Two psychology students, Alexandra Bahr and Amanda Lane, will present their senior research projects at the Eastern Psychological Association meeting. This meeting is held in Boston, MA, on March 13-16. A summary of their research projects is included below.
A Walk Down Memory Lane: The Effects of Music-Evoked Nostalgia Versus Nostalgia Alone on Pain Tolerance
Alexandra Bahr, Kristy Hamilton, Jon Slezak (faculty)
Undergraduate students underwent the cold pressor test in a repeated-measures design. While submerging their hand in cold water, participants either listened to their self-chosen familiar music selection (music condition), responded to a nostalgia-invoking prompt (nostalgia condition), or did not listen to music or respond to a prompt (control condition). It was predicted that when participants listened to familiar, self-chosen music, or when they were prompted to recall nostalgic memories, they would exhibit a higher pain tolerance than in a control condition with no stimulation. Both the nostalgia and music condition yielded significantly higher pain tolerance measures than the control condition.
Attitudinal and Behavioral Measures of Helping Behavior Towards Homosexuals
Sexual bias was studied by comparing behavioral and attitudinal responses. It was hypothesized that residents would help the heterosexual confederate more so than the homosexual. The second hypothesis was that participants would self-report giving more help to the heterosexual than to the homosexual and give less help when a valid excuse could justify their behavior. The hypothesis for Part 1 was not supported. Part 2 found opposite significance.