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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Group reminiscence, memory, and well-being : a social identity framework

Hayward, Sophie January 2008 (has links)
Objective: Previous research into reminiscence as a psychosocial intervention in dementia has shown an improvement in cognition performance in the context of improving well-being. Social Identity Theory (SIT) offers a novel theoretical perspective in arguing that the improvements in well-being arise from increased identification formed by sharing memories from the personal past with others. Method: In the present study, 59 participants with cognitive impairment and dementia were recruited from residential homes; 34 took part in group reminiscence and 25 took part in individual reminiscence. The intervention took place over a six week period, with cognitive screening, mood, well-being, and social identity measures administered before and after the intervention. Key findings: Results showed an improvement in memory performance for those in group reminiscence only. Analysis showed that there was little difference between group and individual reminiscence on measures of mood, quality of life, and social identity. Conclusions: The results add to the literature on reminiscence therapy with older people with and without dementia, including improved understanding of the impact upon memory in the absence of changes in well-being. The findings are discussed in relation to improved interventions and implications for future research. Key words: older people, dementia, depression, quality of life, reminiscence therapy, psychosocial interventions.

An exploratory study into the association between Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) coping styles, post-traumatic stress, and post-traumatic growth in working age adults who have experienced a traumatic life event

West, Jade January 2013 (has links)
Although recent research and theory indicates that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment might benefit from the utilisation of coping styles facilitated by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), there has been little research exploring the relationships between these coping styles, posttraumatic cognitions, and PTSD symptomology. Furthermore, the ACT model (Hayes, Strosahl & Wilson, 1999) suggests that ACT-consistent coping styles may be associated with increased positive outcome after trauma, such as posttraumatic growth (PTG). The present study aimed to explore individual differences in ACT coping styles in individuals with a history of psychological trauma. A total of 112 participants completed online self-report measures of PTSD symptom severity, posttraumatic cognitions, ACT coping styles and PTG. Regression analyses revealed that higher ACT coping styles (specifically experiential acceptance) are associated with lower PTSD symptom severity and lower posttraumatic cognitions. Furthermore, the effect of ACT coping styles on PTSD severity was partially mediated by posttraumatic cognitions, indicating that ACT coping styles act on PTSD directly and indirectly. There was no evidence that higher ACT coping styles were significantly associated with higher levels of posttraumatic growth (PTG). The findings suggest that effective treatment for trauma survivors could facilitate ACT-consistent coping styles.

The self in discourse : contingency and consistency in identity production

Stapleton, Karyn January 2002 (has links)
The 'turn to discourse' across the social sciences has radically refonnulated the relationship between language and identity. Specifically. identity is seen as being constituted (rather than reflected. or expressed) in particular sets of discursive relations. Thus. discursive approaches (e.g. social constructionism. ethnomethodology. postmodernism) commonly characterise 'identity' as fluid. transient. and contingent. However. these conceptualisations also raise problematic theoretical issues. Most notably. in their rejection of continuity/coherence. they fail to acknowledge fundamental aspects of lived identity. whereby individuals are recognised (by self and others) as continuous. Singular. and coherent. This has prompted the search for a 'post-discursive' model of identity. wherein contingency and consistency may be conceptualised (e.g. Schrag. 1997). In the present study. I propose to operationalise such a model through an integration of Discursive Psychology (DP; Potter and Wetherell. 1987) and Identity Structure Analysis (ISA; Weinreich. 1980/86/88). Notably. this approach is presented not as a 'two-stage' analysis. but rather as an integrated framework for exploring the discourse-identity relationship. Moreover. while there are undeniably certain ontological divergences between DP and ISA. it is suggested that these are ultimately resolvable witfnn the framework under discussion. Thus synthesised. the complementary insights and emphases of DP and ISA. facilitate the exploration of both identity contingency and identity consistency. within a coherent ontological framework. Hence. it is assumed that identity is constituted in discourse. but that it is simultaneously 'suspended' across such constitutions. such that it is rendered socially meaningful and intelligible (see Schrag. 1997). Chapter 1 provides an overview of the discursive tradition within which the study is grounded. together with a critique of certain aspects of this tradition. and the possibility of a 'post-discursive' model of identity. In Chapter 2. the DP /ISA approach is proposed as a possible means of operationalising this model. while Chapter 3 describes the utilisation and methodology of this approach within the present study. Chapters 4 and 5 demonstrate its application to two case-studies of identity production. with particular attention to issues of stability versus variability. Finally. in Chapter 6. the approach is evaluated with reference to the data. and its potential utility for future research is discussed. it

