Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 150 in total

  1. Sinniah A, Oei TP, Chinna K, Shah SA, Maniam T, Subramaniam P
    Front Psychol, 2015;6:1934.
    PMID: 26733920 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01934
    The PANSI is a measure designed to assess the risk and protective factors related to suicidal behaviors. The present study evaluated the psychometric properties and factor structure of the Positive and Negative Suicide Ideation (PANSI) Inventory in a sample of clinical outpatients at a major hospital in Malaysia. In this study, 283 psychiatric patients and 200 medical (non-psychiatric) patients participated. All the patients completed the PANSI and seven other self-report instruments. Confirmative factor analysis supported the 2-factor oblique model. The internal consistency of the two subscales of PANSI-Negative and the PANSI-Positive were 0.93 and 0.84, respectively. In testing construct validity, PANSI showed sizable correlation with the other seven scales. Criterion validity was supported by scores on PANSI which differentiated psychiatric patients from medical patients. Logistic regression analyses showed PANSI can be used to classify the patients into suicidal or non-suicidal. The PANSI is a reliable and valid instrument to measure the severity of suicidal ideation among clinical outpatients in Malaysia.
    Study site: Psychiatric clinic, Medical clinic, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) clinic, Ophthalmology clinic and orthopedic clinic, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Scale, Questionnaire and Device: Positive and Negative Suicide Ideation Inventory (PANSI), Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21), Reasons for Living Inventory (RFL), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), Provision of Social Relations (PSR), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSE), The Adult Trait Hope Scale (ATHS)
  2. Babiker A, Faye I, Prehn K, Malik A
    Front Psychol, 2015;6:1921.
    PMID: 26733912 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01921
    Pupil diameter (PD) has been suggested as a reliable parameter for identifying an individual's emotional state. In this paper, we introduce a learning machine technique to detect and differentiate between positive and negative emotions. We presented 30 participants with positive and negative sound stimuli and recorded pupillary responses. The results showed a significant increase in pupil dilation during the processing of negative and positive sound stimuli with greater increase for negative stimuli. We also found a more sustained dilation for negative compared to positive stimuli at the end of the trial, which was utilized to differentiate between positive and negative emotions using a machine learning approach which gave an accuracy of 96.5% with sensitivity of 97.93% and specificity of 98%. The obtained results were validated using another dataset designed for a different study and which was recorded while 30 participants processed word pairs with positive and negative emotions.
  3. Wan X, Woods AT, van den Bosch JJ, McKenzie KJ, Velasco C, Spence C
    Front Psychol, 2014;5:1365.
    PMID: 25538643 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01365
    We report a cross-cultural study designed to investigate crossmodal correspondences between a variety of visual features (11 colors, 15 shapes, and 2 textures) and the five basic taste terms (bitter, salty, sour, sweet, and umami). A total of 452 participants from China, India, Malaysia, and the USA viewed color patches, shapes, and textures online and had to choose the taste term that best matched the image and then rate their confidence in their choice. Across the four groups of participants, the results revealed a number of crossmodal correspondences between certain colors/shapes and bitter, sour, and sweet tastes. Crossmodal correspondences were also documented between the color white and smooth/rough textures on the one hand and the salt taste on the other. Cross-cultural differences were observed in the correspondences between certain colors, shapes, and one of the textures and the taste terms. The taste-patterns shown by the participants from the four countries tested in the present study are quite different from one another, and these differences cannot easily be attributed merely to whether a country is Eastern or Western. These findings therefore highlight the impact of cultural background on crossmodal correspondences. As such, they raise a number of interesting questions regarding the neural mechanisms underlying crossmodal correspondences.
  4. Tam CL, Bonn G, Yeoh SH, Wong CP
    Front Psychol, 2014;5:1328.
