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Cartee: The Effects of Reminder Distinctiveness and Anticipatory Interval on Prospective Memory

Thesis proposal

ABSTRACT: Prospective memory (PM) failures (or failures to remember a future intention) can result in a wide range of negative consequences. The use of reminders has been shown to improve the rate of PM successes. The current study aims to examine the effectiveness of reminders based on their type (text or picture) and their timing. We hypothesize that successful PM performance will be maintained over longer anticipatory intervals when paired with picture reminders rather than with simple text reminders because of their inherent distinctiveness. Prior research has shown increased memory for PM intentions when distinctiveness was high.

Committee: Rich Pak (chair), Patrick Rosopa, Paul Merritt
Wednesday, November 20th at 12:30pm in Brackett 414.

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Stephanie Whetsel Borzendowski’s dissertation proposal

Stephanie Whetsel Borzendowski’s dissertation proposal is scheduled for Tuesday, November 26 at 9:00 am in Brackett 419.

Encouraging the Appropriate Use of High Beam Headlamps: An Application of the TPB

Drivers typically underuse their high beam headlamps at night even under ideal conditions (i.e., no leading, following, or oncoming vehicles). One explanation for this is a lack of knowledge regarding both the magnitude of visibility problems at night and the benefits that high beams provide. The purpose of the present study is to design and evaluate an educational intervention that is based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) that targets a more appropriate reliance on high beams. The TPB provides a framework for understanding how interventions may lead to changes in intentions and/or behavior. Study 1 will identify salient beliefs about high beams and determine the factor(s) that best predict intentions to use high beams. This information will inform the design of the intervention that will be evaluated in Study 2. Half of the participants who receive the intervention in Study 2 will form implementation intentions about the conditions under which they plan to use their high beams; it is expected that these participants will report using their high beams more often. I hypothesize that the participants who receive the intervention, particularly those who form implementation intentions, will report using their high beams more often, will be observed using their high beams more often during a short on-road drive, and have greater knowledge of the visibility benefits provided by high beams.

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Amelia Kinsella thesis proposal 9/24

I have scheduled my thesis proposal for Tuesday, September 24 at 9:00 am in Brackett 419.

The Effect of Frequency and Amplitude of Latency on Simulator Sickness in a Helmet Mounted Display

The purpose of the current experiment is to further examine the relationship between frequency of latency and amplitude of latency in a helmet mounted display (HMD), and simulator sickness. Motion sickness has been studied for decades in a variety of vehicles including ships, planes, trains and automobiles (Money, 1972). More recently virtual environments, including those utilizing an HMD have been shown to generate significant sickness, often termed simulator sickness (Kennedy, et al., 1993). Many studies have linked system latency to simulator sickness and recent research has found that latency is not a constant; but rather it varies systematically over time due to sensor errors and clock asynchronization (Wu, Dong, & Hoover, 2011). One hundred twenty participants will be recruited and randomly assigned to one of four conditions. Collected data will be analyzed using analysis of variance. Main effects of both frequency and amplitude of latency are expected, as well as an interaction between frequency and amplitude of latency. It is expected that sickness symptoms will increase for participants experiencing .2 Hz frequency of latency condition and the varying amplitude condition.
Chair: Eric Muth
Committee: Adam Hoover, Chris Pagano

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Phil Jasper thesis proposal 9/23

Time: Monday, September 23rd at 11:00am in 419 Brackett

Title: Using the Bite Counter to Overcome Environmental Cues that Lead to over Eating

Abstract: According to a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, overweight and obesity have reached epidemic levels in the United States. There are many treatments for overweight and obesity, the most popular being behavioral interventions. Self-monitoring is one of the most important factors of successful behavioral interventions. The Bite Counter is a new tool for weight loss that aids in the self-monitoring process. The purpose of the current study is to determine if bite count feedback and a given instruction can overcome a known environmental cue of serving container size. That is, if an individual is instructed on the maximum number of bites to take, and given feedback on the numbers of bites taken, will they use this information to overcome their tendency to eat more food when the food is dispensed from a larger container? Data will be collected from 80 participants eating a meal of macaroni and cheese in a laboratory setting. In a 2 X 2 design, the participants will be assigned to one of four conditions: instruction given and small serving container, instruction given and large serving container, instruction not given and small serving container, or instruction not given and large serving container. Grams consumed will be measured post meal as the main dependent variable. It is hypothesized that: participants in the instruction condition will consume equal grams of macaroni and cheese, participants in the instruction not given condition will consume more grams of macaroni and cheese if serving from the larger container, and there will be an interaction between the instruction variable and serving container size variable. Specifically, serving container size will not affect intake amount in the instruction given condition, however those with the larger serving containers will consume more food in the instruction not given condition.

