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Honors Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Relationship Between Voter Perceptions Of Frequency Of Police Use Of Excessive Force And Support For The Death Penalty, Amelia Collins May 2023

The Relationship Between Voter Perceptions Of Frequency Of Police Use Of Excessive Force And Support For The Death Penalty, Amelia Collins

Honors Theses

Differing opinions of the death penalty continually conflict with the criminal justice system regarding support or opposition. Previous studies have described how sex and race influence one’s perception of the death penalty, whereas this study emphasizes various contributing predictors aside from sex and race. This study utilizes binary logistic regression to examine the relationship between voter perceptions of police use of excessive force and support for the death penalty along with voter demographics. Secondary data from the American National Election Studies (ANES) 2020 Time Series Survey was incorporated into the data set of this study. The current study is composed …


The Effect Of Gratitude And Compassion On Persuasion Processing, Patrick Otto Jan 2023

The Effect Of Gratitude And Compassion On Persuasion Processing, Patrick Otto

Honors Theses

The present study investigated the relationship between two positive emotions (gratitude and compassion) and persuasion susceptibility. Participants were randomly assigned to be induced to feel gratitude or compassion and read either strong or weak arguments. Participants then rated how favorable they found the arguments. We hypothesized that participants feeling gratitude would be more easily persuaded than those feeling compassion, particularly in the weak argument condition. The hypotheses were not supported. In the strong argument condition, the gratitude and compassion groups were equally persuaded. In the weak argument condition, the compassion group was more persuaded than the gratitude group, though not …


Marketing Through Microcultures On Social Media: An Examination Of Booktok And Independent Bookstores, Wandzia Prytko Jan 2023

Marketing Through Microcultures On Social Media: An Examination Of Booktok And Independent Bookstores, Wandzia Prytko

Honors Theses

This thesis explores the role of microcultures in social media marketing, by focusing on the BookTok microculture and its significant role in the marketing strategies of independent bookstores. The research includes an examination of microcultures and their impact on businesses, the effectiveness of the key social media marketing tactics used on TikTok, what BookTok is, how independent bookstores engage with BookTok, and an interview with an independent bookstore on their uses of BookTok.


Censorship In Schools: Reading's Position In The Landscape Of Policy Creation, Rachel Beckham Dec 2022

Censorship In Schools: Reading's Position In The Landscape Of Policy Creation, Rachel Beckham

Honors Theses

Censorship is not new to current issues. It has affected authors and speakers for centuries, but it is especially prevalent today, especially in schools. Teachers and librarians are often challenged for the materials they choose to provide to students. Concerned parents object to the materials for containing sexual content, profanity, or LGBTQ+ characters or themes. This study aims to answer the question, “What role, if any, do books containing controversial topics serve in the literature classrooms of today’s students?” To answer this question, the author of this study conducted a literary analysis on the top three most banned books of …


Neurotypes: Do Ocd, Adhd, And Autism Play A Role In Life Satisfaction?, Morgan Mcleod Evans Dec 2022

Neurotypes: Do Ocd, Adhd, And Autism Play A Role In Life Satisfaction?, Morgan Mcleod Evans

Honors Theses

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) are neurotypes that impact every aspect of life, including daily activities and socialization, which is why they have been shown in prior studies to negatively impact life satisfaction. This study compared the levels of life satisfaction now and before the COVID-19 pandemic in young adults (n = 324) with typical neurotypes, those with only ASD (autism), with only OCD, with only ADHD, with two of the neurotypes, and with all three neurotypes. Contrary to predictions from prior research, life satisfaction did not decrease after the onset …


Sexual Harassment In An Overlooked Occupation: Experiences Of Cna And The Influence Of Nurses, Audrey Pennington Dec 2022

Sexual Harassment In An Overlooked Occupation: Experiences Of Cna And The Influence Of Nurses, Audrey Pennington

Honors Theses

The prevalence of sexual harassment (SH) in health care facilities has been documented in previous research, but few studies have focused on Certified Nursing assistants (CNA; Burgess et al., 2018; Dean, 2020; Deery et al., 2011; Hibino et al., 2006). The purpose of this study is to explore SH that CNA experience from their patients and what influence supervising nurses may have in impacting the negative outcomes of SH. Participants (N = 95) were recruited to take an online survey through social media and snowball recruiting. The hypotheses of this study were not supported by the data, but results may …


Study Of Collective Self-Esteem And Academic Motivation Examining Perceptions Of Academic Statistics Of Black Traditional Undergraduate Students Attending A Pwi, Ariyah Robinson Dec 2022