    PMID: 25520676 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01328
    The National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS, 2011), estimates that the number of Malaysian adults suffering from type 2 diabetes has increased from 8.3 to 31.2% since 1996. This study is a preliminary investigation of possible factors contributing to this epidemic. Knowledge of diabetes, health locus of control, diet and exercise habits, as well as family history, education level and other demographic factors to better understand the correlates of risky and healthy behaviors. This was done as part of a larger initiative to improve prevention efforts. Questionnaires were completed by 770 individuals from three Malaysian states: Selangor, Penang, and Terengganu. Findings showed that people with better health knowledge and those who have a family history of type 2 diabetes were more likely to have healthy diets. Also, health knowledge related to lower alcohol consumption. Participants with diabetic family members, however, also reported higher levels of stress. Counterintuitively, higher educational levels, higher internal locus of control, better health knowledge, as well as a family history of diabetes all correlated with lower levels of physical activity. Thus, it is suggested that, while increasing health knowledge will be important in addressing the type 2 diabetes epidemic in Malaysia, especially in relation to diet, other cultural factors, specifically norms related to exercise and physical activity, also need to be addressed if the spread of type 2 diabetes is to be addressed over the long term.
  5. Smith PM, Hindmarch CC, Murphy D, Ferguson AV
    Front Psychol, 2014;5:832.
    PMID: 25120524 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00832
    Obesity is a chronic metabolic condition with important public health implications associated with numerous co-morbidities including cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and hypertension. The renin angiotensin system (RAS), best known for its involvement in cardiovascular control and body fluid homeostasis has, more recently, been implicated in regulation of energy balance. Interference with the RAS (genetically or pharmacologically) has been shown to influence body weight gain. In this study we investigated the effects of systemic AT1 receptor blockade using losartan on ingestive behaviors and weight gain in diet induced obese (DIO) rats. Prior to losartan administration (30 mg/kg/day) body weight gain remained constant within the DIO animals (3.6 ± 0.3 g/day, n = 8), diet resistant (DR) animals (2.1 ± 0.6 g/day, n = 8) and in the age-matched chow fed control (CHOW) animals (2.8 ± 0.3 g/day, n = 8), Losartan administration abolished body weight gain in animals fed a high fat diet (DIO: -0.4 ± 0.7 g/day, n = 8; and DR: -0.8 ± 0.3 g/day, n = 8) while chow fed animals continued to gain weight (2.2 ± 0.3 g/day, n = 8) as they had previously to oral administration of losartan. This decrease in daily body weight gain was accompanied by a decrease in food intake in the HFD fed animals. Following the removal of losartan, both the DIO and DR animals again showed daily increases in body weight gain and food intake which were similar to control values. Our data demonstrate that oral losartan administration attenuates body weight gain in animals fed a HFD whether the animal is obese (DIO) or not DR while having no effect on body weight gain in age-matched chow fed animals suggesting a protective effect of losartan against body weight gain while on a HFD.
  6. Bonn GB
    Front Psychol, 2013;4:920.
    PMID: 24367349 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00920
    This paper examines the concept of free will, or independent action, in light of recent research in psychology and neuroscience. Reviewing findings in memory, prospection, and mental simulation, as well as the neurological mechanisms underlying behavioral control, planning, and integration, it is suggested in accord with previous arguments (e.g., Wegner, 2003; Harris, 2012) that a folk conception of free will as entirely conscious control over behavior should be rejected. However, it is argued that, when taken together, these findings can also support an alternative conception of free will. The constructive nature of memory and an integrative "default network" provide the means for novel and creative combinations of information, such as the imagining of counterfactual scenarios and alternative courses of action. Considering recent findings of extensive functional connections between these systems and those that subsume motor control and goal maintenance, it is argued that individuals have the capability of producing novel ideas and translating them into actionable goals. Although most of these processes take place beneath conscious awareness, it is argued that they are unique to the individual and thus, can be considered a form of independent control over behavior, or free will.
  7. Swami V
    Front Psychol, 2012;3:280.
