Friday, June 26, 2015

Hemispheric and Frontal Differentiation in Cognitive Processing in the Wechsler Intelligence Tests

Cinamon C. Romers, School of Psychology

Previous research has focused primarily on left hemisphere brain functioning but there is a dearth of information on right hemisphere, cognitive functioning in the literature. The subtests that make up the Perceptual Reasoning Index of the Wechsler scales were administered to a sample of 241 adults and children to determine if any of these tasks, which claim to measure visuospatial constructs thought to be dependent on right posterior parietal brain areas, actually tap into analytic, left posterior parietal and executive frontal functions.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Grey Matters: A Study of the Cognitive Impact of Color through the Lens of the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion

Carrie Vanetta Perry, School of Psychology

Persuasion is defined as the art of getting what you want (Lakhani, 2005). However, it is also a science, because principles of persuasion can be investigated through scientific methods. The scientific study of persuasion, such as advertising, provides an open access laboratory within which researchers investigate principles of inducement through cognition to better comprehend the psychological theories behind the art of persuasion (Snyder, 1989). The goal of an effective and persuasive mass media campaign is to produce enduring changes in attitudes with behavior consistent results (BehaviourWorks, 2012). For this research project “effective persuasion” is defined as positive or desired changes in audience attitudes and/or behavior (Petty, Barden, & Wheeler, 2009) and is framed by the elaboration Likelihood model of persuasion (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). The underlying purpose of this research study was to determine whether a message that contains black-and-white components was more persuasive than the same message containing color components. The first hypothesis stated that those with a high need for cognition are more likely to donate after viewing a black-and-white message than those with a low need for cognition. Findings from this study suggest that need for cognition did not have a statistically significant impact on participant’s donation action. Hypothesis 2 stated that a black & white message is more likely to generate a donation action than the color equivalent message. Results of the study indicate that color or black-and-white ads have no statistically significant effect on donation response. Over time, the ELM has proven to be a vigorous model for predicting the effects of advertising and marketing messages on consumer attitudes and behavior.

Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Engaging and Maintaining Community Mental Health Center Patients

Kaitlin Boger, School of Educational Leadership for Change

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) (SAMHSA NREPP, 2014a) listed Beating the Blues (BTB) as an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression and anxiety. In this study I examined how BTB works with a sample of U.S. patients, some of whom had severe depression and/or anxiety symptoms. The purpose of this study was to determine what additional aspects could improve the BTB program as used in a Community Mental Health Center (CMHC). I used a mixed method approach to answer these research questions:

1. What aspects of BTB work effectively and efficiently for participants?

2. What aspects of BTB do not work effectively or efficiently and how would participants recommend they be improved?

3. How effective is BTB for people who experience severe depression and/or anxiety?

I gathered data from:

(a) The reports that the software generated which included the participants’ Patient Health Questionnaire-9 item (PHQ-9) score and their Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 item (GAD-7) score.

(b) The Beating the Blues feedback forms, which used 12 questions to gauge how participants felt the program could be improved.

(c) Individual narratives from participants.

I found that, overall, BTB participants at the CMHC benefited from using the BTB program. Participants noted enjoying the coaching aspects of the program as well as the technology aspects of the program. Participants with severe symptoms were not significantly more likely to complete the program than participants with non-severe symptoms. Males were more likely to complete the program than females. Referral sources appeared to impact results; those who were referred by their primary care physicians completed more sessions than those referred by other sources. Implications of the study included considering BTB as a first step when patients have mild to moderate or severe anxiety and/or depression since BTB appears to allow severe participants to decrease into a moderate range.

Keywords: Beating the Blues, computerized cognitive behavioral therapy, patient experience, mixed methods, effective, efficient, depression, anxiety, severe, mental health, community mental health center

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Entrepreneurial Exit Strategies: A Qualitative Study In The Biopharmaceutical Industry

Donna Schubert, School of Human and Organizational Development

This qualitative study explores why and how entrepreneurs develop exit strategies. The study is situated solely in the biopharmaceutical industry in the United States and Canada. Ten founding biopharmaceutical entrepreneurs completed background questionnaires and participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using the methods of thematic analysis facilitated by the use of Atlas.ti. The study finds that all biopharmaceutical entrepreneurs developed strategies for their investors, but consistent with prior research less than half developed personal exit strategies. This study also found that the source of funding may impact whether or not exit strategies are developed. Entrepreneurs explained that the infrequent use of personal exit strategies was due to perceived low value of strategizing in this industry with limited exit options, combined with uncertainty and the need for flexibility, rendering exit strategies ineffective. In exploring how biopharmaceutical entrepreneurs develop exit strategies, the study identified five impactful components of the process: the entrepreneur’s motivation to start the venture, his or her personal exit intention, building business value through innovation, the entrepreneur’s psychic income, and effectuation logic. The researcher offers a model of this process. Though the sample size is small, this study provides valuable information for aspiring entrepreneurs and offers intriguing questions for future research.

Key words: Biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, entrepreneur, exit, exit strategy

The Impact of Immigration and Acculturation on Recent Latino Immigrants Suffering from Mental Illness

Ingrid Diaz, School of Psychology

This study focused on the impact of immigration and acculturation on recent Latino immigrants suffering from mental illness. The participants migrated to an inner-city, densely populated area, with prevalent Latino enclaves. All interviewees were adults, self-identified heterosexuals, from Latin American countries, diagnosed with a psychiatric condition within 5 years of arrival to the United States. Subjects included two men and eight women, 24 to 52 years of age, with diverse socioeconomic and educational levels. Participants were legal residents or undocumented immigrants, with an array of psychiatric conditions, ranging from Major Depression Disorder to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Common themes that emerged were an idealization of their lives in the country of origin, fear, failure, perceived eminent danger, disillusion, disconnectedness, regret, resentment, self-loathing, promiscuity, and unforgiveness of themselves. Findings indicated that symptomatology presented within the first 6 months to a year of arrival, leading to persistent and severe mental illness.

Key Words: Latinos, immigration, acculturation.