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The dominant paradigm of experiments in the social and behavioral sciences views an experiment as a test of a theory, where the theory is assumed to generalize beyond the experiment's specific conditions. According to this view, which Alan Newell once characterized as “playing twenty questions with nature,” theory is advanced one experiment at a time, and the integration of disparate findings is assumed to happen via the scientific publishing process. In this article, we argue that the process of integration is at best inefficient, and at worst it does not, in fact, occur. We further show that the challenge of integration cannot be adequately addressed by recently proposed reforms that focus on the reliability and replicability of individual findings, nor simply by conducting more or larger experiments. Rather, the problem arises from the imprecise nature of social and behavioral theories and, consequently, a lack of commensurability across experiments conducted under different conditions. Therefore, researchers must fundamentally rethink how they design experiments and how the experiments relate to theory. We specifically describe an alternative framework, integrative experiment design, which intrinsically promotes commensurability and continuous integration of knowledge. In this paradigm, researchers explicitly map the design space of possible experiments associated with a given research question, embracing many potentially relevant theories rather than focusing on just one. The researchers then iteratively generate theories and test them with experiments explicitly sampled from the design space, allowing results to be integrated across experiments. Given recent methodological and technological developments, we conclude that this approach is feasible and would generate more-reliable, more-cumulative empirical and theoretical knowledge than the current paradigm—and with far greater efficiency.
Dubourg and Baumard posited that preferences for exploration are the key to the popularity in imaginary worlds. This commentary argues that other forms of exploration may also account for the success and appeal of specific types of imaginary worlds, namely self-exploration within interactive imaginary worlds such as videogames.
To explore communities’ perspectives on the factors in the social food environment that influence dietary behaviours in African cities.
A qualitative study using participatory photography (Photovoice). Participants took and discussed photographs representing factors in the social food environment that influence their dietary behaviours. Follow-up in-depth interviews allowed participants to tell the ‘stories’ of their photographs. Thematic analysis was conducted, using data-driven and theory-driven (based on the socio-ecological model) approaches.
Three low-income areas of Nairobi (n 48) in Kenya and Accra (n 62) and Ho (n 32) in Ghana.
Adolescents and adults, male and female aged ≥13 years.
The ‘people’ who were most commonly reported as influencers of dietary behaviours within the social food environment included family members, friends, health workers and food vendors. They mainly influenced food purchase, preparation and consumption, through (1) considerations for family members’ food preferences, (2) considerations for family members’ health and nutrition needs, (3) social support by family and friends, (4) provision of nutritional advice and modelling food behaviour by parents and health professionals, (5) food vendors’ services and social qualities.
The family presents an opportunity for promoting healthy dietary behaviours among family members. Peer groups could be harnessed to promote healthy dietary behaviours among adolescents and youth. Empowering food vendors to provide healthier and safer food options could enhance healthier food sourcing, purchasing and consumption in African low-income urban communities.
Psychological research in the past decade has investigated the psychosocial implications of problematic use of on-demand online video streaming services, particularly series watching. Yet, a psychometric measure of problematic series watching in English is not available.
The present study aimed to test the factor structure, reliability and criterion-related validity of the English version of the Problematic Series Watching Scale, a six-item self-report assessing problematic series watching, based on the biopsychosocial components model of addiction.
Participants were recruited from two UK university student samples. Study 1 (n = 333) comprised confirmatory factor analysis, reliability tests and item response theory analyses to test the original unidimensional model and investigate each item's levels of discrimination and information. Study 2 (n = 209) comprised correlation analyses to test the criterion-related validity of the scale.
There was a good fit of the theoretical model of the scale to the data (Comparative Fit Index = 0.998, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation = 0.024 [90% CI 0.000–0.093], Standardised Root Mean square Residual = 0.048), satisfactory reliability (ω = 0.79) and item levels of discrimination and information. The scale positively correlated with time spent watching series (rs = 0.26, P < 0.001) and negative affect (rs = 0.43, P < 0.001), and correlated negatively with positive affect (rs = −0.12, P > 0.05), mental well-being (rs = −0.25, P < 0.001) and sleep quality (rs = −0.14, P < 0.05).
Results are discussed in relation to the ongoing debate on binge watching and series watching in the context of positive reinforcement versus problematic behaviour.