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Mike Wilson thesis proposal

Monday, 9 September, 1:15 p.m. in Brackett 419.

Assessing the Bite Counter as a Weight Loss Tool

Obesity is a growing health concern throughout the world. Health risks associated with obesity such as diabetes and heart disease result in obesity costing us over $170 million annually. Self-monitoring of Energy Intake (EI) is a critical element of a successful weight loss plan; however current methods to monitor EI are cumbersome and prone to under reporting. The present study seeks to assess the effectiveness of a newly developed tool, the Bite Counter as a tool to assist motivated individuals to effectively monitor their EI and adjust their eating to achieve a targeted weekly weight loss goal. Data will be collected from 40 participants (20 control) in a study where Bite Counter feedback was used to titrate daily bite count goals in order to meet a 1 to 2 pound per week weight loss goal measured against the control group which will only be given weight loss literature. Halfway through the study, Bite Counters will be introduced into the control group to determine if the results from the initial Bite Counter group could be replicated.

Chair: Eric Muth Committee Members: Adam Hoover, Patrick Rosopa

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Nathan Klein’s dissertation proposal meeting 8/20, 9AM

Nathan Klein’s dissertation proposal is scheduled for Tuesday August 20, 2013 at 9:00 am in the psychology department conference room Brackett 419.

Understanding and Improving Pedagogical Aspects of a General Education Eportfolio

The goal of this research is to examine general education eportfolio components that help improve student learning outcomes. A general education eportfolio is essentially a website created by a student, who selects, links, and reflects upon artifacts they have created in order to demonstrate their competency in the various domains of higher education, e.g. social science, mathematics, and natural science. The proposed research will combine and extend two previous studies by Klein et al. (2011) into a controlled factorial design manipulating the type of reflection required and the type of eportfolio support provided. A second study will manipulate the number of artifacts used during reflection. The impact of these variables on student competency and metacognitive accuracy in social science will be assessed. Main effects of support, reflective activity, and number of artifacts on both competency and metacognitive accuracy are expected. Support and activity are also expected to produce interactive effects on competency and metacognitive ability. This research will inform educators of best practices in eportfolio program design at the general education level with regards to improving learning outcomes in college students.
Chair: Ben Stephens
Committee: Lee Gugerty, Fred Switzer, Joel Greenstein

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Ellis: Community Embeddedness and Core Self-Evaluations as Predictors of Distal Job Search and Unemployment Stress: Perceived Employability as a Moderator

Community Embeddedness and Core Self-Evaluations as Predictors of Distal Job Search and Unemployment Stress: Perceived Employability as a Moderator

Tuesday, July 23rd at 10:00am
Brackett 419

Committee: Dr. Mary Anne Taylor (Chair), Dr. Patrick Rosopa, and Dr. DeWayne Moore

Abstract: The loss of a job is a stressful life event that can cause people to lose economic stability, membership in a community, or a piece of their self-identity. Joblessness is an increasingly salient experience for American workers, as the national unemployment rate hovers between 8% and 9% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011). Existing research suggests that unemployment is related to decreased levels of wellbeing. In addition, there is support that job search behaviors are strongly related to self-esteem and that those behaviors can function as a coping mechanism to combat the stress experienced during unemployment. In the current study, psychological variables associated with community embeddedness along with core self-evaluations were used as predictors of global stress and of unemployment stress. Additionally, these variables were used as predictors of job search behaviors inside and outside of one’s community. Perceived employment opportunities were used as a moderator of this relationship. Two hundred and twenty-six respondents at a Job Fair in the Southeast provided responses to a survey containing these variables. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine and refine the measures. Hierarchical regression was used to test the hypothesized relationships. Results suggest that there is a significant relationship between self efficacy and stress, as well as, employment opportunities and search behaviors. However, employment opportunities were not found to moderate the proposed relationships in the current study. Implications and limitations are discussed.

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Long: Feeling for Failure: Haptic Force Perception of Soft Tissue Constraints in a Simulated Minimally Invasive Surgery Task

Feeling for Failure: Haptic Force Perception of Soft Tissue Constraints in a Simulated Minimally Invasive Surgery Task

A Dissertation Defense by Lindsay Long

Committee:
Drs. Chris Pagano (chair), Timothy Burg, Rich Pak, Ben Stephens

Details:
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Brackett 419
10:00 am

Abstract:
In minimally invasive surgery (MIS), the ability to accurately interpret haptic information and apply appropriate force magnitudes onto soft tissue is critical for minimizing tissue trauma. Force perception in MIS is a dynamic process in which the surgeon’s administration of force onto tissue results in useful perceptual information which guides further haptic interaction, and it is hypothesized that the compliant nature of soft tissue during force application provides biomechanical information denoting tissue failure. Specifically, the perceptual relationship between applied force and material deformation rate specifies the distance remaining until structural capacity will fail, or indicates Distance-to-Break (DTB). Two experiments explored the higher-order relationship of DTB in MIS using novice and surgeon observers. Findings revealed that observers could reliably perceive DTB in simulated biological tissues, and that surgeons performed better than novice observers. Further, through calibration feedback training, sensitivity to DTB can be improved. Implications for training effectiveness in MIS simulators are discussed.

