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PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT

 

STUDENT PRESENTERS

Organized By Presentation Subject Material

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HANNAH BEAULAC '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

The Lack of a Relationship Between ADHD, Switching Majors and Indecision

Choosing a college major is important for future success. ADHD as well as indecision can affect one’s ability to choose the right career path. Past research has been done on college students with ADHD to determine if their disability contributes to their decision to switch majors. The hypothesis of this study states that college students with ADHD are more likely to switch majors than college students without ADHD due to their higher rates of indecision. Westfield State University students were given a survey asking them about ADHD diagnosis and history of switching majors. After completing the survey, the subjects' responses were collected and compared to their scores on an indecision scale. A two-way ANOVA comparing ADHD, no ADHD, switching majors, and not switching majors, was conducted after all of the finalized data was collected. There was no significant relationship between ADHD, switching majors, and indecision based on the students who participated in the study. One of the reasons our hypothesis may not have been supported could be due to the fact that there weren't enough participants who had ADHD. For future research it would be beneficial to ask more specific questions within the survey that better represent ADHD and indecision. It would also be helpful to get participants from the Westfield State University learning disability center as well as students from other universities. This would encourage universities to provide support for students when choosing a college major.

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ALLIE GIGUERE '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

The Lack of a Relationship Between ADHD, Switching Majors and Indecision

Choosing a college major is important for future success. ADHD as well as indecision can affect one’s ability to choose the right career path. Past research has been done on college students with ADHD to determine if their disability contributes to their decision to switch majors. The hypothesis of this study states that college students with ADHD are more likely to switch majors than college students without ADHD due to their higher rates of indecision. Westfield State University students were given a survey asking them about ADHD diagnosis and history of switching majors. After completing the survey, the subjects' responses were collected and compared to their scores on an indecision scale. A two-way ANOVA comparing ADHD, no ADHD, switching majors, and not switching majors, was conducted after all of the finalized data was collected. There was no significant relationship between ADHD, switching majors, and indecision based on the students who participated in the study. One of the reasons our hypothesis may not have been supported could be due to the fact that there weren't enough participants who had ADHD. For future research it would be beneficial to ask more specific questions within the survey that better represent ADHD and indecision. It would also be helpful to get participants from the Westfield State University learning disability center as well as students from other universities. This would encourage universities to provide support for students when choosing a college major.

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RILEY LORD '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

The Lack of a Relationship Between ADHD, Switching Majors and Indecision

Choosing a college major is important for future success. ADHD as well as indecision can affect one’s ability to choose the right career path. Past research has been done on college students with ADHD to determine if their disability contributes to their decision to switch majors. The hypothesis of this study states that college students with ADHD are more likely to switch majors than college students without ADHD due to their higher rates of indecision. Westfield State University students were given a survey asking them about ADHD diagnosis and history of switching majors. After completing the survey, the subjects' responses were collected and compared to their scores on an indecision scale. A two-way ANOVA comparing ADHD, no ADHD, switching majors, and not switching majors, was conducted after all of the finalized data was collected. There was no significant relationship between ADHD, switching majors, and indecision based on the students who participated in the study. One of the reasons our hypothesis may not have been supported could be due to the fact that there weren't enough participants who had ADHD. For future research it would be beneficial to ask more specific questions within the survey that better represent ADHD and indecision. It would also be helpful to get participants from the Westfield State University learning disability center as well as students from other universities. This would encourage universities to provide support for students when choosing a college major.

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GABRIELLE BISSONETTE '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

The Effect of Stress on Mood

Stress, a state of mental strain caused by aversive circumstances, is extremely common in college students as a result of coming of age, homework, career searching, and new environments. Testing over 40 different emotions, such as anxious, panicky, sluggish, etc., our study examined the effects of stress on commonly found moods. Participants used the POMS scale to rate their individual mood for each emotion on a 5-part scale of “not at all” to “extremely.” Participants were then shown a video filled with anxious statements and asked to take the POMS scale again. We hypothesized that the anxious video would cause participants to rank higher on aversive emotions, such as anxious and on edge, and lower on positive emotions such as proud and confident. In doing so, future studies can then find relationships between specific mood groups and stress in order to find coping mechanisms to improve the mental health of students and others

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HALEY LAUDATO '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

The Effect of Stress on Mood

Stress, a state of mental strain caused by aversive circumstances, is extremely common in college students as a result of coming of age, homework, career searching, and new environments. Testing over 40 different emotions, such as anxious, panicky, sluggish, etc., our study examined the effects of stress on commonly found moods. Participants used the POMS scale to rate their individual mood for each emotion on a 5-part scale of “not at all” to “extremely.” Participants were then shown a video filled with anxious statements and asked to take the POMS scale again. We hypothesized that the anxious video would cause participants to rank higher on aversive emotions, such as anxious and on edge, and lower on positive emotions such as proud and confident. In doing so, future studies can then find relationships between specific mood groups and stress in order to find coping mechanisms to improve the mental health of students and others

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MARIAH WINTERLE '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

The Effect of Stress on Mood

Stress, a state of mental strain caused by aversive circumstances, is extremely common in college students as a result of coming of age, homework, career searching, and new environments. Testing over 40 different emotions, such as anxious, panicky, sluggish, etc., our study examined the effects of stress on commonly found moods. Participants used the POMS scale to rate their individual mood for each emotion on a 5-part scale of “not at all” to “extremely.” Participants were then shown a video filled with anxious statements and asked to take the POMS scale again. We hypothesized that the anxious video would cause participants to rank higher on aversive emotions, such as anxious and on edge, and lower on positive emotions such as proud and confident. In doing so, future studies can then find relationships between specific mood groups and stress in order to find coping mechanisms to improve the mental health of students and others

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LEXIE BROWN '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Time Spent with Media and Racial Bias

Implicit biases are an individual's unconsciously formed ideas about others that can determine the way one behaves in today's society. The reactions occur in a positive or negative manner. These biases may be based on what type of news sources people watch and what the news source is reporting. Depending on what type of news source one watched, the participants would have a higher preference towards European Americans compared to African Americans the Implicit Association Test (IAT) race test. The study was done at Westfield State University with 38 participants. Participants were required to fill out a survey on background information, such as their political affiliation and racial identity. Then the participants took the IAT test. A linear regression along with correlations were run to analyze the data. There was no correlation between news source and IAT score. There was also no significant correlation found between time spent engaging with media and IAT score. A significant positive correlation was found between age and IAT score. In the future study looking into the correlation on age and IAT score may be run to see what implicit biases other age groups may have and have a more diverse population.

