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Measuring the Double-Edged Sword: Does Scientifically Deterministic Evidence Protect or Punish Criminals?

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Scientists, lawyers, and bioethicists have pondered the impact of scientifically deterministic evidence on a judge or jury when deciding the sentence of a criminal. Though the impact may be one that relieves the amount of personal guilt on the part

Scientists, lawyers, and bioethicists have pondered the impact of scientifically deterministic evidence on a judge or jury when deciding the sentence of a criminal. Though the impact may be one that relieves the amount of personal guilt on the part of the criminal, this evidence may also be the very reason that a judge or jury punishes more strongly, suggesting that this type of evidence may be a double-edged sword. 118 participants were shown three films of fictional sentencing hearings. All three films introduced scientifically deterministic evidence, and participants were asked to recommend a prison sentence. Each hearing portrayed a different criminal with different neurological conditions, a different crime, and a different extent of argumentation during closing arguments about the scientifically deterministic evidence. Though the argumentation from the prosecution and the defense did not affect sentencing, the interaction of type of crime and neurological condition did.

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2014-05

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Interventions for Children with Conduct Disorder

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The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on interventions for children with conduct disorder. Conduct disorder mainly effects children and adolescents, and is characterized as a pattern of persistent (sometimes anti-social) behavior in which an individual violates

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on interventions for children with conduct disorder. Conduct disorder mainly effects children and adolescents, and is characterized as a pattern of persistent (sometimes anti-social) behavior in which an individual violates the basic rights of others or disregards societal norms and rules. If left untreated, conduct disorder can be a precursor to more severe behavioral problems and consequences, including juvenile delinquency and unlawful behavior as an adult. The interventions reviewed in this paper include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), supportive counseling, experiential therapy, multisystemic therapy (MST), parent management training (PMT), military school, scared-straight programs and boot camps, and medication. Based on empirical data and recommendations from experts in the field, I conclude with suggestions for parents on how best to help their children diagnosed with conduct disorder.

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2016-05

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An Analysis of Stimulus Confrontation as Self-Help for Specific Phobias: A Scholarly and Personal Narrative

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Perhaps by some ingrained sense of human preparedness, phobias are an outlier in the world of conditioning. Again and again, they are highlighted as the only thing which avoidance makes worse, rather than alleviates. My own fear of insects had

Perhaps by some ingrained sense of human preparedness, phobias are an outlier in the world of conditioning. Again and again, they are highlighted as the only thing which avoidance makes worse, rather than alleviates. My own fear of insects had reached its most severe level just as I began learning about phobias, and avoidance, in my undergraduate psychology courses. There, I learned that avoidance of the phobic stimulus \u2014 in my case, insects \u2014 seemed to be a fundamental element of maintaining a phobia, and I was more than guilty of it. Following this realization, I endeavored into what I would later come to call Stimulus Confrontation: A self-designed therapeutic course of action to overcome my fear. This thesis, then, is the record of this project. It weaves together my scholarly research on phobias with my own personal narrative concerning the employment of Stimulus Confrontation, beginning with the etymology and proposed etiologies of phobias, followed by an overview of contemporary treatment options available and a recounting of Stimulus Confrontation as applied to my own phobia. Told from her own perspective, English writer and journalist Jenny Diski's book, What I Don't Know About Animals, tells of her own arachnophobia, and includes an honest account of the fear and anxiety it caused for her, as well as her own journey to overcome it. Like my own, Diski's phobia \u2014 arachnophobia \u2014 had come to affect her everyday life. Prior to seeking treatment for her fear at the age of 58, Diski too had learned to avoid the thing which she so feared. Inspired by What I Don't Know About Animals, the personal anecdotes I have included throughout this thesis serve to elaborate upon my personal experience with my own insectophobia, and the cessation of avoidance that led to substantial progress in overcoming my fears. Throughout this thesis, I refer to this cessation of avoidance as Stimulus Confrontation, with the intention that following the same process I did may benefit others in overcoming their own specific phobias.

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2015-12

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Transcendence of prejudice or transcendence with prejudice?: stronger beliefs regarding transcendence are correlated with greater Intergroup bias

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Recent research has identified affirmation of transcendence and exposure to violent Bible verses as being related to greater prejudice toward value-violating out-groups (Blogowska & Saroglou, 2012; Shen et al., 2013). Effects of exposure to specific Bible verses on attitudes toward

Recent research has identified affirmation of transcendence and exposure to violent Bible verses as being related to greater prejudice toward value-violating out-groups (Blogowska & Saroglou, 2012; Shen et al., 2013). Effects of exposure to specific Bible verses on attitudes toward out-groups have not been measured in combination with the Post-Critical Belief Scale developed by Hutsebaut (1996). The relationships between exposure to scriptural endorsements of prejudice, affirmation vs. disaffirmation of transcendence, literal vs. symbolic processing of religious content, and prejudice toward value-violating out-groups were examined using an online survey administered to a sample of U.S. adults (N=283). Greater affirmation of transcendence scores were linked to greater prejudice toward atheists and homosexuals and more favorable ratings of Christians and highly religious people. Lower affirmation of transcendence scores were linked to less favorable ratings of Christians and highly religious people and more favorable ratings of atheists. Exposure to scriptural endorsements of prejudice did not have a significant effect on levels of prejudice in this study.

