Student Research Related to Psychology-Human Resources                                               

The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Perceived Social Integration (Honors)
Autumn Tack (2004)
Advisor:  Dr. McMinn

This study investigated the relationships among emotional intelligence (EI), self-monitoring (SM), and perceived social integration (PSI), to address whether EI predicts PSI over and above SM.  Because the causal relationships were also of interest, a cross-lagged design was used.  Seventy-seven undergraduates rated their own EI, SM, and PSI initially regarding their first-year orientation groups, and again later in the semester when these groups had a class together.  I predicted that EI and SM would significantly and uniquely predict PSI, with higher levels of EI leading to higher levels of PSI.  The findings were in the right direction, however only one factor of EI was positively correlated with PSI.  College orientation programs (as well as other groups) could use this study’s results to help students (or employees) feel more integrated with their peers.

Team Reflexivity:  The Effects of Reflection on Task Performance in leader-driven and self-managed teams
John Buco (2006)
Advisor:  Dr. McMinn
This study explored the effect of reflection on leadership in task performance.  One hundred twenty undergraduate students, age 18-22, participated in this study.  The simulation game Casino Empire™ was used as the task.  Participants played the game for a total of 40 minutes, divided into two 20-minute sections.  Between the two sections a reflection condition was administered, during which participants either discussed their progress or played solitaire.  The leader-driven team and the self-managed team had similar performance levels.  Reflection had no effect on task performance.  No interaction effect was present between reflexivity and leadership.  Performance levels during time 2 of the task were predicted by the performance levels at time 1 of the task.  Gender composition also had a minor effect, based on the number of women in the group.

Computer-Mediated and Face-To-Face Communciations:  The Medium Effect on Task Performance and Qualitative Measures
Lindsay Egg (2007)
Advisor: Dr. Gittis
With advances in technology, this study tested two ways of communicating: through verbal discussion and through a computer chat room.  It was predicted that people would prefer verbal communication through judgments about group contribution, confidence in answers, and enjoyment completing tasks.  It was predicted that the quality of decision making would not be affected by communication modes.  Sixty-three Westminster College students worked in groups of three to complete two intellective, idea-generative, and judgment tasks.  Each group was randomly assigned to complete tasks by communicating either verbally, through the computer, or both.  As predicted, verbal discussion was preferred in comparison to computer communication.  Contrary to prediction, different ways of communicating led to differences in the quality of decision making.

The Effects of Different Shiftwork on Sleep, Family and Social Conflicts, and Alcohol Use
Maranda Huff (2007)
Advisor:  Dr. McMinn
The purpose of this study is to look at shiftwork and how it affects work-family conflict, social-conflict, sleep and alcohol consumption of the employee.  The 60 men who participated in the study all worked for the same company, only on different shifts.  The shifts included were the standard shift, the 21-tun, and the 2on/2off.  Overall it was found that workers on the 21-turn and 2on/2off shifts had more work-family conflict and sleeping problems than those working the standard shift, only the workers on the 21-turn had greater alcohol consumption than both 2on/2off and the standard shifts.  For companies this could mean moving all employees to a standard shift because of the effects turns have on an individual.

The Effects of Supervisor Presence and Organizational Justice on Citizenship Behavior and Impression Management Motives
Jack Marti (2007)
Advisor:  Dr. McMinn

In an experimental study of 44 employees, the researcher hypothesized high organization justice would lead to more organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) with the intent to benefit the organization.  It was also predicted that when a supervisor was present, more OCB directed at coworkers would occur with the intent to benefit the employee.  Through vignettes and questionnaires, the results indicated that OCB was more likely to occur and be performed to benefit the organization in ambiguous justice conditions as well as being performed to benefit the organization when a supervisor was present.  This suggests employees perform OCB altruistically, especially when a supervisor is present and justice conditions are unknown.

Antecedents and Learning Consequences of Psychological Safety in Organizational Teams (Honors)
Laura Pienkowksi (2007)
Advisor:  Dr. McMinn
This study examined psychological safety in organizations by elaborating on the antecedent conditions (e.g., trust, commitment, managerial behaviors, and innovation) that influence team safety and their association with team learning behaviors by evaluating 20 hospital nursing teams (N=139).  The prediction that psychological safety would mediate between the antecedent conditions and team learning behaviors was supported.  A series of regression analyses showed the relationship between the antecedent variables and team learning behaviors were partially mediated by psychological safety.  Distinguishing what influences psychological safety within teams can lead to effective team performance and increased production for organizations.

Idiosyncratic Working Arrangements and Their Relationship to Organizational Attitudes and Behaviors (Honors)
Brett Turk (2007)
Advisor:  Dr. McMinn
Two studies examined idiosyncratic working arrangements (i-deals) and their relationship to other organizational constructs.  Data from 210 employees across multiple industries were used to create a measure encompassing content-based types of i-deals.  From these data, seven categories of i-deals were posited.  Forty undergraduates rated how closely 28 behaviors matched a definition for each of the types of i-deals.  A two cluster model for i-deal type was supported: flexibility and resource availability.  Another sample of 107 employees from six organizations completed surveys, including an i-deal measure.  Receiving i-deals had positive relationships with psychological contract fulfillment, organizational justice, job satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behavior.  These relationships indicate that i-deals may have a profound impact on both individual and organizational performance.

The Role of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Responsibility in Predicting Prosocial Ecological Behavior Intentions
Cassie Treshok (2010)
Advisor:  Dr. McMinn
This research applies Schwartz’s Norm Activation Model (1977) to recycling and energy conservation by expanding ascription of responsibility to include moral and conventional responsibility. Prosocial intentions and behavior are measured through self-reports, intentions to participate in a recycling event, and willingness to purchase eco-friendly products. It is hypothesized that participants with higher levels of ecological knowledge will report that they recycle or conserve energy. Participants with high levels of moral responsibility will report stronger intentions to behave pro-ecologically. Participants include 60-80 undergraduate college students, ages 18-22.