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Law Enforcement Use of Force: An Analysis of the Literature in Criminal Justice and Psychology

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Highly publicized cases involving citizen fatalities due to police use of force raise questions about perceptions of danger. Arrest-related deaths due to weapons, accidental injuries, and natural causes remain high year after year. Communities are greatly affected, and mistrust with

Highly publicized cases involving citizen fatalities due to police use of force raise questions about perceptions of danger. Arrest-related deaths due to weapons, accidental injuries, and natural causes remain high year after year. Communities are greatly affected, and mistrust with the police continues to increase when these situations happen. There seem to be inaccurate perceptions that may stem from implicit associations, stereotypes, and social learning. These psychological concepts may provide theoretical explanations of how decisions are made when police officers are faced with danger. Some elements of this decision-making process may include suspect characteristics, officer experience, and police sub-culture. In this review, race/ethnicity and socio-economic status are examined as factors that contribute to police use of force. Disparities in use of force data often involve young, Black males living in low-income neighborhoods. The stereotype that this group is more dangerous than others stems from underlying prejudices and previous situations where Black people are targeted more in certain areas. Training, education, and community outreach programs can assist in mending relations between police and affected communities. Acknowledging these inaccurate perceptions, making the adjustments to police training and community relations, and being open to exploration in future research of other minority groups will assist in eliminating prejudices and creating better connections between law enforcement and the community.

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2017-05

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A Personal and Neuropsychological Evaluation of Synesthetic Experience

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Synesthesia is a psychological phenomenon in which the stimulation of one sensory modality brings about a response from at least one other modality. There has now been about two centuries of official synesthesia research, yet the current era of study,

Synesthesia is a psychological phenomenon in which the stimulation of one sensory modality brings about a response from at least one other modality. There has now been about two centuries of official synesthesia research, yet the current era of study, about the 2000s on, has proven invaluable to our further understanding of how synesthesia works in our perceptive world. I myself have two forms of synesthesia: color-grapheme and lexical-gustatory. In this paper, I look back on my personal experience with synesthesia and review its history and its operational definitions and theories. I then aim to perform a small case study on my synesthesia, using current research to evaluate my observations. I believe synesthesia has the ability to tell us much about perception, subjectivity, language, and consciousness, and I investigate the potential implications that studying synesthesia could have for some of these fields.

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2017-05

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Human Auditory Biases Match Natural Regularities Found With Animal Calls

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Human perceptual dimensions of sound are not necessarily simple representations of the actual physical dimensions that make up sensory input. In particular, research on the perception of interactions between acoustic frequency and intensity has shown that people exhibit a bias

Human perceptual dimensions of sound are not necessarily simple representations of the actual physical dimensions that make up sensory input. In particular, research on the perception of interactions between acoustic frequency and intensity has shown that people exhibit a bias to expect the perception of pitch and loudness to change together. Researchers have proposed that this perceptual bias occurs because sound sources tend to follow a natural regularity of a correlation between changes in intensity and frequency of sound. They postulate that the auditory system has adapted to expect this naturally occurring relationship to facilitate auditory scene analysis, the tracking and parsing sources of sound as listeners analyze their auditory environments. However, this correlation has only been tested with human speech and musical sounds. The current study explores if animal sounds also exhibit the same natural correlation between intensity and frequency and tests if people exhibit a perceptual bias to assume this correlation when listening to animal calls. Our principal hypotheses are that animal sounds will tend to exhibit a positive correlation between intensity and frequency and that, when hearing such sounds change in intensity, listeners will perceive them to also change in frequency and vice versa. Our tests with 21 animal calls and 8 control stimuli along with our experiment with participants responding to these stimuli supported these hypotheses. This research provides a further example of coupling of perceptual biases with natural regularities in the auditory domain, and provides a framework for understanding perceptual biases as functional adaptations that help perceivers more accurately anticipate and utilize reliable natural patterns to enhance scene analyses in real world environments.

