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Impacts of Age on Neuropsychological Task Performance

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The purpose of this study was to test the reproducibility of the current data set. It was hypothesized that older adults’ scores on the Repeatable Battery for Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) would decrease from their initial visit to their

The purpose of this study was to test the reproducibility of the current data set. It was hypothesized that older adults’ scores on the Repeatable Battery for Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) would decrease from their initial visit to their one year follow-up visit and that greater overall age is associated with worse performance. Overall, the older adults with a follow-up visit in this study experienced greater decline on the RBANS DMI than on the RBANS total scaled score. There seems to be a negative trend in which individuals with higher first-visit VCI scores experience greater improvement on the first trial of the motor task with the non-dominant hand. The same trend can be seen in DMI scores where higher initial DMI scores are associated with greater improvement on the first non-dominant hand trial of the motor task. This initial trend suggests that visuospatial scores have an association with long-term change in the motor task. The number of participants in this data set were limited, thus more data will be needed to increase confidence in conclusions about these relationships in the future.

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2021-05

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Screening in school-wide positive behavior supports: methodogical comparisons

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Many schools have adopted programming designed to promote students' behavioral aptitude. A specific type of programming with this focus is School Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS), which combines positive behavior techniques with a system wide problem solving model. Aspects of

Many schools have adopted programming designed to promote students' behavioral aptitude. A specific type of programming with this focus is School Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS), which combines positive behavior techniques with a system wide problem solving model. Aspects of this model are still being developed in the research community, including assessment techniques which aid the decision making process. Tools for screening entire student populations are examples of such assessment interests. Although screening tools which have been described as "empirically validated" and "cost effective" have been around since at least 1991, they have yet to become standard practice (Lane, Gresham, & O'Shaughnessy 2002). The lack of widespread implementation to date raises questions regarding their ecological validity and actual cost-effectiveness, leaving the development of useful tools for screening an ongoing project for many researchers. It may be beneficial for educators to expand the range of measurement to include tools which measure the symptoms at the root of the problematic behaviors. Lane, Grasham, and O'Shaughnessy (2002) note the possibility that factors from within a student, including those that are cognitive in nature, may influence not only his or her academic performance, but also aspects of behavior. A line of logic follows wherein measurement of those factors may aid the early identification of students at risk for developing disorders with related symptoms. The validity and practicality of various tools available for screening in SWPBS were investigated, including brief behavior rating scales completed by parents and teachers, as well as performance tasks borrowed from the field of neuropsychology. All instruments showed an ability to predict children's behavior, although not to equal extents. A discussion of practicality and predictive utility of each instrument follows.

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2012

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How disorder onset controllability moderates the impact of biological arguments on judgments of criminal responsibility

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In recent years, the use of biologically based (neurological, neuropsychological, genetic) evidence in criminal trials as support for claims of mental impairments among offenders has increased in popularity. However, research on how exposure to those arguments affects jury decision-making remains

In recent years, the use of biologically based (neurological, neuropsychological, genetic) evidence in criminal trials as support for claims of mental impairments among offenders has increased in popularity. However, research on how exposure to those arguments affects jury decision-making remains unclear. Specifically, arguments rooted in biology sometimes mitigate and sometimes aggravate judgments of criminal responsibility for mentally ill offenders, and this discrepancy seems to stem from the specific conditions by which that disorder was acquired. The following study’s aim was to uncover the precise mechanism(s) behind this elusive effect. Utilizing a 2x2 between subjects experimental design, participants were presented with a hypothetical crime summary involving an offender with either an onset controllable or uncontrollable mental disorder. Ratings of criminal responsibility and other variables hypothesized to function as mediators were obtained after presentation of a prime supporting either a biologically deterministic or free will argument for human behavior in general. Results indicated that when the defendant’s disorder was the result of the his own actions (onset controllable), a biological prime decreased judgments of criminal responsibility; however, when the disorder was caused by factors out of his control (onset uncontrollable), the prime increased judgments of criminal responsibility. An examination of several possible mechanisms finds the effect mediated by the perception of control the defendant could have had over his own actions at the time of the crime. These results suggest that perceptions of behavioral control are an important contributor to jurors’ formation of criminal responsibility judgments when an offender possesses a mental illness; and arguments advocating a biological basis for human behavior reliably affect blame attribution, suggesting that a societal shift in the perception of free will as a result of increased exposure to biology in general may alter the framework of criminal responsibility judgments.

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2017