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McFadden: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends: The Buffering Effects Of Unit-Level Moderators On The Combat Exposure-Mental Health Relationship

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends: The Buffering Effects Of Unit-Level Moderators On The Combat Exposure-Mental Health Relationship
Monday, July 15th at 9:30am
Brackett 414

Committee: Dr. Thomas Britt (chair), Dr. Robert Sinclair, and Dr. Heidi Zinzow

Abstract: Combat exposure has been linked to various negative outcomes, both physical (e.g., severed limbs, decreased health behaviors, mild traumatic brain injury) and mental (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression, anxiety, substance abuse). Additionally, the military is limited in the ways in which it can protect service members from experiencing negative outcomes of war. The present study examined how the unit-level variables of perceived organizational support, job self-efficacy, and unit morale moderate the relationship between combat exposure and (a) depression and (b) anxiety within the framework of the Soldier Adaptation Model. Soldiers who had previously deployed to Iraq for 15 months were surveyed at two time points (4 months and 10 months following return from deployment). The hypothesized cross-level buffering effects of unit-level perceived organizational support, job self-efficacy, and unit morale were not supported in the current study. However, significant relationships were found with the Time 1 data. A within-level buffering effect of perceived organizational support on the relationship between combat exposure and (a) depression and (b) anxiety outcomes was observed. Additionally, a contextual main effect of unit-level perceived organizational support, job self-efficacy, and unit morale was found such that soldiers in units higher in each variable reported fewer (a) depression and (b) anxiety symptoms. Implications and limitations of the current study are discussed.

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Pusilo: Better safe than sorry: Personality-based and overt predictors of workplace safety

Title: Better safe than sorry: Personality-based and overt predictors of workplace safety
Date & Time: July 8, 2013 at 2:00pm
Location: Brackett 419
Chair: Tom Britt
Members: Bob Sinclair, DeWayne Moore, Tracey Tafero

Abstract:
The current study explores the role of selection in predicting workplace safety using an applied sample of applicants and incumbents in a grocery store chain located in the Southeastern United States. Namely, both personality-based and overt selection assessments, a distinction drawn from the integrity testing literature, were used to predict on-the-job safety performance and safety outcomes. Both types of assessments were hypothesized to predict two forms of safety performance (compliance and participation), which, in turn, were expected to predict both objective (i.e., work days missed, restricted work days, and micro-accidents) and subjective (i.e., near-miss, minor injuries, and musculoskeletal pain) safety outcomes.
Tests of indirect effects with objective safety outcomes could not be tested due to low sample size. For the subjective outcomes, this hypothesis was only supported when MSK pain was the outcome; indirect relationships with minor injuries or near-misses as the dependent variables were not significant. Further, none of the direct relationships between the personality variables and the safety outcomes were significant. The second set of hypotheses proposed the same mediated relationships with the two overt safety variables as the predictors. Neither direct nor indirect hypothesized relationships reached statistical significance.

The hypothesized relationships between the selection assessments and safety performance were also theorized to be moderated by safety climate strength, which is the degree to which employees view the company and its practices and policies similarly (Siehl & Martin, 1990). A strong climate was expected to weaken the predictor-mediator relationship because strong situations, which provide many cues about how to behave, decrease individual discretion and foster behavioral homogeneity (Hattrup & Jackson, 1996; Meyer, Dalal & Bonaccio, 2009; Mischel, 1977). The results of these hypothesis tests indicated that the interaction between any of the personality variables with safety climate strength did not uniquely predict safety performance. Likewise, the interaction between both overt safety variables and safety climate strength did not significantly predict safety performance.

Exploratory analyses suggested that average safety climate was a strong predictor of safety performance, accounting for over 39% of the variance in this outcome after controlling for demographics and group membership. Further, safety climate strength was also significantly related to safety performance above and beyond the effects of safety climate average. Safety performance and average safety climate were predictive of all subjective safety outcomes (near-misses, minor injuries, and MSK pain). Limitations and practical implications of the current study are discussed.

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