Monitoring of cryptic or threatened species poses challenges for population assessment and conservation, as imperfect detection gives rise to misleading inferences about population status. We used a dynamic occupancy model that explicitly accounted for occupancy, colonization, local extinction and detectability to assess the status of the endemic Critically Endangered Bermuda skink Plestiodon longirostris. During 2015–2017, skinks were detected at 13 of 40 surveyed sites in Bermuda, two of which were new records. Ten observation-level and site-specific covariates were used to explore drivers of occupancy, colonization, extinction and detectability. Sites occupied by skinks tended to be islands with rocky coastal habitat and prickly pear cacti; the same variables were also associated with reduced risk of local extinction. The presence of seabirds appeared to encourage colonization, whereas the presence of cats had the opposite effect. The probability of detection was p = 0.45, and on average, five surveys were needed to reliably detect the presence of skinks with 95% certainty. However, skinks were unlikely to be detected on sites with cat and rat predators. Dynamic occupancy models can be used to elucidate drivers of occupancy dynamics, which in turn can inform species conservation management. The survey effort needed to determine population changes over time can be derived from estimates of detectability.
The severity of COVID-19 remains high worldwide. Therefore, millions of individuals are likely to suffer from fear of COVID-19 and related mental health factors.
The present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to synthesize empirical evidence to understand fear of COVID-19 and its associations with mental health-related problems during this pandemic period.
Relevant studies were searched for on five databases (Scopus, ProQuest, EMBASE, PubMed Central, and ISI Web of Knowledge), using relevant terms (COVID-19-related fear, anxiety, depression, mental health-related factors, mental well-being and sleep problems). All studies were included for analyses irrespective of their methodological quality, and the impact of quality on pooled effect size was examined by subgroup analysis.
The meta-analysis pooled data from 91 studies comprising 88 320 participants (mean age 38.88 years; 60.66% females) from 36 countries. The pooled estimated mean of fear of COVID-19 was 13.11 (out of 35), using the Fear of COVID-19 Scale. The associations between fear of COVID-19 and mental health-related factors were mostly moderate (Fisher's z = 0.56 for mental health-related factors; 0.54 for anxiety; 0.42 for stress; 0.40 for depression; 0.29 for sleep problems and –0.24 for mental well-being). Methodological quality did not affect these associations.
Fear of COVID-19 has associations with various mental health-related factors. Therefore, programmes for reducing fear of COVID-19 and improving mental health are needed.
This chapter surveys archaic and classical Greek ideas about music and memory. It first asks why song-producers and audiences, while readily acknowledging the effectiveness and value of music’s verbal components as preservers and enhancers of memory, do not seem to recognize the purely musical elements as being especially “memorable.” Second, I turn to Aristotle, seeking to piece together how he thinks music – along with “voice” and sounds in general – functions in relation to memory, primarily through the psychological-somatic workings of the human “imagination,” i.e., his notions of affect (pathos) and phantasia. Even while Aristotle does not address musical memory directly, his work provides a sophisticated account of the material and physiological processes whereby hearing and memory operate in humans and other animals – adumbrating modern accounts based on a more accurate understanding of neurology and cognition. At the same time, since ancient music was experienced live (rather than through recordings or broadcasts) and could never be exactly repeated, there existed a different relationship between present and past in music-listening than most of us are used to today.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the levels of possible internet addiction, gaming addiction, gambling addiction and associated mental health difficulties in a secondary school population in Ireland.
An online survey containing questions related to internet addiction, gaming addiction, gambling addiction and associated mental health difficulties was administered to secondary school adolescents in Ireland. Participants were self-selecting and answered questions on the characteristics of each topic and screening questionnaires for addiction to each behaviour, as well as their respective effects on mental health.
A total of 234 children participated in the survey (156 males; aged 12–18 years; average age of 14.2 years; S.D. 1.60). Internet addiction as assessed using the Chen Internet Addiction Scale was present for between 11.5% and 22.6% and levels of gaming addiction as assessed using by the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale–Short Form was present for between 0.5% and 1.6%. Weak positive correlations were found between time spent on the internet and time spent gaming with internet addiction and gaming addiction, respectively. There were weak positive correlations between higher internet addiction scores, higher gaming addiction scores, and increased depression and anxiety scores. Using the South Oaks Gambling Screen–Revised for Adolescents, two participants were classed as ‘at-risk’ for gambling addiction and one participant was classed as a problem gambler.
The present study examined behavioural addictions and their effects on mental health on a self-selecting sample of schoolchildren at two schools in Ireland. A low number were identified as being at risk or problem gamblers.