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MEREDITH DECOSTE '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Time Spent with Media and Racial Bias

Implicit biases are an individual's unconsciously formed ideas about others that can determine the way one behaves in today's society. The reactions occur in a positive or negative manner. These biases may be based on what type of news sources people watch and what the news source is reporting. Depending on what type of news source one watched, the participants would have a higher preference towards European Americans compared to African Americans the Implicit Association Test (IAT) race test. The study was done at Westfield State University with 38 participants. Participants were required to fill out a survey on background information, such as their political affiliation and racial identity. Then the participants took the IAT test. A linear regression along with correlations were run to analyze the data. There was no correlation between news source and IAT score. There was also no significant correlation found between time spent engaging with media and IAT score. A significant positive correlation was found between age and IAT score. In the future study looking into the correlation on age and IAT score may be run to see what implicit biases other age groups may have and have a more diverse population.

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LAUREN HARKINS '22

MAJOR: EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION/PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Time Spent with Media and Racial Bias

Implicit biases are an individual's unconsciously formed ideas about others that can determine the way one behaves in today's society. The reactions occur in a positive or negative manner. These biases may be based on what type of news sources people watch and what the news source is reporting. Depending on what type of news source one watched, the participants would have a higher preference towards European Americans compared to African Americans the Implicit Association Test (IAT) race test. The study was done at Westfield State University with 38 participants. Participants were required to fill out a survey on background information, such as their political affiliation and racial identity. Then the participants took the IAT test. A linear regression along with correlations were run to analyze the data. There was no correlation between news source and IAT score. There was also no significant correlation found between time spent engaging with media and IAT score. A significant positive correlation was found between age and IAT score. In the future study looking into the correlation on age and IAT score may be run to see what implicit biases other age groups may have and have a more diverse population.

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MICHAEL BUCKLEY '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY & ETHNIC AND GENDER STUDIES

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

Music vs. Anxiety: An Experimental Design

Anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension about the future concerning one’s environment. We tested the relationship between music genres and anxiety levels, predicting that participants exposed to music from horror movies would exhibit higher rates of anxiety. We used the 10-minute movie clips with two groups, high anxiety (horror music) and low anxiety (comedy music), measuring participants’ symptoms of anxiety using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). The BAI is used to measure the severity of anxiety in both adolescents and adults, giving clinicians a solid basis to make a confident diagnosis. Because anxiety can be self-diagnosed, we are using the BAI for the increased content, concurrent, and construct validity. We analyzed BAI levels before and after participants watched the videos to measure the direct effect that music has on anxiety using both funny and anxiety-inducing movie genres (horror, or suspense).

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ISABEL DEMARCO '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

Music vs. Anxiety: An Experimental Design

Anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension about the future concerning one’s environment. We tested the relationship between music genres and anxiety levels, predicting that participants exposed to music from horror movies would exhibit higher rates of anxiety. We used the 10-minute movie clips with two groups, high anxiety (horror music) and low anxiety (comedy music), measuring participants’ symptoms of anxiety using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). The BAI is used to measure the severity of anxiety in both adolescents and adults, giving clinicians a solid basis to make a confident diagnosis. Because anxiety can be self-diagnosed, we are using the BAI for the increased content, concurrent, and construct validity. We analyzed BAI levels before and after participants watched the videos to measure the direct effect that music has on anxiety using both funny and anxiety-inducing movie genres (horror, or suspense).

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BEN WISNIEWSKI '21

MAJOR: CRIMINAL JUSTICE & PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

Music vs. Anxiety: An Experimental Design

Anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension about the future concerning one’s environment. We tested the relationship between music genres and anxiety levels, predicting that participants exposed to music from horror movies would exhibit higher rates of anxiety. We used the 10-minute movie clips with two groups, high anxiety (horror music) and low anxiety (comedy music), measuring participants’ symptoms of anxiety using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). The BAI is used to measure the severity of anxiety in both adolescents and adults, giving clinicians a solid basis to make a confident diagnosis. Because anxiety can be self-diagnosed, we are using the BAI for the increased content, concurrent, and construct validity. We analyzed BAI levels before and after participants watched the videos to measure the direct effect that music has on anxiety using both funny and anxiety-inducing movie genres (horror, or suspense).

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CASIE BURGOS '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Does Tik Tok Affect a Female's Self-Perception?

Social media is used daily amongst young adults. Research has demonstrated negative mental health issues, such as depression and negative body image in women who have used Instagram. Women compare themselves to other women on social media apps, for example, Instagram, which causes negative mental health issues, such as depression. Since there is a lack of research on TikTok, this new social media app that is based on video sharing may cause negative mental health issues. This study explored the effects that time spent on TikTok may have on female self-perception. It was hypothesized that there would be a negative correlation between the two variables. Participants were females aged from 18-23 years who used the app, TikTok. Participants were asked to complete two questionnaires, one about their time usage on TikTok, and the other about their self-perception. There was not a significant correlation between time and self-perception. The results suggest that time spent on TikTok does not affect self-perception in females. The daily usage of TikTok had no effect on self-perception in young adult women. For future steps, a different study found a correlation between Instagram usage and depression, so investigating depression could be studied next to explore more mental health issues of TikTok.

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BROOKE IGLESIAS '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Does Tik Tok Affect a Female's Self-Perception?

Social media is used daily amongst young adults. Research has demonstrated negative mental health issues, such as depression and negative body image in women who have used Instagram. Women compare themselves to other women on social media apps, for example, Instagram, which causes negative mental health issues, such as depression. Since there is a lack of research on TikTok, this new social media app that is based on video sharing may cause negative mental health issues. This study explored the effects that time spent on TikTok may have on female self-perception. It was hypothesized that there would be a negative correlation between the two variables. Participants were females aged from 18-23 years who used the app, TikTok. Participants were asked to complete two questionnaires, one about their time usage on TikTok, and the other about their self-perception. There was not a significant correlation between time and self-perception. The results suggest that time spent on TikTok does not affect self-perception in females. The daily usage of TikTok had no effect on self-perception in young adult women. For future steps, a different study found a correlation between Instagram usage and depression, so investigating depression could be studied next to explore more mental health issues of TikTok.

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ERICA PELLEGRINO '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Does Tik Tok Affect a Female's Self-Perception?

Social media is used daily amongst young adults. Research has demonstrated negative mental health issues, such as depression and negative body image in women who have used Instagram. Women compare themselves to other women on social media apps, for example, Instagram, which causes negative mental health issues, such as depression. Since there is a lack of research on TikTok, this new social media app that is based on video sharing may cause negative mental health issues. This study explored the effects that time spent on TikTok may have on female self-perception. It was hypothesized that there would be a negative correlation between the two variables. Participants were females aged from 18-23 years who used the app, TikTok. Participants were asked to complete two questionnaires, one about their time usage on TikTok, and the other about their self-perception. There was not a significant correlation between time and self-perception. The results suggest that time spent on TikTok does not affect self-perception in females. The daily usage of TikTok had no effect on self-perception in young adult women. For future steps, a different study found a correlation between Instagram usage and depression, so investigating depression could be studied next to explore more mental health issues of TikTok.

