Masters dissertations which achieved a mark of over 60% pre September 2016, and 70% post September 2016.

Recent Submissions

  • The Counsellor’s Experience of Aloneness And Its Impact on The Therapeutic Relationship: A Heuristic Study

    Mintz, Rita; Phillips, Lorraine (University of Chester, 2020-05-25)
    Aims and Method: This small scale study explored counsellors’ experiences of aloneness and how this influenced the therapeutic relationship. The research was conducted within a qualitative paradigm and used a heuristic methodology. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with four therapists who had expressed an interest in exploring their perceptions of this phenomenon. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data from these dialogues. Findings: Two overarching themes emerged from the data (Braun & Clarke, 2013): Personal experience of aloneness and Awareness of aloneness and the therapeutic space (the therapist’s perspective). Seven themes were highlighted under these two main headings: aloneness provides space, aloneness affects attachments, aloneness as a choice, the uniqueness of aloneness experience, aloneness is not always understood by others, how aloneness affects the therapeutic relationships, and the final theme is aloneness and self-care as a therapist. Conclusion: Our experiences of aloneness are unique and complex and how these encounters are defined, and the skills needed to be alone, are still little understood. This investigation explored individual experience of aloneness and has provided insight into how the phenomenon affects relationships with clients in the therapeutic space. It adds to a general conversation on loneliness, aloneness and solitude, and shines a light on the little researched association of our alone experiences impacting on the counselling relationship. Key Words: Aloneness, Therapeutic Relationship, Counsellor
  • The death of a mother in adolescence. A qualitative study of the perceived impact on a woman’s adult life and the parent she becomes.

    Mintz, Rita; Hardman, Rachael J. (University of Chester, 2020-03-10)
    Aim: The purpose of this research was to explore the lived experience and meaning of the unique stories of women who had been bereaved of their mothers during their adolescence. The objective: to develop and enhance an understanding of the perceived impact on their adult life and subsequent approach to motherhood. Method: This qualitative study was conducted by using semi-structured interviews with four participants, all of whom were mothers and over forty years of age to allow for retrospect. Data was analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Findings: The study revealed five main themes, all with striking similarity amongst participants. The findings indicated that the effect of mother death in adolescence was influenced by contextual factors such as suppression of grief through silence and behaviour of surviving parent. All participants reported an enduring psychological effect from their experience; an enduring sense of hurt; feelings of low self-esteem; anger; insecurity; anxiety; neediness and chronic sorrow for both themselves and their mothers. Sadness stemmed from continuous mourning felt through the loss of an adult relationship with their mothers and an awareness of having lost an aspect of themselves. The study identified a ‘ripple effect’ to future generations and established an effect on parenting, with mothers identifying themselves as anxious, uncertain, protective and over compensatory. The study also highlighted facets of posttraumatic growth. Aspects of their healing process were described by participants, including a felt sense of continuing connection with their mothers. All participants believed that they had developed positive character traits as a result of their loss, such as strength and empathy. Furthermore, with age and motherhood, participants experienced an enhanced awareness and self-understanding which afforded them some comfort. Conclusion: This work contributes to growing research suggesting ‘particular effect’ of mother death in adolescence and the subsequent impact on motherhood. Through participants’ words this research details how this experience shaped their lives and reiterates the enormity of loss and its ripple effect. Through the distinct similarities of participant responses, it affirms this phenomenon which has significance not only for women bereaved of their mothers in adolescence but for counsellors’ understanding of this phenomenon.
  • An exploration of women’s experiences of emotional ambivalence during their first trimester of pregnancy and their perceptions of psychosocial support during that time

