The Psychology presentations wrapped up with a second study from Lexi Pulice-Farrow. On a slightly different spin from her first presentation, Lexi is moving from orientation disclosure to relationship satisfaction, specifically among lesbian identified Facebook users.
Right on the heels of another presentation regarding Facebook, Lexi Pulice-Farrow and her research partners are curious in exploring LGBT disclosure on Facebook and other social media sites.
A few hypotheses were presented including that gay Facebook users are less likely to list the gender of people they are romantically interested in; more out users are less concerned about their privacy and image presentation online; and gay users are less likely to post pictures of themselves with their partners. The survey used for the study was available for both ASC students and non-ASC students. The results showed little correlation between people’s concern over privacy settings, self-image, and their sexual orientation.
Elizabeth Adams began her Facebook presentation with a short survey of the audience. Of the 19 people in the audience, about half admitted to using Facebook at least once per day, and three people claimed to be addicted. Elizabeth hoped to find out just whether or not we actually are addicted.
It was assumed that the people most likely to be addicted would be young, female users. As research shows, however, there is little evidence of this being true. As Elizabeth mentions, there is no true scale which can measure one’s addiction to the site. She presents a few hypotheses, including the hypothesis that younger people will claim that Facebook is more intrusive in their lives. The Facebook Intrusion Questionnaire (FIQ) is the closest she was able to get to a legitimate scale which could be used for this study.
Together Michelle Autrey and Kristen Couch offered a presentation evaluating the implications of attachment style and love languages in young women. This was a study the two students conducted for a 400-level Psychology class last semester.
Competing in a packed room in the terrace level of Evans Dining Hall, the 2013 Scottie Mathbowl started with a bang. Dr. Koch hosted the event, and introduced the panel of professor judges and timekeepers. Koch described the rules of the competition to the audience and introduced the first two competing teams, The Kirby Rogers Ultimate Fan Club and the TI 80-Fines.
Director of Library Services Elizabeth Bagley presented a glimpse at the 37 movies and television programs filmed on the Agnes Scott College campus since 1955. A handout was passed out to the audience, which included a list of film stars who have arrived on campus including Tim McGraw, Sandra Bullock, and most recently Tyler Perry.
Georgia has been greatly impacted by Hollywood films for quite some time. Our own red clay was imported to Los Angeles for the shooting of Gone With the Wind. A strong labor force and “very aggressive tax credit package” keep film production strong in the state. As for Agnes Scott, the campus is described as having a wonderful scenic quality to it, making it a common spot for recurring film shootings. As a more “stereotypical” college campus, ASC has stood in films as the University of Alabama in The Bear, Ole Miss in The Blind Side, and even Harvard.
There are advantages for ASC by hosting films. Other than being a financial bump for us, we gain some immortality by being presented on the big screen. Still, there is a moment of anxiety behind the words “campus movie news.” Bagley was temporarily kicked out of her office as it was used as a dressing room, and the reading room was completely unrecognizable as it filled up with movie props. Films are also accompanied by hot lights, cold temperatures indoors, and miles of cabling in and around our biggest buildings.
Despite the occasional pains which come hand in hand with filming on campus, there are certainly a plethora of fun and memorable experiences which have come out of past on-campus movies, and hopefully more to come.
In the final presentation in the “Music, Mind, and Brain” series, Nyomi Washington spoke to us about audioanalgesia, music, and pain. In a nursing home she discusses, music therapists were invited to work closely with patients suffering from conditions which can cause pain, such as schizophrenia. The therapists worked with the patients by having them write and sing songs about their conditions, and they danced and sang alongside the patients. Nyomi also mentions the more common uses of music to alleviate pain. When one is sad or upset, one may listen to music on their iPod to distract themselves. This is the same idea in mind when doctors offices play music on the waiting room radios for the patients.
Music therapy is defined as “the use of music and its elements to treat pain” with or without trained professionals. More often this field is limited to trained professionals, but Nyomi argues that these trained professionals are not actually a necessary component of the field. There are both passive and active forms of using music as a therapeutic tool, and both can be used by anyone, professional or not. Passive treatment would include listening to music. Active treatment, on the other hand means being more involved; music therapists get patients involved by encouraging them to sing and dance to music.
The “Gate Theory of Pain” further explains the science behind why music therapy works. This theory describes the ways in which pleasure can override pain in the brain. While the pain in your body is not erased, the brain will naturally focus more on the pleasurable aspects. Nyomi emphasizes that it is important to listen to something you enjoy, however. As it turns out, listening to music that is not pleasurable to you will constrict blood vessels in the brain, causing the body to feel even more stressed (and likely in pain) than before.
