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British Journal of Psychology

Kim M Curby, Stephen D Smith, Denise Moerel, Amy Dyson
Previous research has identified numerous factors affecting the capacity and accuracy of visual working memory (VWM). One potentially important factor is the emotionality of the stimuli to be encoded and held in VWM. We often must hold in VWM information that is emotionally charged, but much is still unknown about how the emotionality of stimuli impacts VWM performance. In the current research, we performed four studies examining the impact of fearful facial expressions on VWM for faces. Fearful expressions were found to produce a consistent cost to VWM performance...
July 13, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Abigail Millings, Katherine B Carnelley, Kate Cavanagh, Anna Wilderpsin, Hannah Wiseman, Angela C Rowe
We sought to understand how attachment orientation influenced attitudes towards different types of psychological therapies. In two studies, we (1) examined attachment orientation as a predictor of attitudes towards different therapies and (2) tested whether attachment security priming could improve attitudes. Study 1 (n = 339) found associations between attachment orientation and attitudes towards, and likelihood of using different therapies. Positive and negative attitudes about different therapies mediated the relationship between attachment avoidance and likelihood of use...
July 8, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Kinga Morsanyi, Bianca M C W van Bers, Teresa McCormack, Jemma McGourty
Mathematics difficulties are common in both children and adults, and they can have a great impact on people's lives. A specific learning disorder in mathematics (SLDM or developmental dyscalculia) is a special case of persistent mathematics difficulties, where the problems with maths cannot be attributed to environmental factors, intellectual disability, or mental, neurological or physical disorders. The aim of the current study was to estimate the prevalence rate of SLDM, any gender differences in SLDM, and the most common comorbid conditions...
July 5, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Jeanne Bovet, Eva Raiber, Weiwei Ren, Charlotte Wang, Paul Seabright
Both parents and offspring have evolved mating preferences that enable them to select mates and children-in-law to maximize their inclusive fitness. The theory of parent-offspring conflict predicts that preferences for potential mates may differ between parents and offspring: individuals are expected to value biological quality more in their own mates than in their offspring's mates and to value investment potential more in their offspring's mates than in their own mates. We tested this hypothesis in China using a naturalistic 'marriage market' where parents actively search for marital partners for their offspring...
June 26, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Nick Berggren, Martin Eimer
During visual search, the selection of target objects is guided by stored representations of target-defining features (attentional templates). It is commonly believed that such templates are maintained in visual working memory (WM), but empirical evidence for this assumption remains inconclusive. Here, we tested whether retaining non-spatial object features (shapes) in WM interferes with attentional target selection processes in a concurrent search task that required spatial templates for target locations. Participants memorized one shape (low WM load) or four shapes (high WM load) in a sample display during a retention period...
June 26, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Rebecca Chamberlain, Nicola Brunswick, Joseph Siev, I C McManus
Conflicting empirical and theoretical accounts suggest that dyslexia is associated with either average, enhanced, or impoverished high-level visuospatial processing relative to controls. Such heterogeneous results could be due to the presence of wider variability in dyslexic samples, which is unlikely to be identified at the single study level, due to lack of power. To address this, this study reports a meta-analysis of means and variances in high-level visuospatial ability in 909 non-dyslexic and 956 dyslexic individuals...
June 25, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Mila Mileva, A Mike Burton
Unfamiliar face matching is a surprisingly difficult task, yet we often rely on people's matching decisions in applied settings (e.g., border control). Most attempts to improve accuracy (including training and image manipulation) have had very limited success. In a series of studies, we demonstrate that using smiling rather than neutral pairs of images brings about significant improvements in face matching accuracy. This is true for both match and mismatch trials, implying that the information provided through a smile helps us detect images of the same identity as well as distinguishing between images of different identities...
June 19, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Pedro Macizo, Alejandro Álvarez
In this study, we evaluated whether the naming of Arabic digits required access to semantic information. Participants named pictures and Arabic digits blocked by category or intermixed with exemplars of other categories while behavioural and electrophysiological measures were gathered. Pictures were named slower and Arabic digits faster in the blocked context relative to the mixed context. Around 350-450 ms after the presentation of pictures and Arabic digits, brain waves were more positive in anterior regions and more negative in posterior regions when the blocked context was compared with the mixed context...
June 12, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Mohsen Joshanloo
As more and more people realize that wealth fails to fully capture the essence of human well-being, interest in non-monetary measures of well-being has intensified. Eudaimonic well-being (EWB; i.e., optimal psychosocial functioning) is a largely overlooked aspect of national well-being that has never been examined at the global level. This study uses data from nearly 1,800,000 respondents recruited probabilistically from 166 countries between the years of 2005 and 2017 to construct an index of EWB. EWB demonstrates moderate positive associations with other quality-of-life indicators (i...