    PMID: 22888323 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00280
    Two studies examined correlates of belief in a Jewish conspiracy theory among Malays in Malaysia, a culture in which state-directed conspiracism as a means of dealing with perceived external and internal threats is widespread. In Study 1, 368 participants from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, completed a novel measure of belief in a Jewish conspiracy theory, along with measures of general conspiracist ideation, and anomie. Initial analysis showed that the novel scale factorially reduced to a single dimension. Further analysis showed that belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory was only significantly associated with general conspiracist ideation, but the strength of the association was weak. In Study 2, 314 participants completed the measure of belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory, along with measures of general conspiracist ideation, and ideological attitudes. Results showed that belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory was associated with anti-Israeli attitudes, modern racism directed at the Chinese, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation. General conspiracist ideation did not emerge as a significant predictor once other variables had been accounted for. These results suggest that there may be specific cultural and social psychological forces that drive belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory within the Malaysian context. Specifically, belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory among Malaysian Malays appears to serve ideological needs and as a mask for anti-Chinese sentiment, which may in turn reaffirm their perceived ability to shape socio-political processes.
  8. Salgado-Montejo A, Alvarado JA, Velasco C, Salgado CJ, Hasse K, Spence C
    Front Psychol, 2015;6:1382.
    PMID: 26441757 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01382
    A within-participants experiment was conducted in two countries (the UK and Colombia) in order to investigate the matching of shapes to taste words. Comparing the two countries allowed us to explore some of the cultural differences that have been reported thus far solely in terms of people's visual preferences. In particular, we addressed the question of whether properties other than angularity influence shape-valence and shape-taste matching (crossmodal correspondences). The participants in the present study repeatedly matched eight shapes, varying in terms of their angularity, symmetry, and number of elements to one of two words-pleasant or unpleasant and sweet or sour. Participants' choices, as well as the latency of their responses, and their hand movements, were evaluated. The participants were more likely to judge those shapes that were rounder, symmetrical, and those shapes that had fewer elements as both pleasant and sweet. Those shapes that were more angular, asymmetrical, and that had a greater number of elements, were more likely to be judged as both unpleasant and sour instead. The evidence presented here therefore suggests that aside from angularity and roundness, both symmetry/asymmetry and the number of elements present in a shape also influence valence and taste categorizations.
  9. Lee SL, Kim JA, Golden KJ, Kim JH, Park MS
    Front Psychol, 2016;7:376.
    PMID: 27148100 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00376
    Perception of the autonomy and relatedness of the self may be influenced by one's experiences and social expectations within a particular cultural setting. The present research examined the role of culture and the Autonomous-Related self-construal in predicting for different aspects of Social Networking Sites (SNS) usage in three Asian countries, especially focusing on those aspects serving interpersonal goals. Participants in this cross-cultural study included 305 university students from Malaysia (n = 105), South Korea (n = 113), and China (n = 87). The study explored specific social and interpersonal behaviors on SNS, such as browsing the contacts' profiles, checking for updates, and improving contact with SNS contacts, as well as the intensity of SNS use, hypothesizing that those with high intensity of use in the Asian context may be doing so to achieve the social goal of maintaining contact and keeping updated with friends. Two scales measuring activities on other users' profiles and contact with friends' profiles were developed and validated. As predicted, some cross-cultural differences were found. Koreans were more likely to use SNS to increase contact but tended to spend less time browsing contacts' profiles than the Malaysians and Chinese. The intensity of SNS use differed between the countries as well, where Malaysians reported higher intensity than Koreans and Chinese. Consistent with study predictions, Koreans were found with the highest Autonomous-Related self-construal scores. The Autonomous-Related self-construal predicted SNS intensity. The findings suggest that cultural contexts, along with the way the self is construed in different cultures, may encourage different types of SNS usage. The authors discuss study implications and suggest future research directions.
  10. James RJ, O'Malley C, Tunney RJ
    Front Psychol, 2016;7:46.
