Psychology - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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A Grounded Theory Approach to the Extension and Revision of Scanlan's Sport Commitment Model

Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

This study used a grounded theory approach to extend and revise T.K. Scanlan's (1 993) sport commitment model. An attempt was made to extend the generalizability of the model and to address perceived conceptual limitations. It is argued that these limitations arose from casting the model entirely from a social cognitive perspective. The participant sample consisted of 25 athletes actively competing at the intercollegiate, national, international, or Olympic level. They competed in the following sports: wrestling, basketball, soccer, football, track and field, and triathlon. All participants engaged in a semi-structured interview lasting between 60 and 90 minutes. Verbatim transcripts were subjected to inductive content analysis via the constant comparative method. This generated a series of eight thematic hierarchies representing the participant sample's reported sources of sport commitment. Five of these hierarchies corresponded to the original constructs of the sport commitment model. They are Enjoyment, Involvement Alternatives, Investments, Social Constraints, and Involvement Opportunities. These hierarchies also included a number of component themes that served to explicate and differentiate these constructs. The remaining three hierarchies reflected superordinate constructs proposed for addition to the model. They are Transcendence 1 Teleology, Transformation, and Adaptive Functioning 1 Coping. These constructs had a decidedly clinical I humanistic-existential flavour, and they were the inevitable consequence of conducting hermeneutic research using a conceptual repertoire extending beyond social cognition. The end result was a richer, denser, more complex theoretical model that can now be tested using positivistic, quantitative methodologies.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Psychology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Dissertation (Ph.D.)

An examination of police investigational files for criminal harassment (stalking): Implications for case management

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

The creation of Canada's anti-stalking statute, or criminal harassment law, slightly more than a decade ago marked the beginning of a new risk assessment imperative. It provided Canadian law enforcement officials with new opportunities to manage stalking cases, but it also created new demands for violence risk assessments. Unfortunately, the empirical research on stalking offers law enforcement personnel little guidance on how to approach these tasks. Although research is starting to identify risk factors of stalking violence, most of this work has been carried out in relatively small, clinical-forensic samples and so the validity and practical utility of these risk. factors in the law enforcement context remains unknown. More importantly, there has been virtually no empirical research looking at the relationship of different risk factors to specific case management practices. To develop a better picture of the violence risk factors associated with stalking cases encountered by Canadian law enforcement personnel as well as examine the influence of these risk factors on their selection of case management strategies, this dissenation examined all documented investigations of criminal harassment carried out by the Vancouver Police Department during the 1997 calendar year (N = 241). Arresting the alleged perpetrator was a management strategy implemented in slightly over half the cases in which it was possible for police to intervene. The likelihood of this management strategy being adopted proved to be significantly greater in the presence of numerous violence risk factors, however, only four of these risk factors (unemployed perpetrator, female victim, threats of physical harm, and physical violence) emerged as significant predictors of arrest during a series of multivariate analyses. The implications of these findings for the investigation and management of criminal harassment cases are discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Psychology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

Adults' constructions of gender: A lifespan Q methodological study

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Recent qualitative research suggests that adults' understandings and views about gender are complex and multidimensional. Nevertheless, many quantitative gender measures employ unidimensional scales that rank participants along a single dimension, such as liberallegalitarian to conservativeltraditional. In order to explore complexities of gender understandings, this study explored adults' constructions of gender using Q methodology. A diverse sample of 180 urban Canadian adults from three age groups (20- I 39,40-59, and 60 and over) completed the main phase of the study. Participants sorted a set of 61 statements in a specified distribution from 'most agree' to 'most disagree'. The 61 statements focused on gender theories, gender in children, gender in adults, sexuality, transgender, and intersex. Principal components analysis with oblique rotation was used to identify five distinct perspectives on gender: Gender Diversity, Social Essentialism, Biological Progressive, Gender Minimizing, and Different But Equal. These perspectives were interpreted based on patterns of Q-sort responses and interviews with representative participants. The five perspectives combined divergent understandings of gender with varied responses to gender conformity and nonconformity. Almost one quarter of participants' Q-sorts combined two or more perspectives and approximately 10% of participants' Q-sorts reflected none of these perspectives. The complexity of participants' perspectives suggest that unidimensional inventories may fail to identify important differences in participants' understandings, assumptions and attitudes about genderrelated issues. In addition, responses to gender nonconformity were important in differentiating perspectives. Therefore instruments that include a narrow range of gendered behaviour risk overlooking these distinctions in adults' gender constructions. Finally, the substantial overlap in policies advocated by the Biological Progressive and Gender Diversity perspectives suggests potential for coalition-building across perspectives to challenge gender-based oppression.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Psychology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

Mock jurors' attitudes toward aboriginal defendants: A symbolic racism approach

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

The purposes of this study were to investigate: (1) whether mock jurors would discriminate against an Aboriginal defendant in a criminal murder trial, and (2') whether, if such discrimination was evident, it could be moderated by symbolic racism or jury instructions. A community sample from the British Columbia lower mainland read a trial vignette in which the defendant's race (Aboriginal or Non-Aboriginal) and jury instructions (given or not given) were systematically varied, and rated how guilty they believed the defendant was. No effects on guilt ratings were observed for the defendant's race or jury instructions, but a significant .interaction was observed between the defendant's race and scores on 1 of the 2 fxtors comprising the symbolic racism scale. This finding suggests that future research on juror prejudice against Canadian Aboriginals using more ecologically valid methods is merited, and that symbolic racism theory provides a useful theoretical foundation for such inquiries.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Psychology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

The logic of test analysis: An evaluation of test theory and a proposed logic for test analysis

