PSI Early Graduate Group Conference, 27-28 February 2015
Oral Presentations Session 1

Oral Presentation Session 1:  4-5pm

Room 1

Brain & Behaviour

 

Chair: Dr. Brian Slattery

Kelly Larkin

USING AN IMPLICIT MEASURE (IRAP) TO EVALUATE INFLUENCE OF TERMINOLOGY ON SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE

Study 1 examined whether terminology affected naive college participants’ (N=60) implicit and explicit rating evaluations of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) when both described similarly as educational supports. Participants were then divided into two groups and exposed to an intervention that delivered expanded positive information about ABA or PBS, and evaluation measures were repeated post-intervention to determine if positive evaluations increased; however results showed that terminology was not shown to exert influence. Malleability was found with explicit but not implicit data, and both groups showed increased positive evaluations towards the relevant support regime. Study 2 used similar explicit and implicit measures with ABA professionals and students (N=40). Pre and post measures were taken regarding an intervention with positive information about PBS. Results showed that positive information about PBS failed to impact preferential evaluations for ABA that were evident in both explicit and implicit measures pre and post intervention. Findings are discussed regarding ABA dissemination issues, and malleability of explicit and implicit responding.

Shane McLoughlin

A PRELIMINARY MODEL OF QUASI-ANALOGY USING THE RELATIONAL EVALUATION PROCEDURE (REP)

Introduction: Analogical reasoning is a pattern of behaviour associated with creative reasoning, and intelligence more broadly. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) defines analogical responding as the establishment of frames of coordination between functionally equivalent relational networks. One strand of RFT research has used the Relational Evaluation Procedure (REP) to provide a generative model of analogy thus conceptualized. Method: Functions of ‘SAME’ and ‘DIFFERENT’ and ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ were established in arbitrary stimuli and subsequently tested choosing either ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ in the presence of (i) ‘statement’ networks involving SAME and DIFFERENT relations between novel arbitrary nonsense syllables and (ii) analogical ‘question’ networks that required derivation of relations between stimuli given in (i). This method facilitated the derivation of multiple novel analogies. Conclusions: The current study aimed to extend this model by using the REP to allow evaluation of quasi-analogical networks involving relations of distinction and opposition between networks. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Grainne Kent

EXPLORING THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TEACHING SEQUENCE FOR RELATIONAL RESPONDING IN CHILDERN WITH DIAGNOSED AUTISM OR DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY

The current research comprised two studies to investigate the emergence of derived relational responding in children with Autism or Developmental Disability. Method: In Study 1, four children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and one child with Down's syndrome, were exposed to verbal assessments following which they were exposed to relational responding testing and training in the following sequence: co-ordination, distinction, comparison, opposition and hierarchy. All children demonstrated different levels of verbal and relational responding competencies however overall an intervention based on RFT was found to be successful in establishing relational responding in accordance with the targeted frames. In Study 2, four participants with ASD were exposed to a training sequence identical to that used in Study 1 however the location of comparison and opposition were alternated. Results: Results found that participants in Study 2 demonstrated better performances in the emergence of comparison relations than those in Study 1 suggesting that the manipulated sequence may have had an effect. Results also support the previously suggested developmental sequence of the emergence of derived relational responding with evidence of some relational frames emerging before others found. Furthermore results provide evidence of a relationship between relational responding and verbal ability.

 

Edel Galvin

Analysing Relational Responding Skills and Verbal Ability in Children with Autism and Typically-developing Children

The current thesis was concerned with testing and training the relational responding skills of two groups of children using protocol based on RFT (Rehfeldt & Barnes-Holmes, 2009). Specifically, relational responding in accordance with co-ordination and distinction was tested with 7 children with autism. The research also tested relational responding in accordance with co-ordination, distinction, comparison and opposition with 5 typically-developing children. A secondary objective of the current research was to assess the potential relationship between verbal ability and relational responding skills. Thus, the study assessed each participant’s expressive and receptive verbal abilities through the administration of two standardised verbal assessments before and after relational responding testing/training. The findings of these studies demonstrate the diversity in verbal ability and relational responding skills among typically-developing children and those with autism. Specifically, participants with autism produced very weak performances on the verbal assessments, and only one of the five participants reached criterion for the second relational frame tested; distinction. However, interesting patterns of flexibility in responding were discovered. In comparison, typically developing participants produced average performances on the verbal assessments and reached criterion for all four relational frames tested.

