AuthorBruce, Laura Coleman
AdvisorHeimberg, Richard G.
Committee memberAlloy, Lauren B.
Weisberg, Robert W.
Chen, Eunice Y.
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/2639
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractPerson-environment interactions are the rule, not only for development but also for moment-to-moment experience. Knowledge about environmental influences on the manifestation of psychological symptoms is an important area of research, particularly with regard to social anxiety where symptoms vary dramatically depending on the social context. Like other forms of anxiety, social anxiety is thought to have evolved to help us pay attention to, assess, and respond to potential (in this case, intra-species) threats. The current study was based on (1) the theoretical proposition that social anxiety represents an adaptation to hierarchical, or agonic, modes of social organization; (2) the observation that in the non-hierarchical hedonic systems seen in some of our closest primate relatives, submissiveness is not required for group functioning, and (3) more recent empirical data showing that social anxiety symptoms are dependent on contextual factors. The current study integrated these three ideas and examined whether participating in a hedonic system, as compared to an agonic system, diminishes social anxiety, and whether social context moderates the relationship between trait social anxiety and activation of state anxiety. Participants of all different levels of trait social anxiety were randomly assigned to play a group game, the context and rules of which were consistent with either agonic or hedonic social structures. Self-reported anxiety and behaviors associated with social anxiety were then measured. Results from the experiment were mixed, sometimes seemingly conflicting, and therefore difficult to interpret. The more hierarchical, agonic social system was associated with higher anxious affect. However, the type of social system did not appear to affect self-reported submissive behavior, social comparison, or social behavior. Additionally, experimental condition did not moderate the effect of trait social anxiety on these variables. Although our findings were mixed, they hint at the role of social structure in the activation of anxious affect.
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Media are social actors: Individuals' social responses to social robots and mobile phonesLombard, Matthew; Morris, Nancy, 1953-; Liao, Tony; Zhao, Shanyang, 1957- (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)The Computers are Social Actors (CASA) paradigm was proposed more than two decades ago to understand humans’ interaction with computer technologies. Today, as emerging media technologies including social robots and smartphones become more personal and persuasive, questions of how users respond to them socially, what individual factors leverage the relationship, and what constitutes the social influence of these technologies need to be addressed. As an expansion of the CASA paradigm, the Media are Social Actors (MASA) paradigm was applied in the current dissertation to understand users’ social perception, social attitudes, and social behavior in their interactions with humanoid social robots and smartphones. Two lab experiments with between-subjects factorial design were conducted. A total of 110 participants were asked to interact with a humanoid social robot and a smartphone respectively in a socio-emotional context and a task-oriented context. Four pairs of social cues were compared to understand their influence on users’ anthropomorphism of the technologies. Multivariate analyses and textual analyses were conducted. Results suggested that users developed more trust in the social robot with a human voice than with a synthetic voice. Users also developed more intimacy and more interest in the social robot when the robot was paired with humanlike gestures. However, individual differences such as users’ attitudes toward robots, robot use experiences, and suspension of disbelief affected users’ psychological responses to the social robot. Although users’ responses to the smartphone did not vary based on the language styles and the modalities, factors such as individuals’ intensive smartphone use, mobile use habits, and their source orientation and re-orientation moderated the social influence of the smartphone. The dissertation has theoretical value in expanding the CASA paradigm to social robots and smartphones. It also tests the validity of the propositions of the MASA paradigm. The results can lead to more comprehensive, nuanced, and exciting discoveries of the social implications, ethical implications, and practical guides of using these emerging media technologies in the future.
THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL CONSTRAINTS ON ADJUSTMENT FOLLOWING THE DISSOLUTION OF A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPKarpinski, Andrew; Fauber, Robert L.; Heimberg, Richard G.; Lepore, Stephen J.; Marshall, Peter J.; Taylor, Ronald D., 1958- (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)Many people experience a romantic breakup at some point in their lives, but people's reactions can vary considerably. A common way of coping with the dissolution of a romantic relationship is to seek support and opportunities to talk with close others. Although talking with social network members may prove helpful for some, the Social-Cognitive Processing (SCP) model posits that interpersonal interactions can hinder emotional recovery and adjustment if the disclosers feel the social network members are responding in a socially constraining way. As a result of perceiving social constraints, individuals may try to avoid thinking and talking about the breakup altogether, which, in turn, may interfere with the cognitive processing necessary to move forward from the breakup. The current research marked the first time the SCP model was explored with regards to the dissolution of romantic relationships, and it evaluated the utility of the SCP model in potentially explaining the variable nature of adjustment to a romantic breakup. One hundred and seventy-four eligible participants completed this online study. Participants completed various questionnaires pertaining to their previous relationship and subsequent breakup, their feelings and experiences following the romantic dissolution, their tendencies to think about the breakup, and the degree to which they discussed the relationship dissolution with others and the reactions they received during these conversations. In support of the SCP model, the results indicated that social constraints were associated with greater psychological distress. Furthermore, avoidance partially mediated the relation between social constraints and psychological distress as levels of social support decreased. This suggests that higher levels of social support might help buffer against engaging in avoidance in response to social constraints. In an initial attempt to examine whether the extent of avoidance displayed varied as a function of a dispositional variable (i.e., self-monitoring), no support was found. Future research should continue to investigate additional factors that may moderate the relation between social constraints and psychological distress through avoidance.
WE ARE HERE: THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF DREXEL UNIVERSITY’S EXPANSION ON MANTUA AND POWELTON VILLAGERosan, Christina; Pearsall, Hamil; Ferman, Barbara; Mason, Randall (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)Drexel University, a private university in Philadelphia, is expanding its campus to attract more students, faculty, and researchers. The current President, John Fry, envisions transforming West Philadelphia into an innovation district. The university is working with real estate developers on a $3.5 billion real estate project at Schuylkill Yards, in addition to mixed-use student housing and projects. The development goals of the university will impact the social conditions of the long-term residents of the two neighboring communities, Mantua and Powelton Village. In addition to the larger developers who are working with Drexel, numerous small-scale developers are developing market-rate student housing around the periphery of the two communities. In the process, the developers are disrupting the character of the neighborhoods and changing the racial demographics of the Mantua community from a predominantly African American community into one that reflects predominantly White and Asian demographics of the university. The combination of Drexel University and the developers is threatening to “studentify” the Mantua community. In the process Mantua, is at risk of losing the cultural elements that have defined the neighborhood for decades, in addition to their sense of belonging in the neighborhoods where the residents have lived for generations. This research is a qualitative assessment of the social changes to the two communities as a result of Drexel’s expansion activities. A social sustainability framework was developed based on the results of a cultural landscape assessment and structured and semistructured interviews of long-term residents, business owners, community leaders, and university officials.