    PMID: 26869955 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00046
    Manipulating different behavioral characteristics of gambling games can potentially affect the extent to which individuals persevere at gambling, and their transition to problematic behaviors. This has potential impact for mobile gambling technologies and responsible gambling interventions. Two laboratory models pertinent to this are the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE) and the trial spacing effect. Both of these might speed up or delay the acquisition and extinction of conditioned behavior. We report an experiment that manipulated the rate of reinforcement and inter trial interval (ITI) on a simulated slot machine where participants were given the choice between gambling and skipping on each trial, before perseverative gambling was measured in extinction, followed by measurements of the illusion of control, depression and impulsivity. We hypothesized that longer ITI's in conjunction with the low rates of reinforcement observed in gambling would lead to greater perseverance. We further hypothesized, given that timing is known to be important in displaying illusory control and potentially in persevering in gambling, that prior exposure to longer intervals might affect illusions of control. An interaction between ITI and rate of reinforcement was observed, as low reinforced gamblers with a long ITI gambled for longer. Respondents also displayed extinction and a PREE. Gamblers exposed to a higher rate of reinforcement gambled for longer in acquisition. Impulsivity was associated with extended perseverance in extinction, and more depressed gamblers in the high reinforcement short ITI group persevered for longer. Performance in the contingency judgment failed to support the second hypothesis: the only significant contrast observed was that participants became better calibrated as the task progressed.
  11. Hilpert P, Randall AK, Sorokowski P, Atkins DC, Sorokowska A, Ahmadi K, et al.
    Front Psychol, 2016;7:1106.
    PMID: 27551269 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01106
    OBJECTIVE: Theories about how couples help each other to cope with stress, such as the systemic transactional model of dyadic coping, suggest that the cultural context in which couples live influences how their coping behavior affects their relationship satisfaction. In contrast to the theoretical assumptions, a recent meta-analysis provides evidence that neither culture, nor gender, influences the association between dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction, at least based on their samples of couples living in North America and West Europe. Thus, it is an open questions whether the theoretical assumptions of cultural influences are false or whether cultural influences on couple behavior just occur in cultures outside of the Western world.

    METHOD: In order to examine the cultural influence, using a sample of married individuals (N = 7973) from 35 nations, we used multilevel modeling to test whether the positive association between dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction varies across nations and whether gender might moderate the association.

    RESULTS: RESULTS reveal that the association between dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction varies between nations. In addition, results show that in some nations the association is higher for men and in other nations it is higher for women.

    CONCLUSIONS: Cultural and gender differences across the globe influence how couples' coping behavior affects relationship outcomes. This crucial finding indicates that couple relationship education programs and interventions need to be culturally adapted, as skill trainings such as dyadic coping lead to differential effects on relationship satisfaction based on the culture in which couples live.

  12. Kalckert A, Ehrsson HH
    Front Psychol, 2017;8:344.
    PMID: 28344566 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00344
    The rubber hand illusion (RHI) is a perceptual illusion whereby a model hand is perceived as part of one's own body. This illusion has been extensively studied, but little is known about the temporal evolution of this perceptual phenomenon, i.e., how long it takes until participants start to experience ownership over the model hand. In the present study, we investigated a version of the rubber hand experiment based on finger movements and measured the average onset time in active and passive movement conditions. This comparison enabled us to further explore the possible role of intentions and motor control processes that are only present in the active movement condition. The results from a large group of healthy participants (n = 117) showed that the illusion of ownership took approximately 23 s to emerge (active: 22.8; passive: 23.2). The 90th percentile occurs in both conditions within approximately 50 s (active: 50; passive: 50.6); therefore, most participants experience the illusion within the first minute. We found indirect evidence of a facilitatory effect of active movements compared to passive movements, and we discuss these results in the context of our current understanding of the processes underlying the moving RHI.
  13. Atherton G, Cross L
    Front Psychol, 2018;9:528.
