• Towards a Translational Approach to Food Addiction: Implications for Bulimia Nervosa

      Leslie, Monica; Lambert, Ellen; Treasure, Janet; King's College London
      Purpose of review: In recent years, the food addiction hypothesis of loss-of-control eating has gained traction in the field of eating disorders. In particular, the neural process of food addiction plays a dominant role in the recently formulated “addictive appetite” model of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Nonetheless, several components of the food addiction hypothesis, including the presence of withdrawal and tolerance effects, as well as the proposition that some foods possess “addicting” properties, remain highly controversial. In response, the current review synthesises existing evidence for withdrawal and tolerance effects in people with bulimia nervosa. Recent findings: The recent development of a validated tool to measure withdrawal from highly processed foods will aid in measuring withdrawal symptoms and testing hypotheses related to withdrawal in the context of food addiction. We subsequently describe preclinical and human evidence for a central insulin- and dopamine-mediated pathway by which recurrent loss-of-control binge eating is maintained in bulimia nervosa. Summary: Evidence in populations with bulimia nervosa and loss-of-control eating provides preliminary support for the role of food addiction in the maintenance of bulimia nervosa. Future longitudinal research is needed to develop a clearer profile of illness progression and to clarify the extent to which dysregulation in glucose metabolism contributes to food craving and symptom maintenance in bulimia nervosa.
    • Testing the addictive appetite model of binge eating: The importance of craving, coping, and reward enhancement

      Leslie, Monica; Turton, Robert; Burgess, Emilee; Nazar, Bruno; Treasure, Janet; King's College London; University of Alabama at Birmingham; Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
      In the current study, we examine components of the “addictive appetite” model of recurrent binge eating. Specifically, we tested the influence of addictive processes and the influence of emotional regulation processes on recurrent binge eating behaviour. We recruited 79 women in total for the current study; 22 with bulimia nervosa, 26 weight-matched lean comparison women, 15 women with binge eating disorder, and 16 weight-matched overweight/obese comparison women. Participants completed questionnaire assessments of food craving and motivations for eating. Compared to weight-matched comparison women, women with binge-type eating disorders endorse significantly greater levels of food craving, eating for purposes of coping, and eating for purposes of reward enhancement. A cluster analysis revealed that these three traits distinguish women with binge-type eating disorders from weight-matched comparison women. These findings provide support for the addictive appetite model of binge eating behaviour, and highlight addictive and emotional regulation processes as potential targets for treatment.
    • Are Trans diagnostic models of eating disorders fit for purpose? A consideration of the evidence for food addiction

      Treasure, Janet; Leslie, Monica; Chami, Rayane; Fernández-Aranda, Fernando; King's College London; University Hospital of Bellvitge and CIBERobn (ISCIII)
      Explanatory models for eating disorders have changed over time to account for changing clinical presentations. The transdiagnostic model evolved from the maintenance model, which provided the framework for cognitive behavioural therapy for bulimia nervosa. However, for many individuals (especially those at the extreme ends of the weight spectrum), this account does not fully fit. New evidence generated from research framed within the food addiction hypothesis is synthesised here into a model that can explain recurrent binge eating behaviour. New interventions that target core maintenance elements identified within the model may be useful additions to a complex model of treatment for eating disorders.
    • Building the capacity for psycho-oncology research: A survey of the research barriers and training needs within the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS)

