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In My Softest & Most Liberatory Dreams: Reflections On Holding Complexity & Decentering Whiteness, Richard C. Clark Jun 2024

In My Softest & Most Liberatory Dreams: Reflections On Holding Complexity & Decentering Whiteness, Richard C. Clark

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

As the world contends with a global pandemic, climate catastrophes, white supremacy, coloniality, and concurrent genocides my attention splinters. In an act of futurity, or future making, I ask myself: What is needed to move from this place toward softer, more liberatory futures? This body of work finds its answer in exploring two interrelated concepts: Decentering Whiteness and Holding Complexity. Decentering Whiteness is the process of working toward a future where all the personal, spiritual, educational, epistemological, social, structural, psychological, financial, and systemic ties to white supremacy are unraveled. Holding Complexity weaves together knowledges of care, accountability, intersectionality, and …


A Pearl Ravaged: The Paradox Of Haiti And Its Socioeconomic Origins, Isabel Ishibe Exel Feb 2024

A Pearl Ravaged: The Paradox Of Haiti And Its Socioeconomic Origins, Isabel Ishibe Exel

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Saint-Domingue was once the most profitable colony of the Caribbean, the so-called pearl of the Antilles. Nowadays, Haiti is known for being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, a dramatic shift that raises the question of the factors contributing to Haiti's current state, marked by persistent violence, natural disasters, and political instability. Various discourses have framed Haiti as a country doomed for failure. However, relying on binary concepts such as success and failure is counterproductive to a refined analysis. How, then, should we structure this conversation? My ultimate goal for this work is to provide a nuanced analysis of …


Seeing Safety In Red: Expressions Of Interpersonal Gratitude Affects Conservatives’ Political Attitudes In The United States, Kyle M. Anderson Feb 2024

Seeing Safety In Red: Expressions Of Interpersonal Gratitude Affects Conservatives’ Political Attitudes In The United States, Kyle M. Anderson

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The current research focuses on how the expression of interpersonal gratitude might affect conservative attitudes, behaviors, and policy support in the United States. This was investigated either through expressions of gratitude or receiving gratitude to an interpersonally close other, as in Studies 1 and 2, or expressing gratitude to an authority figure or equal in one’s life, as in Study 3. Study 1 showed that expressing gratitude, relative to receiving gratitude, reduced support for general conservative ideology. Using serial mediation analyses, Study 2 demonstrated that expressions of gratitude, relative to receiving gratitude, directly reduced perceptions of relational uncertainty, which increased …


How Smoking Became A Moral Issue: A Complex Systems Perspective On Moralization, Matthew Vanaman Sep 2023

How Smoking Became A Moral Issue: A Complex Systems Perspective On Moralization, Matthew Vanaman

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

When something is morally wrong, it is in the moral domain; when something becomes morally wrong, it is moralized. But how do we know when something is in the moral domain, and how can we tell whether something is becoming moralized? The empirical study of morality, or a given person’s judgment of what constitutes moral virtue or vice, has historically approached these questions through one of three theoretical perspectives: cognitivism, which argues that people primarily or mostly use effortful thought to judge right from wrong; emotivism, which sees these judgments as flowing from emotion; and dual-process models, which …


Health Care Providers' Attributions Of Blame For Unintended Pregnancy And Hiv Acquisition Among Cisgender Women, Alison J. Goldberg Sep 2023

Health Care Providers' Attributions Of Blame For Unintended Pregnancy And Hiv Acquisition Among Cisgender Women, Alison J. Goldberg

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Unintended pregnancy and HIV are both possible but preventable outcomes of vaginal sex, and both can be prevented in similar ways (condoms, daily oral medication, etc.). Despite these similarities, providers more readily prescribe contraception to cisgender women, compared to PrEP (Guttmacher Institute, 2021; Raifman et al., 2019). Providers’ differential willingness to prescribe each medication cannot be attributed merely to differences in women’s need for pregnancy prevention vs. HIV prevention, as women account for nearly 20% of new HIV infections (CDC, 2021). Through three studies, I examined whether perceivers’ support for harm reduction (i.e., prescribing PrEP/contraception) and behavior reduction (i.e., discouraging …