    Mintz, Rita; Lemanski, Louise A (University of Chester, 2020-04-22)
    The first trimester is a vital stage of pregnancy. Many important developmental changes take place for both mother and baby during this time. These changes are vast and fast paced and encompass changes to a woman’s body, their emotional and also their social wellbeing. This qualitative study aimed to gain insight into women’s experiences of emotional ambivalence and their perception of psychosocial support during the stage of the first trimester of pregnancy. Through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), super-ordinate themes and sub-ordinate themes were identified. Hearing first-hand accounts of four women’s lived experiences highlighted the prevalence of emotional ambivalence during the first trimester. It also exposed the reality and impact of perceived support that was deemed beneficial including support from significant relationships and support that was considered lacking including emotional holding and individually-led support. This study has added to the conversation that there is scope for further research with the view to addressing women’s mental and emotional wellbeing and the standard of perceived support they receive during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Finding My Voice: A Qualitative Exploration into the Perceived Impact of Person-Centred Counsellor Training upon Counsellors who were Adopted as a Baby

    Parkes, Charlotte Hannah (University of Chester, 2020-04-07)
    This small-scale qualitative study explores how qualified Person-Centred counsellors who were adopted as a baby perceived the impact of their Person-Centred counselling training. The study focused on the adoptees’ experiences of adoption and how these influenced their experience of Person-Centred counselling training. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews from three qualified Person-Centred counsellors who were adopted as babies. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to gain insight into how the participants made sense of their lived experience. The findings supported the difficulties associated with adoption which are present in existing literature and research but also placed an emphasis on the particular vulnerabilities associated with being adopted as a baby. The findings further highlighted the positive impact Person-Centred Counselling training had on the participants’ personal development including: increased self-awareness, self-acceptance, identity development and having a voice. The findings confer implications for clinical practice in understanding the experience of adoptees who were adopted as a baby as well as the significant aspects of Person-Centred counselling training which facilitated the participants’ positive self-development. The links made between adoption and Person-Centred training are an original area of research and are worthy of further exploration. They elucidate the healing aspects of the approach and offer hope in overcoming human adversity.
  • Cyclic fatigue resistance of nickel titanium rotary files in the martensitic state: a systematic review.

    Cowling, Steve; Harrison, Trisalda (University of Chester, 2020-04-16)
    Background: There are many factors which effect the cyclic fatigue resistance of Nickel titanium or NiTi files. The metal can exist in a soft martensitic state which is thought to improve the resistance to cyclic fatigue. The NiTi alloy transforms from one state to the other at a certain temperature and various factors can modify this transition temperature. Temperature effects the state of the metal so the way the file acts at intracanal temperature is significant. Most cyclic fatigue tests have been carried out at room temperature. Objectives: Identifying martensitic files and whether the resistance to cyclic fatigue is greater in these files at intracanal temperature. Methods: A PICOS is used to formulate the review question. It provides a framework to develop inclusion and exclusion criteria. Search terms are used on the databases Science Direct, Wiley, PubMed and Google Scholar. A single reviewer screened the results, applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. The results are analysed and a descriptive analysis carried out. A Joanna Briggs checklist for cohort studies is used to assess the quality of the studies. An assessment of bias in the primary studies and bias in the review process is carried out. Keywords: cyclic fatigue, martensitic, intracanal temperature, CM files, Gold files, Blue files, EDM files. Results: The overall quality of the included studies was judged as moderate. However, cyclic fatigue testing methods have no standardisation, so it is difficult to compare studies. Many studies did not show evidence of sample size calculation and this was not taken into consideration by the scoring system for quality assessment. Within the limitations of the study it is found that at intracanal temperature, Hyflex EDMTM is potentially martensitic, existing in the R-phase which is considered to be a martensitic phase. It is also found that a wide range of 30.8 °C – 36 °C exists for intracanal temperature. Conclusions: Within the limitations of the study it is found that the Hyflex EDM file is martensitic at intracanal temperature and has a higher cyclic fatigue resistance than the other martensitic phase files. Most of the martensitic phase files identified possessed a greater cyclic fatigue resistance than the other files tested.
  • AKR1C3 inhibition by curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin: an investigation

