HSSC students and faculty present research at the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters conference
Christopher Yono’s research, guided by Dr. Franco Delogu, Assistant Professor of Psychology, explored “SO.FI.A: a new social perception test for behavioral research.” Yono created SOcial FIgure Animations (SO.FI.A), a battery of animations based upon the principle that simple animations can be interpreted as complex behaviors. As Yono writes in his abstract, “the aim of SO.FI.A is to allow researchers to test social perception in experiments with concurrent tasks. SO.FI.A presents two figures (small disks) interacting inside and/or outside of a constant enclosed environment. Their actions represent different social situations in which the perception of social states could emerge.” Yono designed an experiment where participants were asked to “rate the figures on a social-polarity scale of conflict versus agreement and the level of certainty of their judgment.” Yono reported that “standardized data indicate that SO.FI.A can be effectively used to assess social perception in complex experimental settings.”Daniel Croft’s research, guided by Dr. Rebecca Chung, Assistant Professor of English, explores “what truly frightens Shakespeare.” According to Croft, “the best way to see what an author fears is to analyze the punishments he gives his characters. With the number of characters that received the ultimate punishment, i.e. death, from him, it would be easy to assume that Shakespeare was afraid to die. Yet, the number of “heroic” deaths he writes would seem to contradict this assumption. Drawing from three of his most famous characters: King Lear, Prospero, and the Duke from Measure for Measure,” Croft shows how Shakespeare would “prefer death to the disabilities of old age.” Dr. Melinda Phillips, Associate Professor of English, and Chair of Humanities, Social Science, and Communication also delivered a paper on Shakespeare’s treatment of Neo-Platonic themes in King Lear.