SAGE Journal Articles
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Wirth, J. H., Sacco, D. F., Hugenberg, K., & Williams, K. D. (2010). Eye gaze as relational evaluation: Averted eye gaze leads to feelings of ostracism and relational devaluation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 869-882.
Eye gaze is often a signal of interest and, when noticed by others, leads to mutual and directional gaze. However, averting one’s eye gaze toward an individual has the potential to convey a strong interpersonal evaluation. The averting of eye gaze is the most frequently used nonverbal cue to indicate the silent treatment, a form of ostracism. The authors argue that eye gaze can signal the relational value felt toward another person. In three studies, participants visualized interacting with an individual displaying averted or direct eye gaze. Compared to receiving direct eye contact, participants receiving averted eye gaze felt ostracized, signaled by thwarted basic need satisfaction, reduced explicit and implicit self-esteem, lowered relational value, and increased temptations to act aggressively toward the interaction partner.
This article reports on two experiments of exposure to music and cognitive performance. In Experiment 1, Canadian undergraduates performed better on an IQ subtest (Symbol Search) after listening to an up-tempo piece of music composed by Mozart in comparison to a slow piece by Albinoni. The effect was evident, however, only when the two pieces also induced reliable differences in arousal and mood. In Experiment 2, Japanese 5-year-olds drew for longer periods of time after singing or hearing familiar children's songs than after hearing Mozart or Albinoni, and their drawings were judged by adults to be more creative, energetic, and technically proficient. These results indicate that (1) exposure to different types of music can enhance performance on a variety of cognitive tests, (2) these effects are mediated by changes in emotional state, and (3) the effects generalize across cultures and age groups.
Environmental correlates of problem behavior among individuals with autism spectrum disorder remain relatively understudied. The current study examined the contribution of in-room (i.e. bedroom) access to a video game console as one potential correlate of problem behavior among a sample of 169 boys with autism spectrum disorder (ranging from 8 to 18 years of age). Parents of these children reported on (1) whether they had specific rules regulating their child’s video game use, (2) whether their child had in-room access to a variety of screen-based media devices (television, computer, and video game console), and (3) their child’s oppositional behaviors. Multivariate regression models showed that in-room access to a video game console predicted oppositional behavior while controlling for in-room access to other media devices (computer and television) and relevant variables (e.g. average number of video game hours played per day). Additionally, the association between in-room access to a video game console and oppositional behavior was particularly large when parents reported no rules on their child’s video game use. The current findings indicate that both access and parental rules regarding video games warrant future experimental and longitudinal research as they relate to problem behavior in boys with autism spectrum disorder.