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Somatosensory Modulation during Speech Planning

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Previous studies have found that the detection of near-threshold stimuli is decreased immediately before movement and throughout movement production. This has been suggested to occur through the use of the internal forward model processing an efferent copy of the motor

Previous studies have found that the detection of near-threshold stimuli is decreased immediately before movement and throughout movement production. This has been suggested to occur through the use of the internal forward model processing an efferent copy of the motor command and creating a prediction that is used to cancel out the resulting sensory feedback. Currently, there are no published accounts of the perception of tactile signals for motor tasks and contexts related to the lips during both speech planning and production. In this study, we measured the responsiveness of the somatosensory system during speech planning using light electrical stimulation below the lower lip by comparing perception during mixed speaking and silent reading conditions. Participants were asked to judge whether a constant near-threshold electrical stimulation (subject-specific intensity, 85% detected at rest) was present during different time points relative to an initial visual cue. In the speaking condition, participants overtly produced target words shown on a computer monitor. In the reading condition, participants read the same target words silently to themselves without any movement or sound. We found that detection of the stimulus was attenuated during speaking conditions while remaining at a constant level close to the perceptual threshold throughout the silent reading condition. Perceptual modulation was most intense during speech production and showed some attenuation just prior to speech production during the planning period of speech. This demonstrates that there is a significant decrease in the responsiveness of the somatosensory system during speech production as well as milliseconds before speech is even produced which has implications for speech disorders such as stuttering and schizophrenia with pronounced deficits in the somatosensory system.

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2019-05

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Factors Influencing Male Gamers' Choice to Play Female Characters

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Playable female characters in video games have become increasingly more acceptable in the mind of the average gamer. Video games like the Mass Effect series allow gamers to choose to play as either male or female. Despite the industry's data

Playable female characters in video games have become increasingly more acceptable in the mind of the average gamer. Video games like the Mass Effect series allow gamers to choose to play as either male or female. Despite the industry's data showing that the male character is more likely to be played, vocal fans of the game will often argue that the female character is more desirable depending on the experience that the player is wanting. It is this inconsistency between the gaming industry's data on gender choice and the fans that go against this data that leads to the present research. This research explores why men play female characters in video games. Previous literature found that avatar choices matter to gamers, both for how they are viewed and how they experience the game. This literature suggests that gamers make character decisions based on the desired gaming experience. Data for the current study consists of comments from five Reddit posts and from supplementary surveys completed by volunteers from Reddit. Four main categories that encompassed the numerous results are identified: in-game advantages, player-character interactions, exploration of new experiences and/or identities, and novelty. Each category also features a number of subcategories that were identified first and then combined to make the final four categories. The results found supported previous literature as well as expanded the literature to offer more insight behind why male gamers choose to play as female characters. This choice is ultimately reliant upon varied factors on which they base their choices for the desired gaming experience.

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2017-05

Cultural Variability in Social Support Preferences

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Limited research has analyzed how culture might influence the utilization of social support. To address this deficiency, the present study investigated preferences for social support among East-Asian, Hispanic, and White participants. In this set of studies, a comprehensive social support

Limited research has analyzed how culture might influence the utilization of social support. To address this deficiency, the present study investigated preferences for social support among East-Asian, Hispanic, and White participants. In this set of studies, a comprehensive social support taxonomy was constructed in order to better identify and conceptualize the various support subtypes found in the literature. Based on the taxonomy, a questionnaire measure for preferences of different types of social support was developed. Participants were asked to rate how helpful they would find each supportive action made by a friend or family member on a seven-point Likert scale. Based on the responses of 516 Amazon Mechanical Turk workers, a five-factor solution for an 18-item scale emerged from a factor analysis. The social support subscales supported by the factor analysis were emotional, tangible, self-referencing, reappraisal, and distraction. The questionnaire was used to assess similarities and differences among East-Asian, Hispanic, and White participants in terms of preferences for providing and receiving social support. Based on the results of 299 college-age students, an analysis of variance on individually standardized ("ipsatized") responses was conducted in order to eliminate the positioning effect of culture. A main effect of ethnicity (p=.05) and an interaction between ethnicity and sex (p=.02) were significant for the preference of tangible social support. A main effect of ethnicity (p=.04) and an interaction between ethnicity and sex (p=.05) were significant for the preference of reappraisal social support. Clinical implications of our research findings are discussed.

