Three Minute Thesis
College of Arts and Sciences
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Open to the public
The college winner will receive a $1,000 fellowship for fall 2017 and advance to the WSU 3MT competition on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
The college runner up and people’s choice winner will each receive a $500 fellowship for fall 2017.
Six graduate students are scheduled to participate in the CAS Three Minute Thesis qualifying round:
“Designing Photoactive Porphyrin Crystals”
We provide a structure–function relationship study of an organic crystalline photoconductor composed of oppositely charged ionic porphyrins. Nano to millimeter size crystals with well-defined morphology composed of stoichiometric amounts of meso-tetra(N-methyl-4-pyridyl)porphyrin (TMPyP) and meso-tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin (TSPP) were grown in a controlled and reproducible manner. To predict the size distribution of the crystal we developed a computer model, based on nucleation and growth. The rod shaped TMPyP:TSPP monoclinic P21/c crystals have a pseudo-hexagonal cross section and their internal structure consists of highly organized molecular columns of alternating porphyrin cations and anions. Experimental characterization of the TMPyP:TSPP solid was performed using powder-XRD, AFM, SEM, DRS UV-visible, and photoconductivity measurements. For the first time the morphology of an ionic porphyrin solid is predicted. The TMPyP:TSPP crystals are non-conducting in the dark but become conductive with illumination. The n-type photoconductive response is significantly faster with excitation in the Q-band than with excitation in the Soret band. Quantum mechanical calculations were performed to determine the electronic band structure and density of states and to explain the photoconduction in TMPyP:TSPP. Based on these results we propose a model in which two types of photoconductivity occur: (1) band conduction which occurs at all excitation wavelengths and (2) hopping conductivity caused by metastable photoinduced defects that form primarily at higher energy excitations. This work combines the results from structural and theoretical studies and correlates them with electronic and optoelectronic properties thereby opening the road to the engineering of highly-organized functional materials from organic π-conjugated molecules.
“BTS, a Water Soluble, Slow Releasing Sulfur Dioxide Donor”
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) has long been considered a toxic environmental pollutant and byproduct of industrial processing. Recently it has become evident that SO2 may also have regulatory functions in mammalian pulmonary systems. However, the study of these effects has proven to be challenging due to the difficulty in administering SO2 in a reliable manner. In this work, we report the discovery of a new pH-dependent and water-soluble SO2 donor, benzothiazole sulfinate (BTS). We have found BTS to have slow and sustained SO2 release at physiological pH. Additionally, we have explored its vasorelaxation properties as compared to the authentic SO2 gas solutions. The slow release of BTS should make it a useful tool for the study of endogenously generated SO2.
“Explaining Incredible Basic Information to Dolts: Negative Reactions to Failed Persuasion Attempts”
Classic research demonstrates that individuals consistently direct negative attitudes to members of out-groups. I proposed this effect would be amplified in cases where another person was viewed as definitively, rather than ambiguously, a member of the out-group. Participants (n=210) imagined a conversation with a hypothetical other who disagreed with them about an important political issue. Participants assigned to the Opportunity to Persuade condition imagined failing to persuade this person to change their mind about the target political issue to suggest that the out-group member’s views were unchangeable. Participants in the No Opportunity to Persuade condition imagined failing to persuade the opponent about an unrelated issue. I expected participants in this second condition to see their partners’ views as relatively malleable, compared to those in the Opportunity to Persuade condition, because they had not tried and failed to persuade their partners on the target issue. Further, I predicted this difference in perceptions of the malleability of the opponent’s views would lead participants to see the other person as less similar to the self which, in turn, would amplify negative attitudes (less interpersonal liking). Contrary to predictions, no condition effects were observed. However, some support for the proposed process did emerge. Participants who viewed the opponent as unlikely to ever change their mind perceived them to be less similar to the self, which produced decreased rates of liking, when compared to participants who believed the opponent’s views to be more malleable. These findings suggest that perhaps it is not failing to persuade an opponent, but instead perceiving that persuasion attempts would never work that drives some of the animosity directed at political opponents.
“Seeing Power, Seeing Struggle: Exposing Appropriation in Ancient and
Contemporary Visual and Digital Literacy”
Abstract will be available shortly.
“Casual Accounts of Psychopathy and Legal Decision-Making: The Influence of Gender”
Research suggests that evidence of psychopathy in the courtroom largely has a prejudicial impact (e.g., increased guilty verdict and punishment) among jurors and judges (Edens et al., 2003; 2013). In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of biological/genetic explanations to mitigate responsibility in courtrooms (Forzano et al., 2010; Owens, 2011). Heine and colleagues (2011) argued that genetic information about behaviors is often evaluated in a biased manner, where behaviors are seen as immutable, determined, and representing an essence of the individual. Cheung and Heine (2015) found that genetic account of criminal behavior was associated with perceptions of both diminished agency and support for mitigating defenses and perceptions of increased recidivism and recommendation for lengthier sentences. Only one study to date has examined the effect of genetic attributions of psychopathy on legal decisions. Aspinwall and colleagues (2012) found that biological evidence increased the likelihood of considering psychopathy as a mitigating factor (e.g., reduced culpability) and an aggravating factor (e.g., higher recidivism). The present study extend previous research by examining how decision-makers perceive and sentence psychopathic violent offenders when presented with different etiological accounts of psychopathy. The present study also explored how offender and perceiver gender may affect these decisions. Two-hundred and thirty eight undergraduates participated in the study. Participants read a vignette about a physical assault and completed questions related to legal outcomes. Offender gender (male vs. female) and etiology of psychopathy (genetic vs. environmental) were manipulated between groups. Results showed a significant three-way interaction between perceiver gender, offender gender, and etiology in predicting criminal responsibility. For female perceivers, genetic accounts of psychopathy were perceived more harshly for female (i.e., most criminally responsible) than male offenders. In contrast, environmental accounts of psychopathy were perceived more harshly for male than female offenders. The opposite pattern was evident for male perceivers. Thus, the function of genetic evidence varies depending in part by perceiver and offender gender and may be a ‘double-edged sword’, serving as both a mitigating and aggravating factor in legal proceedings.
“Personality, Eating Disorders, and Alcohol Use”
Eating disorder behaviors are highly comorbid with alcohol use problems. Researchers have examined personality features such as impulsivity and negative emotionality in those who engage in eating disorders and alcohol abuse to try to explain the relationship between the maladaptive behaviors. This study was the first to conduct a latent profile analysis in a large college student sample to determine how negative temperament, negative urgency, and drinking to cope characterize individuals who engage in both disordered eating and alcohol abuse behaviors. Results indicated that a six profile solution with gender as a covariate yielded the best combination of fit and theoretical value. The six profiles were named as follows: low risk, negative temperament, moderate risk, college drinking, coping, and high urgency. The coping and high urgency profiles exhibited the highest scores on coping and urgency, respectively, as well as demonstrated the highest risk for disordered eating. However, the high urgency profile showed the highest risk for alcohol abuse and alcohol-related problems. These results suggest that students who engage in both disordered eating and alcohol abuse behaviors may be differentiated by the mechanisms that drive the behaviors, such as impulsivity and coping motives.