Program for the Fall 2002 Multidisciplinary Research Day


DEPARTMENT OF Biology

Empirical Projects

Arnold, James N.. Easily Reproducible Phototaxis in Planarians.
Planarians exhibit a negatively phototropic nature. When exposed to intense light they will respond by turning away from the stimulus. This experiment was designed to verify and exploit this response in a way that is easily reproducible. The worms were placed in peatree dishes and subjected to various light treatments and their response was observed and quantified. Tests were also done in hopes of teaching the planarians to associate a light cue with chemical cues given off by egg yolk dissolved in water. In other words, teach them to go towards light if they want fed.
Faculty Sponsor:
Arnold, James N., Jeffrey Wigton. A Novel Fluorescent Assay of Minor Groove Binding Anti-Tumor Drugs.
Anti-tumor drugs that bind to DNA are being studied extensively as possibilities for treating cancer. DAPI (4`,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride hydrate) and berenil (diminazene aceturate) are two drugs with anti-tumor properties that bind in the minor groove of DNA. Unlike many of the minor groove anti-tumor drugs being studied, DAPI and berenil interact non-covalently with DNA. The properties of these drugs make them exciting possibilities for gene regulation. The fluorescence of these drugs when bound to bent and unbent DNA was measured to determine the affinity of these drugs DNA. Bent DNA has been shown to play a regulatory role in transcription. Minor groove binding anti-tumor drugs, like DAPI and berenil, could regulate transcription by out-competing transcription factor proteins for binding sites on DNA and thereby stopping transcription. Additionally, DAPI and berenil, when bound to the minor groove of bent DNA, unbend the DNA towards the major groove. This could allow for increased affinity of transcription factor proteins for promoter elements and thereby enhance transcription. We have developed a novel approach to measure the affinity of DAPI and berenil for DNA. The binding of DAPI to DNA can be measured directly because of enhanced fluorescence. A problem is that many compounds such as berenil do not fluoresce and therefore its binding to DNA cannot be measured directly. Our approach was to first bind the target DNA with the intercalator ethidium bromide. The fluorescence was then measured. Next DAPI or berenil was added and the fluorescence was measured again. Here we have shown that a decrease in the fluorescences by ethidium bromide is measured after the drug was added. This indicates that the drugs are displacing the ethidium bromide and out-competing it for the binding sites on DNA in the minor groove. This novel approach could ultimately be useful in measuring the ability of these anti-tumor drugs for binding DNA and lead to a better understanding of the sequence specific interactions of these drugs with DNA.
Faculty Sponsor:
Beggs, Barbara; Billups, Heather; Rushin, John. A Preliminary Herbaceous Plant Study of the Lower Hamburg Bend Conservation Area Approximately One-Year Prior to Flooding With a New Channel of the Missouri River..
The Lower Hamburg Bend Conservation Area (LHBCA) contains approximately 3,000 acres of wetland habitat located on the east side of the Missouri River just south of the Iowa border. As part of a joint project of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), a chute is scheduled to be opened through the LHBCA to form an island, sloughs, and backwater areas. Within a 300-acre study area that will be primarily affected by the new chute, 232 evenly-spaced permanent sampling plots and 18 randomly located permanent sampling plots were used to collect herbaceous plants, woody seedlings, saplings, and trees according to the vegetation monitoring system (VMS) of the MDC. (All sampling was done in June and July.) This study describes 69 species of herbaceous plants collected from all of the study plots. It also compares commonness values of the top herbaceous species in the entire study area and in each of 8 VMS habitat types (annuals, cereal grains, grass/cool season, shrub-grass, edge/forest-field, marsh, woodland riparian bottomland hardwood, ponds-lakes) located within the study area. This study also compares commonness values of native and introduced plants found within plots. Support from the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Faculty Sponsor:
Boulton, Jennifer and Carr, Misty. Microarray experiment with DAPI.
Until recently, Missouri Western students did not have access to a new technology called microarray analysis. Microarray analysis allows researchers to measure gene expression in every gene of an organism. This technology is very useful in areas of study such as cancer research. In our experiment we were looking at the effects of an anti-tumor medication known as DAPI. We tested the effects of DAPI on the common yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We were interested in determining if the DAPI would induce gene expression in different genes than found in the control group. In order to determine which genes were being expressed we performed a microarray analysis. The first step was to isolate RNA from both the control group and the experimental group. The RNA would contain all the information needed to determine which genes were being expressed. After the RNA isolation, we reverse transcribed the RNA into DNA, labeled it with fluorescent DNA markers, and sent our experiment off for analysis. We expect to find that the DAPI has induced gene expression in different genes than those expressed in the control group.
Faculty Sponsor:
Ke`Shawne Bryant and Kalah Humphrey. Tandem repeats and you.
Have you ever wondered if your DNA is somewhat similar to the DNA of a friend or loved one? Well if so in project we will compare the tandem repeats of an African American culture and a Caucasian family to see if any of our tandem repeats are the same. The procedure that will be used is the same kind of technique the Forensics use to relate crimes back to a criminal and it is also used in paternity testing.
Faculty Sponsor:
Carmack, Andrew. Determination of Growth Rates for Two Species of Crappie in Smithville Lake.
Knowledge of growth rates is important for the effective management of fish. Growth rates vary considerable across fish species. Smithville Lake, in northwest Missouri, hosts the two species of fish that I was studying. I studied the growth rates of white crappie, Pomoxis annularis, and black crappie, Promoxis nigromaculatu, in Smithville Lake, in northwest Missouri, to determine if these closely related species grew at the same rate. I captured over 100 individuals using a rod and reel. I measured their length, and took a scale from each. The scale was used to determine the fish’s age by counting the growth rings under a microscope. I then plotted age vs. length to see if there were any differences in the growth rates of these two species. Using Linear Regression data, I determined that white crappie grow faster (Slope of regression line = 0.904) than black crappie (Slope of regression line = 1.841). This point illustrates that white crappie grow almost twice as fast as black crappie in Smithville Lake.
Faculty Sponsor:
Carmack, Andrew and David Ashley. Invertebrate Communities Associated with Burrowing Crayfish on Native Tallgrass Prairies in northwest Missouri.
Ecologists studying crayfish have recently been exploring which other species inhabit crayfish burrows, besides crayfish. A technique that researchers have been using to study co-inhabitants of burrows is pumping the burrows. Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is an area that we wanted to try this new type of research. For various reasons, burrowing pumping on prairies did not work. It has been documented that Massasauga Rattlesnakes, (Sistrurus catentatus), spend a significant amount of time in these crayfish burrows. Using GPS technology, we sampled and marked several crayfish burrows in areas that Massasauga Rattlesnake populations were high. The utilization of GPS will allow future researchers to monitor morphological burrow data for years to come. We found that the size of the entrance holes in a certain area were larger. Future research will need to be completed to find out exactly what this means. We found that a certain area on the refuge had more crayfish burrows that any other area sampled. It was hypothesized that the area with the most crayfish burrows would be the area that Massasauga Rattlesnake populations would be highest. The answers to all of these questions will have to be answered by future research.
Faculty Sponsor:
Clark, Cicely. The Occurrence and Morphological Description of Hemogregarines in Seven Species of Snakes from Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge.
Hemogregarines are the most common type of blood parasites found infecting snakes but no research has been conducted involving hemogregarine activity in snakes of northwest Missouri. Blood samples were obtained from seven snake species (Coluber constrictor, Elaphe vulpine vulpine, Nerodia sipedon sipedon, Regina grahamii, Sistrurus catenatus catenatus, Thamnophis radix and Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) from Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge located in northwest Missouri. Giemsa stained thin blood smears from 31 different snakes were examined for intraerythrocytic gametocytes and the degree of infection was determined using a grid system. Hemogregarine identification requires accurate analysis of morphological changes of the parasite within an invertebrate vector. Therefore, further research incorporating invertebrate vectors will need to be completed in order to successfully identify the hemogregarines discovered.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF BIology

