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Behav. Sci., Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2013), Pages 316-535

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Precaution and Practice on the Performance of a Risky Motor Task
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 316-329; doi:10.3390/bs3030316
Received: 15 April 2013 / Revised: 14 June 2013 / Accepted: 18 June 2013 / Published: 26 June 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The association between threat perception and motor execution, mediated by evolved precaution systems, often results in ritual-like behavior, including many idiosyncratic acts that seem irrelevant to the task at hand. This study tested the hypothesis that threat-detection during performance of a risky [...] Read more.
The association between threat perception and motor execution, mediated by evolved precaution systems, often results in ritual-like behavior, including many idiosyncratic acts that seem irrelevant to the task at hand. This study tested the hypothesis that threat-detection during performance of a risky motor task would result in idiosyncratic activity that is not necessary for task completion. We asked biology students to follow a particular set of instructions in mixing three solutions labeled “bio-hazardous” and then repeat this operation with “non-hazardous” substances (or vice versa). We observed a longer duration of the overall performance, a greater repertoire of acts, longer maximal act duration, and longer mean duration of acts in the “risky” task when it was performed before the “non-risky” task. Some, but not all, of these differences were eliminated when a “non-risky” task preceded the “risky” one. The increased performance of idiosyncratic unnecessary activity is in accordance with the working hypothesis of the present study: ritualized idiosyncratic activities are performed in response to a real or illusionary threat, as a means to alleviate anxiety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Perspectives on Emotion, Behavior, and Cognition)
Open AccessArticle Fusiform Correlates of Facial Memory in Autism
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 348-371; doi:10.3390/bs3030348
Received: 11 May 2013 / Revised: 26 June 2013 / Accepted: 26 June 2013 / Published: 8 July 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prior studies have shown that performance on standardized measures of memory in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is substantially reduced in comparison to matched typically developing controls (TDC). Given reported deficits in face processing in autism, the current study compared performance [...] Read more.
Prior studies have shown that performance on standardized measures of memory in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is substantially reduced in comparison to matched typically developing controls (TDC). Given reported deficits in face processing in autism, the current study compared performance on an immediate and delayed facial memory task for individuals with ASD and TDC. In addition, we examined volumetric differences in classic facial memory regions of interest (ROI) between the two groups, including the fusiform, amygdala, and hippocampus. We then explored the relationship between ROI volume and facial memory performance. We found larger volumes in the autism group in the left amygdala and left hippocampus compared to TDC. In contrast, TDC had larger left fusiform gyrus volumes when compared with ASD. Interestingly, we also found significant negative correlations between delayed facial memory performance and volume of the left and right fusiform and the left hippocampus for the ASD group but not for TDC. The possibility of larger fusiform volume as a marker of abnormal connectivity and decreased facial memory is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Memory Deficits Related to Neuropsychiatric Disorders)
Open AccessArticle Emotional Verbal Fluency: A New Task on Emotion and Executive Function Interaction
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 372-387; doi:10.3390/bs3030372
Received: 3 May 2013 / Revised: 21 June 2013 / Accepted: 24 June 2013 / Published: 12 July 2013
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Abstract
The present study introduces “Emotional Verbal Fluency” as a novel (partially computerized) task, which is aimed to investigate the interaction between emotionally loaded words and executive functions. Verbal fluency tasks are thought to measure executive functions but the interaction with emotional aspects [...] Read more.
The present study introduces “Emotional Verbal Fluency” as a novel (partially computerized) task, which is aimed to investigate the interaction between emotionally loaded words and executive functions. Verbal fluency tasks are thought to measure executive functions but the interaction with emotional aspects is hardly investigated. In the current study, a group of healthy subjects (n = 21, mean age 25 years, 76% females) were asked to generate items that are either part of a semantic category (e.g., plants, toys, vehicles; standard semantic verbal fluency) or can trigger the emotions joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust. The results of the task revealed no differences between performance on semantic and emotional categories, suggesting a comparable task difficulty for healthy subjects. Hence, these first results on the comparison between semantic and emotional verbal fluency seem to highlight that both might be suitable for examining executive functioning. However, an interaction was found between the category type and repetition (first vs. second sequence of the same category) with larger performance decrease for semantic in comparison to emotional categories. Best performance overall was found for the emotional category “joy” suggesting a positivity bias in healthy subjects. To conclude, emotional verbal fluency is a promising approach to investigate emotional components in an executive task, which may stimulate further research, especially in psychiatric patients who suffer from emotional as well as cognitive deficits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Perspectives on Emotion, Behavior, and Cognition)
Open AccessCommunication Jung’s “Psychology with the Psyche” and the Behavioral Sciences
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 408-417; doi:10.3390/bs3030408
Received: 26 June 2013 / Revised: 9 July 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 18 July 2013
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Abstract
The behavioral sciences and Jung’s analytical psychology are set apart by virtue of their respective histories, epistemologies, and definitions of subject matter. This brief paper identifies Jung’s scientific stance, notes perceptions of Jung and obstacles for bringing his system of thought into [...] Read more.