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Despite the rich and abundant body of test theoretic results that have accumulated over the past 100 years, little work has been done on the development of a coherentfiamezuork for the carrying out of test analyses, resulting in a general state of test analytic practice which is unsystematic, unreasoned, and piecemeal. The current work was guided by two primary aims: 1) to document the apparent gulf that exists between the advances that have been made in test theory, and the seemingly calamitous and unmethodical state of current test analytic practice, and 2) to rescue applied test analytic practice from its ill-defined state by deriving a logical, sequential framework for the carrying out of test analyses within which the tools of test theory can be used to full advantage. To serve these aims, the historical landmarks of 100 years of test theory were documented. The mathematical foundations of two relatively distinct theoretical test theoretic perspectives, viz., classical test theoy and modern test theo y, were summarized in axiomatic fashion. Articles from five peerreviewed journals were examined with the aim of gaining further insight into the current state of test analytic practices. Finally, the components of the proposed framework for analyzing tests were fully explicated, and certain current test analytic practices critiqued in light of the proposed framework.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Psychology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Dissertation (Ph.D.)

Remembering words and brand names after a perception of discrepancy

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

A surprising violation or validation experienced during a remembering test induces the perception of discrepancy, causing a feeling of familiarity (Whittlesea & Williams, 1998; 2000; 2001a; 2001b). The experiments in this dissertation investigated whether that perception affects performance when it is experienced in the original encounter with a stimulus. A number of paradigms were used that have been previously found to be associated with creating the perception of discrepancy. In each experiment a portion of the target items were presented in a study phase in the context of a manipulation thought to induce the perception of discrepancy. In a subsequent recognition test, the earlier experience of that perception increased the accuracy of participants' discrimin.ation. However, when the subsequent task required a frequency judgment, that experience caused an illusion of repetition for items presented only once. The paradigm was also applied to and tested with brand names; however a different pattern emerged fi-om that found using regular words. Thus, the perception of discrepancy in an initial encounter may be a valuable aid to later remembering; but can also cause systematic mernory errors under some circumstances. The results extend the boundaries of the discrepancyattribution hypothesis, demonstrating that the perception of discrepancy experienced in the past can affect the accuracy of current processing in more ways than one.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Psychology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

The literacy hypothesis and cognitive development

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This thesis re-examines possible links between literacy and cognitive development from a medium perspective, where the child's engagement in literacy is assumed to enable literacy-specific forms of thought, and where the explanation for the nature of those cognitive forms is to be sought in the examination of how the physical and semiotic properties of literacy modify the child's symbolic interactions and thought. Specifically, I argue that the existing research suggests that at the onset of literacy the child acquires the ability for metalinguistic awareness. This can be explained by the fact that writing codifies speaking, thus turning words into objects of conscious reflection. I propose a reinterpretation of Piaget's stage of concrete operations within the literacy framework. Further, I argue that metalinguistic awareness enables the emergence of verbal thought, which, after a period of differentiation from the concrete context, can function independently from concrete, perceptual reality. This, I suggest, leads to the achievement of what I call decontextualized thought, which I argue lies at the origins of Piaget's formal operations. I outline several explanations for the emergence of decontextualized thought, and argue that the structural explanation, that writing codifies speaking and that phonetic writing characters are arbitrary with regards to the concrete image, is most central for the understanding of literacy effects. This thesis provides a critical overview of selected central contributors to the literacy hypothesis, addresses several most pressing controversies, and sketches a broader theoretical framework that places the literacy hypothesis within a constructivist framework that stresses the role of child's activity. I suggest that literacy should be treated as an enabling and necessary but not sufficient factor for the emergence of literacy-specific cognitive forms, and that most past criticism of the literacy theory applies only to the 'strong' view of literacy as a sufficient cause. Because of the scarcity of direct research on literacy guided by the medium approach, much of the empirical research that I review requires reinterpretation. Hence, the current thesis is largely a hypothetical proposal of theoretical and empirical directions that the literacy hypothesis might take.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Psychology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Dissertation (Ph.D.)

Differential effects of constant light on circadian clock resetting by photic and nonphotic stimuli in Syrian hamsters

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Circadian rhythms in Syrian hamsters can be phase shifted by behavioural arousal during the usual rest phase of the circadian rest-activity cycle. Phase shifts can be greatly potentiated by prior exposure to constant light for 2 cycles. This coulld reflect nonphotic input pathway specific changes to the circadian system, or it could be caused by decreased pacemaker amplitude. If the latter, then phase shifts to any stimulus, including those activating the photic input pathway, should be potentiated. This hypothesis was tested by measuring phase shifts induced by microinjections of NMDA (500nl, 10mM) into the SCN area of hamsters exposed to constant light (LL) or dark (DD) for 2 days. NMDA induced significant phase delays mimicking those of light exposure early in the night. The magnitude of these shifts did not differ by prior lighting condition, suggesting that LL potentiation of nonphotic shifts reflects changes specific to the nonphotic input pathway.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Psychology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Male parental care and cues to paternity in house mice

Author: 
Date created: 
1983
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Special arrangement: Depts. of Biological Sciences and Psychology) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Individual differences in eyewitness memory: The role of anxiety depression, and personality in memory for emotional events

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-08-17
Abstract: 

The ability of witnesses of a criminal event to accurately recall what they have seen may be affected by various factors. This study explored whether individual differences such as anxiety, depression, and the Big Five personality traits were associated with memory accuracy for witnessed events. Participants were 211 undergraduates who watched videos varying in emotional valence (negative or neutral), completed measures of anxiety (STAI), depression (BDI-II), and personality traits (BFI) and then were asked to recall details from the videos. Results indicated that some individual differences variables, such as anxiety, conscientiousness, and neuroticism do have an association with memory accuracy. Research examining individual differences' association with memory accuracy may provide useful information to judges, juries, and investigators who are attempting to decide whether or not an eyewitness is credible.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John Donald Read
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Psychology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.