    Calhoon, Brecken (University of Chester, 2019-10-02)
    Background: Aldo-keto reductase 1C3 (AKR1C3) has been shown to be overexpressed in cancers due to its regulatory roles in cell proliferation and differentiation. Curcumin, known to have anti-tumour properties, and its analogues demethoxycurcumin (DMC) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC) were studied to determine their inhibitory effects on the AKR1C3 enzyme. Methods: AKR1C3 was purified and analysed to determine its protein concentration in transformed Escherichia coli (E. coli) cells. Enzyme assays equaling 1 mL contained 2.82 mg/mL AKR1C3, 50 μM of 3 mM NADPH, and varying volumes of potassium phosphate (50 mM, pH 6.5), 9,10-phenanthrenequinone (PQ), and inhibitors were measured at 340 nm. The Vmax, Km, KI, and 2 of AKR1C3 in the presence and absence of inhibitors were determined using a non- linear regression analysis on Fig.P Software. Results: PQ alone found Vmax = 0.47 IU/mg, Km = .435 μM, Ki = 6.29 μM, and 2 = 0.946. Inhibitor potency was BDMC > DMC > curcumin in the presence of 1 μM PQ. Further analysis of BDMC indicated mixed inhibition (Vmax = 0.46 IU/mg, Km = .406 μM, Ki = 1.59 μM, and 2 = 0.970). Further analysis of PQ at higher concentrations found a divergence from Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with a decrease in AKR1C3 activity after Vmax was reached. Conclusions: BDMC was the more potent inhibitor of AKR1C3 in transformed E. coli compared to DMC and curcumin. The results suggest mixed inhibition of AKR1C3 in the presence of BDMC. Additional analysis of PQ at higher concentrations saw a loss of Michaelis-Menten kinetics as the activity of AKR1C3 decreased after reaching Vmax. This requires further examination.
  • Life Expectancy: Lower for Nursing Homes or Residents?

    Crowder, Mark; Fitzsimons, Brett (University of Chester, 2013-09)
    This paper assesses the relevance of organisational change theory and management decision making theory in the nursing home industry and whether these changes are forced upon organisations in this sector due to the current financial climate. It specifically looks at a nursing home which is located on the Wirral Peninsula, Merseyside. This particular nursing home was recently taken over by new owners and therefore a new management team was introduced. Finally the paper attempts to determine whether nursing homes can survive is this current period of financial instability and whether the nursing home industry can cope with the decrease in government funding and the increase in the demand for nursing homes. The findings of this research paper shows communication of change is a big issue in this particular organisation and that this has resulted in changes in morale and stress levels and therefore change has had psychological impacts on the employees. The paper suggests that there is a clear hierarchy when it comes to decision making and that even the manager has limited power when it comes to the final decision and it is the owners that have the final say in the decision making of the organisation. The evidence of this paper suggests that the organisations priority is making the nursing home profitable. The employees, the deputy matron and the manager all were clear in stating this. This therefore suggests that profits come before the interests of the employees and the residents. Evidence however suggests that the owners have little choice but to prioritise profit or face going the same way as many other nursing homes in the local area and closing down. This paper concludes that the nursing homes long term viability is at risk due to the decrease in government funding and therefore the organisation has less income meaning that cutbacks have to be made which effects the quality of the organisations service and this puts extra pressure on the nursing home, starting with the employees and going right the way through the organisation to the owners to be able to continue to meet the required standards that is expected of them. Eventually there will be a breaking point and the organisation will not be able to be profitable and meet the required standard that the regulations stipulate. The task that faces the nursing home industry becomes even more difficult due to the growth in population and the life expectancy of people increasing. So can nursing homes outlive the residents in the long run?
  • Manipulation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Restriction Factors: RPRD2, SERINC3 and SERINC5