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MADELEINE CAREY '23

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

How Yoga Affects Self-Perception

Self-perception is the way a person views themselves and the qualities that they embody, it is made up of their concept of self, social-self, self-esteem, and self-knowledge. A higher self-esteem is related to a good self-perception and maintaining good self-perception is what helps people avoid getting hurt by rejection and is what motivates us to keep pushing forward. Past research suggests that yoga is beneficial in the self management of stress, anxiety, depression, and overall well being (Sahni, et al., 2021). The aim of this study is to see if engaging in yoga exercises will increase one’s self-perception. It also aims to see if yoga has an effect on emotional regulation and self-esteem. Participants will take the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale, do a 15 minute yoga video, and then take the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale again. This self test-retest experiment assessed if results improved, decreased, or stayed the same as a function of doing the yoga. There were no prior requirements to participate in this study, and participants were not required to have any preexisting knowledge of yoga or materials. The findings in this study will make way for a better understanding on how/if yoga contributes to a better self-perception within an individual.

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DAMIEN MANISCALCO '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL , PSYCHOLOGY

How Yoga Affects Self-Perception

Self-perception is the way a person views themselves and the qualities that they embody, it is made up of their concept of self, social-self, self-esteem, and self-knowledge. A higher self-esteem is related to a good self-perception and maintaining good self-perception is what helps people avoid getting hurt by rejection and is what motivates us to keep pushing forward. Past research suggests that yoga is beneficial in the self management of stress, anxiety, depression, and overall well being (Sahni, et al., 2021). The aim of this study is to see if engaging in yoga exercises will increase one’s self-perception. It also aims to see if yoga has an effect on emotional regulation and self-esteem. Participants will take the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale, do a 15 minute yoga video, and then take the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale again. This self test-retest experiment assessed if results improved, decreased, or stayed the same as a function of doing the yoga. There were no prior requirements to participate in this study, and participants were not required to have any preexisting knowledge of yoga or materials. The findings in this study will make way for a better understanding on how/if yoga contributes to a better self-perception within an individual.

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GENEVIEVE O'DONNELL '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL , PSYCHOLOGY

How Yoga Affects Self-Perception

Self-perception is the way a person views themselves and the qualities that they embody, it is made up of their concept of self, social-self, self-esteem, and self-knowledge. A higher self-esteem is related to a good self-perception and maintaining good self-perception is what helps people avoid getting hurt by rejection and is what motivates us to keep pushing forward. Past research suggests that yoga is beneficial in the self management of stress, anxiety, depression, and overall well being (Sahni, et al., 2021). The aim of this study is to see if engaging in yoga exercises will increase one’s self-perception. It also aims to see if yoga has an effect on emotional regulation and self-esteem. Participants will take the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale, do a 15 minute yoga video, and then take the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale again. This self test-retest experiment assessed if results improved, decreased, or stayed the same as a function of doing the yoga. There were no prior requirements to participate in this study, and participants were not required to have any preexisting knowledge of yoga or materials. The findings in this study will make way for a better understanding on how/if yoga contributes to a better self-perception within an individual.

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SHAUNA CONDON '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Virtual Pet Therapy: A New Way to Reduce Anxiety?

It is inevitable for students to experience psychological problems, including anxiety, while in college. College campuses often offer therapeutic interventions, such as pet therapy programs, to help relieve students of these problems. During the COVID-19 pandemic, classes, doctors’ appointments, and therapy sessions have had to transition to an online setting to reduce in-person interaction. This study aimed to establish if virtual pet therapy produced the same effects on anxiety levels as in-person pet therapy, which would help determine whether it serves as an effective alternative. The state measure of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S) was used. To measure one’s levels of situational anxiety, meaning how they feel in that moment. Participants, consisting of Westfield State University students, were asked to take the STAI-S as a pretest, participate in an eleven-minute virtual pet therapy session, and then take the STAI-S again as a posttest. Participants’ STAI-S scores were significantly lower in the posttest. This suggests that participating in a virtual pet therapy session results in decreased levels of anxiety. These results suggest that virtual pet therapy may have benefits similar to in-person therapy, providing an alternative method to reduce anxiety while in the pandemic. Future research could include a control group to help determine whether the decrease in anxiety was due to the virtual pet therapy session specifically or watching a video in general.

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LAUREN GRAY '23

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Virtual Pet Therapy: A New Way to Reduce Anxiety?

It is inevitable for students to experience psychological problems, including anxiety, while in college. College campuses often offer therapeutic interventions, such as pet therapy programs, to help relieve students of these problems. During the COVID-19 pandemic, classes, doctors’ appointments, and therapy sessions have had to transition to an online setting to reduce in-person interaction. This study aimed to establish if virtual pet therapy produced the same effects on anxiety levels as in-person pet therapy, which would help determine whether it serves as an effective alternative. The state measure of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S) was used. To measure one’s levels of situational anxiety, meaning how they feel in that moment. Participants, consisting of Westfield State University students, were asked to take the STAI-S as a pretest, participate in an eleven-minute virtual pet therapy session, and then take the STAI-S again as a posttest. Participants’ STAI-S scores were significantly lower in the posttest. This suggests that participating in a virtual pet therapy session results in decreased levels of anxiety. These results suggest that virtual pet therapy may have benefits similar to in-person therapy, providing an alternative method to reduce anxiety while in the pandemic. Future research could include a control group to help determine whether the decrease in anxiety was due to the virtual pet therapy session specifically or watching a video in general.

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AUTUMN TOMAO '23

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Virtual Pet Therapy: A New Way to Reduce Anxiety?

It is inevitable for students to experience psychological problems, including anxiety, while in college. College campuses often offer therapeutic interventions, such as pet therapy programs, to help relieve students of these problems. During the COVID-19 pandemic, classes, doctors’ appointments, and therapy sessions have had to transition to an online setting to reduce in-person interaction. This study aimed to establish if virtual pet therapy produced the same effects on anxiety levels as in-person pet therapy, which would help determine whether it serves as an effective alternative. The state measure of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S) was used. To measure one’s levels of situational anxiety, meaning how they feel in that moment. Participants, consisting of Westfield State University students, were asked to take the STAI-S as a pretest, participate in an eleven-minute virtual pet therapy session, and then take the STAI-S again as a posttest. Participants’ STAI-S scores were significantly lower in the posttest. This suggests that participating in a virtual pet therapy session results in decreased levels of anxiety. These results suggest that virtual pet therapy may have benefits similar to in-person therapy, providing an alternative method to reduce anxiety while in the pandemic. Future research could include a control group to help determine whether the decrease in anxiety was due to the virtual pet therapy session specifically or watching a video in general.