Through drinking water, humans are commonly exposed to atrazine, a herbicide that acts as an endocrine and metabolic disruptor. It interferes with steroidogenesis, including promoting oestrogen production and altering cell metabolism. However, its precise impact on uterine development remains unknown. This study aimed to determine the effect of prolonged atrazine exposure on the uterus. Pregnant mice (n = 5/group) received 5 mg/kg body weight/day atrazine or DMSO in drinking water from gestational day 9.5 until weaning. Offspring continued to be exposed until 3 or 6 months of age (n = 5–9/group), when uteri were collected for morphological and molecular analyses and steroid quantification. Endometrial hyperplasia and leiomyoma were evident in the uteri of atrazine-exposed mice. Uterine oestrogen concentration, oestrogen receptor expression, and localisation were similar between groups, at both ages (P > 0.1). The expression and localisation of key epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) genes and proteins, critical for tumourigenesis, remained unchanged between treatments, at both ages (P > 0.1). Hence, oestrogen-mediated changes to established EMT markers do not appear to underlie abnormal uterine morphology evident in atrazine exposure mice. This is the first report of abnormal uterine morphology following prolonged atrazine exposure starting in utero, it is likely that the abnormalities identified would negatively affect female fertility, although mechanisms remain unknown and require further study.
Social responsibility in gambling has become a major issue for the gaming industry. This has been coupled with the rise of behavioural tracking technologies that allow companies to track every behavioural decision and action made by gamblers on online gambling sites, slot machines, and/or any type of gambling that utilizes player cards. This chapter has a number of distinct but related aims including: (a) a brief overview of behavioral tracking technologies accompanied by a critique of both advantages and disadvantages of such technologies for both the gaming industry and researchers; and (b) results from a series of studies completed using behavioral tracking data to evaluate the efficacy of online responsible gambling tools (particularly in relation to data concerning the use of social responsibility tools such as limit setting, pop-up messaging, and personalized feedback to gamblers).
This chapter provides an overview of the key areas of agreement and debate about workaholism, particularly its conceptualization, prevention, and treatment. The chapter integrates biomedical and health psychology perspectives with a view to challenging and advancing understanding on how to prevent people from developing a problematic relationship with work, and how best to support those experiencing the problem. The chapter begins by reviewing the conceptualization of workaholism, and then reviews the existing evidence concerning the main correlates and vulnerability factors. This discussion then leads to an exploration into alternative ways that workaholism can be theorized, in particular biopsychosocial models and critical theory of addiction. Building upon this combined theoretical perspective, the chapter ends by reviewing and speculating on different aspects of prevention and treatment according to the different stakeholders involved.
This chapter provides a brief overview of gaming disorder (GD) and its treatment. There are now over twenty different screens for assessing problematic gaming although relatively few have used nationally representative samples. The prevalence rates in these nationally representative studies have ranged from 1.2 percent to 8.5 percent depending upon country and screening instrument used. There have been a number of studies describing treatment of GD, although many of these tend not to distinguish between Internet Use Disorder and GD. In terms of treatment for GD, both psychological and pharmacological approaches have been adopted. More specifically, psychological treatment using a cognitive-behavioral framework (CBT) appears to be the most widely used. Furthermore, pharmacological treatment using opioid receptor antagonists, antidepressants, antipsychotics, opioid receptor antagonists, and psychostimulants has been reported in the literature. It is concluded that standardized and comprehensive methods of diagnosis are at present lacking, and that further research into GD is needed from clinical, epidemiological, cross-cultural, and neurobiological perspectives of GD.
The aim of this study was to carry out the first ever study of gaming characteristics of individuals engaging in online gaming in Ireland and to ascertain whether features of gaming disorder are present in this population.
An online survey (comprising 21 questions – 3 demographic questions and 18 questions related to gaming and gaming disorder) was distributed on numerous Irish online gaming forums and Irish online gaming communities. Participants were self-selected and invited to compete the online survey containing questions related to gaming behaviours (age of onset, hours played on weekdays/weekends, type of device used), mobile gaming, motives for online gaming, use of microtransactions, engagement in esports, and a screening tool for the presence of gaming disorder.
A total of 166 participants engaged in the online survey. Among this study population of regular gamers in Ireland, 2.4% of the study population were classified as having gaming disorder, with up to 5.4% showing some evidence of disordered gaming. The main motivation for online gaming in the non-disordered gaming group was recreation (13.3, sd = 2.7) but only the fourth main motivation in the disordered gaming group behind competition (16.3, sd = 3.7), escape (16.2, sd = 4.3), and coping (15.1, sd = 3.7). Increased hours of gameplay on weekdays and weekends were noted in the disordered gaming group compared to non-disordered gamers.
