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See detailPre- and in-service teachers´ attitudes toward students with learning difficulties and challenging behavior.
Krischler, Mireille UL; Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2019), 10(327), 1-10

The implementation of inclusive policies is largely dependent on teachers´ willingness to accommodate students with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream classrooms, which is affected by their ... [more ▼]

The implementation of inclusive policies is largely dependent on teachers´ willingness to accommodate students with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream classrooms, which is affected by their perceived competence and attitudes. This study investigated attitudes of pre- and in-service teachers toward students with two types of SEN: challenging behavior and learning difficulties. The three components of attitude (affective, cognitive, and behavioral) were assessed using indirect and direct measures. Results revealed that teachers held negative implicit attitudes toward challenging behavior and learning difficulties, however implicit attitudes did not vary as a function of the type of SEN. Ratings of the stereotypical dimensions warmth and competence and overall ratings of scholastic achievement were affected by professional status and type of SEN. Professional status, implicit attitudes and stereotypical knowledge together explained 52 and 43% of the variance in teachers´ ratings of academic proficiency for students with challenging behavior and learning difficulties, respectively. Results are interpreted within the theoretical framework and implications for teacher training are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailAdaptation and Validation of the Perceived Control in Unemployment Scale
Houssemand, Claude UL; Meyers, Raymond UL; Pignault, Anne

in Frontiers in Psychology (2019)

Perceived control plays an important role in the understanding of people's experiences with unemployment and reemployment. Yet, no scale has been designed specifically to measure people's perceived ... [more ▼]

Perceived control plays an important role in the understanding of people's experiences with unemployment and reemployment. Yet, no scale has been designed specifically to measure people's perceived control in an unemployment situation. In the current study, using two independent samples with 1,009 and 831 unemployed people in France and Luxembourg, respectively, we created and tested a three-dimensional Perceived Control in Unemployment Scale that was based on Levenson's (1973, 1981) theory. An exploratory factor analysis (Study 1) and a confirmatory factor analysis (Study 2) showed that the data were consistent with the theoretically postulated three-factor model. In addition, we established convergent and discriminant validity with several adaptive and non-adaptive dimensions in two independent samples of 141 unemployed people and 384 recently unemployed people in Luxembourg (Studies 3 and 4, respectively). Perceived control did not change over a period of 6 months of unemployment, yet the three types of perceived control measured at the beginning of unemployment predicted employment status 6 months later. Unemployed people with perceptions of internal control or control from powerful others found jobs more quickly, whereas the perception that chance was the controlling factor predicted longer unemployment. [less ▲]

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See detailTaking Language out of the Equation: The Assessment of Basic Math Competence Without Language
Greisen, Max UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Baudson, Tanja Gabriele UL et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2018)

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5–7% of children suffer from mathematical learning difficulties (MLD) that need to be assessed early to ensure successful ... [more ▼]

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5–7% of children suffer from mathematical learning difficulties (MLD) that need to be assessed early to ensure successful remediation. Universally employable diagnostic tools are yet lacking, as current test batteries for basic mathematics assessment are based on verbal instructions. However, prior research has shown that performance in mathematics assessment is often dependent on the testee’s proficiency in the language of instruction which might lead to unfair bias in test scores. Furthermore, language-dependent assessment tools produce results that are not easily comparable across countries. Here we present results of a study that aims to develop tasks allowing to test for basic math competence without relying on verbal instructions or task content. We implemented video and animation-based task instructions on touchscreen devices that require no verbal explanation. We administered these experimental tasks to two samples of children attending the first grade of primary school. One group completed the tasks with verbal instructions while another group received video instructions showing a person successfully completing the task.We assessed task comprehension and usability aspects both directly and indirectly. Our results suggest that the non-verbal instructions were generally well understood as the absence of explicit verbal instructions did not influence task performance. Thus we found that it is possible to assess basic math competence without verbal instructions. It also appeared that in some cases a single word in a verbal instruction can lead to the failure of a task that is successfully completed with non-verbal instruction. However, special care must be taken during task design because on rare occasions non-verbal video instructions fail to convey task instructions as clearly as spoken language and thus the latter do not provide a panacea to non-verbal assessment. Nevertheless, our findings provide an encouraging proof of concept for the further development of non-verbal assessment tools for basic math competence. [less ▲]

