SPARC 2023 Presentations
Medicare & Similar Social Problems Surrounding the Aging Population
ABSTRACT: The primary aim of this research is to understand the reasons why Medicare is so expensive and unaffordable for many Americans and seeks to provide ways to decrease the costs of the program. The high costs leave people at a crossroads between paying for their health or sacrificing it to save money. Access to Medicare is one of the many social problems the aging population faces daily. Further analysis of similar social problems, such as an anti-aging population and an increasingly aging population in the United States, can help emphasize the severity of this discussion. The sources used in this presentation suggest that age-targeted immigration and improved attitudes toward older generations can minimize the effects of these social problems on the aging population and society as a whole.
Neuropsychological Effects of Hospice Care
ABSTRACT: Hospice, or palliative care centered on end-of-life services, occupies a unique role in the healthcare industry. Focusing on easing physical pains rather than maintaining overall health, hospice care breaks from the traditional mold of health services, as the needs of those suffering are not alleviated by an active, “healthy” treatment. Instead, because of its position as end-of-life care, hospice is uniquely situated to prescribe traditionally unhealthy remedies. Such treatments that are only available in this palliative care include the alleviation of addictions with otherwise unsafe pharmaceuticals. What are the psychological effects of such physically-relieving treatments on a body with declining functionality?
Social Class and Access to Healthcare for Children with Autism
ABSTRACT: Previous research shows that the higher one’s social class status the more access they have to both necessities and the good things in life. Currently, there has been a focus on access to healthcare for those with lower income. Building upon the previous and current literature, this study investigates how parent’s social capital, cultural capital, occupation, and education impact access to health care for their neurodivergent children. I am interviewing parents of neurodivergent children about their experiences of accessing and navigating healthcare on their child’s behalf.
Terra Incognita: Explorations in DMT
ABSTRACT: Dimethyltryptamine is the world’s most under explored psychedelic. Since 900 BCE, this classic entheogen has been used cross culturally as a vital tool for spiritual enhancement, spiritual awakenings, or the dissolution of ego. It was not until the 1990s that psychiatrist, Dr. Rick Strassman received funding and approval from the DEA to explore this “spirit molecule” which opened Pandora’s box. This Ted Talk style presentation will explore briefly he history and physiology of this substance while following up with the research currently being done.
Iridescent Foster, Em Delgado, & Nick Tarter
ABSTRACT: Mentorship is a powerful opportunity which serves not only to offer new perspectives and a practical application of knowledge transfer but also to expand one’s professional network and understanding of workplace culture. We hope to gain insight from our current group of mentees on why our current arrangement works for them and also how it benefits us. We hope to highlight why mentorship should be implemented more widely in our program.
The Comparison Game: How Social Comparison on Social Media Affects Anxiety in Student-Athletes
ABSTRACT: It is estimated that one-third of college students will experience a mental health crisis while enrolled. Of this 6.6 million, only 30% will receive treatment. College athletes are 2% more likely to experience a mental health crisis. However, only about 10% of these students will receive treatment. This difference in mental health symptoms and treatment result from the situations surrounding being a student-athlete. Social media and the mental health of college students are linked by research. Unfortunately there is a significant lack in research about how social media affects the mental health of college athletes. Because of this, I will investigate the impact of social media on the development of anxiety within college athletes.
Battling the Stigma of Addiction in America
ABSTRACT: Addiction is a disease, but unlike many other diseases it carries a heavy stigma from the American populace and the medical community in particular. According to statistics from 2022, 37% of Americans aged 12 and up struggle with illicit drug use, and 12% struggle with both illicit drugs and alcohol. The burden of stigmatization surrounding addiction has made finding quality and affordable options for recovery difficult. Those who would seek treatment are often met with harsh judgment stemming from popular culture narratives and a sociopolitical ideology that addiction is fundamentally a moral failing and not a disease of the mind. By interviewing several individuals, researching academic articles, and exploring how other countries have destigmatized and decriminalized addiction, I conclude that only if Americans can rethink how they view and treat people struggling with this disease, then can we begin to overhaul the system and our attitude toward addiction in order to save more lives.