May 30, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Neha A John-Henderson, Sarah E Williams, Ryan C Brindle, Annie T Ginty
Stress-related sleep disturbances are common, and poor sleep quality can negatively affect health. Previous work indicates that early-life adversity is associated with compromised sleep quality later in life, but it is unknown whether it predicts greater declines in sleep quality during stressful life transitions. We propose and test a conceptual model whereby individuals who reported experiencing greater levels of child maltreatment would experience greater psychological distress during a stressful life transition, which in turn would contribute to greater declines in sleep quality, relative to their quality of sleep before the stressful transition...
May 25, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Kim Peters, S Alexander Haslam
It is acknowledged that identity plays an important role in a person's leadership development. To date, however, there has been little consideration of the possibility - suggested by the social identity perspective - that individuals who identify as followers may be especially likely to emerge as leaders. We test this possibility in a longitudinal sample of recruit commandos in the Royal Marines. Recruits rated their identification with leader and follower roles five times over the course of their 32-week training programme...
May 22, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Mel Slater
This commentary briefly reviews the history of virtual reality and its use for psychology research, and clarifies the concepts of immersion and the illusion of presence.
May 21, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Stephan de la Rosa, Martin Breidt
One major challenge of social interaction research is to achieve high experimental control over social interactions to allow for rigorous scientific reasoning. Virtual reality (VR) promises this level of control. Pan and Hamilton guide us with a detailed review on existing and future possibilities and challenges of using VR for social interaction research. Here, we extend the discussion to methodological and practical implications when using VR.
May 10, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Thomas E Gladwin, Martin Möbius, Shane McLoughlin, Ian Tyndall
Dot-probe or visual probe tasks (VPTs) are used extensively to measure attentional biases. A novel variant termed the cued VPT (cVPT) was developed to focus on the anticipatory component of attentional bias. This study aimed to establish an anticipatory attentional bias to threat using the cVPT and compare its split-half reliability with a typical dot-probe task. A total of 120 students performed the cVPT task and dot-probe tasks. Essentially, the cVPT uses cues that predict the location of pictorial threatening stimuli, but on trials on which probe stimuli are presented the pictures do not appear...
May 10, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Stefan Pollmann
When spatial stimulus configurations repeat in visual search, a search facilitation, resulting in shorter search times, can be observed that is due to incidental learning. This contextual cueing effect appears to be rather implicit, uncorrelated with observers' explicit memory of display configurations. Nevertheless, as I review here, this search facilitation due to contextual cueing depends on visuospatial working memory resources, and it disappears when visuospatial working memory is loaded by a concurrent delayed match to sample task...
May 10, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Jillian J M O'Connor, Pat Barclay
Speech contains both explicit social information in semantic content and implicit cues to social behaviour and mate quality in voice pitch. Voice pitch has been demonstrated to have pervasive effects on social perceptions, but few studies have examined these perceptions in the context of meaningful speech. Here, we examined whether male voice pitch interacted with socially relevant cues in speech to influence listeners' perceptions of trustworthiness and attractiveness. We artificially manipulated men's voices to be higher and lower in pitch when speaking words that were either prosocial or antisocial in nature...
May 10, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Alexander Kulik
Virtual reality (VR) can serve as a viable platform for psychological research. The real world with many uncontrolled variables can be masked to immerse participants in complex interactive environments that are under full experimental control. However, as any other laboratory setting, these simulations are not perceived equally to reality and they also afford different behaviour. We need a better understanding of these differences, which are often related to parameters of the technical setup, to support valid interpretations of experimental results...
April 26, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Xueni Pan, Antonia F de C Hamilton
The five commentaries on our paper (Pan & Hamilton, 2018, Br. J. Psychol.) provide a useful summary of the key issues we raise, and also bring to the foreground some new and important questions, touching on a range of issues including presence and the conceptualization of dual realities. We highlight here some important themes and directions for future investigation.
August 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Beatrice de Gelder, Jari Kätsyri, Aline W de Borst
Virtual reality (VR) promises methodological rigour with the extra benefit of allowing us to study the context-dependent behaviour of individuals in their natural environment. Pan and Hamilton (2018, Br. J. Psychol.) provide a useful overview of methodological recommendations for using VR. Here, we highlight some other aspects of the use of VR. Our first argument is that VR can be useful by virtue of its differences from the normal perceptual environment. That is, by virtue of its relative non-realism and poverty of its perceptual elements, it can actually offer increased clarity with respect to the features of interest for the researcher...
August 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Serge Caparos, Sara-Valérie Giroux, Eugène Rutembesa, Emmanuel Habimana, Isabelle Blanchette
With this work, we intended to draw a cognitive portrait of openness to reconciliation. No study had yet examined the potential contribution of high-level cognitive functioning, in addition to psychological health, to explaining attitudes towards reconciliation in societies exposed to major trauma such as post-genocide Rwanda. We measured the contribution of general cognitive capacity, analytical thinking, and subjective judgements. Our results show that higher cognitive capacity is not associated with greater openness to reconciliation...
May 2018: British Journal of Psychology
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