There are many explanations as to why music is helpful in alleviating pain, and Nyomi ends by stating that there are many more avenues to explore in this field.
In the third music presentation of the day, Alexandrea Lushington began with a story of her childhood. As a child in the sixth grade, she would wake up every morning and watch music videos on MTV. This was when she discovered Jason Mraz, her favorite singer to this very day. She says she still listens to music every morning, and now she seeks to explore the ways in which the music a person listens to may shape and define the person they grow up to be.
Alexandrea presented an “Identity Tree” which describes general aspects of a person’s overall self-identity. The branches of the tree include aspects of a person such as religion, sexuality, and nationality. She says that these are things that express qualities of ourselves that we cannot describe in specific words.
Adrian North and David Hargeaves are cited in Alexandrea’s presentation as saying that music is used by children and teenagers as a “badge to judge others and themselves.” Most of the time, as we develop our self-image, we use groups to help define ourselves. These groups can include social, racial, and age groups. The more people there are in one’s own group, the easier it is to survive in a social sense. Bullying, for example, is easier to overcome when one has a strong support group.
This is where music comes in. Music groups are easy to form. By finding a number of other people who enjoy and identify with the same type of music as you do, it immediately becomes easy to join or form an “in-group,” a select group which becomes a comfortable group which offers support and adds to our overall identity and self-perception. At this point in her presentation, Alexandrea returns to her previous Powerpoint slide of the Identity Tree. Now, each branch has music added to it, and Alexandrea states that music cannot solely define who one is. Rather, it is only one aspect of the greater picture one person may have of themselves.
Hannah Kraus opened her presentation with a story of her own performance anxiety and the various ways in which she attempted to treat her anxiety before performing her senior recital two months ago. She wishes to explore the ways in which the Mozart Effect has evolved, and how it can now be applied to herself and others in more contemporary uses.
The original idea behind learning and classical music is one that you are likely familiar with: while pregnant, women should play classical music (mainly Mozart) in order to improve the spacial and learning skills of their future child. Psychologist Dr. Rauscher actually coined the term “Mozart Effect.” He conducted a study among college students in an attempt to learn about spacial reasoning. The students were asked to take a test after having listened to either a sonata by Mozart, repetitve and relaxing music, and silence.
Hannah discussed the various ways in which music can affect people’s reasoning skills. Music in a major key, which typically sounds brighter and happier, will usually have a more positive effect on the listener due to its association with peace and happiness. Music in a minor key, however, tends to be more associated with sad moments and will be less effective for most people in de-stressing. In the end, Hannah says that it all depends on what you enjoy listening to. If you enjoy listening to Stephen King’s audiobooks more than classical music, that is the trick to reaching a state of better relaxation and higher spacial reasoning skills. Using this to her advantage, Hannah listened to a song titled How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep by Bombay Bicycle Club before her senior recital.
This technique is definitely not the solution to gaining perfect test scores or creating a genius child in the womb. However, by finding that music that is good for you as an individual, one may be able to greatly influence both their anxiety and critical thinking skills.
The theme for the music department’s Senior Seminar for the spring semester of 2013 is “Music, Mind, and Brain.” From here the students have explored more concentrated topics such as music therapy and the well-known “Mozart effect.”
Alexandria Cantrell started off the day by exploring the ways in which music can connect the players and listeners in an unspoken bone. She began by recounting a story of her first experience performing in a youth orchestra. She had performed a Tchaikovsky piece titled Marche Slave.
Alexandria described a feeling of time being stopped. She felt one with the music, and remembered there being a strong sense of communication between the musical parts, and a feeling of genuine respect for each player. Delving into the psychology of music, Alexandria discussed mirror neurons, a neuron which fires both when a person acts and when a person observes the same action performed by another. The experience was intriguing enough that she was compelled to write her experience down in a journal, which she read an excerpt from to the audience.
Hoping to better explain to the audience how and why music is capable of creating such a strong bond between people, Alexandria argues the superiority of the sense of sound, and why it is a more “accurate” sense than sight and touch, for example. She describes sight as being a more misleading source of taking in information, because what you see with your eyes is the result of light bouncing off of an object. Sound, on the other hand, is a direct source of information, and the information travels directly from the source to your eyes.
Alexandria initially had qualms regarding the research regarding this topic, because of the questionable overlap between music and religious experiences. Ultimately she finds that the topic is still worth exploring and discussing, and the spiritual overlaps do not diminish the experiences performers have through music.