The Influence of Artist Persona and Product Placement in Music Videos on College Students
Under the direction of Professor Jose Aviles (Communications)
This research sought to answer what kind of influence popular music artist personas have over college students aged 18-22, particularly to offer insight into whether the sample views the artist personas as positive or negative, and to shed light onto whether the artists’ use of product placement was effective. A survey was conducted to test the hypotheses that if college students view a popular artists music video that contains product placements, they will not see the selected artists as having particularly negative personas but will see some themes of their music videos as inciting negative views. In addition, the survey tested whether the age group would agree that an artist’s use of product placement neither contributes to nor takes away from their persona and may not actually influence audience buying habits of a brand but may cause awareness among consumers. The results of the survey showed that the 36 respondents see the artist personas in positive lights, but that the sample of the age group is not susceptible to completely immersed brand placements in music videos.
Framing of Serial Killers in American Print Media from 1960 to 1999
Under the direction of Professor Charles Brown (Sociology)
This Thesis seeks to determine which types of frames were commonly used by American print media between the years of 1960 and 1999 to describe serial killers and the act of serial murder itself. Four specific newspapers were observed: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Research was conducted into prior literature on the topics of the history of serial murder, the history and various types of framing, and the framing of serial killers. Through the analysis of 49 of the 128 articles collected from the four newspapers, thirteen different frames have been identified and divided into three categories. The frames were noted to have occurred throughout the forty-year period, but some frames were more prominent in certain decades than others. Most of the articles utilized one specific frame, but a few of them utilized multiple frames. The frames were more often negative, showcasing the crimes of the killer, but they were occasionally positive, treating the killer as a celebrity. The frames largely had the effect of influencing how the public perceived the serial killer or aiding the public in understanding various aspects of the serial killer.
Under the direction of Professor Guillaume de Syon (History)
Documented antisemitism in Poland dates as far back as the early modern era. By the nineteenth century, the Kingdom of Poland, as it was called, fell under Russian occupation; Polish nationalism thus found itself in a precarious and fragilized situation. The rise of a new religious group that did not want to assimilate into Polish culture posed a threat to this weak national identity that Poles only begun to form. This antisemitism, which was ultimately built into Polish society through legislation and various cultural aspects, allowed for the hatred that occurred during the Holocaust and the years after to take place as it was then engrained in Polish society through their fears over a sovereign nation and the catholic presence within the nation. Similarly, the ongoing debate over the role Polish gentiles had during the holocaust paints a different picture regarding the actions of Polish gentiles during WW2. Presently, Polish society still faces difficulty accepting its role during these events, leading to the resurfacing of past tensions between Poles and its forgotten Jewish community.
Fixed and Periodic Points of Multiples of the Sum of the Digits Function
Under the direction of Professor Christopher Catone (Mathematics)
In Mathematics, complex patterns can arise from simple starting conditions. This paper investigates the fixed and periodic points of functions on the positive integers consisting of a constant k multiplied by the sum of the digits of the independent variable in a given base b. This paper presents an algorithm that generates the data on the fixed and periodic points of this family of functions in different bases. The goal of investigating these functions is to prove theorems about them that will help us to predict when these functions will produce fixed and periodic fixed points. The major discovery of this paper is that if a function has only one fixed point and no periodic points, then the value of k must be divisible by the product of the prime factors of b-1, excluding repeated factors. This paper also presents some conjectures that can lead to future research on this topic.
Elementary or Parliamentary? An Empirical Analysis of Participation Among Women Members of European Parliament and its Impact on Legislative Careers
Under the direction of Professor Nathan Henceroth (Political Science)
The European Parliament (EP) is lauded for gender progressivism with a third of its members comprising of women. Using an original dataset from the 7th session of the EP (2009-2014), we track members from seven countries of the EP’s (MEPs) participation and legislative career outcomes with attention to gender. We operationalize EP participation as attendance at plenary sessions and the number of written/oral questions posed. Preliminary findings show a statistically significant gap between women MEPs with higher levels of participation and men MEPs in respect to older ages. This project demonstrates how the EP provides training and socialization leading some MEPs to higher prestige positions both domestically and within the EP.
