Newark Campus Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses

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Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses from the Newark Campus. More about the Ohio State Newark Honors Program can be found at:

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    The Effects of Face Masks and Background Noise on Speech Perception
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Mills, Makayla; Robinson, Chris
    The current study explored whether the effects of face masks and background noise impact speech perception. Participants were presented with eight short videos, which consisted of the listing of five nonsense words, and were then questioned on how difficult it was to hear the words (hearing difficulty). There was then a multiple-choice test containing the presented words along with three foil words to which they were to pick the words they believed they heard (word recognition). Participants also provided the number of words they believe they guessed correctly (confidence levels). The results indicate that participants had reported feeling less confident at test, experienced reduced speech recognition, and an increase in listening effort (hearing difficulty), all due to the presence of background noise. There was also an effect of masks, but this primarily stemmed from listening to a female speaker with a mask in a noisy environment. The effects of masks disappeared in Experiment 2 when only removing the visual cues in the mask condition, which may suggest that effects of masks in Experiment 1 stem from the masks weakening the auditory stimulus.
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    The Silent Speaker: The Impact of Emojis on Nonverbal Communication During a Pandemic
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Sedziol, Abigail; Jungers, Melissa
    The COVID-19 pandemic forced many individuals to communicate differently. Due to an increase in online-communication, individuals are missing prosodic cues, or cues that come from someone's voice patterns, which give meaning to sentences. This study examined if emoticons (emojis) influenced sentence interpretation and whether individuals used emojis differently during the pandemic. Introductory psychology students (n=98) took an online survey from February 12th, 2021 to April 2nd, 2021. This study assessed emoji usage, and tested participants' emotion ratings of sentences as more positive or negative depending on the presence of a smiley face emoji, a frowny face emoji or no emoji. I found that a majority of the participants used emojis in their daily text messages. Many participants reported no change in emoji usage or perceived emotion of emojis due to COVID-19, but when asked to give details, they reported using fewer positive emojis, like the smiley emoji, and more negative emojis, like the sad and crying emoji. Participants were told to rate the emotional perception of sentences that had either a smiley-face emoji, a frowny-face emoji or no emoji at the end and were from either a perceived familiar person or an unfamiliar person. Participants interpreted sentences differently depending on the emoji paired with the sentence (smiley, frowny, no emoji) and on the familiarity of the person who sent it (familiar/unfamiliar). These results suggest that people interpret sentences differently when emojis are present. The participants perceived the smiley emoji as being more positive, and texts from familiar people were also perceived as being more positive. This is important because emojis may be similar to prosodic cues, in that they help reveal the intentions behind someone's sentences, which could help remove ambiguity in online communication.
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    "The country is full": Are outgroups ostracized when they are perceived as burdensome?
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Sparks, Zachary; Wirth, James
    Individuals protect their group by ostracizing (excluding and ignoring) burdensome group members, those who keep a group from achieving its goals. In intragroup interactions (within a single group), burdensome members cause individuals psychological pain (pain closely associated with physical pain) which prompts the ostracism of the burdensome group member. Many social interactions occur at an intergroup (between group) level though, leading to the question of whether ostracizing a burdensome group member in an intragroup context may translate to an intergroup experience. To test this question, I utilized a minimal groups paradigm to establish group membership through an estimation task (i.e., Over-vs. Under-estimators). Participants then read about an outgroup that was described as burdensome or beneficial (Outgroup Description) before imagining an interaction with either an ingroup or outgroup (Evaluation Group) and answered questions assessing participants' psychological pain, temptations to ostracize the group, how participants' pain influenced their temptations to ostracize the group, and negative affect. Results indicate that reading about a burdensome group produced more negative responses than reading about a non-burdensome group (Fs (1, 502) ≥ 6.09, ps ≤ .014; except negative affect (F(1, 502) = 0.20, p = .656). The results pattern also indicates a significant Outgroup Description and Evaluation Group interaction, for all outcomes (Fs (1, 502) ≥ 35.12, ps < .001). Reading about a burdensome outgroup and then interacting with that outgroup was significantly worse than interacting with an outgroup that was described as beneficial or interacting with an ingroup at either level of burden. I conducted another study, using realistic culture groups, instead of minimal groups, which also found a link between burden and ostracism, but with limitations. Collectively these studies establish the link between burden and ostracism, previously researched at the intragroup level, also functions at an intergroup level. Further, certain groups, if portrayed as burdensome, may be vulnerable to being labeled out of society (i.e., ostracized) by another group.