Bargaining In The Shadow Of The Truth: How Client Assertion, Perception Of Guilt, And Predictive Inaccuracy Influence Plea Recommendations, Anna D. Vaynman Sep 2023

Bargaining In The Shadow Of The Truth: How Client Assertion, Perception Of Guilt, And Predictive Inaccuracy Influence Plea Recommendations, Anna D. Vaynman

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Over the past few decades, the largely hidden, secretive, and widely used system of plea bargaining has caught the fervent attention of scholars. The Shadow of the Trial model has been central to much of the plea-bargaining literature, despite significant critiques about its oversimplification. The model posits that defendants and their attorneys make plea decisions based largely on the estimated probability of conviction and the severity of the sentence to which the defendant could be exposed at trial.

The model, however, assumes that all actors are rational, equally risk averse, have no competing interests, and possess high predictive accuracy. It …


Wanting Under Surveillance: A Critical Analysis Of Young Women’S Sexual Desire, Jennifer Chmielewski Sep 2023

Wanting Under Surveillance: A Critical Analysis Of Young Women’S Sexual Desire, Jennifer Chmielewski

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The negotiation of sexual desire is argued to be a vital part of the development of women’s sense of agency and well-being. Whereas desire is a concept that is widely used, measured, and diagnosed, women’s experiences of desire are poorly understood. Heeding the calls of feminist psychologists for conceptual analysis, and the need to examine desire within the multiple intimate and sociopolitical contexts in which sexuality develops, my dissertation is a critical feminist analysis of young women’s desire, centered on their subjective and embodied experiences. Moving beyond questions of what women desire or how much desire they have, I explore …


Epistemic Virtue And Receptivity To Science In Policing, Braden L. Campbell Sep 2023

Epistemic Virtue And Receptivity To Science In Policing, Braden L. Campbell

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation investigates the underexplored relationship between character epistemology and its potential to explain behavior, decision-making, and culture within the criminal justice system, particularly the police. Building on the existing theoretical framework of evidence-based policing (EBP) and the recognized gap in understanding police receptivity to science, this study hypothesized that intellectual character at personal and collective levels positively correlates with science receptivity.

Epistemic character was defined through the aggregation of four traits: open-mindedness, defensiveness, insouciance, and groupthink. Science receptivity was measured by openness to change, desire to learn, reliance on intuition, and mistrust of science. Data were collected through surveys …


You Hurt My Feelings: Autonomic And Behavioral Responses To Social Exclusion And The Moderating Effect Of Psychopathic Traits, Liat Kofler Sep 2023

You Hurt My Feelings: Autonomic And Behavioral Responses To Social Exclusion And The Moderating Effect Of Psychopathic Traits, Liat Kofler

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Humans have a fundamental need to form and maintain social connections, and thus experiencing social exclusion is extremely distressing as it threatens this basic human need. Individuals who are socially excluded often respond aggressively, not only towards their ostracizers but also towards innocent bystanders, with ostracism being implicated in extreme acts of violence such as school shootings. However, individual differences in behavior exist within the context of social exclusion as not everyone responds aggressively after being ostracized. Identifying risk factors for retaliatory aggressive behavior following experiences of social exclusion may facilitate the development of targeted interventions aimed at mitigating such …


Observers' Perceptions Of Rapport In Accusatorial Interrogations, Gabriela Rico Sep 2023

