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- Bidirectional effects between engaged lifestyle and cognition in later life: Exploring the moderation hypothesis for personality variables.
- Longitudinal data (N = 263) was used to investigate the bidirectional relationship between engagement (engaged lifestyle activities) and cognition (crystallized & fluid intelligence). Extroversion and openness to experience were also tested as moderators of the relationship between engagement and cognition. Results showed that the relationship between engagement at Wave 1 and cognition at Wave 2 did not differ from the relationship between cognition at Wave 1 and engagement at Wave 2. Testing for moderation with regression indicated that neither extroversion nor openness was moderating the relationship between engagement and cognition in either direction. Structural equation models provided further summary evidence that the relationships among engagement at Wave 1, extroversion, openness, and cognition at Wave 2 were not strong. However, a strong limitation to these results was the measurement error associated with a new measure of engagement.
- Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach
- Flashbulb memories are highly vivid and long-lasting memories for events that are emotionally significant and personally important. These memories are held in very high confidence in accuracy over an extended period. In particular, individuals believe that they can remember the personal details surrounding the event such as where they were and what they were doing at the time the event occurred. Evidence from research, however, indicates that this may not be the case. The study of flashbulb memories has typically been confined to negative events such as September 11, 2001. In the current study, we employ the methods of Talarico and Rubin (2003) to investigate flashbulb memory formation to a positive event. The event is the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which resonated as a highly positive event for many Americans evidenced by the thousands of people flooding the streets of Washington, D.C. and New York City to celebrate. We examined various memory properties over a one-year period, including vividness, rehearsal, belief in accuracy, and consistency. Results confirm the formation of flashbulb memories to the assassination event, but results did not support many of the proposed hypotheses. Some differences were found for different testing groups (i.e., immediate versus one week delay), but these were not replicated at the one year follow-up. Overall, however, it is believed that the current event, while still a flashbulb memory, was not a strong enough event to stir strong emotions and form memories on par with 9/11.
- Convergence of Self and Other Ratings of Personality: a Structural Equation Analysis
- Recently, multi-source feedback has been a popular way of providing performance-related feedback to individuals in many organizations. Many who use multi-source feedback consider Rating Convergence, others seeing target individuals as they see themselves, to be a positive outcome of this process. However, the variables that account for Rating Convergence are not known. This study investigated whether the personality factor Extroversion and Behavioral Consistency, acting as a moderator variable, could account for Self-other Rating Convergence, particularly the Convergence between self and peer Ratings. The sample consisted of 235 mid-level managers from a variety of industries who were participants in individual career development workshops. Using structural equation modeling, the results indicated that a model consisting of a single Extroversion factor could account for the convergence of self-peer ratings. This finding calls into question the significance of Rating Convergence when using multi-source rating instruments that provide feedback on trait characteristics since it may be heavily influenced by a single personality factor rather than observers' comprehensive understanding of the ratee's performance.
- Devaluing Stigma in the Context of Forgiveness, Coping and Adaptation: a Structural Regression Model of Reappraisal
- The 2010 National HIV/AIDS Strategy outlined three important goals for managing the current HIV pandemic in the U.S.: (1) reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV; (2) improve access to health care and health-related outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLH/A); and (3) reduce HIV-related health disparities. Each of these goals tacitly depends upon reducing HIV-related stigma, and this study examined how HIV+ individuals evaluate coping efforts to overcome stigma’s impact on quality of life (QOL). a structural regression model was developed to instantiate the reappraisal process described by Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional theory of stress and coping, and this model indicated that maladaptive coping fully mediated the relationship between dispositional forgiveness and perceived stigma, which supports the prediction that coping efficacy is related to stress reduction. Additionally, maladaptive coping fully mediated the relationship between dispositional forgiveness and QOL, supporting the contention that forgiveness is a critical aspect to the evaluative process that influences how PLH/A cope with stigma. Lastly, the model showed that when PLH/A engaged in maladaptive coping to mitigate stress-related stigma, these individuals experienced increased stigmatization and reported significantly lower levels of health-related QOL. in contrast, PLH/A that reported higher levels of dispositional forgiveness were significantly less likely to use maladaptive coping to overcome stigma. Therefore, dispositional forgiveness works through coping to alter perceptions regarding stigmatization, while indirectly influencing attitudes related to health distress, mental health, and cognitive and social functioning. the theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
- The Effects Of The Allocation Of Attention Congruent With Lateralized Cognitive Tasks On EEG Coherence Measurements
- The single task condition of the Urbanczyk and Kennelly (1991) study was conducted while recording a continuous electroencephalographic (EEG) record. Attention was allocated by instructed lateral head orienting and eye gaze either congruently or incongruently with lateralized cognitive tasks. Thirty university subjects retained a digit span or a spatial location span for a 20 second retention interval. EEG data were extracted from the 20 second retention intervals and interhemispheric coherence was calculated for homologous sites in the temporal, parietal and occipital regions of the brain. There was a main effect for group, with congruent orienting producing greater coherence values than incongruent orienting. This effect of attention on alpha coherence values was found in the low alpha (8-10 Hz) frequency band. This provides evidence that the lower alpha frequency band is reflective of manipulations of attention. The higher coherence measures for the congruent orienting group indicates that homologous regions of the two hemispheres are more coupled into a single system when lateralized attention activates the same hemisphere performing the cognitive task. In the higher alpha frequency band (11-13 Hz) group, sex, site and task interacted. This provides evidence that the higher alpha band is more affected by cognitive processing of the specific task undertaken. An interhemispheric brain system, affected by the lateral orientation of attention, may underlie psychometric intelligence's general “g” ability (Spearman, 1927.)