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2014-05

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Perception of Aggression in Online Media and Competitive Context

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Contextual cues can impact how statements are perceived. Specifically, they may be perceived as more aggressive than they otherwise would be. For the study, both medium of communication (in-person versus online) as well as how competitive the context was (non-competitive

Contextual cues can impact how statements are perceived. Specifically, they may be perceived as more aggressive than they otherwise would be. For the study, both medium of communication (in-person versus online) as well as how competitive the context was (non-competitive or competitive) were examined, with a bit of focus on gender. 130 Arizona State University students enrolled in Psychology 101 were surveyed; the mean age was 19.32 (SD = 1.43). A 2x2 factorial design was used, consisting of four possible conditions: In-person/Competitive, Online/Competitive, In-person/Non-Competitive, and Online/Non-Competitive. Participants read two scenarios, each featuring a target character who says an ambiguous statement, and each scenario with one of the four conditions at random. One scenario involved earning a promotion, and the other involved trying to win a voucher via mini-golf. After, participants answered questions regarding how they felt about the intent of the ambiguous statement, how the participant would feel in the scenario, and what kind of person the participant felt the target character was. Exploratory Factor Analysis with Principal Axis Factoring and Direct Oblimin Rotation was used to find outcome variables. We hypothesized that Perceived Aggression and Participant Negative Emotion would be higher in both the competitive condition as well as the online condition, and that Perceived Agreeableness would be higher in both the non-competitive condition as well as the in-person condition; this applied for both scenarios. The results were mostly not statistically significant, and contrary to the hypotheses, Perceived Aggression and Participant Negative Emotion were higher in the in-person condition than the online condition. However, as predicted, Perceived Agreeableness was higher for the in-person condition, and the competitive led to higher levels of Perceived Aggression and Participant Negative Emotion, along with lower levels of Perceived Agreeableness, as opposed to the non-competitive condition. Limitations included a small age range and only one type of online communication (instant messaging), along with the fact that the study was a survey. Future studies are needed to examine what factors affect perception of aggression, as very few have been conducted.

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2016-05

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Effects of Loudness Change on Tempo Perception and Action in Percussion

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Tempo control is a crucial part of musicianship that can provide an obstacle for novice musicians. The current study examines why novice percussionists increase their playing tempo when they increase their loudness (in music, loudness is referred to as dynamics).

Tempo control is a crucial part of musicianship that can provide an obstacle for novice musicians. The current study examines why novice percussionists increase their playing tempo when they increase their loudness (in music, loudness is referred to as dynamics). This study tested five hypotheses: 1) As actual tempo changes, listeners perceive that the tempo is changing; 2) There is a perceptual bias to perceive increases in acoustic intensity as also increasing in tempo; 3) All individuals, regardless of percussion experience, display the bias described in hypothesis 2; 4) Unskilled or non-percussionists increase or decrease produced tempo as they respectively increase or decrease loudness; and 5) Skilled percussionist produce less change in tempo due to changes in loudness than non-percussionists. In Experiment 1, percussionists and non-percussionists listened to metronome samples that gradually change in intensity and/or tempo. Participants identified the direction and size of their perceived tempo change using a computer mouse. In Experiment 2, both groups of participants produced various tempo and dynamic changes on a drum pad. Our findings support that both percussionists and non-percussionists, to some extent, display a perceptual bias to perceive tempo changes as a function of intensity changes. We also found that non-percussionists altered their tempo as a function of changing dynamic levels, whereas percussionists did not. Overall, our findings support that listeners tend to experience some integrality between perceptual dimensions of perceived tempo and loudness. Dimensional integration also persists when playing percussion instruments though experience with percussion instruments reduces this effect.

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2014-05

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The Influence of the ""War on Cancer"" Metaphor on Illness Perception and Treatment Decision

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The purpose of this thesis study was to examine whether the "war on cancer" metaphor influences cancer perception and treatment decision. A total of 249 undergraduates (152 females) from a large southwestern university participated in an online survey experiment and

The purpose of this thesis study was to examine whether the "war on cancer" metaphor influences cancer perception and treatment decision. A total of 249 undergraduates (152 females) from a large southwestern university participated in an online survey experiment and were either randomly assigned to the control condition (N=123) or to the war prime condition (N=126). Participants in the control condition did not receive the metaphor manipulation while participants in the war prime condition received the subtle "war on cancer" metaphor prime. After the prime was given, participants read a scenario, answered questions related to the situation, and responded to demographic questions. The results suggested that, compared to participants in the no-prime condition, participants exposed to the war metaphor were more likely to (a) view melanoma as an acute disease, (b) choose chemotherapy over molecular tests, and (c) prefer more aggressive treatment. These findings illustrated the unintended consequences of the "war on cancer" slogan. The results were encouraging and in the predicted direction, but the effect size was small. The discussion section described possible future directions for research.