Observers' Perceptions Of Rapport In Accusatorial Interrogations, Gabriela Rico

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Rapport is widely regarded as a necessary precondition for interrogations and is thought to lay the foundation for the success of later interrogation techniques. In accusatorial contexts in which suspects are often resistant to disclose potentially self-incriminating information, rapport enables interrogators to gain the suspect’s trust, respect, and cooperation. Although the specific psychological mechanisms by which rapport achieves these effects are largely understudied, rapport-building techniques resemble principles of social influence (Goodman-Delahunty & Howes, 2014), specifically persuasion. Techniques such as establishing common ground, engaging in active listening, demonstrating empathy, and disclosing personal information may serve as impression management strategies, which allow …


Conservative And Cultural Clashes With Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Bryan Z. Anderson Jun 2023

Conservative And Cultural Clashes With Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Bryan Z. Anderson

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis analyzes the multifaceted debate over the use of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in United States public schools, while also emphasizing the ways in which withholding CSE is a strategy to uphold the white supremacist patriarchy. The work begins by historically framing the evolution of sexuality education through the United States’ history. This leads to the current discourse around CSE and the ways in which it is the optimal support for American youth today. After setting this foundation, the thesis looks at conservative figures and groups who are seeking to prevent public school adoption of CSE standards, as well …


Examining The Role Of Evidence-Based Suspicion In Racial Disparities In Wrongful Convictions, Jacqueline Katzman Jun 2023

Examining The Role Of Evidence-Based Suspicion In Racial Disparities In Wrongful Convictions, Jacqueline Katzman

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

There are clear racial disparities in the rates of wrongful convictions, with Black exonerees disproportionately represented among the population of those exonerated, in DNA and non-DNA exonerations alike (National Registry of Exonerations, 2022; Innocence Project, 2022). This racial disparity also exists for those exonerees who were wrongfully convicted, at least in part, because an eyewitness mistakenly identified them. For decades, when eyewitness scholars explored racial bias, they focused on the cross-race effect or own-race bias among eyewitnesses, a bias positing that witness performance suffers when a witness is asked to make an identification of a cross-race face (Lee & Penrod, …


An Offer You Cannot Refuse: Understanding The Elusive Construct Of "Voluntary" Plea Decisions, Melanie B. Fessinger Jun 2023

An Offer You Cannot Refuse: Understanding The Elusive Construct Of "Voluntary" Plea Decisions, Melanie B. Fessinger

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Defendants often plead guilty in exchange for reduced punishments. Some argue that these reduced punishments are necessary for the functioning of the criminal justice system, whereas others argue that they are inherently coercive because they place a burden on the exercise of constitutional rights. This potential coercion is of concern because the constitution requires valid guilty pleas to be made by defendants voluntarily. However, “voluntary” is an elusive construct of which courts, scholars, and laypeople have differing definitions. Although limited research has focused specifically on perceptions of voluntary pleas, decades of research have shown that individuals generally perceive decisions more …


Voiding The Unwanted Self: An Examination Of Racialized Violence In The United States, Benjamin Stark Jun 2023

Voiding The Unwanted Self: An Examination Of Racialized Violence In The United States, Benjamin Stark

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation is concerned with the role of the psychic defenses projection and projective identification in the processes which lead to racialized violence in the United States. The dissertation posits that projection has been less considered as a primary driver of racialized violence than other psychic processes and should be better integrated into psychological research and literature on racialized violence. The thesis begins with a detailed examination of two instances of racialized violence, the first a macro example of nation vs. nation: the United States’ invasion of Iraq in 2003, before which the United States fantasized Iraq was developing weapons …


Confusion Of Tongues: Translation And Transfers Of Attachment In A Post-Monolingual Condition, Hiji Nam Feb 2023

Confusion Of Tongues: Translation And Transfers Of Attachment In A Post-Monolingual Condition, Hiji Nam

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

“Confusion of Tongues” proposes an intersubjective, dialogic approach to translation, psycholinguistics, and patient and clinicians’ relationships to the “mother tongue” and secondary languages. By tuning in to linguistic and translational shifts, stutters, and gaps, the study presents a consideration of the challenges and rewards presented by what I call a “post-monolingual clinical condition.” An individual’s self-state in a specific language will be shadowed by the emotional history and associations one brings to that language, which will also ripple into the counter-transferential matrix—we might call this the “transference to language,” or attachment styles that manifest and repeat an individual’s forgotten libidinal …


