Staff within the Department of Psychology have a wide range of specialist expertise and knowledge. We work together in a number of research groups through which we support the work of both staff and students in the Department. In addition, we are able to offer a range of services on a consultancy basis. If you would like to discuss collaboration or consultancy with us, please do get in touch. Our research groups play an important role in the Department of Psychology. The groups meet regularly throughout the academic year and provide opportunities for members to discuss their current research, ideas for new research projects, or simply to discuss an interesting journal article or conference presentation they've seen. They also provide an important support structure for junior researchers, including MPhil and PhD students.

Recent Submissions

  • Psychological support for patients with cancer: evidence review and suggestions for future directions

    Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Beatty, Lisa; Dhillon, Haryana M.; University of Chester; Flinders University; University of Sydney (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2018)
    Purpose of the review. Psychological distress and mental health comorbidity are common in cancer. Various therapeutic frameworks have been used for interventions to improve psychological wellbeing and quality of life in cancer patients with mixed results. This paper reviews contributions to that literature published since January 2017. Recent findings. The majority of new psychological intervention research in cancer has used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Mindfulness-Based Interventions. Cognitive behavioural Therapy has been considered a gold-standard intervention and recent evidence justifies continuation of this. Recent reviews call into question the validity of evidence for Mindfulness- Based Interventions. A smaller number of trials using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Meta-Cognitive Therapy, Dignity Therapy and Coaching have emerged, and whilst findings are promising, additional fully-powered trials are required. Weaker evidence exists for counselling, support-based, and Narrative Therapy interventions. Summary. Efficacious, timely and acceptable psychological interventions are a necessary component of comprehensive cancer care. There is some way to go before the evidence conclusively points towards which interventions work for which cancer groups and for which specific outcomes. Methodological limitations must be addressed in future trials; at the forefront remains the need for fully-powered, head-to-head comparison trials.
  • A leftward perceptual asymmetry when judging the attractiveness of visual patterns

    Rodway, Paul; Schepman, Astrid; Crossley, Becky; Lee, Jennifer; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-04-15)
    Perceptual judgements concerning the magnitude of a stimulus feature are typically influenced more by the left side of the stimulus than by the right side. This research examined whether the leftward bias also applies to judgements of the attractiveness of abstract visual patterns. Across four experiments participants chose between two versions of a stimulus which either had an attractive left side or an attractive right side. Experiments 1 and 2 presented artworks and experiments 3 and 4 presented wallpaper designs. In each experiment participants showed a significant bias to choose the stimulus with an attractive left side more than the stimulus with an attractive right side. The leftward bias emerged at age 10/11, was not caused by a systematic asymmetry in the perception of colourfulness or complexity, and was stronger when the difference in attractiveness between the left and right sides was larger. The results are relevant to the aesthetics of product and packaging design and show that leftward biases extend to the perceptual judgement of everyday items. Possible causes of the leftward bias for attractiveness judgements are discussed and it is suggested that the size of the bias may not be a measure of the degree of hemispheric specialisation.
  • Spiritual Abuse in the Christian faith settings: Definition, policy and practice guidance

    Oakley, Lisa R.; Kinmond, K.S.; Humphreys, J.; University of Chester; Steps SA; CCPAS (Emerald, 2018)
    Purpose: A previous publication in this journal reported the findings of a 2013 survey into people’s experiences of membership of a Christian church in the UK (author citation removed for the purposes of review). A major finding of this survey was that many people said they had been ‘harmed’ by their experience with some labelling it as ‘Spiritual Abuse’(SA). Respondents in the 2013 study also stressed the importance of developing safeguarding policy and practice in this area. The current paper explores the findings of a more extensive survey conducted in 2017 which aims to identify people’s understanding of SA some four years after the initial work and within a context of some discussion and uncertainty around the term itself. The study also aims to assess the current status of safeguarding policy and practice in SA perpetrated against individuals in the Christian church in the UK. A secondary aim of the study is to ascertain how far understandings, policy and practice have developed since the initial survey was conducted. It is emphasised that the authors do not assert that spiritual abuse is perpetrated solely in the Christian church. However, as this is their personal religious background it is the focus of this work. Design/Methodology/approach: A mixed methods online survey of Christians, Church attendees and members of Christian organisations was conducted in 2017. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics, inductive thematic and content analysis. Findings: A clear definition of spiritual abuse is required. There is an ongoing need to develop policy and practice in the area of spiritual abuse in order to respond effectively to those who have these harmful experiences. Research limitations/implications: This work has been conducted within the Christian faith community and thus, represents only this faith context. Accordingly, it is research with a specific group. The work would usefully be expanded to other faith contexts. Practical implications: People are still being harmed by experiences in the Christian church. Safeguarding policy and practice in the area of spiritual abuse needs to be developed in the immediate future. Social implications: Those working in statutory agencies, faith and community contexts need to develop an understanding of spiritual abuse. Originality/value: This is the largest survey conducted on the topic of spiritual abuse in the Christian faith to date in the UK.
  • Assessment of metacognitive beliefs in an at risk mental state for psychosis: A validation study of the Metacognitions Questionnaire-30

