Is Mind Wandering the Mechanism Responsible for Life Stress Induced Impairments in Working Memory Capacity?

Is Mind Wandering the Mechanism Responsible for Life Stress Induced Impairments in Working Memory Capacity?

Date: August 2011
Creator: Banks, Jonathan Britten
Description: 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 ...
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Spousal Support and Diabetes Management: the Role of Gender and Religion

Spousal Support and Diabetes Management: the Role of Gender and Religion

Date: August 2012
Creator: Estevez, Rosemary
Description: One in four adults over the age of 60 suffers from diabetes. Around 85%-90% of individuals who have diabetes suffer from Type II diabetes. The prevalence of individuals with diabetes is expected to increase. This paper addresses the influence spousal support, friend support, and religion all have on diabetes mellitus. Gender difference in relation to spousal support benefits has also received limited attention. The limited amount of studies that have examined gender differences in relation to spousal support and diabetes management indicate that diabetic men benefit the most from spousal support due to their wives active involvement in meal preparation and grocery shopping. The results showed that neither spousal support nor religious salience was significantly related to diabetes management. There were observed gender differences in religious salience (males = 4.84, females = 5.36, p < .001) and positive spousal support (males = 3.19, females = 3.02, p <.001), but none of the major hypotheses were supported.
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Posttraumatic Growth: Behavioral, Cognitive, and Demographic Predictors

Posttraumatic Growth: Behavioral, Cognitive, and Demographic Predictors

Date: August 2011
Creator: Schuettler, Darnell
Description: Recent trauma research argues trauma results in distinct positive and negative consequences, however; many trauma variables positively correlate with both outcomes. This study examined posttraumatic growth (PTG) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms as positive and negative trauma outcomes. Behavioral, cognitive, and demographic correlates and predictors were assessed to help clarify differences between the two outcomes. While several behavioral factors were common to both PTG and PTSD symptoms, centrality of event and problem focused coping were the strongest PTG predictors, whereas centrality of event and avoidant coping were the strongest PTSD predictors. These findings indicate while greater incorporation of a trauma/stressful event into one’s identity is a key component of both PTG and PTSD development, behavioral response may be a determining factor between growth or debilitation.
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Psychological Stress Reactivity and Recovery: The Role of Cognitive Appraisals, Ethnicity and Sex

Psychological Stress Reactivity and Recovery: The Role of Cognitive Appraisals, Ethnicity and Sex

Date: December 2009
Creator: Malhotra, Damini
Description: The aim of this research was to investigate the role of sex, ethnicity and cognitive appraisals, separately and in combination, on the physiological stress response. One hundred and eight undergraduate students from two North Texas universities participated in the study. They were subjected to a laboratory stressor and heart rate, peripheral temperature and cortisol levels were measured pre-, during-, and post- stressor. Perceived stress and cognitive appraisals were measured via self-report. Multivariate analysis of variance tests were conducted to analyze the main and interaction effects during baseline, reactivity and post-stress recovery. Results indicated some significant main effects for sex and ethnicity but no consistent pattern of results or interactions among variables were revealed. The study's implications and areas of future research are discussed.
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The Role of Expectations on Attention Performance

The Role of Expectations on Attention Performance

Date: August 2012
Creator: Kauffman, Erin, E.
Description: AD/HD medications are shown to be significantly more successful at enhancing attention/concentration performance in individuals with AD/HD than placebo treatments. Few studies, however, have investigated the possibility of a placebo reaction in both medication and placebo groups by comparing placebo treatments to no treatment at all. Using an undergraduate population, I evaluated the effect of expectations about a treatment's efficacy on performance in an attention/concentration task. In addition to cognitive performance outcome measures, I included several physiological measures, such as heart rate variability (HRV) through respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). Contrary to expectations, no differences were observed in performance on attention tasks or physiological measurements as a result of the believed efficacy of an orally administered placebo treatment.
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Response to Sexual Trauma in Relation to Event Centrality and Objectified View of Self

Response to Sexual Trauma in Relation to Event Centrality and Objectified View of Self

Date: August 2012
Creator: Knowles, Laura R.
Description: 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.
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Correlates of Video Game Addiction

