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Special Issue "Survey about Psychological Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Paola Gremigni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy.
Interests: psychometrics; assessment; psychological health and well-being; personality; emotions; health behavior; patient-doctor communication; patient centered care; clinical and health psychology
Prof. Dr. Giulia Casu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy
Interests: psychometrics; assessment; data analysis; psychological health and well-being; personality; emotions; patient centered care; caregivers’ behavior and health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) focuses on the current state of knowledge on psychological health and its risk and protective factors. Psychological health has been defined as the development of an individual’s optimal state of mind within the limits of maintaining physical, mental, and emotional compatibility with others. Psychological health is therefore a social psychological notion that refers to the individual and the social context within which he or she is observed. It includes conditions that are necessary but not sufficient, such as the absence of mental disease, statistical normality, successful survival, and feelings of well-being. Psychological health is of great interest for both researchers and public health specialists due to the high prevalence of psychological health problems, the influence that a person's psychological health status may have on his or her physical health, and the possibility to develop interventions to prevent disorders and promote well-being. The objective of gaining a positive psychological health status for the population requires knowledge of the mechanisms and factors that determine or influence psychological health at the individual and the societal level.

Papers dealing with the assessment of any specific factors that might be associated with an increased risk of psychological morbidity or any protective factors that might promote an optimal psychological functioning are welcome. Discussions related to practice implications, indications for intervention, and evidence of treatment efficacy are also welcome. The manuscript types accepted include new research papers, reviews, case reports, conference papers, methodological papers, position papers, brief reports, and commentaries.

Prof. Dr. Paola Gremigni
Prof. Dr. Giulia Casu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • assessment
  • psychological health
  • mental well-being
  • risk factors
  • protective factors
  • practice implications
  • psychological intervention

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Sequential Path Model Testing: Emotional Intelligence, Resilient Coping and Self-Esteem as Predictors of Depressive Symptoms during Unemployment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020697 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 869
Abstract
The unemployment rate has dramatically increased in southern Europe in the last decade. Although it is well-known that unemployment impairs mental health, the specific roles of personal resources like emotional intelligence (EI) and potential underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Prior studies have shown that [...] Read more.
The unemployment rate has dramatically increased in southern Europe in the last decade. Although it is well-known that unemployment impairs mental health, the specific roles of personal resources like emotional intelligence (EI) and potential underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Prior studies have shown that resilience and self-esteem are mediators in the link between EI and mental health. The present study aims to bridge these gaps by testing a sequential path model. Specifically, we propose that EI is associated with lower depressive symptoms, which is explained by higher resilient coping strategies and a resulting increased self-esteem among unemployed individuals. A sample of Spanish unemployed persons completed measures of EI, resilience, self-esteem and depression. The results showed that higher levels of EI were positively associated with resilience and self-esteem and negatively related to depressive symptoms. Path analyses showed that resilience and self-esteem mediated the relation between EI and depression in sequence. These findings suggest that EI plays a key role in promoting mental health and provide preliminary evidence regarding potential mechanisms through which EI contributes to mental health during unemployment. Implications for assessing the absence of these positive resources in developing effective job search programs geared toward promoting mental health and re-employment are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
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Article
Evidence for a Bifactor Structure of the Caregiving Questionnaire with Individuals Involved in Different and Same-Sex Couple Relationships
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249306 - 12 Dec 2020
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Despite the Caregiving Questionnaire (CQ) being a widely used measure for the study of caregiving behavior in the context of romantic relationships, to date, few studies have focused on empirically evaluating its underlying theoretical structure. The aim of this study was to examine [...] Read more.