The behavioral sciences and Jung’s analytical psychology are set apart by virtue of their respective histories, epistemologies, and definitions of subject matter. This brief paper identifies Jung’s scientific stance, notes perceptions of Jung and obstacles for bringing his system of thought into the fold of the behavioral sciences. The impact of the “science versus art” debate on Jung’s stance is considered with attention to its unfolding in the fin de siècle era. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Psychology: Theory and Practice) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Psychological Detachment in the Relationship between Job Stressors and Strain
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 418-433; doi:10.3390/bs3030418
Received: 31 May 2013 / Revised: 7 July 2013 / Accepted: 16 July 2013 / Published: 23 July 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (164 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We investigated the mediating versus moderating role of psychological detachment in the relationship between job stressors and psychological strain. Our sample consisted of 173 university students invested in challenging programs of advanced professional studies, who could find it difficult to detach from [...] Read more.
We investigated the mediating versus moderating role of psychological detachment in the relationship between job stressors and psychological strain. Our sample consisted of 173 university students invested in challenging programs of advanced professional studies, who could find it difficult to detach from work. Hierarchical regression analyses of cross-sectional survey data affirmed the role of psychological detachment as a mediator in the relationship between job demands and perceived stress. Detachment also mediated the relationship between job demands and satisfaction with life, although the association disappeared when controlling for negative affectivity. Detachment did not mediate relationships between job demands and cognitive failures. Psychological detachment did not moderate any of the investigated relationships. The study contributes to a view of psychological detachment as less subject to individual differences than to the imposition of stressors in the given context. Full article
Open AccessArticle Nausea in Specific Phobia of Vomiting
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 445-458; doi:10.3390/bs3030445
Received: 4 June 2013 / Revised: 24 July 2013 / Accepted: 25 July 2013 / Published: 15 August 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (185 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Specific phobia of vomiting (SPOV) is a clinical condition with early onset, chronic course and substantial psychosocial impairment due to a rigorous avoidance behavior. A primary symptom which drives patients to consult a medical practitioner is nausea. In this study our aim [...] Read more.
Specific phobia of vomiting (SPOV) is a clinical condition with early onset, chronic course and substantial psychosocial impairment due to a rigorous avoidance behavior. A primary symptom which drives patients to consult a medical practitioner is nausea. In this study our aim was to further analyze this symptom of SPOV and examined its role in the development and manifestation of the phobia. We conducted an internet survey in the german SPOV-internet-forum. We calculated a nausea score and grouped participants in a high- and low-nausea group to examine the relationship between nausea and characteristics of the fear of vomiting. In this sample (N = 131), nausea was fairly common in most participants with fear of vomiting. Participants in the high-nausea group had significantly higher ratings of subjective fear and significantly longer duration of fear of vomiting. Additionally, the high-nausea group contained more participants with a body mass index below 19 than the low-nausea group. The present findings suggest that nausea is a core symptom in SPOV which is closely related to intensity of the fear, duration of the fear, and body weight. Future research should investigate if nausea-specific design of treatment could improve therapy outcome. Full article
Open AccessArticle Explaining Differential Reporting of Victimization between Parents and Children: A Consideration of Social Biases
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 473-491; doi:10.3390/bs3030473
Received: 27 June 2013 / Revised: 31 July 2013 / Accepted: 2 August 2013 / Published: 16 August 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studies have shown that children and parents provide different reports of children’s victimization, with children often reporting more victimization. However, the reason for this differential reporting is unclear. This study explored two types of social biases (emotion recognition and perceived impairment) in [...] Read more.
Studies have shown that children and parents provide different reports of children’s victimization, with children often reporting more victimization. However, the reason for this differential reporting is unclear. This study explored two types of social biases (emotion recognition and perceived impairment) in parents and children as possible reasons underlying differential reporting. Six- to 10-year-old children and one of their parents were tested in a lab. Testing included subjective measures of parent alexithymic traits, child perceived impairment from victimization, and child- and parent-reported frequency of children’s peer victimization and internalizing and externalizing difficulties. Parents and children also completed an objective measure of emotion recognition. Both types of social bias significantly predicted reports of children’s peer victimization frequency as well as internalizing and externalizing difficulties, as rated by parents and children. Moreover, child perceived impairment bias, rather than parent emotion bias, best predicted differential reporting of peer victimization. Finally, a significant interaction demonstrated that the influence of child perceived impairment bias on differential reporting was most salient in the presence of parent emotion bias. This underscores the importance of expanding interventions for victimized youth to include the restructuring of social biases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Perspectives on Emotion, Behavior, and Cognition)
Open AccessArticle Beatrice Hinkle and the Early History of Jungian Psychology in New York
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 492-500; doi:10.3390/bs3030492
Received: 24 June 2013 / Revised: 26 July 2013 / Accepted: 6 August 2013 / Published: 20 August 2013
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Abstract
As the leading proponent of psychoanalysis, Jung made trips to New York in 1912 and 1913. The first was to give his Fordham lectures, the second has escaped notice but was crucial in the early dissemination of Jungian psychology in the U.S. [...] Read more.