    Ariyo, Olumuyiwa E. (University of Chester, 2020-02-28)
    Background: There is a need for a newer approach to tackle human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) due to limitations of the current antiretrovirals, innate cell restriction factors offer such opportunity. This study seeks to characterise three novel HIV restriction factors and explore their therapeutic potentials. Methods: Jurkat cell line was treated with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), a toll-like receptor-3 agonist (TLR3), at different concentrations (5 µg/ml, 10 µg/ml, 20 µg/ml) and (4 µg/ml, 8 µg/ml, 12 µg/ml) and untreated controls. Its effects on cellular proliferation were observed over many hours. A bioinformatic search of Regulation of nuclear pre-mRNA domain-containing 2 (RPRD2) and Serine incorporator 3 and 5 (SERINC3 and SERINC5) were conducted to predict for nuclear localisation signal (NLS) and potential ubiquitination and Sumoylation sites in the proteins using online NLS Mapper, UbPred and GPS-SUMO tools respectively. Small interference RNA (siRNA) transfection of Jurkat cell line was done to knockdown karyopherin alpha 2 (KPNA2) using Lipofectamine 3000. Western blot analysis was done to assess transfection efficiency. Results: Jurkat cells treated with 5 µg/ml, 10 µg/ml and 20 µg/ml proliferated more than the control while those treated with 4 µg/ml, 8 µg/ml and 12 µg/ml proliferated less with statistical significance between the untreated and 4 µg/ml concentration at 72 hours (p = 0.021).RPRD2 was the only protein that has NLS (RDPFHSLKRPRPPFARGPPFFAPKRPFFP)at position 1430 with a score of 9.8. RPRD2 has a site predicted each for SUMO interaction and sumoylation consensus (p = 0.022), SERINC3 had six sites for SUMO interactions and 2 for sumoylation non-consensus, all with no statistical significance and SERINC5 has a significant SUMO interaction site at position 44-48 (p = 0.049). The predicted ubiquitination sites for RPRD2 were 44 (ten with high, 27 with medium and seven with low confidence respectively), SERINC3 had four sites (two with medium and low confidence each) and SERINC5 had three (one with high, medium and low confidence each). The KPNA2 knockdown was not successful. Conclusion: HIV restriction factors present a potential therapeutic target; adequate characterisation of these proteins is important towards fashioning drugs in this regard. Keywords: Toll-like receptor 3, Polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), Nuclear localisation signal, Sumoylation, Ubiquitination, Karyopherin alpha 2 (KPNA2)
  • ‘Am I not a Man, whose nature is frail, and prone to error?’ An evaluation of Matthew Lewis’s The Monk as a work of tragedy

    Royston-Tonks, Carol A. (University of Chester, 2019)
    This dissertation is an argument for the re-evaluation of Matthew Lewis’s Ambrosio the Monk as a figure of tragedy instead of villainy. By identifying the characteristics of tragedy within the Gothic text, Ambrosio can be shown to fulfil the tenets of the tragic hero as established by Aristotle. Because of this, the reader can experience the tragic response of catharsis because of the pity and sympathy that Ambrosio as a tragic hero can inspire in the reader. For sympathy to be extended to the Gothic, a Romantic sensibility of the primacy of the self, analogous to that of the Renaissance humanist, must be established. The development of this Romantic Sensibility is explored with acknowledgement of the influence upon it by the Renaissance tragedians, thus establishing a chain of literary connections from the ancient tragedy to the Romantic Gothic. By recognising the shared humanity of the Gothic villain and the reader, the sympathy and pity necessary for the tragic response is extended to the Gothic villain which is transformed to a figure of tragedy.
  • A Heuristic Study of Counsellors’ Understanding and Experience of the Nature of Shame and the Impact of Shame on Therapeutic Contact.

