Similar to our first issue (2021), this issue of the Psi Beta Research Journal covers a range of topics. Something new this year: A research proposal. See the final article in this issue by Kester et al. Starting next year we will be accepting a limited number of proposals, along with full research articles.

(Links to individual manuscripts are provided below. Click titles to download individual article PDF's)

Lily G. Marie, Jasmine I. Perez, Ivy Guedes de Menezes, Carolyn D. Judd, & Stephan J. Beltran

Palm Beach State College

The dispositional trait of intellectual humility (IH) refers to the degree to which people recognize their
beliefs might be fallible. For the most part, it has been conceptualized as a “trait” variable that reflects a
stable individual difference, however, in the current study, we examined whether IH also has “state”-like
characteristics by testing whether it is susceptible to modification via a self-affirmation (SA) induction,
which in previous research has been shown to reduce defensiveness in the face of information that threatens
the self. To test this hypothesis, we first threatened participants by having them read a counter-attitudinal
essay that contradicted their belief in God and then allowed half of the participants to affirm the self by
writing about an important value that they hold. Following this SA induction, all participants completed a
brief IH measure. Consistent with our hypothesis, statistical analyses revealed that participants in the SA
condition reported significantly higher IH than participants in the control (no affirmation) condition. These
findings suggest that in addition to having features associated with relatively fixed personality traits, IH is
also amenable to change on the basis of a simple situational manipulation under conditions of self-threat.

Keywords: intellectual humility, self-affirmation, values affirmation, state, trait

Nancy Ko, Maddy Welcom, Tran Nguyen, Joe Dwyer, & Devon Brosnan

Orange Coast College

The feeling of connectedness with others in society reduces suicide, improves well-being, and enhances
effective learning (Jones et al., 2022; Jorgenson et al., 2018). This study examined possible variables contributing
to campus connectedness (CC) among students and if such connectedness decreased during the
COVID-19 pandemic. We hypothesized that emotional stability, self-efficacy for initiating conversation,
extraversion, and participation in an honor society would positively predict CC. We also expected CC
scores to decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To test these hypotheses, we distributed an online
questionnaire to Orange Coast College students as part of the 2021-22 Psi Beta National Research Project.
Measures included Campus Connectedness, Interpersonal Communication Efficacy Scales, and the Ten
Item Personality Inventory (TIPI). The project received 1,412 useful responses from community college
students nationwide. First, a comparison of CC scores from the current questionnaire and a pre-pandemic
study found a decrease in CC. Next, a multiple regression analysis indicated that all hypothesized variables,
except extraversion, were significant predictors for CC, collectively accounting for approximately
15% of CC variability. Further regression analyses revealed that self-efficacy for initiating conversation
significantly mediated the relationship between extraversion and CC. Lastly, participation in an honor society
significantly increased CC. Based on our findings, colleges may want to find ways to increase campus
connectedness by helping students increase their confidence in initiating conversation and encouraging
them to participate in honor societies or other campus organizations.

Keywords: connectedness, extraversion, self-efficacy

Alexis B. Cherry, Angela B. Simler, Sylvia Waldron, & Celeste S. Lonson

Psi Beta Honor Society Department of Psychology, Bellevue College

During the COVID-19 global pandemic, individuals have had to learn to cope with isolation and adjust to
new social protocols (Nooraie et al., 2021). In Washington state, a lockdown mandate was issued between
March to May 2020 in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases (Washington Governor, 2020). This study
aimed to analyze how King County residents experienced the lockdown and the impact it had on their daily
activities, behaviors, and well-being. We examined the age and the dynamics within the household including
household size and how they relate to the person’s experience of loneliness. The UCLA Loneliness
Scale (Appendix A; Russel et al., 1978) was distributed online through Qualtrics, an online survey provider.
The participants were adults between the ages of 18-65 living in King County during the lockdown.
We hypothesized (H1) that people living alone or in crowded households experienced the highest levels of
loneliness during the COVID quarantine and (H2) that age groups experienced isolation differently, specifically
loneliness increases with age. The results demonstrate a significant main effect for age. The largest
differences in feelings of loneliness were found between the youngest age group (18-24) and the oldest age
group (55-64), although it appears that overall loneliness decreased as age increased. No significant effects
were found for household size which contradicts the findings of previous studies.