Study Of Collective Self-Esteem And Academic Motivation Examining Perceptions Of Academic Statistics Of Black Traditional Undergraduate Students Attending A Pwi, Ariyah Robinson

Honors Theses

College enrollment for black traditional college-age students has been on the rise. Matriculation experienced a seven percent increase from 2000 to 2018 (NCES, 2020). However, Cokley et al. (2013) found that black students exhibit the highest minority stress among college students. Researchers also found that students may feel pressured to break stereotypes and perform well academically (Smith & Hope, 2020; Brooms, 2019; Mary et al., 2018). As more black students enroll in colleges nationwide, there is more than reasonable cause to continue examining how the matriculation of black students into predominantly white institutions impacts black students and their perceptions of …


Grieving Experiences Of Undergraduate College Students, Alexia V. Rehling Aug 2022

Grieving Experiences Of Undergraduate College Students, Alexia V. Rehling

Honors Theses

The purpose of this study was to compare the well-being of bereaved versus non-bereaved undergraduate students. Additionally, they were asked to report how many losses they have experienced, the characteristics of the most difficult loss, and their experiences with grief. Lastly, data on use of and access to support sources was collected as well as their perceived helpfulness. Results showed that bereaved undergraduates (i.e., those who indicated experiencing at least one significant loss) reported lower well-being than non-bereaved individuals. Further, 4% of participants met the criteria to receive a diagnosis of Prolonged Grief Disorder, 32.4% reported experiencing the separation distress …


Csi Effect: Exploring Impact Among Mississippi Lawyers, Jennie Odom Aug 2022

Csi Effect: Exploring Impact Among Mississippi Lawyers, Jennie Odom

Honors Theses

The “CSI Effect” suggests that a growing number of jurors often have unrealistic expectations concerning the amount of forensic evidence which should be reasonably presented to convict an alleged criminal, and this misconception arises from watching heavily dramatized crime shows such as the CSI franchise. While many scholars have examined the CSI Effect, one critical perspective is often missing from the existing literature, that of the lawyers. Therefore, this project worked to explore the perspectives of both defense attorneys and prosecutors. Personal interviews were conducted to gain insight and perspective regarding the CSI Effect, whether these perspectives had impacted the …


Distinctive Sans Forgetica Font Does Not Benefit Memory Accuracy In The Drm Paradigm, Anie Mitchell Aug 2022

Distinctive Sans Forgetica Font Does Not Benefit Memory Accuracy In The Drm Paradigm, Anie Mitchell

Honors Theses

A common method used by memory scholars to enhance retention is to make materials more challenging to learn—a benefit termed desirable difficulties. Recently, researchers have investigated the efficacy of Sans Forgetica, a perceptually disfluent or distinctive font, which may increase the processing effort required at study and, as a result, enhance memory. We examined the effects of Sans Forgetica relative to a standard control font (Arial) on both correct memory and associative memory errors using the Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) false memory paradigm. Across four experiments which included nearly 300 participants, Sans Forgetica was found to have no impact on correct or …


Refugee And Asylee Policy In The United States, Hannah Domsic Jun 2022

Refugee And Asylee Policy In The United States, Hannah Domsic

Honors Theses

This study aims to objectively examine the impact that the global refugee crisis has on the United States, and vice versa. Research was conducted on the history of refugee resettlement in the United States as well as current statistics in order to create an overview of the refugee process to the United States and how resettlement is handled. A map was also created of the top countries refugees flee from to visually illustrate the extensive process of refugees’ journeys to the United States. This project is rooted in communication theories to provide a framework of understanding how refugees in the …


Examination Of Sedentary Behavior And Stress Levels In Undergraduate Students At Western Michigan University, Samantha Putman Jun 2022

Examination Of Sedentary Behavior And Stress Levels In Undergraduate Students At Western Michigan University, Samantha Putman

Honors Theses

The intention of this research project is to provide a snapshot of current sedentary behavior and stress levels of undergraduate students at Western Michigan University (WMU). This project investigates two variables of interest in current undergraduate students at WMU to understand how much sedentary behavior and stress students are experiencing whilst pursuing their undergraduate degree. Both sedentary behavior and stress are often seen as underlying causes of multiple health issues, which is why they are variables of interest. Understanding these two variables can help the university support aspects of an undergraduate’s life affected by increased stress and sedentary behavior while …