      Lambert, SD; Coumoundouros, C; Hulbert-Williams, NJ; Shaw, J; Schaffler, J; McGill University; University of Chester; University of Sydney (Wolters Kluwer, 2020-07-28)
      Background: The International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) is a multidisciplinary professional network that aims to improve psychosocial care for individuals impacted by cancer. IPOS encourages research activity, recognising that a high-quality evidence-base is essential to provide best-practice, data-driven clinical care. This study aimed to determine the barriers to research involvement and the training needs and priorities of IPOS members, with the goal of facilitating the development of training resources tailored to the needs of IPOS members. Methods: A link to an online, cross-sectional survey was disseminated to all registered members of IPOS via email. The online survey platform SimpleSurvey was used, and questions included demographic characteristics and items related to research interests, involvement, and training needs. High priority research training needs were identified as research tasks respondents rated as highly important, yet possessed a low perceived skill level in. Results: 32% of IPOS members (n = 142) completed the survey. Participants represented 49 countries and were at a variety of career stages. Overall, participants reported spending an average of 17.3 hours per week on research (range = 0 to 80 hours per week), with 69% of respondents wanting to increase their research involvement. The main barriers to research participation included lack of research funding (80%) and lack of protected time (63%). IPOS members identified five high priority training needs: (1) preparing successful grant applications; (2) preparing research budgets; (3) community-based participatory research; (4) working with decision makers; and (5) finding collaborators or expert consultants. Participants suggested funding access, statistical advisors and networking and mentorship opportunities as ways to enhance research involvement. Members preferred online training modules (39%) and mentorship programs (19%) as methods by which IPOS could provide research support. IPOS was viewed as being able to contribute to many aspects of research capacity building such as networking, training, and dissemination of research findings. Conclusions: IPOS has an important role in encouraging research capacity building among members. This survey provides an agenda for workshops and training opportunities. Mainly, for respondents it was less about training in research methods and more about training in how to prepare successful grant applications, including budgets, and receiving mentorship on this as well as having opportunities to collaborate with other researchers.
    • Predictors of individual differences in emerging adult theory of mind

      Stewart, Suzanne L. K.; Kirkham, Julie A.; University of Chester (SAGE, 2020-05-21)
      Little is known about what factors are associated with emerging adult theory of mind (ToM). We predicted that childhood fantasy play (CFP), need for cognition (NfC), and fiction reading would be positive predictors due to their deliberative, perspective-taking nature while engagement with media and technology would be a negative predictor due to increased interpersonal distance. The best-fit mixed logit model (n = 369) showed that CFP, texting frequency, and NfC were significant positive predictors while smartphone usage and preference for task switching were significant negative predictors. Email and phone call usage were contributing non-significant negative predictors. Our study extends previous findings regarding NfC, and highlights the importance of CFP engagement for ToM beyond immediate childhood. Future research should investigate how subtly different media (e.g., texting vs smartphone use) have differential predictive relationships with social cognition. Data and code are available at doi: 10.17605/OSF.IO/CBD9J.
    • 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.
    • Safeguarding children who are exposed to Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief

      Oakley, Lisa; University of Chester, StepsSA, Thirtyone:eight, Victoria Climbie Foundation (John Wiley & Sons, 2019-02-18)
      Cases of child abuse linked to faith or belief (CALFB) continue to be documented. However, there is limited research and understanding of CALFB. Further, there is a lack of clarity of definition. These factors then impact upon effective practice. Recognising this, the National Working Group for CALFB called for research on which to develop evidence-based practice. This paper reports on key findings from a mixed-method online survey which was completed by 1361 participants from a range of practitioner and community groups. The participants identified the importance of policy and multiagency working in this area, but they acknowledged the complexity and challenges associated with developing and implementing good practice. Recommendations from the study include a review of relevant policy to evaluate its application to CALFB, the development of faith literacy training for frontline practitioners and the creation of a space in which statutory, faith and community groups can dialogue.
    • Developing an Integrated Approach

      Tod, David; Lafferty, Moira; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (Routledge, 2020-05-05)
      Integration occurs when consultants combine multiple theoretical orientations and ways of operating to enhance the efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, and ethical standing of services they provide clients. There is no one model of integration. The models practitioners develop are shaped by their histories, inclinations, and proclivities; the contexts and cultures in which they operate; the types of work they undertake; and the clients they serve. Integrated models allow practitioners to feel congruent, authentic, and comfortable with the ways they help clients. In this chapter, we define integration, discuss why it is viable in our field, examine ways practitioners integrate service delivery systems, consider obstacles to integration, and suggests ways educators and supervisors can assist practitioners.
    • Video-mediated behavior in gorillas (G. g. gorilla): A stage in the development of self-recognition in a juvenile male?