    Bright, Measha; Parker, Sophie; French, Paul; Morrison, Anthony P.; Tully, Sarah; Stewart, Suzanne; Wells, Adrian; University of Manchester; Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-06-07)
    Aim: The Metacognitions Questionnaire-30 (MCQ-30) has been used to assess metacognitive beliefs in a range of mental health problems. The aim of this study is to assess the validity of the MCQ-30 in people at risk for psychosis. Methods: One hundred and eighty-five participants meeting criteria for an at risk mental state (ARMS) completed the MCQ-30 as part of their involvement in a randomised controlled trial. Confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses were conducted to assess factor structure and construct validity. Results: Confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the original 5-factor structure of the MCQ-30. Examination of principal component analysis and parallel analysis outputs also suggested a 5-factor structure. Correlation analyses including measures of depression, social anxiety and beliefs about paranoia showed evidence of convergent validity. Discriminant validity was supported using the normalising subscale of the beliefs about paranoia tool. Conclusions: The MCQ-30 demonstrated good fit using the original 5-factor model, acceptable to very good internal consistency of items was evident and clinical usefulness in those at risk for psychosis was demonstrated.
  • Behavioural measures of listening effort in school-aged children: Examining the effects of SNR, hearing loss, and amplification

    McGarrigle, Ronan; Gustafson, Samantha; Hornsby, Benjamin; Bess, Fred; University of Chester; Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2018-06-13)
    Objectives: Increased listening effort in school-age children with hearing loss (CHL) could compromise learning and academic achievement. Identifying a sensitive behavioral measure of listening effort for this group could have both clinical and research value. This study examined the effects of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), hearing loss, and personal amplification on two commonly-used behavioral measures of listening effort: dual-task visual response times (visual RTs) and verbal response times (verbal RTs). Design: A total of 82 children (aged 6 – 13 years) took part in this study; 37 children with normal hearing (CNH) and 45 CHL. All children performed a dual-task paradigm from which both measures of listening effort (dual-task visual RT and verbal RT) were derived. The primary task was word recognition in multi-talker babble in three individually selected SNR conditions: Easy, Moderate, and Hard. The secondary task was a visual monitoring task. Listening effort during the dual-task was quantified as the change in secondary task RT from baseline (single-task visual RT) to the dual-task condition. Listening effort based on verbal RT was quantified as the time elapsed from the onset of the auditory stimulus to the onset of the verbal response when performing the primary (word recognition) task in isolation. CHL completed the task aided and/or unaided to examine the effect of amplification on listening effort. Results: Verbal RTs were generally slower in the more challenging SNR conditions. However, there was no effect of SNR on dual-task visual RT. Overall, verbal RTs were significantly slower in CHL versus CNH. No group difference in dual-task visual RTs was found between CNH and CHL. No effect of amplification was found on either dual-task visual RTs or verbal RTs. Conclusions: This study compared dual-48 task visual RT and verbal RT measures of listening effort in the child population. Overall, verbal RTs appears more sensitive than dual-task visual RTs to the negative effects of SNR and hearing loss. The current findings extend the literature on listening effort in the pediatric population by demonstrating that, even for speech that is accurately recognized, school-age CHL show a greater processing speed decrement than their normal-hearing counterparts; a decrement that could have a negative impact on learning and academic achievement in the classroom.
  • The Effect of Superstitious Thinking on Psychosocial Stress Responses and Perceived Task Performance

