University of Wisconsin - Stout

Journal of Student Research
Eigth Edition, 2009   (Note: viewing links requires free Adobe Reader )

Caddisfly Larvae Visual System: Response to Light
Jeff Grinager
Key Words: Caddisfly Larvae, Insect Vision, Light Response

Understanding the behavior the caddisfly larvae (Trichoptera, Integripalpia) can have implications in a variety of areas (i.e. the fishing industry) and issues surrounding environmental impacts. This study examines the caddisfly larvae’s response to a controlled light stimulus. Experiments were completed in an environment designed to mimic the larvae’s natural habitat while controlling the light exposure. During experiments, the majority of the animal’s tank was kept completely dark with the exception of a narrow, defined light path which resulted in three different levels of light exposure within the tank. The caddisfly larvae’s location and head orientation with respect to the three light levels were recorded. These experiments suggest that caddisfly larvae migrate to lighted areas and not towards darkness. Additionally, head orientation tends to be towards the lighted areas in the tank, similar to non-aquatic insects, but not overwhelmingly toward the source of the light. Furthermore, once in a lighted condition, either direct or ambient light, caddisfly larvae tend to stop moving and remain in the lighted condition.

Advised by: Dr. J. Johanna Hopp

Gift Giving Characteristics of Recipients and Function of Gifting Anxieties
Miki Nomura
Key Words: Gift Giving, Social Anxiety, Electrodermal Activity, Reaction Time

Previous research suggests that gift giving is a form of identity presentation that enables givers to create a desired image of themselves for gift recipients. Sometimes, however, individuals experience anxiety when selecting gifts that best reflect this desired identity (Sherry et al., 1993). Furthermore, the influential power of the gift receiver can create mental stress for the giver. This stress may be reflected in greater physiological arousal and longer decision making time. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate physiologically the anxiety caused by gift giving to influential gift recipients. The results showed that the difficult recipient group registered the highest gifting anxiety as measured by electrodermal response. However, the amount of time spent making gift purchasing decisions was not influenced by either types of recipients or emotional importance. Within the category of difficult recipients, in-laws created the most stress on givers, whereas children and same-gender friends produced the least stress.

Advised by: Dr. Richard Tafalla

Education Facilitating Students’ Comfort with LGBT People
Samantha Craig and Tess Wydra
Key Words: LGBT, LGBT Education, LGBT Comfort Levels

Intolerance for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is often intensified by a lack of knowledge and understanding between heterosexuals and the LGBT community (Getz & Kirkley, 2006). The central question in this study was “What is the relationship between education on the college campus and one’s comfort level with LGBT people?” The researchers predicted that those students who have received education on LGBT issues would be more comfortable with the LGBT population than those students who did not. Participants were N = 55 students from a university in Wisconsin in this nonrandom pilot study. Survey data was statistically analyzed using frequencies, cross-tabulations, mean comparisons, and a reliability analysis. Results indicated and supported the hypothesis that receiving education on a college campus can make an individual more comfortable with the LGBT population. Specific implications for practitioners would be to include LGBT topics and/or issues into their curriculum to provide more information to students in order to increase their comfort levels of the LGBT population.

Advised by: Dr. Susan Wolfgram

The Effectiveness of Game-based Learning
Allison Floeter
Key Words: Digital, Game-based Learning, Training, Generations, Global Learning

Digital game-based learning has emerged as a new technology to address training interventions in the business world. As technology increases and the workforce is seeing a generational shift, business must find alternatives to address training. Training professionals are beginning to recognize the benefits of this training method and the practical application of games in a business context. This article discusses digital game-based learning (DGBL) and how it addresses the needs of the common learning styles described as visual, aural, read/write and kinesthetic. The author explores the changing needs of the different generations in today’s workforce and their respective generational preferences. Finally, an explanation is provided as to how global organizations can benefit from DGBL.

Advised by: Dr. Kat Lui

Natures Hidden Secret, Melodic Shakers, Stone To Taste, Natural Beauty I
Kate Atkinson
Advised by: Charles Lume

you have your father’s eyes, Detail of you have your father’s eyes, paintings done as my dad that he would have painted and titled 1-16, untitled
Jennifer Ekstrand
Advised by: Charles Lume

300 Dollars Worth of Candy Bar, 324 Pounds of Wisconsin Highway, Left Wing Right Wing (detail), Slapstick
Cheyenne Seeley
Advised by: Charles Lume

Room 423, Room 422-2, Room 415, Room 408
Jena Weiler
Advised by: Charles Lume

Parent Communication and College Students’ Sexual Attitudes
Taylor Thompson and Diona Johnson
Key Words: Adolescents, Parent Communication Styles, Sexual Responsibility