As the leading proponent of psychoanalysis, Jung made trips to New York in 1912 and 1913. The first was to give his Fordham lectures, the second has escaped notice but was crucial in the early dissemination of Jungian psychology in the U.S. This paper will elaborate on this development by highlighting the career and influence of Beatrice Hinkle, the country’s first Jungian psychoanalyst. She was an M.D. and ardent feminist who introduced Jung to her Greenwich Village circle, translated his magnum opus Transformations and Symbols of the Libido, and helped establish the institutional basis of Jungian psychology in America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Psychology: Theory and Practice) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle On the Evolution and Optimality of Mood States
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 501-521; doi:10.3390/bs3030501
Received: 5 June 2013 / Accepted: 31 July 2013 / Published: 26 August 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (380 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Moods can be regarded as fluctuating dispositions to make positive and negative evaluations. Developing an evolutionary approach to mood as an adaptive process, we consider the structure and function of such states in guiding behavioural decisions regarding the acquisition of resources and [...] Read more.
Moods can be regarded as fluctuating dispositions to make positive and negative evaluations. Developing an evolutionary approach to mood as an adaptive process, we consider the structure and function of such states in guiding behavioural decisions regarding the acquisition of resources and the avoidance of harm in different circumstances. We use a drift diffusion model of decision making to consider the information required by individuals to optimise decisions between two alternatives, such as whether to approach or withdraw from a stimulus that may be life enhancing or life threatening. We show that two dimensions of variation (expectation and preparedness) are sufficient for such optimal decisions to be made. These two dispositional dimensions enable individuals to maximize the overall benefits of behavioural decisions by modulating both the choice made (e.g., approach/withdraw) and decision speed. Such a structure is compatible with circumplex models of subjectively experienced mood and core affect, and provides testable hypotheses concerning the relationships that occur between valence and arousal components of mood in differing ecological niches. The paper is therefore a useful step toward being able to predict moods (and the effect of moods) using an optimality approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Perspectives on Emotion, Behavior, and Cognition)
Open AccessArticle Cognitive Predictors of Verbal Memory in a Mixed Clinical Pediatric Sample
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 522-535; doi:10.3390/bs3030522
Received: 22 July 2013 / Revised: 13 August 2013 / Accepted: 15 August 2013 / Published: 26 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (487 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Verbal memory problems, along with other cognitive difficulties, are common in children diagnosed with neurological and/or psychological disorders. Historically, these “memory problems” have been poorly characterized and often present with a heterogeneous pattern of performance across memory processes, even within a specific [...] Read more.
Verbal memory problems, along with other cognitive difficulties, are common in children diagnosed with neurological and/or psychological disorders. Historically, these “memory problems” have been poorly characterized and often present with a heterogeneous pattern of performance across memory processes, even within a specific diagnostic group. The current study examined archival neuropsychological data from a large mixed clinical pediatric sample in order to understand whether functioning in other cognitive areas (i.e., verbal knowledge, attention, working memory, executive functioning) may explain some of the performance variability seen across verbal memory tasks of the Children’s Memory Scale (CMS). Multivariate analyses revealed that among the cognitive functions examined, only verbal knowledge explained a significant amount of variance in overall verbal memory performance. Further univariate analyses examining the component processes of verbal memory indicated that verbal knowledge is specifically related to encoding, but not the retention or retrieval stages. Future research is needed to replicate these findings in other clinical samples, to examine whether verbal knowledge predicts performance on other verbal memory tasks and to explore whether these findings also hold true for visual memory tasks. Successful replication of the current study findings would indicate that interventions targeting verbal encoding deficits should include efforts to improve verbal knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Memory Deficits Related to Neuropsychiatric Disorders)

Review

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Open AccessReview Memory Deficits in Schizophrenia: A Selective Review of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Studies
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 330-347; doi:10.3390/bs3030330
Received: 9 May 2013 / Revised: 18 June 2013 / Accepted: 20 June 2013 / Published: 27 June 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Schizophrenia is a complex chronic mental illness that is characterized by positive, negative and cognitive symptoms. Cognitive deficits are most predictive of long-term outcomes, with abnormalities in memory being the most robust finding. The advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has [...] Read more.