Empirical Projects

Davis, Rebecca and Skroh, Karen. Discovering a Method to Determine if There is Satellite DNA in Zophobus Morio.
Discovering a Method to Determine if There is Satellite DNA in Zophobus Morio Satellite DNA is found in nearly all eukaryotic organisms. In worms, such as Tenebrio molitor, satellite DNA can account for up to 60% of their genome. Satellite DNA is repetitive DNA sequences that are unique because their function is not known and are usually not transcribed into RNA. In our project, we worked to discover if satellite sequences exist in the super mealworm, Zophobus morio. Our first step was to isolate DNA from the worm. Once the DNA was isolated, different restriction enzymes were added in order to cleave the DNA at specific DNA sequence sites within the genome. The DNA, with a restriction enzyme, was ran on a gel. The gel was then stained and examined under a UV light. If the gel lanes appeared as smears, the specific restriction enzyme did not cleave the DNA, which means there was no repetitive DNA present. If the gel lanes appeared as a smear with distinguishable bands present, the restriction enzymes had identified a specific sequence, and satellite DNA was present.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Biology

Empirical Projects

Fauver, Amber and LaFever, Ashley. Searching for Satellites.
In the experiment we were searching for satellites in Galleria mellonella(waxworms) and in Tenebrio molitor(meal worm beetle). The satellite DNA from the mealworm represents over half of its genome. The basic unit of satellite contains 142 base pairs of DNA. The function of the satellite DNA is unknown. It is unknown if waxworms contain satellite DNA or what the sequence and function would be if it does. DNA was isolated from the waxworms and digested with the enzyme EcoRI in order to characterize the satellite DNA. The DNA was seperated according to size using electrophoresis. From the experiment we expect to find tht waxworms do in fact contain satellite DNA.
Faculty Sponsor:
Goins, *Rebecka. McCabe, Christina and Chevalier Cary D.. USING GPS AND GIS TO ESTABLISH PERMANENT BIODIVERSITY SURVEY/MONITORING GRIDS AND CONSTRUCT UPDATEABLE VEGETATION MAPS: AN EXAMPLE OF USING GEOSPACIAL TECHNOLOGY AS A NON-TRADITIONAL LEARNING EXPERIE.
Two 60 by 80 meter grids were established and mapped using GPS units (Trimble Navigation Ltd.) with Real-time Differential GPS technology (Omnistar USA Inc.) in the Biological Study Area on campus at Missouri Western State College. One grid was established next to Oto Creek in established undisturbed riparian forest. The other was located upland in a portion of the study area that had been pasture in the past and is in successional re-establishment of forest. We recorded the location, using Real-time Differential GPS, species, DBH, and crown radius of all trees of DBH > 15 cm. The grid dataset and tree map dataset were then exported to a GIS program (ArcView 8.2) for special analysis and production of a vegetation map. These datasets now make it possible to monitor long-term dynamics in tree species biodiversity and spatial distribution along a north-south gradient from adjacent to Oto Creek to the northern upland secondary successional areas on the Biological Study Area. In the future, we plan to extend these datasets to encompass the entire Biological Study Area on Campus. These monitoring/survey grid systems and the vegetation maps we can produce will provide educational opportunities for a broad range of students at MWSC from non-major biology to those specializing in conservation biology and other areas of organismal biology.
Faculty Sponsor:
Headding, Jason. Determination of learning ability in Planaria through the use of filtered light and electric shock as conditioning stimuli.
Planaria are members of a free-living class of flatworms called the Turbellarians and are of the phylum Platyhelminthes. Planaria have a central nervous system and sensory cells that are receptive to touch, temperature, chemical and light stimuli. Planaria respond negatively to light and will contract when electric shock is given. I collected 20 planaria from a stream in Krug Park, St. Joseph. The planaria were placed individually in a tray that was equipped with electrodes and hooked to a 9-volt battery. A 100-watt light source was placed approximately two feet above the tray. Colored filters were placed on the tops of trays. Testing is then carried out by coupling the light, or conditioning stimulus, with an electric shock, which is the unconditioning stimulus. This is done by shining the light for two seconds and then delivering the shock. Each worm will be given 100 trials and all positive responses will be recorded. I will run statistical tests on the data to determine if planaria can be taught or conditioned. From this analysis I expect to find enough evidence to show that planaria do have the ability to learn.[Empirical]
Faculty Sponsor:
Kelly, Kristen, Adam, Dr. Christa. Differential Gene Expression in Day 12 and Day 15 Equine Embryos.
Differential gene expression is very important in the growth and development of the conceptus. One of the many important roles this gene expression plays is in maternal recognition of pregnancy, chemically signaling the conceptus`s presence to the mother. The maternal recognition of pregnancy signal has been identified for many of the agricultural animals. However, this signal has proven to be elusive in the horse. Therefore, this research has continued with the hunt for the equine maternal recognition signal. Equine embryos were collected and suppression subtractive hybridization was performed (Simpson, 1999 and Simpson et al., 1999). Twenty of the resulting cDNA clones were isolated (Stark, 2001), insert lengths determined on 14, and five of the clones sequenced. Resulting sequences were compared for homology between each cDNA clone sequenced, between multiple reactions in the same direction, and between forward and reverse reaction sequences for individual clones. The evaluated sequences were compared for homology with recorded DNA sequences in GenBank, by which putative identifications were determined.
Faculty Sponsor:
Kelly, Kristen and Wilson, Joshua. Changes in Genome Wide Expresion Due to Presence of an Anti-tumor Drug in Yeast.
Microarray analysis is an exciting way to see how the entire genome of a given organism is affected by different conditions. One such condition of particular interest is how an organism responds to anti-tumor drugs in their environment. Simple yeast, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was grown in the presence of an anti-tumor drug called Berinil. Measurements on how this drug affected the genome expression in yeast were done by using microarray techniques. This technique utilizes RNA isolated from the organism, which is then hybridized to a chip containing pieces of DNA for all of the genes in the target organism. This type of analysis allows the researcher to see if a gene is turned on, off, or unaffected by the drug. It does this by comparing normal gene expression from organisms that grow in normal conditions. It will be expected that this drug will affect genes differently than the normal gene expression. It would also be hoped to find genes affected by this drug that are closely related to tumor formation or cell growth.
Faculty Sponsor:
Kempker, Jennifer. Pursuit of rare terrestrial land snails Vertigo meramecensis and Hendersonia occulta using leaf-litter sampling and Berlese extraction methods..