      Murray, Lindsay; University of Chester (American Psychological Association, 2020-03-12)
      The anomalous position of gorillas (G. g. gorilla) in the capacity for self-recognition remains puzzling. The standard measure of self-recognition is Gallup’s (1970) mark test that assesses an individual’s ability to recognize its altered image in a mirror following the application of paint marks to visually inaccessible areas. Here, the results of a small-scale pilot study are presented, utilizing video playback through a television monitor, to examine behavioural differences indicative of developing self-recognition. The behaviors of four Western lowland gorillas at Bristol Zoo, UK were observed while watching a TV screen during five conditions: blank screen, white noise interference, footage of unfamiliar gorillas, self previously recorded, and self-live. Differences were predicted in the frequency of the gorillas’ observed behaviors when viewing each of the conditions: specifically, that there would be more visual inspection, contingent body and facial movements, and self-exploration in the self-recorded and self-live conditions compared to the other conditions. These predictions were partially supported. No agonistic or fear responses were observed and self-exploration was only seen in the self-live condition. During live playback, contingency-checking movements and self-exploration of the mouth were observed, particularly in the youngest gorilla, providing important video evidence of a close parallel to the mouth exploratory behavior witnessed in self-recognizing chimpanzees. On the basis of these preliminary findings of differentiated spontaneous behaviors, a tentative framework is proposed for categorizing gorillas according to levels of developing self-recognition along a continuum.
    • Examining the relationship between autism traits and sleep duration as predictors of suicidality

      Hochard, Kevin D.; Pendrous, Rosina; Mari, Tyler; Flynn, Samantha; University of Chester; University of Warwick
      Short sleep duration is a known risk factor for suicidality in the general population, yet it is unclear how short sleep interacts with autism traits in predicting suicidality. In this cross-sectional online study, a general population sample (N = 650) completed measures assessing autism traits, suicidal ideation, and sleep duration. Moderated hierarchical regressions demonstrated that higher autism traits and shorter sleep were independent predictors of increased suicide ideation. However, sleep duration did not significantly moderate the autism trait to suicide ideation relationship. Future work should explore this relationship longitudinally using objective measures before intervention work to increase sleep duration in those with elevated autism traits be consider.
    • ‘I call it the hero complex’ – Critical considerations of power and privilege and seeking to be an agent of change in qualitative researchers’ experiences.

      Oakley, Lisa; Fenge, Lee-Ann; Taylor, Bethan; University of Chester, Bournemouth University, My CWA
      There is a relative paucity of studies specifically exploring the experiences of qualitative researchers undertaking research in socially sensitive areas or with marginalised groups. This paper reports some of the findings of a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences of ten participant researchers. The findings of this study suggest that participant researchers are cognisant of issues of power and privilege in conducting their research. They also illustrate the motivation to enact change via the research findings. However, they demonstrate the complexities of power, privilege and change in the research process and how these concepts can be related to researcher guilt. The study shows that experience can act as a buffer in the qualitative research process but that further work in researcher resilience is required. Participant researchers suggest the need for more honest and open discussions around foundational principles of qualitative research. They suggest further development of cross institutional spaces for these discussions to take place. However, the paper also illustrates the necessity to consider issues of power, privilege and research as social change at individual, institutional and systemic levels,
    • The Impact of Sensitive Research on the Researcher: Preparedness and Positionality

      Fenge, Lee Ann; Oakley, Lisa, Kathryn, Jusin & Mor Kinmond, Humphreys & Dioum; Taylor, Bethan; Beer, Sean; Bournemouth University, University of Chester, Cheshire without Abuse, Bournemouth University
      There is currently limited research exploring the impact of undertaking sensitive or challenging research on the researcher, although some textbooks explore researcher preparedness. This article presents a discussion of the findings from a research project which engaged with the seldom heard voices of researchers themselves. The aim was to explore researchers’ experiences of undertaking research on sensitive topics, or with marginalized groups, as this can expose researchers to emotionally disturbing situations throughout data collection and analysis, which can be psychologically challenging. Although ethical codes of practice include discussion around protection of both the researcher and the participant, in practice, the ethics approval process rarely considers the impact of the proposed research on the researcher. Their experiences are therefore seldom acknowledged or heard, resulting in potential distress for the researcher. Semi- structured interviews were undertaken with social science researchers from a range of discipline backgrounds and at different points in their research careers (n = 10). This article explores two themes emerging from the data: preparedness and positionality. It considers what these themes mean in terms of supporting researchers who encounter challenging research data, and issues related to supporting researcher reflexivity and the requirements for institutional support offered to researchers will also be considered.
    • When speaking English is not enough: The consequences of Language-based stigma for non-native speakers