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    Speak the beat: The effect of priming tones on speech production rate
    (The Ohio State University, 2020-12) Champlin, Elizabeth; Jungers, Melissa
    Will the rhythm of what you hear influence how you speak? The two current studies explore whether a priming rhythm, which has no melodic component, can influence speech production rate. In the first study, participants heard rhythmic beats consisting of different styles: cowbells, drips, heartbeats, pings, and a metronome. Following each sound sequence, the participants described the action in the cartoon-like picture. In the first study, when participants described the pictures, their rate of speech following faster sound primes was not significantly different from their rate following slower sound primes. Participants in the second study heard 20 steady rhythmic sequences consisting of one of five different sounds presented at either a fast or slow rate with 60% of the sequences including a changed tone. Participants pressed a button when they detected a change in pitch during the rhythmic sequence. Alternating between each rhythm sequence, participants described the action portrayed in the cartoon pictures. In the second study, the rate of the priming rhythm influenced button-press reaction time, but not speech rate. The results from both studies suggest the need for a richer sound prime.
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    Auditory Distractors in the Visual Modality: No Evidence for Perceptual Load Hypothesis or Auditory Dominance
    (The Ohio State University, 2020-05) Schlaegel, Jacob; Robinson, Chris
    Attention is a valuable resource with limited capacity, so knowing what will distract us during important tasks can be crucial in life. There is a lot of support for the Perceptual Load Hypothesis (PLH) when examining visual distractibility; however, less research has examined if PLH can predict auditory distractibility. Participants in the current study completed three experiments using visual selective attention tasks while being presented with auditory and visual distractions under low/high perceptual loads. In Experiment 1, I took the visual selective attention task from Robinson et al. (2018) and shortened the stimulus presentation while adding a no distractor baseline condition. In Experiment 2, I increased auditory distractor effects by requiring participants to periodically respond to the auditory information. In Experiment 3, I added a working memory task to increase cognitive load. Results showed no support for PLH with auditory distractors in Experiments 1 or 2, and instead showed the opposite pattern, with auditory distractors having a larger effect under high perceptual load (Experiment 2). Results from Experiment 3 show that increasing cognitive load had no effect on distractibility, which suggests the results from Experiment 2 were caused by periodically responding to the auditory stimuli. These findings have important implications for our understanding of selective attention and shed light on tasks that require the processing of multisensory information.
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    A Link to the Future: Ostracism's Effects on Aggressive Behavior
    (The Ohio State University, 2020-05) Krumm, Josiah; Buelow, Melissa; Wirth, James
    Ostracized individuals, those who are excluded and ignored, respond with aggression towards others. But, research also suggest ostracism can instead lead to a prosocial reaction. It is possible that the response to ostracism could be moved towards one extreme (aggression) or the other (prosocial) if participants are first led to believe that their personality characteristics encourage these behaviors. Previous research indicates giving false feedback about one's personality characteristics (including aggression) can lead to changes in self-perception and performance on subsequent tasks. This study will examine how changing one's perceptions about their trait aggressive and prosocial tendencies will in turn affect current aggressive and prosocial responses to harmful social situations (i.e., ostracism). That is, if individuals are swayed to believe they can be aggressive, will that encourage them to actually be aggressive? The present study hypothesizes that those who are given a false future forecast of aggressive tendencies will be more tempted toward aggressive behaviors following ostracism than towards prosocial or neutral behaviors, whereas those given a false future forecast of prosocial tendencies will be more tempted toward prosocial than aggressive behaviors. Participants (n = 561) completed questionnaires assessing personality characteristics, then were randomly assigned to complete a recall task in either an ostracism (n = 267) or an inclusion (n = 294) condition. They then received two pieces of feedback: true feedback about one of their big five characteristics and false feedback about future aggressive, either physical aggression (n = 176) or social aggression (n = 188), or prosocial (n = 197) tendencies. Finally, participants completed measures of the negative response to ostracism (social pain, negative affect, fundamental needs) and the Tangram Help/Hurt Task to assess aggressive tendencies. Results indicated ostracism negatively affected fundamental needs, mood, and social pain compared to inclusion, but the false feedback 2 condition did not affect these outcomes. Few significant results were seen with aggressive responses following ostracism. Future research should examine whether participants need a direct target for aggressive tendencies following ostracism and if researchers need to create false aggressive and prosocial feedback that are equally believable to participants to see significant between-groups differences.