A small percentage of gamers in Ireland demonstrate disordered gaming characteristics and gaming disorder, consistent with data from other international studies. Epidemiological studies are required in Ireland to enhance our knowledge of this disorder.
This commentary explores how emotion fits in the dual-systems model of temporal cognition proposed by Hoerl & McCormack. The updating system would be affected by emotion via the attentional/arousal effect according to the attentional gate model. The reasoning system would be disrupted by emotion, especially for traumatic events. Time discrepancies described in the dual-systems model are also explained.
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for the detection of foetal aneuploidy through analysis of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in maternal blood is offered routinely by many healthcare providers across the developed world. This testing has recently been recommended for evaluative implementation in the UK National Health Service (NHS) foetal anomaly screening pathway as a contingent screen following an increased risk of trisomy 21, 18 or 13. In preparation for delivering a national service, we have implemented cfDNA-based NIPT in our Regional Genetics Laboratory. Here, we describe our validation and verification processes and initial experiences of the technology prior to rollout of a national screening service.
Data are presented from more than 1000 patients (215 retrospective and 840 prospective) from ‘high- and low-risk pregnancies’ with outcome data following birth or confirmatory invasive prenatal sampling. NIPT was by the Illumina Verifi® test.
Our data confirm a high-fidelity service with a failure rate of ~0.24% and a high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of foetal trisomy 13, 18 and 21. Secondly, the data show that a significant proportion of patients continue their pregnancies without prenatal invasive testing or intervention after receiving a high-risk cfDNA-based result. A total of 46.5% of patients referred to date were referred for reasons other than high screen risk. Ten percent (76/840 clinical service referrals) of patients were referred with ultrasonographic finding of a foetal structural anomaly, and data analysis indicates high- and low-risk scan indications for NIPT.
NIPT can be successfully implemented into NHS regional genetics laboratories to provide high-quality services. NHS provision of NIPT in patients with high-risk screen results will allow for a reduction of invasive testing and partially improve equality of access to cfDNA-based NIPT in the pregnant population. Patients at low risk for a classic trisomy or with other clinical indications are likely to continue to access cfDNA-based NIPT as a private test.
Reliably estimating population parameters for highly secretive or rare animals is challenging. We report on the status of the two largest remaining populations of the Critically Endangered Bermuda skink Plestiodon longirostris, using a robust design capture–mark–recapture analysis. Skinks were tagged with passive integrated transponders on two islands and captured on 15 sampling occasions per year over 3 years. The models provided precise estimates of abundance, capture and survival probabilities and temporary emigration. We estimated skink abundance to be 547 ± SE 63.5 on Southampton Island and 277 ± SE 28.4 on Castle Island. The populations do not appear to be stable and fluctuated at both sites over the 3-year period. Although the populations on these two islands appear viable, the Bermuda skink faces population fluctuations and remains threatened by increasing anthropogenic activities, invasive species and habitat loss. We recommend these two populations for continued monitoring and conservation efforts.
Gaming disorder is set to be included in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems alongside other behavioural addictions (gambling disorder) and substance-related addictions. Given the popularity of online gaming, this is set to become an increasingly common presentation to general mental health professionals, addiction specialists, and general practitioners. This article briefly examines online gaming and describes the characteristics of gaming disorder. Some features of online gaming that have addictive potential and similarities to other addictive behaviours such as gambling disorder are discussed. Finally, the article examines treatment options available for gaming disorder and treatment going forward from an Irish perspective.
The article assesses the rhetorical uses of the main kinds of non-functional alliteration that are attested in Old English poetry, and gives complete lists of their incidence in all of the poems. Two main general types are isolated. Supererogatory alliteration does not depart from the known alliterative rules, and is deployed ornamentally with some freedom by at least some of the poets. Five sub-types are examined in turn: double alliteration in the a-verse, consonant cluster alliteration, alliteration which is continued across lines, patterned alternation of alliteration across lines, and enjambed alliteration (where the last stress of a line initiates the alliteration of the next). Secondly, licentious alliteration draws a line‘s final stress into alliteration in its own line. Four sub-types are considered: crossed, postponed, and transverse alliteration, and double alliteration in the b-verse. Whilst crossed alliteration appears quite freely, the primary alliteration of a line on the final stress is shown to be avoided almost completely. Most of the unusual uses of extra alliteration congregate in non-traditional or late poetry.