• Acceptance and values clarification versus cognitive restructuring and relaxation: A randomized controlled trial of ultra-brief non-expert-delivered coaching interventions for social resilience.

      Hochard, Kevin; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Ashcroft, Sam; McLoughlin, Shane; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University
      Low social resilience (e.g., susceptibility to social anxiety, and social avoidance) has been associated with poor mental and physical health outcomes, and can lead to ostracism. Support services such as university counselling centres, which deal with non-diagnosable psychological distress, linked to low social resilience, require effective yet brief interventions deliverable by non-experts to meet service demands. As it is not always possible to prevent subjectively negative experiences, acceptance-based interventions aim to change how we respond behaviourally to such experiences. The present study tests the efficacy of an ultra-brief (1hr) non-expert delivered acceptance and values-based (AV) coaching intervention to increase resilience to negative social interactions. This was compared to a comparable dose of a cognitive restructuring and relaxation-based (CRR) analogue, and a psycho-education and progressive muscle relaxation-based (PE-PMR) control. Participants ( N =60) were assessed on perceived burdensomeness, belonging, and 3 scenarios measuring anxiety and likelihood to engage in social situations. Participants then played Cyberball, an ostracising task, before recompleting the aforementioned measures. Physiological measures indicated Cyberball was an aversive experience. In the AV condition only, we observed an improved behavioral intention to engage with social scenarios ( dppc2 = .57). Ultra-brief AV-based coaching interventions delivered by non-expert coaches appear promising in increasing participant’s likelihood to continue engaging in social interactions after a stressful social experience. We tentatively conclude that gains in committed action may increase the propensity of at-risk individuals to seek social support.
    • Anxiety and Depression Symptomatology in Adult Siblings of Individuals with Different Developmental Disability Diagnoses

      O'Neill, Linda P.; Murray, Lindsay; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2016-01-25)
      Factors predicting the emotional well-being of adult siblings of those with developmental disability (DD) remain under-researched. In this study adult siblings of individuals with Down’s syndrome, autism, Prader-Willi syndrome and those with DD but with unknown aetiology were compared with each other and a closely-matched control group to ascertain if sibling disability type made a difference to anxiety and/or depression levels. Also considered was the interactive effect of gender, age, parental and sibling educational attainment levels, socio-economic status and birth order on anxiety and depression outcomes. With the exception of siblings of those with Down’s syndrome, adult siblings of those with ASD, PWS and DUA reported significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression than the control group. There were some predictive effects for anxiety and depression of the demographic variables but none common to all disability types and no moderating effects of demographic factors were found. Consequently other solutions must be found as to why this important group of people have elevated rates of anxiety and depression in comparison to the general population.
    • Appetitive augmental functions and common physical properties in a pain-tolerance metaphor: An extended replication

      Pendrous, Rosina; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Hochard, Kevin; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.
      Relational frame theory claims that the tacit understanding of metaphorical language rests upon our ability to derive relations based on relevant contextual cues; with metaphor aptness being a function of learning history and the number and nature of contextual cues presented. Recent experimental research has explored whether metaphor aptness plays a role in changing behaviour. Sierra, Ruiz, Flórez, Riaño Hernández, and Luciano (2016) demonstrated that the presence of common physical properties (herein common properties; “cold”) within a perseverance metaphor increased pain tolerance to the cold pressor task. When the metaphor also specified appetitive augmental functions (herein augmentals; “something important to you”), pain tolerance also increased. We tested the replicability of these findings under more stringent conditions, using a stratified (by sex) double-blind randomised-controlled experimental design. Eighty-nine participants completed baseline measures of psychological flexibility, cognitive fusion, generalised pliance, and analogical reasoning ability. Participants were then allocated to a pre-recorded audio-delivered metaphor exercise containing either: (i) common properties; (ii) augmentals; (iii) both; or (iv) neither (control condition). Participants completed the cold pressor task before and after intervention. We found no change in pain tolerance following intervention in any condition. Given potential implications for apt metaphor use for changing behaviour, further work is required to establish why the original study's findings were not replicated, to identify boundary conditions for the putative effect, and test metaphor use in ecologically valid settings.
    • Behavioral and endocrine responses in male marmosets to the establishment of multimale breeding groups: Evidence for non-monopolizing facultative polyandry