An Adventure Into: The Posthuman Society
ABSTRACT: There are infinite possibilities for our future reality to become a dystopian or utopian society. Speculating our future as a species is pointless without understanding our beginning. As we evolved, a wedge between our human and animalistic sides formed–essentially creating a society built by human narcissism and profits. Our current anthropocentric system puts us at risk of developing a ‘transhuman’ society that decenters life in exchange for capital. Changes in ‘self’ and society using critical posthuman theories could better not only our lives as humans but the earth and other living things. Outlining how ‘becoming’ posthuman gives individual freedom in a collective assemblage by decentering the human and embracing hybridity.
Becoming a Master: The Hero's Journey in the Pokémon Video Game Series
ABSTRACT: The Pokémon videogame series invites players to step out of their mundane life and into a fantastical world crawling with catchable monsters, brimming with magic, and shrouded in mystery. Whether it is becoming a champion, stopping the nefarious plans of a group of comical criminals, or saving the region from a reality-shifting prophecy, the trainer’s adventure can seamlessly blend into the player’s own experiences of incitation, struggle, triumph, and transformation, i.e. The Hero’s Journey (Jung, Campbell, Vogler). This presentation will feature my solo-authored chapter written for and published in "The Psychology of Pokémon: The Power to Catch 'Em All" (2022).
The Study of Gender and Sexual Identity Post Christianity
ABSTRACT: Those in the LGBTQ+ community can experience an array of negative encounters within the Christian church. However, once they depart from the faith, they often experience a greater expression of their gender and sexual identity. This research examined this occurrence in a study questioning how much more their gender and sexual identity were expressed after leaving the Christian faith.
Counter-Narratives in Narrative Inquiry
ABSTRACT: In my submission, I aim to explain two publications co-authored with Michael Bamberg from 2020 and 2021. The narrative practice approach privileges contextual embeddedness as a central component of analysis. First, I briefly outline this methodological tradition and its history, then propose a definition of “counter narratives”. Next, I delineate the theoretical underpinnings of this concept, particularly its ancestors of positioning theory (Davies & Harré, 1990) and “the background” (Searle, 1995, 2010). Next, I aim to refine the definition of counter-narratives by distinguishing them from other narrative types, such as alternative narratives. Finally, I illustrate how these constructs may be used for empirical narrative inquiry.
Teaching Emotional Intelligence: A Framework
ABSTRACT: Emotional intelligence is one’s ability to acknowledge, express, and cope with emotions. Having emotions and feelings is what makes us uniquely human; therefore, it is a universal experience everyone shares, yet emotions are not commonly taught within households and schools. Teaching emotional intelligence can be challenging and, in this presentation, my objective is to present research on the different ways to educate children and adults in emotional intelligence, and the lasting impact emotional intelligence has on everyday life.
Exploring the Mystical Dimensions of Psychedelic Experience: A Deductive Thematic Analysis of LSD & Psilocybin-induced Mystical Experiences
ABSTRACT: Mystical experiences come in a multitude of different forms ranging from religious and spiritual experiences to experiences induced by psychedelics. Using Michael Daniel’s Categories of Mystical Experiences over 100 mystical experiences induced by LSD and Psilocybin were analyzed to find common themes present during each experience. The themes found in these experiences included numinous, dialogic, synergic, unitive and nondual. From the analysis of these experiences the environment and the individuals who are present have a major effect on the themes present during the experience. The dosage that each individual took also effect the number of themes present during the experience.
Adolescent Depression’ as Novel Construct and Implications for Measurement
ABSTRACT: Depression is one of the most prevalent mood disorders in the United States. Among young adults and teens, the disorder is rising faster than any other groups. Consequently, depression among young people has become a ‘silent epidemic’ with potentially catastrophic outcomes. Adolescence is a period of significant developmental change, something that current depression measures do not account for in their assessment. A new and novel construct of ‘adolescent depression’ is necessary to understand the unique ways adolescents experience this mood disorder. Consequently, a new construct requires new measurement(s) and the implications of this are also discussed in this presentation.
Humanistic Dimension of Freudian Psychoanalysis
ABSTRACT: Freud is often accused of being a pan-sexualist and of drawing an understanding of human personality solely from the sick side of humanity. The positive, more humanistic, spiritual, and optimistic readings of psychology position themselves in a reaction against Freud. There is no doubt a considerable degree in these more positive psychologies that complements psychoanalysis. As important as criticism is in constructive engagement, it would be more dialogical to complement points of disagreement with areas of concordance. This paper argues that the concept of sublimation in Freudian psychoanalysis carries this relational capacity.