“I will not molest you, I am but a humble jester:” Gender, Sexuality and Performance During the Golden Age of Movie Musical
Under the direction of Professor Heidi Mau (Communications)
From the 1930s to the 1960s, there was a glorious era in Hollywood where musicals reigned. This era had a colorful facade of charming leading men, elaborate sets, beautiful choreography and bevies of smiling chorus girls. The reality beneath the surface, however, was not always pleasant. Although women gained more power and agency on-screen as time went on, they were objectified and belittled if they failed to fit the mold that powerful men in Hollywood set out for them. Unusually, many of those powerful men were gay, and hid their identities while helping the careers of gay icons like Judy Garland. Everyone knew these men were gay but kept up the facade. In turn, gay directors and choreographers used coded messaging to subtlety express themselves. In Golden Age musicals, everything was loud, bright, and over-the-top. Everyone was pretending to be something they weren’t, both on-stage and off. The irony was that the many layers of camp irony that the cast and crew inhabited, allowed them to express their true selves. The women’s and gay liberation movements of the 1960s represented a cultural shift that spelled doom for the old-fashioned musicals.
Oxygen Atom Transfer to a Copper(I) Bis(guanidinyl)pyridine Complex
Under the direction of Professor Nicholas Piro (Chemistry)
Oxygenated copper intermediates occur in a wide range of reactions, and guanidine ligands have a variety of uses as donor ligands. We have studied the nature of an oxygenated copper intermediate obtained from O-atom transfer to the Cu(I) species [(tbo2Pyr)Cu]OTf and determined its reactivity patterns with 1- and 2-electron reductants. By tracking the lifetime of the reactive intermediate by UV-visible spectroscopy at -70ºC alone and in the presence of phosphine and xanthene quenches, it was found that phosphine deoxygenates the copper intermediate at a relatively constant rate over a range of concentrations, while xanthene does not appreciably affect the rate of decomposition. We explored dimethyldioxirane, amine and pyridine N-oxides, and two iodosylbenzenes, PhIO, and Ph*IO (Ph=phenyl; Ph*=2-(tert-butylsulfonyl)phenyl) as oxygen-donating molecules and found Ph*IO to be the most effective. Using a varying number of equivalents of Ph*IO in reaction with [(tbo2Pyr)Cu]OTf yielded the same absorbance maxima, supporting a mono(𝜇-oxo)dicopper(II) complex structure for the intermediate. The ability of the copper(I) complex to catalyze the insertion of O-atoms into C–H bonds was also investigated. This research lays the groundwork to better define the structure and reactivity patterns of the oxygenated copper intermediate through further study.
Under the direction of Professor Guillaume de Syon (History)
This thesis, which focuses on whether the M4 Sherman medium tank deserves its World War II fame or its postwar infamy, offers a re-examination of this twenty-year old argument. In so doing, it incorporates primary sources such as soldiers’ testimonies to suggest the main proponent of the poor qualities of the tank, the author of Death Traps, is mistaken in his judgment. My argument relies on a combination of Melvin Kranzberg’s “six laws of technology” and Alex Roland’s definitions in War and Technology. Consequently, the thesis also illustrates the tensions that exist between the historical record and popular memory.
Effects of Virtual Reality and Resilience on the Misinformation Effect
Under the direction of Professor Justin Couchman (Psychology)
The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of a virtual reality environment and resilience on the Misinformation Effect. There were two conditions for the viewing of a stressful video which were virtual reality (researcher moving the screen) and computer screen (not moving the screen), and the two conditions for resilience were high and low resilience. The current study used the PANAS and GRIT tests to measure stress and resilience, respectively. An Aphantasia test was also included to measure mentally picturing scenarios. Participants first filled out the GRIT assessment and then listened to the researcher read a list of words to them from the DRM Task. Then participants watched the video, recalled the list of words, read a misleading paragraph about the video, answered questions about the video, answered stress and Aphantasia questions, and finally filled out a demographic survey. The first hypothesis was that participants who watched the video in virtual reality would be more stressed which would lead to better recall, but also higher susceptibility to the Misinformation Effect. The second hypothesis was that participants who scored higher on the resilience assessment would be less stressed and therefore less susceptible to the misinformation effect. A 2-way Independent ANOVA was conducted for video group and resilience. There was no significant interaction between the effects of the video group and resilience on number of questions correct, F (1, 31) = 0.059, p = .810. The study had limitations which will be changed for future studies to improve reliability.