    Mintz, Rita; Carr, Antoinette (University of Chester, 2016-06)
    The aim of this qualitative heuristic research study was to provide insight into the lived experience of shame and the impact of shame on the therapeutic relationship. The experience of the researcher is found within the study, integrating her own experience with the personal accounts of the participants and the literature on shame. Semi-structured interviews were conducted using four experienced, qualified therapists who were grounded in their understanding of shame. A latent thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. As this was a heuristic study the researcher also kept a reflective journal throughout the process. The following five themes emerged: understanding of shame; physiology of shame; socially constructed aspects of shame, impact of shame and shame and therapy. Shame was found to be innately felt by humans with specific physical characteristics including blushing, downcast eyes and feeling small. The content of what is perceived as shameful can be culturally, gender and experientially specific. Shame is established as an intrinsic part of society in establishing norms and boundaries. However, excess of shame is indicated as a factor in P. T. S. D., mental health problems, social isolation and violence against self or others. In this study silence, negative self-talk and resistance were found to be both characteristic behaviour developed as defence against further shaming and combined with support, compassion and connection factors in reparative growth. There is potential for shame to cause a rupture in the therapeutic relationship. However, where shame is worked with in therapy it can be a source of therapeutic growth. Counsellor awareness of shame processes, self-regulation and self-care were indicated as important for working with shame to ensure modelling a grounded presence for the client. All four participants work on shame had influenced their choice of therapy as a career. However, none of the participants had received any training about shame during their initial training. The findings emphasised the need for including working with personal shame in both professional development and counselling training courses. This research supports previous research and provides opportunities for further research.
  • All Emotions Matter: A Literature-Based Exploration into the Value of Emotions that can have Negative Connotations in Today’s World

    Colam, Veronica (University of Chester, 2019-05)
    This research explores the value of integrating all emotions for well-being, including those that can have negative connotations in today’s world. Contemporary Western culture, possibly influenced by the positive psychology movement, has placed emphasis on the pursuit of happiness. Emotions that may be classified as negative can be rejected, distorted or denied as they may be viewed as undesirable or harmful. This study has the potential to contribute to the understanding of the vital functions that emotions with negative connotations can serve. The basic emotions of anger and sadness are highlighted for closer examination. The study is literature-based using thematic analysis as the qualitative research method. The key findings indicate support for emotions with negative connotations such as anger and sadness making a constructive contribution to the maintenance of healthy, close interpersonal relationships. Influences on how emotions are experienced and expressed are diverse and can include the following: biological, historical, cultural, social and gender role stereotypes. Assertively expressing emotions can be beneficial whereas chronic suppression may be detrimental to health and well-being. The ability to choose flexibly between both expression and suppression of emotions is the most valuable approach, depending on the context, relationship and the individual. The main conclusion drawn from the study is that the experience and expression of emotions that can have negative connotations can contribute to our health and well-being, when used intelligently. This dissertation recommends promoting the potential value of emotions that can have negative connotations through emotional intelligence competencies, emotion regulation and therapy.
  • Exercise and physical activity practices of males in an Irish prison and its impact on quality of life.

    Fallows, Stephen; Dooley, Fiona (University of Chester, 2018-09-03)
    People in prison are generally deemed to be at a higher risk of several physiological and psychological conditions due to demographic factors and the prison environment, where overcrowding, lack of cleanliness and unhealthy lifestyle practices are common. In response to these influences prisoners tend to have lower quality of life and health related quality of life scores compared to the general population. While exercise provision is in place in prisons, sedentary behaviour is very common among prisoners. Physical inactivity such as this is described as a key modifiable risk factor for several health conditions. Exercise and physical activity has been widely recognised to be effective in managing an individuals’ health and the same is true in a prison perspective. Prison-based exercise programmes have increased the overall quality of life scores of prisoners most notably in the domains of physical and mental health. Cardiovascular and resistance training programmes have produced significant improvements in the cardiovascular health of prisoners reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Various exercise and sport interventions have also significantly improved the psychological wellbeing of prisoners reducing levels of depression, anxiety, stress and improving self-esteem.
  • A qualitative exploration of therapists’ experience of working therapeutically pre-trial within the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines with adult clients who have reported sexual violence