After being discovered in 1979, Vertigo meramecensis has not been seen or further investigated. Working with Missouri Department of Conservation to develop a protocol for future monitoring, we collected leaf-litter from five stations around the Huzzah Valley Conservation Area. Of the five stations, three were in the flood plain and the other two were on the bluff overlooking the Codaway River. Five samples were taken from each station, then placed in Berlese funnels to collect snails and also any other invertebrates. The specimens collected through the Berlese extraction were seperated and identified. Further statistical testing was done to determine distribution and population sizes of several species collected.
Faculty Sponsor:
Kempker, Jennifer. Pursuit of rare terrestrial land snails Vertigo meramecensis and Hendersonia occulta using leaf-litter sampling and Berlese extraction methods..
After being discovered in 1979, Vertigo meramecensis has not been seen or further investigated. Working with Missouri Department of Conservation to develop a protocol for future monitoring, we collected leaf-litter from five stations around the Huzzah Valley Conservation Area. Of the five stations, three were in the flood plain and the other two were on the bluff overlooking the Codaway River. Five samples were taken from each station, then placed in Berlese funnels to collect snails and also any other invertebrates. The specimens collected through the Berlese extraction were seperated and identified. Further statistical testing was done to determine distribution and population sizes of several species collected.
Faculty Sponsor:
Phillippe, Laura. Seeing Red?.
My hypothesis is that a Bumbus bee is more attracted to a red flower than a white flower of the same species of plant. Bee vision does not include red, but it does extend into the ultraviolet. The species of flowers used were a red and white species of the families Begoniacea, Balsaminacaea , and Rubiacea . The site of the experiment was 1/4 mile east (on Pickett) of Pickett and Riverside Road. Twice a day, I recorded how many Bumbus come to a particular color of flowering plant, and the order the came to them - if applicable, and the weather for that day, over a given amount of time.
Faculty Sponsor:
Schmid, Benjamin Robertson, Imelda. Bent DNA Binding Study with Minor Groove Binding Drugs.
Berenil, 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), and Hoechst 33258 are potential anti-tumor chemical agents that bind in the minor groove of DNA at the bases of adenine and tyrosine. Minor groove binding drugs are essential in cancer research as the binding makes the DNA in cancer cells nonfunctional. Polyacrylamide gel elecrophoresis will allow us to see which of these three drugs binds more tightly to the minor groove of DNA. We wanted to study the effects that these drugs have on bent DNA.
Faculty Sponsor:
Sollars, Brooke and Yardley, Janette. D1S80 VNTR Allele Frequencies: Similarities Within and Among a Variety of Ethnic Backgrounds.
Variable Number Tandem Repeats, or VNTR’s, are relatively small, specific sections of DNA found within a number of loci in the human genome. While VNTR’s do not code for any genes, they nonetheless have played an important role in science. Their uses range from identifying familial lines in paternity tests to pinpointing criminals via DNA fingerprinting. Numerous studies have also been conducted to determine if there exists a relationship between the frequencies of alleles of a given VNTR within different ethnic groups. When referring to VNTR’s, an allele corresponds to a specific number of repeats of the sequence in question. Both the number of tandem repeats (one right after the other) and the sequence itself can vary significantly among individuals. However, patterns of allelic inheritance have been demonstrated within families, as have similar allele frequencies within ethnic groups. In the present study, the 16 base pair repeating sequence (VNTR) of the D1S80 locus, found on chromosome 1 of the human genome, was isolated from the DNA of ten subjects. It was then amplified utilizing the polymerase chain reaction, and the alleles visualized on polyacrylamide gels after gel electrophoresis and UV imaging. These results were then compared to existing data regarding this section of DNA within different ethnic groups, looking for any similarities or relationships based upon knowledge of the ethnic backgrounds of the ten subjects.
Faculty Sponsor:
Whimberly, Casey . Carter, Sabrina. Peroxidases.
An Isoenzyme is a category of enzymes that can catalyze the same reaction but might have different structural arrangements, chemical properties and immunological characteristics. A good example of an isoenzyme is a peroxidase. Found in both plant and animal cells, its function is not fully understood. Current research suggests that peroxidases provide protection against harmful microbes and toxic chemicals. The effects of such situations can be measured by electrophoresis. Isoenzymes exhibit different electrical properties and when subjected to positive and negative charges they separate accordingly. The distance moved by each protein can be directly related to the amount of peroxidase in the sample. Results from this type of experiment aid in the understanding of a cells defense mechanisms.
Faculty Sponsor:
Wigton, Jeffrey, Scott Herrick. Effects of Thimerosal on the Sperm Acrosome Reaction.
Mamalian sperm undergo two distinct maturational stages before they are capable of fertilization. After spermatogenesis in the testes, sperm undergo epididymal maturation. The epididymis is divided into three parts, the caput, corpus, and the cauda. After ejaculation sperm undergo further maturation in the female reproductive tract in a process called capacitation. Sperm contain a secretory vesicle that contains hydrolytic enzymes called the acrosome. Sperm must release the contents of the acrosome to penetrate the zona pellucida of the egg during a process called the acrosome reaction. An increase in the cytosolic calcium level is essential for the acrosome reaction to occur (Yanagimachi, 1994). The signal transduction pathway that results in the mobilization of calcium is not known. It has been shown that mammalian sperm contain inositol 1,4,5 tri-phosphate (IP3) receptors in the acrosomal membrane and phospholipase C (PLC) in the plasma membrane (Walensky and Snyder, 1995). The presence of IP3 receptors and PLC suggest a classic IP3 mediated calcium mobilization pathway. Thimerosal is a drug that activates IP3 receptors and makes them more sensitive to the second messenger IP3. Thimerosal binds the IP3 receptor in the presence of calcium, although at lower concentrations of calcium that is needed to induce the acrosome reaction. Previous work has shown that thimerosal can induce the acrosome reaction in sperm that have undergone epididymal maturation. Additionally, thimerosal can induce the acrosome reaction in sperm that have completed both maturation steps (Herrick et al., 2002 submitted). Our working hypothesis is that the IP3 mediated pathway is established and functional in mammalian sperm upon spermatogenesis. Using mouse sperm as a model, the caput sperm were isolated and challenged with thimerosal at 0, 100, and 250 uM concentrations in vitro over a time course of 2 hours. The extent of acrosome reactions was then recorded. We show here that thimerosal has no significant effects on the percent of acrosome reactions in caput sperm. Our findings support a model in which epididymal maturation plays a role in the functioning of the IP3 mediated calcium mobilization pathway. Further research could clarify if the PLC on the plasma membrane is not generating the second messenger IP3 or if the IP3 receptor on the acrosomal membrane is not fully functional in caput sperm.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Biology and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

