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The Effects of Mood State and Intensity on Cognitive Processing Modes
To investigate the effects of emotional arousal on information processing strategy, three different moods (sadness, anger, and happiness) were hypnotically induced at three different levels of intensity (high, medium, and low) in 29 male and female undergraduate students, while engaging them in a visual information processing task. Subjects were screened for hypnotic susceptibility and assigned to either a high susceptibility group or low susceptibility group to account for the attentional bias associated with this trait. All subjects were trained to access the three emotions at the three levels of intensity. During separate experimental sessions, subjects were hypnotized, and asked to access a mood and experience each level of intensity while being administered the Navon Design Discrimination Task, a measure of global and analytic visual information processing. Scores were derived for global processing, analytic processing, and a percentage of global to analytic processing for each level of mood and intensity. Two (hypnotic susceptibility) x 3 (emotion) x 3 (intensity level) repeated measures ANOVAs were computed on the global, analytic, and percentage scores. In addition, two separate ANCOVAs were computed on each dependent measure to account for the effects of handedness, and cognitive style. None of these analyses revealed significant main effects or interactions. The analysis of the percentage scores revealed a trend toward differences between the emotions, but in a direction opposite to that hypothesized. Hypnotic susceptibility does not appear to mediate global and analytic responses to the Navon visual information processing task when emotions are being experienced. Results regarding emotions and emotional intensity were discussed in terms of the problems with adequate control and manipulation of mood and intensity level. Difficulties with the Navon measure were also explored with regard to the exposure duration in the Navon task, and its adequacy in measuring shifts in information processing associated with transient ...
The Effects of the Type A Behavior Pattern and Aerobic Exercise on the Allocation of Attention
This investigation examined the effects of aerobic fitness and the Type A behavior pattern on cognitive functioning in the split-attention (dual task) paradigm. Sixty-four adults were classified as Type A or B by means of the Jenkins Activity Survey, and as Runner or Sedentary using self-reports of physical activity. Under challenging instructions, subjects performed a primary task (Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices) and secondary task (Backward Digit Span) alternatively under single and dual task conditions. There was a significant interaction between aerobic fitness and task condition such that Runners outperformed Sedentary subjects under dual, but not single, task conditions on the secondary task. No differences were found on the primary task. Backward Digit Span performance under dual, but not single, task conditions, was also found to be positively related to the subjects eating a low cholesterol diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Contrary to predictions, there were no significant effects of the Type A behavior pattern, either main or interaction, on any of the cognitive measures. Type A Runners exceeded Type B Runners in aerobic points, races per year, runs per week, Personal Record attempts, and level of dissatisfaction with performance. There were no differences in the tendency to run while injured, use of a stopwatch during training, or effort exerted in races. Overall, these findings suggest that an ability to perform under split-attention (dual task) conditions is positively related to aerobic fitness, a low-fat diet, and maintenance of a healthy weight. In addition, Type A Runners differ from B Runners in some, but not all, aspects related to the Type A pattern, suggesting that aerobic exercise may modify to a limited extent the Type A behavior pattern. The failure to find A-B differences in attentional style consistent with prior research (Matthews & Brunson, 1979) or interaction of type and exercise ...
An Examination of the Perceptual Asymmetries of Depressed Persons as Mediated by Hypnosis
This study evaluated the role of asymmetric processing of information in depression. Depression has been hypothesized to involve a deficit in the global processing of information (Tucker, 1982). This type of global processing has been manipulated through the use of hypnosis by Crawford and Allen (1983). In the current study, a 3 x 2 ANCOVA design allowed the comparison of three groups of subjects on their performance on a perceptual task measuring global perception. The task chosen was designed by Navon (1977) and consisted of designs which differed on global or local features. The groups were screened with the Beck Depression Inventory, the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, and the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory, yielding 46 subjects divided into three groups of right-handed males and females. The experimental group consisted of high susceptible depressives from the community. The controls were one group of high susceptible normals and one of low susceptible depressives. All groups performed the Navon task under both waking and hypnosis conditions. Analysis of the results revealed a main effect for group (F(2, 86) = 9.60, p < .01) on the global scores. In addition, high social desirability scores predicted slower presentation times. However, hypnosis was not effective in creating a significant change in performance on the dependent measure. The results are discussed as support for the hypothesized differences between depressives and normals. Differences between the measures used in the present study and that of Crawford and Allen suggest that hypnosis may mediate imagery at a conceptual level but not at the level of the primary visual-perceptual system.
Relaxation Training in Anxiety and Stress Management Differential Effects of an Audible vs. Imaginal Meditational Focus
The hypothesis was tested that meditation using an audible word-sound would be superior to silent repetition of the same word in producing decrements in autonomic arousal and improvements in anxiety, mood, and the ability to cope with stress. The influence of hypnotic susceptibility upon improvement was also evaluated. Thirty subjects, assigned to one of three groups: audible meditation, silent meditation, and relaxation control, met one hour weekly for six weeks to practice their respective technique and discuss their progress. All subjects were evaluated using the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, a medical symptom checklist, the Spielberger Trait Anxiety Scale, a self-rating of state anxiety, and factors C and Q4 of the 16PF. Finger temperature was taken as a measure of physiological arousal. Confidence ratings of the respective strategies were taken pre- and post-treatment.