    PMID: 29755383 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00528
    Theory of mind (ToM) is defined as the process of taking another's perspective. Anthropomorphism can be seen as the extension of ToM to non-human entities. This review examines the literature concerning ToM and anthropomorphism in relation to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), specifically addressing the questions of how and why those on the spectrum both show an increased interest for anthropomorphism and may even show improved ToM abilities when judging the mental states of anthropomorphic characters. This review highlights that while individuals with ASD traditionally show deficits on a wide range of ToM tests, such as recognizing facial emotions, such ToM deficits may be ameliorated if the stimuli presented is cartoon or animal-like rather than in human form. Individuals with ASD show a greater interest in anthropomorphic characters and process the features of these characters using methods typically reserved for human stimuli. Personal accounts of individuals with ASD also suggest they may identify more closely with animals than other humans. It is shown how the social motivations hypothesized to underlie the anthropomorphizing of non-human targets may lead those on the spectrum to seek social connections and therefore gain ToM experience and expertise amongst unlikely sources.
  14. Chai WJ, Abd Hamid AI, Abdullah JM
    Front Psychol, 2018;9:401.
    PMID: 29636715 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00401
    Since the concept of working memory was introduced over 50 years ago, different schools of thought have offered different definitions for working memory based on the various cognitive domains that it encompasses. The general consensus regarding working memory supports the idea that working memory is extensively involved in goal-directed behaviors in which information must be retained and manipulated to ensure successful task execution. Before the emergence of other competing models, the concept of working memory was described by the multicomponent working memory model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch. In the present article, the authors provide an overview of several working memory-relevant studies in order to harmonize the findings of working memory from the neurosciences and psychological standpoints, especially after citing evidence from past studies of healthy, aging, diseased, and/or lesioned brains. In particular, the theoretical framework behind working memory, in which the related domains that are considered to play a part in different frameworks (such as memory's capacity limit and temporary storage) are presented and discussed. From the neuroscience perspective, it has been established that working memory activates the fronto-parietal brain regions, including the prefrontal, cingulate, and parietal cortices. Recent studies have subsequently implicated the roles of subcortical regions (such as the midbrain and cerebellum) in working memory. Aging also appears to have modulatory effects on working memory; age interactions with emotion, caffeine and hormones appear to affect working memory performances at the neurobiological level. Moreover, working memory deficits are apparent in older individuals, who are susceptible to cognitive deterioration. Another younger population with working memory impairment consists of those with mental, developmental, and/or neurological disorders such as major depressive disorder and others. A less coherent and organized neural pattern has been consistently reported in these disadvantaged groups. Working memory of patients with traumatic brain injury was similarly affected and shown to have unusual neural activity (hyper- or hypoactivation) as a general observation. Decoding the underlying neural mechanisms of working memory helps support the current theoretical understandings concerning working memory, and at the same time provides insights into rehabilitation programs that target working memory impairments from neurophysiological or psychological aspects.
  15. Ilias K, Cornish K, Kummar AS, Park MS, Golden KJ
    Front Psychol, 2018;9:280.
    PMID: 29686632 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00280
    Background: This paper aimed to review the literature on the factors associated with parenting stress and resilience among parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the South East Asia (SEA) region. Methods: An extensive search of articles in multiple online databases (PsycNET, ProQuest, PudMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Google Scholar) resulted in 28 papers that met the inclusion criteria (i.e., conducted in the SEA region, specific to ASD only, published in a peer-reviewed journal, full text in English). Studies found were conducted in the following countries: Brunei, n = 1; Indonesia, n = 2; Malaysia, n = 12; Philippines, n = 5; Singapore, n = 5, Thailand, n = 2; and Vietnam, n = 1, but none from Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, and Myanmar were identified. Results: Across the studies, six main factors were found to be associated with parenting stress: social support, severity of autism symptoms, financial difficulty, parents' perception and understanding toward ASD, parents' anxiety and worries about their child's future, and religious beliefs. These six factors could also be categorized as either a source of parenting stress or a coping strategy/resilience mechanism that may attenuate parenting stress. Conclusion: The findings suggest that greater support services in Western countries may underlie the cultural differences observed in the SEA region. Limitations in the current review were identified. The limited number of studies yielded from the search suggests a need for expanded research on ASD and parenting stress, coping, and resilience in the SEA region especially in Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, and Myanmar. The identified stress and resilience factors may serve as sociocultural markers for clinicians, psychologists, and other professionals to consider when supporting parents of children with ASD.
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