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2017-05

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Growth Mindset and Future Self-Connectedness as Explanations for Cultural Differences in Self-Improvement

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The purpose of this thesis study is to widen the understanding of the effect culture on self-improvement. Past research found that Japanese students, when compared to their North American counterparts, are more likely to strive for self-improvement by persisting when

The purpose of this thesis study is to widen the understanding of the effect culture on self-improvement. Past research found that Japanese students, when compared to their North American counterparts, are more likely to strive for self-improvement by persisting when they encounter academic setbacks. In addition to North Americans and Asians, this thesis examines South Asians as well. It is hypothesized that South Asians will have similar levels of self-improvement as East Asians. This thesis also looks at possible explanations for why culture affects self-improvement. Two variables, future self-connectedness and growth mindset, are proposed as these explanations. It is hypothesized that culture affects future self-connectedness and growth mindset, and those two variables in turn influence self-improvement. 

For this thesis, 100 undergraduate and recent college graduates completed online self-report measures. Results of independent t-tests showed that there were no significant differences between South and East Asians in self-improvement, which is consistent with what was hypothesized. There were also no differences between South and East Asians in future self-connectedness or growth mindset. The two Asian groups were then combined and compared to North Americans. Further independent t-tests were run, and results found that while the trend was as expected and Asians exhibited higher levels of self-improvement than North Americans, they did not exhibit significantly higher levels. There were also no significant differences between North Americans and Asians in growth mindset, however, North Americans had significantly higher levels of future self-connectedness than Asians, contrary to expectation. Results of mediation regressions found that neither future self-connectedness nor growth mindset significantly explained the effect of culture on self-improvement.

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2017-12

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Traveling Abroad: A Minority Student's Experience

Description

As the daughter of Mexican parents, I was raised with family-centered values which conflict with the values of independence, freedom and individuality stressed in the United States. Being a minority has become part of my identity, thus influencing how I

As the daughter of Mexican parents, I was raised with family-centered values which conflict with the values of independence, freedom and individuality stressed in the United States. Being a minority has become part of my identity, thus influencing how I make decisions about finances and traveling. Minorities are faced with many more concern, like familial concerns and financial obligations which hinder their desire to attempt to travel (Salisbury, Paulsen, & Ernest, 2011). My main concerns were convincing my parents that traveling to Nicaragua and studying abroad in Greece and Italy would be beneficial to my college experience, along with financially being able to go through with each experience. The main purpose of my thesis is to share what it is like to be a minority faced with cultural and financial obstacles that make it difficult to travel and how the experience is shaped due to these obstacles.

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2014-05

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Cross-Cultural Examination of Mental Health Services and Outcomes: A Comparative Study on the United States, Japan, Ethiopia and South Africa

Description

This paper explains what factors influence mental health issues and what type of care is provided in various countries. The countries in this study will include the United States, Japan, Ethiopia and South Africa, all of which have varying degrees

This paper explains what factors influence mental health issues and what type of care is provided in various countries. The countries in this study will include the United States, Japan, Ethiopia and South Africa, all of which have varying degrees of ethnic diversity, economic status and understanding of mental health issues. It discusses the specific healthcare systems in each country, as well as the attitudes and problems associated with depression and schizophrenia, two prevalent mental health disorders. This paper examines the different ways that a diagnosis is reached for schizophrenia and major depression in these different countries, as well as what methods are used for treating individuals with these disorders. It will also examine the prominent notion that schizophrenia has better outcomes in developing countries than in places that have wider medical care available. It then discusses what treatments are available in each country, as well as social constructs that exist regarding those treatments in order to understand the ways that treatments can be expanded to improve outcomes. This paper will then examine the different outcomes of these mental health disorders that are common in each country, and conclude with ideas on how to make global mental health a reality.

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2015-05

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The Source and Outcomes of Happiness for College Students

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The purpose of this thesis is to explore if any correlation exists between the proposed components of happiness with overall self-perceived happiness. This thesis also explores how introversion and extraversion, gender, and working status affects the proposed components of happiness

The purpose of this thesis is to explore if any correlation exists between the proposed components of happiness with overall self-perceived happiness. This thesis also explores how introversion and extraversion, gender, and working status affects the proposed components of happiness for college students and how their happiness influences engagement, motivation, preference of organizational culture, and the activities that they engage in. This research was gathered from secondary sources and a survey that was given to undergraduate students at Arizona State University. We found that well-being, gratitude, achievement, psychological empowerment, and affection contribute to both extraverts and introverts' happiness. In addition, we found that extraverts reported higher means than introverts in each factor; including happiness in general and what contributes to it. Contrary to popular belief, our research shows that autonomy either had no correlation or negatively correlates with happiness. In addition, we found that both extraverts and introverts participate in social and nonsocial activities rather than solely on their expected type of activity. Our research also shows that females reported higher means than males on gratitude, achievement, and autonomy. One significant implication of this study is that it can help individuals to better understand themselves and people they interact with.