Additionally, no significant changes were detected post relational testing/training.

 

 

 

 

Room 2

Clinical Psychology

 

Chair: Dr. Sinead Conneely

Sinead King

Predicting outcome following psychological

therapy in IAPT (PROMPT): a naturalistic project

protocol

Depression and anxiety are highly prevalent and represent a significant and well described public health burden. Whilst first line psychological treatments are effective for nearly half of attenders, there remain a substantial number of patients who do not benefit. The main objective of the present project is to establish an infrastructure platform for the identification of factors that predict lack of response to psychological treatment for depression and anxiety, in order to better target treatments as well as to support translational and experimental medicine research in mood and anxiety disorders.

This project addresses a need to understand treatment response rates in primary care psychological therapy services for those with depression and/or anxiety. Measurement of a range of predictor variables allows for the detection of bio-psycho-social factors which may be relevant for treatment outcome. This will enable future clinical decision making to be based on the individual needs of the patient in an evidence-based manner. Moreover, the identification of individuals who fail to improve following therapy delivered by IAPT services could be utilised for the development of novel interventions

 

Bairbre Fee

LOW INTENSITY ONLINE MINDFULNESS INTERVENTION FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH AN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER DIAGNOSIS

There is growing evidence that mindfulness based interventions, even of short duration, can reduce stress, anxiety and depression in both clinical and non-clinical groups. Parents’ of children with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis tend to report higher levels of anxiety, depression and stress than those of typically developing children or those with other intellectual or physical disabilities. Research suggests that parents are crucial for the successful outcome of treatment for their children. This research aims to examine whether a low intensity online mindfulness intervention, based on freely available resources, can deliver similar results to those found in previous research. Parents’ will complete pre and post intervention questionnaires measuring depression, anxiety, stress and parental sense of competency. They will be randomly allocated to waitlist control or an intervention group who will have access to a website for 4 weeks. A MANOVA will be used to analyse the data.

 

Karen O’Leary

PRENATAL MINDFULNESS INTERVENTION EFFECTS

Introduction: This study examined the effect of a brief mindfulness-based intervention on prenatal well-being. Previous research has demonstrated beneficial effects of mindfulness intervention during pregnancy. Short, at-home mindfulness interventions have yet to be examined. Methods: Participants (n=36) were randomised to the intervention or control, for 3 weeks. Participants completed stress, sleep & satisfaction with life measures at baseline, at 1.5 weeks and at 3 weeks. Results: Significant intervention effects were observed for prenatal stress (p=.04) and sleep quality (p=.01). No significant differences were observed for satisfaction with life in the current study. Conclusions: These findings indicate that brief at-home mindfulness-based interventions can reduce prenatal stress and enhance sleep quality in early pregnancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room 3

Technology & Community

 

Chair: Dr. Ronan Conway

Brian Harrington

VIDEO GAME USE AND PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR: AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PROSOCIAL VIDEO GAME USE, EMPATHIC ATTITUDES AND PROSOCIAL ORIENTATION IN IRISH CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS FROM DIFFERENT SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROUPS

Introduction: The main aim of this study is to determine if there is a positive relationship between prosocial video game use and prosocial behaviour in children and adolescents. Methods: This study has a cross-sectional correlational design. Data were gathered from 2009-15 year old children and adolescents between March and December 2014. Participants completed measures of empathy, prosocial behaviour and video game habits. Teachers rated the prosocial behaviour of participants. The socio-economic status of participants was also recorded. Results: After a preliminary analysis a moderate correlation between children’s empathic attitudes and prosocial orientation was reported. In addition, gender differences were reported with males scoring higher on measures of prosocial and violent video game use than females. Conclusions: The correlation between empathic attitudes and prosocial orientation supports previous research which found that the relationship between prosocial video game use and prosocial behaviour was mediated by empathy.