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KAYLEA CORNWELL '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

how hunger influences levels of aggression and mood

Hunger and fullness are ways your body identifies how hungry or full you are and helps let you know when to start or stop eating. Skipping meals can oftentimes lead to feelings of irritability and increased aggression. The present study sought to analyze college students’ hunger and determine how it influences their mood and levels of aggression. We hypothesized that higher levels of hunger lead to changes in mood, especially higher levels of aggression. We recruited Westfield State University students through an online survey and measured their self-reported levels of hunger (the Hunger & Fullness Scale; H&FS), aggression (the Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire; BPAQ) and mood (the Brief Mood Introspection Scale; BMIS). Participants were then shown photos of savory foods and immediately re-evaluated on the H&FS and BMIS. We predicted that students would show higher levels on the BPAQ after viewing the images of savory foods, suggesting that induced hunger created feelings of aggression.

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TAYLOR COTTINGHAM '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL , PSYCHOLOGY

how hunger influences levels of aggression and mood

Hunger and fullness are ways your body identifies how hungry or full you are and helps let you know when to start or stop eating. Skipping meals can oftentimes lead to feelings of irritability and increased aggression. The present study sought to analyze college students’ hunger and determine how it influences their mood and levels of aggression. We hypothesized that higher levels of hunger lead to changes in mood, especially higher levels of aggression. We recruited Westfield State University students through an online survey and measured their self-reported levels of hunger (the Hunger & Fullness Scale; H&FS), aggression (the Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire; BPAQ) and mood (the Brief Mood Introspection Scale; BMIS). Participants were then shown photos of savory foods and immediately re-evaluated on the H&FS and BMIS. We predicted that students would show higher levels on the BPAQ after viewing the images of savory foods, suggesting that induced hunger created feelings of aggression.

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GABBY TYLER '23

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL , PSYCHOLOGY

how hunger influences levels of aggression and mood

Hunger and fullness are ways your body identifies how hungry or full you are and helps let you know when to start or stop eating. Skipping meals can oftentimes lead to feelings of irritability and increased aggression. The present study sought to analyze college students’ hunger and determine how it influences their mood and levels of aggression. We hypothesized that higher levels of hunger lead to changes in mood, especially higher levels of aggression. We recruited Westfield State University students through an online survey and measured their self-reported levels of hunger (the Hunger & Fullness Scale; H&FS), aggression (the Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire; BPAQ) and mood (the Brief Mood Introspection Scale; BMIS). Participants were then shown photos of savory foods and immediately re-evaluated on the H&FS and BMIS. We predicted that students would show higher levels on the BPAQ after viewing the images of savory foods, suggesting that induced hunger created feelings of aggression.

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KAYLEIGH CROTEAU '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL , PSYCHOLOGY

The Relationship Between Music and Productivity

Music impacts the way an individual focuses on completing a task. Music with and without lyrics differentially impacts how people can filter out distractions depending on what they are listening to (Shih et al., 2012). We hypothesized that participants who listen to music without lyrics will work more efficiently because they are able to focus better on the task at hand and eliminate all background noise. In this sample of approximately 100 Westfield State University students we provided two groups with a song (one with lyrics, one without lyrics) and asked them to complete a hand-eye coordination and planning task. We then conducted a survey assessing their self-perception of the task’s success. Results from the survey were used to assess group differences based on the presence of lyrics in music. Shih, Y.-N., Huang, R.-H., & Chiang, H.-Y. (2012). Background music: Effects on attention performance. Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 42(4), 573–578.

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ANAILI LOPEZ '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL , PSYCHOLOGY

The Relationship Between Music and Productivity

Music impacts the way an individual focuses on completing a task. Music with and without lyrics differentially impacts how people can filter out distractions depending on what they are listening to (Shih et al., 2012). We hypothesized that participants who listen to music without lyrics will work more efficiently because they are able to focus better on the task at hand and eliminate all background noise. In this sample of approximately 100 Westfield State University students we provided two groups with a song (one with lyrics, one without lyrics) and asked them to complete a hand-eye coordination and planning task. We then conducted a survey assessing their self-perception of the task’s success. Results from the survey were used to assess group differences based on the presence of lyrics in music. Shih, Y.-N., Huang, R.-H., & Chiang, H.-Y. (2012). Background music: Effects on attention performance. Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 42(4), 573–578.

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DANIELLE CURLEY '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

ARE YOU MAD? An Analysis of Emotional Recognition in Young Adults with ADHD and Neurotypical Controls

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have shown decreased levels of facial emotion recognition skills compared to non-ADHD peers in previous studies. A majority of studies have examined these deficits in children. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if these deficits continued in young adults . The hypothesis for this study is that young adults diagnosed with ADHD, when compared to neurotypical controls later, will show deficits in facial emotion recognition. Researchers recruited ADHD and neurotypical controls Westfield State University students . Participants were presented images from Racially Diverse Affective Expression (RADIATE) face stimulus set, that showed people expressing various emotions. Participants were required to view the emotion being displayed and were scored on whether or not they could correctly identify the emotion out of the 19 images chosen and presented. Although, the ADHD group scored lower than the neurotypical group, there was no statistical significance. More research needs to be viewed on young adults with ADHD to better evaluate these deficits, specifically for this age group. One of the ways to recreate this study would be including more subjects within each group, so that the variability presented in this study for the ADHD group can be more contained. Another new factor could be including more well-defined operational definitions of each emotion to ensure that people had a more consistent way of identifying each image.

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KIMBERLY MARTINEZ '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

ARE YOU MAD? An Analysis of Emotional Recognition in Young Adults with ADHD and Neurotypical Controls

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have shown decreased levels of facial emotion recognition skills compared to non-ADHD peers in previous studies. A majority of studies have examined these deficits in children. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if these deficits continued in young adults . The hypothesis for this study is that young adults diagnosed with ADHD, when compared to neurotypical controls later, will show deficits in facial emotion recognition. Researchers recruited ADHD and neurotypical controls Westfield State University students . Participants were presented images from Racially Diverse Affective Expression (RADIATE) face stimulus set, that showed people expressing various emotions. Participants were required to view the emotion being displayed and were scored on whether or not they could correctly identify the emotion out of the 19 images chosen and presented. Although, the ADHD group scored lower than the neurotypical group, there was no statistical significance. More research needs to be viewed on young adults with ADHD to better evaluate these deficits, specifically for this age group. One of the ways to recreate this study would be including more subjects within each group, so that the variability presented in this study for the ADHD group can be more contained. Another new factor could be including more well-defined operational definitions of each emotion to ensure that people had a more consistent way of identifying each image.

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TESS MCDONALD '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

ARE YOU MAD? An Analysis of Emotional Recognition in Young Adults with ADHD and Neurotypical Controls

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have shown decreased levels of facial emotion recognition skills compared to non-ADHD peers in previous studies. A majority of studies have examined these deficits in children. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if these deficits continued in young adults . The hypothesis for this study is that young adults diagnosed with ADHD, when compared to neurotypical controls later, will show deficits in facial emotion recognition. Researchers recruited ADHD and neurotypical controls Westfield State University students . Participants were presented images from Racially Diverse Affective Expression (RADIATE) face stimulus set, that showed people expressing various emotions. Participants were required to view the emotion being displayed and were scored on whether or not they could correctly identify the emotion out of the 19 images chosen and presented. Although, the ADHD group scored lower than the neurotypical group, there was no statistical significance. More research needs to be viewed on young adults with ADHD to better evaluate these deficits, specifically for this age group. One of the ways to recreate this study would be including more subjects within each group, so that the variability presented in this study for the ADHD group can be more contained. Another new factor could be including more well-defined operational definitions of each emotion to ensure that people had a more consistent way of identifying each image.