Empirical Projects

Dunlap, Kim, Adam, Dr. Christa, Schultz*, Amy. Metabolic Trends Indicating Maximal Viral Load.
Industries have been using bioreactors for many years because they allow for a greater number of cells to grow when performing viral infectious studies. Currently daily viral loads must be evaluated; however, it would be less time consuming if a single day could be isolated which represents maximum virus yeilded. Therefore this study was performed to answer the question "Is there a metabolic parameter that can indicate when an infection is at its highest or complete?". Two mammalian differentiated epithelial kidney cell lines, Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) and African green monkey kidney (E-Vero), were individually infected with two viruses which cannot be revealed due to proprietary information. Cells were initially grown in T-75 cm2 flask and scaled up to a bioreactor (closed vessel with springs equaling 13,770 cm2 of surface area). Daily sampling was performed for seven days post-infection. These samples were examined for cellular metabolic parameters (Na+, K+, NH3+, glucose, glutamine, glutamate, and lactate) with the use of a Biomedical NOVA analyzer [BioProfile (R) 250, Waltham, MA]. Virus titrations were also performed on the daily samples collected to determine on which day post-infection viral load is maximal. Data indicates a correlation between each of the metabolic factors examined and post-infection day; however, an exact parameter indicating when viral infection is at its highest or complete was unable to be determined.
Faculty Sponsor:

