Clarifying the mechanisms that underlie stress-induced alterations of learning and memory may lend important insight into susceptibility factors governing the development of stress-related psychological disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Previous work has shown that carriers of the ADRA2B deletion variant exhibit enhanced emotional memory, greater amygdala responses to emotional stimuli, and greater intrusiveness of traumatic memories. We speculated that carriers of this deletion variant might also be more vulnerable to stress-induced enhancements of long-term memory, which would implicate the variant as a possible susceptibility factor for traumatic memory formation. In the present study, participants submerged their hand in ice cold (stress) or warm (no stress) water for 3 min. Immediately thereafter, they studied a list of 42 words varying in emotional valence and arousal and then completed an immediate recall test. Twenty-four hours later, participants’ memory for the list was examined via free recall and recognition assessments. Stressed participants exhibiting greater heart rate responses to the stressor had enhanced recall on the 24-hr assessment. More importantly, stressed female ADRA2B deletion carriers, particularly those exhibiting greater heart rate responses to the stressor, demonstrated greater recognition memory than all other groups. These findings support our hypothesis that the ADRA2B deletion variant is associated with increased susceptibility to stress-induced enhancements of learning. Furthermore, they extend this speculation by revealing that females are selectively influenced by the genetic variant, which could lend insight into sex-dependent susceptibility to traumatic memory formation and PTSD.
Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice Research
ADRA2B Deletion Variant Selectively Predicts Stress-induced Enhancement of Long-term Memory in Females
Professional wrestling, specifically the World Wrestling Entertainment has historically been a strong force in American society. This paper will examine the society within the WWE using critical theory, which is a contemporary sociological theory. The basic propositions of critical theory are that thoughts are a product of society and that people should not try to be objective to separate fact from value judgment. The first theorist used to explain the society that the WWE has created is Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse will be used to demonstrate how the WWE uses media to have viewers and wrestlers alike lose the ability to think critically and question what is happening. The second theorist that will be used to explain this society is C. Wright Mills. Mills will be used to demonstrate that the WWE has created a bureaucracy which ensures a strong centralization of power by using marketing and the media. The goal of this research is to better understand the society that the WWE has created and its possible implications on society as a whole.
Mental illness is examined from a psychological, biochemical, and sociological point of view. What I have found in my own research experiences and in previous studies, criminal recidivism for those with mental illness or addiction problems is quite high. Criminal behavior is often comorbid with some form of mental illness. Social constraints are also reasons as to why crimes are committed; the have-nots steal from the have-everythings. The sociological point of view in regards to mental illness focuses on how social factors interact in the formation, prolonging, and treatment of mental illness. This is of substantive importance because mental health is a topic that is closely paid attention to in society, but little work appears to be done. This presentation encompasses theories from classical to contemporary sociology, namely the works for Durkheim and Goffman, on the exploration of mental illness and how it relates to criminal recidivism.
I will analyze the paradigm shift of the ideal female body with regards to modern society. Our perception of the ideal female body is increasing the number of eating disorders within the United States, and as a result, is increasing the number of deaths stemming from eating disorders. Our view of women changes frequently, and as a result, is leading to an increased number of eating disorders. This phenomenon is present in everyday society and in every single person’s life, not just women, yet excels in present day America with the help of extreme influences by different forms of media. Men and women together create the ideal ‘laws’ that women are expected to follow, which makes it a social effect. There is lacks of consistency in the way people, women in particular, are expected to look; drastic changes are taken in order to meet the new and ever-changing norm. These dramatic measures are taken because there is no set ‘normal’ standard to follow, and it leaves people feeling desperate to fit in and sometime resulting in desperate measures. Furthermore, this evidence suggests that the phenomenon present is compatible with the research present in Emile Durkheim’s experiment with regards to suicide.
Previous research has shown that insufficient sleep and peer use of illicit drugs have a negative linear effect on adolescents’ substance abuse. Sleep times ≤ 7 hours and peer use have been associated with marijuana use. The current study aims to examine the link between nightmares/trouble sleeping and peer use of illicit drugs among adolescents referred to a county court for behavioral or legal problems. We hypothesized peer use of illicit drugs and participant report of nightmares and trouble sleeping would both be related to reports of frequent drug use. Methods: Participants included 66 adolescents aged 14-18. Data was from a secondary data source. The questions “Have you had nightmares/trouble sleeping in the past year (yes/no) and “Have your peers used drugs in the past 90 days” (yes/no), were treated as independent variables and a scale measuring substance problems in the last month as the dependent variable. Data was analyzed using an ANOVA and Bonferroni’s post hoc test. Results: Participants reporting trouble sleeping and nightmares were more likely than those without sleeping difficulty to have a substance problem during the last 30 days (M=4.13, SD=.51) [F(1,62)=12.58, p<0.05, d=1.25]. Peer use was also independently related to higher levels of substance problems (M=4.44, SD=.56) [F)1,62)=19.28, p<0.05, d=1.32]. Moreover, an intersection was found between peer use and trouble sleeping/nightmares, showing that those with sleep issues and with peers who used illicit drugs were more likely to have a substance problem in the last month (M=6.69, SD=.72)[F(1,62)=6.77,p<0.05,d=1.65]. Conclusion: Adolescents with sleeping difficulty as well as peers who used drugs independently influence substance problems, though peer influence on drug use is well researched. The current results suggest the importance of monitoring sleep troubles, particularly among at-risk youth, as this might be an indicator of or impetus for drug use or relapse.