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SABRINA DAWICKI '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

ADHD, Academic Stress, and You: Symptoms of ADHD Lead to Higher Levels of Academic Stress

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone across the globe. Students who have switched to remote learning have been affected by the drastic change. For students with learning disabilities, this change presents even more challenges. A growing prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms has been seen in college students. Limited research on ADHD in college students should be addressed as ADHD is a common neurological disorder that affects people of all ages. Another area of limited research includes academic stress levels among individuals with ADHD, along with their levels of COVID-19 related stress. To address this, the impact of ADHD symptoms on an individual's level of academic stress and COVID-19 related stress was explored. A total of 93 students completed questionnaires regarding symptoms of ADHD, of academic stress, and of COVID-19 related stress. An independent sample t-test comparing academic stress levels of individuals with and without symptoms of ADHD revealed those with symptoms of ADHD experience greater academic stress than those without symptoms. A second independent samples t-test comparing COVID-19 stress levels of participants with and without symptoms of ADHD revealed no significant difference. This suggests that ADHD symptoms are associated with higher levels of academic stress in college-level students and that symptoms of ADHD do not play a role in levels of COVID-19-related stress in college-level students. Future research should include investigation of ADHD symptoms in college students, the prevalence of ADHD symptoms pre-pandemic compared to post-pandemic, and how the pandemic has impacted academic stress levels for all students.

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ELYSE POMMENVILLE '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

ADHD, Academic Stress, and You: Symptoms of ADHD Lead to Higher Levels of Academic Stress

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone across the globe. Students who have switched to remote learning have been affected by the drastic change. For students with learning disabilities, this change presents even more challenges. A growing prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms has been seen in college students. Limited research on ADHD in college students should be addressed as ADHD is a common neurological disorder that affects people of all ages. Another area of limited research includes academic stress levels among individuals with ADHD, along with their levels of COVID-19 related stress. To address this, the impact of ADHD symptoms on an individual's level of academic stress and COVID-19 related stress was explored. A total of 93 students completed questionnaires regarding symptoms of ADHD, of academic stress, and of COVID-19 related stress. An independent sample t-test comparing academic stress levels of individuals with and without symptoms of ADHD revealed those with symptoms of ADHD experience greater academic stress than those without symptoms. A second independent samples t-test comparing COVID-19 stress levels of participants with and without symptoms of ADHD revealed no significant difference. This suggests that ADHD symptoms are associated with higher levels of academic stress in college-level students and that symptoms of ADHD do not play a role in levels of COVID-19-related stress in college-level students. Future research should include investigation of ADHD symptoms in college students, the prevalence of ADHD symptoms pre-pandemic compared to post-pandemic, and how the pandemic has impacted academic stress levels for all students.

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SARAH REILLY '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

ADHD, Academic Stress, and You: Symptoms of ADHD Lead to Higher Levels of Academic Stress

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone across the globe. Students who have switched to remote learning have been affected by the drastic change. For students with learning disabilities, this change presents even more challenges. A growing prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms has been seen in college students. Limited research on ADHD in college students should be addressed as ADHD is a common neurological disorder that affects people of all ages. Another area of limited research includes academic stress levels among individuals with ADHD, along with their levels of COVID-19 related stress. To address this, the impact of ADHD symptoms on an individual's level of academic stress and COVID-19 related stress was explored. A total of 93 students completed questionnaires regarding symptoms of ADHD, of academic stress, and of COVID-19 related stress. An independent sample t-test comparing academic stress levels of individuals with and without symptoms of ADHD revealed those with symptoms of ADHD experience greater academic stress than those without symptoms. A second independent samples t-test comparing COVID-19 stress levels of participants with and without symptoms of ADHD revealed no significant difference. This suggests that ADHD symptoms are associated with higher levels of academic stress in college-level students and that symptoms of ADHD do not play a role in levels of COVID-19-related stress in college-level students. Future research should include investigation of ADHD symptoms in college students, the prevalence of ADHD symptoms pre-pandemic compared to post-pandemic, and how the pandemic has impacted academic stress levels for all students.

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GRAEME DRUMM '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Do Stress and Depression Combined Heighten Impulsivity?

Living during a global pandemic has caused people around the world to experience heightened levels of stress and depression. These two factors negatively impact the prefrontal cortex, which is the region of the brain responsible for impulsivity. Stress and depression separately effect impulsivity. We set out to determine whether the two factors combined would increase impulsivity levels. Seventeen undergraduate students from Westfield State University voluntarily participated in this study. Their levels of depression were measured using the Beck’s Depression Inventory and their levels of stress were measured using Perceived Stress Scale. Participants were categorized into groups based on their scores. Their impulsivity levels were measured using a Go/ No-Go task. Once data was collected, effects of depression on impulsivity were evaluated using a t-test. The effects of stress were evaluated using a One-way ANOVA. Results showed no significant effect of either factor on impulsivity. These results led the researchers to conclude that stress and depression did not increase impulsivity levels in participants. Therefore, the original hypothesis was not supported. Bringing awareness to the effects of impulsivity may be beneficial towards helping people make more cautious decisions. In the future we would like to conduct this study in person as opposed to virtually. Conducting this experiment in person would help prevent complications due to virtual administration of this experiment that would not occur if privy to face to face communication.

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SYDNEY HEBERT '22

MAJOR: CRIMINAL JUSTICE & PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Do Stress and Depression Combined Heighten Impulsivity?

Living during a global pandemic has caused people around the world to experience heightened levels of stress and depression. These two factors negatively impact the prefrontal cortex, which is the region of the brain responsible for impulsivity. Stress and depression separately effect impulsivity. We set out to determine whether the two factors combined would increase impulsivity levels. Seventeen undergraduate students from Westfield State University voluntarily participated in this study. Their levels of depression were measured using the Beck’s Depression Inventory and their levels of stress were measured using Perceived Stress Scale. Participants were categorized into groups based on their scores. Their impulsivity levels were measured using a Go/ No-Go task. Once data was collected, effects of depression on impulsivity were evaluated using a t-test. The effects of stress were evaluated using a One-way ANOVA. Results showed no significant effect of either factor on impulsivity. These results led the researchers to conclude that stress and depression did not increase impulsivity levels in participants. Therefore, the original hypothesis was not supported. Bringing awareness to the effects of impulsivity may be beneficial towards helping people make more cautious decisions. In the future we would like to conduct this study in person as opposed to virtually. Conducting this experiment in person would help prevent complications due to virtual administration of this experiment that would not occur if privy to face to face communication.