Fathers Are Fathers Are Fathers: How Sociocultural Context And Sexual Orientation Influence The Gendering Of Children, Sarah M. Frantz Sep 2022

Fathers Are Fathers Are Fathers: How Sociocultural Context And Sexual Orientation Influence The Gendering Of Children, Sarah M. Frantz

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Though the body of literature on gay father-headed families indicates there is no significant differences on measures of gender normativity and well-being between children raised with two dads and their peers raised by heterosexual parents, there is a proliferation of anti-LGBTQ+ policies throughout the United States aimed at limiting this community’s rights and silencing their lived experiences. Given that sociocultural and political environments vary greatly state-to-state, it is important to see how the specific context in which fathers live may impact their differential parenting of sons and daughters, their gender beliefs, and the way they feel they would navigate gender …


The Effects Of False Heartbeat Feedback On Moral Judgment, Scott Koenig Sep 2022

The Effects Of False Heartbeat Feedback On Moral Judgment, Scott Koenig

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Research on human morality is at a crossroads, with one side claiming that moral judgment is the result of rational inference and the other side claiming that it is the result of emotion-laden intuition. This study investigated whether emotion drives moral judgment by manipulating a core component of the experience of emotion: physiological arousal. The sample consisted of 77 undergraduate students at Brooklyn College (57% women, 43% men; mean age = 20.1). One group of participants was led to believe their heart was beating quickly, and another group slowly, while they read and evaluated a series of text vignettes depicting …


The Role Of Mortality Salience And Social Identity In Police Officers And Students Reporting Misconduct, Anna M. Stenkamp Sep 2022

The Role Of Mortality Salience And Social Identity In Police Officers And Students Reporting Misconduct, Anna M. Stenkamp

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Over the past several decades, high-profile police shootings, police brutality, and police misconduct have contributed to a decreased trust in policing in the United States. Beyond the severity and abuse of power, many of these incidents have also revealed that officers have covered up these incidents from the public. The refusal of police officers to both report misconduct or cover it up is well established and known as the “blue wall of silence.” However, no previous studies have examined the psychological processes behind this failure to report fellow officer misconduct. Two psychological theories that may explain this failure are Terror …


An Interdisciplinary Approach To The Epistemic Value Of Moral Ambiguity, Jordan Wylie Sep 2022

An Interdisciplinary Approach To The Epistemic Value Of Moral Ambiguity, Jordan Wylie

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Morality is a critical aspect of life––it influences how we think, design political and legal systems, who we connect with, our norms, and the types of stories we tell. Yet, even with the well documented influence of morality on many aspects of life, exactly what makes moral themes so fascinating remains elusive. This dissertation aims to introduce Moral Worldbuilding as a theory for understanding our epistemic drives toward morally ambiguous and morally bad content.

In Chapter I, we introduce the problem of moral badness, which is not well handled by extant moral literature. To combat this, we offer a new …


Exploring Social Identity Threat And Safety Cues For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, And Queer Cisgender Women In Ob/Gyn Care, Rachel Fikslin Jun 2022

Exploring Social Identity Threat And Safety Cues For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, And Queer Cisgender Women In Ob/Gyn Care, Rachel Fikslin

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual and queer (LGBPQ) cisgender women (CW) experience a number of health inequities compared to heterosexual cisgender women related to sexual and reproductive health. Heterosexist health care cultures may signal social identity threat for LGBPQ-CW that may undermine their health care engagement and outcomes. In three online studies, I examined the effects of two heterosexist cultures (i.e., gender essentialism and pronatalism) as well as two potentially identity-safe alternatives (i.e., gender diversity and reproductive/sexual autonomy) on the identity threat and health care engagement experiences of LGBPQ-CW in OB/GYN care.