The Effects Of “No Pro Homo” Policies On Lgbtq+ Perceptions In The American South, Isabella L. Brocato Jun 2022

The Effects Of “No Pro Homo” Policies On Lgbtq+ Perceptions In The American South, Isabella L. Brocato

Honors Theses

Five states in the American South currently have “no pro homo” policies in place, while an increasing number of bills targeting discussions about sexuality and gender identity in public schools are being introduced to House floors around the country. Although there is extensive research on the ways in which these policies put the physical and mental well-being of LGBTQ+ students at risk, there is little to no research about how they shape public perceptions of the LGBTQ+ community collectively. With inspiration from Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s social science study cited in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), this study works …


Evaluating The Effects Of Initial Testing On Misinformation Suggestibility For Eyewitnessed Videos, Wryleigh Shearin-Anderson Jun 2022

Evaluating The Effects Of Initial Testing On Misinformation Suggestibility For Eyewitnessed Videos, Wryleigh Shearin-Anderson

Honors Theses

Exposure to misleading details following an eyewitnessed event often leads to memory errors for these misleading details—a pattern termed the misinformation effect. A recent debate is whether completing a memory test after a witnessed event, but before exposure to misleading details, can reduce subsequent misinformation (a protective effect of testing; PET) or increase subsequent misinformation (retrieval-enhanced suggestibility; RES). We further evaluated the initial testing effects using witnessed videos (vs. static images) which often yield a RES pattern and using household scenes which often yield a PET pattern. Following study of four household videos (e.g., bathroom, bedroom, etc.) that depicted an …


Katrina Vs. Ida: A Comparative Analysis Of Fema Housing Recovery Efforts With Regard To Vulnerable Populations, Alyssa Harrynanan Jun 2022

Katrina Vs. Ida: A Comparative Analysis Of Fema Housing Recovery Efforts With Regard To Vulnerable Populations, Alyssa Harrynanan

Honors Theses

When Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana in 2005, it revealed disparities in the way that recovery efforts are handled after storms. For example, it demonstrated flaws in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s attempt to provide housing for disaster survivors. The agency failed to adequately accommodate vulnerable populations, including communities of color, low-income individuals, the elderly, and people with disabilities, in its housing recovery process. Since then, efforts have been made to reform the agency and ensure that all individuals, regardless of race, income, education or disability level, are accommodated by FEMA. However, when Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana exactly 16 years later …


Stigma And Rurality: How Community Type Influences Stigmatizing Views Toward Mental Illness, Kirsten P. Speights Jun 2022

Stigma And Rurality: How Community Type Influences Stigmatizing Views Toward Mental Illness, Kirsten P. Speights

Honors Theses

Public stigma, or a set of negative attitudes and beliefs that can contribute to discrimination against those with mental illnesses, negatively affects behavioral health care and may be particularly prevalent in rural communities. The goal of this study was to examine public stigma across rural, suburban, and urban communities, as well as its association with mental health symptoms. An online survey was conducted using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) service as well as the University of Southern Mississippi’s SONA platform. Demographic data, community type, and mental health symptoms were collected via self-report inventories. When looking at the combined SONA (n= 298) …


A Comparative Analysis Of Statutory Remedies For Wrongful Convictions In The Fifty States, Abigail St. John Jun 2022

A Comparative Analysis Of Statutory Remedies For Wrongful Convictions In The Fifty States, Abigail St. John

Honors Theses

Thousands of individuals have been wrongfully convicted across the United States. When an exoneration occurs, an individual’s conviction is absolved, and their innocence is proved through newly discovered evidence. While it might be impossible to protect from the errors of the criminal justice system, it is in the hands of the state to compensate the wrongly convicted. There is an abundance of research that focuses on reforming the existing wrongful conviction compensation legislation, but there is a lack of scholarly data that explains the motivations behind this compensation. Moreover, few researchers have considered the role of partisanship and political parties …


Women Are More Likely To Use Tentative Language, I Think: A Literary And Statistical Analysis Of Ulysses By James Joyce And Debate Speech, Cozette Blumenfeld, Claire Bracken, Tomas Dvorak Jun 2022

Women Are More Likely To Use Tentative Language, I Think: A Literary And Statistical Analysis Of Ulysses By James Joyce And Debate Speech, Cozette Blumenfeld, Claire Bracken, Tomas Dvorak

