gender of claimant and respondent indicated that when the claimant was female the consent agreement was more likely to favor her. The reasons for this finding may be that mediators were female or that most cases involved harassment of a female by a male.

College Students' Prosocial Behaviors Toward a Behaviorally Atypical Versus Behaviorally Typical Target Person

Lisa M. Reisch and Tracey L. Kahan

Loyala Marymount University

A 2 by 2 between subjects factorial design was employed to examine helping behaviors and the effect of sex (male or female) and behavior (a Typical or Typical). Participants viewed a videotape and then responded to the target person in low (dropping a book), moderate (asking for directions), and high (twisting an ankle) risk helping situations on a questionnaire. The major hypothesis was that help would be offered less often to the behaviorally atypical person, and that when help was offered to this individual, it would be offered more often by males. It was also predicted that help would be offered significantly more in the low risk helping situation than in the high risk situation. Although gender differences did not exist toward helping behavior, college students' mean scores of willingness to help a person were, in fact, found to be lower toward a behaviorally atypical individual than a behaviorally typical individual in moderate and high risking helping situation.

Effects of Race and Personal Space on Subjects' Responses to a Racial Attitude Questionnaire

John M. Hauber

Wabash College

This experiment tested whether the race of a male experimenter and the physical distance that he was from the participants influenced the participants' responses on an attitude questionnaire dealing with racial topics. High school seniors in 2 English classes were given a modified version of the Racial Attitudes and Perceptions Survey (RAPS). A white researcher gave the questionnaire to the first class, and a black researcher gave questionnaire to the second class. Both classes were given the same information about the 2 researchers. It was found that the responses from students sitting in the front 2 rows revealed a lower degree of racism than responses from students in the back rows. Additionally, responses from students in the black researcher's class indicated a lower level of racism than responses from students in the white researcher's class. These results indicate that the race of the researcher and an invasion of personal space can affect the responses of participants on attitude questionnaires.

The Effect of Mandatory Pre-employment Urinalysis on Employee Attitudes

Charles L. Earley and Colleen Hester

University of St. Thomas

The effects of mandatory pre-employment urinalysis drug screening on attitudes of job satisfaction were measured on a blind study using the Job Descriptive Index and a questionnaire adapted from a polygraph study. Participants were undergraduate students enrolled in psychology classes at a community college and a private university. Experimental participants were given a description of a pre-employment process which included mandatory urinalysis and were told to imagine that they were in that situation. They then filled out the employee job satisfaction questionnaires. Control participants were given the same treatment without the urinalysis condition. Results provide moderate support of the effects of mandatory testing on employee attitudes, including how much the employees linked their supervisors and attitudes toward their job. Experimental males, in particular, had more negative attitudes toward employers.

Perceived Dominance Between Males and Females in Advertising

Michael W. Watkins

Wabash College

This study employed a mixed design to measure participants' perception of dominance in 30 magazine advertisements which depicted male/female relationships. The between subject variable was sex of target stimulus, male or female. The within subjects variable was the type of slide that was presented male dominant, female dominant, or neutral. Dominance was defined by the physical position of the 2 individuals. Male college freshmen (N = 26) were asked to rate the relationship in each slide for the degree of dominance exhibited by either the male or female. From these ratings a 2-way ANOVA was run which indicated a significant interaction between whom the participants were asked to rate and the proposed dominance of the slide. This supports the hypothesis that the physical position of the participants influences ratings of dominance.