 

 

Derek Laffan

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE STRUCTURAL VIDEO GAME CHARACTERISTICS, VIDEO GAME ENGAGEMENT AND HAPPINESS AMONG A COHORT OF VIDEO GAMERS

Introduction: The present study aims to investigate the relationships between the structural video game characteristics, video game engagement and happiness levels among video gamers. Method: An online cross sectional study with correlational and regression data analysis was carried out among an international cohort of 207 video gamers. Results: Findings revealed that flow and happiness were significantly negatively correlated, and that flow was significantly predicted in video games when punishment and presentation characteristics were rated as present and important among video gamers. Conclusions: The negative relationship between flow and happiness may have occurred due to the degree of effort, concentration and skill required in gaming to achieve flow. This may have led to negative affects such as exhaustion or negative moods. It was also concluded that the punishment and presentation characteristics may have contributed to the perceived difficulty of challenges and absolute concentration required to achieve a state of flow.

 

 

Catherine Friend

Deception Detection Online: Can you tell if someone is lying to you

Humans have been found to detect lies only at the rate of chance (Ott, Choi, Cardie & Hancock, 2011; Talbot, 2012; Toma & Hancock, 2012) . Where communication online can elicit higher rates of trust and sharing personal information (Jiang, Bazarova & Hancock, 2013), how does trust and personality traits like perspective taking effect deception detection online compared to face-to-face communication? This study measured 40 participants in an online and offline conditions who had to detect two lies out of five conversation topics while in conversation dyads with a confederate. Two two-way between groups ANOVAS found no significant difference in the effect of perspective taking and trust on accurate deception detection in online and offline participants. Prospective discussion points include the truth bias, online disinhibition and previous experience using online communication.

 

 

Ann-Marie Coffey

ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN INTERNET USE AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING: NO EFFECT ON RELATIONSHIP WHEN MODERATED BY SOCIAL SUPPORT

Problematic internet use (PIU) has been conceptualised as a form of 'addiction' that can give rise to pathological outcomes, such as loneliness, depression and stress (Caplan, 2003). Furthermore online social support has been cited as the most common form of internet use, yet paradoxically ,this has been linked to a decrease in one's social circle and greater loneliness (Kraut, 1998). The present study aimed to further support these negative associations. Furthermore, while high levels of online social support seeking was hypothesised to predict poorer wellbeing, participants 'offline', face to face social support was expected to act as a buffer, with high levels lessening the negative effect. 95 participants (32 males and 63 females) aged between 18-70 took part in the cross-sectional online survey. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that internet use moderately predicted greater loneliness, depression and stress, when controlling for age and gender. However, perceived social support did not moderate this relationship as expected. No relationship between online social support seeking and psychological wellbeing was found in two of the three outcomes examined. Suggestions for future research are offered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room 4

Health & Well-being

 

Chair: Dr. Jenny McSharry

Stephen McIntyre

PATIENT AND HEALTH PRACTITIONER PERSPECTIVES ON SELF-MONITORING OF BLOOD GLUCOSE FOR NON-INSULIN TREATED TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS

Introduction: The views and current practice of self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) among individuals with non-insulin treated Type 2 diabetes mellitus and their health practitioners will be examined. Although SMBG is a clinical recommendation for diabetes management, it is unclear if it is associated with improved long-term outcomes and can be a source of inconvenience for patients. This study aims to expand on previous qualitative research in this area to obtain a holistic perspective on BGSM in this population. Methods: Approximately twenty adult patients and ten practitioners will be invited to take part in semi-structured interviews based on the Health Belief Model. Interviews will be audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. A deductive approach will be implemented with past research utilised to inform data coding and interpretation. Conclusions: Potential implications for this study include that it may elucidate SMBG practices in this population and highlight doctor-patient communication about SMBG.