Exploring Voices of Dissent Throughout COVID-19
ABSTRACT: The social discourses around public health policies and recommendations are intertwined with ideologies that lead people to contest and reject scientific findings meant to inform the public of the best practices for reducing the transmission of COVID-19 among individuals and throughout the community. Language is essential to the process of evaluation, understanding, and responding to dilemmatic events. This research explores the role of collective voices in how individuals make sense of, construct meaning from, and navigate nascent dilemmas throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The ways in which people evaluate, understand, and respond to dilemmas are entangled with the construction of identity.
Nazi Infiltration in Universities
Natalie N. Nelson
ABSTRACT: The Nazis rise to power in 1933 led them to take hold of the country’s psychology, government, and social institutions. Universities are a prime example of how social institutions were influenced. Universities in Germany before the war were important institutions for higher learning, but as the war progressed, they were susceptible to Nazi ideology. Academic freedom and tenure enabled and protected racial hygiene and eugenics research, which led to extreme consequences for Jews and other minority groups. The presentation concludes with a consideration of ethical values that must accompany academic freedom for higher education, to better resist ideologies of prejudice.
Accessibility of English Programs for Immigrants in Georgia
ABSTRACT: The United States of America is a country that appeals to immigrants to better themselves in all aspects, however many do not speak enough English to get by. While working at a nonprofit center that provides free English classes, I became curious as to why they attended here instead of other programs and why they chose to attend in the first place. This led me to ask, how can learning English be more accessible to others as well? Through this research I will be analyzing why people chose to attend a nonprofit free English program instead of publicly government funded programs and what motivates them to do so beyond economic reasons and assimilating into their new community.
Between the Lines of Color: Colorism in NFL Prospect Quarterbacks
ABSTRACT: Structural racism and colorism indicate a form of white dominance and superiority in the world of sports through the media overtly or unconsciously. This media influence is a strong structural form that contributes to the stereotypes and racism we observe in our society because of the influence athletes and sports have on our society determined by the large viewership it has in America. Through a content analysis, this research aims to discover the ways colorism has presented itself in the media through the lens of sports. By analyzing the key descriptors used in sports news articles, we draw a relation between skin tone and how one is presented in the media.
The Chant - A Cultural Voice Analysis of Cultural Change around Kansas State University Athletics
ABSTRACT: In 2014, the students at Kansas State University developed “The Chant” for men's basketball games against their rival, Kansas University. The vulgar tradition grew despite administration crackdown. In 2022, First year head basketball coach Jerome Tang spent time developing a relationship and culture with the students at the university. The dialogue Tang created with the students eventually resulted in the students ceasing use of “The Chant”. These events provide an opportunity to research how culture change occurs. In this presentation I will use a Collective Voice Analysis of news articles and podcasts discussing “The Chant” to trace the process of the change in the Cultural Voice surrounding Kansas State University men’s basketball.
Synesthesia and the Highly Sensitive Person: A Study in Transliminality
ABSTRACT: I will be examining synesthesia and sensory processing sensitivity in order to potentially prove a link between the two through the transliminal personality type. This is a personality type that has not be given a name but has been discussed for some time as those who are more likely to experience ESP, synesthesia, SNS, and other forms of transliminality which is a hypersensitivity towards psychological information.
Eco-Fractal Model of Survival
ABSTRACT: In this currently in-process research study, I propose an ecological, fractal model of the survival of human consciousness. The study of survival, one of the branches of parapsychological research, explores evidence of the possibility that some part of an individual’s mind, personality or consciousness extends beyond the death of the body. This area of research focuses on phenomena like mediumship, after-death communication, near-death experiences, reincarnation memories, and transplant cases. There are a range of explanatory models for these anomalous experiences, including the survival hypothesis, the skeptical perspective, living agent-psi, and field theories. I am proposing an alternative model of the survival of human consciousness which will examine survival cases through the lens of ecopsychological theory, fractals, and Deleuzian philosophy.
The Effect of Essential Oils on Short Term Memory
ABSTRACT: Essential oils have had a steady hand in healing ,the earliest usage occurred in the period of 3000-2500 B.C. in ancient Egypt. This study seeks to understand the effect of essential oils applied topically and through inhalation (aromatherapy) on short term memory. This study has one main objective. To answer the question: do essential oils applied topically have the same significant effect on humans' short-term memory as aromatherapy? This study will explore this question while maintaining a stance that essential oils will improve short term memory.