      Schaffner, Colleen; French, Jeffrey A.; University College Chester : University of Nebraska (Elsevier, 2004-06)
    • Caring for cancer patients with an intellectual disability: Attitudes and care perceptions of UK oncology nurses

      Flynn, Samantha; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Bramwell, Ros; Stevens-Gill, Debbie; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; University of Chester and Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton (Elsevier, 2015-05-08)
      Background: Caring for people with cancer or an intellectual disability (ID) is stressful: little is known about the combined impact of caring for cancer patients with an ID, though this is expected to be especially challenging. Method: Eighty-three nurses, working in oncology or a related field (i.e. palliative care) were recruited. Perceptions of caring for patients with and without an ID were measured, alongside potentially confounding information about participant demographic characteristics and perceived stress. Results: Participants felt less comfortable communicating with patients with an ID about their illness (F(1,82) = 59.52, p <0.001), more reliant on a caregiver for communication (F(1,82) = 26.29, p < 0.001), and less confident that the patient's needs would be identified (F(1,82) = 42.03, p < 0.001) and met (F(1,81) = 62.90, p < 0.001). Participants also believed that caring for this patient group would induce more stress, compared with patients without an ID (F(1,81) = 31.592, p < 0.001). Previous experience working with ID patient groups appears to mitigate some perceptions about providing care to this population. Conclusions: Caring for cancer patients with an ID may intensify this, already difficult, role. Through training and knowledge exchange, oncology nurse's confidence in communication, providing appropriate care, and positivity towards this patient group may be improved.
    • Children’s hostile attribution bias is reduced after watching realistic playful fighting, and the effect is mediated by prosocial thoughts

      Boulton, Michael J.; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2012-09)
      This article discussed a study which tested the hypotheses that exposure to playful fighting would lead to a reduction in hostile attribution bias, both immediately and after a 1-day delay, and that this effect would be mediated by positive thoughts.
    • Concreteness of semantic interpretations of abstract and representational artworks

      Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; University of Chester
      The authors tested two contrasting theoretical predictions to establish whether semantic interpretations of abstract artworks had different lexical concreteness from those of representational artworks. In Experiment 1, 49 non-expert participants provided brief verbal interpretations of 20 abstract and 20 representational artworks. Frequentist and Bayesian Linear Mixed Models showed that the words’ concreteness levels were robustly higher for interpretations of abstract artworks than representational artworks. This difference was present regardless of the inclusion or exclusion of function words. Potential diluting or inflating impacts on the effect due to the multi-word responses were examined in Experiment 2, in which 72 new participants provided single-word interpretations for the same artworks. The effect replicated with a larger effect size. The findings suggest that non-expert viewers prioritise establishing what is depicted over seeking deeper meanings if the depicted is not readily established perceptually. The findings are incompatible with the theoretical stance that abstract art has abstract meaning. Instead, the findings are consistent with complex models of aesthetic processing in which meaning may emerge in stages. The effect of art type on the concreteness of meaning is an important, hitherto undiscovered basic finding in empirical aesthetics. Our novel methods enable further research in this field.
    • Critical evaluation of psychopathy measurement (PCL-R and SRP-III/SF) and recommendations for future research

      Boduszek, Daniel; Debowska, Agata; University of Huddersfield; SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Katowice, Poland; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2015-12-28)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper was to review, summarize, and critically engage with the most recent findings into the dimensionality of the PCL-R, SRP-III, and SRP-SF. Another objective was to provide a set of directions for future research. Methods: A search in PubMed, PsychInfo, Scopus, Web of Science, Science Direct, and Google Scholar was performed. Twenty-one studies examining the dimensionality of the PCL-R and 11 studies assessing the factor structure of the SRP- III and SRP-SF were identified. Results: A critical review of the studies revealed inconsistent findings as to the underlying structure of the PCL-R and SRP-III/SF. Research has been limited by methodological and conceptual weaknesses, which calls into question the applicability of its findings. As such, it is suggested that prior results should be interpreted with caution. Conclusion: Future research should test competing models derived on the basis of previous research and theory, report the results of a differential predictive validity or alternative test, provide all relevant fit indices, utilize new data sets of appropriate size, avoid parceling procedures with short scales, and report the results of composite reliability.
    • Effects of intranasal oxytocin on the attentional bias to emotional stimuli in patients with bulimia nervosa

