Psychology

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    Mutual entailment of temporal relations in younger and older adults: reversing order judgments
    (Springer International Publishing, 2016) McGreal, Catherine; Hyland, John; O’ Hora, Denis; Hogan, Michael
    For temporal relations, mutually entailed relations are different to those directly trained; we learn that A occurred “before” B and derive that B occurred “after” A. Deriving such relations results in lower accuracy and slower response speeds compared to derived relations identical to those trained. The ability of an individual to derive relations different to those trained is a measure of relational flexibility and predicts performance on standard cognitive tests. In the current study, 23 younger (M = 19 years) and 23 older (M = 61 years) participants observed pairs of stimuli presented consecutively (A … B) and then evaluated statements including the stimuli in the same (A BEFORE B) or reversed order (B AFTER A). Judgements on reversed (“after”) statements resulted in lower accuracy and slower response speeds than those presented in the same order (“before”) for both older and younger groups. Older adults exhibited deficits in relational flexibility compared to younger adults, such as slower progression through experimental phases, particularly in correctly responding to reversed statements. Older participants also demonstrated higher error rates on foil statements and responded more slowly than younger participants. The findings suggest that older adults may benefit from training strategies focused on relational flexibility.lo
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    Victimisation in urban disadvantaged primary schools: associations with health-related quality of life, depression and social support
    (Wiley, 2017) Hyland, John; Hyland, Pauline; Comiskey, Catherine
    Background: Although a widespread problem, victimisation research on primary school children is limited, especially in disadvantaged regions. The aim of the current research was to address this absence in the literature with the analysis of the first wave data from a longitudinal study as part of the ‘Healthy Schools’ programme in a disadvantaged urban region. Method: The current study explored victimisation incidences among 458 seven to twelve year old Irish primary school children, and associations with depression, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and social support. Results: Victimisation frequency (33.8%) was consistent with recent literature, with scores positively correlating with depression levels. On the stand-alone victimisation question, victims scored lower on all HRQoL subscales compared to non-victims. Further categorisation of victimisation behaviours revealed that frequent-victims scored lower on four of these subscales, compared to non-victims. Conclusion: Although from an area considered to be disadvantaged, rates of victimisation were consistent with data from more affluent areas. Results stress an importance on specific bullying behaviours when measuring victimisation rates, along with corresponding health consequences. Future research should continue to adopt the behaviour based assessment of victimisation to provide an overall picture of the problem.
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    The health of academic psychology
    (The Irish Psychologist, 2017) Murphy, Jonathan
    For those starting out in academia, it is an arduous climb, often with uncertain perspective; a career ladder moving in the wind, with few rungs, dangling from a helicopter being piloted by non-academic managers. And from this precarious position, it is expected you offer students the best learning environment.
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    The effect of before and after instructions on the speed of sequential responding
    (The Psychological Record, 2014) Hyland, John; Smyth, Sinead; O'Hora, Denis; Leslie, Julian
    Order judgements are slower and less accurate when reversed. That is, when participants see two events in a sequence (e.g., circle …square), they are quicker to report ‘Before’ statements (e.g., “Circle before Square”) than ‘After’ statements (“Square after Circle”). The current study sought to determine whether a reversal effect will also occur when participants are instructed to produce a sequence of responses. Twenty participants were trained to criterion on simple ‘Before’ and ‘After’ instructions that specified sequences of two responses (e.g., “Circle before Square”). In a subsequent test, participants produced instructed sequences (e.g., circle … square) more quickly and more reliably when instructed to choose one stimulus before another than when they were requested to choose one stimulus after another. The implications of these findings for current theories of relational responding are considered. Author keywords: Before, after, sequential responding, temporal instructions, relational responding, mutual entailment
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    Feedback and goal-setting interventions to reduce electricity use in the real world
    (University of Illinois at Chicago Library, 2014) Frazer, Patricia; Leslie, Julian
    A field experiment explored the effect of feedback and goal-setting interventions on residential electricity use in households in Northern Ireland. Alternating orders of presentation of feedback and no feedback conditions were used to explore the longer-term effect of feedback on conservation performance. Group 1 received 5 months of feedback followed by 5 months of no feedback, Group 2 underwent 5 months of no feedback followed by 5 months of feedback, and Group 3 experienced alternating 2-month periods of feedback and no feedback over 10 months, using a reversal design. Group 1 saved a mean 9.54% of electricity during the feedback condition, but Group 2 increased their use by a mean 14.24%. Group 3 showed a pattern of cumulative reductions over successive feedback periods, with a mean reduction in electricity use of 33%. Participants in Group 3 did not show a return to baseline levels of electricity use during the no feedback condition. The importance of exploring different reactions to feedback is discussed.