Is it Rude to Exclude? Yes, and Men Don’t Find it Attractive -- Hillary Marra
This study examines the effects of ostracism on attraction. Ostracism is the exclusion of someone for a reason that they do not know of. Male participants watched a scenario acted out by three females, one of whom was ostracizing another, and took a short survey rating each female’s attractiveness on a scale of 1 (low) - 5 (high). As hypothesized the ostracizer was rated as less attractive than both the accomplice and target. These findings support previous research that was done on ostracism on appeal of people who ostracize others. Further research that could be expanded on is also discussed.
Effects of Cognitive Dissonance and Priming on Volunteering --
--Devin Van’t Hof
Helping behavior is driven by beliefs and situational factors, but may also be motivated by previous situations where help was needed but could not be given. Cognitive dissonance theory suggests that a mismatch between beliefs and behavior will motivate people to correct the subsequent tension in some way. Priming theory suggests that if someone’s beliefs are made salient they may change a person’s behavior. In this study half of the participants witnessed someone dropping papers but they were not allowed to help; the other participants saw the same person studying, not needing help. All participants completed a survey on pro-social beliefs and after being dismissed were given opportunity to volunteer time for local agencies. No significant difference was found in volunteering time Helping behavior may be affected by beliefs, but may perhaps be affected greater by a previous inability to act.
The Influence of Social Anxiety on Caffeine Consumption --
--Krystle Van der Waal
Ever wondered if drinking caffeine could make you more outgoing? Based on extensive research of alcohol use this study examined whether people use high doses of caffeine to cope with socially anxious situations. Twenty-seven participants were randomly assigned to either prepare and give a speech, or to just prepare a speech. They were invited to help themselves to assorted beverages and the amount of caffeine consumed was recorded. Results were not significant. Future research could explore other means of inducing social anxiety, or on whether caffeine consumption actually increases social interaction.
The Effect of Celebrity Comparisons on Body-Esteem -- Laura Broekhuis & Kristi Ouwinga
Many studies research the effects of social comparison on body-esteem. This study uses social comparison to increase body-esteem by asking participants to compare themselves with an attractive celebrity. We believed that those who compare themselves positively to a celebrity will have higher scores on the body-esteem scale than those who did not, especially for women. Sixty undergraduate students compared themselves to a celebrity (or did not) and completed the Body-Esteem Scale. Results showed no significant effect of comparison condition or gender on body-esteem scale scores. Future research is needed to identify ways to improve body-esteem and encourage people think positively about themselves.
Effects of Upward Social Comparison on Running Speed --
--Joel Vander Leek
Running performance is affected by more than just natural ability; it is also affected by motivation and effort. Social comparison suggests that people base their ability level off of observations of others. Participants were timed running four laps on two different days. On the second day half the participants were given a time that was 15% faster than their original running time. They were told this was the average time of people in their group. The study found that even though the participants knew the results were confidential, they had a significantly decrease in running time. This study sheds new light on upward social comparison and could help sports athletes come up with new ways of training or for others learning new ways to exercise.