      Kim, Youl-Ri; Eom, Jin-Sup; Leppanen, Jenni; Leslie, Monica; Treasure, Janet; Inje University; Chungbuk National University; King's College London
      Background: Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by binge eating and emotional dysregulation including increased negative affectivity (anger, anxiety). The aim of this study was to examine the effect of oxytocin on attentional processes towards anger in patients with BN. Method: The study design consisted of a double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject crossover, single dose experiment. Sixty-four women (31 patients with BN and 33 healthy comparisons) completed self-reported measures to evaluate emotional difficulties and were administered a single dose of intranasal oxytocin (40IU) or placebo followed by a visual probe detection task to examine attentional orienting to angry or happy faces. Results: Patients with BN reported higher emotional dysregulation and more difficulties in controlling anger compared to the healthy comparison group. Patients with BN and the healthy women exhibited similar attentional bias to angry faces in the placebo condition. Intranasal oxytocin reduced the attentional bias towards angry faces in both the BN patients and the healthy women. Conclusions: We found that a single dose of oxytocin reduced vigilance towards angry faces in patients with BN as well as healthy women. The results showed that patients with BN are not different from healthy women in terms of vigilance towards threat.
    • The effects of victim of bullying reputation on adolescents’ choice of friends: Mediation by fear of becoming a victim of bullying, moderation by victim status, and implications for befriending interventions

      Boulton, Michael J.; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2013-01)
      This article discusses the effects of victim of bullying reputation on friendship formation.
    • Embraces for infant handling in spider monkeys: Evidence for a biological market?

      Slater, Kathy; Schaffner, Colleen; Aureli, Filippo; University of Chester : University of Chester : Liverpool John Moores University (Elsevier, 2007-08-22)
      This article discusses infant handling among wild female spider monkeys.
    • Empirical Advances in Studying Relational Networks

      McLoughlin, Shane; Stewart, Ian; University of Chester; National University of Ireland, Galway (Elsevier, 2016-11-29)
      The relating of relations is a key feature of the development of complex relational networks. Despite this, thus far there has been little empirical study of this phenomenon, outside of analogy. The latter, which involves coordination of relational networks, is indeed an important example of the relating of relations but there are other examples that can also be involved in complex relational framing. Experiment 1 extended previous research by exploring non-coordinate relating of relations in adult participants. First, Crel functions of YES, NO, SAME, DIFFERENT, and OPPOSITE were established in arbitrary stimuli using a multi-stage Relational Evaluation Procedure (REP). Then participants were tested for the evaluation of various forms of relating of relations including deriving coordination, distinction and opposition relations between relations. Three out of four participants showed predicted patterns of behavior. In Experiment 2, these same three participants showed transformation of contextual control functions via the relating of relational networks. Implications and future research directions are discussed.
    • Evidence that zoo visitors influence HPA activity in spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyii rufiventris)

      Davis, Nicolas; Schaffner, Colleen; Smith, Tessa E.; University College Chester (Elsevier, 2005-02)
      This article discusses the relationship between visitor numbers to a zoo and activity in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis of the animals.
    • Exploration of basal diurnal salivary cortisol profiles in middle-aged adults: Associations with sleep quality and metabolic parameters

