Volume 5

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Preface

Editors' Note

Natalyn Daniels | University of California, Berkeley

Biography and Q&A

The Effects of Color-Taste Associations on Color Preferences
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Abstract: Though several color preference theories have been developed and tested through thorough research, none have provided a wholly conclusive and universally applicable theory like the ecological valence theory. According to the Ecological Valence Theory (EVT), color preferences are determined by people’s average affective response to experiences with correspondingly colored objects (Palmer and Schloss, 2010). The EVT implies that preference for a given color can be changed by positive or negative experiences with objects of that color. In the present study, we investigated whether tasting colored water that was sweet (positive) would increase preference for its color and tasting colored water that was sour (negative) would decrease preference for its color. Participants first rated their color preferences for 37 colors on a color preference task. They then tasted eight water samples of four different colors: two each that were red, green, yellow, and brown. For one group of participants, red and brown water samples were soured and green and yellow water samples were sweetened. A second group of participants received the opposite treatment: red and brown samples were sweetened and green and yellow water samples were soured. After tasting each sample, participants were asked to identify the flavor of each sample (mint, cherry, lemon, etc.) as well as to rate the sourness, sweetness, and preference. Finally, all participants repeated the initial color preference task. The drink samples affected color preference ratings in the predicted direction, where preferences for sour-associated colors decreased and those for sweet-associated colors increased. These results support the EVT’s claim that color preferences are determined by positive and negative experiences with salient colored objects, making this study the first to demonstrate a definitive causal claim using the ecological valence theory of color preference.

Katherine Copeland and Claire Gorey | University of Kansas

Katherine Copeland Biography and Q&A
Claire Gorey Biography and Q&A

The Effects of Early Adverse Life Experiences on the HPA Axis and Their Impact on the Development of Depression
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Abstract: In this review, the effects of early life stress (ELS) on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and their role in the development of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) later on in life are discussed. The HPA axis mediates one of the major stress response systems in the human body, and therefore, the damaging effects of ELS play a major role in the development of MDD. By examining research that studied non-depressed abused children, depressed adults, non-depressed abused adults, and control subjects, neurobiological similarities and differences are revealed. The hyperactive responses to ELS in childhood appeared to have adapted to chronic stress, and consequently, these individuals exhibit blunted responses later on in life. These blunted responses mimic those of depressed individuals without ELS, and thus, these responses may represent a vulnerability to developing depression. Despite this similarity, the hyperactive HPA axis in childhood results in a number of neurobiological differences between abused depressed and non-abused depressed individuals. Pending further research in this area, specific treatments for people with MDD and ELS would be supported.

Marc Weintraub | University of California, Berkeley

Biography and Q&A

Prosocial Personality and Cognitive Buffers for Partners of Manic Individuals
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Abstract: An extensive amount of research examines the ill effects of bipolar disorder for romantic relationships (e.g. Miklowitz & Johnson, 2009; Lam, Donaldson, Brown, & Malliaris, 2005), but little research has examined whether there are some people who can better cope with their partners who suffer from bipolar disorder, especially during the manic phase of the disorder. This paper attempts to fill that gap by examining how romantic partners of individuals higher in manic symptoms (measured with the ASRM; Altman, Hedeker, Pederson, & Davis, 1997) can experience greater satisfaction with their relationships. Specifically, this study investigates whether people who are higher in agreeableness and reappraisal tendencies report less declines in relationship satisfaction as well as engage in greater behavioral indicators of relationship quality—namely, touch and laughter—relative to people lower in these traits. Results from sixty-three couples in romantic relationships provide initial evidence that agreeableness and the tendency to reappraise are indeed important traits that help romantic partners of individuals with mania experience greater satisfaction and engage in more touch and laughter behaviors in comparison to partners lower in these tendencies. These findings suggest the dispositional and cognitive buffers that can safeguard against the ill effects of a partner with manic symptoms and demonstrate the importance of prosocial research in understanding manic and bipolar relationships.

Alexa Fishman | Harvard University

Biography and Q&A

I’m Game On and Off the Court: Mitigating Stereotype Threat in Student Athletes
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Abstract: Steele and Aronson (1995) initially developed the concept of stereotype threat as an alternative explanation for racial and gender minorities’ poor academic performance. Today, however, their work serves as a pioneer study on stereotype threat in demographic groups in many domains. Although student athletes are stigmatized because of an activity in which they participate rather than an innate trait, the effects they experience parallel those endured by the demographic groups that predominate stereotype threat literature. Student athletes experience stereotype threat in a cognitive domain, just as African Americans in the academic domain, women in the quantitative domain, and Asians in the verbal domain. However, research in the area of intervention techniques to alleviate stereotype threat in student athletes has thus far been limited. Studies on stereotype threat in student athletes suggest that intervention techniques used to mitigate more traditional cases of stereotype threat would succeed in this population as well. Adapting the intervention techniques known to work in these groups thus appears to be a viable solution to stereotype threat in student athletes.

Journal Staff

Editors-in-Chief

Chardèe A. Galàn
Bella Rivaldi

Associate Editors

Jarrod Butler
Jeffrey Capps
Herin Choi
Staci Heo
Sophia Kim
Jackie Ngo
Meher Raza
Penelope Rivas
Sean Trott
Fred Uquillas
Meghan Wynne
Joshua Yeung

Cover Art and Web Design

Patricia Lin

Layout Design

Amy Yu

Graduate Advisor

Bryan Alvarez