    Kiyimba, Nikki; Nixon, Madelyn A. (University of Chester, 2019-01-24)
    This research is one of the first qualitative studies to explore the lived experience of therapists who were working pre-trial, within the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines with adult clients who had reported sexual assault. The aim of the study was to obtain a detailed account of the therapists’ experience in order to acquire a deeper understanding of how the participants created meaning from their practice. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was chosen as an appropriate approach to analyse the data gathered. Semi-structured interviews took place with six therapists. Upon analysis five super-ordinate themes emerged which were, i) the differences between pre-trial therapy and generic therapy, ii) the psychological impact of working with this client group, iii) the complexity of the work, and competency of the therapists, iv) the dilemmas and conflicts inherent in the work, and v) an expression of a loss of faith in the Criminal Justice System. These findings illustrated the complexities that therapists are faced with when working with clients’ pre-trial. A discussion is provided relating to the extensive research that has been carried out since the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidelines were written in 2001 into the fallibility of memory following a traumatic incident, and the developments that have taken place in therapeutic techniques. In light of recent research and developments in therapy, it is suggested that there is potentially an argument for the need for a review and update into the current CPS guidelines into the provision of therapy for vulnerable or intimidated adults prior to trial. It is also recommended that further research is needed into whether the fallibility of memory following a traumatic incident improves after the person has undertaken an appropriate evidence-based trauma-specific treatment, and the possible need for a central register of therapists that are qualified to offer pre-trial therapy.
  • Attachment and Self-Esteem as Predictors of Anxiety and Depression in Adults with Divorced Parents

    O'Neill, Linda; Penk, Andrew (University of Chester, 2018)
    Research within the parental divorce literature shows that adults who have experienced parental divorce experience higher levels of anxiety and depression. Attempts have been made to identify specific mediating factors associated with anxiety and depression and mixed findings have been reported. This study investigated whether attachment and self-esteem predicted anxiety and depression in an attempt to clarify the role of these factors in the complicated mechanisms associated with the relationship between parental divorce and anxiety and depression. A cross-sectional, between-subjects, survey design was used to assess levels of anxiety and depression (HADS), attachment to significant others (ECR), and self-esteem (RSES) in 329 participants. Significant differences were found in individuals whose parents were divorced, as they showed higher levels of anxiety, depression and avoidance-related attachment, and lower levels of self-esteem when compared to those whose parents’ marriage remained intact. Self-esteem was found to be a unique predictor of anxiety and depression in participants with divorced parents, but attachment to a romantic partner, mother and father was not. Identifying self-esteem as a predictor of anxiety and depression following divorce, provides an opportunity for practitioners to utilise interventions to sustain and build self-esteem around the time parental divorce occurs, as a way to reduce the developmental change that leads to anxiety and depression in the long-term.
  • Parental Wellbeing: Stress, Parental Sense of Competence, Social Support and Hope in parents of children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

    O'Neill, Linda; Keane, Kerry (University of Chester, 2018)
    Parents of children raising a child with a disability, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), often report higher levels of stress than parents of typically developing (TD) children. Much research focuses on the psychological impact of caring for a child with additional needs, with little providing a more inclusive insight into the overall effect on parental functioning. The current study used multiple self-report measures to explore stress, parental sense of competence, social support and hope in parents raising a TD child compared to those raising a child with a disability or ASD. Results showed significant differences between the groups. Parents raising a child with ASD reported the highest level of stress, and alongside parents raising a child with a disability, had significantly higher levels than parents raising a TD child. Additionally, parents of children with a disability and ASD had significantly lower perceived parental competence, social support and hope than parents of TD children. Further variations between the groups were discussed. The results highlighted that raising a child with a disability or ASD is a unique and variable experience, shaped by a body of factors that need to be reviewed comprehensively to support positive parental adjustment. Implications and suggestions for future research were also discussed.
  • The relationship between pretend play skills and language development in children aged three to five