The Male Versus the Female: How Male Readership Impacts Character Portrayals in Contemporary Young Adult Adventure Novels
Under the direction of Professor Denise Greenwood (English)
Adventure fiction has traditionally followed a male protagonist in their search for selfhood and saviorhood. In the case of contemporary adventure fiction, authors are likely to follow the conventions of the adventure story in order to fit the genre’s stereotypes, which in turn reinforce gender stereotypes. This research paper discusses how contemporary young adult adventure novels typically perform within society’s narrowly defined perception of male readership. While the novels attempt to perpetuate powerful female roles, the male characters fit the fantasy of traditional, male adventure stories. After analyzing traditional stories such as Paradise Lost and Beowulf and modern novels such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, I conclude that there are disparities between the portrayal of male and female characters: from the main hero to the minor characters to the antagonists, young adult adventure novels tend to follow traditional tropes in order to satisfy male readers. Even if the authors subvert the patriarchal tropes by adding female heroines or helpful minor characters, the overall work of literature creates a fantasy world that reinforces the traditional roles and desires expected of young boys. In time, these portrayals could encourage male readers to act patronizingly or dismissively toward girls and women.
Under the direction of Professor Heidi Mau (Communications)
This research explores the nature of Soviet fine art and design from the final years of the Russian Empire to the modern-day Russian Federation. This project examines historical art movements, artifacts, artists, and political climates which have catalyzed said movements. While focusing heavily on graphic design, this project also explores the industrialization of applied and fine art, whose historical narratives frequently overlap with that of historic design trends. This thesis closes with the state of commercialization in the Russian Federation and to what extent Soviet political philosophies still influence it today. This body of work is intended to act as a timeline detailing the development of Soviet arts throughout the 20th century and how its various art movements reflected the state of Soviet society.
Pollock, deKooning and Acrylic Paint Walked into a Bar
Under the direction of Professor Kristen Woodward (Art)
The paper will discuss the evolution of acrylic paints and mediums during the post-war era and the development of plastics, and will be accompanied by three of my paintings demonstrating the uniqueness of the medium. Starting with the first and foremost advancement of the discovery of acrylic acid, the research continues through the advancements of acrylic emulsion technology, and culminates in new techniques pioneered by the Abstract Expressionists. I want to showcase how this new painting medium played a role in creating different abstract paintings. Another research paper topic is the transition from a mineral spirit acrylic to a waterborne acrylic. Finally, microbes and their effect on paintings and murals will be discussed.
Examining stress markers during restricted environmental stimulation
Under the direction of Professor Keith Feigenson (Psychology)
This study examined the impact of restricted environmental stimulation technique (REST) on biomarkers for stress, and if it could be used as an effective form of meditation. This method was an alteration to sensory deprivation techniques, where instead of a complete absence of sensory input there were incomprehensible sensory inputs (such as white noise). We assayed biomarkers for stress focusing on salivary cortisol levels, examined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and skin conductivity, examined using the galvanic skin response. Participants relaxed on an air mattress for 20 minutes while wearing Ganzfeld-like goggles and noise cancelling headphones playing white noise. We analyzed the number of unusual sensory experiences the participants experience, as well as the average skin conductance throughout the 20 minutes. Results suggested that there were no significant differences by condition, but there was a decrease in cortisol levels for both conditions, indicating REST treatment may be just as effective as regular relaxation. Additionally, results show that people with more sensory experiences ended up more stressed after the 20 minutes compared to those that did not have any experiences. This suggests that normal relaxation methods may work just as well as spa treatments, but for less money.
