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Session 20A-20B 17:30-19:00 // day two

20A - Interactions & Identities University of Warwick and University of Leeds

More than one in five countries have an official state religion and often, many make the assumption that Catholicism is the state religion of Ireland. Despite the Irish constitution stating on its first page In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred...(Bunreacth na ireann, 1945), Ireland is officially a secular country. This paper seeks to explore the notion that as an Irish citizen, one's Catholic identity is often assumed and that within this assumption there are implications for those attending Catholic institutions. In particular, this paper will examine the relatively under-explored area of Irish sexuality within the Catholic-dominated school systems and how the "baptism barrier" can create an assumed Catholic identity for Irish adolescents. In turn, the Catholic identity then works to influence the discourses towards a heteronormative framework which"others" female sexuality and desire. The existing bodies of work carried out on Irish sexuality and Catholicism have been predominantly written by Tom Inglis, but very little exists outside of these studies. The originality in this study's approach is that, by examining the Catholic identity as it intersects with Irish social values that relate to sexuality, it draws attention to Foucauldian theories of power-knowledge. As a result, the power-knowledge imbalance becomes problematic in the context of female adolescent sexuality. This paper seeks to contribute to the debate that Ireland needs to drastically overhaul current sex education.

The potential of technology use to facilitate collaboration in informal learning is recognised by institutions across the world, including the Higher Education Academy and the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education. Improving our understanding of how mobile devices are used to enrich face-to-face interaction in informal group learning will aid us in identifying ways to improve the efficacy and efficiency of technology use in this context.

I will conduct observations of how students conducting informal group learning tasks use mobile devices within their interactions, specifically their face-to-face interactions, rather than computer-mediated interactions between parties. I will collect data using field notes and audio-visual recordings. I will observe how mobile device use influences aspects of their verbal and non-verbal communication, including the meanings conveyed, in order to understand how it both contributes to and detracts from the 'normal' dynamics of the interaction. Drawing on my previous research into mobile device use in face-to-face interaction, I anticipate that the use of devices for group-oriented activities, such as providing objects of reference for a concurrent interactional turn, is likely to contribute to the normal dynamics of the interaction, while device use for self-oriented activities is likely to detract from these dynamics. I further anticipate that, where the device user approximates verbal communication appropriate to their interactional role, device use is unlikely to detract from the dynamics of the interaction.

We are able to tickle others, but when it comes to tickling ourselves, we are unable to produce the same sensation. This study investigated the role of the motor command in body-related perceptions, specifically, four explanations as to why we are unable to tickle ourselves: (i) the sensory prediction, generated by the efference copies of the motor command, caused sensory attenuation of the self-action; (ii) the non re-afferent proprioceptive feedback of the passive self-movement produced sensory attenuation of self-movement; (iii) the reflex explanation - the sensory consequences of self-tickling are not unpredictable; (iv) the interpersonal explanation - self-tickling lacks social context. Although these explanations have been utilised in previous research on tickling, this study makes a distinctive contribution through its examination of how an individuals' mood influences their tickling response. Thirty-nine participants were induced into a happy or sad mood by watching an emotional video clip. They were then tickled in four different ways: (i) active self-tickling, (ii) passive self-tickling, (iii) tickled by a machine, (iv) tickled by a researcher. The results showed that there was: (i) no significant difference between the tickling scores of active and passive self-movements; (ii) no significant difference between the tickling scores of tickles generated by the machine and by the researcher; (iii) no significant difference between the tickling scores of the ‘happy’ individuals and ‘sad’ individuals. With the aim of remedying individuals’ mental health, this data could be used towards facilitating the implementation of new strategies such as tickling therapy for patients with depression.

Depression in university students is associated with worsened academic performance and poorer social functioning (Eisenburg, 2007). Pressures to form friendships and achieve success create a largely negative environment (Yoon, 2017), but must it always be so? Whilst stressors exist, so too do opportunities for self-betterment as students find renewed purpose. Such aspects are neglected in literature, and the present study aimed to address this by examining the positive experiences of students who have recovered from depression at university with three questions:

  1. what aspects of university are useful in combating depression?
  2. how are these aspects experienced by students?
  3. can these experiences assist other students?

Five students aged 18-25 were recruited via a Facebook post on the University of Leeds Current Student page and posters advertising the study on-campus. Upon recruitment, they were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis aimed to understand their lived experience of depression in a university setting, and themes were generated from these interviews, including Empowerment and Development of Identity.

Aspects of university life were identified to improve outcomes of depression. For example, university offered students an opportunity to develop their adult-identity, representing a milestone in personal development as the individual acquired skills to interact with the world without relying on others and increase their self-esteem (Secker, et al, 2003).

Suggestions were then made regarding future study, including conducting interviews with university mental health professionals to provide data from different perspectives, which could offer new insight into mental health recovery at university.