Evaluation of a Birth Control Peer-Education Program for College Students

Kerri J. Lamberty1, Dawn Ehde 1, Phillip Becker2 , Cheri L. Hexum1, Shelly Dickinson2 and Scott Des Jarlais2

1 University of North Dakota and 2 University of South Dakota

The effectiveness of a peer-education birth control program was evaluated with a pre-test, post-test non-equivalent control group design. A treatment group of coed hall residents took a pre-test on attitudes and knowledge of birth control, were exposed to a 45 min educational program, and then took a post-test immediately following and 1 week after the program. Control group participants, residents on another floor of the coed hall, took only the pre-test and the 1-week post-test. A second treatment group of fraternity and sorority residents received the pre-test, the educational program, and the immediate post-test. Results indicated that students in the first treatment group showed significant long term increase in knowledge and intentions to use birth control, but no change in attitudes towards birth control or personal comfort with the issue. Students in the second treatment group showed significant short-term increases for all 4 measures (i. e., knowledge, attitudes, personal comfort, and intentions to use).

Correlation Study: The Relationship Among Government Grade Levels, Type A Behavior, and Locus of Control

Christopher Williams and Vennessa R. Clark

Morehouse College

This study examined the relationships among government grade levels, Type A behavior pattern and locus of control. It was hypothesized that individuals with higher government grade levels would possess characteristics of the Type A behavior pattern as well as possess an internal locus of control. It was also hypothesized that there would be a negative relationship between the Type A behavior pattern and locus of control. The Type A behavior pattern was measured by the Jenkins Activity Survey (JAS) and locus of control was assessed with the Rotter Locus of Control Scale. Dimensions of the Type A Behavior Pattern (job involvement and speed and impatience) and focus of control were found to be significant predictors of government grade levels.

A Study of the Relationships Among Loneliness, Depression, and Living Environment on a College Campus

Shelly Dickinson, Stephani Bruyer, Linda Christy, Nancy Ertresvaag, Kim Hardcastle, Cheri Hexum, Kandi Kesling, Janet Kittams, Chris Pithan, Kevin Puetz, Becky Walrath and Jody Wenbourne

University of South Dakota

The present study was undertaken to compare the level of depression and loneliness among students who live off-campus, on-campus and in Greek housing on a small midwestern campus. The hypothesis was that students who lived off-campus would show more symptoms of both problems. A mail survey of a stratified random sample of 550 undergraduate students at USD was conducted. Participants received a questionnaire which contained the Beck Depression Inventory, The Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale, and questions concerning causes and coping strategies. Analysis of variance failed to reveal significant differences in depression scores, and an ANOVA revealed a marginally significant difference in loneliness scores among the 3 groups. The mean loneliness scores for off-campus students and on-campus students were significantly higher than for Greek housing students. These results suggest that living arrangement does not appear to be related to depression among college students, but may be related to loneliness.


Evaluating the Therapeutic benefits of the Presentation of Pets and Children to the Elderly in a Nursing Home Environment

Duane A. Secord and Michael J. Boivin

Spring Arbor College

Of the 5 nursing home patients (age greater than 65 years) who participated in the study, 2 showed demonstrable improvements in their mood states and social responsiveness as a result of pet presentation. For 2 of the patients who responded negatively to the pet presentations, the pet was replaced with visits from a young child, resulting in some improvements for these patients. Although patients may like animals, the simple presentation of pets in and of itself may not be of demonstrable therapeutic benefit. What is needed is a therapeutic intervention that will enhance and enrich the patient's social environment on a continual basis, and this can include the availability of friends, family and children as well as pets.

The Effects of Children on Bender-Gestalt Test Performance for elderly Persons

Faith E. Crandell, Pamela J. Nyboer and Michael J. Boivin

Spring Arbor College

The Bender-Gestalt test was administered to patients (N = 18) in a medium-care nursing home facility in order to assess their individual level of psychoneural functioning. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of 3 groups in which the members of a group were either visited daily by an adult and child, an adult with pictures of children, or were not visited at all. Following a week of these treatment conditions, participants were evaluated with Bender-Gestalt test. Significant improvements in the test scores were evident for the groups visited with an adult with a child, and by adult with pictures of children. Although the Bender-Gestalt test is commonly used to assess organic brain disorders in the elderly, these preliminary results suggest the social-environment enrichment can directly facilitate performance on perceptual activity and cognition. Perhaps this is because of a caretaking or nurturing response typically evoked by the presence of children that can facilitate social orientation, and that this can be of importance on diagnostic tests which rely on the perceptual skills of the patient.