Fitspiration vs Self-Compassion: The Effects of Instagram on Body Satisfaction, Self-Esteem, Mood, and Exercise Motivation
Under the direction of Professor Bridget Hearon (Psychology)
This study examined the impact of fitspiration and self-compassion images on participants’ state body satisfaction, state self-esteem, state mood, and state exercise motivation. This study also examined the effects of sorority membership, trait body appreciation, baseline physical activity, disordered eating, and physical appearance comparison tendencies as moderators. Women aged 18 to 76, from Albright College and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk system (N = 210) were asked to complete a series of pre-condition questionnaires and were randomly assigned to view either the fitspiration, self-compassion, the mix of fitspiration and self-compassion, or the control condition for five minutes. Participants then completed the post-condition questionnaires. The results showed no main effects of condition on any outcome of interest. However, the results showed a significant interaction between the condition and state body satisfaction over time for participants with low trait body appreciation (F(3,90) = 4.10, p = .01. These findings suggest that participants with low trait body appreciation who viewed the self-compassion condition experienced a significant increase in their state body satisfaction while those viewing fitspiration experienced a slight decrease.
The Toxicological Effects of P-Phenylenediamine (PPD) on Aquatic Life and Dye Remediation Efforts Using Peroxidase
Under the direction of Professor Bryce Brylawski (Biology)
In the cosmetic industry, the aromatic amine p-phenylenediamine (PPD) is oxidized with hydrogen peroxide to produce various dye products including henna and hair dye. Studies demonstrate that at certain levels, PPD may affect aquatic health. With an increase in the use of such dyes as a commercial product comes the concern that PPD may infiltrate bodies of water and threaten aquatic ecosystems. The enzyme peroxidase has been used to remediate cosmetic dye waste in water, as it acts on hydrogen peroxide as a substrate and thus targets the oxidation process of PPD. Bean beetles (Callosobruchus maculatus) were selected as a proxy for aquatic life as they are highly suitable for culturing. Larvae were extracted from mung beans and introduced to solutions of varying levels of PPD, as well as trials including hydrogen peroxide and peroxidase. To determine cell viability, a trypan assay was utilized to observe the effect of varying toxin levels on the bean beetle tissue. Data analysis of percent mortality found statistically significant difference between different PPD concentrations. It was found that oxidized PPD and higher concentrations of PPD resulted in higher cell mortality, with trends similar to those observed in the previously collected data. The effects of peroxidase on mortality were inconclusive. This work is relevant to the ecological health of streams affected by PPD exposure, especially with the increase in cosmetic products in the United States.
Understanding theNature and Function of the Epidermal Growth Factor Homolog Expressed by Ectromelia Virus
Under the direction of Professor Adam Hersperger (Biology)
Previous research has shown that poxviruses possess proteins with sequence similarities to the epidermal growth factor (EGF) of mammals. EGF is a hormone that plays a key role in cellular pathways including cell cycle progression, cell survival, and proliferation. Upon analyzing the genome of ectromelia virus (ECTV), a gene with high sequence homology to EGF was previously identified. We have named this protein ectromelia growth factor (ECGF). ECGF has not been previously studied, therefore, this study seeks to analyze and characterize this EGF homolog and investigate its possible mitogenic role in active ECTV infection and virus replication. Using a revertant HA-tagged mutant of ECTV and Western Blot analysis, the location of the protein is currently unable to be determined and more research is required. However, EdU analysis has indicated that exogenous growth factor proteins can significantly upregulate DNA synthesis and ECTV may not directly upregulate DNA synthesis in neighboring cells in the same manner as vaccinia virus (VACV).