Despite the Caregiving Questionnaire (CQ) being a widely used measure for the study of caregiving behavior in the context of romantic relationships, to date, few studies have focused on empirically evaluating its underlying theoretical structure. The aim of this study was to examine the factorial structure and equivalence across sex and sexual orientation of this instrument. A sample of 912 Chilean individuals currently involved in a couple relationship completed the Caregiving Questionnaire and the Experiences in Close Relationship Scale. After comparing various traditional Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA)models, the results provide support for a multidimensional and hierarchical nature of a brief 16-items version of the CQ. More specifically, the analyses supported a bifactor-CFA solution composed of two global factors and four specific factors, suggesting that they add information to the caregiving construct in the context of couple relationships. Additionally, the scale showed measurement invariance across sex and sexual orientation. Finally, significant associations were found between CQ scores with measures of romantic attachment in the expected directions. Theoretical implications about the nature of the caregiving system are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
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Article
Perception of Dating Violence in Teenage Couples: A Cross Validation Study in Spain and Colombia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6769; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186769 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Background: dating violence, or violence in teenage couples, is a socially interesting topic, due to its prevalence and its possible use in predicting violence in adult couples. The perception of violence, or the detection of abusive behaviors by teenagers and young people (which [...] Read more.
Background: dating violence, or violence in teenage couples, is a socially interesting topic, due to its prevalence and its possible use in predicting violence in adult couples. The perception of violence, or the detection of abusive behaviors by teenagers and young people (which can be considered as equivalent concepts), is essential to prevent violence itself. Therefore, the main objective of this research is to determine which behaviors are identified as abusive by teenagers and young people, and the severity that they attribute to them—meaning how they perceive them. Moreover, we will be able to determine whether there are differences between boys and girls in two countries: Spain and Colombia. Methods: for this study, we used two samples from both countries, with a total of 389 teenagers (50.9% females and 49.1% males) who were, on average, 16.56 years old (SD = 1.94 years). We analyzed the factorial invariance depending on sex and country of the sample and the different profiles of violence perception. Results: we found evidence of the internal validity of the questionnaire for what concerns the perception of inter-partner violence. The results point out that the perception of violence in the relationship is composed of two factors related to each other (Multiple and Emotional Abuse), which are invariant depending of sex and country of origin of the sample. The internal consistency of the test is adequate (>0.90). The analysis of the violence perception profiles indicates that Spanish teenagers have a higher perception of it, and, also, that girls hold a higher perception than boys. Conclusions: the results of this research have shown how dating violence (or violence in teenage couples) is differentially perceived not only between genders, but also across cultural contexts. Moreover, these outcomes may enhance the development of possible evidence-based interventions approaching the social problem generated by violence in teenage couples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
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Article
Future Time Perspective and Perceived Social Support: The Mediating Role of Gratitude
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6707; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186707 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 692
Abstract
Future time perspective, perceived social support, and dispositional gratitude are topics of interest that positively influence people’s psychological health. Although gratitude has been positively associated with future time perspective and social support, this is the first study to investigate its mediating role in [...] Read more.
Future time perspective, perceived social support, and dispositional gratitude are topics of interest that positively influence people’s psychological health. Although gratitude has been positively associated with future time perspective and social support, this is the first study to investigate its mediating role in the relationships of future time perspective with perceived social support. A convenience sample of 1256 adults (55.1% women), mean age 34.55 years (SD = 13.92), completed self-reported measures of future time perspective (conceptualized as remaining time and opportunities), dispositional gratitude, and received and given social support. Results indicated that higher dispositional gratitude mediated the relationship between the perception of more remaining time and opportunities and greater perception of received and given social support. These findings highlight the importance of considering dispositional characteristics to better understand the impact of perceived future on the individuals’ subjective experience of social exchanges. Interventions addressing future time perspective and dispositional gratitude might have beneficial effects on individuals’ social well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
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Article
Spontaneous Participation in Secondary Prevention Programs: The Role of Psychosocial Predictors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176298 - 29 Aug 2020
Viewed by 710
Abstract
Disease prevention is a multifaceted construct that has been widely studied. Nevertheless, in spite of its importance, it is still not sufficiently considered by the general population. Since the reasons for this lack of consideration are not yet fully understood, we created an [...] Read more.