The effect of image inversion on the perception of facial expression

Psalta, Lilia January 2014 (has links)
The Thatcher illusion provides a compelling example of the cost of face inversion. When the eyes and the mouth are turned upside-down relative to the rest of the face - a transform now known in the research literature as 'thatcherization' - the facial expression appears grotesque. This distortion of the face is immediately perceived when the face is upright. However, when the image is inverted the grotesque appearance is no longer visible. The aim of this thesis was to explore the behavioural and neural basis of this compelling illusion. This thesis provides a significant contribution to our understanding of the Thatcher Illusion using a combination of neuroimaging and behavioural results. The key findings of this thesis are that the neural basis of the Thatcher illusion is founded on the orientation-sensitivity of face-selective regions which are involved in the processing of facial expression. Behavioural findings suggest that the perception of the Thatcher illusion is still evident in the absence of configural information. Our findings demonstrated that a key component of the Thatcher illusion is to be found in orientation-specific encoding of the expressive features (eyes and mouth) of the face. This challenges previous interpretations of the Thatcher illusion that are based on a disruption of configural processing. Further results suggest that the effect of inversion found in the Thatcher illusion is not specific to grotesque expressions, but reflects a more general orientation-specific encoding of expressive features. Finally, the selectivity of the Thatcher illusion to the processing of expression is shown by the lack of effect of thatcherization on the processing of facial identity. These results provide further support for the idea that different processes underlie the perception of identity and expression.

Neural dynamics in brain networks during the resting state and visual word recognition

Quinn, Andrew January 2014 (has links)
This thesis investigates the dynamics of information flow within brain networks during the resting state and visual word recognition. Functional connectivity within brain networks has become increasingly prominent across cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging in recent years and conventional approaches for identifying instantaneous interactions within brain network and across the whole head are now commonplace. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings have a very high temporal resolution which allows for the characterisation of delayed interactions between distant brain regions such as those caused by limited conduction speeds along white matter fibres. This thesis presents an approach to characterising such time-delayed interactions and critically, inferring the direction of information flow. This approach is used to demonstrate the existence of statistically significant differences in the information flow in each direction of a connection between two nodes in a resting state network. A Hidden Markov Model is then used to characterise dynamic changes in this directionality. Task driven directional connectivity is then investigated in the context of visual word recognition. A complex and rapidly evolving pattern of connectivity arises during visual word recognition, with specific connections modulated by the psycholinguistic properties of the stimulus. Critically, the influence from the Left Inferior Frontal Gyrus is shown to transfer more information to visual regions when reading a challenging stimulus.

A cognitive exploration of the development and control of attentional bias

Knight, Helen Camilla January 2014 (has links)
Human behaviour is shaped by what we attend to in the visual world. This visual attention can be internally guided by behavioural goals, which forms the basis of attentional bias. Attentional bias is a phenomenon where certain items capture and hold visual attention over others, and is a driving force of many behaviours (e.g. seeking food when hungry). However despite the obvious links between visual cognition and attentional bias, much of the research relating to attentional bias is actually based in psychopathology, examining drivers for addictive substances. Consequently, little is known of the shared, cognitive aspects of attentional bias. This thesis addresses this by firstly examining the cognitive mechanisms that underlie attentional biases in a normative sample. It was found to be possible to induce an attentional bias towards an arbitrary stimulus. This induced bias is both highly persistent and robust. The cognitive basis of this induced bias is believed to be altered attentional control settings, which can form in the absence of emotion or motivation. Since attentional bias most often manifests in abnormal populations, the effects of these altered attentional control settings was then examined in a controlled, sub-clinical population of heavy social drinkers. This offered a means to examine the role of existing attentional biases yet free from confounds of using a clinical sample. No difference in the establishment of an attentional bias between light and heavy drinkers was found, however heavy social drinkers were less distracted by irrelevant, bias-related information suggesting previous experience controlling for attentional biases aids the cognitive control of bias-related distractions albeit with limited capacity. Finally, a neural substrate of attentional bias was probed via neurostimulation, finding a causal role of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in the establishment of attentional control settings, and the control we have over distractions resulting from these settings.

Parental bonding, attachment, reality discrimination, and psychotic-like experiences

Smailes, David January 2014 (has links)
Psychological models of psychotic experiences suggest that social adversity (e.g., difficult family relationships, bullying) and anomalous percepts play an important role in the development of paranoid thinking, while intrusive cognitions and problems in reality discrimination play an important role in the development of auditory hallucinations (AH). The studies reported in this thesis examined a number of research questions relevant to these models, by investigating psychotic experiences in non-clinical populations (typically referred to as psychotic-like experiences, or PLEs). In Study 1 it was shown that the association between poor parental bonding and PLEs is mediated by individual differences in exposure to bullying and levels of negative affect. In Study 2 it was shown that associations between insecure attachment styles and paranoid thinking are mediated by individual differences in loneliness. In Study 3 it was shown that the association between experiencing anomalous percepts and paranoid thinking is moderated by individual differences in attachment anxiety. In Study 4 it was shown that the association between experiencing intrusive thoughts and AH-proneness is moderated by individual differences in reality discrimination skills. Finally, in Study 5 it was shown that a person’s reality discrimination abilities can be weakened through the induction of a negative mood. The studies included in this thesis, therefore, show how a variety of social, emotional, and cognitive factors interact with each other to foster or preclude the development of PLEs in ways that extend current psychological models of AH and paranoid thinking.