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PATRICK POWERS '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Do Stress and Depression Combined Heighten Impulsivity?

Living during a global pandemic has caused people around the world to experience heightened levels of stress and depression. These two factors negatively impact the prefrontal cortex, which is the region of the brain responsible for impulsivity. Stress and depression separately effect impulsivity. We set out to determine whether the two factors combined would increase impulsivity levels. Seventeen undergraduate students from Westfield State University voluntarily participated in this study. Their levels of depression were measured using the Beck’s Depression Inventory and their levels of stress were measured using Perceived Stress Scale. Participants were categorized into groups based on their scores. Their impulsivity levels were measured using a Go/ No-Go task. Once data was collected, effects of depression on impulsivity were evaluated using a t-test. The effects of stress were evaluated using a One-way ANOVA. Results showed no significant effect of either factor on impulsivity. These results led the researchers to conclude that stress and depression did not increase impulsivity levels in participants. Therefore, the original hypothesis was not supported. Bringing awareness to the effects of impulsivity may be beneficial towards helping people make more cautious decisions. In the future we would like to conduct this study in person as opposed to virtually. Conducting this experiment in person would help prevent complications due to virtual administration of this experiment that would not occur if privy to face to face communication.

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ERIN GIUGNO '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Insufficient Evidence Supporting Use of Relaxation Techniques to Deter Impacts of Social Media on Mental Health.

As social media use rises, it is important to continue to search for ways to minimize the implications on our mental health. It is also important to determine at what level social media use begins to have negative effects on mental health and stress. We hypothesized that the implementation of relaxation techniques would reduce stress, anxiety, and depression among those with high social media usage. A consent form and survey were sent out to the Relaxation Techniques course and Psychology department courses at Westfield State University to obtain participants. There were a total of 15 participants, 5 of these students participated in relaxation techniques and the other 10 students did not.The survey included four sections: the first an intake of participants’ phone use and social media platform use, then it moved on to the Beck Depression scale. The third section utilized the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the final section used the Perceived Stress Scale. There was no significance shown from the data collected from the independent t- tests to support a relationship between relaxation techniques and anxiety, depression and stress. Since the current study focused on a broad range of relaxation techniques, future studies should include research on more specific relaxation techniques and their effect on stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as an increased participant pool to examine.

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MELISSA KING '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Insufficient Evidence Supporting Use of Relaxation Techniques to Deter Impacts of Social Media on Mental Health.

As social media use rises, it is important to continue to search for ways to minimize the implications on our mental health. It is also important to determine at what level social media use begins to have negative effects on mental health and stress. We hypothesized that the implementation of relaxation techniques would reduce stress, anxiety, and depression among those with high social media usage. A consent form and survey were sent out to the Relaxation Techniques course and Psychology department courses at Westfield State University to obtain participants. There were a total of 15 participants, 5 of these students participated in relaxation techniques and the other 10 students did not.The survey included four sections: the first an intake of participants’ phone use and social media platform use, then it moved on to the Beck Depression scale. The third section utilized the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the final section used the Perceived Stress Scale. There was no significance shown from the data collected from the independent t- tests to support a relationship between relaxation techniques and anxiety, depression and stress. Since the current study focused on a broad range of relaxation techniques, future studies should include research on more specific relaxation techniques and their effect on stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as an increased participant pool to examine.

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BRENNA WELCH '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Insufficient Evidence Supporting Use of Relaxation Techniques to Deter Impacts of Social Media on Mental Health.

As social media use rises, it is important to continue to search for ways to minimize the implications on our mental health. It is also important to determine at what level social media use begins to have negative effects on mental health and stress. We hypothesized that the implementation of relaxation techniques would reduce stress, anxiety, and depression among those with high social media usage. A consent form and survey were sent out to the Relaxation Techniques course and Psychology department courses at Westfield State University to obtain participants. There were a total of 15 participants, 5 of these students participated in relaxation techniques and the other 10 students did not.The survey included four sections: the first an intake of participants’ phone use and social media platform use, then it moved on to the Beck Depression scale. The third section utilized the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the final section used the Perceived Stress Scale. There was no significance shown from the data collected from the independent t- tests to support a relationship between relaxation techniques and anxiety, depression and stress. Since the current study focused on a broad range of relaxation techniques, future studies should include research on more specific relaxation techniques and their effect on stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as an increased participant pool to examine.

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LEAH GORDON '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

How income effects stress

The present study involves how someone’s stress is affected by their income. Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure. Income is the money received, especially on a regular basis, for work or through investments. We hypothesized that the two constructs are related, and specifically that income affects individuals’ daily stress levels. In this study, we examined this relation between stress and income using Westfield State University students. Participants were asked to respond to a survey evaluating their daily stress levels, and then they were shown videos or pictures of luxury items that they would not be able to afford. Participants were then asked to answer the stress questionnaire again, and we predicted that students would be more stressed after viewing these luxury items. The goal of this study is to determine how much stress is caused from having low income. If income is low, then stress levels will be high after viewing the pictures.

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MARISSA HELMS '23

MAJOR: CRIMINAL JUSTICE & PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

How income effects stress

The present study involves how someone’s stress is affected by their income. Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure. Income is the money received, especially on a regular basis, for work or through investments. We hypothesized that the two constructs are related, and specifically that income affects individuals’ daily stress levels. In this study, we examined this relation between stress and income using Westfield State University students. Participants were asked to respond to a survey evaluating their daily stress levels, and then they were shown videos or pictures of luxury items that they would not be able to afford. Participants were then asked to answer the stress questionnaire again, and we predicted that students would be more stressed after viewing these luxury items. The goal of this study is to determine how much stress is caused from having low income. If income is low, then stress levels will be high after viewing the pictures.

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MANAR JALIL '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

How income effects stress

The present study involves how someone’s stress is affected by their income. Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure. Income is the money received, especially on a regular basis, for work or through investments. We hypothesized that the two constructs are related, and specifically that income affects individuals’ daily stress levels. In this study, we examined this relation between stress and income using Westfield State University students. Participants were asked to respond to a survey evaluating their daily stress levels, and then they were shown videos or pictures of luxury items that they would not be able to afford. Participants were then asked to answer the stress questionnaire again, and we predicted that students would be more stressed after viewing these luxury items. The goal of this study is to determine how much stress is caused from having low income. If income is low, then stress levels will be high after viewing the pictures.

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ALAYISA HENDERSON '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

The Relationship between Music and Decision-Making

Decision-making is one of the most basic cognitive processes of human behavior, and it entails choosing a desired choice or course of action from a list of choices depending on a set of variables. According to prior research, music is a powerful and engaging stimulant that influences decision-making and risk-taking, as well as behavioral decisions (Wang, 2007). The purpose of this experiment is to understand how music affects one’s ability to make an accurate decisions under pressure. Past research has looked at the impact of music tempo and task complexity on multi-attribute decision-making success from two perspectives, arousal which was the inducer vs. the distractor, background music (Day et al., 2009). The aim of this research is to see how different music types affect Westfield State Students’ ability to take Queendom's mental speed test.

