Matching Items (11)

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Impulsivity and the experience of childhood trauma on the effect of psychological maladjustment

Description

Research in the area of childhood trauma has shown a substantial amount of psychological maladjustment following the experience of traumatic events in childhood. Trauma survivors are at risk for developing

Research in the area of childhood trauma has shown a substantial amount of psychological maladjustment following the experience of traumatic events in childhood. Trauma survivors are at risk for developing a multitude of adverse psychological outcomes as well as unsafe behaviors following the event of trauma. One unifying theme within these psychological sequelae is the nature of impulsive behaviors. Delay-discounting refers to the subjective decrease in value of a reward when its presentation is delayed. Delay-discounting is often used as an index of impulsive behavior. This study poses two primary questions: 1) Can childhood trauma predict rates of delay-discounting? 2) Could delay-discounting predict psychological maladjustment for individuals who have experienced childhood trauma? This study will seek to answer these questions using an online version of the Kirby et al., 1999 hypothetical delay-discounting method, as well as the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), to measure trait impulsivity. Measures of depression (BDI-II), life events (LEC), post-traumatic stress (PCL-C), and drug and alcohol abuse (DAST-20) will also be included. Participants included a sample of university students ages 18-52 (n=521, females = 386, males = 135) with a mean age of 25.19 years. Results indicated that childhood trauma was not a significant predictor of delay-discounting rate, nor was delay-discounting rate a significant predictor of psychological maladjustment. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Neurobiological mechanisms of cognitive maintenance and disengagement: accounting for dissociable variance in working memory and fluid intelligence task performance

Description

Performance on working memory (WM) and fluid intelligence tasks (gF) is often highly correlated. However, recent research by Shipstead, Harrison, & Engle (2016) has suggested that dissociable cognitive processes underlie

Performance on working memory (WM) and fluid intelligence tasks (gF) is often highly correlated. However, recent research by Shipstead, Harrison, & Engle (2016) has suggested that dissociable cognitive processes underlie performance on WM and gF tasks, such that WM task performance is contingent upon maintenance of relevant information while gF task performance is contingent upon disengaging from irrelevant information so that updating can occur. The aim of the current study was to test the proposal that the dopamine gating system, a neurological mechanism underlying information encoding and updating, is a plausible mechanism underlying the abilities identified by Shipstead and colleagues that are separately unique to WM and gF. Sixty-three participants completed a task that measured ability to maintain and update information, and is neurologically known to reflect functionality of the dopamine gating system during updating performance. The results indicate that individual differences in updating performance are predicted by gF, but not by WM. This suggests that the ability to disengage from irrelevant information is facilitated by distinct processes in the dopamine gating system, and is a distinguishing component of gF.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Factors of religiosity and loss aversion

Description

Loss aversion manifests as a decision bias in which avoiding losses is preferred over acquiring rewards and can drastically alter an individual’s decision-making by overweighting potential losses relative to gains

Loss aversion manifests as a decision bias in which avoiding losses is preferred over acquiring rewards and can drastically alter an individual’s decision-making by overweighting potential losses relative to gains of equal magnitude. Consequently, individuals may require greater positive compensation to offset potential losses, exhibit contradictory choice preferences, or even avoid the decision entirely; and this behavior may be ascribed to an over-reliance on automatic, unconscious (intuitive) judgments rather than initiating analytic reasoning more capable of objectively evaluating outcomes.

Religion (specifically Christianity) is the topic of focus, as preliminary evidence suggests an individual’s intuitive inclinations positively correlate with and predict religious beliefs. Moreover, self-reported religious beliefs significantly differed as a function of inducing either intuitive or reflective mindsets. Therefore, the purpose of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that religious participants will display significantly greater levels of loss aversion than nonreligious participants.

This hypothesis extends from a previous study relating large-scale cultural and religious differences with loss aversion. While their results revealed religious orthodoxy strongly influenced loss aversion, the parameters elicited may be less stable as only two lottery questions were asked and religion was determined by cultural demographics. This study used the same design, but with a total of ten lotteries and a more detailed investigation into individual religious factors.