Getting a Grasp on the Avian Tendon Locking Mechanism
Under the direction of Professor Ian Cost (Biology)
Birds make use of their lower limbs for functions such as grasping, climbing, nest building, etc. The tendon-locking mechanism (TLM) underlying the closing of digits of bird feet is essential for aspects of the avian lifestyle. A number of studies have previously investigated the mechanics of the TLM across multiples species. This project describes forces underlying the TLM mechanism. We use properties of the flexor muscles of the leg used for grasping behaviors in related avian species, Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) and Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii) to describe forces applied to this mechanism. Using traditional dissection and muscle evaluation techniques, flexor muscles of the left leg were collected to estimate the physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) and muscle force in Newtons. Muscles were removed at proximal and distal attachments. Pennation angles and mass for each muscle were measured before muscles were immersed in nitric acid (HNO3) to facilitate muscle fiber separation. Mean muscle fiber length, pennation angle, and PCSA were used to calculate forces muscles are capable of contributing to the TLM. The data collected indicated that all of the B. jamaicensis muscles had higher mass and force in comparison to the A. cooperii. A wider sampling of species is necessary to gain a better understanding of how the forces contributing to the TLM affect the lifestyle of various species of birds. In summary, observations, graphical data analysis and detailed anatomical pictures reinforce the current consensus understanding of the TLM. This thesis is a continuation of ACRE research paired with the observations which I made while birdwatching.
How Liberals React to Deviant Protests in the Time of Black Lives Matter
Under the direction of Professor Nick Ungson (Psychology)
The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has foregrounded the debate regarding the “right way” to protest. Even among Democrats, who generally support BLM, peaceful protest is encouraged, and violence is condemned. In the current study, we examine if White Democrats exhibit the Black Sheep Effect with regards to BLM support. Will they be more punitive of ingroup members (Democrats) who deviate from the “peaceful protest” norm than outgroup members (Republicans) who similarly deviate? Such a finding would demonstrate the Black Sheep Effect. White Democrats were recruited online and shown fake Facebook profiles of ingroup or outgroup targets who are advocating for peaceful (normative) or violent (deviant) BLM protests. For each, participants indicated their agreement with and negativity against the target’s profile, as well as rate the target’s positive personality traits, perceived similarity, and perceived identification with America. We hypothesize the Black Sheep Effect: participants will react more negatively to ingroup deviants (violent Democrats) than outgroup deviants (violent Republicans). We observe that ingroup deviance is met with significantly less favorability than outgroup deviance. Deviant ingroup members received more negative reactions and less support than deviant outgroup members This research sheds light on group processes underlying an important and timely social issue.
Ab initio analysis of graphene and the effects of doping graphene
Under the direction of Professor Christian Hamann (Chemistry)
Graphene is a relatively new material that is being studied for its potential application in electronics. Computational chemistry provides an effective method to study doping effects on the structure and electronics of graphene, providing useful theoretical insights into potential electronic capabilities. Further, computational techniques allow for the study of materials in the smallest structural details before embarking on potentially difficult and time-consuming laboratory synthesis. Although graphene has been studied and shown to be a candidate material for electronic devices, through their use in batteries or computer chips, the fact that it is a zeroenergy gap material leads to the problem that they are not controllable. Among other issues, they may lead to degradation. Doping can overcome this and other limitations, and through the method of doping in computational chemistry, the effects of different atoms (for example, nitrogen, boron, fluorine, and transition metals such as chromium) can be evaluated quickly. Along with doping, the position of the doping atom will also be taken into consideration, as certain observable calculations show that position will affect the structure. This effect is very observable with nitrogen, as when nitrogen is the doping agent in the graphene structure, its position affects the partial charge in the interior of the structure. When nitrogen was doped on the corner of graphene, the band-gap increased to 1.4991 eV, greater than when nitrogen was doped closest to the center of graphene, producing only a band-gap of 0.7366 eV and altering the interior electronic character of the structure. It was shown that nitrogen-doped graphene specifically when nitrogen is doped along the edges of graphene) is the best potential material because of minimal affects to the interior of the structure along with increasing the band-gap, creating a band-gap that fits in the ideal range for semiconductors.
