Enhancing the Ability of Adults with Mild Mental Retardation to Recognize Facial Expression of EmotionsMichel, Juna 01 January 2011 (has links)
A critical element in the development of interpersonal skills is the ability to recognize facial expressions. However, in persons with mild mental retardation (PMR), social interactions based on the recognition of others' emotional states may be compromised. Guided by the theory of mind, which allows one to make inferences on someone's mental states, differentiate facts from friction, and process others' beliefs and intentions, this study determined if emotion training impacted future emotion recognition scores in a PMR population and whether the variables of gender, age, and baseline Facial Expression of Emotions Stimuli and Test (FEEST) scores predicted changes in emotion recognition. Secondary data from a group of trainees identified as having mild mental retardation who participated in an emotion recognition training program (n = 31) were assessed. A paired samples t test revealed no differences between the pre-and post- assessments as a function of training, and the multiple regression analysis revealed that gender, age, and baseline FEEST score did not predict changes in emotional recognition. These findings, despite their non significance, offer a unique contribution to the field of mental retardation and contribute to theory of mind research in PMR populations. Positive social change implications include the potential ability to identify ways to improve social skills and effective training models to foster social inclusion in PMR population.
Berst, Mary Lynette
12 April 2016
<p> Psycho-physiological trauma theory postulates that trauma can cause nervous system dysregulation, which has not been considered with evidence-based treatments. Other models, including the community resiliency model, have focused on reducing nervous system dysregulation. This study used a comparison group in a pre-test post-test model to examine the difference between participants with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms who did and did not receive model training. Eighteen adult subjects were non-randomly assigned to control and treatment groups. The frequency and severity of intrusive symptoms, avoidance/numbing symptoms, and hyperarousal symptoms were measured by the Davidson Trauma Scale. Data were collected at pre-treatment, immediately following treatment, and one week after treatment. Three separate mixed ANOVAs were run to assess the effect of CRM treatment over time. The dependent variables were derived from the Davidson Trauma Scale’s three subscales, Intrusive, Avoidance/Numbing, and Hyperarousal. Initial analyses revealed a significant main effect of time, but no main effect of treatment, across all three variables. However, a significant interaction was evident for all three subscales, warranting follow-up analyses. For all three dependent variables, the pretest means were significantly greater for the treatment group than for the control group. These differences may reflect the non-random assignment of participants to the control group.</p>
Arnsdorff, G. Blake
13 April 2016
<p> Due to high implementation costs of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) in the near-term, Air Traffic Controllers (ATCos) will have to manage mixed equipped airspace. Previous studies have evaluated different methods for training ATCos to use current-day tools and NextGen tools. More specifically, recent studies investigated how ATCo performance, workload, and situation awareness were affected by part-task and whole-task training. The current study builds on this research by examining ATCos' communication complexity as a function of these training types. Communication complexity is related to the number of commands ATCos incorporate in a single transmission, and it has been cited as a major contributor to incidents in aviation. The main finding of this investigation indicated that the largest differences in communication complexity between training groups occurred during the 100% NextGen equipped scenarios, with the whole-task group transmitting more complex communications than the part-task group.</p>
Investigating the cognitive underpinnings of procrastination| An intervention study and a longitudinal analysisGustavson, Daniel E. 03 June 2016 (has links)
<p> This dissertation presents two studies that examined how goal-management abilities are associated with procrastination. The first study was a two-part intervention study designed to (a) examine whether individuals could reduce their academic procrastination, and (b) examine the association between procrastination and the accomplishment of academic goals. In the second study, data from a longitudinal twin study were analyzed to (a) examine whether procrastination in adulthood could be predicted by three cognitive abilities in early childhood, and (b) further understand how procrastination is associated with intelligence. </p><p> In the first study, 221 subjects completed an experiment in which they set academic goals and identified the temptations that often cause them to procrastinate. Some subjects also completed interventions in addition to these goal-setting exercises, which focused on elaborative goal-setting (i.e., setting SMART goals) and/or prepared subjects with strategies to resist their temptations (by forming implementation intentions). Results indicated that procrastination was predictive of the success of the goals generated during the exercises, but there were no effects of either intervention on the reduction in academic procrastination (or the accomplishment of academic goals), even when examining relevant moderating variables. </p><p> In the second study, I analyzed data from 954 twins who completed measures of self-restraint, attentional control, and IQ in early childhood (ages 1-3 years) and returned for measures of procrastination, goal management, impulsivity, and IQ at age 23. Results indicated that neither self-restraint, attentional control, nor IQ in early childhood were associated with procrastination at the phenotypic or genetic levels, and that procrastination was not associated with IQ even when examining IQ in adolescence or early adulthood. </p><p> Together, these findings provided additional, albeit limited, evidence for the association between goal management abilities and procrastination, most strongly with regard to the accomplishment of academic goals. These studies were also the first to directly test the effectiveness of goal-related interventions on procrastination and examine early life correlates of procrastination. Given the lack of conclusive evidence observed here for both of these topics, further research is needed to understand what interventions are effective at reducing procrastination and identify which factors in childhood can predict later life procrastination.</p>