Disease prevention is a multifaceted construct that has been widely studied. Nevertheless, in spite of its importance, it is still not sufficiently considered by the general population. Since the reasons for this lack of consideration are not yet fully understood, we created an Online Prevention Survey (OPS) to investigate the role of both sociodemographic and psychological factors in predicting individuals’ spontaneous participation in secondary prevention programs. The results revealed that younger people, men, manual workers, unemployed people, and those who do not regularly practise physical activity were less likely to spontaneously participate in such programs. Furthermore, an analysis of the psychological determinants of the willingness to participate in secondary prevention programs showed that depressive symptoms negatively predict it, while an individual’s perception of receiving high social support acts as a positive predictor. Based on these results, we suggest the need for implementing new tailored approaches to promote prevention initiatives to those segments of the population which are more reluctant to spontaneously undertake prevention paths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
Article
Associations of Self-Efficacy, Optimism, and Empathy with Psychological Health in Healthcare Volunteers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 6001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17166001 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1226
Abstract
Optimism and self-efficacy have been associated with psychological health. Empathy has also been found to have a unique role in community health volunteering and promote positive functioning. This study investigated whether self-efficacy and optimism were associated with psychological health in terms of psychological [...] Read more.
Optimism and self-efficacy have been associated with psychological health. Empathy has also been found to have a unique role in community health volunteering and promote positive functioning. This study investigated whether self-efficacy and optimism were associated with psychological health in terms of psychological and subjective well-being in healthcare volunteers. It also investigated whether empathy added to the explanation of psychological health, over and above that accounted for by self-efficacy and optimism. A convenience sample of 160 Italian clown doctors volunteering in various hospitals completed self-report measures of self-efficacy, optimism, empathy, psychological well-being, and subjective well-being. Results of hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that self-efficacy and optimism were associated with both outcomes and that aspects of empathy, such as others’ perspective taking and personal distress for others’ difficulties, added to the explanation of psychological health with opposite effects. The present study adds to previous research on the role of self-efficacy, optimism, and empathy for community health volunteers’ psychological health. It also offers suggestions regarding the training for this type of volunteer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
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Article
The Relationship between the COVID-19 Pandemic and Nursing Students’ Sense of Belonging: The Experiences and Nursing Education Management of Pre-Service Nursing Professionals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165848 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2316
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the orders and structures of societies, particularly in the fields of medical and nursing professions. The researcher aims to understand the experiences, sense of belonging, and decision-making processes about Japanese pre-service nursing students and how the COVID-19 pandemic, [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the orders and structures of societies, particularly in the fields of medical and nursing professions. The researcher aims to understand the experiences, sense of belonging, and decision-making processes about Japanese pre-service nursing students and how the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing, and lockdown has influenced their understanding as pre-service nursing professionals in Japan. As this study focuses on the issues of pre-service nursing students, the researcher invited forty-nine pre-service nursing students for a virtual interview due to the recommendation of social distancing. To increase the coverage of the population, the researcher employed snowball sampling to recruit participants from all over Japan. Although the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the overall performance of the medical and nursing professions, all participants showed a sense of belonging as Japanese citizens and nursing professionals due to the natural disaster of their country. More importantly, all expressed their desires and missions to upgrade and improve the overall performance of the public health system due to the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results discovered that many Japanese nursing students advocated that Japan’s national development, the benefits and advantages of their country, were of a greater importance than their own personal development and goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
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Article
How Does COVID-19 Pandemic Influence the Sense of Belonging and Decision-Making Process of Nursing Students: The Study of Nursing Students’ Experiences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5603; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155603 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4214
Abstract
Financial consideration, internal and external influence, personal goal, and educational achievement always influence the decision-making process and behavior of individuals. Using nursing students as the population, the researcher employed the Social Cognitive Career Theory as the theoretical framework to examine the nursing human [...] Read more.