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2015-05

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The Effect of Number of Pieces of Food on Perceptions of Quantity and Food Intake

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Previously we found that subjects ate less from a four-piece bagel than from the same bagel served whole. Here, we determined if subjects differed in their perception of the amount of food based on the number of pieces of food

Previously we found that subjects ate less from a four-piece bagel than from the same bagel served whole. Here, we determined if subjects differed in their perception of the amount of food based on the number of pieces of food served and measured the effects of these judgments on the amount of food consumed. A total of 213 (140 male, 73 female) undergraduate students with a mean age of 19 years participated in this study. Subjects were shown a whole food and the same food cut into pieces and asked which they perceived to be larger either before or after consuming that food, or not asked at all. We found that subjects ate less from a whole bagel than from a four-piece bagel. Furthermore, significantly more subjects perceived the whole bagel to be more food when asked this question after consumption of the bagel than before. People may be more familiar with the amount of satiation expected from a whole bagel than the four-piece bagel and this perceptual bias may be influenced by recent exposure to food, which ultimately may affect food intake.

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2015-05

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Does Adapting the Body Schema to a Partner Facilitate Motor Learning?

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Often learning new skills, such as how to throw a basketball or how to play the piano, are better accomplished practicing with another than from self-practice. Why? We propose that during joint action, partners learn to adjust their behavior to

Often learning new skills, such as how to throw a basketball or how to play the piano, are better accomplished practicing with another than from self-practice. Why? We propose that during joint action, partners learn to adjust their behavior to each other. For example, when dancing with a partner, we must adjust the timing, the force, and the spatial locations of movements to those of the partner. We call these adjustments a joint body schema (JBS). That is, the locations of our own effectors and our own movements are adapted by interaction with the partner. Furthermore, we propose that after a JBS is established, learning new motor skills can be enhanced by the learner's attunement to the specifics of the partner's actions. We test this proposal by having partners engage in a motor task requiring cooperation (to develop the JBS). Then we determined whether a) the JBS enhances the coordination on an unrelated task, and b) whether the JBS enhances the learning of a new motor skill. In fact, participants who established a JBS showed stronger coordination with a partner and better motor learning from the partner than did control participants. Several applications of this finding are discussed.

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2015-05

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Graduate Education: Perception vs. Reality

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In recent years, the number of applications for admission to graduate education programs has increased. Researchers attempted to gain insight into this increase by examining student perception of the costs and benefits of pursuing graduate-level education. In order to gauge

In recent years, the number of applications for admission to graduate education programs has increased. Researchers attempted to gain insight into this increase by examining student perception of the costs and benefits of pursuing graduate-level education. In order to gauge this perception, researchers administered an online survey to 151 subjects from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. Student perception was then compared to data released by ASU detailing actual costs and benefits of obtaining graduate-level education. Researchers' prediction that increased levels of parental education would be associated with more accurate estimates of the benefits of graduate-level education was correct at a statistically significant level. Further, being male was statistically significantly associated with an increase in starting salary overestimation.

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2015-05

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Perceptions of Relationships: A comparison of Sugar Baby/Sugar Daddy, Same-sex, and Heterosexual Couplings

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Abstract The current study examined how people perceive three different types of relationships: Sugar Baby/Sugar Daddy (SB/SD) relationships, same-sex relationships, and heterosexual relationships. In an online survey, undergraduate students rated these different types of couplings on overall general view, acceptability

Abstract The current study examined how people perceive three different types of relationships: Sugar Baby/Sugar Daddy (SB/SD) relationships, same-sex relationships, and heterosexual relationships. In an online survey, undergraduate students rated these different types of couplings on overall general view, acceptability and approval. Additionally, survey participants were asked to complete measures of religiosity and socio-sexual orientation to investigate whether these individual measures moderated ratings. Overall, SB/SD relationships were rated the most negatively, least acceptable, and least approved of out of the three relationship types. Following SB/SD relationships are same-sex relationships and then lastly heterosexual relationships. Higher religiosity scores led to lower general views, acceptability, and approval ratings of SB/SD relationships. The opposite pattern emerged for socio-sexuality such that higher socio-sexuality scores correlated to higher general views, acceptability, and approval ratings of SB/SD relationships. The findings suggest that societal views toward alternative relationship types are negative, relative to traditional heterosexual couplings, and these views may be exacerbated in the case of more, as opposed to less novel pairings. Just as cross-race and same-sex relationships have faced adversity in the past (Testa, 1987), newer types of relationships, such as SB/SD, that don't follow traditional conventions are still bound to face negativity. Moreover, these views are not monolithic in that individual differences based on religiosity and socio-sexuality lead to variation in judgments. The data presented herein represent an initial exploration of SB/SD relationships, a phenomenon that is increasing in frequency and about which many questions remain. Keywords: Sugar baby, Sugar daddy, same-sex, relationship, perceptions

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2016-05