Recent Student Research

Melissa Garwick

Impostor Phenomenon and Females' Self-Esteem, GPA, and Relationship with Mother

Co-authors: Annalise C. Ford and Jennifer L. Hughes

The Impostor Phenomenon (IP) has been found mainly in high-achieving women in academic and career fields. Clance and Imes (1978) were the first researchers to identify this phenomenon. For this study, we examined self-esteem levels, grade point average (GPA), and participants’ relationship with their mother. We collected data using an Internet survey taken by 401 female undergraduate and graduate students whose ages ranged from 17 to 42. As hypothesized, females’ relationship with their mother was inversely related to their IP score. However, self-esteem and GPA were not significantly related to females’ IP score. These findings caution mothers to be careful about how they develop their relationship with their daughters.

Presented at SEPA 2011 and SpARC 2011

Published online in the Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences

 

Liz Brashier

Examining Relationships: Communication and Satisfaction in Lesbian and Heterosexual Women

Co-author: Dr. Jennifer L. Hughes

A sample of 209 heterosexual and 94 lesbian women completed an online survey about relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and communication variables. Greater physical touch indicated greater relationship satisfaction for lesbian compared to heterosexual women. There was not a significant interaction between sexual orientation and physical touch in relation to sexual satisfaction. Greater words of affirmation indicated greater sexual satisfaction for heterosexual women compared to lesbian women. There was no significant interaction between sexual orientation and words of affirmation in relation to relationship satisfaction. There was not a significant difference between lesbian and heterosexual women on relationship satisfaction, nor was there a significant difference between lesbian and heterosexual women on sexual satisfaction.

This project was presented at SEPA and has just recently been published in the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research.

 

Rachel Cook

Gender Differences in the Psychological Influence of the Dual-Income Lifestyle

Co-authors: Jennifer L. Hughes, Elizabeth Brashier

The purpose of this study was to explore gender differences in role overload, stress, and marital satisfaction in dual-income couples and to measure these differences among three age groups. We expected that wives would report lower marital satisfaction and higher role overload and stress than husbands. Further, we expected that age would contribute to differences in marital satisfaction, with older adults being more satisfied than young or middle-aged adults. Married, employed men and women (N = 314) completed our survey. Women reported higher role overload and stress than men. Participants in later adulthood were more satisfied in their marriages than early or middle adults. Our study updates the literature on the examined variables and emphasizes the importance of egalitarianism in marriage.

This study was presented as a paper at the KSU GURP conference. It was also published in the Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research.

 

Sijia Li

The Links Between Parenting Styles and Impostor Phenomenon

Co-authors: Dr. Jenny Hughes, Su Myat Thu

Clance and Imes (1978) coined the term impostor phenomenon to describe the phoniness an individual feels about his/her achievement and the inability to internalize success. They proposed that impostor feelings are often rooted in early family relations. Prior empirical research found partial support for this proposition. The current study investigated the links between parenting styles and the impostor phenomenon and examined the role of the gender of adult children as a mediator variable. The sample constituted 506 American undergraduate and graduate students (105 men, 401 women). Participants were recruited using a snowball sampling technique. We found that lack of parental care and parental overprotection were linked with higher impostor scores. Parental care and parental overprotection both emerged to be predictors of impostor scores. The predictive power of parenting variables weakened when maternal and paternal parenting styles were examined separately. Only maternal care was found to be negatively predictive of impostor scores. Men were overall less responsive to parenting variables. For male participants, only maternal care was found to be negatively correlated with impostor scores. For female participants, maternal and paternal care was found to be negatively correlated with impostor scores and maternal and paternal overprotection was found to be positively correlated with impostor scores. Our results provide support for the proposed relationship between family environments and impostor phenomenon and indicate that men may develop impostor feelings based on different mechanisms than women.