While loss aversion coefficients replicated the overall behavioral effect (Median θ = 2.6), independent sample, Mann-Whitney U tests did not yield any significant differences between Christian and Nonreligious participants (p > 0.05); nor did any of the religious factors examined account for a significant amount of variability.

This study attempted to add to current knowledge by further conflating the relationship between religiosity and adaptive decision strategies susceptible to errant and inconsistent behavior. While the hypotheses were unsupported, a null finding is still important, and future research re-testing this association or introducing causational designs may prove more fruitful in understanding these complex relationships.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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The role of inhibitory control in working memory capacity and reasoning ability

Description

Retrieving an item from memory can cause subsequent suppression of related items. This phenomenon, involving a procedure where participants retrieve category-exemplar pairs (e.g. FRUIT-orange), is known as Retrieval Induced

Retrieving an item from memory can cause subsequent suppression of related items. This phenomenon, involving a procedure where participants retrieve category-exemplar pairs (e.g. FRUIT-orange), is known as Retrieval Induced Forgetting (RIF). Individuals who demonstrate greater amounts of RIF also exhibit greater working memory capacity (WMC). Reasoning ability is highly related to WMC, which may suggest that a similar relation exists between RIF and Reasoning ability. The goal of the present investigation was to examine this possibility. Rotation Span and a Letter Number task were used as indicators of WMC and a Cognitive Reflection Test was used to measure Reasoning ability. A significant RIF effect was found, but it did not significantly correlate with WMC or Reasoning ability. These results demonstrate the importance of designing a RIF task appropriately, selecting measures of Reasoning ability, and the theoretical accounts of the RIF effect. One possibility is that by not controlling for output interference, the obtained RIF effect cannot be reasoned to come from the executive control process as suggested by the inhibition account. Although this account is the chief explanation of the RIF effect, it has been challenged by alternative accounts and it remains unclear how the underlying mechanism of RIF is related to higher cognitive abilities.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Spatial pavlovian conditioning

Description

Three experiments used a spatial serial conditioning paradigm to assess the effectiveness of spatially informative conditioned stimuli in eliciting tracking behavior in pigeons. The experimental paradigm consisted of the simultaneous

Three experiments used a spatial serial conditioning paradigm to assess the effectiveness of spatially informative conditioned stimuli in eliciting tracking behavior in pigeons. The experimental paradigm consisted of the simultaneous presentation of 2 key lights (CS2 and CTRL), followed by another key light (CS1), followed by food (the unconditioned stimulus or US). CS2 and CTRL were presented in 2 of 3 possible locations, randomly assigned; CS1 was always presented in the same location as CS2. CS2 was designed to signal the spatial, but not the temporal locus of CS1; CS1 signaled the temporal locus of the US. In Experiment 1, differential pecking on CS2 was observed even when CS2 was present throughout the interval between CS1s, but only in a minority of pigeons. A control condition verified that pecking on CS2 was not due to temporal proximity between CS2 and US. Experiment 2 demonstrated the reversibility of spatial conditioning between CS2 and CTRL. Asymptotic performance never involved tracking CTRL more than CS2 for any of 16 pigeons. It is inferred that pigeons learned the spatial association between CS2 and CS1, and that temporal contingency facilitated its expression as tracking behavior. In a third experiment, with pigeons responding to a touchscreen monitor, differential responding to CS2 was observed only when CS2 disambiguated the location of a random CS1. When the presentation location of CS1 was held constant, no differences in responding to CS2 or CTRL were observed.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Using Pittsburgh sleep quality index scores to predict polysubstance use among college students

Description

The effects of over-the-counter drug (OTC) use on college students' health has been debated in the field of psychology with researchers arguing that poor sleep quality among college students is

