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College of Liberal and Fine Arts


UTSA Psychology Highly Visible at Society for Personality and Social Psychology

February 15, 2016

UTSA was strongly represented at this year’s meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in San Diego.  The findings of 10 separate research projects, featuring the collaborative efforts of 6 Psychology faculty and 13 Psychology students, were presented at the conference.  Notably, there were as many UTSA faculty and students involved in SPSP this year as faculty and students from nationally known psychology programs such as University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, Texas A&M, and University of Massachusetts (Amherst).  Approximately 2600 social and personality researchers from more than 700 colleges, universities, and research institutes around the world presented at this year’s meeting, and SPSP estimated that 4100 people were in attendance. 


The UTSA research projects presented at this year’s SPSP are listed below alphabetically by first author.  Current and former PSY-B.A. students are indicated with a “1”, current and former PSY-M.S. students are indicated with a “2”, and current and former PSY-Ph.D. students are indicated with a “3.”




Title:  The Effects of Alcohol and Fertility on Women's Sexual Decision Making
Authors:  Altgelt, Emma2, Zawacki, Tina, Fernandez, Andrea1, & Wang, Alexander2
Abstract:  This experiment examined the effects of intoxication and fertility status on women’s perceptions of men during speed-dating interactions. Fertility status and manipulated alcohol condition influenced women’s relationship interest in and sexual risk assessment of interaction partners. These findings hold implications for alcohol myopia and evolutionary theories of sexual risk behavior.


Title:  Comfort or Affiliation?  Behavioral Preferences Following Pain, Failure and Thwarted Belongingness
Authors:  Bennett, Janet3 & Baumann, Michael
Abstract:  Researchers assessed interest in comforting solitary and comforting social behaviors in response to vignettes representing pain, failure and thwarted belongingness. Results suggest previous findings of increased affiliation following thwarted belongingness may be related to the restriction of behavioral choices in the experimental design.


Title:  Comparing the Influence of Social Networks and Social Media on Personal Attitudes Toward Flu Vaccines
Authors:  Berzins, Tiffany3, Fuhrman, Robert, & Haider, Rida1
Abstract:  Following a health behavior framework, this project investigated whether social networks and social media use would contribute separately and uniquely to undergraduates’ vaccine-related attitudes. Our results indicate that both social networks and social media influence attitudes but social networks also influence immunization intent.


Title:  Development and Validation of a Measure of Facebook Self-Presentation Strategies
Authors:  Crabtree, Meghan3, Hernandez, Lauren2, Hale, Willie3, & Pillow, David 
Abstract:  This study represents the first stage in development of a measure of Facebook users’ self-presentation strategies. Exploratory factor analysis of the self-presentation items yielded a three-factor solution: Strategic control, disclosure ease and ambivalent utilization. Future research will focus on confirmation and validation of the measure’s factor structure.


Title:  Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Sex-Related Alcohol Expectancies on Women’s Self-Reported Assertive Condom Negotiation
Authors:   Fernandez, Andrea1, Altgelt, Emma2, Wang, Alex2, & Zawacki, Tina
Abstract:  This experiment examined the influences of drinking (alcohol, no alcohol, placebo) and sex-related alcohol expectancies on women’s self-reported assertive condom negotiation. Only for intoxicated women, assertive condom negotiation was lower among women with high expectancies, compared to women with low expectancies. Results hold implications for risky sex prevention efforts.


Title:  A Comparison of College Students’ Commitment and Investment in Romantic Relationships and Friendships
Authors:  Fuhrman, Robert & Berzins, Tiffany3
Abstract:  Previous research has found that behavior expectations about romantic partners are usually higher than expectations about friends. Our first study replicates this finding and extends the pattern to measures of relationship commitment and investment. The second study offers a conceptual replication with reports of support provided by friends and partners.


Title:  The Mediating Role of Depressive Symptomatology Between Neuroticism and Somatization with Additional Focus on Insomnia and Gender
Authors:  Knight, Cory2, Orihuela, Catheryn2, Perrotte, Jessica3, & McNaughton-Cassill, Mary
Abstract:  College students who score high in neuroticism typically exhibit additional depressive symptomatology and have co-occurring somatic symptoms. A complex relationship exists, one that beckons further investigation. Depressive symptoms substantially mediated the relationship between neuroticism and somatization. Researchers also found a significant three-way interaction at the second stage of the mediation.


Title:  The Role of Ethnoracial Collective Self-Esteem and Latino Values in Risky Behavior
Authors:  Perrotte, Jessica3, Garza, Raymond, & Baumann, Michael
Abstract:  Two studies examine the gender-distinct associations between collective self-esteem (CSES-ER), traditional machismo and caballerismo, and various health risk behaviors (e.g. alcohol and drug use) in Latinos. Subscales of the CSES-ER negatively predicted many risky behaviors, but tests of moderation indicated this relationship is largely influenced by traditional cultural values.


Title:  Effects of Self-Monitoring on Perceived Authenticity in Dyads
Authors:  Stetler, Jessica3, Hernandez, Lauren2, Hale, Willie3, Crabtree, Meghan3, & Pillow, David
Abstract:  The present study examines how a target’s level of self-monitoring influences perceptions of that target’s authenticity. Researchers analyzed Data using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model for indistinguishable dyads, and found that persons higher in the other-directness component of self-monitoring are perceived by their acquaintances as lower in authenticity.


Title:  The Mediational Role of Rejection Sensitivity in Traumatic Childhood Experiences and Sexual Communication
Authors:   Wang, Alexander2, Fernandez, Andrea1, Altgelt, Emma2, & Zawacki, Tina
Abstract:  The present study examined the direct and indirect influences of childhood trauma and rejection sensitivity on effective sexual communication among 168 women recruited from a large, Southwestern community. Path analyses revealed that childhood trauma was significantly negatively associated with effective sexual communication; however, rejection sensitivity mediated this association.

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