Keywords:  COVID-19 pandemic, King County, loneliness, household size, age

Kylee E. Malouf (2), Timothy Buckles (1), Mercades Nelson (2), Mary Pritchard (1), Heather Schoenherr (2)

Department of Psychological Sciences, Boise State University (1), Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Western Idaho (2)

The purpose of this study was to explore how meeting belongingness needs through social media use may
impact one’s fear of missing out (FoMO) and self-esteem. It was predicted that individuals with increased
levels of FoMO would have higher levels of the need to belong. It was also predicted that individuals with
lower levels of self-esteem would have higher levels of FoMO and the need to belong. A total of 592
participants (447 female, 137 male) in various psychology courses at a community college and a university
participated in an online survey. Consistent with the hypothesis, increased FoMO is related to a higher
level of need to belong. Additionally, lower levels of self-esteem are related to higher levels of FoMO and
a higher level of the need to belong. Based on these findings, perhaps lower levels of self-esteem further
exacerbate the positive feedback loop between one’s desire for belongingness and their FoMO when
utilizing social media. As such, these results may caution college students from meeting their need for
belongingness through social media usage, and more so, those with a lower level of self-esteem.

Keywords: fear of missing out, FoMO, need to belong, self-esteem, social media

Nicola M. Schmelzer, Talia W. Westphal, Abel Pichardo, Darwin M. Buckner II, Nicole S. Smith, Nasrin N. Shaaban, Melanie L. Johnson, Joseph Bennett, Advisor: Justin C. Estep

San Diego Mesa College

A growing body of research shows that social media use is positively correlated with depression, anxiety,
low self-esteem, and neuroticism. Problematic social media use (PSMU), for the purpose of this study, was
characterized by behaviors similar to those displayed in gambling and addiction such as shame, guilt, and
loss of control. This study explored the relationship between PSMU and the amount of time spent on social
media. It was predicted that the number of hours spent on social media would be positively correlated with
PSMU and that an individual’s neuroticism score would have a moderating effect on this relationship. Data
were collected from college students across the United States through an online survey as part of the Psi
Beta National Research Project (N = 1,422). The survey included questions regarding PSMU, hours spent
using social media, and personality. Results found a moderate correlation between problematic social media
use and hours of daily media use. Neuroticism did not appear to have a moderating effect on the relationship.
This study aimed to offer supporting data to further the understanding of the effects of social
media on mental health. Our results can help provide a guide in which future studies can focus on improving
social media use outcomes for all people.

Keywords: social media, neuroticism, mental health, screen time, personality

Eleni Stogianni & Eta Lin

Psychology Department, Foothill College

Due to the rise of positive psychology, mindfulness and self-compassion have become part of Western
culture, and research on these topics is growing at an exponential rate. Mindfulness and self-compassion
help an individual recognize, accept, investigate, and determine the cause of suffering. When people are
faced with difficult life struggles such as symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, practitioners of
mindfulness and self-compassion often respond with kindness and self-love, recognizing that imperfection
is part of human nature (Neff, 2011). With the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic such as adjusting to
virtual campuses and increasing isolation, students, in particular, are experiencing more difficulty in coping
with this unprecedented global situation. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between
mindfulness and self-compassion with the levels of depression, anxiety, and stress of community
college students. We predicted that students who were more likely to seek out support from others and/or
engage in self-care practices will experience lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. The
participants were recruited from a local community college and they completed an online survey, which
included the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (Lovibond & Lovibond, 1994), Five-Facet Mindfulness
Questionnaire (Baer et al. 2012), Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003a), and demographic information. Our
findings provide important insight into providing self-care practices such as mindfulness and self-compassion
training on college campuses to help students develop and strengthen their emotional awareness, resiliency,
and overall well-being.