Financial consideration, internal and external influence, personal goal, and educational achievement always influence the decision-making process and behavior of individuals. Using nursing students as the population, the researcher employed the Social Cognitive Career Theory as the theoretical framework to examine the nursing human resources shortages and how would the COVID-19 pandemic influence the experiences, sense of belonging, and career decision-making process of 58 nursing students in South Korea. The researcher categorized the sharing into two groups, which were before the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results indicated that financial consideration was the significant reason why South Korean nursing students decided to study nursing regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic. More importantly, almost all participants decided to leave the nursing profession due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the consideration between financial factor and personal sacrifice. The outcomes of this study provided a blueprint for human resources professionals, government leaders, policymakers, school leaders, and hospital managers to reform their current curriculum and human resources planning to overcome the potential human resources gaps in the soon future due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
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Article
Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms Screening in Cardiac Inpatients: A Virtuous Italian Approach to Psychocardiology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5007; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145007 - 12 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
Despite the fact that American Heart Association (AHA) recommended a systematic screening for depression in cardiovascular inpatients, poor attention has been given to this issue. Furthermore, no specific guidelines exist for anxiety screening in cardiovascular inpatients. Thus, the aims of this study were [...] Read more.
Despite the fact that American Heart Association (AHA) recommended a systematic screening for depression in cardiovascular inpatients, poor attention has been given to this issue. Furthermore, no specific guidelines exist for anxiety screening in cardiovascular inpatients. Thus, the aims of this study were to verify the feasibility of a depressive and anxiety symptoms screening protocol in an Italian hospital specializing in cardiovascular diseases and to evaluate both anxiety and depressive symptoms prevalence. A group of 2009 consecutive inpatients completed the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7). The rates of depressive and anxiety symptoms were almost 9% and 16% respectively. Men were less likely than women to experience both depressive and anxiety symptoms. Patients who were admitted to the heart failure unit reported higher risk of experiencing both symptoms compared to patients in other wards. Similarly, patients admitted to the cardiac surgery unit showed a higher risk of experiencing anxiety symptoms compared to other patients. The proposed screening procedure showed a good feasibility and acceptance. This study highlighted the importance of implementing a short screening procedure in hospitals dealing with cardiovascular inpatients to identify those individuals who require specific attention and interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
Article
Promoting a Safe Environment in Our Cities: Towards a Theoretical Model of “Moral Deficit” for Appropriate Psychopathic Therapy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 4968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144968 - 10 Jul 2020
Viewed by 914
Abstract
The increasing reported incidents of knife crime in cities and the release on parole of “rehabilitated” violent criminals are creating an unsafe urban environment. Such occurrences suggest that measures taken to address psychopathic-oriented behaviour may have been ineffective because the individual’s degree of [...] Read more.
The increasing reported incidents of knife crime in cities and the release on parole of “rehabilitated” violent criminals are creating an unsafe urban environment. Such occurrences suggest that measures taken to address psychopathic-oriented behaviour may have been ineffective because the individual’s degree of “moral deficit” is not fully accounted for in the application of specific therapies. This study developed a theoretical model of “moral deficit” that is aligned with the appropriateness of therapy, ranging from the extreme “classical approach” of total confinement justified by a belief in the incurability of psychopaths to the modern therapy that aims to reintegrate the psychopath with society using “moralizing therapy”. Analysis of secondary data from extant literature was used to develop the theoretical model of “moral deficit”. Secondary data analysis suggests that the extent of psychopathic “moral deficit” may be an important factor in the selection of appropriate therapeutic measures for psychopathy treatment and the rehabilitation of psychopaths as law-abiding members of society. We conclude that a specific type of psychopathic moral deficit may have an important bearing on the appropriateness of treatment. It is recommended that the treatment of psychopathy makes greater provision for the extent and type of psychopathic “moral deficit” in assessing the most appropriate applications for the treatment of psychopathy and promoting the safety of urban environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
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Communication
Tailored Sailing Experience to Reduce Psychological Distress and Improve the Quality of Life of Breast Cancer Survivors: A Survey-Based Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4406; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124406 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
Background: Growing evidence indicates that physical/sporting activities may improve the health outcomes and quality of life (QoL) of breast cancer (BC) survivors. Since recent reports have suggested that sailing can improve the psychophysical well-being and QoL of people with disabilities, this pilot [...] Read more.
