Journal of Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences - 1990

Volume 5


Social and Sexual Behaviors in Captive Aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis)

Claudine Dubois and M. K. Izard

Duke University Primate Center

In order to document social and sexual behaviors in D. Madagascariensis, 3 captive aye-ayes were observed. An adult female and her female infant were introduced to an unrelated male. For 91 hours of observation, all occurrences of behaviors such as locomotion, marking, exertion, oral activity, vocalizations, grooming, nest activity and social interactions were recorded. Social behaviors observed included food stealing and play. Sexual behaviors between the adult female and male included mounting, grooming, and solicitation through vocalization. When first introduced, the adult male frequently mounted the adult female. These mounts were tolerated by the female although she was anestrous. Mounts tapered off over the 1 month period observations as nest building y the adult female increased and as social interactions between the female infant and male increased.

Illogical Processing versus Memory Overload as Explanations for Set Inclusion Difficulties in Reasoning from Prose

Kathleen Q. Leigh and Sarah E. Ransdell

University of Maine

This experiment was designed to access whether participants' difficulties with set inclusion relations are due to errors in logical processing or due to memory overload and retrieval problems. Based on Griggs' (1978) theory of faulty logical processing, it was hypothesized that there would be no significant difference between participants' performance in "paragraph present" and "paragraph absent" conditions. It was also predicted that the proportion of correct responses would be decreasing function of step-size on true statements while proportion correct for false statements would be increasing function of step-size. College undergraduates (N = 21), who were knowledgeable about the hypotheses and design, were presented with 4 different paragraphs of fictional prose and 20 true/false questions for each passage. Participants in the paragraph present condition were able to see the paragraph as they answered questions on it while participants in the paragraph absent condition relied on long-term memory of the passage. As expected, there was no reliable difference between mean proportion and the 2 conditions. The predicted, significant increases in step-size function for false statements was found in both conditions. The hypothesis that the proportion correct on true sentences would decrease with increasing step-size was not supported. Results are discussed in light of Griggs' (1976) findings regarding the effect of special instructions on error profiles for true sentences.

The Relationship Between Locus of Control and Cerebral Hemisphericity

Patricia George and Mark W. Durm

Athens State College

This study examined the relationship between lateral eye movements and locus of control scores. Participants (N = 60) were drawn from a college population, including students, faculty, an staff. The hypotheses was that those participants with an internal locus of control would tend to be more rational (left hemisphere), thus, exhibiting more right lateral eye movements and that those participants with an external locus of control score would tend to be more emotional (right hemisphere), thus, exhibiting more left lateral eye movements. No significant relationship was found between locus of control score and lateral eye movement.

Are Bizarre Images of Concealed Layouts Effective Mnemonic Aids under Delayed Testing?

James Iaccino, Vince Becker and Kristine Kouba

Illinois Benedictine College

Concealed imagery was examined as an effective mnemonic aid in the delayed recall of paired objects by manipulating the type of association (i.e., normal or bizarre) between stimulus elements. Psychology undergraduates (N= 60) were presented with counter-balanced verbal descriptions of concealed, pictorial, and separate object interactions. Further, half these participants received bizarre types of descriptions while the remaining half received more normal ones. With respect to the concealed descriptions, explicitly worded instructions were administered to ensure that hidden target items were not visualized in anyway. Time constrains were not imposed on the participants during the period of mental construction of the provided layouts, though image formation times were still recorded along with vividness ratings of each image. An unexpected recall test on the targets was subsequently administered to the participants 1 week later. Results replicated previous finding (Iaccino & Sowa, 1989), with bizarre images of concealed targets eliciting longer formation times and lower vividness ratings, but facilitating recall more effectively than normal types of pictorial layouts. The layout expansion theory is advanced as an account of these findings, which proposes that the saliency of bizarre concealed images increases over time as a function of participants discriminating these layouts in varying degrees from more normal pictorial ones. It remains to be determined at which particular retention intervals these images begin to lose their mnemonic effectiveness.

The Social Skills of Preschoolers from an At-Risk Home Environment

Brenda J. Snider, Sandra Schmude, Crystal Laper, Norma E. Stone, and Michael J. Boivin

Spring Arbor College

Children (N = 40) from 3 to 5 years of age enrolled at 2 day care centres were assessed for social competence using the California Preschool Social Competency Scale (CPSCS). The children were divided into 1 of 3 groups on the basis of the favorability of their home environment: children from a home where instances of child abuse had been reported or documented, children from what was considered by the investigators to be an at-risk home environment in terms of economic, marital, and social stability, and children from a home environment considered not at risk with respect to the above factors. Both the group of children from an abusive home and the group from an at-risk home environment scored significantly lower on social competence than the non at-risk group on the basis of an analysis of covariance with age as covariate, However, the overall averages for the abusive and at-risk home groups were well within the average range for the low occupational level norms developed for the CPSCS, while the non at-risk group averaged well above the 90th percentile. The present findings lend tentative support to the potential benefits of a non at-risk home environment in facilitating the development of social competence in young children. However, this study was inconclusive in clarifying the extent to which abuse in the home impairs early social development and competence.