Presented at Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference in Psychology; submitted to be published in Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research

 

Paige Sullivan

Effects of Passion on Relationship and Sexual Satisfaction in Heterosexual Couples

Co-authors: Courtney Brown, Jennifer L. Hughes, Yun Jiang (I was the third author on this paper)

The purpose of this study is to examine whether or not passion has an effect on sexual and relationship satisfaction. We hypothesized that heterosexual couples experiencing passion will have greater sexual satisfaction and heterosexual couples experiencing passion will have greater relationship satisfaction. Heterosexual participants (121 men and 233 women) completed online questionnaires. We found those experiencing high levels of passion reported the greatest sexual satisfaction, as compared to those reporting medium and low levels of passion; those experiencing high levels of passion reported greater relationship satisfaction than those reporting medium and low levels of passion. Gender differences and an interaction of gender and relationship satisfaction and gender and sexual satisfaction were not found. These results suggest that couples with medium to low passion should aim to increase passion, which may result in a wanted increase in both relationship and sexual satisfaction.

Presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association conference and SpARC at Agnes Scott College

 

Deborah Susanne Willis

Having Conservative Ideologies is Correlated with Color-Blind Racial Attitudes

Co-authors: Carrie M. Brown (Agnes Scott College), Erin D. Solomon (Saint Louis University)

The purpose of our study was to determine if a conservative ideology, measured by the Core Conservatism Scale (Solomon & Harvey, 2011), is correlated with color-blindness, measured by the Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale (Neville et at., 2001).

Participants for this study were recruited via Mturk (www.mturk.com). A total of 63 participants (43% female, 57% male; M age = 24.32, SD = 3.61) who all self-identified as White, completed an anonymous online survey. The participants first completed the Core Conservatism Scale. Then participants completed the Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale.

A series of Pearson correlations revealed that the three subscales from the CCS were significantly and positively correlated with the three subscales of the CoBRAS. All of the correlations were significant at the .05 level. Our study helps to add further validation to the Core Conservatism Scale, and to research two variables, conservatism and color-blind racial attitudes, that relate to one another

Presented a poster at the Southeastern Psychological Association conference and at SpARC at Agnes Scott College.

 

Cristina Gutierrez

Gay and Heterosexual Males' Relationship Satisfaction, Sexual Satisfaction, Passion and Commitment

Co-authors: Annalee Craigmile, Lexi Pulice-Farrow, and Dr. Jennifer Hughes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine gay male relationships and heterosexual male relationships and their passion and commitment, as well as, their relationship satisfaction and the sexual satisfaction. Based on the prior research, we hypothesized that heterosexual males would report higher relationship satisfaction and higher sexual satisfaction, gay males would not report higher levels of passion, and heterosexual males would not report higher levels of commitment in their relationships. One hundred twenty-one men took our online questionnaire and 27 of those identified as gay males. The questionnaire consisted of questions about relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and components of love (i.e. passion and commitment). As predicted we found that heterosexual couples have higher relationship satisfaction, as well as sexual satisfaction, when compared to gay male couples. Also as predicted, we did not find significant differences for passion and commitment for gay males and heterosexual males, which supports prior research by Mackey et al. (2004).

Presented a poster at the Southeastern Psychological Association conference and SpARC at Agnes Scott College.

 

Rosa Contreras

The Effect of Orientation on Perceiving the Vasarely Illusion

Co author-Sijia Li

The Vasarely Illusion refers to a phenomenon in which people see a bright “star” in the center of a diamond which is created by stacking a series of concentric diamonds of different shades of grey. Our current study aims to investigate whether the illusion of a bright “star” is maintained if the diamonds are sequentially turned away from the previous one in a varying number of degrees. We recruited 47 participants by open invitation via the internet. We predict to find that people will still see a glowing shape or “star” in the center of the diamond when each diamond is turned by a varying degree. The illusory shape is expected to fade when the degree exceeds a certain limit. Once the limit is exceeded, the clarity of the illusion is expected to decrease. Our results showed a limit between 27˚-- 40˚, at which the illusion seemingly faded, at this limit clarity significantly decreased as well.

Presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association conference and SpARC at Agnes Scott College.