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2013

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A cross-cultural study of body dissatisfaction among Mexican and Mexican-American women

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ABSTRACT

While the cross-cultural literature on body dissatisfaction among Mexican and Mexican-American women has continued to grow, the traditional Latino female gender role of marianismo, sociocultural factors related to ethnic culture and mainstream/American culture ideal perceived discrepancies in body size,

ABSTRACT

While the cross-cultural literature on body dissatisfaction among Mexican and Mexican-American women has continued to grow, the traditional Latino female gender role of marianismo, sociocultural factors related to ethnic culture and mainstream/American culture ideal perceived discrepancies in body size, and one’s romantic relationship have not been explored with this population in relationship to body satisfaction. The current study included 227 female participants predominantly from a large southwestern university in the United States and a large university in northern Mexico. The study examined differences in marianismo and body satisfaction between 120 Mexican and 107 Mexican-American women, investigated the role of marianismo as a mediator between weight-related teasing and body satisfaction, and explored the relationship between marianismo, Partner Ideal Discrepancy, Ethnic Culture Ideal Discrepancy, Mainstream/American Culture Ideal Discrepancy, Perceived Weight-Related Criticism/Teasing, Relationship Support, Relationship Depth, and Relationship Conflict to overall body satisfaction. Results indicated Mexican-American women endorsed less overall body satisfaction than did their Mexican counterparts suggesting that Mexican American women may be more influenced by societal messages about thinness and beauty than are Mexican women. The findings also revealed a possible trend for marianismo as a mediator between weight-related criticism and body satisfaction. Marianismo and weight-related teasing were found to have a negative relationship with body satisfaction. Multiple regression analyses revealed that Partner Ideal and Mainstream/American Culture Ideal discrepancies accounted for significant variance in body satisfaction. Relationship Conflict accounted for a smaller but still significant amount of the variance in body satisfaction. Ethnic Culture Discrepancy, Relationship Support, and Relationship Depth were not significant predictors. These findings from this study suggest that both cultural variables and romantic relationship variables are related to the body image of Mexican American and Mexican women. These findings have important implications for the adaptation of current etiological models explaining body satisfaction among Mexican and Mexican-American women as well as highlighting the need to consider the role of both cultural and relationship variables in designing clinical interventions for Mexican American and Mexican women coping with body image concerns.

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2015

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Differential perceptions of LGBT individuals: the intersectionality of sexual orientation and gender

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Current research on anti-gay attitudes has focused heavily on heterosexuals versus

non-heterosexuals, with very little research delving into the differences within these “non-heterosexual” groups. The author conducted an exploratory analysis of how the intersectional effect of gender and sexual orientation affect

Current research on anti-gay attitudes has focused heavily on heterosexuals versus

non-heterosexuals, with very little research delving into the differences within these “non-heterosexual” groups. The author conducted an exploratory analysis of how the intersectional effect of gender and sexual orientation affect perceptions of target groups’ gender and sexuality, which in turn might explain different levels of prejudice toward LGBT subgroups. Based on previous studies, the author hypothesized that participants would believe that a gay male has a more fixed sexuality than a lesbian, leading in turn to higher levels of moral outrage. This study further aims to extend the literature to perceptions of bisexual and transgender individuals by testing competing hypotheses. Participants might feel less moral outrage toward these groups than other LGBT subgroups because they believe their sexuality is even less fixed than lesbians’. Alternatively, participants might feel more moral outrage toward bisexual and transgender targets (versus other LGBT groups) because of the uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty about these groups’ sexuality and/or gender. Overall, participants demonstrated an interactive effect of gender and sexuality on factors including perceived sexual orientation, perceived biological sex, perceived gender identity, perceived sexual fixedness, and moral outrage rather than gender having a main effect on perceptions of gender and sexual orientation having a main effect on perceptions of sexuality. Furthermore, perceptions of sexual fixedness mediated the effect of gender on moral outrage for heterosexual target groups, but not gay targets. Gender certainty mediated the effect of gender on moral outrage for pre-op transgender target groups, but not heterosexuals. This work is important to inform future research on the topics of the intersection of sexuality and gender, especially to extend the limited literature on perceptions of bisexual and transgender individuals.

