Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1994

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Marc Pratarelli

Abstract

This study focused on Gur, Gur, and Harris's (1974) finding that lateral eye movements (LEMs) reflected differences in hemispheric lateralization in response to verbal or visuospatial questions, and that, in part, LEMs were controlled by the experimenter's location relative to the subject. Specifically, this study examined the role of subject anxiety levels given the experimenter's location relative to the subject. Both verbal and visuospatial questions were presented to initiate eye movement via the left and right hemispheres, respectively. Anxiety measures were taken from 40 undergraduates from both General psychology courses and a campus housing facility using the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory (SSAI); systolic blood pressure was also used as a measure. Verbal questions elicited significantly more right eye movement than spatial questions in the experimenter absent (EA) condition, yet no difference in LEMs occurred in the experimenter facing subject (EFS) condition. The latter was associated with significantly higher anxiety measures from the SSAI. In addition, the proportion of subjects who looked in the expected direction while correctly answering a specific question was significantly higher than the proportion of subjects who still answered correctly and looked in the direction contrary to the expected direction.

Rights

Copyright 1994 Andrew C. Hillner

Comments

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