Pain is a multifaceted phenomenon which causes discomfort for individuals. The intrinsically pressing, unpleasant nature of pain makes research to decrease pain valuable. Positive emotion has been consistently shown to decrease perception of pain. Additionally, an individual within a group has been shown to have an impact on group emotion and group outcomes. Tying these ideas together as a group cold pressor was a novel methodology; we attempted to examine the effects of positive cues from a confederate on the subjective pain ratings due to cold pressor induced pain. This study is currently in progress. However, we expect that participants who are exposed to positive cues instead of neutral cues from a confederate will have lower pain ratings. However, due to the potential confounds of group sex differences, optimism scores, and emotion before the experiment we may not achieve the desired results.
Stress-induced alterations of learning and memory underlie the formation of traumatic memories and, thus, one of the most debilitating and costly psychological disorders that society faces, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the effects of stress on learning and memory are complex and still poorly understood. One relatively consistent finding in this area has been that post-learning stress enhances long-term memory; however, recent work has challenged this view with contradictory findings. Therefore, we examined the influence of post-learning stress on 24-hr declarative memory. Fifty-two participants learned a list of words varying in emotional valence and arousal and were then given an immediate free recall test. Participants then submerged their dominant hand in a bath of ice cold (stress) or warm (no stress) water for 3 min. Twenty-four hours later, participants returned to the laboratory and completed free recall and recognition assessments. Results indicated that stress enhanced participants’ long-term free recall, while having no effect on recognition memory. Also, females in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle recalled more arousing than non-arousing words following stress exposure. These findings suggest that post-learning stress studies may serve as a model of traumatic memory formation and that post-learning stress exerts effects on memory that depend on female hormone levels.
The social structure or class and socioeconomic status influence the person’s life changes, life choices, and life styles which limit the ability for black, Hispanics, and other ethnicities to receive pre-end stage nephrology treatment and living donor kidney transplant. The bureaucratic system follows written rules and regulations that determine the patient’s eligibility for end stage nephrology and living donor kidney transplant. Following the rules and regulations can cause inequality among racial/ethnic minorities in need of a kidney transplant. Factors such as socioeconomic status, health insurance, biology, and access contribute to inequality. The rules and regulations are not always followed which will cause inequality in kidney transplant patients. The bureaucratic system has the ability to limit blacks, Hispanics, and other ethnicities from receiving pre-end stage nephrology treatment and living donor kidney transplant in the United States. The long term effects of racial discrimination, both structurally and personally mediated, intentional and unintentional, are well established as causal factors for racial/ethnic differences in health outcomes in the United States and may contribute to the observed racial/ethnic differences in access to preemptive living donor transplantation. (Patzer 2013:1778). Racial and ethnic kidney transplant disparities is an important social phenomenon to understand the influences of the social structure toward life-chances, life choices, life styles, and bureaucracy which cause racial and ethnic end stage nephrology treatment and living donor kidney transplant rates should be improved among blacks, Hispanics, and other ethnicities.
Previous literature has demonstrated the impact of idealized images in the media, as well as the impact of women holding dominant and non-stereotypical positions in the workplace (Agliata & Tantleff-Dunn, 2004; Haslam, Hersby, & Bongiorno, 2011). The present study examines the effects of gender dominance roles and media type on body image perceptions. Common media sources of music videos and magazine advertisements displaying male dominance or female dominance, both as between-subjects factors, served as the manipulated variables. Participants were recruited from a small university (28 male, 58 female) and assigned to one of four conditions. Results of 2x2 ANOVAs revealed no significant change in body image as measured by Cash’s Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ) from either gender dominance or media type, p> .05. Also no interaction was found between gender dominance and media type, p> .05. The results of the present study imply that gender dominance and media type have no effect on body image perceptions of college students, perhaps as a result of desensitization to the stimuli (Hine, 2011). Future research could investigate the effects of switching gender dominance roles on other aspects of an individual other than body image, such as mood or self-esteem.
There has been much debate about how the specific aspects of a testimony affect a juror’s decision. This study examined the effect that evidence type and the contestation of witness credentials had on juror decision-making processes. Two groups were exposed to a court transcript with a witness presenting a more medically-based perspective (natural science) for evidence while the other groups read the witness presenting a more psychologically-based evidence perspective (social science). Likewise, two groups received a transcript where the defense attacked the prosecution’s expert’s credentials (such as experience in the field and certifications) while the other two groups received a transcript without any cross-examination of the witness. It was hypothesized that in the natural science condition there would be no significant difference between the contested and uncontested conditions in the guilt and innocence sentence length of the believability of the witness. Conversely, it was hypothesized that in the social science condition, there would be significant difference between the contested and uncontested conditions of guilt, sentencing, and believability of the witness. The study is currently in progress and once all the data has been gathered it will be analyzed with SPSS to determine the main effects and interactions in relation to the hypotheses.
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