 

 

Mark Corcoran

EXAMINATION OF A PRIMARY CARE PSYCHOLOGY SERVICE: A SURVEY OF THE NEEDS OF GPs, SERVICE MANAGERS, AND PRIMARY CARE PSYCHOLOGISTS

Introduction: The effectiveness of primary care psychology services is largely determined by its relationship with other primary care professionals. This research surveyed stakeholders in primary care psychology services and primary care psychologists, with the aim of providing a more enhanced primary care psychology service. Method: Stakeholders received a survey examining their current evaluations of the primary care psychology service, referrals, and their future recommendations. Primary care psychologists were examined in terms of their caseload profile, time spent on tasks, and recommendations on improving productivity. Results: The vast majority of stakeholders cited the need for greater access to psychologists, with over half welcoming the development of a referral policy on agreed guidelines. Primary care psychologists indicated the need for greater clarification of referral criteria to prevent inappropriate referrals. Conclusion: Accessibility and the referral pathway represented issues concerning the majority of participants. Recommendations and future implications are discussed.

 

 

Marie Kotzur

PREDICTORS OF CERVICAL SCREENING INTENTIONS IN IRISH WOMEN

Introduction: The National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) offers free smears to women aged 25 to 60 years. Coverage remains below the targeted 80%. Research has associated attendance with screening intention. This study examined this association and the predictors of screening intentions in Ireland. Method: An online survey investigated predictors of screening intention in the areas of: health beliefs, personality, sexual behaviour, health status, information level and socio-demographics. The survey was completed by 257 Irish women eligible to participate in the NCSP. Multiple and logistic regression were used to answer the research question. Results: Multiple regression found positive attitudes to predict intention. In logistic regression, uptake was predicted by low fear of cancer, few perceived barriers and high screening intention. Conclusions: The findings support the association of screening intention and attendance in the literature and emphasise the role of health beliefs in cervical screening behaviour. Further research should investigate possible causal relationships.

Páraic Ó Súilleabháin

PSYCHOSOMATIC INFLUENCES ON HEALTH: OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE AND STRESS RESPONDING IN A LARGE U.S. NATIONAL SAMPLE

Introduction: The present study sought to examine the associations between the personality trait of openness to experience and cortisol responses to laboratory-based stress. Methods: Study was based on a population sample of 933 adults (423 males, 510 females). Personality data related to Five Factor Model inventory which was gathered at a single time-point. Stress response data related to cortisol assay samples which had been gathered at three time-points: at baseline, following cognitive stress, and following orthostatic stress. Results: Regression analyses highlighted that the interaction of sex and openness to experience predicted cognitive and orthostatic cortisol stress responses respectively. For men, openness to experience was negatively associated with cortisol responses to both cognitive (β = -.10), and orthostatic stress (β = -.11). Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of openness to experience in cortisol responses to novel stress. This study also provides a mechanism linking openness to experience to mortality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room 5

Perception & Cognition

 

Chair: Dr. Christopher Dwyer

Angela Coleman

AN EXAMINATION INTO THE CONTRIBUTORY EFFECTS OF VISUAL AND AUDITORY POST-EVENT MEDIA INFORMATION ON MISINFORMATION ACCEPTANCE, MEMORY ACCURACY AND MEMORY CONFIDENCE AT A SHORT RETENTION INTERVAL