In Study 1 (n = 213), I used …


Unraveling The Double-Bind: An Investigation Of Black And Latina Women In Stem, Katlyn L. Milless Jun 2022

Unraveling The Double-Bind: An Investigation Of Black And Latina Women In Stem, Katlyn L. Milless

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Civil rights activist Robert P. Moses was a driving force in defining equitable dissemination of quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education as an act of social justice. My work borrows this frame to highlight access to STEM education as a civil rights issue and to emphasize the importance of taking a social justice approach to interventions for those who experience intersecting systems of oppression (i.e., Black and Latina women), and for whom previous intervention efforts have not adequately addressed. Ameliorating racial and gender disparities through fostering psychological safety (e.g., belonging) in STEM fields has been a substantive focus …


A Solitary Solidarity: Conditions For Attunement In The "Migration Crisis" In Greece, Katherine Sheese Jun 2022

A Solitary Solidarity: Conditions For Attunement In The "Migration Crisis" In Greece, Katherine Sheese

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

In this dissertation I draw on ethnographic field work and qualitative interviews with activist volunteers in Greece in 2016 to explore the conditions for ethical and affective attunement in the face of crisis and complicity. I offer a thick description of the multiple injuries to one’s senses and sensemaking capacities and the contradictions, tensions, dilemmas that undermine the capacity for attunement, a term I use to refer to the overlapping abilities to feel, to be moved, and to locate oneself and to connect to others. I begin by developing a contextual analysis of the complex and contradictory machinery of …


Happiness And Policy Implications: A Sociological View, Sarah M. Kahl Jun 2022

Happiness And Policy Implications: A Sociological View, Sarah M. Kahl

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The World Happiness Report is released every year, ranking each country by who is “happier” and explaining the variables and data they have used. This project attempts to build from that base and create a machine learning algorithm that can predict if a country will be in a “happy” or “could be happier” category. Findings show that taking a broader scope of variables can better help predict happiness. Policy implications are discussed in using both big data and considering social indicators to make better and lasting policies.


The Psychological Allure Of Alford: Why Innocents Plead Guilty, Johanna Hellgren Sep 2021

The Psychological Allure Of Alford: Why Innocents Plead Guilty, Johanna Hellgren

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The Alford plea allows defendants to maintain their innocence while accepting a plea. Although this plea is more prevalent than jury trials, it is largely unknown to both lay people and researchers (Redlich & Özdoğru, 2009). Legal scholars have argued that the Alford plea may present an undue influence on innocent defendants who may not otherwise accept a plea, while other assert that the Alford plea is a beneficial alternative for defendants who want to preserve their reputation (Ronis, 2009; Ward, 2004). However, no research to date has explored either of these assumptions.

The goals of the current research were …


What We Owe To Our Audience: The Hermeneutical Responsibility Of Fiction Creators, Kathryn Wojtkiewicz Sep 2021

What We Owe To Our Audience: The Hermeneutical Responsibility Of Fiction Creators, Kathryn Wojtkiewicz

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The goal of this project is to provide a theoretical underpinning for the belief that creators of fiction should dedicate time to diversifying the cast of characters in their fictions, and to avoiding harmful stereotypes when doing so. I establish this as a hermeneutical responsibility: because of the epistemic influence fictions can wield over their audiences, trafficking in harmful stereotypes of marginalized identities (instances of which I call Bad Representation Problems) or excluding marginalized identities entirely (which I call No Representation Problems) from one’s fictions can reinforce harmful beliefs about real people with those identities. The more popular the fiction, …


The Online Impossible Anagram Task: Development And Testing Of A Novel Online Cheating Paradigm, Emily Joseph Sep 2021

The Online Impossible Anagram Task: Development And Testing Of A Novel Online Cheating Paradigm, Emily Joseph