      Birney, Megan E.; Rabinovich, Anna; Morton, Thomas A.; Heath, Hannah; Ashcroft, Sam; University Centre Shrewsbury, University of Chester (Sage, 2019-11-06)
      We explored the effects of language-based stigma on the relationship between native and non-native speakers. In two studies we found that stigmatized non-native speakers experienced more negative interpersonal interactions, higher levels of intergroup threat, and reduced performance on an English test compared to non-native speakers who did not experience stigma. These effects were mediated by anxiety and moderated by prevention-related goals. Furthermore, native speakers perceived stigmatized (vs. not-stigmatized) speakers’ accents as stronger and their commitment to living in the host country as weaker. Our findings suggest that experiencing language-based stigma can: a) incite a stereotype threat response from non-native speakers, and b) damage their relationship with native speakers on an interpersonal and intergroup level.
    • Communicative roots of complex sociality and cognition.

      Roberts, Anna I.; Roberts, Sam G. B. (2019-10-14)
      Mammals living in more complex social groups typically have large brains for their body size and many researchers have proposed that the primary driver of the increase in brain size through primate and hominin evolution was the selection pressures associated with sociality. Many mammals, and especially primates, use flexible signals that show a high degree of voluntary control and these signals may play an important role in forming and maintaining social relationships between group members. However, the specific role that cognitive skills play in this complex communication, and how in turn this relates to sociality, is still unclear. The hypothesis for the communicative roots of complex sociality and cognition posits that cognitive demands behind the communication needed to form and maintain bonded social relationships in complex social settings drives the link between brain size and sociality. We review the evidence in support of this hypothesis and why key features of cognitively complex communication such as intentionality and referentiality should be more effective in forming and maintaining bonded relationships as compared with less cognitively complex communication. Exploring the link between cognition, communication and sociality provides insights into how increasing flexibility in communication can facilitate the emergence of social systems characterised by bonded social relationships, such as those found in non-human primates and humans. To move the field forward and carry out both within- and among-species comparisons, we advocate the use of social network analysis, which provides a novel way to describe and compare social structure. Using this approach can lead to a new, systematic way of examining social and communicative complexity across species, something that is lacking in current comparative studies of social structure. [Abstract copyright: © 2019 Cambridge Philosophical Society.]
    • Understanding self-respect and its relationship to self-esteem

      Clucas, Claudine; University of Chester (Sage, 2019-10-21)
      The concept of self-respect has received little attention in the psychological literature and is not clearly distinguished from self-esteem. The present research sought to empirically investigate the bases of self-respect by manipulating adherence to morals together with interpersonal appraisals, or task-related competence, in hypothetical scenarios (Studies 1a and 1b) and a situation participants relived (Studies 2 and 3). Participants’ levels of state self-respect and self-esteem were measured. Studies 1-3 found main effects of adherence to morals on self-respect, with self-respect mediating the effect of adherence to morals on self-esteem, but little support for competence and interpersonal appraisals directly influencing self-respect. Self-respect uniquely contributed to anticipated/felt self-esteem alongside competence or interpersonal appraisals. The pattern of results supports the conceptualisation of self-respect as a component of self-esteem associated with morally principled conduct, distinct from performance and social self-esteem. The findings have implications for our understanding of self-esteem and moral behaviour.
    • Police officers’ and Registered Intermediaries’ use of drawing during investigative interviews with vulnerable witnesses

