The University of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate Research Symposium offers undergraduates the opportunity to present their research, creative work, or art performances to their peers, faculty, and the campus community. For more information, see the Undergraduate Research Symposium website . The 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium was held on Saturday, April 20, 2013.
Kaj Benson and Marissa Wallenberg
As research on sexuality expands, more interest has grown in understanding how social influences relate to people's sex practices (e.g., Ahrold & Meston, 2010; Davis &Friel, 2001; Meier, 2003; Potard, Courtois, & Rusch, 2008). However, little research has been done on how these factors influence cognitions about sexuality. Therefore, this study examined the relationships between peer and caregivers’ attitudes toward sexuality, experiences with sex education, religiosity, and participants' awareness and acceptance of their sexuality. A convenience sample of 77 college students completed eight surveys related to the above topics. All scales used a 5-point Likert scale. Results indicate a positive correlation between peers' attitudes toward sexuality and participants' sexual awareness (r(73) = .441, p < .001). Religiosity was negatively correlated with overall sexual awareness (r(73) = -.273, p = .018). Surprisingly, caregivers’ attitudes only significantly correlated with sexual depression (r(73) = .259, p = .025). Additionally, there was a positive correlation between religiosity and sex education (r(73) = .297, p = .009). Exploratory t-tests indicate that there is a significant difference between women’s and men’s sexual awareness scores (t(72) = -2.020), p = .047), in addition to a significant difference between queer participants and straight participants (t(72) = 4.508), p < .001). These results suggest that social factors can influence how people perceive their sexuality. The results and their implications will be discussed.
My research comes from three places: Commedia dell’ Arte style theatre, medieval period clothing, and current children’s movies. The costumes for the University of Minnesota, Morris spring children's show The King Stag are unique and imaginative in order to ensure that the show is as magical as possible for the children who attend. This show is a fairy tale about King Seren searching for a Queen who really loves him. When King Seren finds his love, the jealous Prime Minister casts a spell turning King Seren into a stag and himself into the king. Chaos breaks out in the kingdom but eventually everything is sorted out. The original intent of this script was to be performed in the Commedia dell’ Arte style, which originated in Italy in the 16th century and was characterized by masked “types,” but our pre-production discussions at UMM led us to a less traditional approach. The director of The King Stag liked the look of movies with three-dimensional animations made by companies such as Pixar or DreamWorks, so much of my inspiration designing these costumes comes from Brave and Shrek, as well as other classic Disney movies such as Snow White. The style of these costumes loosely reflects the setting in medieval England, but the costumes also include unexpected elements to add to the spectacle. My designs reflect elements from a combination of all these areas.
Most contemporary macroeconomic models account for unemployment by making the simplifying assumptions that 1) there is an equilibrium level of unemployment and that 2) when the economy is not at that level it will tend towards equilibrium. Implicit in these models is also the assumption that the actual behavior of unemployment does not affect the equilibrium level. This paper joins a growing number of economists pointing out that such assumptions are false: the equilibrium does depend on past behavior, a trait called hysteresis. This paper considers the hysteresis hypothesis by using an iterated version of OLS to construct a series for equilibrium unemployment. Regression analysis shows strong evidence that actual unemployment does affect its equilibrium level. This paper also focuses on one of the specific channels through which hysteresis supposedly works, called ranking. The ranking hypothesis asserts that while unemployed, workers’ skills degrade as they lose their connection to the labor market, so employers rank their potential new hires based on duration of unemployment. If the ranking hypothesis is true, then when average duration of unemployment rises, workers are less hirable and the equilibrium level of unemployment should also rise. Using statistical filtering to analyze the timing of changes in unemployment duration and the equilibrium level, this paper finds evidence for the ranking hypothesis and the hysteresis hypothesis. However, incorrect timing of events provides strong evidence against the connection between the ranking and hysteresis hypotheses, despite both hypotheses likely being true. Since unemployment is not self-correcting, policy must step in.
Kaitlyn Macheledt and Leah Monette
Forgiveness has been linked to aspects of the creative processes (e.g., mood, motivation, cognitive resources etc.) yet there is little research on the interaction of artistic expression and forgiveness. To evaluate the interaction between artistic expression in enabling interpersonal forgiveness, 45 undergraduate students were primed with unforgiveness by an eight minute conflict recall writing task adapted by Karremans, J.C., Van Lange, P.A.M., and Holland, R.W. (2005). The participants were randomly assigned to 3 conditions which each lasted 20 minutes. The conditions included Metaphor art making, Free Drawing art making or and a control task which used a digit symbol coding task. After each condition a 12 item self-report measure Transgression-Related Interpersonal Motivations (TRIM) inventory (McCullough et al.,1998) was used to assess levels of avoidance and revenge, two main indicators of unwillingness to forgive. Artwork created by participants in the Metaphor art making and Free Drawing art making conditions were collected. Of the participants who indicated they had not forgiven their offender, participants who were placed in the Free Drawing art making and Metaphor art making conditions were more likely to express revenge and avoidance towards their offender than those in the in the control condition. These results suggest that the act of drawing may increase unwillingness to forgive especially in the realm of revenge seeking and avoidance behaviors. This finding has implications for art therapists when working with clients who are working towards forgiving an interpersonal conflict.