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2016

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Exploring the motives, experiences, and transformations of non-professional IRONMAN athletes

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This study explored the motivation and persistence factors for non-professional athletes who decided after the age of 40 to begin training for an IRONMAN distance triathlon. The qualitative methodology of grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) was used in conceptualizing

This study explored the motivation and persistence factors for non-professional athletes who decided after the age of 40 to begin training for an IRONMAN distance triathlon. The qualitative methodology of grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) was used in conceptualizing and implementing the research. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 individuals in the Southwest region of the United States. Data was coded in accordance with grounded theory methods. Motivation themes that emerged from the data centered around either initiating training for triathlon as an approach toward a specific goal or outcome, or beginning triathlon as a way to cope with personal difficulties. Obstacles to motivation also emerged, such as finances and time, injury, fear and doubt, and interpersonal difficulties. Persistence themes emerged that centered around either taking active steps to help continue training and relying on internal traits or characteristics to promote persistence. Data are discussed in terms of how these individuals adopt triathlon as a part of their lifestyle and identity, and how they come to persist in training beyond IRONMAN.

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2013

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Factors influencing attitudes toward euthanasia

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Over recent decades, euthanasia has been a topic of increasing debate. With legalization of euthanasia in the states of Oregon and Washington and attempted reform in several other U.S. states and nations worldwide, it has become increasingly important to understand

Over recent decades, euthanasia has been a topic of increasing debate. With legalization of euthanasia in the states of Oregon and Washington and attempted reform in several other U.S. states and nations worldwide, it has become increasingly important to understand the roles and values of helping professionals who might be working with clients considering this option. The current study targeted 85 undergraduate students, 54 doctoral students in counseling psychology, and 53 doctoral-level professionals in psychology to assess both their personal values regarding euthanasia and their willingness to allow a client the autonomy to make a decision about euthanasia. Several factors were analyzed in regards to their relation to client autonomy and attitudes toward euthanasia, including age of client and sex of client. These variables were manipulated in vignettes to create four scenarios: a 24 year old male, 24 year old female, 80 year old male, 80 year old female. Other factors included level of education of the participant, spirituality and strength of religiosity of the participant, and personal experiences with deaths of friends or family members. Results indicated that more education was associated with greater support for euthanasia and that stronger religiosity and spirituality were related to less support for euthanasia. This study also found that participants did not exhibit differential levels of support based solely on the age or the sex of the client depicted in the vignette. Results further indicated that for doctoral students and professionals the loss of a loved one, regardless of cause of death, did not have a significant effect on their attitudes toward euthanasia. It is important for training programs to be aware of these findings in order to monitor trainees in terms of personal biases in the therapy relationship. With objectivity a high priority while working with clients, it is necessary to be aware of outside factors potentially influencing one's work with clients surrounding this value-laden issue.

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2011

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How the expression of DNA evidence affects jurors' interpretation of probabilistic fingerprint evidence

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Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) evidence has been shown to have a strong effect on juror decision-making when presented in court. While DNA evidence has been shown to be extremely reliable, fingerprint evidence, and the way it is presented in court, has

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) evidence has been shown to have a strong effect on juror decision-making when presented in court. While DNA evidence has been shown to be extremely reliable, fingerprint evidence, and the way it is presented in court, has come under much scrutiny. Forensic fingerprint experts have been working on a uniformed way to present fingerprint evidence in court. The most promising has been the Probabilistic Based Fingerprint Evidence (PBFE) created by Forensic Science Services (FSS) (G. Langenburg, personal communication, April 16, 2011). The current study examined how the presence and strength of DNA evidence influenced jurors' interpretation of probabilistic fingerprint evidence. Mock jurors read a summary of a murder case that included fingerprint evidence and testimony from a fingerprint expert and, in some conditions, DNA evidence and testimony from a DNA expert. Results showed that when DNA evidence was found at the crime scene and matched the defendant other evidence and the overall case was rated as stronger than when no DNA was present. Fingerprint evidence did not cause a stronger rating of other evidence and the overall case. Fingerprint evidence was underrated in some cases, and jurors generally weighed all the different strengths of fingerprint testimony to the same degree.

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2012

What helps self-control?: Social relationship characteristics and self-control

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Researchers have found inconsistent effects (negative or positive) of social relationships on self-control capacity. The variation of findings may depend on the aspects of social relationships. In this study, rather than examining overall social relationships and self-control, characteristics in social

Researchers have found inconsistent effects (negative or positive) of social relationships on self-control capacity. The variation of findings may depend on the aspects of social relationships. In this study, rather than examining overall social relationships and self-control, characteristics in social relationships were clearly defined, including social support, social connection and social conflict, to determine their specific effects on self-control. An online survey study was conducted, and 292 college students filled out the survey. For data analysis, path analysis was utilized to examined the direct effect and indirect effect from social relationships to self-control. Results showed social connection and social conflict may indirectly associate with self-control through stress, but social support does not. It may suggest, in traditional stress buffering model, it is the social connection in social support that really reduce the stress. Concerning the direct effects, social support and social connection were significantly associated with self-control directly, but social conflict does not. This result may support the Social Baseline Theory that positive social relationships have direct regulating effects. Results are good for guidance of experimental manipulation of social relationships in study of social influences of self-control.

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2012