CHFA | Psychology Department Showcase: Completed Projects

Title

Heart Rate and Social Interactions

Presenter Information

Payton BuntingFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology

Minor

Nonprofit Leadership Studies

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Going to a university introduces many students to a more diverse peer group than to which they are accustomed. While this diversity offers a great opportunity for students to learn and experience different cultures, unfamiliarity can result in reliance on stereotyped perceptions – not only in how one perceives others, but also how one believes they are being perceived by others. Meta-stereotypes are the stereotypes individuals hold about the ways members of another racial group will view them. The current study aims to explore the meta-stereotypes associated with race (Caucasian/White and African American/Black) in Murray State University students as they relate to anxiety following an interracial social interaction. In this two-phase study, students report perceived social status, sense of control, and are asked to rate how they believe they are perceived by people of a different race. They are then asked to participate in an in-lab study in which they are paired with a confederate of the other race and given five minutes to discuss and provide three solutions to the question, “how can interracial relations be improved upon on Murray State’s campus?” During this interaction, heart rate variability is measured using an ithlete heart rate finger sensor as a physiological indicator of anxiety. Upon completion of the social interaction, participants will be asked to complete a state anxiety assessment and a questionnaire about whether they grew up in a suburban, rural, or urban environment, the approximate racial demographics of their high school, and racial diversity of their current close friends.

Several hypotheses will be evaluated in the current study. First, it is hypothesized that the presence of negative racial meta-stereotypes will correlate to higher anxiety levels during interracial social interactions as measured by heart rate variability and high scores on the state anxiety questionnaire. It is further hypothesized that prior exposure to diverse people groups in high school and/or current friend groups will act as a moderating factor for anxiety following interracial social interactions. Finally, meta-stereotypes, perceived social status, and sense of control will be entered into a regression analysis to explore the ability to predict physiological anxiety when in a social situation, and whether the predictors vary based on race. It is hoped that through this study, knowledge will be gained into the barriers to interracial socialization along with offering possible avenues to explore for solutions to this problem.

Keywords: Meta-stereotypes, anxiety, heart rate variability, social interactions

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Psychology: Completed Projects

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Heart Rate and Social Interactions

Going to a university introduces many students to a more diverse peer group than to which they are accustomed. While this diversity offers a great opportunity for students to learn and experience different cultures, unfamiliarity can result in reliance on stereotyped perceptions – not only in how one perceives others, but also how one believes they are being perceived by others. Meta-stereotypes are the stereotypes individuals hold about the ways members of another racial group will view them. The current study aims to explore the meta-stereotypes associated with race (Caucasian/White and African American/Black) in Murray State University students as they relate to anxiety following an interracial social interaction. In this two-phase study, students report perceived social status, sense of control, and are asked to rate how they believe they are perceived by people of a different race. They are then asked to participate in an in-lab study in which they are paired with a confederate of the other race and given five minutes to discuss and provide three solutions to the question, “how can interracial relations be improved upon on Murray State’s campus?” During this interaction, heart rate variability is measured using an ithlete heart rate finger sensor as a physiological indicator of anxiety. Upon completion of the social interaction, participants will be asked to complete a state anxiety assessment and a questionnaire about whether they grew up in a suburban, rural, or urban environment, the approximate racial demographics of their high school, and racial diversity of their current close friends.

Several hypotheses will be evaluated in the current study. First, it is hypothesized that the presence of negative racial meta-stereotypes will correlate to higher anxiety levels during interracial social interactions as measured by heart rate variability and high scores on the state anxiety questionnaire. It is further hypothesized that prior exposure to diverse people groups in high school and/or current friend groups will act as a moderating factor for anxiety following interracial social interactions. Finally, meta-stereotypes, perceived social status, and sense of control will be entered into a regression analysis to explore the ability to predict physiological anxiety when in a social situation, and whether the predictors vary based on race. It is hoped that through this study, knowledge will be gained into the barriers to interracial socialization along with offering possible avenues to explore for solutions to this problem.

Keywords: Meta-stereotypes, anxiety, heart rate variability, social interactions