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

For the past fifteen years, the Russano et al. (2005) cheating paradigm has dominated research in the forensic psychological literature. While this paradigm successfully activates theoretical mechanisms for ethical decision-making, applying the methods for online data collection is cumbersome and retains a confound inherent in the design. Alternative cheating paradigms from both the psychology and economics literatures were evaluated for their suitability for an online cheating paradigm. The impossible anagram task was selected as most likely to elicit the same internal and external cost-benefit analyses online as the Russano et al. (2005) cheating paradigm does in-person: self-concept maintenance, ethical dissonance, …


Connect Or Protect: The Impact Of Ghosting On Potential Partner Perception And Pursuit, Maureen Coyle Sep 2021

Connect Or Protect: The Impact Of Ghosting On Potential Partner Perception And Pursuit, Maureen Coyle

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

As an increasing number of individuals seek meaningful connections in online dating, it is important to understand how online dating users’ perceptions and behaviors vary because of contact being terminated with them without warning (i.e., being ghosted) and their regulatory focus. Research on how being ghosted affects users’ expectations and pursuit of potential partners is limited, despite ghosting being a pervasive online dating experience. Also, the role of users’ motivational systems of goal pursuit, namely regulatory focus (promotion focus: motive to affiliate/connect with others, prevention focus: motive to avoid rejection/protect the self), on users’ expectations and pursuit of potential partners …


The Influence Of Evidence-Based Sex Discrimination Policies On Women’S Perceptions Of Organizational Climate, Sexism, And Identity Safety, Maya A. Godbole Sep 2021

The Influence Of Evidence-Based Sex Discrimination Policies On Women’S Perceptions Of Organizational Climate, Sexism, And Identity Safety, Maya A. Godbole

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Sexism has proven to be a stubborn barrier to women’s participation and advancement in workplaces and academic institutions (Rosette, Akinola, & Ma, 2017). Importantly, sexism in organizational settings has endured despite the implementation of federal, state, and organizational policies that prohibit discriminatory behavior. One reason for this may be that because organizational policies are typically written for the purpose of complying to federal and state laws, they do little to foster psychological safety among employees and address the “chilly” organizational climates that enable sexism. To that end, the current research aimed to (a) develop novel, evidence-based sex discrimination policies and …


The Influence Of Prosecutorial Overcharging On Defendant And Defense Attorney Plea Decision Making: Documenting And Debiasing The Anchoring Effect, Stephanie Aurora Cardenas Sep 2021

The Influence Of Prosecutorial Overcharging On Defendant And Defense Attorney Plea Decision Making: Documenting And Debiasing The Anchoring Effect, Stephanie Aurora Cardenas

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Strategic overcharging, a practice that some prosecutors readily employ to threaten defendants with excessively severe sentences, undermines the Sixth Amendment right to trial by coercing defendants to plead guilty rather than face penalties disproportionate to their alleged misconduct. Legal scholars and psychologists have long suggested that strategic overcharging may elicit powerful anchoring effects that bias defendants’, but not attorneys’ evaluations, of the plea offer. The current research sought to examine (a) the extent to which mock defendants and legal professionals were susceptible to the anchoring bias, (b) elucidate the mechanism underlying susceptibility to the anchoring effect in plea contexts, and …


Information Justice: The Histories And Futures Of Technology And Social Categories, Patrick Sweeney Jun 2021

Information Justice: The Histories And Futures Of Technology And Social Categories, Patrick Sweeney

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

My dissertation examines two controversies related to emergent uses of information from social media in psychological research and application. It focuses on controversies surrounding studies of face-based gaydar and the use of psychographic targeting by Cambridge Analytica in the 2016 US presidential election. Each controversy is analyzed in a case study that explores the issues specific to that study in relation to broader patterns across contexts to identify emergent trends in the use of information from social media in psychological research. Qualitative Content Analysis is used to analyze extant texts relevant to each case. In each study, findings related to …