    Kirkham, Julie; Nowell, Rebecca (University of Chester, 2018)
    Pretend play is a crucial component within child development, especially with regards to language. Pretend play and language both share commonalities which involve symbolic abilities (Lewis, Boucher, Lupton, & Watson, 2000). This study examined the influence that cognitive and affective aspects of pretend play and symbolic play has on expressive and receptive language development and whether these pretend play domains uniquely predict language development. This study also assessed whether age and sex effects pretend play and language development. A convenience sample of 50 children age three to five years old was used to collect the data. The Preschool Language Scale (Zimmerman, Steiner & Pond, 1997) was used to assess Auditory and Expressive Communication, the Affect in Play Scale – Brief Rating Version (Cordiano, Russ & Short, 2008) was used to measure cognitive and affective pretend play, and the Pretend Actions Task was used to measure symbolic play (Overton & Jackson, 1973). The results suggest that cognitive and affective pretend play and symbolic play did not uniquely predict expressive and receptive language. Only symbolic play was found to be a positive significant unique predictor of expressive language. There was also a significant effect of age on all three pretend play scores and expressive and receptive language, with five year olds scoring higher than four year olds and four year olds scoring higher than three year olds. There was no effect of gender on the play tasks. However, boys scored significantly higher on the receptive language test than girls. These findings demonstrate that pretend play is an important component for language development; however it may not be the only predictor. The results suggest that more research needs to be done in order to gain a greater understanding of the relationship between cognitive and affective pretend play and expressive and receptive language.
  • How to catch a liar: The Effect of Communicative Channels on Accuracy in Detecting Deception in High-Stakes Situations

    Wright, Clea; Murphy, Molly (University of Chester, 2018)
    Much past research states people are generally quite poor at detecting deception, with meta-analytic findings reporting an average accuracy rating of 54% (Bond & DePaulo, 2006). However, the majority of these previous findings stem from the use of ‘low-stakes’ lies as stimuli. This current study used real-life video clips of a ‘high-stakes’ nature, investigating the effects of three different communicative channels on a novice lie detector’s ability to detect deception; an Audio-Visual channel, a Visual-Only channel and an Audio-Only channel. The effects on both participant accuracy and participant confidence scores were analysed, with further investigation into a potential relationship between participant accuracy and confidence. On reviewing previous literature, the current study hypothesized the following; participant accuracy in detecting deception across all modalities will score above the level of chance; the highest accuracy scores will be found within the Audio-Visual condition; the Audio-Only condition will produce higher levels of accuracy than those found in the Visual-Only condition; the Audio-Visual condition will produce the highest confidence ratings; no relationship will be found between overall levels of accuracy and confidence ratings reported. The current study also explored what behavioural cues are relied upon by novice lie detectors in their attempts to identify deception. No hypothesis was generated for the justification of decisions i.e. (the cues participants report using). However, information provided will help identify what behavioural cues members of the general public rely upon when detecting deception. A total of 60 participants were recruited for the current study, with an equal number of participants observing video-clips within each presentation modality (n=20). 8 video-clips were shown, all involving real-life ‘high-stakes’ situations i.e. an appeal for a missing relative. Half of the clips involved innocent individuals (telling the truth and not involved in the crime) and the other half were deceitful (involved in the crime and attempting to deceive observers). Overall, participant accuracy scored significantly above the level of chance (M=55, t(59)=2, p=0.05.). No statistically significant differences were found in participant accuracy and participant confidence between the three presentation modalities F(2,57)=.36, p=.70, n2=0.01; F(2, 57)=.58, p=.84, n2=0.02. Nor was a significant relationship observed between participant accuracy and participant confidence r(60)=.11, p=.43. Participants reported relying on behavioural cues involving ‘Nervous Behaviours’ and ‘Fake Emotion’ when determining a sender’s veracity. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
  • The influence of the position of the lower jaw on human performance in athletes