Background: Growing evidence indicates that physical/sporting activities may improve the health outcomes and quality of life (QoL) of breast cancer (BC) survivors. Since recent reports have suggested that sailing can improve the psychophysical well-being and QoL of people with disabilities, this pilot study evaluated the effectiveness of a tailored sailing experience on the QoL and psychological distress (PD) of BC survivors. Methods: A group of 19 breast cancer survivors, who were attending the Cancer Rehabilitation Center in Florence, were invited to participate in a sailing school and completed a survey based on a structured online questionnaire assessing QoL and PD both on departure (baseline) and one week after returning (follow-up). The survey comprised a first part (i.e., sociodemographic characteristics and the practice of physical/sporting activities at baseline; sailing experience satisfaction at follow-up) and a second part (i.e., Short Form-12 (SF-12), State/Trait-Anxiety Inventory form Y (STAI-Y), distress thermometer questionnaires). A paired Student’s t-test was used to compare the baseline versus follow-up QoL and PD scores. Results: A statistically significant improvement in SF-12 mental component scores and a reduction in both STAI-Y state/trait components and distress thermometer scores were found after the sailing experience. Conclusions: We conclude that sailing practice could be a feasible intervention to increase the psychophysical well-being of BC survivors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)

Other

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Study Protocol
Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being among Adolescent Young Carers in Europe: A Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2045; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042045 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1166
Abstract
It is estimated that 4–8% of youth in Europe carry out substantial care for a family member or significant other. To prevent adverse psychosocial outcomes in young carers (YCs), primary prevention resilience building interventions have been recommended. We describe the study protocol of [...] Read more.
It is estimated that 4–8% of youth in Europe carry out substantial care for a family member or significant other. To prevent adverse psychosocial outcomes in young carers (YCs), primary prevention resilience building interventions have been recommended. We describe the study protocol of an international randomized controlled trial (RCT) of an innovative group intervention designed to promote the mental health and well-being of adolescent YCs (AYCs) aged 15–17. The RCT will be conducted in six European countries in the context of the Horizon 2020 European funded research and innovation project “Psychosocial support for promoting mental health and well-being among adolescent young caregivers in Europe” (“ME-WE”). The ME-WE intervention is based on Hayes and Ciarrochi’s psychoeducational model for adolescents and will consist of seven 2-h sessions in a group format, aimed to help AYCs build psychological flexibility and live according to their values. The control group will be a waitlist. Primary and secondary outcomes and control variables will be measured at baseline (T0), post-intervention (T1) and 3 months follow-up (T2). The COVID-19 pandemic has made amendments necessary to the original study protocol methodology, which we describe in detail. This study will contribute to building an evidence-based manualized program that educators and health and social care professionals can use to support AYCs in their transition to adulthood. From a research perspective, the outcomes of this study will contribute to evidence-based practices in primary prevention of psychosocial difficulties in AYCs and will gather novel knowledge on the effectiveness of Hayes and Ciarrochi’s model for use with middle adolescents with caring responsibilities. The trial has been preregistered (registration number: NCT04114864). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
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Brief Report
Profiles on the Orientation Discrimination Processing of Human Faces
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5772; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165772 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 615
Abstract
Face recognition is a crucial subject for public health, as socialization is one of the main characteristics for full citizenship. However, good recognizers would be distinguished, not only by the number of faces they discriminate but also by the number of rejected stimuli [...] Read more.
Face recognition is a crucial subject for public health, as socialization is one of the main characteristics for full citizenship. However, good recognizers would be distinguished, not only by the number of faces they discriminate but also by the number of rejected stimuli as unfamiliar. When it comes to face recognition, it is important to remember that position, to some extent, would not entail a high cognitive cost, unlike other processes in similar areas of the brain. The aim of this paper was to examine participant’s recognition profiles according to face position. For this reason, a recognition task was carried out by employing the Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces. Reaction times and accuracy were employed as dependent variables and a cluster analysis was carried out. A total of two profiles were identified in participants’ performance, which differ in position in terms of reaction times but not accuracy. The results can be described as follows: first, it is possible to identify performance profiles in visual recognition of faces that differ in position in terms of reaction times, not accuracy; secondly, results suggest a bias towards the left. At the applied level, this could be of interest with a view to conducting training programs in face recognition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Survey about Psychological Health)
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