DEPARTMENT OF Nursing

Empirical Projects

Belcher, B., Cordry, N., Mabury, K., Brooks, E.. Healthy Buddy Mentoring: Does It Matter?.
Children in elementary school are often challenged with decisions about nutrition, health education, and self-esteem. According to Healthy People 2010 (USDHHS,2000)" regular participation during childhood and adolescence helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints; helps control eight, build lean muscle, and reduce fat; prevents or delays the development of high blood pressure; helps reduce blood pressure in some adolescents with hypertension; and reduces feelings of depression and anxiety." The healthy buddy program was initiated to meet the needs of elementary school aged children (N=33). After analysis of surveys from involved parents, healthy buddies, and senior nursing students, three areas emerged as important responses to the program: enhanced nutrition, improved health education, and increased self-esteem. The program also aims at increasing awareness of health education in the classroom. Significant results of the survey may be a product of instruction and teaching guided by the health belief model. This study supports previous research that if health promotion is addressed at an early age in schools, it can benefit and help reduce the perceived barriers.
Faculty Sponsor:
Egstad, H.; Hazlett, T.; Nolte, N.; Overfelt, P.; Voelkel, R.; Brooks, E.. Perceptions of Healthcare Among High School and Entry Level College Students.
Throughout the nation and the rest of the world, there is a growing crisis that has no end in sight: not enough nurses to care for patients. Nurses are in short supply and in high demand. Many people, high school and college students in particular, have an opinion that nursing is a very limited field for advancement in the profession. Other perceptions include that nursing does not provide financial compensation, it is not a masculine profession, although it is a caring profession (a key motivating factor for choosing nursing as a profession). The research hypothesis is that students have a limited amount of information regarding healthcare fields. This lack of information is related to few role models, recruitment strategies, and career development opportunities. Three focus groups were held with a total of 24 students participating. Student participants needed to be juniors or seniors in high school or a freshman in college who had expressed an interest in the healthcare profession. The participants were asked to respond to 7 questions regarding their interest in healthcare. Analysis of the data revealed that individual experiences, high demand, and personal satisfaction were motivating factors for choosing healthcare as a career. While, the length of school, time commitment, and lack of information were determinant factors for choosing healthcare as a career. After reviewing the research, making information more available and providing students with a job-shadowing program were recommendations to increase interest in the healthcare field.
Faculty Sponsor:
Ford SN, J.; Vulliet SN, V.; and Brooks RN PhD, E.. Health Professionals` Attitudes Toward Substance Abuse.
Nurses` attitudes toward substance abuse can be changed through education. The attitudes of nurses toward patients who abuse substances have historically been negative. Current research illustrates positive attitudes of health care professionals toward treatment of substance abusers result in better patient outcomes. Data was collected using a standardized Substance Abuse Attitude Survey (SAAS). Five factors were analyzed, including permissiveness, treatment intervention, stereotypes, treatment optimism, and moralism. At the conclusion of a daylong substance abuse conference, participants demonstrated that they had attained knowledge. The attendance of health professionals at seminars regarding alcohol and substance abuse has been shown to improve overall attitudes towards patients who abuse substances. This finding may lead to higher levels of satisfaction in dealing with substance abusing patients, which could in turn result in higher satisfaction among substance abusing patients towards their treatment, producing more positive outcomes.
Faculty Sponsor:
Gillett, S., Onkoba, S., Meyer, M., Brooks, E.. How Does the School Breakfast Program Benefit Children.
The purpose of this study was to identify perceived strengths and weaknesses of a school-based breakfast program. Principals, teachers, and school nurses completed surveys addressing their feelings regarding the pilot breakfast program of a newly awarded USDA grant. The response rate was 58%. Subjects included kindergarten through sixth grade students (n=956) in three Chapter 1 (low income/high risk) schools. The variable measured is the perceptions of benefits and barriers related to school breakfast consumption. Two of the three schools rated the breakfast program higher than the other. These two schools handle the program differently. Two schools distribute breakfast as the children enter the building, and they go to their classrooms to eat, whereas one school has the children meet in the cafeteria, and breakfast is served there. The school with the lower ratings listed the type of breakfast served as a main concern, and gave this as their reason for the low ratings. The breakfast program was financially supported through a grant to the school district by the Federal Government National School Lunch Act of 1946.
Faculty Sponsor:
Herr, N.; Nelson, C.; Bronson, W.; Djoumessi Zebaze, M.R.; and Brooks, E.. Body Mass Index...Is There A Cultural Difference?.
Is there a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of body mass index in American, African, and Honduran six to eleven year old children? Data was collected with parental permission from children in St. Joseph, Missouri (N=205), Cameroon, Central Africa (N= 76), and the jungle communities of Honduras (N=140). In running a one way ANOVA (p<.001), it is determined that there is a statistically significant difference between the BMI scores of these three groups of children. Post Hoc analysis, Scheffe, revealed USA had a BMI greater than children from Africa (p=.032) and Honduras (p<.01). Children from Africa had a higher BMI than children from Honduras (p<.001). Limitations of this report include understanding that the analysis of the BMI is not reflective of the clinical significance and most meaningful component of the BMI data. In future analysis the percent of overweight and the percent of underweight in each country should be considered. Future studies should include reference to the specific age, BMI and bone density scores regarding children who are overweight and underweight.
Faculty Sponsor:
Hickerson, C. SN; Porter, C. SN; Miller, M. PhD; Meyer, M. BS, Ed; and Brooks, E. RN, PhD.. "Got Milk" . . . Do Eighth Graders Really Understand?.
Adolescents in America have inadequate calcium intake. Research has shown that a child`s main source of calcium is fluid milk products. According to the United States Department of Agriculture nationwide food consumption survey (CSFII) most school children do not have calcium intakes that are at recommended levels. One of the main goals of Healthy People 2010 is to increase the quality, availability, and effectiveness of educational and community based programs. These reasons provide the foundation for our study. To assess the base knowledge of 8th grade middle school students regarding the importance of calcium/milk consumption the researchers administered a 20-question pre-test, which would determine the need for educational and/or media interventions, and to determine if access to fluid milk products would increase the overall intake of calcium/milk. A convenient sample of 462 8th grade students from two middle schools was selected to participate in the study. The survey was administered and completed during school time. The results of the study showed that participating students had an inadequate amount of base knowledge. Due to these results and based on previous research, it was determined that there is a need for an educational intervention, an increase of media exposure, and an increase of access to fluid milk products in schools and at home. This research was conducted under the "Kids Calcium Grant" provided by the Midwest Dairy Association, (MDA) Inc. to the St. Joseph School District.
Faculty Sponsor:
Modlin, T., Vigliaturo, E., Miller, M., Meyer, M., Brooks, E.. Understanding Calcium: An Eighth Grade Perspective.
One of the major goals of Healthy People 2010 is to increase to at least 75% the proportion of persons aged two years and older who meet dietary recommendations for calcium. If eighth grade students would consume the daily calcium requirements they could increase their peak bone mass density and decrease their risk for osteoporosis. The research study conducted consisted of 360 eighth grade students. It identified a lack of knowledge regarding calcium recommendations, daily servings, food sources and the effects on bone density. Based on this lack of knowledge further intervention is needed to prevent geriatric complications from this pediatric illness. The Midwest Dairy Association funded the grant, "Kids Calcium Grant", to the St. Joseph School District Middle Schools.
Faculty Sponsor:
Mosher, J., Bowman, A., Brooks, E. Nursing Education: LPN to BSN.
The purpose of this study was to determine if the curriculum required of the first semester generic baccalaureate nursing students is equivalent to the curriculum required of the PN program students. The customized computer exam developed by Health Education Systems, Inc, HESI, was selected. The test can be used for curriculum outcome evaluation and contains test items that allow for application and analysis evaluation. The schools involved were from the same mid-sized city in the Midwest. The college offered a generic baccalaureate nursing program, the technical center offered an eleven month PN program. Study 1 used a convenience sample of 22 nursing students completing their first semester of fundamental nursing classes, 18 graduating PN students, and 14 LPNs who graduated from the technical school and are currently practicing. The HESI was given to all groups of students and a one-way ANOVA was used to evaluate the scores. The results of Study 1 showed the students from the three different educational backgrounds did not differ significantly on the HESI exam with F(2,49) =.683, p >.05. Study 2 involved the same schools with a convenient sample of 25 fourth semester baccalaureate nursing students and 35 PN students in their first semester of nursing classes. Using an educational intervention on Nursing Theory, pre/post tests were given to both groups. A one-way ANOVA was used to analyze the scores. The results found a significant difference between the BSN students` and PN students` pre/post scores F(3,114) = 54.16 < .001. The results of this study imply students of both programs have similar beginning nursing knowledge, and the possibility of using the customized HESI exam to validate this knowledge could allow for LPN to gain advanced placement in the baccalaureate program.
Faculty Sponsor:

Literature Reviews

Baugh SN, Angela; Mooney SN, Lauren; and Brooks RN, PhD, Evelyn. Knowledge of Folic Acid and Use in Women of Childbearing Age.
Decreasing the occurrence of neural tube defects and increasing the use of folic acid before pregnancy are goals of the Healthy People 2010 (USDHHS, 1999). If women between 16-40 years of age would consume folic acid before pregnancy they could reduce the risk of neural tube defects by 50%-70%. There are many women who do not know current recommendations, but there are studies that have shown a decrease in incidence of neural tube defects related to an increase in awareness. This research utilization examined studies relevant to women of childbearing age in order to identify key factors related to knowledge and use of folic acid. The seventeen studies reviewed sampled women (age 18-45) of childbearing age, and women who have had a child or pregnancy affected by neural tube defects (NTD). The studies were cross-sectional and longitudinal, and dealt with a specific question of folic acid use and knowledge. Primary factors related to knowledge and use were, age, geographic location, income, race, education, personal knowledge, martial status, affected pregnancies, and non-affected pregnancies, insurance and many more. Increased knowledge of folic acid among women of childbearing age is essential so that the incidence of pregnancies affected by NTDs can be decreased. This would also encourage public health professionals to be more responsive to the current knowledge influencing folic acid use among women of childbearing age.
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Hoecker SN, M.; McKown AS SN, D.; Gee SN, L.; Sindt RNC MSN, A.; Brooks RN PhD, E.. Community Agencies and Service Utilization: Baseline Analysis.
Little is known about the availability, access and affordability of services provided through the different agencies and facilities in the St. Joseph, Missouri area. There have been no previous assessments of the availability and utilization of the services offered in this specific area. Frequently questions arise as to what services are available and are they being utilized to their maximum capacity. Facilities provide services for vulnerable populations: women, men, children, adolescent parents, and elderly. A brief survey of seven questions was constructed. Fifty-eight agencies were contacted by phone to complete the survey. From these contacts, a baseline determination was established. Fifty-five percent of the agencies indicated that they would like to assist more individuals and families. A few of the facilities were assisting to their full capacity (15.5%). With this data, services that are readily available in the St. Joseph area can be easily accessed through a single collaborative source of information. This source of information would be available not only to the agencies, but also to the general population.
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Kimbrell, C., Angsten, T., Nanyonga, J., Brooks, E.. Parental, Peer and Media Influences on Adolescent Smoking: A Review of Literature.
The single most preventable cause of death is cigarette smoking. An average of 3,000 adolescents start smoking everyday(USDHHS, 2000). Of those 3,000 teens that become regular smokers 50% of them will eventually die from a smoking related disease or illness. This research utilization examined 21 journal articles relevant to adolescent smoking involving three factors: parental, peer and media influence on teen smoking behavior. The majority of these studies were cross-sectional and longitudinal using qualitative and quantitative research. Health related factors that this study dealt with mainly was teen smoking and their parents, friends and media influence on whether they begin smoking. Parental, peer and media influence does indeed play a role in teens beginning to smoke. Therefore this should encourage parents to communicate with their teens, know who there friends are and what they are watching and/or listening to in the media.
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DEPARTMENT OF Psychology