Comparative Mapping of the Trigeminal Nerve in Birds
Under the direction of Professor Ian Cost (Biology)
Touch is an integral sense in all animals and is used in their faces by some to locate food. Birds and crocodilians have similar anatomical plans and thus should have similar facial innervation. Crocodilians send signals of pressure changes through special mechanoreceptors to the brain via the trigeminal nerve, which has three branches (Ophthalmic-V1, Maxillary-V2, and Mandibular-V3). Bird remote touch sensation, effected through Grandry and Herbst corpuscles which are highest in abundance in the bill tip organ, is also transmitted to the brain via the trigeminal nerve. The bill tip organ is known to exist in four families of birds: Apterygidae, Scolopacidae, Anatidae, and Threskiornithidae. Here we predict that birds with remote touch will have more branched V2 and V3 trigeminal nerve divisions. We created nerve maps of a Black-crowned Night-heron, Virginia Rail, Common Merganser, Greater Scaup, and Canada Goose with manual dissection. Overall trigeminal nerve distribution in species that utilize remote touch and in species that do not was compared. Here we find that species with a remote touch organ have a more highly branched trigeminal nerve, specifically more branches anteriorly and less caudally. Our study provides more complete nerve maps of shorebirds and provides connections between degree of trigeminal nerve branching and the ability to use remote touch.
Examining Dating Apps: The Influence of Body Size and Profile Pictures on Instant Mate Selection Decisions
Under the direction of Professor Susan Hughes (Psychology)
The aim of this study was to expand our understanding of mate selection with the use of the popular dating app, Tinder. This study considered the weight of the person featured in the profile pictures and whether only their head or body was shown as their profile picture had influenced mate choices. Heterosexual participants viewed 150 photographs of individuals of the opposite sex in a mock Tinder survey. The pictures were of 75 different individuals taken before and after weight loss, but participants were not told the same individual was shown twice. Participants either saw all pictures as head-only, or as full-body. Additionally, participants completed several established inventories that measured personal traits that may have influenced their responses. Results showed that for overweight profiles, male participants were less likely to select the profiles than female participants. There was no sex difference for normal weight profiles. For the overweight profiles the head-only pictures were selected more than the full-body pictures, whereas there was no difference between the two for normal weight profiles. For normal weight profiles, full-body pictures were selected faster than head-only pictures, whereas there was no difference in the full-body and head-only pictures for the overweight profiles. These findings suggest the importance of body weight, gender and body/face images on instant mate selection decisions when interfacing with the dating app, Tinder.
The Framers and the Framed: Written Media’s Frames of The Black Lives Matter Movement
Under the direction of Professor Charles Brown (Sociology)
Following the 2013 murder of Travyon Martin, the Black Lives Matter Movement sparked and has since gained momentum and strength in numbers. Labeling itself as a continuing Civil Rights Movement, the organization’s goal lies within illuminating and addressing the structural racism and police brutality that continues to plague the Black community. The media has been covering the movement since its inception and sways in its interpretation of BLM as a positive or negative movement. Using content analysis of newspaper articles, this study aims at evaluating how the media frames the Black Lives Matter Movement The significance behind this is found in the notion of frame alignment and how an individual or collective event is labeled. A frame is a “schemata of interpretation,” which when used on an element, operates to organize experience and guide action (Snow et. al:1986). However, there exists master and sub- frames which can be used individually or together to help further frame the movement as positive or negative.
The Impact of Risk Framing on Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories
Under the direction of Professor Keith Feigenson (Psychology)
In this investigation we were interested in seeing the impact of risk framing on general and Covid-19 conspiracy theories. It is important to study this because if we can identify what impacts the development of conspiracy theories, then we can try to mitigate their effects and the misinformation they cause. We hypothesized that participants who were shown a positive risk framing condition would be less likely to endorse conspiracy theories. The results did not support this hypothesis. The second hypothesis, that individuals who engage with general conspiracy theories are more likely to engage with Covid-19 conspiracies, was found that there was a significant correlation with the belief in general conspiracy theories that indicates whether an individual will engage in Covid-19 conspiracies. Additionally, we found that there is an impact on education level and conspiracy beliefs, such that the lower the education level of the participant, the more likely they were to endorse conspiracy theories. The investigation is important because the findings can be used to advise public health information and look a the way the information is distributed to help abate pandemics of misinformation.