MMPI Subtle-Obvious Discrepancies: Validation and Relation to Response Bias Measures in Disability and Employment Applicants

Linda K. Todd, David M. Stein, and Harrie F. Hess

University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Utha State University

This study assessed the utility using MMPI Subtle and Obvious subscales to classify participants based on their motive to present healthy or unhealthy profiles. The relation between the S-O difference and other response bias measures was examined: Welsh's Anxiety and Repression scales; Taylor's Manifest Anxiety Scale; Gough's Dissimulation Scale- Revised; Repression-Sensitization, Revised scale; Wiggins' Social Desirability scale; the Acquiescence scales; Gough's F-K index; and the percent of items marked "true." Participants who were strongly motivated to avow illness (i.e., job applicants) were matched on age and level of education. The Subtle and Obvious subscales strongly characterized the response bias of these groups. The existence of the so-called subtle-obvious paradox in the response patterns of disability versus job applicants was also demonstrated.

The Effects of Dress and Gender in a Stimulated Job Interview

Raymond List and Faye D. Plascak-Craig

Marian College

The job interview, although empirically shown to be invalid, is routinely used in personnel selection. A literature search obtained several significant factors that affect the interviewer's rating. One of the strongest is the initial impression of the interviewee, and one of the initial impression factors is style of dress. American trends toward relaxed living and some positive gains in gender equality may affect present interview impressions but, contrary to current trends, this study hypothesized that conservative style dress will more favorably affect managers' impressions. The IV "gender" stimuli were pictures of males and females pretested at 4 levels of dress conservatism, and rated by male and female participants. The confounding effect of color was controlled by using black and white pictures. The first hypothesis was supported: The more conservative the dress, the greater the rating of intelligence, probability of hiring, and probability of advancement. Male raters demonstrated same-sex positive bias on one DV, "probability of advancement", partially supporting the second hypothesis.

Offenders' and Non-Offenders' Perceptions of Crime Seriousness

Onelia House, Mark W. Durm and Tim R, Jones

U.S. Probation Office and 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 crimes 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 non-offenders, between female non offenders and female offenders, and between female non-offenders and male non offenders. No significant difference was found in the category of female offenders and male offenders.

Nonverbal Communication in a Municipal Hearing in Relation to Participant's Opinion on the Hearing Topic

Jill A. Vermeulen

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Participants (N = 39) were observed at a municipal council meeting as they testified whether they were for or against the construction of a soccer field in borough park. A total of 16 nonverbal cues were studied. It was hypothesized that participants who were against the field would engage in the following nonverbal behaviors more often than participants who were for the field: point fingers, hand gestures, look towards the council, and look away from the council. Results were nonsignificant. The hypothesis was not supported.

Self-Image and the Reliable Identification of the Bulimic Syndrome

Alison Krewatch and Roy H. Smith

Mary Washington College

College women (N = 832) completed the BUILT and a self-image questionnaire. Use of DSM-III criteria produced an incidence estimate for bulimia of 4%, while DSM-IIIR criteria gave an estimate of 2.6%. A factor analysis suggests that feelings and perceptions account for the largest proportion of the differences between those reporting bulimic and non-bulimic behavior patterns. Dissatisfaction with current body image was a strong predictor of reported bulimic behaviors. Cognitive factors should be re-emphasized in identification and treatment of bulimia and bulimic behaviors.

Physical Fitness, Self-Confidence, and Self-Esteem in College Freshmen

Becky Wiley, Viane S. Dowley, Mary L. Morris, Michael J. Boivin, and Theodore K. Comden

Spring Arbor College

The entire freshman class of a small liberal-arts college in the midwest underwent a comprehensive evaluation as part of a study examining the relationship between self esteem, self-confidence,and physical fitness. The evaluation included self-confidence measures derived from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program Freshmen Survey (CIRP), a Respect for Self measure obtained from the Character Assessment Scale (CAS), the Keirsey version of the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Inventory, and the American College Testing Program College Outcome Measures Project (COMP) of academic achievement with respect to liberal arts. Various physical fitness indicators such as past and present exercise habits, body weight, percent body fat, and cardiovascular endurance were also measured. Self-confidence measures pertaining to health and social abilities (from the CIRP) correlated significantly with present exercise habits, present body fat and cardiovascular endurance. A subsequent analysis using self-esteem measures from the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale revealed that fitness and body image relate specifically to the physical and social aspects of self-esteem. Although the above correlations suggest that there is some relationship between physical fitness and self-esteem, the present findings in their entirely suggest that there are dimensions of self-esteem and self-confidence in many students that are not primarily dependent on body image and physical fitness.