<p>"Cognitive control" describes endogenous guidance of behavior in situations where routine stimulus-response associations are suboptimal for achieving a desired goal. The computational and neural mechanisms underlying this capacity remain poorly understood. The present dissertation examines recent advances stemming from the application of a statistical, Bayesian learner perspective on control processes. An important limitation in current models consists of a lack of a plausible mechanism for the flexible adjustment of control over variable environments. I propose that flexible cognitive control can be achieved by a Bayesian model with a self-adapting, volatility-driven learning scheme, which modulates dynamically the relative dependence on recent (short-term) and remote (long-term) experiences in its prediction of future control demand. Using simulation data, human behavioral data and human brain imaging data, I demonstrate that this Bayesian model does not only account for several classic behavioral phenomena observed from the cognitive control literature, but also facilitates a principled, model-guided investigation of the neural substrates underlying the flexible adjustment of cognitive control. Based on the results, I conclude that the proposed Bayesian model provides a feasible solution for modeling the flexible adjustment of cognitive control.</p> / Dissertation
van Rooij, Iris
27 April 2017
This research investigates the import and utility of computational complexity theory in cognitive psychology. A common conception in cognitive psychology is that a cognitive system is to be understood in terms of the function that it computes. The recognition that cognitive systems-being physical systems-are limited in space and time has led to the Tractable Cognition thesis: only tractably computable functions describe cognitive systems. This dissertation considers two possible formalizations of the Tractable Cognition thesis. The first, called the P-Cognition thesis, defines tractability as polynomial-time computability and is the dominant view in cognitive science today. The second, called the FPT-Cognition thesis, is proposed by the author and defines tractability as fixed-parameter tractability for some “small” input parameters. The FPT-Cognition thesis is shown to provide a useful relaxation of the P-Cognition thesis. To illustrate how the FPT-Cognition thesis can be put into practice, a set of simple but powerful tools for complexity analyses is introduced. These tools are then used to analyze the complexity of existing cognitive theories in the domains of coherence reasoning, subset choice, binary-cue prediction and visual matching. Using psychologically motivated examples, a sufficiently diverse set of functions, and simple proof techniques, this manuscript aims to make the theory of classical and parameterized complexity tangible for cognitive psychologists. With the tools of complexity theory in hand a cognitive psychologist can study the a priori feasibility of cognitive theories and discover interesting and potentially useful cognitive parameters. Possible criticisms of the Tractable Cognition thesis are discussed and existing misconceptions are clarified. / Graduate
Watson, Graham M.
04 May 2017
<p>A longstanding folk belief suggests that ?busy? people possess the ability to get more done than others. Busyness, defined as the demands of everyday life, has been shown to generate cognitive load, which has been called ?cognitive busyness.? Although most cognitive theory would deny the possibility that cognitive load may enhance performance, some recent research may support the possibility. Cowan's 1988 information-processing model was used to study how measures of everyday busyness correlated with performance on cognitive tasks. The research question addressed whether any combination of such measures, in combination with working memory, could predict performance on such tasks. 92 participants, paid workers with Amazon Mechanical Turk, engaged in an online process, starting with completion of a validated self-report instrument to measure busyness. They then participated in 2 activities, structured as games and designed to measure working memory and cognitive performance. Multiple regressions, linear and nonlinear, were used to identify significant predictors of performance. Results of the analyses did not reveal any evidence for significant relationships between the variables. Additionally, ?volitional busyness? did not appear to enhance, or even affect, performance on a planning task. Further research exploring the effect of these variables on a working memory-based task may be worthwhile, if only to confirm the present findings. This project might benefit linguists tracking semantic change, showing how a term may adopt an entirely different meaning and suggesting further refinement in identifying such shifts over the years; psychologists exploring cognitive load and its effects; and social psychologists interested in making corrections to popular perceptions of the value of tradition gender-associated tasks.
13 December 2016
<p> Software development is a multidisciplinary collaboration involving many stakeholders. However, existing software development processes exhibit many issues related to that collaboration. Because prior research on stakeholder analysis and teamwork revealed the importance of communication, this study analyzed stakeholder communication with reference to team activities as a social and cognitive process. The study’s goal was to understand the collaboration process during software development and to delineate factors that influence this process. We focused on communication between the software developers and their clients during the requirements gathering phase, the team process, and the inter-team and interdisciplinary collaboration, in particular between software engineers and technical communicators. First, we conducted observations to help uncover the causes of variances in collaboration performance. Then we modified aspects of the collaboration process and compared team performance. We also performed an experimental study to further test the supporting effect of clients’ documents on requirement gathering. Finally, teams’ working structures and their impact on team performance were investigated using social network analysis. Among our findings was that clients are critical to the success of software development. Providing teams with documents that support requirement gathering facilitates team efficiency, but there is a trade-off in that team members may generate fewer creative ideas. Another finding was that software teams should ensure that members from all disciplines actively participate in projects. Finally, although teams need leadership, effective leadership is not a strong team member performing all coordination and tasks. A moderately centralized team structure is preferred.</p>
Hoefler, Calsey E.
01 December 2016
<p>Computer-based cognitive training (CBCT) is receiving increased consideration in the treatment of Alzheimer?s disease (AD) as it has shown to ameliorate the progression of cognitive decline. A meta-analytic review of 17 studies with 494 participants was analyzed to examine the efficacy of CBCT interventions on delaying cognitive decline in participants with early stage AD. Studies were included if the participants had early stage AD or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI); used a CBCT program; had a control condition present; the study targeted a delay in cognitive decline in cognitive functioning; and enough information was included in the study to calculate an effect size. The common effect size used in the review was Cohen?s d index. Results of the analysis showed a small effect size on delaying cognitive decline in participants with early stage AD or MCI. Overall, the findings of the review suggest that CBCT is an effective intervention that may delay cognitive decline in participants with early stage AD or MCI.
No description available.
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