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2014-12

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The Cultural (Mis)Attribution Bias Among Undergraduate College Students

Description

Culture is a living, dynamic concept that influences the lives of all human beings, making it one of the cornerstone building blocks of the human experience. However, there is a widespread assumption that culture matters more for some people than

Culture is a living, dynamic concept that influences the lives of all human beings, making it one of the cornerstone building blocks of the human experience. However, there is a widespread assumption that culture matters more for some people than others. Recent studies have found evidence of a cultural (mis)attribution bias among psychologists, the tendency to exaggerate the role of cultural factors in the behavior of racial/ethnic minorities while simultaneously exaggerating the role of personal psychological factors in the behavior of the racial/ethnic majority (Causadias, Vitriol, & Atkins, 2018a; 2018b). This study aims to explore the cultural (mis)attribution bias, and how it manifests in the beliefs and attitudes of undergraduate students at ASU. Additionally, this paper will also explore the implications of those results and how to apply that knowledge to our daily interactions with the people around us.

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2020-05

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Cultural Differences in Memory Output

Description

Music and emotions have been studied frequently in the past as well as music and memory. However, these three items don’t have as much research grouped together. Further, this research does not also encompass culture. In my research, the aim

Music and emotions have been studied frequently in the past as well as music and memory. However, these three items don’t have as much research grouped together. Further, this research does not also encompass culture. In my research, the aim was to examine the relationship between music, memory, emotion, and culture of gender. The hypothesis was that women had more emotions linked to music than men. We gave 416 students an animal fluency task, a letter fluency task, six cultural fluency tasks, and a cultural identity survey. We used a t-test and created a graph to analyze my data. After administering my tasks, we found that women had recalled more adjectives linked to music than men. However, there was not a statistically significant difference between the number of adjectives with emotional valence between men and women, indicating that there was no relationship between gender and emotion in regards to music. The limitations on this study included the descriptions on how to complete the task, the cultural norms of the participants, and the disparity between the number of female and male participants. In a future study, it is necessary to be more specific in what is desired from the participants and to pay close attention to shifting gender norms. Further, we would also like to see how the results from future research can impact music therapy for memory-related mood disorders.

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2019-05

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Parental Cultural Values, Qualities of Parenting, and Diurnal Cortisol Patterns in Middle Childhood: Differences in White and Hispanic Families?

Description

It is widely understood that qualities of the home environment greatly influence child health outcomes (Nancy, 1999; Simons et al., 2010). While there has been much research regarding the role of direct parenting behaviors, there remains little research regarding how

It is widely understood that qualities of the home environment greatly influence child health outcomes (Nancy, 1999; Simons et al., 2010). While there has been much research regarding the role of direct parenting behaviors, there remains little research regarding how other qualities of the parent, such as cultural values, may affect child physiological outcomes. Furthermore, research has also suggested that the way in which parenting and culture may be associated with child outcomes may differ based on race/ethnicity (Pinquart & Kauser, 2018). In this thesis, I examined the direct associations between parental cultural values (i.e., mainstream, traditional) and child diurnal cortisol outcomes as well as other qualities of parenting (parental warmth, authoritarianism) and child diurnal cortisol outcomes in Hispanic and White identifying primary caregivers. A moderating model was then used to investigate the racial/ethnic differences which may exist in these associations through mixed model regressions.

Participants were 475 twins and their primary caregivers (mean age=8.48; Primary caregivers: 64% White, 36% Hispanic; 53.8% middle class or above). I found no main effects between parental cultural values and child cortisol outcomes and no main effects between parenting behaviors and child cortisol outcomes. However, when exploring the moderating role of race/ethnicity, it was found that, as compared to children of White primary caregivers, children of Hispanic primary caregivers who had higher levels of parental authoritarianism had steeper PM slopes, indicating more adaptive cortisol outcomes. This suggests that the adaptiveness of certain parenting behaviors may differ across racial/ethnic groups such that what is considered to be “good parenting” may not translate across differing racial/ethnic groups. Ultimately, further research should be conducted in order to further explore the impact of race/ethnicity in the outcomes of our children.

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2020-12