20B - Sex, Gender & Morality University of Warwick and Baruch College, City University of New York

This study aims at exploring Greek-Cypriots’ attitudes towards homosexuality in Cyprus, with a particular focus on the perceived importance of religion. Cyprus is a country where most people tend to have strong religious beliefs and traditional values. Same-sex marriage was legalized in Cyprus in December 2015. By using the World Values Survey Wave 6 data, where interviews were conducted in 2011, this study examines whether and by how much importance of religion in one’s life and socio-demographic measures such as sex, age, education, income and marital status affect attitudes towards homosexuality, through ordered logit models. Findings suggest that importance of religion is one of the main factors affecting attitudes towards homosexuality, affirming that individuals who perceive religion as less important are more likely to have a favourable attitude towards homosexuality. Sex and age were also found to be significant, suggesting that women and younger individuals tend to be more accepting when it comes to same-sex relationships. Older individuals, particularly men, tend to have strong traditional values, making them less accepting when it comes to ‘taboo’ topics, such as homosexuality, as opposing to younger individuals and women, who seem to have a more favourable attitude. Predicted probabilities for different outcomes for attitudes towards homosexuality based on perceived importance of religion are presented, revealing that an average single Cypriot woman who believes that religion is not at all important to her has a predicted probability of believing that homosexuality is always justifiable of 20.5%, while one who believes that religion is very important to her, has a predicted probability of believing that homosexuality is always justifiable of 5.3%. This study concludes by suggesting that people in Cyprus still find it hard to accept same-sex relationships, mainly due to their strong religious beliefs, and in all likelihood, importance of family and traditional values. Future studies could benefit from looking explicitly at religious beliefs, family values and traditionalism, especially in countries like Cyprus, as these factors are likely to influence at a great extent attitudes towards homosexuality.

George Bluestone states that there are two kinds of time: chronological time, measured by clocks, and psychological time, which 'distends or compresses in consciousness, and presents itself in continuous flux.' (1957; 48-49) I will explore the implications of disruption to strict chronology in film, in relation to the representation of the inherently non-chronological processes of memory and dream. After a brief overview of my theoretical approach, influenced by Bergson and Deleuze, I will move through to textual analysis of the film In the Mood for Love, first looking at the film as a whole and then at two sequences in greater detail. In The Mood for Love tells the story of two would-be lovers in the socially conservative Hong Kong of the early 1960s, both married to other people and so unable to find permanent happiness together. I propose that the film utilises its disjointed and non-chronological approach to time in order to articulate romantic fantasies that cannot be realised, demonstrating the extra-narrative potential of cinematic time. Dream is wholly subjective, with no place in linearity; its presence is inherently a rupture to chronological time. Therefore, in order to convey dream in the inescapably linear format of a film (where one shot must always follow another and every scene must end), Wong uses a variety of devices to both elongate and compress time, transforming the film into a subjective meditation on unspoken desire.

Experience-taking occurs when a person who is exposed to a character from a story takes the mindset of that character (Kaufman & Libby, 2012). Research has demonstrated that women are more likely than men to experience-take with characters of both genders, whereas men are less able to experience take with female characters (Oatley, 1996). These studies further examined the differences between gender and experience-take tendencies based on character gender. In study one, we hypothesized that females would experience-take as equally as males when accessing a logical male character but would be less likely to experience take than males for a comical or funny male character. For the second study, we hypothesized that when participants generate their own character in an experience-taking task females will be more likely than males to choose and identify with a female character. Our first study found no differences in experience-taking between the type of male character and gender of the experience-taking. Our second study found that male participants were significantly less likely to choose a female character compared to female participants, who chose male and female characters equally. However, this relationship did not result in a difference in reported experience-taking. These studies help us better understand the impact of popular role models' portrayal of gender norms on individual's ability to identify with certain characters. With this information, we may better understand how to navigate the edges of tradition to explore role models whose traits challenge conservative gender norms.

This is the principle question which we explored in the creation of our prospective study. “Social desirability bias” is widely referred to as the tendency for individuals to alter their honest responses to provide “socially acceptable” responses. We chose to base future quantitative data analysis upon the 33-item Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability (MCSDS) scale, which provides a valid measure for the expression of social desirability bias (Barger, 2002; Crowne & Marlowe, 1960). Following the path of the Lonnqvist et al. (2009), we propose to examine the effect of participants’ perceived ethical standing but with detailed scenarios. An online questionnaire consisting of four randomly selected ethical scenarios taken from the DIT2 Instrument of Moral Judgment (Rest et al., 1999) will be administered. We hypothesize that many of the participants will choose to answer in a “socially acceptable” manner, furthermore we posit that participants who are told that they are less ethical than their peers will adjust their responses accordingly to reflect what is socially desirable. Conversely, we are also interested in whether telling participants that they are more ethical than peers will have any mitigating effect on expression of social desirability bias. Possible implications of this study could yield useful information regarding susceptibility to social desirability bias and behavioral modification in situations of perceived moral inferiority, as well as revealing possible flaws in large-scale polling related to social/ political issues.