      Dando, Coral J.; Mattison, Michelle L. A.; University of Chester; University of Westminster (Taylor & Francis, 2019-09-19)
      Attempts to enhance episodic retrieval focus largely on verbal strategies which do not always address the limited or impaired free recall ability of vulnerable witnesses. Asking a witness to draw while recalling episodic information has long been deemed an effective method of improving communication and cognitive performance. Thus far, research has revealed these effects within laboratory settings but with scarce attention paid to real-life interview practice. In this paper, we explore police officers’ and Registered Intermediaries’ use of drawing during investigative interviews with vulnerable witnesses. A sample of specialist practitioners (n=85), comprising of vulnerable witness interviewing police officers (n=50) and Registered Intermediaries (n=35) completed a self-report questionnaire. As expected, frequent use of drawing was reported by both practitioner groups, and there was a positive correlation between reported use and perceived effectiveness. There were similarities between groups in reported techniques employed when using drawing, but some differences were apparent and these were attributed to the differing functions in police and Registered Intermediary roles. Overall, a consensus between empirical research and practice is evident, but these findings warrant further exploration in order to establish whether such practice is wide-spread.
    • Recruiting cancer survivors into research studies using online methods: a secondary analysis from an international cancer survivorship cohort study.

      Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Pendrous, Rosina; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Swash, Brooke; University of Chester (ecancer Global Foundation, 2019-12-12)
      Recruiting participants into cancer survivorship research remains a significant challenge. Few studies have tested and compared the relative use of non-clinical online recruitment methods, especially in samples of adult cancer survivors. This paper reports on the feasibility of recruiting a representative cohort of cancer survivors using online social media. Two-hundred participants with a cancer diagnosis within the past 12 months were recruited via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit) into a longitudinal questionnaire study. Different methods of online recruitment proved to be more effective than others over time. Paid Facebook boosting, Reddit posts, and Twitter adverts placed by existing cancer charities proved most helpful in reaching our recruitment target (contributing 27%, 22% and 32% respectively). Recruiting online achieved a more demographically and clinically representative sample for our study: our sample was younger, less heteronormative, including those with a range of clinical diagnoses, primary and recurrence illness, and patients who had both completed and were still receiving treatment. This was certainly not a quick method of sample recruitment but that could have been optimised by focussing only on the three most effective methods describe earlier. Whilst we found that online recruitment is significantly lower cost than traditional recruitment methods, and can reduce some biases, there still remains the potential for some biases (e.g. excluding much older participants) and ethical/methodological issues (e.g. excluding those without access to the internet). We outline our recruitment strategy, retention rates, and a cost breakdown in order to guide other researchers considering such methods for future research in cancer survivorship.
    • Are Prisoners More Psychopathic than Non-forensic Populations? Profiling Psychopathic Traits among Prisoners, Community Adults, University Students, and Adolescents

      Boduszek, Daniel; Debowska, Agata; Sherretts, Nicole; Willmott, Dominic; Kielkiewicz, Krzysztof; Popiolek, Katarzyna; Hyland, Philip (Informa UK Limited, 2019-09-12)
    • Shared meaning in representational and abstract visual art: an empirical study

      Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; University of Chester (American Psychological Association, 2019-09-12)
      A longstanding and important question is how meaning is generated by visual art. One view is that abstract art uses a universal language whereas representational art is tied to specific knowledge. This view predicts that meaning for abstract is shared across viewers to a greater extent than for representational art. This contrasts with a view of greater shared meaning for representational than abstract art, because of shared associations for the entities depicted in representational art, as supported by recent empirical findings. This study examined the contrasting predictions derived from these two views. 49 nonexpert adult participants wrote brief descriptions of meanings that they attributed to 20 abstract and 20 representational artworks, generating a corpus of 1918 texts. Computational analyses (semantic textual similarity, latent semantic analysis) and linguistic analysis (type-token ratio) provided triangulated quantitative data. Frequentist and Bayesian statistical analyses showed that meanings were shared to a somewhat greater extent for representational art, but that meanings for abstract artworks were also shared above baseline. Triangulated human and machine analyses of the texts showed core shared meanings for both art types, derived from literal and metaphoric interpretations of visual elements. The findings support the view that representational art elicits higher levels of shared meaning than abstract art. The empirical findings can be used to enhance theoretical and computational models of aesthetic evaluation, and the rigorous new methodologies developed can be deployed in many other contexts.