Keywords: mindfulness, self-compassion, anxiety, stress, depression

Tyler Wong, Shireen Mohamdjawad, Ruth Castillo, & Brittany Kester

Irvine Valley College, CA

Classic research conducted by Terenzini & Pascarella (1991) and Tinto (1993) concluded that college students
learn more if involved in both academic and out-of-class activities. This study examined how unprecedented
college campus closures during the COVID-19 pandemic impacted students’ sense of college
connection. In this study, participants (N=1,409) completed an online questionnaire that measured participants’
college connectedness, shyness, the Big Five (extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness,
and neuroticism), and several aspects of interpersonal communication. It was hypothesized that
non-shy and extroverted students would more successfully maintain a sense of college connectedness during
the pandemic than shy and introverted students. It was also hypothesized that there would be a significant
drop in college connectedness scores compared to a pre-pandemic connectedness study (Psi Beta,
2011). The first hypothesis was supported as there was an inverse relationship between non-shy students
and college connectedness. The second hypothesis was also supported; in comparison to the mean of college
connectedness prior to COVID-19, college connectedness declined. Additional findings include no
significant relationship between extraversion scores and college connectedness, and a significant correlation
between honor society membership and college connectedness. Future research might explore other
factors that may impact college connectedness, such as immigration status and first-generation status.

Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, college connectedness, student, Big Five, personality

Mudasir Zubair

Psi Beta Honor Society, Bellevue Community College Chapter

Over the course of the COVID-19 Pandemic, researchers have examined how people adjusted to the conditions
of social isolation. As a follow-up to those studies, it was investigated if, in King County Washington
State, there was a correlation between people’s new level of participation in work/school, religious, or
recreational activities during the March-May 2020 lockdown (in comparison to pre-pandemic levels) and
how lonely they felt during that time. Two hundred fifty-two King County residents (aged 18 – 65 years
old) were surveyed over the internet. They were asked about their level of participation in work/school,
religious, and non-religious recreational activities, whether the activities were conducted in-person or virtually,
and if the amount of participation was more or less than before the pandemic. Participants were
collected through snowball sampling, starting with immediate friends, families, and colleagues. Based on
previous studies, it was predicted that participants who engaged in religious and recreational activities
would feel significantly less lonely, while those who had engaged in work and school activities would feel
significantly lonelier. The only significant difference that was present was regarding recreational activity;
people who participated at the same level of recreation as they had before the pandemic were significantly
less lonely than those who participated in recreation at greater or lesser levels during the pandemic. This
finding is important because it suggests that a balanced amount of recreation can alleviate loneliness and
its impacts on factors such as depression, anxiety, poor mental functioning, decreased motivation, etc. This
study also illustrates the importance of maintaining routines that lessen loneliness.

Keywords:  recreation, loneliness, virtual, COVID-19, social isolation

Brittany Kester, Ruth Castillo, Tyler Wong, Lily Franklin, Andrew Cook, Oubadah Alwan, Sevilla Leuteneker, & Hazel Halili

Irvine Valley College, CA

The proposed research aims to explore the influences of authority power and social proof while considering
personality characteristics in a post-pandemic virtual environment. This study will be conducted online as
a conceptual replication of a recent experimental study (Danay et al., 2016) that was conducted in person
and compared social influence strategies drawn from two of psychology’s most classic studies. This replication
will include several personality factors. Scripts, language, inflection, and tone will imitate the classic
Milgram experiments of the 1960s to display authority power, while a virtual version of the classic Asch
line study will mimic social proof (Asch, 1955; Milgram, 1963). Participants will choose between Milgram’s
authoritative commands and Asch’s intense social pressure. Prior to entering the live experiment
participants will complete the Big 5 Inventory (BFI; McCrae & Costa, 2003), Locus of Control Scale (LCS;
Rotter, 1966), and Adult Attachment Questionnaire (Simpson, et al., 1996). The two social forces (authority
vs. social pressure) will be compared during the proposed study. The hypotheses posed are as follows:
H1) It is expected that a majority of participants will be influenced by social proof rather than authority.
H2) Agreeableness and openness will negatively correlate with authority and positively correlate with social
proof. H3) External locus of control will positively correlate with authority. H4) Individuals with an
avoidant attachment style will adhere to authority while anxiously attached individuals will follow social
proof. This research may provide insight into forces that influence an individual’s judgment in a virtual

Keywords: pandemic, social proof, conformity, authority, personality