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    Breaking Out of the Historical Private Sphere: Women's Involvement in the American Revolution
    (The Ohio State University, 2018-05) Kidd, Franchesica; Murphy, Lucy
    Women in early America were going beyond their private spheres of homemaking, farming, cooking and things of the like--they were stepping into the public sphere, historically where men were, and immersing themselves in the political spectrum during the years of the American Revolution. Women boycotted, fought in battles, were spies, and even corresponded with George Washington during this time to prove not only were there Sons of Liberty, but Daughters of Liberty as well.
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    Aging in Multisensory Integration
    (The Ohio State University, 2017-12) Parker, Jessica; Robinson, Chris
    Multisensory integration is the simultaneous processing of multiple sensory inputs into a single percept. The current study aims to further the understanding of multisensory integration across development and the individual contributions of visual and auditory information. Integration was observed using the Sound-Induced Flash Illusion task. In the first experiment, young children, young adults, and older adults participated in a variant of the Sound-Induced Flash Illusion, and found that auditory input had a stronger effect on visual processing than vice versa, and this effect increased with age. Experiment 2 used a similar version of the Sound-Induced Flash Illusion task on young adults, but half of the stimuli were lowered to just above threshold to test if weakened auditory and visual stimuli could account for increased multisensory integration in older adults. It was observed that lowering intensity to above threshold resulted in decreased integration effects. The findings of the current study support auditory dominance literature and the modality appropriateness hypothesis and have implications for many tasks that require the processing of multisensory information.
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    The effect of prosody on decision making
    (The Ohio State University, 2016-05) Porter, Brandon; Hupp, Julie; Buelow, Melissa
    This study sought to induce mood through affective prosody and then measure whether this had a significant effect on decision making. Prosody can be defined as tone, rate, or stress patterns that occur during speech. Prosody, when used to convey emotion, is termed affective prosody. Prior research suggests that mood is a viable predictor of performance on risky decision making tasks. More specifically, positive mood has been linked with heuristic processing, which relies on emotional reasoning. Initially, individuals feel more averse to losses and more pleased with wins, leading to more advantageous decision making. Negative emotion has been linked with substantive/systematic processing; individuals tend to exhibit more disadvantageous decision making initially in an effort to determine the most favorable outcome. This study investigated whether affective prosody alone could directly induce mood and thereby alter performance on an unrelated decision making task. This study utilized the Hungry Donkey Task, which is adapted for use with both children and adults to measure risk taking. It was hypothesized that adults induced with positive affective prosody would make more favorable decisions in early trials, while those induced with negative affective prosody would make riskier decisions initially. Mood was successfully induced with affective prosody such that participants in the positive condition reported more positive self-report mood than the negative condition. Results do not support the hypothesis; rather display negative affective prosody as eliciting better decision making in both the early and later trials. This may be a result of the positive condition relying on heuristic processing, which may have led to less advantageous decisions. This study helps build a greater understanding of the effects of mood on risky decision making and lends support to the claim that affective prosody can serve as an influencing factor in others’ behavior.