Institutional and Non-Institutional Elderly Adults' Psychological Adjustment: An Ecological Study

Taher Zandi and Linda M. Talmage

State University of New York at Plattsburg

A substantial amount of evidence indicates that personal networks, close connections with family members, friends and other members of the community, enhance health and improve psychological adjustment (Rosenberg, 1967). Personal networks provide individuals and elderly persons, in particular, with companionship, practical help, and useful advice. Moreover, the people who make up an individual's social network make it possible to communicate with, understand, and obtain benefits from unfamiliar individuals, large social institutions, and material resources.

The Relationship between Experience Playing a Musical Instrument and Performance on the Purdue Pegboard

Deborah Nichols and Charles Ransford

Hillsdale College

This study was conducted to determine whether  participants who have experience playing a musical instrument perform better on the Purdue pegboard than those who have little or no musical experience. College students (N = 50) were assigned to 1 of 2 groups: Musically experienced or musically inexperienced. All of the  participants then completed several timed tasks on the Purdue pegboard using the preferred hand, non-preferred hand and both hands. An independent t-test revealed that the musically experienced group performed better with the preferred hand than the musically inexperienced group. Combined scores for the preferred hand, non-preferred hand and both hands were also higher in the experienced group than the combined scores in the inexperienced group. Females in both groups scored better than males with the non-preferred hand, both hands, and combined scores. A future experiment testing musically inclined but inexperienced  participants would help determine whether the present findings are due to constitutional differences or to the additional experience that the music students had with fine motor skills.

The Effect of Noise on a Complex Task

Peter Lombardo and Mark W. Durm

Athens State College

The effect of noise on a complex task was examined. Using a between group design,  participants analyzed defective computer boards in either 53 decibels of 83 decibels of noise. The high noise  participants did not differ significantly from the low noise participants in speed at analyzing, but did differ significantly in the amount of errors. The results were interpreted in terms of the interaction between the noise and the cognitive processes.

Effects of Substance-use on Memory Recall of Digits and Shapes

Susan Borgaro

Fairleigh Dickinson University

The study investigated the effects of substance-use on memory recall. Participants were 20 recovering adolescent drug addicts, from Network Rehabilitation Center, (males and females), selected through convenience sampling. Conditions included either short-term drug users, those who had been using for 1 to 4 years, or long-term drug users, those who had been using for 6 to 9 years. The  participants were than randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions using block randomization. The apparatus included 6 sets of digits, 6 digits per set; and 6 sets of shapes, 6 shapes per set. A 2 by 2 factorial design was used, with 1 subject variable and 1 experimental created variable. Participants either recalled 6 sets of digits or 6 sets of shapes, in either the short-term or long-term substance-use condition, depending on their length of drug use. The results indicated that short-term substance users performed significantly better result in both short-term and long-term conditions then memory recall of shapes. There was a significant main effect for memory recall between both digit recall and shape recall tasks, as well as a significant main effect for length of substance-use.

Effects of Modeling and Coping Skills on Measurements of Dental Anxiety in Young Children

Marjorie D. Sanfilippo and Thomas G. Moeller

Mary Washington College

In a study investigating the reduction of dental anxiety among children undergoing restorative procedures, children (N = 24), 3 to 7 years of age were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions. Participants in the modeling condition observed a puppet-model displaying non-fearful behavior in a dental setting. Those in the coping skill condition were taught positive self-taking and general muscle relaxation. Participants in the control condition were read an irrelevant story. All children interacted with the same puppet as part of the treatment. Measure of dental anxiety were behavioral observations, self-reported subjective anxiety, and pulse rate. Results indicated that modeling was the more effective intervention in reducing behavioral anxiety and that both modeling and coping skills were effective at reducing subjective anxiety. Neither intervention affected children's pulse rate.