The current study was conducted to compare the contributory effects of post-event information (PEI) encountered through two ‘non-social’ modes of media, one of which is a method typically employed in laboratory studies (narrative) and the other, one which has not been used as a means of comparison in prior misinformation studies (audio). Misinformation effects, memory accuracy and confidence were all assessed in relation to mode of PEI. Participants were shown a crime video and were then exposed to misleading information, through either a misleading audio or a misleading narrative and were assessed on their original memory accordingly. There was a control condition where participants did not receive any post-event information. Participants were tested individually, 20 minutes after viewing the simulated event. Results suggest that misleading post-event information encountered through modes of media have a strong influence on eyewitness memory, where control participants reported significantly less misinformation details and a significantly higher level of correct responses than misled participants. A non-significant effect for mode of post-event information on confidence ratings was found, with inadequate retention interval representing a possible reason for this finding. As most studies have examined the influence of misinformation on memory more than 24 hours after viewing the original event, this experiment indicates that even immediate memory (after a 20 minute interval) is not resistant to misinformation effects. The results obtained in the current study largely reflect the outcome predicted by previous research. Further analysis with increased retention intervals and a more specialized sample is recommended.

Sinead   D'Arcy-Bewick

The Golden Section in Auditory Cognition

Introduction: There is accumulating evidence for active binding mechanisms during stimulus coding. This study examines the psychological brain dynamics involved in auditory perception by investigating the harmonic template hypothesis and the null effect of oscillatory priming on musicians through presenting stimuli calculated to the golden ratio. Based upon previous observations that the synchronization of two oscillations is most irregular when their ratio equals the golden mean, this study examines the hypothesis that the oscillatory priming effect in musicians will return at the golden mean. Method: Twenty-four volunteers took part in the experiment. The trials consisted of 48 sets of two-tone pip trains presented in each block, totalling 40 blocks per participant. Each participant was tested in all conditions. Participants were instructed to focus on the targets and respond as quickly and accurately as possible to either the presence of absence of two tones in a sequence by pressing buttons on a keypad.

Results: A repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) will be carried out on

the response time data. Within factors are presentation rate, and target, and the

between-subjects factor is group. Conclusions: Conclusions will be discussed upon the analysis of results.

Gillian Murphy

THE EFFECT OF VISUAL OF PERCEPTUAL LOAD ON EYEWITNESS REPORTS

Introduction: Perceptual Load Theory (Lavie, 2005), theorises that the level of a perceptual load in a given task dictates the extent of distractor processing. We theorised that if perceptual load affects the processing of distractors and can induce inattentional blindness, it likely affects the accuracy of memory also. Method: Two experiments, one video-based (n=100) and one driving simulator based (n=97), investigated the effect of perceptual load on i) eye-witness report accuracy and ii) eye-witness susceptibility to leading questions. Results: The results of both studies supported our hypotheses and suggest that perceptual load is an important factor in eyewitness reports. Higher perceptual load resulted in less accurate memories. In particular, high perceptual load scenes resulted in reduced accuracy for peripheral details, relative to central details. This was true for human faces, stationary objects and moving vehicles. Conclusion: This is an exciting finding and has implications for memory researchers and forensic professionals.

Laura Hayes

EARS OPEN, EYES SHUT - THE ROLE OF EYE-CLOSURE AND INDIVIDUAL LEARNING STYLE IN EARWITNESS TESTOMONY

Introduction: Research examining memory for conversations, in particular in a forensic context, earwitness testimony, is an area of psychology lacking in research The present research is concerned with earwitness memory for criminal conversation and examined whether eye-closure may improve auditory recall. This study also measured individuals preference in cognitive learning style, verbalizers/visualizers, to examine whether a correlation exists between preference and recall ability. Method: Forty volunteers took part in the experiment. Participant completed the revised Verbalizer-Visualizer Questionnaire (Kirby, 1988). Participants individually listened to an audioclip where a conversations concerning intention to commit a theft takes place. Following a brief distractor task, participants are randomly assigned to either the eye-closure or control condition. A free-recall and cued-recall series of questions are subsequently asked. Results were recorded and transcribed for data collection. Results: A series of analysis of variance (ANOVA) will be carried out on the recalled information data as a within subject factor, and eye-closure/control and individual learning style (verbalizer/visuazlier) as between-subjects factors. Conclusions: Conclusions will be discussed upon the analysis of results.