Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach

Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kraha, Amanda
Description: 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 ...
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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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Female Psychopathy Predictors: Cluster B Traits and Alexithymia

Female Psychopathy Predictors: Cluster B Traits and Alexithymia

Date: August 2013
Creator: Rogstad, Jill E.
Description: Psychopathy has long been lauded as a premier predictor of negative behavioral outcomes because of its demonstrated associations with violence, antisocial conduct, and institutional maladjustment. Traditional conceptualizations of psychopathy highlight the relatively equal importance placed on personality features (i.e., a grandiose, deceitful interpersonal style and deficits in affective experience) and behavioral elements (i.e., an impulsive and irresponsible lifestyle marked by social deviance) of the syndrome. However, little research to date has investigated psychopathy dimensions in female samples, particularly as they relate to maladaptive behaviors beyond forensic settings. The current study comprehensively examined personality (i.e., Axis II Cluster B traits and alexithymia) and behavioral (i.e., suicide-related behavior and aggression) expressions of psychopathy in a sample of female inpatients recruited from trauma and dual-diagnosis units at a psychiatric hospital in Dallas, Texas. Contrary to expectations, the essential components of psychopathy in female psychiatric patients emphasized APD and NPD traits over features of HPD and BPD, which were relatively similar to elements traditionally highlighted in male psychopathy. On this point, two latent dimensions comprehensively addressed female psychopathy in the current sample: impulsive antisociality and narcissistic and histrionic interpersonal style. Interestingly, psychopathy (M r = .01) and Cluster B traits (M r = .05) ...
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An Investigation of the Phase Model of Psychotherapy Across Therapeutic Orientations: Are Different Approaches Actually All That Different?

An Investigation of the Phase Model of Psychotherapy Across Therapeutic Orientations: Are Different Approaches Actually All That Different?

Date: August 2013
Creator: Herbert, Gregory L.
Description: The current study investigated the process of change underlying two different evidence-based treatments that yield similar outcome effectiveness in the treatment of depression: Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). The phase model of psychotherapeutic change (Howard et al., 1993) change is used to provide both a theoretical and practical framework in which to assess different patterns of change across the treatment modalities. The phase model posits that recovery from distress occurs in three sequential stages: remoralization, remediation and rehabilitation. CT can be conceptualized as a treatment in which the primary focus is on the treatment of symptoms (remediation), whereas IPT can typically be conceptualized as focusing on interpersonal conflicts and functioning (rehabilitation). The study utilized the TDCRP dataset (Elkin et al., 1985). Survival analysis indicated no significant difference in terms of onset or pattern of improvement across treatment orientations. Chi square analyses indicated individuals treated with IPT spend significantly more time engaged in rehabilitation compared to their CT counterparts. Taken together, these findings represent evidence that the process of therapeutic change is similar, if not virtually identical, across therapeutic orientation. The analyses also indicate that the phases of therapy may not necessarily be mutually exclusive and sequential, but may ...
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Comparing the 2010 and 2011 Appic Match: Applicant Characteristics and Unmatched Applicant Distress

Comparing the 2010 and 2011 Appic Match: Applicant Characteristics and Unmatched Applicant Distress

Date: May 2012
Creator: Hogan, Lindsey R.
Description: The internship is one of the most important components of doctoral training in professional psychology. Given the serious problem of the internship imbalance, applicant and program characteristics that constitute a good “fit” with internship training programs have become of greater interest as securing an internship becomes a more competitive process. This study surveyed internship applicants from programs part of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP), before and after the 2010 and 2011 match days. Number of interview offers was found to be the factor most consistently associated with successfully matching, and several other applicant characteristics salient to matching and obtaining interview offers were identified, including applicant personality. Additionally, personal accounts, but not empirical evidence, of going unmatched have attested to the psychological distress associated with this event. in the current study, while going unmatched was not found to be equitable to a traumatic stressor, evidence was found to support significant decrease in subjective well-being with respect to immediate distress. Findings are discussed in terms of the predictability of and implications for the match process and internship imbalance, and recommendations are made for future research directions.
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Cross-measure Equivalence and Communicability in the Assessment of Depression: a Fine-grained Focus on Factor-based Scales

Cross-measure Equivalence and Communicability in the Assessment of Depression: a Fine-grained Focus on Factor-based Scales

Date: August 2012
Creator: González, David Andrés
Description: Depression is heterogeneous, however, depression measures conceptualize it as homogeneous. To help fulfill NIMH's strategic plan to focus on components of depression, this study analyzed the psychometrics of factor-based subscales in the BDI-II, CES-D, IDAS, and IDS. CCA was also used to explore redundancy across measures. Using a diverse sample of symptomatic undergraduates, this study found the IDAS to be the best measure, with complete DSM-IV symptom coverage and psychometrically sound subscales. The other measures did not have consistent subscales or coverage of symptoms. Furthermore, CCA revealed low levels of redundancy across measures. These results serve to disabuse the field of a perception that different measures of equivalently measure depression. Conversion tables were provided to empirically compare scores from different measures.
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The Glass Is Neither Half Full Nor Empty, It Is Shattered: a Prospective Study of Shattered Assumptions Theory and Psychological Flexibility