    Lasikiewicz, Nicola; Teo, Wan Yee; University of Chester; James Cook University Singapore (Wiley, 2018-02-18)
    Abstract Previous research on superstition, a subset of paranormal belief, suggests that people tend to invoke luck-related superstitions in stressful situations as an attempt to gain an illusion of control over outcomes. Based on this, the current study examined whether luck-related superstition, in the form of a ‘lucky’ pen, could influence the psychological response to a psychosocial stressor. Participants (N =114) aged between 17 and 59 years (M = 22.98, SD = 4.57) from James Cook University Singapore, were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (1) no-stress with no ‘lucky’ pen; (2) no-stress with a ‘lucky’ pen; (3) stress with no ‘lucky’ pen; (4) stress with a ‘lucky’ pen. The results revealed that participants provided with a “lucky” pen experienced lower state anxiety when exposed to the stressor. Further, participants provided with a ‘lucky’ pen perceived their performance to be better than those without it. However, superstitious belief did not significantly change following exposure to stress. Taken together, the present findings add some support to the suggestion that belief in transferable luck may facilitate coping with a stressor. However, further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind the potential benefits of superstitious belief.
  • Online information and support needs of women with advanced breast cancer: A qualitative analysis

    Kemp, Emma; Koczwara, Bogda; Butow, Phyllis N.; Turner, Jane; Girgis, Afaf; Schofield, Penelope; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Levesque, Janelle V.; Spence, Danielle; Vatandoust, Sina; Kichenadasse, Ganessan; Roy, Amitesh; Sukumaran, Shawgi; Karapetis, Christos S.; Richards, Caroline; Fitzgerald, Michael; Beatty, Lisa; Flinders University; Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer; University of Sydney; University of Queensland; University of New South Wales; Swinburne University of Technology; University of Chester; Breast Cancer Network Australia (Springer, 2018-04-24)
    Purpose: Women with advanced breast cancer (ABC) face significant adjustment challenges, yet few resources provide them with information and support, and attendance barriers can preclude access to face to face psychosocial support. This paper reports on two qualitative studies examining (i) whether information and support-seeking preferences of women with ABC could be addressed in an online intervention, and (ii) how an existing intervention for patients with early stage cancer could be adapted for women with ABC. Methods: Women with ABC participated in telephone interviews about their information and support- seeking preferences (N = 21) and evaluated an online intervention focused on early-stage cancer (N = 15). Interviews were transcribed and underwent thematic analysis using the framework method to identify salient themes. Results: Participants most commonly sought medical, lifestyle-related, and practical information/support; however, when presented with an online intervention, participants most commonly gave positive feedback on content on coping with emotional distress. Difficulty finding information and barriers to using common sources of information/support including health professionals, family and friends, and peers were reported; however, some women also reported not wanting information or support. All participants evaluating the existing intervention gave positive feedback on various components, with results suggesting an online intervention could be an effective means of providing information/support to women with ABC, given improved specificity/relevance to ABC and increased tailoring to individuals circumstances and preferences. Conclusions: Adaptation of an existing online intervention for early stage cancer appears a promising avenue to address the information and support needs of women with ABC.
  • Undermining position effects in choices from arrays, with implications for police lineups

    Palmer, Matthew; Sauer, James; Holt, Glenys; University of Tasmania; University of Chester (American Psychological Association, 2017-03)
    Choices from arrays are often characterized by position effects, such as edge-aversion. We investigated position effects when participants attempted to pick a suspect from an array similar to a police photo lineup. A reanalysis of data from 2 large-scale field studies showed that choices made under realistic conditions—closely matching eyewitness identification decisions in police investigations—displayed edge-aversion and bias to choose from the top row (Study 1). In a series of experiments (Studies 2a–2c and 3), participants guessing the location of a suspect exhibited edge-aversion regardless of whether the lineup was constructed to maximize the chances of the suspect being picked, to ensure the suspect did not stand out, or randomly. Participants favored top locations only when the lineup was constructed to maximize the chances of the suspect being picked. In Studies 4 and 5, position effects disappeared when (a) response options were presented in an array with no obvious center, edges, or corners, and (b) instructions stated that the suspect was placed randomly. These findings show that position effects are influenced by a combination of task instructions and array shape. Randomizing the location of the suspect and modifying the shape of the lineup array may reduce misidentification.
  • Internet use and preferences among women living with advanced breast cancer