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    The Cross-Domain Priming of Language and Motor Rate
    (The Ohio State University, 2015-05) Rike, Lindsey; Hupp, Julie
    Previous research has indicated a possible connection between language, visual, and musical domains suggesting domain-general processing of temporal information. While some within-and cross-domain research has been conducted, little behavioral research has investigated a possible connection between the language and motor domains. The current research investigated a connection between the motor and language domains in temporal processing. It was expected that participants primed with a fast motor rate would speak at a faster rate, and those primed with a slow motor rate would speak more slowly. Participants (n = 81) were primed with a specific rate (fast/slow) in the tactile domain only, or both the tactile and motor domains, and were asked to produce speech (language domain). Speech rate was measured to determine if speech was affected by the rate of the motor or tactile primes. No significant main effects were found of Condition (tactile only or tactile and motor) or Rate of Prime (fast or slow). However, an interaction of Gender and Rate was found, F(1,73) = 4.63, p < .05, such that females were influenced by the rate of the prime in the expected direction (e.g., fast prime led to faster speech), F(1,49) = 2.30, p = .14, while males were influenced by the motor prime in the opposite direction (e.g., fast prime led to slower speech), F(1,28) = 2.84, p = .10. Previous research has found gender differences in the human mirror system, which may indicate that females may be better able to imitate behavior than males. This may account for the gender differences in the current study, such that females may have been more likely to mirror the rate of the prime, and this led to the expected effect on speech rate. These results have implications on social and linguistic research on gender differences in communication, and the future directions of cross-domain processing.
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    The Perception of Research Quality Based on Institutional Esteem
    (The Ohio State University, 2015-05) Bowman, Wyatt; Buelow, Melissa; Okdie, Bradley
    The present study examined whether institutional esteem contributes to how readers were persuaded by presented research information. It was hypothesized that the prestigious reputation of an institution may cause readers to process the presented information less thoroughly, and that they would use the institution as a heuristic cue when forming an attitude towards the presented topic. In Study 1, 267 participants on Amazon’s MTurk read an argument in favor of junk food taxation that varied based on the esteem (high, low) of the institution that conducted the research and on the strength of the argument (strong, weak). Results indicated a main effect of argument strength, such that individuals who read strong arguments had more favorable attitudes toward junk food taxation than those who read weak arguments; however, there was no main effect of institutional esteem on junk food taxation attitudes. In Study 2, 213 introductory psychology students followed the same protocol as Study 1 with an additional manipulation of cognitive load (high, low, none) while reading the junk food taxation argument. Results of Study 2 indicated no effect of institutional esteem, argument strength, or cognitive load on attitudes toward junk food taxation. Implications for the understanding of how institutional esteem may affects attitudes are discussed.
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    Attention Bias Reduction in Individuals with Williams Syndrome
    (The Ohio State University, 2014-05) McKenna, Erin; Martens, Marilee
    Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) have high levels of anxiety. In attention tracking tasks, individuals with WS and typically developing individuals with high levels of anxiety allocate greater attention to threatening images than typical individuals. In individuals with high levels of anxiety, Attention Bias Reduction (ABR) tasks reduce attention bias and anxiety symptoms. The purpose of this project is to investigate the use of ABR to reduce attention bias toward pictures of lightning in individuals with WS. This research includes two studies. Study One is an internet based survey in which individuals with WS rate nonthreatening (nature scenes) and threatening (lightning) images. Study One demonstrates that individuals with WS rate pictures of lightning as significantly more upsetting (mean=4.92) than other nature scenes (mean=1.44, t(19)=19.80, p<.001). The results support lightning images as a stimulus for Study Two. Study Two utilizes reaction time and eye-tracking methodology during an ABR task, with each stimulus presentation consisting of one threatening image (lightning) and one nonthreatening image, followed by a probe. During pre and post-testing, the probe is placed randomly, but during ABR training the probe always follows the nonthreatening image. Individuals with WS show a faster reaction time to lighting images, even after ABR training, but this attention bias is not confirmed by the eye-tracking data. Future studies should consider reducing stimulus presentation time and increasing ABR training sessions to better evaluate the effectiveness of ABR training to reduce anxiety in individuals with WS.
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    The role of gesture meaningfulness in word learning across genders
    (The Ohio State University, 2013-05) Gingras, Mary; Hupp, Julie
    The focus of this study is adult word learning through the use of gestures. Previous research has shown that children use word and gesture combinations during word learning and that meaningful gestures, when paired with the object name being learned, facilitate greater word learning. Participants were measured on their word learning through three gesture conditions: meaningful gesture, nonsense gesture, and no gesture. Analyses also focused on learning outcomes of nouns versus verbs, as well as high frequency versus low frequency words. A secondary study was conducted to address possible limitations of the primary study. Neither study found a significant difference in either gender or word class. Across both studies, meaningful gestures led to higher word learning than nonsense or no gestures, and high frequency words led to higher word learning than low frequency words for both nouns and verbs.