    Haughey, John (University of Chester, 2019-03-04)
    Mouth guards are widely used by athletes for the protection of the orofacial region from trauma during training and competition. A mouth guard will change the position of the lower jaw of the athlete when worn. This literature review looked at the findings of current research on the effect of mouth guard use on athletic performance. Studies which investigated the possibility of a negative impact on performance from wearing a mouth guard generally concluded that there is no negative impact on performance. Some other studies suggested there is no impact on performance with mouth guard use in sport and a larger number of studies observed positive influences on performance. The position of the lower jaw during mouth guard use in comparison to wearing no mouth guard is the common reason given for the positive improvement observed in performance. There is a lack of consensus in the current research of the mechanism or connection between lower jaw position and performance. This literature review raises the question, does the position of the lower jaw affect human performance?
  • Does an Acute, Single Dose of Beetroot Juice Decrease 1000m Rowing Ergometer Time to Completion in Recreationally Active Females

    Nicholas, Ceri; Fildes, Jonathan G. (University of Chester, 2018-04-17)
    Beetroot juice (BR) has gained considerable research interest for its ergogenic effects in regards to improving exercise and sports performance. This increased interest is due to BR, which is rich in inorganic nitrate (N03 − ), providing an alternative pathway for increasing the pools of bioavailable nitric oxide (NO) in the body. The literature has investigated the effects of BR in a variety of exercise and sporting scenarios. Of such, the vast majority has focused on trained populations in aerobic scenarios with chronic and acute dose protocols, while other research has focused on recreationally active populations. The outcomes of the research have not always been consistent, with many studies demonstrating significant ergogenic benefits of BR and others unable to provide favourable outcomes. It is clear from the research reviewed that BR can be used as an ergogenic aid in recreationally active, trained and clinical subjects. Although not all studies agree, performance outcomes range from reduced time to completion (TTC) and oxygen uptake (V̇O2) and increased power output (PO) and exercise tolerance, all of which have been demonstrated in well controlled study designs. Research is vast, particularly in trained populations, with this leading to a need for further research in recreationally active populations. In addition, the overwhelming majority of these studies have been conducted on males, both recreationally and trained, which opens up a requirement for specific female focused studies within the literature.
  • Relationship Patterns between Self-esteem, Self-respect and Cognitive Effort as Measured by Story Recall and the Eye Tracker

    Clucas, Claudine; Kelecsenyi, Hedvig (University of Chester, 2018)
    High levels of self-esteem has been associated with success for decades, while at the same time its utility to predict achievement-related behaviours has been questioned. This controversy brought self-respect (an independent, theoretically grounded construct) defined as a person’s positive, affective self-regard for being a moral, principled, and honourable person, to the forefront of empirical research. Accordingly, the current study intended to examine the relationship between self-report measures of self-respect, self-esteem and cognitive effort as measured by story recall and eye tracker measures of eye fixation with pupil dilation while reading a morally neutral and a morally charged story. A total of 40 participants, comprising of 11 males and 29 females, with a mean age of 34, from a convenience sample completed the study. A stronger positive relationship was expected between self-respect and measures of cognitive effort than between self-esteem and the same measures. Also, there was an anticipation of a stronger interaction between self-respect and the type of story tested, because higher self-respect might have implications for the processing of moral information. Four repeated measures of ANCOVA analyses demonstrated significant negative relationship between self-respect and cognitive effort. They also revealed a strong trend towards a negative relationship between self-esteem and cognitive effort. The results quite interestingly are contrary to the declared hypotheses of the study with regards to the direction of the relationship. Findings indicate that the interaction between self-respect and story type on recall and eye tracker measures were not significant. Hence, failing to support the theory that high levels of self-respect enhances sensitivity to moral information through the link to the moral self. The outcome also highlights the possibility that certain factors undermine the effort or more meaningful engagement is needed, perhaps, through a more complex task. It would help to establish not only relationship patterns, but determine whether self-respect is unique enough as an independent construct that could add to the prediction of cognitive effort above and beyond what is explained by self-esteem.

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