    Kemp, Emma; Koczwara, Bogda; Turner, Jane; Girgis, Afaf; Schofield, Penelope; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Levesque, Janelle V.; Spence, Danielle; Vatandoust, Sina; Kichenadasse, Ganessan; Roy, Amitesh; Sukumaran, Shawgi; Karapetis, Christos S.; Richards, Caroline; Fitzgerald, Michael; Beatty, Lisa; Flinders University; Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer; University of Queensland; University of New South Wales; Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research; Swinburne University; University of Chester; Breast Cancer Network Australia (Wiley, 2018)
    Despite high distress and unmet informational and psychosocial needs, and recommendations for development of advanced breast cancer (ABC)-specific resources, there remains a paucity of appropriate, accessible psychological interventions. This survey study examined internet use and preferences of women with ABC, to the gauge feasibility of providing an ABC- specific internet intervention. Most participants (83%) used the internet daily. Results indicated most women with ABC would find an ABC-specific internet intervention helpful, and that it would address gaps in current internet resources, including provision of strategies to manage treatment side effects and fear of cancer progression.
  • Beyond using composite measures to analyze the effect of unmet supportive care needs on caregivers’ anxiety and depression

    Lambert, Sylvie D.; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Belzile, Eric; Ciampi, Antonio; Girgis, Afaf; McGill University; University of Chester; University of New South Wales (Wiley, 2018-03-06)
    Objective: Caregiver research has relied on composite measures (e.g., count) of unmet supportive care needs to determine relationships with anxiety and depression. Such composite measures assume that all unmet needs have a similar impact on outcomes. The purpose of this study is to identify individual unmet needs most associated with caregivers’ anxiety and depression. Methods: 219 Caregivers completed the 44-item Supportive Care Needs Survey and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale [minimal clinically important difference (MCID)=1.5] at 6-8 months, 1, 2, 3.5, and 5 years following the patients' cancer diagnosis. The list of needs was reduced using Partial Least Square regression and those with a Variance Importance in Projection > 1 were analyzed using Bayesian Model Averaging. Results: Across time, eight items remained in the top 10 based on prevalence and were labelled “core”. Three additional ones were labelled “frequent”, as they remained in the top 10 from 1- year onwards. Bayesian Model Averaging identified a maximum of four significant unmet needs per time point – all leading to a difference greater than the MCID. For depression, none of the core unmet needs were significant, rather significance was noted for frequent needs and needs that were not prevalent. For anxiety, 3/8 core and 3/3 frequent unmet needs were significant. Conclusions: Prevalent Those unmet needs that are most prevalent are not necessarily the most significant ones, and findings provide an evidence-based framework to guide the development of caregiver interventions. A broader contribution is proposing a different approach to identify significant unmet needs.
  • Relationships between unmet needs, depression and anxiety in non-advanced cancer patients

    Ferrari, Martina; Ripamonti, Carla I; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Miccinesi, Guido; University of Chester; Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano, Italy; ISPO Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Florence, Italy (Wichtig Publishing, 2018-04-16)
    Introduction: In oncology settings, less attention is given to patients’ unmet need and to existential and emotional distress, compared to physical symptoms. We aimed to evaluate correlations between unmet needs and emotional distress (self-reported anxiety and depression) in a consecutive cohort of cancer patients. The influence of socio- demographic and clinical factors was also considered. Methods: Three hundred cancer patients recruited from an out-patient Supportive Care Unit of a Comprehensive Cancer Centre completed the Need Evaluation Questionnaire (NEQ) and the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS). Unmet needs covered five distinct domains (informational, care/assistance, relational, psycho-emotional and material). Results: After removal of missing data, we analysed data from 258 patients. Need for better information on future health concerns (42%), better services from the hospital (43%), and to speak with individuals in the same condition (31%) were the most frequently reported as unmet. Based on the ESAS, 27.2% and 17.5% of patients respectively had a score of anxiety or depression > 3 and needed further examination for psychological distress. Female patients had significantly higher scores for anxiety (p<.001) and depression (p=.008) compared to males. Unmet needs were significantly correlated with both anxiety (rs=.283) and depression (rs=.284). Previous referral to a psychologist was significantly associated with depression scores (p=.015). Results were confirmed by multiple regression analysis. Conclusions: Screening for unmet needs whilst also considering socio-demographic and clinical factors, allows early identification of cancer patients with emotional distress. Doing so will enable optimal management of psychological patient-reported outcomes in oncology settings.
  • Justify Your Alpha