- Examining Employee Satisfaction, Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction in a Retail Banking Organization
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In the increasingly competitive world of retail banking, organizations are focusing their attention on customer service as a means of increasing customer loyalty and retention. With this goal of increasing customer retention, the link between the attitudes of the service provider (employee satisfaction), the customer interaction behaviors that those attitudes lead to (customer service quality), and the attitudes that those behaviors generate in the customer (customer satisfaction) has become an increasingly important area of investigation. The goal of this research is to analyze the relationships that exist between these three variables: employee satisfaction, customer service quality, and customer satisfaction in a mid-sized retail bank. Data from three separate surveys collected during the same time period in 137 branches of a regional bank are analyzed using multiple regression analysis to determine whether relationships and interactions exist at a banking center level. While results of the analyses did not show a significant relationship between the variables, issues relevant to this determination are discussed and conclusions drawn regarding the nature of these constructs.
- Hemispheric Interactions and Event-Related Potentials in Lateralized Stroop and Stroop Analog Tasks
- Classical Stroop stimuli and newly developed face/word Stroop analog stimuli were used to investigate hemispheric interactions in Stroop interference effects (SEs) and corresponding event-related potentials (ERPs). Lateralized stimuli were presented unilaterally and bilaterally as congruent or incongruent color strip-word or face-word pairs (to invoke right hemisphere (RH) and left hemisphere (LH) specialization, respectively, in the latter case). The common finding for such tasks is that responses for the congruent condition are faster and more accurate than for the incongruent condition (i.e., the SE). A primary prediction is that the SE will be maximized when both the distractor and target components, or distractor alone, are presented to the specialized hemisphere (i.e., LH for words and RH for faces). A total of 88 right-handed University of North Texas students participated in one of four experiments. Participants manually responded to one component of the stimuli (i.e., color, face, or word), while ignoring the other. Behaviorally, participants showed a robust SE across all experiments, especially for the face/word task with word targets. Findings from the face/word Stroop analog tasks also indicated that SEs were produced by selective attention to either faces or words, implicating a role for top-down (controlled) processes. Hemispheric asymmetries were observed only for bilateral presentations of the face/word Stroop analog stimuli and did not differ for word versus face targets. The results suggest that the LH is less susceptible to interference from the RH than vice versa. Electrophysiologically, anterior N1 and P1, posterior P1 and N1, N2, and P3 components were identified. A SE was found for P3 amplitudes, but not latencies, across all four experiments such that the congruent condition generated greater amplitudes than the incongruent condition, suggesting that the P3 is an index of task difficulty. Surprisingly, SEs were also observed for the early ERP components, albeit embedded in higher order interactions. Taken together, the ERP evidence suggests that there is no single locus of the SE, and instead, the SE appears to be distributed over several stages of information processing.
- Is Mind Wandering the Mechanism Responsible for Life Stress Induced Impairments in Working Memory Capacity?
