Three recent McNair graduates, Yessica Berumen Martinez, Theresa Schwartz, and Andrea White, were published in the newest edition of Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado (Volume 10, Number 1). To learn more about their research and download the full articles click on their names below.
- Yessica Berumen Martinez
"Assessing Latinx Colorism and Skin Tone Dating Preferences in Adults"
Abstract: Colorism is favoring by individuals of lighter skin over darker skin. This differs from racism because racism is discrimination directed towards racial or ethnic minorities, while colorism typically refers to within-group prejudice. The purpose of this study is to find out whether and how Latinx individuals’ self-perceived skin color, family, and friends influence their dating skin color preference. 145 respondents ages 18 and over completed the In-group Colorism Scale by Harvey, Banks, and Tennial (2017) and answered additional questions on skin tone perceptions on dating, and parent and friend influences. There was no significant connection between self-perceived skin color and dating. There was no friend influences found while in comparison there was a significant influence from parents on the skin tone preferences. Documenting any correlation between Latinx and dating can not only contribute to the understanding of colorism but could open up more dialogue across all racial and ethnic groups about bias and prejudice based on skin tone. Further, I hope that this study will inform critical race studies to combat racial and ethnic inequalities.
- Theresa Schwartz
"Determining Dietary Niche in Primates Using Portable X-Ray Fluorescence"
Abstract: Diet is a critical component of the ecology of an animal. Many dietary reconstructions involve destruction of the sample. Portable X-Ray fluorescence (pXRF), however, is a non-destructive method of gathering elemental data. This is important for research in biological anthropology and diet reconstructions because it leaves a sample intact of which there might only be few specimens. There has been a gap in dietary reconstructions using non-destructive methods like pXRF which is portable, cheaper, and as accurate as destructive methods and should therefore be implemented into research of this nature. This research attempts to validate this method by determining dietary information about six primate skulls. By looking at strontium and calcium ratios (Sr/Ca) within the teeth of these primates, I assess folivory (leaf-eating) versus frugivory (fruit-eating) and dietary breadth. Because leaves have higher Sr/Ca ratios than fruits, it is likely that primates with a low reading of Sr/Ca ratios fall into the frugivore diet range, whereas the opposite indicate a folivorous diet preference. A comparison to a mesowear study done on the same primates arrived at the same results as this study, supporting the use of pXRF as a non-destructive means of diet reconstruction. These results support pXRF implementation on a greater scale for the purpose of diet reconstruction and diet breadth assessment.
- Andrea White
"How the Chameleon Effect Impacts Introverts and Extroverts in Social and Academic Settings"
Abstract: The chameleon effect is a phenomenon in which people unconsciously copy other people’s behaviors, so they match the people around them in interactive settings. It is important for college students to know what type of personality they have and how that personality type is impacted by this phenomenon. The result of this knowledge can help them better understand their behavior in academic and social settings, which will make them more aware of said behaviors. This will help students be safer in these situations, as well as help them to stop the behavior faster. The chameleon effect and the personality traits of introversion and extroversion have been studied in previous literature in many ways separately, but not together in the manner this research has done. This study investigated how the chameleon effect may impact introverts and extroverts differently in social and academic settings, with the intention of finding who is more impacted by the phenomenon in these settings. The study used a survey with two parts: an introversion and extroversion scale and four stories; two about social settings and two about academic setting. The data analysis looked at the correlation between introversion/extroversion and the chameleon effect. The hypothesis was that in social settings, extroverts will be more impacted by the chameleon effect than introverts, and vice versa in academic settings. The data did show this pattern with stipulations. The hope is to expand this research to other populations, such as children.