Empirical Projects

Bronson, Mary & Howard, Liz. Gender Differences and Their Influence on Thrill Seeking and Risk Taking.
Are men more likely than women to take risks? The purpose of this study is to define the differences in males and females related to participation of or willingness to engage in thrill seeking activities. Thrill seeking or risk taking can be divided into different categories. Although we know that men are generally known to take more risks than women, we feel that women may take more risks in certain categories. Data were collected from 206 students enrolled in general psychology courses and analyzed using an independent t test. Significant results show that men are bigger risk takers than women overall, but women took bigger risks in certain categories.
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Gerhart, A. D.. The Influences of Sympathy on Conformity.
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of sympathy on conformity. It is surprising that there exists no direct research on this relationship, but there are studies where this relationship is implicative and applicable. It was predicted that increased conformity towards an individual would be due to elevated levels of sympathy felt for that individual, a directional relationship. Forty-one students at a Missouri college participated and were randomly assigned two either a sympathy or non-sympathy condition. The amount of conformity was measured between the two groups with an opinion questionnaire. A significant result was found for participants in the sympathy group to be more likely to conform to the individual; no gender differences were discovered. These significant data support the hypothesis and current literature. The instructions used to manipulate sympathy were not too extreme, supporting the notion that these results can be generalized to other settings. Perhaps, gender differences would have been discovered had the male participants not been so outnumbered by females. Future research could focus on this limitation, and age differences of sympathy on conformity also could be examined. A three-way interaction of sympathy, gender, and age could exist.
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Hamblin, Lynda, Peterson, Anita & Rose, Katherine. Perception of Nursing Homes.
The purpose of this study was to find the perceptions of nursing homes among 4 different age groups, which were ages 20-39, 40-59, 60-79 and 80 on up. 96 Men and women from the age groups described above were randomly asked to fill out a 14-question survey on nursing homes. Previous research has concluded that middle-aged people think about and have more issues concerning this study. It was hypothesized that the middle age groups would have more negative perceptions of nursing homes than the other three age groups. This hypothesis was proven wrong. The research showed that the young age group, 20-39, had more negative perceptions of nursing homes. Further details are discussed.
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Hill, Kevin, Sanders, Shanna, & Wilson, Nicholas. Work-Family Interactions and the Effects on Career Satisfaction.
The purpose of this study is to determine if work-family conflict and job type make a difference with career satisfaction, and whether or not more conflict with a job increases family conflict. Individuals with high work-family conflict scores should experience less job satisfaction than individuals with low work-family conflict scores. The participants included thirty-eight employees from the state government and forty-seven employees from retail sales. These participants were given two pen or pencil surveys to measure work-family conflict and job satisfaction. The results indicated a non-significant trend in retail sales employees encountering more work-family conflict than state employees. All other variables measured showed no significance. The general findings indicate that there is no difference in levels of job satisfaction and type of employment. This study could be very useful for future studies in determining if there is actually a difference in job satisfaction and work-family conflict scores. For future studies there should be more participants from different job types to account for poor response rates.
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Holland, S.C., Kossen, S.M., & Faris, S.J.. Warning: Advertisements may be Hazardous to Your Health.
The primary purpose of this study was to identify what role the mass media plays in maintaining stereotypic beliefs concerning idealistic physical appearance amongst women in society. Specifically, it set out to determine whether or not body satisfaction of women is influenced by or simply reinforced by the media. It has been suggested by previous research that an upward social comparison explains the decrease in women’s body satisfaction after viewing idealistic images of the ultra-thin woman. This study challenged the existence of the above relationship. Additionally, the study attempted to show that a downward social comparison also exists. It was hypothesized that after viewing images of corpulent females the body satisfaction of the participants would increase. Students enrolled in both Introductory, and Intermediate Psychology sections participated in this study. In order to manipulate the independent variable into its respective levels, three video clips were used. The absence of a video clip comprised the fourth, and final level. The productions that were used for the purpose of this study were: Me, Myself, and Irene, Jerry Maguire, and Bridget Jones’s Diary. This was a pre and post-test design in which the participants completed the Mendelson and Mendelson Body Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults. The scale was completed by the participants both prior and subsequent to exposure to one of the four conditions. The study showed that female students from each of the four conditions did not differ significantly in their change in body image. Although the study failed to obtain a significant difference between the experimental groups it was found that the video clip containing the ultra-slender Renee Zellweger did, in fact, induce a negative change in body image. Implications are discussed.
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Jacobs, J.A.. Drawing is a Catharsis for Children.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate if drawing is a catharsis for children who have been reminded of a stressful event. The experiment I have chosen is to remind children of the events of September 11, 2001, and test my hypothesis that art therapy, especially drawing, is a means for children to reduce their stress. The intolerable events of war, terrorism and even natural disasters have devastating effects on children`s psyches. Art therapy enables children to express emotions, which are hard to verbalize. It is a window into children`s emotions, and prompts them to tell more than they would if they were talking. Participants in this study will be a total of 40 students from fourth, fifth and sixth grades at Neely Elementary School in St. Joseph, MO. Each class will be divided into four groups. Then two groups will be cued back to September 11, 2001, and one group will draw a picture while the other does not. The two control groups will not be cued, and one group will draw a picture while the other does not. A between subject design will be used to calculate and to examine the effects of one variable of induced stress, and a second variable of drawing a picture. The results of the anxiety test should show that the experimental group who has been able to draw will show a low rating on the anxiety test. The control group will score higher ratings on the anxiety test. Future studies could be to look at the drawings and analyze the amount of patriotic symbols that were drawn. This study could be generalized to adolescent children also, in a means for them to express their emotions. Limitations of this study could be that testing will not be in a central place, it will be conducted in the classroom and in the hallways. These findings should be constant with literature findings. Implications will be discussed.
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Sayre-Gibson, Lucinda A.. Identification of Sexual Harassment: A Student Sample.
The purpose of this measurement scale was to explore the abilities of a student sample of identifying instances of hostile-environment sexual harassment. The assumption was that an informed and aware participant would identify a majority of the items as forms of hostile-environment sexual harassment. The hopes of the study were that if students were able to identify situations of harassment in a survey situation, perhaps they could then apply it to their own lives in the future. The purpose of this project is to determine the effectiveness of the presentation of the legal definitions of quid pro quo and hostile environment sexual harassment on the responses of an undergraduate class on a survey consisting of incidents of sexual harassment. The experimenter expects that those students who were presented the information will display a higher likelihood to report in scenarios of sexual harassment in this pen-and-paper survey, than those who were not. The benefits to the participants would include knowledge of what behaviors constitute sexual harassment and how it should be handled.
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Sublette, K. S.. Attributes of Men and Women.
The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of gender stereotypes on leadership. More specifically, the effects of stereotypes on women wishing to enter into a leadership position will be examined. Ninety four students at Missouri Western State College participated in the study. Each participant received a description of a fictional aspiring leader having one of three names. A non-significant trend was found for the main effect for the name of the fictional aspiring leader. The attributes that were given for the fictional character were a combination of the masculine and feminine stereotypes. The neutral name, Pat, was perceived as most likely to get hired for the position applied for.
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Empirical Projects

Sanders, Shanna. LETA STETTER HOLLINGWORTH.
Leta Hollingworth was a pioneer women. She was born in Daves County, Nebraska. She studied at the University of Nebraska were she recieved a Bachelors of Arts degree, and a State Teachers Certificate. She moved to New York with her husband, Henry Hollingworth, were she recieved her masters in psychology. She found a love for experimental psychology.
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Historical Papers