The effects of over-the-counter drug (OTC) use on college students' health has been debated in the field of psychology with researchers arguing that poor sleep quality among college students is the result of polysubstance use. However, this explanation is not a foregone conclusion. These researchers have not adequately addressed the issue poor sleep quality among college students and its relationship to polysubstance use. This is an important issue because prolonged unsupervised OTC drug use and poor sleep quality can impact long-term health and lessen students' likelihood of being successful in college. This paper addresses the issue of OTC drug use with special attention to sleep quality. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Scores were collected to assess subjective sleep quality and its relationship to OTC drug use. Several other risk factors including binge drinking, marijuana use, and illicit drug use were also accounted for in this model. This study argues that, although the current literature suggests that poor sleep quality is the effect of drug use rather than the cause; the relationships between these factors are still unclear. This study aims to fill a gap in the college drug use literature by establishing a relationship between poor sleep quality and OTC drug use in a college sample.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Caught in the middle: response dynamics of political partisan conspiracy theories and independent responders

Description

Political party identification has an immense influence on shaping individual attitudes and processes of reasoning to the point where otherwise knowledgeable people endorse political conspiracies that support one's political in-grou

Political party identification has an immense influence on shaping individual attitudes and processes of reasoning to the point where otherwise knowledgeable people endorse political conspiracies that support one's political in-group and simultaneously disparage an out-group. Although recent research has explored this tendency among partisans, less is known about how Independents respond in comparison. Previous research fails to identify the Independent as a unique type of voter, but rather categorizes this group as ostensibly partisan, not a separate phenomenon to investigate. However, most Independents purport neutrality and, by recent polls, are becoming a substantial body worthy of concerted focus. Many questions arise about who Independents really are. For example, do all who identify as Independent behave in a similar manner? Are Independents ideologically different than what is represented by a partisan label? Is the Independent category a broad term for something entirely misunderstood? A thorough investigation into the greater dynamics of the political environment in the United States is an enormous undertaking, requiring a robust interdisciplinary approach beyond the focus and intent of this study. Therefore, this study begins the journey toward understanding these phenomena; do Independents, as a whole, uniformly respond to statements about political conspiracy theories? To explore these possibilities, explicit responses are bypassed to evaluate the implicit appeal of political conspiracy theories. An action dynamics (mouse-tracking) approach, a data rich method that records the response process, demonstrates Independents are not in fact a homogeneous group, but rather seem to fall into two groups: non-partisan leaning and partisan leaning. The analysis exposes that relative to the baseline and control stimuli: (1) Non-leaning Independents reveal an increased susceptibility to implicitly endorse bi-partisan directed conspiracy theories when compared to leaners. (2) Republican-leaners demonstrate a stronger susceptibility to endorse right-wing aligned conspiracy theories (against Barack Obama), similar to Republican partisans. (3) Democrat-leaners, unlike Democrat partisans, do not demonstrate any particular susceptibility to implicitly endorse either right/left-wing aligned conspiracy theories (against Barack Obama or George W. Bush). Drawing from major theories from social, political, and cognitive psychology will contribute to an understanding of these phenomena. Concluding remarks include study limitations and future directions.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Dichotomous thinking toward food as a mediator between eating behavior and BMI

Description

Long-term results of dietary weight loss interventions are not promising, with rates of weight loss maintenance at a mere 20%. Psychological factors related to weight maintenance include setting unrealistic weight