    Lakens, Daniel; Adolfi, Federico G.; Albers, Casper J.; Anvari, Farid; Apps, Matthew A. J.; Argamon, Shlomo E.; Baguley, Thom; Becker, Raymond B.; Benning, Stephen D.; Bradford, Daniel E.; Buchanan, Erin M.; Caldwell, Aaron R.; van Calster, Ben; Carlsson, Rickard; Chen, Sau-Chin; Chung, Bryan; Colling, Lincoln J.; Collins, Gary S.; Crook, Zander; Cross, Emily S.; Daniels, Sameera; Danielsson, Henrik; DeBruine, Lisa; Dunleavy, Daniel J.; Earp, Brian D.; Feist, Michele I.; Ferrell, Jason D.; Field, James G.; Fox, Nicholas W.; Friesen, Amanda; Gomes, Caio; Gonzalez-Marquez, Monica; Grange, James A.; Grieve, Andrew P.; Guggenberger, Robert; Grist, James; van Harmelen, Anne-Laura; Hasselman, Fred; Hochard, Kevin D.; Hoffarth, Mark R.; Holmes, Nicholas P.; Ingre, Michael; Isager, Peder M.; Isotalus, Hanna K.; Johansson, Christer; Juszczyk, Konrad; Kenny, David A.; Khalil, Ahmed A.; Konat, Barbara; Lao, Junpeng; Larsen, Erik Gahner; Lodder, Gerine M. A.; Lukavský, Jiří; Madan, Christopher R.; Manheim, David; Martin, Stephen R.; Martin, Andrea E.; Mayo, Deborah G.; McCarthy, Randy J.; McConway, Kevin; McFarland, Colin; Nio, Amanda Q. X.; Nilsonne, Gustav; Lino de Oliveira, Cilene; Orban de Xivry, Jean-Jacques; Parsons, Sam; Pfuhl, Gerit; Quinn, Kimberly A.; Sakon, John J.; Saribay, S. Adil; Schneider, Iris K.; Selvaraju, Manojkumar; Sjoerds, Zsuzsika; Smith, Samuel G.; Smits, Tim; Spies, Jeffrey R.; Sreekumar, Vishnu; Steltenpohl, Crystal N.; Stenhouse, Neil; Świątkowski, Wojciech; Vadillo, Miguel A.; Van Assen, Marcel A.L.M.; Williams, Matt N.; Williams, Samantha E.; Williams, Donald R.; Yarkoni, Tal; Ziano, Ignazio; Zwaan, Rolf A.; Eindhoven University of Technology; Favaloro University; National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET); University of Groningen; Flinders University; University of Oxford; Illinois Institute of Technology; Nottingham Trent University; Bielefeld University; University of Nevada; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Missouri State University; University of Arkansas; KU Leuven; Leiden University; Linnaeus University; Tzu-Chi University; University of British Columbia; University of Cambridge; University of Oxford; The University of Edinburgh; Bangor University; Ramsey Decision Theoretics; Linköping University; University of Glasgow; Florida State University; Yale University; University of Louisiana at Lafayette; St. Edward's University; University of Texas at Austin; West Virginia University; Rutgers University; Indiana University Purdue University; Booking.com; RWTH - Aachen University; Keele University; UCB Celltech; Eberhard Karls University Tübingen; University Tübingen; University of Cambridge; Radboud University Nijmegen; University of Chester; New York University; University of Nottingham (Nature Publishing Group, 2018-02-26)
    In response to recommendations to redefine statistical significance to p≤ .005, we propose that researchers should transparently report and justify all choices they make when designing a study, including the alpha level
  • Affective theory of mind inferences contextually influence the recognition of emotional facial expressions

    Stewart, Suzanne; Schepman, Astrid; Haigh, Matthew; McHugh, Rhian; Stewart, Andrew; University of Chester; Northumbria University; University of Manchester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-03-14)
    The recognition of emotional facial expressions is often subject to contextual influence, particularly when the face and the context convey similar emotions. We investigated whether spontaneous, incidental affective theory of mind inferences made while reading vignettes describing social situations would produce context effects on the identification of same-valenced emotions (Experiment 1) as well as differently-valenced emotions (Experiment 2) conveyed by subsequently presented faces. Crucially, we found an effect of context on reaction times in both experiments while, in line with previous work, we found evidence for a context effect on accuracy only in Experiment 1. This demonstrates that affective theory of mind inferences made at the pragmatic level of a text can automatically, contextually influence the perceptual processing of emotional facial expressions in a separate task even when those emotions are of a distinctive valence. Thus, our novel findings suggest that language acts as a contextual influence to the recognition of emotional facial expressions for both same and different valences.
  • Psychometric properties of the Beliefs about Medicine Questionnaire (BMQ)-AET for Women taking Adjuvant Endocrine Therapies (AET) following early-stage breast cancer