The high teenage sexual activity and pregnancy rates in America are generally attributed to ineffective communication of sexual information (Mueller & Powers, 1990). Contemporary adolescents are faced with potentially severe consequences for engaging in risky sexual behaviors; research suggests that parents are a primary source of influence on adolescent sexual attitudes and behavior (Fitzharris & Werner-Wilson, 2004). The central research question in this study was, “Is there a relationship between parent communication styles about sex and college students’ attitudes about sexually responsible behavior”? This non-random pilot study was done at a small Midwestern university, where N = 141 undergraduate male and females were surveyed. Data were statistically analyzed using frequencies, mean comparisons, and a reliability analysis. Observed results supported our hypothesis that participants who reported open communication styles with parents demonstrated higher levels of knowledge and comfort about sexual topics than participants who reported avoidant communication styles. Practitioners can utilize this information by educating and encouraging the use of open communication by parents. For future research, the authors recommend a randomized and more diverse sample be used.

Advised by: Dr. Susan Wolfgram

Perceptions and Technology Skills of Secondary History Students
Steven R. Williams
Key Words: Technology Skills, Online Education, Perceptions

The following article discusses the technology skills and perceptions of online classes held by secondary-level United States history students. Based on a survey designed to assess computer software and hardware skills as well as student perceptions of online classes, several recommendations are presented to enhance the success of marketing online classes. The following report has been derived from the results of a recently accepted Master’s thesis regarding the implementation of online classes. School districts may find this research useful as a starting point for considering how to implement their own online programs.

Advised by: Dr. Kat Lui and Dr. Steven Schlough

Visible Body Modification in Hiring Practices
Melita Barrett and Stephanie Aspen
Key Words: Visible Body Modification, Discrimination, Hiring Practices

Due to increasing competition for jobs, employers are able to select from a large pool of candidates. A tattooed person may experience negative social consequences, including negative perceptions because of tattoos and piercings (Resenhoeft, Villa, & Wiseman, 2008). The research question was, “What are the attitudes of human service professionals regarding body modification in hiring practices?” The authors hypothesized professional attitudes would adversely affect the ability of a person with visible body modification (VBM) to find employment. The site of the nonrandom pilot study was in a small Midwestern town. Participants were N = 16 professionals in the human services professions. Survey data was statistically analyzed using frequencies, mean comparisons, and a reliability analysis, but findings did not support the hypothesis. Human service professionals responded that within parameters, individuals with VBM would not be discriminated against. Family study practitioners need to increase awareness that commonly held stereotypes are inaccurate. It is recommended that future research include a larger and more diverse sample to generalize to the attitudes of professionals in other fields.

Advised by: Dr. Susan Wolfgram

Efficacy of Household Agents in the Removal of E. coli from Produce
Mary McIlquham and Aaron Martin

Common household chemicals may provide a safe and inexpensive option for use as agents to wash fresh produce and reduce the population of foodborne pathogens such as E. coli. A comparison of the efficacy of two household agents on the reduction in E. coli population is reported here. A 0.01% concentration of bleach solution and a 5.00% acetic acid solution were used as washing agents on spinach and tomatoes that had been inoculated with E. coli. Comparisons of total E. coli and total aerobic bacteria following various washing techniques were made. Spinach treated with bleach or acetic acid produced little to no reduction of total bacteria in the population. Tomatoes treated with acetic acid showed a 30-95% reduction in total aerobic bacteria, while tomatoes treated with bleach showed no growth of bacteria following a 48 hour incubation period. Future work will investigate the use of a genetically modified E. coli isolate as an inoculum source to more effectively and efficiently distinguish E. coli from total aerobic bacteria.

Advised by: Dr. Kitrina Carlson

Adoptive Parent Attitudes Toward Children With Disabilities
Andrew Marciniak and Stacy Sinz
Key Words: Adoption, Adoptive Parents, Disabilities

Adoption and child service agencies are overwhelmed with available children, and those with disabilities make up a disproportionate percentage. This non-random pilot study investigated attitudes about the adoption of children with disabilities by surveying 15 parents who had previously adopted a child without a disability. It was hypothesized that adoptive parents would feel the benefits of raising a child with a disability were not worth the emotional, physical, and financial costs. Survey data was statistically analyzed using frequencies, mean comparisons, and a reliability analysis. Results indicated that adoptive parents did feel those benefits were worth the increased costs. Though literature on the topic is sparse, special needs and disabilities were found to be strong factors in adoptive parents’ decisions to adopt. Implications for practitioners and future researchers are that education and research needs to be continued in order to serve this overrepresented and underserved group of children.

Advised by: Dr. Susan Wolfgram