• The Effects of Relaxing and Energizing Piano Music on Anxiety

      Santiago, Ashley M.; Department of Psychological Sciences (Augusta University, 2016-05)
      Music therapy has been studied for decades in order to investigate how and to what extent music can help people cope, or recover, from physical and mental issues. The most commonly reported mental health concern in the U.S. is anxiety (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5, 2013). Studies have shown that listening to classical styled music decreases people’s anxiety most when compared to other genres (Burns et al. 2002; Labbe, Schmidt, Babin, & Pharr, 2007), but no studies have investigated the effects of relaxing versus energizing music on human emotions or behavior. Similarly, I could find no research that explored the effect of a particular instrument, such as piano, on emotional outcomes. The aim of the present study is to determine which type of piano music, relaxing or energizing, decreases anxiety the most after the introduction of a cognitive stressor. [Introduction]
    • Perception of Police Encounters: An Investigation of Racial Differences, Anxiety, and Anger, Using Video and Transcript Stimuli

      Omelian, Sam; Department of Psychological Science (2017-06)
      Due to recent nationwide news reports involving police officers shooting and killing unarmed citizens, it is important to investigate the emotional potential impact of viewing these news sources. This study had two aims. The first aim was to investigate racial grouping differences in the perception of police and anxiety and anger levels towards police. Second, the project aimed to investigate whether the form of stimulus materials, video or transcript of a police encounter, affected participants’ responses. The sample consisted of 67 college age students from a southeastern university. Participants completed pretest anxiety and anger measures and a global perception of police scale. After viewing or reading about a police-citizen encounter, they completed posttest anxiety and anger measures. Results suggested that anxiety and anger increased significantly after viewing or reading about a police encounter, with the video stimulus creating stronger affective responses. Race did not significantly influence affective responses; however, Whites perceived police more positively than Non-Whites. In general, college students reported experiencing positive police encounters themselves. Findings confirm the power of visual media on affective responses and suggest that future researchers should think carefully about whether vignettes of police encounters are the best stimulus materials to use.