Karremans, J.C., Van Lange, P.A.M., & Holland, R.W. (2005). Forgiveness and its associations with prosocial thinking, feeling and doing beyond the relationship of the offender. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31. 1315-1326.
The aim of this study was to test the implications of natural resource abundance for regional economic development for Williston, ND. Williston emerged as a natural choice for this study due to the recent crude oil production boom experienced by it post 2007. The implications of natural resource abundance on regional development are rather mixed in literature. While one strand of literature believes that natural resource industries often create forward linkages which supplement regional development, the other strand believes that it impedes regional development by diverting local resources. The prime objective of this study is to test these two strands of literature by examining the trends in production, local business activities and employment in Williston from 2000 to 2011. This study specifically looks to answer if the oil boom has managed to establish forward linkages by creating new local industries and businesses, generating employment as well as by developing new infrastructure projects post 2007.
We researched radio astronomical data from the star Omicron Ceti, more commonly known as Mira, to determine if there is evidence for orbiting planets. There is a variation in the silicon monoxide maser radial velocity of Mira that could have been due to the effect of orbiting planets. We analyzed the radial velocity data collected from Mira over the past forty years. The data were examined for periodicities. A periodicity refers to a repeating pattern within the data. Three possible frequencies were found. Each frequency within the star had the potential to be a pattern caused by an orbiting planet. The three frequencies were approximated with three sine waves. The radial velocity versus time was fit with a curve that was the sum of the three sine waves. The amplitudes of the fit sine waves model the change in velocity centroid of Mira possibly due to orbiting planets. From the wave amplitudes the masses of the suspected planets were estimated. If the periodicities of Mira were caused by orbiting planets, two of the “planets” would be about one twentieth the mass of Mira and the other “planet” would be about one fifth the mass of Mira. The amplitudes of the three fit sine waves are too large to be caused by orbiting planets. The changes in the velocity of Mira are probably due to periodicities within the star.
Elizabeth Munson and Kristina Grundmanis
Research suggests emotional expression is a successful tool for reducing stress in the short term (Pennebaker et al., 1990). The current study applied this approach to first generation college students (FGS). We hypothesized that emotional expression would reduce stress in FGS, and that the stress reduction would last longer in association with the number of emotional expression writing sessions. Although no group in the study showed a significant decrease in stress over the semester, having greater levels of social support was associated with lower anxiety.
Psychological Factors, Health Care Knowledge, and Experiences and How They Impact Students’ Illness Behaviors on a Rural Campus
Elizabeth Pappenfus and Chelsea Walsh
When entering college, most students go through critical transitional and developmental stages into adulthood (Montgomery & Cote, 2003). Therefore, it is necessary that college students use health care appropriately and maintain a good health status by exhibiting positive illness behaviors. Illness behavior is defined as the manner in which a person monitors their body, interprets their symptoms, and how they react to those symptoms. In the current study, the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1985) model, which combines attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control in order to predict health decision-making behavior, was used. In this study, we examined the current factors (i.e. past experiences, education, demographics as barriers, attitudes, and social support) that affect health-care seeking behavior intentions by students. We hypothesized that a high knowledge about health care, positive health care experiences, strong social support, and stable psychological variables (i.e. positive healthcare seeking attitudes) will better predict students’ illness behavior choices; while a rural setting could create negative barriers and predict lower health care utilization.
In the ethanol industry, several variables affect the amount and grade of ethanol that is produced which affects a plant’s ability to make a profit. This research is focused on one of those variables, ‘corn mash solid content’, which must be closely monitored before the fermentation step. If the mash out of the mix tank is the wrong consistency, the alpha-amylase and gluco-amylase enzymes will not efficiently break the starch into simple sugars that yeast can consume which will decrease the amount of ethanol produced. The mash solid and moisture content is measured daily in order to ensure that the plant will produce on average 2.8 gallons of ethanol for every bushel of corn ground. This places a large significance on the accuracy of the instruments used to analyze these samples.