    Brett, Jo; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Fenlon, Deborah; Boulton, Mary; Walter, Fiona M.; Donnelly, Peter; Lavery, Bernadette; Morgan, Adrienne; Morris, Carolyn; Horne, Rob; Watson, Eila; Oxford Brookes University; University of Chester; Swansea University; Cambridge University; South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; Oxford University Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust; Independent Cancer Patient Voice; University College London (SAGE, 2017-11-17)
    Objectives: To evaluate the Beliefs about Medicine Questionnaire to explore adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy after treatment for breast cancer (BMQ-AET). Method: Factor structure of the BMQ-AET was explored alongside internal consistency, convergent validity and acceptability. Results: The BMQ-AET Specific Scale fitted the original 10 item model. Internal consistency of the BMQ-AET was much improved compared to the original BMQ and convergent validity showed predicted direction of correlation, although correlation with BMQ-AET concerns scale was low. Acceptability was good. Conclusions: The evaluation of the BMQ-AET is encouraging, and could facilitate future research around adherence to AET.
  • No evidence against Sketch Reinstatement of Context, Verbal Labels or the use of Registered Intermediaries for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Response to Henry et al. (2017)

    Dando, Coral J.; Ormerod, Thomas C.; Cooper, Penny; Marchant, Ruth; Mattison, Michelle L. A.; Milne, Rebecca; Bull, Ray; University of Westminster; University of Sussex; City, University of London; Triangle Services; University of Chester; University of Portsmouth; University of Derby (Springer Verlag, 2018-02-13)
    Recently, Henry et al. (2017) found no evidence for the use of Verbal labels, Sketch Reinstatement of Context and Registered Intermediaries by forensic practitioners when interviewing children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. We consider their claims, noting the limited ecological validity of the experimental paradigm, the impacts of repeated interviewing where retrieval support is not provided at first retrieval, question the interviewer/intermediary training and their population relevant experience, and comment on the suppression of population variances. We submit that rejecting these techniques on the basis of this study is completely unwarranted and potentially damaging, particularly if used in legal proceedings to undermine the value of testimony from children with ASD, who continually struggle to gain access to justice.
  • ‘Section 28’ and the pre-recording of cross-examination: What can advocates expect in 2018?

    Cooper, Penny; Mattison, Michelle L. A.; City, University of London; University of Chester (Lexisnexis Butterworths, 2018-01-05)
    In 2018, so long as the recently identified technological issues are remedied (rumoured to be about storage capacity for the recordings), pre-recorded cross-examination will be rolled out across Crown Courts in England and Wales. The process evaluation report (MoJ, 2016) for the pilot of section 28 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (YJCEA 1999) was encouraging as well as realistic; it acknowledged that findings might not be replicated on roll-out because courts in the study might not being representative of courts in general. The authors believe that the success of the scheme substantially rests in the hands of judges and practitioners. Here we briefly summarise the background to the roll-out, highlight some important aspects of the new guidance in the Criminal Practice Directions (CPD), illustrate practice with real case studies, and discuss the implications for professional development.
  • Adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) after breast cancer: A qualitative study of factors associated with adherence

    Brett, Jo; Boulton, Mary; Fenlon, Deborah F.; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Walter, Fiona; Donnelly, Peter; Lavery, Bernadette; Morgan, Adrienne; Morris, Carolyn; Watson, Eila; Oxford Brookes University; Swansea University; University of Chester; Cambridge University; South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust; Oxford University Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust; Independent Cancer Patients' Voice (Dove Medical Press, 2018-02-16)
    Introduction : Despite evidence of the efficacy of Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy (AET) in reducing the risk of recurrence and mortality after treatment for primary breast cancer, adherence to AET is suboptimal. This study aimed to explore factors that influence adherence and non-adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) following breast cancer to inform the development of supportive interventions. Methods: Interviews were conducted with 32 women who had been prescribed AET, 2-4 years following their diagnosis of breast cancer,. Both adherers (n=19) and non-adherers (n=13) were recruited. The analysis was conducted using the Framework approach. Results: Factors associated with adherence were: Managing side effects including information and advice on side effects, and taking control of side effects, Supportive relationships, and Personal influences. Factors associated with non-adherence were: Burden of side effects, Feeling unsupported, Concerns about long term AET use, Re-gaining normality, including valuing quality of life over length of life, and Risk perception Conclusions: Provision of timely information to prepare women for the potential side effects of AET and education on medication management strategies are needed, including provision of timely and accurate information on the efficacy of AET in reducing breast cancer recurrence, and on potential side effects and ways to manage these should they arise. . Trust in the doctor-patient relationship and clear patient pathways for bothersome side effects and concerns with AET are important. Training and education around AET for GPs should be considered alongside novel care pathways such as primary care nurse cancer care review, and community pharmacist follow-up.
  • Sweet Emotion: The Role of Odor-Induced Context in the Search Advantage for Happy Facial Expressions