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    Narcissism and the Motivation to Engage in Volunteerism
    (The Ohio State University, 2012-06) Tumblin, Laraine; Brunell, Amy
    Research suggests that volunteerism and narcissism are at all-time highs amongst young people (Corporation for National & Community Service, 2007; Twenge & Campbell, 2009). The present study used a Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000; Ryan & Deci, 2002) framework to understand why people volunteer and examined whether volunteer motivation was associated with narcissism. Because narcissists strive to self-promote (Wallace, Baumeister, & Vohs, 2005), it was predicted that narcissism would be positively associated with extrinsic motivations to volunteer (e.g., enhancement) and negatively associated with intrinsic motivations to volunteer (e.g., enjoyment). For the study, 350 participants completed a series of personality inventories, including inventories of narcissism, empathy, and self-esteem. Participants then completed a questionnaire that assessed if they had volunteered over the past 12 months and why they volunteer. When narcissism was measured with a composite measure consisting of entitlement, exploitativeness, and grandiosity, narcissism was positively associated with identified/integrated, introjected, and external motivations, even while controlling for self-esteem and empathy, suggesting that narcissists experience more pressure to volunteer. When narcissism was measured with the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI; Raskin & Terry, 1988), results failed to predict volunteer motivation, supporting concerns about instrument content validity (e.g., Brown, Budzek, & Tamborski, 2009). Findings suggest that narcissists are highly motivated, even in the realm of volunteering. Implications concerning volunteering with a narcissist are discussed.
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    Cross-Domain Priming of Language and Music
    (The Ohio State University, 2012-06) Dickerson, Sara; Hupp, Julie
    There is much evidence that domain-general learning is possible, but understanding the breadth of possible transfer will shed light on how different processing mechanisms are related. Evidence has shown that domain-specific transfer is possible in both the language domain and the music domain such that participants can be primed with information that later affects production in that same domain. This study used rate priming to look into cross-domain transfer between the language and music domains. Participants listened to a series of 20 recordings, either language or music stimuli, to prime a fast or a slow rate. After each prime, the participants produced a short melody or picture description in the domain opposite of the prime. Participants’ rate of production was influenced by the music prime such that a faster rate of speech was spoken following a fast music prime than following a slow music prime; however, the transfer did not occur from language to music. These findings show that generalization between the music and language domains is possible supporting the presence of a shared mechanism used for processing in both domains.
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    "An Experiment in Democracy:" Civilian Public Service and Conscientious Objectors in World War II
    (The Ohio State University, 2010-06) Yoder, Marcus; Shiels, Richard
    An overview of the impact of Civilian Public Service and the Historic Peace Churches in World War II.
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    "Hell is Empty, and All the Devils are Here": The Influence of Doctor Faustus on The Tempest
    (The Ohio State University, 2009-03) Holmes, Jonathan; Alwes, Derek
    There are a number of analogous scenes and characters between Doctor Faustus and The Tempest that contribute to an argument for the influence of Marlowe's play upon Shakespeare's. Such an influence can have a profound effect on how we read The Tempest, specifically regarding how we perceive Prospero and Ariel.
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    Perceptions of past and present attachment relationships
    (The Ohio State University, 2008-12) Hagley, Anna M.; Brunell, Amy M.
    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the extent to which individuals’ recollections of their attachment relationships during childhood were associated with their present attachment relationships, and how attachment was associated with the willingness to sacrifice for a relationship and psychological well-being. 177 participants completed questionnaires concerning their perceptions of their attachment relationships, their willingness to sacrifice in order to maintain their relationships, and their psychological well-being. Results revealed that perceptions of past attachment relationships with mother, father, and best friend were positively associated with present relationships, including the present relationship with one’s romantic partner. Past and present attachment relationships were positively associated with the willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of the relationship with the parent or the best friend, but not with the romantic partner. Finally, higher quality past and present attachment relationships were associated with higher psychological well-being. Results imply that childhood attachment relationships are enduring, and instrumental for present relationship functioning and psychological well-being. Advisor: Dr. Amy Brunell