Rewards have a transient and task-specific effect on saccade latency and accuracy

Dunne, Stephen David January 2014 (has links)
The focus of this thesis was on investigating the key questions regarding the effectiveness of monetary rewards as a tool for behaviour change in rehabilitation. Firstly, do rewards consistently influence the eye movement behaviour in a neuro-typical human population? Secondly, do these effects persist once rewards are withdrawn? Finally, do these effects transfer to other unrewarded eye movement tasks? Nine experiments investigated the influence of monetary rewards on oculomotor function and attention in humans. Monetary rewards were found to consistently influence human saccadic behaviour such that faster eye movements were generated to rewarded locations compared to unrewarded locations. These effects persisted for a short period of time after rewards were withdrawn before extinguishing quickly. However, these hemifield-specific effects failed to transfer to any secondary unrewarded eye movement task, but instead produced a more general effect of reward in one experiment conducted. The present set of experiments have established a reward paradigm able to consistently produce behaviour change when rewards are present; however these effects were found to be context and task-specific. The findings of the present set of experiments have highlighted the transient nature of the effects of reward and provide a framework for the future use of monetary rewards as a tool for behaviour change. The findings provided by the present set of experiments can be harnessed in future to guide the effectiveness of monetary reinforcers in a neuro-atypical population.

Dimensions of the heterosexual bond : culture, personality and cycle effects

Shimoda, Rei January 2014 (has links)
Romantic love, sexual desire, and adult attachment mechanisms were proposed to be universal adaptations which initiate and maintain a pair-bond relationship with a selected partner. The main goal of the thesis was to explore the functions of the pair-bond mechanisms from an evolutionary perspective and to test whether these proposed mechanisms showed the characteristics expected of psychological systems designed to initiate and maintain a pair-bond. The life history theory assumes that, as the available resources and lifespan are limited, decisions regarding resource allocation (e.g., energy) involve trade-offs among life history tasks (e.g., reproduction, parenting). The theory implies that individuals in different circumstances should deal with trade-offs differently, and this may be reflected in the experiences of pair-bond relationships. I first selected prospective items in order to construct self-report measurements of pair-bond relationships (Chapter Two). These items were administered to Occidental and Japanese participants. Their responses were entered in a series of factor analyses in order to confirm factor structure underlying pair-bond relationships, and to develop and refine measurements to assess relationships dimensions (Chapter Three). For both cultural groups, six factors were generated: a romantic love related factor (obsession); three attachment-related factors (care-receiving, care-giving, separation distress); and two sexual desire-related factors (partner- and other-directed sexual desire). The developed scales and/or some of the selected items were used to assess whether individuals differed in the intensity of relationship dimensions as a function of sex (Chapters Four and Five), age (Chapter Four), relationship stage (Chapter Four), cultural background (Chapter Four), personality (Chapter Five) and female conception probability (Chapter Six). Results showed that the intensity of relationship dimensions differed between sexes, different age groups, relationship stages, cultural backgrounds, personalities, and menstrual phases. In fact, culture had a major impact on pair-bond relationship dimensions. The strong cultural influence found on the relationship dimensions suggests that this should not be ignored by evolutionary psychologists.

Death, hope and sex revisited : an evaluation of psychosocial acceleration theory

Copping, Lee Thomas January 2014 (has links)
Psychosocial Acceleration Theory (Belsky, Steinberg & Draper, 1991; Chisholm, 1993; 1999a) is an explanatory framework that recasts behaviours viewed as deviant or pathological (such as aggression and early reproductive behaviour) as adaptive strategies for individuals developing in high stress environments. Chisholm and later theorists linked disrupted attachment process during early childhood to perceptions of an uncertain future and local mortality rates. Uncertain futures cause individuals to focus on present consumption (shortening “time preference”) to avoid lineage extinction through accelerated reproductive function and competitive behaviours. Questions remain as to the details of how this process operates; specifically, the identification of environmental stressors, the specification of Chisholm’s “time preference” mechanism and the role of biological sex. This thesis evaluated psychosocial acceleration theory by exploring these questions. The combined empirical evidence from seven studies (using primary and secondary data) generally supports and extends psychosocial acceleration theory as a framework for explaining how and why various behaviours cluster together in predictable ways and how these life history trajectories represent alternative, conditional strategies shaped by environmental experiences. Evidence suggests that sex-ratio, population density, socioeconomic stress, low education and shorter life expectancies represent distinct sources of stress that promote greater family instability, which in turn, increases aggression, crime, teenage pregnancies and reproductive development. However data also suggest (somewhat contrary to Chisholm) that these same environmental factors can act independently of family instability. Psychological traits (particularly sensation seeking and impulsivity) that meet key predictions derived from Chisholm’s work are discussed as mediating mechanisms representative of “time preference” linking perception of ecological stress with behaviour. The role of biological sex, whilst in line with many evolutionary derived predictions, demonstrates distinct pathways for males and females. Future work and limitations are discussed in commentaries throughout in relation to pertinent evolutionary literature.

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