Honors Theses

Language and its utilization can provide valuable information about individuals and their cultural norms. Negotiation is a major factor of the gender wage gap, perpetuated by gender bias. This paper seeks to discover—does language influence gendered cultural norms? Or reflect it? This thesis is divided into eight sections that engage the relationship between gender and language in literature and debate speech. Through critical literary and statistical analysis of the “Penelope” and “Proteus” chapters of Ulysses by James Joyce, it is evident that the female chapter’s invalidation found in literary criticism is from the reception of her speech, and not the …


Revisiting Realignment Theory: Transformation In Suburban And Rural America From 2008 To 2020, Nathaniel Hutton Jun 2022

Revisiting Realignment Theory: Transformation In Suburban And Rural America From 2008 To 2020, Nathaniel Hutton

Honors Theses

My thesis topic evaluates Democratic and Republican electoral performance in suburban and rural areas through the lens of realignment theory. Aided by GIS maps, my analysis utilizes election data from the 2008 and 2020 presidential elections. I went about this by first reviewing relevant literature on realignment theory, beginning with its genesis in by V.O. Key in 1955. I then began reviewing literature on rural and suburban voting patterns, as well as research on geographic influences on electoral coalitions. My original research is thus aimed at bridging the gap between three distinct fields of political science literature: geographic sorting/polarization and …


The Effects Of Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries On Local Opioid Mortality, Patrick Morrison Jun 2022

The Effects Of Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries On Local Opioid Mortality, Patrick Morrison

Honors Theses

This study examines how recreational marijuana dispensaries in Colorado affect opioid mortality at the county level. Using a difference-in-difference model with county and year fixed effects, I estimate the impact of recreational marijuana dispensary access on fatal opioid overdoses. Additionally, I employ distance from a major roadway and border as two instrumental variables to help limit the endogeneity associated with the location of dispensaries. Previous studies have shown that medical and recreational marijuana dispensary access decreases opioid mortality at the state level. Still, no study has explored the connection between recreational marijuana dispensaries and overdoses at the county level. Using …


Mental Health Is Wealth Too: Did The Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion Improve Mental Health Outcomes?, Dereck Wang Jun 2022

Mental Health Is Wealth Too: Did The Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion Improve Mental Health Outcomes?, Dereck Wang

Honors Theses

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has greatly exacerbated mental health, which has long been a growing problem in the United States; poor mental health not only jeopardizes the well-being of Americans but also has severe implications for America’s economy. Not only do mental health conditions have significant costs of treatment, but the absenteeism, presenteeism, early retirement, and mortality stemming from poor mental health also severely impact productivity. One health policy that could alleviate this problem is Medicaid expansion. The Affordable Care Act gave states the choice to expand Medicaid eligibility for individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty …


Finance And Fear: Sentiment, Media, And Financial Markets During The Covid-19 Pandemic, Alison N. Sommers Jun 2022

Finance And Fear: Sentiment, Media, And Financial Markets During The Covid-19 Pandemic, Alison N. Sommers

Honors Theses

This thesis aims to build on existing research of market psychology and the effect of sentiment on financial markets. The main objective of this study is to determine the ability of investors to make rational decisions during the most recent period of high sentiment. The anomalies that have occurred in the stock market can be better understood by market psychology which focuses on the biases and social factors that influence investors. The media is a newly relevant factor impacting the volume of sentiment present in the market. A review of literature reveals that many studies of sentiment and financial market’s …


Investigating The Effects Of Covid-19 Blame And Racist Language On Asian Americans, Adenike Hickson Jun 2022

Investigating The Effects Of Covid-19 Blame And Racist Language On Asian Americans, Adenike Hickson

Honors Theses

We conducted a study to test our hypothesis that racist language and blame related to the COVID-19 pandemic might have a negative impact on Asian Americans’ sense of belonging in the United States. We presented Asian American participants (total N = 271) with a non-racist or racist language flier, paired with a low blame or high blame passage of text with fabricated statistics about how much the average White American blames Asian Americans for the COVID-19 pandemic. We predicted that participants in the racist language and high blame condition would report greater perceived increases in prejudice since the start of …


Future Parents: Associations Between Social Media Use, Parenting Styles, And Parenthood Desires, Kennedy Evins Jun 2022

Future Parents: Associations Between Social Media Use, Parenting Styles, And Parenthood Desires, Kennedy Evins

Honors Theses

Research suggests that college students without children have opinions about parenting styles and practices, which may influence future parenting intentions and behaviors. In addition, research indicates that media exposure affects fertility desires in women. The present study explored how pre-parent college students view parenthood by examining the impact of social media use on perceptions of parenting, parenthood intentions, and anticipated parenting styles. One hundred nineteen (N = 119) college students completed measures that assessed social media use, perceptions of parenting, parenthood intentions, and anticipated parenting styles. Demographic variables such as parental status, race, age, and gender were also collected. …