- The relationship between life stress and working memory capacity (WMC) has been documented in college students and older adults. It has been proposed that intrusive thoughts about life stress are the mechanism responsible for the impairments seen in WMC. To examine the mechanism responsible for these impairments the current study attempted to induce intrusive thoughts about personal events. The current study allowed for a test of predictions made by two theories of mind wandering regarding the impact of these intrusive thoughts on WMC task performance. One hundred fifty undergraduates were assigned to a control group, positive event group, or negative event group. Participants in the positive and negative event groups completed a short emotional disclosure about an imagined future positive or negative event, respectively, to induce positive or negative intrusive thoughts. WMC measures were completed prior to and following the emotional writing. Results indicated a significant relationship between WMC and mind wandering, however the writing manipulation did not result in any consistent changes in intrusive thoughts or WMC. The results suggest a causal relationship between WMC and mind wandering. The emotional valence of the intrusive thought altered the impact on WMC. No relationship was seen between the measures of stress and WMC. The results of the current study suggest that negative intrusive thoughts result in impaired WMC task performance but other types of off-task thoughts may not result in similar impairments.
- A Longitudinal Examination of Factors Associated with Custodial Grandparenting: A Test of Moderated Mediation
- The purpose of this study was to explore the following relationships: (a) how moderating factors (gender, age, ethnicity, social support, marital status, reason for role assumption and number of grandchildren in the home) can influence the mediating role of resiliency, and (b) how resiliency may mediate the negative effects of raising grandchildren (role demands, life disruptions, and difficulties with grandchildren) on grandparent adjustment over time. Resiliency was hypothesized to have the greatest effect on custodial grandparents who experienced the most stress (i.e., older, single, Caucasian males lacking social support and raising more than one grandchild). Mediation was assessed using structural equation modeling. Results indicated resilience mediated the relationship between role assumptions (i.e., role demands and life disruptions) and grandparent adjustment; however, resilience did not mediate the relationship between grandchild characteristics and grandparent adjustment. Due to the small number of custodial grandfathers (n = 14), non-married grandparents (n = 29), non-Caucasian grandparents (n = 10), the small number of grandparents who assumed the custodial role for less ambiguous reasons (n = 24), and the number of custodial grandparents with more than one grandchild residing in the home (n = 29) participating within the study, hierarchical multiple regressions were only conducted to test for moderated mediation for perceived social support and the age of the grandparent. Results indicated resilience mediates the relationship between life disruption and grandparent well-being for younger custodial grandparents and for custodial grandparents with perceived high social support.
- The Organizational Socialization of a Dynamic Workforce: a Focus on Employee and Contract Worker Knowledge Transfer
- Within the last decade, more organizations are utilizing a non-traditional workforce. Specifically, these organizations are utilizing contract workers as resources to provide services and manufacture products. While this change in workforce provides benefits to organizations, the change also presents numerous challenges such as turnover. The turnover involved in such a relationship along with the addition of newcomers translates into an organizational socialization and knowledge transfer (KT) issue, because contract workers as well as employees need to be efficiently brought into a new organization, and knowledge needs to be shared with these new individuals so that they can effectively contribute to the work process. It is contended that organizations follow a typical, informal organizational socialization "policy" which involves KT in getting new contract workers and employees up to speed. This study addressed the typical organizational socialization policy as it is represented by formal knowledge transfer (FKT) via instructor-led/classroom training (ILT) and computer-based training (CBT) and by informal knowledge transfer (IKT) via a social network. The study focused on IKT, because companies understand this type of KT the least. In order to evaluate the organizational socialization of contract workers for this study, the contract worker population was compared to a baseline population of employees which was broken up into two employee groups: "rookies" and experienced hires. The formal and informal transfer of three types of knowledge (job task, role, and organizational norms) was assessed by using surveys and interviews (including social network methods) on a research population consisting of 166 employees (both rookies and experienced hires) and contract workers from a Fortune 100 company. The findings include: (a) Job task knowledge was transferred more often than role and organizational norms knowledge, (b) coworkers were used more than managers a source of knowledge overall, (c) worker classification as well as job task and role knowledge explained significant amounts of variance in performance, and (d) network size impacted performance.
- Postoperative Neuropsychological Outcomes in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Surgery
- The purpose of this study was to investigate the neuropsychological outcomes of pediatric subjects undergoing temporal lobe surgery, and then compare the outcomes between subjects in the iMRI and the standard operating suites. This study involved 77 children ages one to 21 years (M = 11.98) at time of surgery for intractable epilepsy. Forty-seven returned for repeat neuropsychological assessment. At baseline, subjects with early onset of epilepsy (≤ 7 years) scored worse on a measure of attention (p = .02), FSIQ (p < .01), perceptual reasoning (p < .01), and processing speed (p = .06). At one-year follow-up, interactions were observed for the response style domain of the attention measure (p = .03), FSIQ (p = .06) and working memory (p = .08). Follow-up at one year, for the group as a whole, revealed decline in verbal memory (p = .04) and reading comprehension (p = .02); and improvement for word reading (p = .05). No significant differences were observed between the iMRI and standard operating suite. Though, hemisphere, duration of epilepsy, preoperative seizure frequency, lesional disease, seizure type, presence of epileptogenic focus, and number of lobes involved accounted for variance in neuropsychological outcomes. These results provide further support for that certain preoperative individual, disease, and therapeutic variables are predictive of neurocognitive outcome following surgery for temporal lobe epilepsy. Additionally, the results demonstrated that surgery may also impact attention.