Byers, Tosha Marie. Ivan Pavlov.
Born into a very poor Russian family with 11 children, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born on September 14, 1849 in Ryazan, Russia. He was the son of a priest. While growing up in Ryazan, he went to school with an interest in science. In 1870, he was enrolled in the Physics and Mathematics Faculty to take a course in natural science. He completed his course in 1875 receiving a degree in the Candidate of Natural Sciences at St. Petersburg University in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1904, he won the Nobel Prize for Physiology for his research on digestive processes, by placing meat powder in the mouths of animals and recorded their levels of salivation. This was the time he developed the principles of classical conditioning. When classical conditioning occurs, the animal or person responds to the occurring stimulus with a response. On February 27, 1936, Ivan Pavlov died in Leningrad from pneumonia, which had suffered for nine years along with other ailments. His work was well-known throughout Russia. It hurt the Russian country when they learned of his passing.
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Flanagan, Caroline. Undergraduate Student.
Abstract Dr. Elizabeth Loftus is a brilliant researcher that has proven herself to be one of the most influential psychologists of our time through her work in the field of memory malfunction. For the past two decades Loftus has diligently examined, tested, studied, and manipulated the processes involved in memory storage and retrieval. Her vast knowledge of the workings of memory set the stage for her subsequent work that details the susceptibility of memory to the false implantation of memory through the means of both external and internal forces. Loftus was influenced in part by the work of Hugo Munsterberg who was the founder of forensic and applied psychology but had few if any other role models to follow as she pursued her controversial research. This paper provides the reader insight into the educational, personal, and professional background and workings of the fascinating researcher; Elizabeth Loftus.
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Holland, Sarah. Leta Hollingworth; A Foremother to Psychology.
On May 25th, 1886 Leta Stetter Hollingworth was born in Nebraska,and also died there on November 27th, 1939 at the age of 53. Mrs. Hollingworth mage her most significant contributions to the field of psychology in three major areas: The psychology of women, clinical psychology, and educational psychology particularly in the genre of highly gifted children. Five years after receiving her doctorate she was listed in American Men of Science. Her importance in the field is evidenced by her inclusion in Robert Watson`s Eminent Contributors to Psychology; she was one of only fourteen women to be recognized. She was a psychologist, an educator, and a feminist. Leta overcame several barriers in her personal and professional life to become an extraordinary figure in the history of a young science.
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Huston, Latoya. Leon Festinger.
Born on May 8th, 1919 to Sara Solomon Festinger and an embroidery manufacturer, Alex Festinger, was Leon Festinger. Ever since he was a little boy he has always sparked an interest in psychology. In Brooklyn, New York, he attended the Boys High School, City College for his Bachelor`s and traveled to attend the University of Iowa for graduate school. There he worked under Kurt Lewin, a Gestalt and field theorist. In the 1950`s, Fortune Magazine nominated him as one of America`s ten most promising, young scientist. He received the Distinguished Scientist Award of the American Pscyhological Association in 1959, as well as an election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He became a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1972 and of the Society of Experimental Psychology in 1973. In 1978, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Mannheim and in 1980 he was named Einstein Visiting Fellow of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In that same year, Leon Festinger received the Distinguished Senior Scientist Award of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. Festinger is best known in psychology for his Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. On February 11th, 1989, Leon Festinger died from cancer.
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Ishmael, April. The Ideas of John Dewey.
John Dewey was a man that allowed his interests and ideas to be the driving force in all that he did. He is often credited with revolutionizing psychology by essentially establishing the Chicago School of functionalism with his paper “The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology”. This paper presented the reflex as a behavior having active components and an adaptive purpose. At a time that America was demanding reform, he introduced his progressive education method. This method focused on the need of children to be active participants of their learning processes. The impact of these, and many more ideas is still seen in today’s psychology and society.
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Martinez, Heather. Mary Whiton Calkins.
Mary Whiton Calkins was born on March 30, 1863. At this time women were thought to be intellectually inferior to men and despite many setbacks because of this, she made a name for herself in psychology and philosophy. Calkins was allowed to informally sit in on some of the lectures of the greatest psychologists of all times. These psychologists, including William James, Josiah Royce, and Hugo Munsterberg, argued on her behalf when Harvard denied her the doctorate degree she had successfully earned. Calkins became the first woman president of both the American Psychological Association in 1905 and the American Philosophical Association in 1918. During her career, she published four books and over 100 papers. Her research focused on association and her major contribution to psychology, self-psychology, in which the conscious self is the central fact of psychology. Mary Calkins taught for 42 years before retiring in 1929. One year later she died from cancer.
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Old, Susan. Donald Hebb: Contributions, Influences, and Impact.
The life of Donald Hebb provides insight into the way in which his ideas were created. His major contributions to psychology, and to other fields as well, include his cell assembly theory and his concept of two meanings of intelligence. Hebb believed in the existence of neural representations of images and ideas, which he called cell assemblies. He also held that intelligence is partially inherited, but is influenced by the environment. Such ideas have helped to steer psychology toward a physiological explanation for behavior and away from the simple stimulus-response learning emphasized by the behaviorists. Hebb was influenced by both the spirit of the times and by those with whom he worked, such as Lashley and Pavlov. His ideas have united various areas of study and have led to a call for enriched environments during childhood.
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Parks, Michael. A Lesson in Systematic Desensitization: A History of Joseph Wolpe.
Wolpe contributed a lot to the field of psychology. Wolpe perfected the form of therapy known as systematic desensitization. He tested his theories out with cats first, and then moved on to humans. He perfected the procedure and treatment used in the therapy. He also created the procedure of rating anxieties in a fear hierarchy to help determine what evokes the most response out of a patient. Wolpe also was an advocate of behavior therapy and defended and educated other people on the subject whenever he had the chance. He also debated with follow colleagues such as Lazarus. He also debated the importance of behavior therapy as it relates to cognition. All in all, Joseph Wolpe was a great contributor to the develop
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Row, Amy G.. An Overview of Albert Bandura.
Albert Bandura has influenced the field of psychology for almost 50 years. In this historical paper, this is illustrated by summarizing Bandura’s major contributions, such as the social learning theory, social cognitive theory, reciprocal determinism, and self-efficacy. The people and ideas that he has had a profound impact on are also outlined. A brief biographical summary is also included.
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Twyman, Shelly. Harry Harlow: An American Psychologist.
Harry Harlow was an American Psychologist who led a breakthrough in a new understanding of human behavior and development. He accomplished this through many studies of the social behaviors of rhesus monkeys. He made many great contributions to the field of psychology in the areas of learning, motivation, affection, and love. Harlow’s work also provided a developmental framework of science that was based on data results rather than just convoluted theories with little or no research support. Harry Fredrick Harlow was the only psychologist at the time who was even interested in the origins and development of love or affection, at least that is according to his address of the President at the sixty-sixth Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Washington D. C., August 31, 1958. This proves that Harlow was an outgoing psychologist in his research topics and in his quest for answers.
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52 submissions listed.
BIOLOGY21
BIOLOGY AND BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM VETMEDICA INC.1
NURSING11
PSYCHOLOGY19
EMPIRICAL38
HISTORICAL1
HISTORICAL PAPER10
LITERATURE REVIEW3