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LYDIA PAPUGA '22

MAJOR:  PSYCHOLOGY & POLITICAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

The Relationship between Music and Decision-Making

Decision-making is one of the most basic cognitive processes of human behavior, and it entails choosing a desired choice or course of action from a list of choices depending on a set of variables. According to prior research, music is a powerful and engaging stimulant that influences decision-making and risk-taking, as well as behavioral decisions (Wang, 2007). The purpose of this experiment is to understand how music affects one’s ability to make an accurate decisions under pressure. Past research has looked at the impact of music tempo and task complexity on multi-attribute decision-making success from two perspectives, arousal which was the inducer vs. the distractor, background music (Day et al., 2009). The aim of this research is to see how different music types affect Westfield State Students’ ability to take Queendom's mental speed test.

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OLIVIA VANAGEL '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY & ETHNIC STUDIES

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

The Relationship between Music and Decision-Making

Decision-making is one of the most basic cognitive processes of human behavior, and it entails choosing a desired choice or course of action from a list of choices depending on a set of variables. According to prior research, music is a powerful and engaging stimulant that influences decision-making and risk-taking, as well as behavioral decisions (Wang, 2007). The purpose of this experiment is to understand how music affects one’s ability to make an accurate decisions under pressure. Past research has looked at the impact of music tempo and task complexity on multi-attribute decision-making success from two perspectives, arousal which was the inducer vs. the distractor, background music (Day et al., 2009). The aim of this research is to see how different music types affect Westfield State Students’ ability to take Queendom's mental speed test.

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JONAH HINTZ '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

The Disconnection Between Social Media Usage and Cyberbullying

With increased time spent on social media among undergraduate students, cyberbullying becomes a rising concern. Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat create more opportunities for this age group to fall victim to cyberbullying. We explored the relationship of increased social media usage and cyberbullying experiences. We hypothesized that higher durations time on social media platforms would increase instances of cyberbullying among undergraduate students. A survey was distributed to undergraduate participants asking about their average social media usage and experiences with cyberbullying. Responses were analyzed using multiple One-Way-ANOVA’s to determine the relationship between social media usage and cyberbullying experiences. Results suggested no statistical significance between the variables, leaving us to refute our original hypothesis. Some methodology errors surfaced, which may have tainted the results leaving data that was unable to be analyzed by the One-Way-ANOVA. Due to wording errors in survey questions and a lack of variation in responses some data was unable to be analyzed by a One-Way-ANOVA. Future direction may lead towards redistributing the study to a larger participant pool after re-wording some of the questions, in hopes to drawing our original conclusion stated in the hypothesis. If the relationship between social media usage and cyberbullying was found to be significant, undergraduate students may be able to make changes to their social media tendencies to decrease instances of cyberbullying.

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ALLISON KING '23

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

The Disconnection Between Social Media Usage and Cyberbullying

With increased time spent on social media among undergraduate students, cyberbullying becomes a rising concern. Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat create more opportunities for this age group to fall victim to cyberbullying. We explored the relationship of increased social media usage and cyberbullying experiences. We hypothesized that higher durations time on social media platforms would increase instances of cyberbullying among undergraduate students. A survey was distributed to undergraduate participants asking about their average social media usage and experiences with cyberbullying. Responses were analyzed using multiple One-Way-ANOVA’s to determine the relationship between social media usage and cyberbullying experiences. Results suggested no statistical significance between the variables, leaving us to refute our original hypothesis. Some methodology errors surfaced, which may have tainted the results leaving data that was unable to be analyzed by the One-Way-ANOVA. Due to wording errors in survey questions and a lack of variation in responses some data was unable to be analyzed by a One-Way-ANOVA. Future direction may lead towards redistributing the study to a larger participant pool after re-wording some of the questions, in hopes to drawing our original conclusion stated in the hypothesis. If the relationship between social media usage and cyberbullying was found to be significant, undergraduate students may be able to make changes to their social media tendencies to decrease instances of cyberbullying.

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CATHERINE PERRI '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

The Disconnection Between Social Media Usage and Cyberbullying

With increased time spent on social media among undergraduate students, cyberbullying becomes a rising concern. Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat create more opportunities for this age group to fall victim to cyberbullying. We explored the relationship of increased social media usage and cyberbullying experiences. We hypothesized that higher durations time on social media platforms would increase instances of cyberbullying among undergraduate students. A survey was distributed to undergraduate participants asking about their average social media usage and experiences with cyberbullying. Responses were analyzed using multiple One-Way-ANOVA’s to determine the relationship between social media usage and cyberbullying experiences. Results suggested no statistical significance between the variables, leaving us to refute our original hypothesis. Some methodology errors surfaced, which may have tainted the results leaving data that was unable to be analyzed by the One-Way-ANOVA. Due to wording errors in survey questions and a lack of variation in responses some data was unable to be analyzed by a One-Way-ANOVA. Future direction may lead towards redistributing the study to a larger participant pool after re-wording some of the questions, in hopes to drawing our original conclusion stated in the hypothesis. If the relationship between social media usage and cyberbullying was found to be significant, undergraduate students may be able to make changes to their social media tendencies to decrease instances of cyberbullying.

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EMMA KANE '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Reduced social interaction does not have an effect on students’ anxiety and depression levels.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a significant reduction in social interaction for many individuals, but especially college students. Social interaction acts as an outlet for many students, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and more. We aim to examine a connection between living environment, amount of social interaction and their impacts on anxiety and depression. It was hypothesized that if a college student is placed in a living environment that restricts social support, they will have higher levels of anxiety and depression. Data were collected virtually from students in different living conditions and varied social interaction, by use of questionnaires, including the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Then it was analyzed using two one-way ANOVAs that compared the scores from the HAM-A and BDI to living environment and employment status. This is important to study because the conditions of the pandemic and their effects have yet to be fully understood. There seems to be challenges beyond adapting to learning online or in compromised classroom settings that may affect their education. Exploring these challenges may help mitigate possible negative effects of college student’s education. Future research could analyze students’ coping mechanisms in the time of a pandemic.

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CHRISTINA OTERO '23

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Reduced social interaction does not have an effect on students’ anxiety and depression levels.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a significant reduction in social interaction for many individuals, but especially college students. Social interaction acts as an outlet for many students, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and more. We aim to examine a connection between living environment, amount of social interaction and their impacts on anxiety and depression. It was hypothesized that if a college student is placed in a living environment that restricts social support, they will have higher levels of anxiety and depression. Data were collected virtually from students in different living conditions and varied social interaction, by use of questionnaires, including the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Then it was analyzed using two one-way ANOVAs that compared the scores from the HAM-A and BDI to living environment and employment status. This is important to study because the conditions of the pandemic and their effects have yet to be fully understood. There seems to be challenges beyond adapting to learning online or in compromised classroom settings that may affect their education. Exploring these challenges may help mitigate possible negative effects of college student’s education. Future research could analyze students’ coping mechanisms in the time of a pandemic.