Correlates of Video Game Addiction

Date: December 2010
Creator: Langley, Alex
Description: Video game addiction often leads to a tremendous burden on those afflicted with the condition, draining their time, resources, and life away until they have nothing left. To further elucidate the problem of video game addiction, the current research examines the level of video game addiction of 111 participants, along with their motivation for their addictive behaviors, the quality of life of addicted individuals, and possible relations between video game addiction and other forms of addiction. Results of the current research indicate a correlation between addictive video game use and depression, alcohol use, a desire for escapism, a need for social interaction, and lack of self-control. The results of a multiple regression indicate that, amongst the various research factors, depression is the factor with the most significant link to addictive video game use, implying a dangerous correlation between mental health and an addictive behavior that some erroneously disqualify as a true addiction.
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The Effects of Priming, Culture, and Context on Perception of Facial Emotion, Self-representation and Thought: Brazil and the United States

The Effects of Priming, Culture, and Context on Perception of Facial Emotion, Self-representation and Thought: Brazil and the United States

Date: December 2011
Creator: Hoersting, Raquel Carvalho
Description: Individualist and collectivist cultural approaches describe the relationship between an individual and his or her social surroundings. the current study had a two-fold purpose. the first was to investigate whether Brazilians, like other collective peoples, displayed more group self-representations, categorized items more relationally and paid more attention to context than Americans. the second purpose of this study was to investigate if counter-cultural primes played a role in activating either collective or individual selves. Both American (n = 100) and Brazilian (n = 101) participants were assigned either to a no-prime condition or a counter-cultural prime condition and then were asked to rate emotion cartoons, categorize items, complete the Twenty Statement Test (TST), and choose a representative object. As expected, unprimed Brazilian participants displayed more collectivist patterns on emotional (F[1,196] = 10.1, p = .001, ?²= .049; F[1,196] = 7.9, p = .006, ?²= .038; F[1,196] = 9.0, p = .005, ?²= .044) and cognitive (F[1, 196] = 6.0, p < .01, ?² = .03) tasks than Americans. However, Brazilians offered more individualist self-representations (F[1, 195] = 24.0, p < .001, ?² = .11) than American participants. Priming only had a marginal effect on item categorization (F[1,194] = 3.9, p = ...
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Oh G-d, A Borderline: Clinical Diagnostics As Fundamental Attribution Error

Oh G-d, A Borderline: Clinical Diagnostics As Fundamental Attribution Error

Date: December 2011
Creator: Schmalz, Jonathan
Description: Researchers raise concerns that the diagnostic approach can create stigma and lead to clinical inferences that focus on dispositional characteristics at the expense of situational variables. From social cognitive theory to strict behavioral approaches there is broad agreement that situation is at least as important as disposition. The present study examined the clinical inferences of graduate student clinicians randomly presented a diagnosis (borderline PD) or no diagnosis and either randomly given context information or no context information before watching a videotaped clinical interaction of a fabricated client. Responses to a questionnaire assessing dispositional or situational attributions about the client’s behavior indicated a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder did not significantly increase dispositional attributions and did not significantly moderate the importance of contextual factors. A notable difference between the attributions made by psychodynamic and third wave behavioral respondents was observed. Conceptual and experimental limitations as well as future directions are discussed.
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Psychopathic and Antisocial Personality Disorder Traits As Predictors of Reactive and Instrumental Aggression

Psychopathic and Antisocial Personality Disorder Traits As Predictors of Reactive and Instrumental Aggression

Date: May 2012
Creator: Steadham, Jennifer A.
Description: Aggression has traditionally been subdivided into two correlated, but distinct, subtypes: reactive and instrumental. Reactive aggression (RA) is considered impulsive, emotionally driven behavior, whereas instrumental aggression (IA) is planned and incentive-motivated. This thesis examines the relationships between RA, IA, psychopathy, and antisocial personality disorder (APD) symptoms in male and female offenders recruited from a jail in north Texas. Contrary to predictions, psychopathic traits did not account for more variance in aggression than did APD symptoms. Impulsivity demonstrated slight incremental validity over psychopathy for RA, and to a lesser degree, IA. the continued utility of the reactive-instrumental distinction and implications for professional practice in relation to the current study are examined. Study limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
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