Congratulations to Sydney Caulder ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project entitled “Exploring Sensation Seeking and Psychopathy Factors: Associations with Risk-Taking Behaviors and Aggression”. Her supervisor, Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand was joined by committee members, Dr. Lindsey Osterman and Dr. Dane Hilton to oversee her defense.

Project Abstract:

Previous research has established a link between sensation seeking behaviors, aggression, risk-taking, and psychopathic personality. The links between both sensation seeking, psychopathy, and risk-taking are well-established, but literature on factors that might mitigate these associations (when healthier coping mechanisms are implemented) is limited. The current study examined associations between sensation seeking, psychopathy, risk-taking and aggression and aimed to extend this research by exploring whether activities that would fulfill sensation seeking tendencies in a safer way may buffer against risk-taking and aggression. Several moderation analyses were conducted to explore the effect of recreational risk-taking on outcomes of aggression and maladaptive risk-taking with predictors of sensation seeking and psychopathy. Correlations replicated previously established associations between these constructs, but the results of many of the moderation analyses were insignificant. However, recreational risk-taking moderated the association between sensation seeking and maladaptive risk-taking, but not as expected. Findings may serve as a good starting point to attempting to understand less maladaptive risk-taking mechanisms.

Congratulations again to Sydney Caulder on a successful defense and we look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!




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