    Damjanovic, Ljubica; Wilkinson, Heather; Lloyd, Julie; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2017-12-23)
    The current study investigated the extent to which the concurrent presentation of pleasant and unpleasant odors could modulate the perceptual saliency of happy facial expressions in an emotional visual search task. Whilst a search advantage for happy faces was found in the no odor and unpleasant odor conditions, it was abolished under the pleasant odor condition. Furthermore, phasic properties of visual search performance revealed the malleable nature of this happiness advantage. Specifically, attention towards happy faces was optimized at the start of the visual search task for participants presented with pleasant odors, but diminished towards the end. This pattern was reversed for participants in the unpleasant odor condition. These patterns occur through the emotion-inducing capacities of odors and highlight the circumstances in which top-down factors can override perceptually salient facial features in emotional visual search.
  • Shared meaning in children’s evaluations of art: A computational analysis

    Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; Kirkham, Julie A.; Lambert, Jordana; Locke, Anastasia; University of Chester (American Psychological Association, 2017-12-31)
    Art appreciation is often considered highly individual, but research has shown that there is also a shared element, which may be due to shared meanings and associations triggered by artworks. In the current analysis, we examined semantically based justifications given to aesthetic evaluations of abstract and representational artworks provided by 80 primary schoolchildren, aged 4, 5, 8, and 10 years. Using a computational semantic similarity analysis technique (UMBC Ebiquity), the authors found that children showed evidence for shared meaning in response to representational but not abstract art. The effect was present from age 4 through to age 10. In addition, it was found that the presence of semantic elements in the justifications boosted aesthetic appreciation, especially of abstract artworks. This suggests that individually constructed meaning is key to aesthetic appreciation and is, to an extent, independent from the meaning that might be assumed to be inherent in artworks, particularly if it is representational. The authors evaluate their findings in relation to aesthetic and developmental theories and make suggestions for future research. They argue that the current data, alongside calibrating analyses that apply their randomization and semantic analysis protocol to children’s picture naming responses, further demonstrate the robustness of the computational semantic similarity analysis method, with great potential for further studies in semantic interpretation of art or other types of stimuli.
  • “For the love of the game”: The hidden mental health consequences of sport teams’ initiations

    Lafferty, Moira E.; Wakefield, Caroline; Ryan, David; University of Chester, Liverpool Hope (British Psychological Society, 2017)
    Abstract: Objectives: Initiations events, often referred to as welcome activities, are commonplace traditions in many sports teams. The short and long-term impact on the mental health of initiates, initiators and bystanders has been a focus of recent research attention. The present study aimed to explore the initiation experiences of UK student athletes and the subsequent effect on well-being. Design: Cross-sectional qualitative design using retrospective interviews. Methods: Sixteen sport team members were recruited through purposive sampling. Semi-structured interviews were conducted exploring participant experiences of welcome activities in their university sport teams. Results were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Six themes emerged from the data. These were: rite of passage; challenges; rules; reputation; persuasion and hierarchy. These themes were mapped onto the non-relational maltreatment conceptual framework that includes physical, social and emotional elements of bullying. In contrast to U.S. based studies, the results indicated that social bullying was the most prevalent, followed by emotional, and finally physical bullying. Conclusions: The study highlighted the occurrence of physical, social and emotional bullying during the initiation activities of sports’ teams. Furthermore, reference was made to the natural time progression in university sport that perpetuates the cycle of bullying and establishes the initiates as future initiators. For initiates who successfully negotiate the events, the effects of the bullying are minimised. However, for some this bullying can have serious mental health impacts both in the short and long term, whilst the challenges and risk behaviours may threaten the broader well-being of all involved.

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