Situational Orientations in Initiating Relationships

Tricia S. Gaspard and Colleen Hester

University of St. Thomas

This study examined how high and low self-monitoring females (N = 20) cognitively incorporate physical attraction, personality traits, and situational data in initiating a relationship. Participants rated their preferences for interacting in romantic and nonromantic situations with 4 specific male partners whose characteristics were varied along 2 dimensions: physical attractiveness and personality desirability. Results of the 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 ANOVA indicated 4 significant main factors operating in the initiation of a relationship (self-monitoring; physical attractiveness; personality; and situational context) and 1 significant interaction. The self-monitoring main effect indicating that female high self-monitors prefer to interact more than do female low self-monitors was not found in the study with the males (Glick 1985), although males demonstrated 2 interaction effects involving self-monitoring. Females' preference for romantic situations suggests they may be constructing social worlds conducive to the expression of sociability and the press to affiliate. Recommendations for future research are made.

Impressions of Therapists: The Effects of Gaze, Smiling and Gender

Nancy Ziegler-Kartz and Linda L. Marshall

University of North Texas

Factors such as gender and occupational stereotypes and nonverbal behavior could influence clients' early impressions affecting their behavior during therapy. The effects of smiling, gaze, therapists and participant gender on ratings of a "therapist" were investigated using a 2 x 3 x 2 x 2 design. Undergraduates (N = 466) observed a video tape ostensibly of an initial meeting with a female client. The hypotheses were generally supported. Smiling was associated with attractiveness and femininity. Smiling and gaze interacted on expertness, trustworthiness and masculinity with effects primarily at 80 % and 40 % gaze levels. The female was rated as more expert, attractive, trustworthy and feminine than the male. Participants and therapist gender interacted on ratings of masculinity. A 3-way interaction suggested that females had expected more responsive therapists. Both gender and role stereotypes affected early impressions. Suggestions for future research and recommendations for therapists are made based on results of the nonverbal manipulations.

Academic Advising on a College Campus

Stephanie Bruyer, Lori Lundquist, Chris Pithan, Michele Fischer, Shelly Dickinson, Kelli Cummings, Kandi Kesling, and Tim Moser

University of South Dakota

A telephone survey of a stratified random sample of 188 undergraduate students was conducted at the University of South Dakota. The survey was comprised of questions about graduation requirements and advising issue. Results suggested a lack of student awareness about academic requirements. In fact, less than one-fifth knew the difference between a B.A. and an B.S. Degree, and only 37.6% knew how many credit hours were needed for graduation. Over 80% of the students knew who their advisors were and felt that they were accessible, but only half (49.5%) believed that their advisors had a positive effect on the advising process. A major problem appeared to be lack of enough time with the advisor. 57.8% of the students said the time was "inadequate". An ANOVA revealed that students who spent more than 60 min with their advisors were significantly more satisfied than students who were advised 30-60 min or 1-30 minutes. Many respondents, 67.6%, felt that information from their advisors was "useful", and 86.2% said students should be required to see an advisor. The study revealed a critical lack of advising knowledge among college students. Although an overwhelming majority of students supported mandatory advising, they felt that advisors were not spending enough time with students. Students felt that a better advising system would result from increased student awareness of academic issues and requirements, an increased number of advisors, and more training available to advisors.

Orientations of University Undergraduates Toward Depression in Men and Women

Sarah Furlong and Stewart Page

University of Windsor

Following the general format of the classic study Broverman, Vogel, Broverman, Clarkson, and Rosenkrantz (1970), and of more recent studies on depression, 3 groups of advance undergraduate college students (total N = 143; 93 female, 50 male) responded separately to a questionnaire concerning the perceived causes of depression in either women (n = 52), men (n = 49), or in themselves (n = 42). Questionnaire items represented several different current perspectives toward depression. Both multivariate and univariate analyses showed that significant differences appeared in the responses, depending on whether items were evaluated as pertaining to depression in men, women, or in one's self. Findings are discussed in terms of recent studies in the literature on theories of depression, and terms of Broverman et al.'s original study of gender bias in professional clinicians.