- The relationship of self-monitoring to team leader flexibility and work environment preference
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This research explores the relationship of self-monitoring with team leader behavior and work environment preference. Those who are high on self-monitoring demonstrate flexibility in their actions with others and are socially perceptive. They perform well in a variety of leadership positions and are viewed as leaders by group members. High self-monitoring types choose "socially" based careers, including teacher and psychologist, in which they adapt their interaction styles to effectively meet the demands of clients. The demands placed on a team leader appear to require similar characteristics to those that high self-monitoring individuals possess. As a team matures through different stages of development, the role of the leader ranges from director to facilitator to consultant. In order to effectively meet team needs, a leader must be socially sensitive to interpersonal cues and have the ability to assume various roles. In addition, given the fact that the position of team leader is a highly social type of career that requires behaviors similar to careers chosen by high self-monitoring individuals, it is likely that high self-monitors would prefer working in a team work environment over a traditional one. A survey methodology was used to assess the characteristics of 100 team members. No relationship was found between self-monitoring and flexible team leader behavior. However, when a job relevant version of a traditional self-monitoring scale was used, some of the data suggested that flexible people prefer a team work environment over a traditional one. Also, individuals who demonstrated ineffective team leader behaviors tended to show a preference towards traditional work environments.
- Response to Sexual Trauma in Relation to Event Centrality and Objectified View of Self
- This study examined the potentially differing emotional consequences of sexual versus non-sexual traumas in both a student and a community residing treatment seeking sample of women. The extent to which a trauma survivor considers the traumatic event central to her identity (CES) was examined as a potential mediator between traumatic events and PTSD. Additionally, the extent to which a women views herself and her body as a sexual object, to be valued based on her appearance and sexual usefulness to others (sexual self-objectification: OBCS), was examined as a potential mediator between traumatic event and event centrality. Study results showed survivors of sexual assault reported greater CES and PTSD symptoms (PCL-S) than non-sexual trauma survivors in the student population. Mediation results showed sexual self-objectification (OBCS-Shame) significantly mediated the relationship between trauma type and CES, and CES significantly mediated the relationship between type of trauma and PTSD symptoms in the student population only. Data from the community sample did not support these conclusions as women from this sample reported higher PCL-S, CES, and OBCS-Shame scores across categories of trauma.
- Terror Management Theory and Body Image
- Research has not explicitly examined the link between key components of terror management theory (TMT) and body image without the use of mortality salience. This project explored the link between cultural worldview, self-esteem, body image, and death anxiety. Multiple measures were used to create a structural equation model examining relationships between body image and death anxiety as mediated by body image in the context of TMT. The proposed model did not fit the data. Minor modifications were made to the model keeping within the proposed theoretical perspective. In the modified model the relationships between cultural worldview and death anxiety as mediated by body image were either non-existent or weak. Hierarchical regression analyses did suggest that some aspects of body image indeed did predict some, but not all dimension of death anxiety in this sample of young adults.
- Working Memory Processes in the Encoding of Intentions
- The primary interest of this investigation concerned working memory functioning and cue/act discrimination during encoding of intentions. The study included manipulations of working memory and intention load to investigate the encoding processes related to prospective memory (PM). Three experiments are presented that involve working memory distraction tasks at the time of encoding the PM intentions, as well as varying numbers of cues and actions. In the first experiment three cues were paired with one action, in the second, one cue with three actions, and in the third, three cues with three actions. Results suggest that the central executive is involved in binding a cue to an action, and that this operation is key to PM success. Furthermore, the phonological loop seems primarily involved with processing of cues and the visuospatial sketchpad with actions. It is further proposed that the processes of the phonological loop and visuospatial sketchpad must be successful before the central executive can bind the cues and acts together, which is possibly the most important part in the encoding of intentions. By directly examining PM at the time of encoding, information was gained that allows for a more complete understanding of the nature of how we form and execute intentions.