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AMANDA RINKER '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR PRINCY MENNELLA, PSYCHOLOGY

Reduced social interaction does not have an effect on students’ anxiety and depression levels.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a significant reduction in social interaction for many individuals, but especially college students. Social interaction acts as an outlet for many students, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and more. We aim to examine a connection between living environment, amount of social interaction and their impacts on anxiety and depression. It was hypothesized that if a college student is placed in a living environment that restricts social support, they will have higher levels of anxiety and depression. Data were collected virtually from students in different living conditions and varied social interaction, by use of questionnaires, including the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Then it was analyzed using two one-way ANOVAs that compared the scores from the HAM-A and BDI to living environment and employment status. This is important to study because the conditions of the pandemic and their effects have yet to be fully understood. There seems to be challenges beyond adapting to learning online or in compromised classroom settings that may affect their education. Exploring these challenges may help mitigate possible negative effects of college student’s education. Future research could analyze students’ coping mechanisms in the time of a pandemic.

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ALEXA LIUCCI '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

The effects of music on anxiety

This paper discusses the relationship between music and anxiety. The hypothesis of this experiment is; the genres of music played while experiencing anxiety will either improve the symptoms someone is experiencing, or make them more severe. Anxiety is a common disorder that many people suffer with. It is defined as “Intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.” For many people around the world, music is used as an escape and a form of coping mechanisms. For some people it works, and for others it does not. There are certain types of music that may increase or decrease the symptoms of anxiety in different individuals. The paper discusses multiple scholarly sources which go over the relationship between the genres within the survey given to the participants. The paper also includes an experiment which gathers people with severe symptoms of anxiety, and compares their individual levels of symptoms depending on the genre of music the participant is assigned to. The genres this experiment looks at are pop, rap, rock, alternative, country and indie. We can cross analyze their symptoms within every genre to see in which genres the anxiety seems to be the worst and which genres seem to calm the anxiety the most. Additionally, this paper reviews data from a detailed survey given to college students on anxiety and music. After reviewing the data, there will be a clear answer as to whether or not different genres of music increase or decrease the symptoms of anxiety.

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KARISSA MORIN '22

MAJOR:  PSYCHOLOGY & POLITICAL SCIENCE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

The effects of music on anxiety

This paper discusses the relationship between music and anxiety. The hypothesis of this experiment is; the genres of music played while experiencing anxiety will either improve the symptoms someone is experiencing, or make them more severe. Anxiety is a common disorder that many people suffer with. It is defined as “Intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.” For many people around the world, music is used as an escape and a form of coping mechanisms. For some people it works, and for others it does not. There are certain types of music that may increase or decrease the symptoms of anxiety in different individuals. The paper discusses multiple scholarly sources which go over the relationship between the genres within the survey given to the participants. The paper also includes an experiment which gathers people with severe symptoms of anxiety, and compares their individual levels of symptoms depending on the genre of music the participant is assigned to. The genres this experiment looks at are pop, rap, rock, alternative, country and indie. We can cross analyze their symptoms within every genre to see in which genres the anxiety seems to be the worst and which genres seem to calm the anxiety the most. Additionally, this paper reviews data from a detailed survey given to college students on anxiety and music. After reviewing the data, there will be a clear answer as to whether or not different genres of music increase or decrease the symptoms of anxiety.

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SHANNON NARDIZZI '22

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

The effects of music on anxiety

This paper discusses the relationship between music and anxiety. The hypothesis of this experiment is; the genres of music played while experiencing anxiety will either improve the symptoms someone is experiencing, or make them more severe. Anxiety is a common disorder that many people suffer with. It is defined as “Intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.” For many people around the world, music is used as an escape and a form of coping mechanisms. For some people it works, and for others it does not. There are certain types of music that may increase or decrease the symptoms of anxiety in different individuals. The paper discusses multiple scholarly sources which go over the relationship between the genres within the survey given to the participants. The paper also includes an experiment which gathers people with severe symptoms of anxiety, and compares their individual levels of symptoms depending on the genre of music the participant is assigned to. The genres this experiment looks at are pop, rap, rock, alternative, country and indie. We can cross analyze their symptoms within every genre to see in which genres the anxiety seems to be the worst and which genres seem to calm the anxiety the most. Additionally, this paper reviews data from a detailed survey given to college students on anxiety and music. After reviewing the data, there will be a clear answer as to whether or not different genres of music increase or decrease the symptoms of anxiety.

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 TRISTAN MITCHELL '23

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY & ECONOMICS

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

Sadness and Its Effect on Food Preferences

According to existing research, negative emotions influence people's consumption of various macronutrients, especially refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar (Lefebvre, et. al., 2019). This study aims to examine the relationship between sadness and food preferences. An experimental study is being conducted at Westfield State University, Westfield, during the academic year 2021. A survey will be administered to all Westfield State University students who will be separated into 2 groups; Group A, which will be shown a sad video and Group B who will be shown a neutral video. Both groups will then be asked to pick which food shown that they would rather consume in that moment.

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ANALUCY PEREZ '22

MAJOR:  PSYCHOLOGY 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

Sadness and Its Effect on Food Preferences

According to existing research, negative emotions influence people's consumption of various macronutrients, especially refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar (Lefebvre, et. al., 2019). This study aims to examine the relationship between sadness and food preferences. An experimental study is being conducted at Westfield State University, Westfield, during the academic year 2021. A survey will be administered to all Westfield State University students who will be separated into 2 groups; Group A, which will be shown a sad video and Group B who will be shown a neutral video. Both groups will then be asked to pick which food shown that they would rather consume in that moment.

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CASSIDY SEAVER '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY & CRIMINAL JUSTICE

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR THOMAS A. DANIEL PSYCHOLOGY

Sadness and Its Effect on Food Preferences

According to existing research, negative emotions influence people's consumption of various macronutrients, especially refined carbohydrates in the form of sugar (Lefebvre, et. al., 2019). This study aims to examine the relationship between sadness and food preferences. An experimental study is being conducted at Westfield State University, Westfield, during the academic year 2021. A survey will be administered to all Westfield State University students who will be separated into 2 groups; Group A, which will be shown a sad video and Group B who will be shown a neutral video. Both groups will then be asked to pick which food shown that they would rather consume in that moment.

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TESSA WHITAKER '21

MAJOR: PSYCHOLOGY

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR SUMMER WILLIAMS, PSYCHOLOGY

The Relationship Between Caffeine and Anxiety in College Students

I've been conducting a study on how caffeine affects levels of anxiety as well as sleep patterns among students at Westfield State University. 148 participants have taken a survey with basic demographic information as well as questions about levels of caffeine consumption, anxiety symptoms and sleep patterns.