Media Framing And Respectability Narratives In #Blacklivesmatter: A Twitter Analysis, Sherrice Wright Jun 2022

Media Framing And Respectability Narratives In #Blacklivesmatter: A Twitter Analysis, Sherrice Wright

Honors Theses

The purpose of this study is to examine community dialogues on the social media platform, Twitter, in order to better understand how conventional media framing influences conversations on social media. The Black Lives Matter movement, one of the most prominent, current social justice movements, was founded on Twitter. Since then this platform has played a pivotal role in gaining awareness for issues of marginalized citizens. While Black Lives Matter has had a key role in the development of public perception, so has the traditional media. Through the use of media framing, the dominant class has the ability to reinforce or …


Tracking Xenophobic Terminology On Twitter Using Nlp, Harper Lyon Jun 2022

Tracking Xenophobic Terminology On Twitter Using Nlp, Harper Lyon

Honors Theses

Social media is a major driver of political thought, with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok having a massive impact on how people think and vote. For this reason we should take seriously any large shifts in the language used to describe issues or groups on social media, as these are likely to either denote a change in political thought or even forecast the same. Of particular interest, given the international reach of social media, is the way that discussions around foreign relations and immigration play out. In the United States of America online spaces have become the default space …


The Influence Of Body Temperature On Motion Patterns On Anolis Lizard Visual Display, Timothy P. Fagan Jun 2022

The Influence Of Body Temperature On Motion Patterns On Anolis Lizard Visual Display, Timothy P. Fagan

Honors Theses

Anolis sagrei has a display in the form of bobbing its head up and down. In order to more accurately understand the communication and honesty of the display two experiments were done. Honesty, in reference to it being an honest signal; meaning that this form of communication is correlated with the condition of the animal. The first experiment examined the lizards in a recreated environment. By controlling the temperature of the setting and recording the interaction we were able to determine how changing the temperature could cause a difference in display. The second experiment examined the lizard's ability to see …


How Presidential Disapproval Affects Bitcoin Returns: A Product Of The President, Joseph Libretti Jun 2022

How Presidential Disapproval Affects Bitcoin Returns: A Product Of The President, Joseph Libretti

Honors Theses

There has been a growing fascination for decentralized electronic assets, and Bitcoin has emerged as the face and leader of the movement. There have been three different presidents coinciding with the growth of Bitcoin. Since the creation of Bitcoin, each president has faced periods of net disapproval, and these periods have been the norm throughout Obama’s, Trump’s, and Biden’s presidencies. There is currently no existing literature on Presidential ratings as a predictor of Bitcoin, however, there has been research on the predictors of Bitcoin and Presidential ratings as a predictor of financial markets. I hypothesized that increases in net disapproval …


Changes In Work Hours During The Covid-19 Pandemic By Sex, Marital Status, And Parental Status, Margaret Hayes Jun 2022

Changes In Work Hours During The Covid-19 Pandemic By Sex, Marital Status, And Parental Status, Margaret Hayes

Honors Theses

In the past several decades, there has been a cultural movement towards women being employed in the labor force rather than working in the home. With the Covid-19 pandemic, as many workers began to work from home, boundaries between home and work became less clear. Using pooled cross-sectional data from the 2019-2020 American Time Use Survey I examine how the work hours of different groups were impacted during the pandemic, with respect to sex, marital status, and parental status. I find that work hours decreased most significantly for partnered mothers who did not work from home. Partnered mothers likely reduced …


Timing Is Stressful: Do Listeners Combine Meaning And Rhythm To Predict Speech?, Molly Mcleod Jun 2022

Timing Is Stressful: Do Listeners Combine Meaning And Rhythm To Predict Speech?, Molly Mcleod

Honors Theses

English and other languages such as German are stress-timed languages: the timing of the speech is determined by stressed and unstressed syllables, providing structure for sentences. While natural speech is not generally metrically regular, like in Shakespearean poetry, it still conveys timing cues through stress. Prior research has found that metric regularity enhances the processing of words (Rothermich et al, 2012), potentially because it attunes listeners’ attention to the predictability of stressed, and therefore important, syllables. Other work (e.g., Rogers, 2017) has suggested that predictability in the form of semantic associations (e.g., hearing “barn” facilitates understanding of “hay”) is a …