      Lasikiewicz, Nicola; Hendrickx, Hilde; Talbot, Duncan; Dye, Louise (Elsevier, 2007-09-27)
      The use of saliva samples is a practical and feasible method to explore basal diurnal cortisol profiles in free-living research. This study explores a number of psychological and physiological characteristics in relation to the observed pattern of salivary cortisol activity over a 12-h period with particular emphasis on sleep. Basal diurnal cortisol profiles were examined in a sample of 147 volunteers (mean age 46.2177.18 years). Profiles were constructed for each volunteer and explored in terms of the area under the curve (AUC) of the cortisol-awakening response with samples obtained immediately upon waking (0, 15, 30 and 45 min post waking) and at 3, 6, 9 and 12 h post waking to assess diurnal decline. Diurnal mean of cortisol was based on the mean of cortisol at time points 3, 6, 9 and 12 h post waking. Psychological measures of perceived stress and sleep were collected with concurrent biological assessment of fasting plasma glucose, insulin, blood lipids and inflammatory markers. Blunted cortisol profiles, characterised by a reduced AUC, were observed in the majority (78%) of a middle-aged sample and were associated with significantly poorer sleep quality and significantly greater waist-hip ratio (WHR). Blunted cortisol profiles were further associated with a tendency to exhibit a less favourable metabolic profile. These findings suggest that reduced cortisol secretion post waking may serve as an additional marker of psychological and biological vulnerability to adverse health outcomes in middle-aged adults.
    • Genuine and simulated suicide notes: An analysis of content

      Ioannou, Maria; Debowska, Agata; University of Huddersfield ; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2014-11-01)
      The present study examined genuine and simulated suicide notes aiming to identify the measures of content that best differentiate between the two. Thirty- three genuine and thirty-three simulated suicide notes were content-analysed and data subjected to Smallest Space Analysis (SSA), a Multidimensional Scaling Procedure. The core of all suicide notes was discovered to be constructed with the use of three variables: expressions of love, positive construction of partner and apologies. Furthermore, four different genuine suicide note themes (‘planned escape’, ‘negative affect and self-mitigation’, ‘positive affect and failed relationship’, ‘lack of self-acceptance’) and three simulated suicide note themes (‘escape’, ‘positive affect and self-blame’, ‘purposeless life’) were identified revealing that authentic suicide note themes were more internally consistent and clearer to interpret.
    • The high prevalence of pre-existing mental health complaints in clients attending Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre: implications for initial management and engagement with the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor Service at the Centre

      Manning, Daisy; Majeed-Ariss, Rabiya; Mattison, Michelle L. A.; White, Catherine; University of Manchester Medical School; Saint Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018-12-05)
      Background: The Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre has a unique service delivery model whereby it provides an integrated physical and psychological support services to clients, women men and children, living in Greater Manchester. The service is available to those who have reported rape or sexual assault, whether this is recent or historic. Clients living in surrounding areas of Cheshire are provided with forensic and medical services at Saint Mary’s Centre, with follow-up care provided locally, as appropriate. Aims: The primary objective was to identify the prevalence of self-reported pre-existing mental health complaints amongst adult clients who attended Saint Mary’s Centre for a forensic medical examination. The secondary objective was to consider levels of engagement with the Centre’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service by comparing clients who reported a mental health complaint to clients who did not. Method: One-hundred and eighty sets of client’s notes from 2016 were retrospectively analysed. Client inclusion criteria were that they were (a) over the age of 18 years when attending the Centre, (b) had attended for a forensic medical examination. Results: 69% of clients analysed reported a pre-existing mental health complaint. The time taken for clients to present to Saint Mary’s Centre following a reported assault tended to be later for the clients with self-reported mental health problems than those without. However, there was no difference in the long-term engagement with the Centre’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service at the Centre between the two groups. Conclusion: Prevalence of self-reported pre-existing mental health complaints is extremely high in clients presenting at Saint Mary’s Centre as compared to national and regional prevalence rates for mental health complaints in the general population. The vulnerability of this client group should be considered when they attend a SARC and support provided should be appropriate and accessible to their needs. Staff should have adequate training and supervision to be able to respond in this way.
    • In search of scope: A response to Ruiz et al. (2020)

      Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J; Pendrous, Rosina; Hochard, Kevin D; University of Chester
      Deliberate and explicit replication attempts are becoming more common across the behavioral sciences. Whilst replicability has been recognized as a core feature of science for decades (if not centuries), the directness of today’s replication work requires us to consider carefully how we communicate our research and how we conceptualize our theories in light of differing findings. This paper uses a concrete example to make a number of suggestions for how we, as a scientific community, ought to engage with replication attempts. Within Relational Frame Theory (RFT) there is a growing body of applied research on the effective use of metaphors to increase tolerance of aversive states. We conducted a replication of an earlier experimental analogue study (2020, this journal) and failed to find the specified effect. Ruiz et al. (2020, also this journal) have recently published a critical response in which they list a number of differences between our two studies which might account for the negative findings. We will use this series of three papers as our exemplum. We also take the opportunity to acknowledge some points of critique provided by Ruiz et al., and to set the record straight with respect to the differences between the original study and our replication attempt. We hope this discussion might help the CBS community to develop a coherent approach to the very current issue of replication.
    • In the face of adversity: Resiliency in winter sport athletes

      Brown, Hollie; Lafferty, Moira E.; Triggs, Carmel; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2015-02-07)
      Objectives.- To explore winter sports athletes' experiences of adversity within their sporting careers. Methods.- Data were collected from semi structured interviews with seven British elite winter sports athletes (mean age =23.1 years, SD =2.4), representing a range of winter sport disciplines. Results.- Twelve general dimensions emerged, serving to support the pioneering conceptual model of sport resilience, and emphasizing the role previous experiences of adversity have on the acquisition of resilient qualities. Conclusions.- The findings from this study have the potential to inform applied sport psychology practice. Specifically regarding the development of a ‘resiliency package’, which could aim to protect athletes from maladaptive and/or dysfunctional responses to adversity, and encourage adaptive and resilient reintegration.
    • The Influence of Oxytocin on Eating Behaviours and Stress in Women with Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder

      Leslie, Monica; Leppanen, Jenni; Paloyelis, Yannis; Treasure, Janet; King's College London (Elsevier, 2018-12-21)
      The current study aimed to test the influence of oxytocin on palatable food intake, 24-hour caloric consumption, and stress in women with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. We recruited 25 women with DSM-5 bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, and 27 weight-matched comparison women without history of an eating disorder. We employed a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design in which each participant attended the lab for two experimental sessions, receiving a divided dose of 64IU intranasal oxytocin in one session and equivalent volume of placebo nasal spray in the opposite session. The order of administration was pseudo-randomised across participants. We hypothesised that a divided dose of 64IU intranasal oxytocin administration would reduce subjective hunger, the immediate consumption of palatable food, 24-hour calorie consumption, and the incidence of binge eating when compared to placebo. We also hypothesised that oxytocin administration would be associated with lower levels of stress and salivary cortisol, and that there would be an interaction with participant group such that oxytocin would reduce eating behaviour and stress to a greater degree in women with bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, compared to women without history of an eating disorder. We did not find a significant effect of oxytocin on any of the measurements of eating behaviour, subjective stress, or salivary cortisol. We recommend that future studies test the dose-response effect of oxytocin on eating behaviours and stress in human populations with eating disorders to further clarify the moderating factors for oxytocin’s effect on eating.
    • Initial validation of the general attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence Scale

      Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; University of Chester
      A new General Attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence Scale (GAAIS) was developed. The scale underwent initial statistical validation via Exploratory Factor Analysis, which identified positive and negative subscales. Both subscales captured emotions in line with their valence. In addition, the positive subscale reflected societal and personal utility, whereas the negative subscale reflected concerns. The scale showed good psychometric indices and convergent and discriminant validity against existing measures. To cross-validate general attitudes with attitudes towards specific instances of AI applications, summaries of tasks accomplished by specific applications of Artificial Intelligence were sourced from newspaper articles. These were rated for comfortableness and perceived capability. Comfortableness with specific applications was a strong predictor of general attitudes as measured by the GAAIS, but perceived capability was a weaker predictor. Participants viewed AI applications involving big data (e.g. astronomy, law, pharmacology) positively, but viewed applications for tasks involving human judgement, (e.g. medical treatment, psychological counselling) negatively. Applications with a strong ethical dimension led to stronger discomfort than their rated capabilities would predict. The survey data suggested that people held mixed views of AI. The initially validated two-factor GAAIS to measure General Attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence is included in the Appendix.