Schizophrenia is a complex chronic mental illness that is characterized by positive, negative and cognitive symptoms. Cognitive deficits are most predictive of long-term outcomes, with abnormalities in memory being the most robust finding. The advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has allowed exploring neural correlates of memory deficits in vivo. In this article, we will give a selective review of fMRI studies probing brain regions and functional networks that are thought to be related to abnormal memory performance in two memory systems prominently affected in schizophrenia; working memory and episodic memory. We revisit the classic “hypofrontality” hypothesis of working memory deficits and explore evidence for frontotemporal dysconnectivity underlying episodic memory abnormalities. We conclude that fMRI studies of memory deficits in schizophrenia are far from universal. However, the current literature does suggest that alterations are not isolated to a few brain regions, but are characterized by abnormalities within large-scale brain networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Learning and Memory Deficits Related to Neuropsychiatric Disorders)
Open AccessReview Applying Evolutionary Thinking to the Study of Emotion
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 388-407; doi:10.3390/bs3030388
Received: 3 June 2013 / Revised: 3 July 2013 / Accepted: 8 July 2013 / Published: 17 July 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper argues for invoking evolutionary, functional thinking in analyzing emotions. It suggests that the fitness needs of normal individuals be kept in mind when trying to understand emotional behavior. This point of view is elaborated in sections addressing these topics: defining [...] Read more.
This paper argues for invoking evolutionary, functional thinking in analyzing emotions. It suggests that the fitness needs of normal individuals be kept in mind when trying to understand emotional behavior. This point of view is elaborated in sections addressing these topics: defining emotion; applying comparative analysis to the study of emotions; focusing on the elicitors and resulting motivated behaviors mediated by the various affects; recognizing that not all emotions have prominent, distinct facial expressions; acknowledging all of the basic emotions and not just some exemplars; crediting the more sensible Cannon-Bard theory over James-Lange; recognizing the more ancient, fundamental role of the limbic system in emotion compared with that of the neocortex; and analyzing socio-emotional interactions as they occur naturally, not just individual emotional behavior studied under artificial conditions. Describing the various facets and neuroendocrine mechanisms of each basic emotion can provide a framework for understanding the normal and pathological development of each emotion. Such an inventory, or ethogram, would provide a comprehensive list of all of the observable behavioral tendencies of our species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Perspectives on Emotion, Behavior, and Cognition)
Open AccessReview On the Function of Boredom
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 459-472; doi:10.3390/bs3030459
Received: 16 June 2013 / Revised: 3 August 2013 / Accepted: 8 August 2013 / Published: 15 August 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Boredom is frequently considered inconsequential and has received relatively little research attention. We argue that boredom has important implications for human functioning, based on emotion theory and empirical evidence. Specifically, we argue that boredom motivates pursuit of new goals when the previous [...] Read more.
Boredom is frequently considered inconsequential and has received relatively little research attention. We argue that boredom has important implications for human functioning, based on emotion theory and empirical evidence. Specifically, we argue that boredom motivates pursuit of new goals when the previous goal is no longer beneficial. Exploring alternate goals and experiences allows the attainment of goals that might be missed if people fail to reengage. Similar to other discrete emotions, we propose that boredom has specific and unique impacts on behavior, cognition, experience and physiology. Consistent with a broader argument that boredom encourages the behavioral pursuit of alternative goals, we argue that, while bored, attention to the current task is reduced, the experience of boredom is negative and aversive, and that boredom increases autonomic arousal to ready the pursuit of alternatives. By motivating desire for change from the current state, boredom increases opportunities to attain social, cognitive, emotional and experiential stimulation that could have been missed. We review the limited extant literature to support these claims, and call for more experimental boredom research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Perspectives on Emotion, Behavior, and Cognition)

Other

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Open AccessBrief Report Traumatic Brain Injury, Boredom and Depression
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 434-444; doi:10.3390/bs3030434
Received: 20 June 2013 / Revised: 18 July 2013 / Accepted: 25 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often presents with co-morbid depression and elevated levels of boredom. We explored the relationship between boredom and depression in a group of mild (n = 38), moderate-to-severe TBI patients (n = 14) and healthy controls (n [...] Read more.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often presents with co-morbid depression and elevated levels of boredom. We explored the relationship between boredom and depression in a group of mild (n = 38), moderate-to-severe TBI patients (n = 14) and healthy controls (n = 88), who completed the Beck Depression Inventory and Boredom Proneness Scales as part of a larger study. Results showed that the relationship between boredom and depression was strongest in moderate-to-severe TBI patients. We explored two boredom proneness factors that index an individual’s need for external or internal stimulation. Results indicated that the need for external stimulation was the critical driver in the relation between boredom and depression. Once again, this relationship was strongest in the moderate-to-severe TBI group. These results suggest that one common factor underlying boredom and depression is the need for stimulation from the external environment and, presumably, a failure to satisfy that need—a disconnection felt most strongly in moderate-to-severe TBI. Full article

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