The Glass Is Neither Half Full Nor Empty, It Is Shattered: a Prospective Study of Shattered Assumptions Theory and Psychological Flexibility

Date: December 2013
Creator: Schuler, Eric Robert
Description: Shattered assumptions theory posits that each individual has a core set of assumptions about the world and the self, often termed the assumptive world which includes: the world is a benevolent place, the world is meaningful, and the self is worthy. Experiencing a traumatic event is believed to lead individuals to question these assumptions in light of the new contradictory information that causes the assumptive world to shatter, leaving the individual to rebuild a more negative perception of the world and themselves. This rebuilding of a fragile new set of core beliefs is believed to be a cause of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Although shattered assumptions theory has been widely accepted in the field of trauma psychology, the shattering of the assumptive world has not been empirically supported due to measurement issues and poor research designs. The current study implemented a prospective design to assess a new measure of the individual’s assumptive world when there is an intervening trauma. In a college sample (N = 336), individuals who experienced a traumatic event over the course of the semester (n = 40) evidenced decreases in optimism in their assumptive worlds, in comparison to individuals who did not experience a traumatic ...
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Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and Proposed Personality Traits for the Dsm-v: Association with Mood Disorder Symptoms

Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and Proposed Personality Traits for the Dsm-v: Association with Mood Disorder Symptoms

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kilmer, Jared Newman
Description: The current work assesses the relationship between reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) and Personality Traits for the DSM-5 (PID-5), to explore the degree to which they are associated with mood disorder symptoms. Participants (N = 138) from a large public university in the South were administered a semi-structured interview to assess for current mood disorder and anxiety symptoms. They were also administered self-report inventories, including the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) and Behavioral Approach System (BAS) scales and the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). Results indicate that both the BIS/BAS scales and the PID-5 scales were strongly associated with current mood symptoms. However, the maladaptive personality traits demonstrated significantly greater associations with symptoms compared to the BIS/BAS scales. Results also indicated support for using a 2-factor model of BIS as opposed to a single factor model. Personality models (such as the five factor model) are strongly associated with mood symptoms. Results from this study add to the literature by demonstrating credibility of an alternative five-factor model of personality focused on maladaptive traits. Knowledge of individual maladaptive personality profiles can be easily obtained and used to influence case conceptualizations and create treatment plans in clinical settings.
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Early and Current Family Environment Among Inpatient Trauma Survivors: Associations with Multi-type Abuse and Sexual Orientation

Early and Current Family Environment Among Inpatient Trauma Survivors: Associations with Multi-type Abuse and Sexual Orientation

Date: May 2013
Creator: Williams, Jennifer S.
Description: The present study is an exploratory analysis of associations among sexual orientation, childhood abuse, and characteristics of both early and current family environment in a sample of 80 inpatient trauma survivors. Participants were administered a background information questionnaire, Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule, the Family Environment Scale and other instruments not analyzed in the current study. Multi-type abuse was significantly associated with low expressiveness and independence and high control in the early family, but no associations emerged with current family characteristics. Results suggest that the intergenerational transmission of family organization and moral-religious orientation occurred in the entire sample, and the transmission of family conflict patterns occurred only in the L/G/B group. Overall, participants perceived improvements in their current family environments compared to their early family environments. Findings yield support for the sexual minority stress model and mixed support for the intergenerational transmission of family characteristics.
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Attention Biases Associated with Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder

Attention Biases Associated with Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder

Date: May 2013
Creator: Bain, Kathleen Marie
Description: Bipolar disorder is associated with significant social and occupational impairments, as well as increased risk for substance abuse and suicide. More research is needed to identify potential mechanisms associated with vulnerability to the disorder. Previous research has identified altered processing of emotional information in bipolar and bipolar-prone individuals, including attentional biases which appear to differ based on the current affective state of the individual. The current study applied a sensitive measure of attention (i.e., eye-tracking) to assess whether vulnerability to bipolar disorder, as indexed by hypomanic personality traits, would be correlated with biases in attention to emotional facial stimuli, independent of mood state. Hypomanic personality traits were hypothesized to be associated with greater attention to happy and angry faces, as indexed by faster initial orientation, more frequent gazes, and longer gaze duration for these stimuli. Participants completed self-report measures assessing current mood symptoms, positive and negative affect, and hypomanic personality traits. They then completed two tasks assessing attention for emotional faces. The first was an eye-tracking task, which measured latency to first fixation, total gaze duration and total number of gazes for each emotional face category. The second was a spatial cueing task which assessed both attentional engagement with emotional ...
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