Long-term results of dietary weight loss interventions are not promising, with rates of weight loss maintenance at a mere 20%. Psychological factors related to weight maintenance include setting unrealistic weight goals, poor problem-solving skills, low self-efficacy, dichotomous thinking, and external locus of control. The ability to maintain a stable bodyweight over time has been associated with optimal health outcomes, lower stress levels, and higher general well-being. Dichotomous thinking has been associated with overeating and increased bodyweight. Cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger are three dimensions of human eating behavior that appear to be important to understanding weight loss maintenance. Individuals who attempt to maintain their bodyweight via dietary restraint mechanisms are more susceptible to excessive eating episodes. Disinhibition has been found to be the strongest predictor of weight gain, while the research on the association between hunger and bodyweight is mixed. This study sought to evaluate the relationship between dichotomous thinking toward food and various eating behaviors (binge eating, cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger). A multiple regression analysis revealed that binge eating, cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger were each significant unique predictors of higher body mass index (BMI). Higher levels of hunger predicted lower BMI, controlling for cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and binge eating. Mediation analyses revealed that dichotomous thinking mediated the relationships between binge eating and BMI, cognitive restraint and BMI, and disinhibition and BMI. Further analysis revealed that binge eating mediated the relationship between dichotomous thinking and BMI, indicating that thinking of food in black-and-white could lead to higher rates of binge eating, and the excess calorie consumption could lead to increased BMI. The study findings suggest that a strong focus should be made to promote a more flexible attitude toward food in an effort to improve weight loss maintenance in the population.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Emotion Regulation Repertoire: Which Strategies Drive Mental Health?

Description

Emotion regulation repertoire, or the number of emotion regulation strategies one is able to employ when needed, is an important element of emotion regulation flexibility. Emotion regulation flexibility, the ability

Emotion regulation repertoire, or the number of emotion regulation strategies one is able to employ when needed, is an important element of emotion regulation flexibility. Emotion regulation flexibility, the ability to regulate in accordance with changing situational contexts and demands, is predictive of emotion regulation success. Currently, little is known about emotion regulation repertoire and its association with emotional health and well-being. In particular, more can be learned about how the different strategies in one’s repertoire interact, and which strategies show stronger relationships with mental health. The current study aimed to assess the relationship of different emotion regulation strategies to mental health, including their individual and combined influence. In addition, the interaction between the use of specific emotion regulation strategies and emotion regulation flexibility with respect to mental health was examined. I hypothesized (1a) reappraisal and (1b) acceptance, two strategies previously associated with positive psychological outcomes, would be significant predictors of mental health, and (2) better flexibility would predict better mental health. In addition, I hypothesized that (3) strategies often found to be maladaptive (suppression, distraction, rumination, and experiential avoidance) would have an inverse relationship with mental health. Finally, (4) maladaptive strategies would be associated with worse mental health for those lower in flexibility. These hypotheses were tested through a questionnaire as part of a larger in-lab study. Results revealed that reappraisal and rumination were the strongest predictors of mental health. Emotion regulation flexibility did not predict mental health or moderate the relationship between individual emotion regulation strategies and mental health. Results from this study suggest some emotion regulation strategies are stronger predictors of mental health than others. This will guide future research on specific emotion regulation strategies in a repertoire as well as their combined effect on mental health. Creating a clearer picture of how different strategies interact and influence mental health will also be vital for clinical interventions.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Comparing different types of visual perceptual learning tasks' effects on reading ability

Description

Magnocellular-Dorsal pathway’s function had been related to reading ability, and visual perceptual learning can effectively increase the function of this neural pathway. Previous researches training people with a traditional dot

Magnocellular-Dorsal pathway’s function had been related to reading ability, and visual perceptual learning can effectively increase the function of this neural pathway. Previous researches training people with a traditional dot motion paradigm and an integrated visual perceptual training “video game” called Ultimeyes pro, all showed improvement with regard to people’s reading performance. This research used 2 paradigms in 2 groups in order to compare the 2 paradigms’ effect on improving people’s reading ability. We also measured participants’ critical flicker fusion threshold (CFFT), which is related to word decoding ability. The result did not show significant improvement of reading performance in each group, but overall the reading speed improved significantly. The result for CFFT in each group only showed significant improvement among people who trained with Ultimeyes pro. This result supports that the beneficial effect of visual perceptual learning training on people’s reading ability, and it suggests that Ultimeyes pro is more efficient than the traditional dot motion paradigm, and might have more application value.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015