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See detailComparing Numerical Comparison Tasks: A Meta-Analysis of the Variability of the Weber Fraction Relative to the Generation Algorithm
Guillaume, Mathieu UL; van Rinsveld, Amandine UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2018)

Since more than 15 years, researchers have been expressing their interest in evaluating the Approximate Number System (ANS) and its potential influence on cognitive skills involving number processing ... [more ▼]

Since more than 15 years, researchers have been expressing their interest in evaluating the Approximate Number System (ANS) and its potential influence on cognitive skills involving number processing, such as arithmetic. Although many studies reported significant and predictive relations between ANS and arithmetic abilities, there has recently been an increasing amount of published data that failed to replicate such relationship. Inconsistencies lead many researchers to question the validity of the assessment of the ANS itself. In the current meta-analysis of over 68 experimental studies published between 2004 and 2017, we show that the mean value of the Weber fraction (w), the minimal amount of change in magnitude to detect a difference, is very heterogeneous across the literature. Within young adults, w might range from <10 to more than 60, which is critical for its validity for research and diagnostic purposes. We illustrate here the concern that different methods controlling for non-numerical dimensions lead to substantially variable performance. Nevertheless, studies that referred to the exact same method (e.g., Panamath) showed high consistency among them, which is reassuring. We are thus encouraging researchers only to compare what is comparable and to avoid considering the Weber fraction as an abstract parameter independent from the context. Eventually, we observed that all reported correlation coefficients between the value of w and general accuracy were very high. Such result calls into question the relevance of computing and reporting at all the Weber fraction. We are thus in disfavor of the systematic use of the Weber fraction, to discourage any temptation to compare given data to some values of w reported from different tasks and generation algorithms. [less ▲]

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See detailHow does food taste in anorexia and bulimia nervosa? A protocol for a quasiexperimental, cross-sectional design to investigate taste aversion or increased hedonic valence of food in eating disorders
Garcia-Burgos, David; Maglieri, Sabine; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2018), 9

Background. Despite on-going efforts to better understand dysregulated eating, the olfactory-gustatory deficits and food preferences in eating disorders (ED), and the mechanisms underlying the perception ... [more ▼]

Background. Despite on-going efforts to better understand dysregulated eating, the olfactory-gustatory deficits and food preferences in eating disorders (ED), and the mechanisms underlying the perception of and responses to food properties in anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) remain largely unknown; both during the course of the illness and compared to healthy populations. It is, therefore, necessary to systematically investigate the gustatory perception and hedonics of taste in patients with AN and BN. To this end, we will examine whether aversions to the taste of high-calorie food is related to the suppression of energy intake in restricting-type AN, and whether an increased hedonic valence of sweet, caloric-dense foods may be part of the mechanisms triggering binge-eating episodes in BN. In addition, the role of cognitions influencing these mechanisms will be examined. Method. In study 1, four mixtures of sweet-fat stimuli will be presented in a sensory two-alternative forced-choice test involving signal detection analysis. In study 2, a full-scale taste reactivity test will be carried out, including psychophysiological and behavioural measures to assess subtle and covert hedonic changes. We will compare the responses of currently-ill AN and BN patients to those who have recovered from AN and BN, and also to those of healthy normal-weight and underweight individuals without any eating disorder pathology. Discussion. If taste response profiles are differentially linked to ED types, then future studies should investigate whether taste responsiveness represents a useful diagnostic measure in the prevention, assessment and treatment of EDs. The expected results on cognitive mechanisms in the top-down processes of food hedonics will complement current models and contribute to the refinement of interventions to change cognitive aspects of food aversions, to establish functional food preferences and to better manage food cravings associated with binge-eating episodes. No trial registration was required for this protocol, which was approved by the Swiss ethics committee (CER-VD, nº2016-02150) and the Ethics Review Panel of the University of Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailGeneral and Specific Contributions of RAN to Reading and Arithmetic Fluency in First Graders: A Longitudinal Latent Variable Approach
Hornung, Caroline UL; Martin, Romain UL; Fayol, Michel UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2017)

In the present study, we opted for a longitudinal design and examined rapid automatized naming (RAN) performance from two perspectives. In a first step, we examined the structure of RAN performance from a ... [more ▼]

In the present study, we opted for a longitudinal design and examined rapid automatized naming (RAN) performance from two perspectives. In a first step, we examined the structure of RAN performance from a general cognitive perspective. We investigated whether rapid naming measures (e.g., digit RAN and color RAN) reflect a mainly domain-general factor or domain-specific factors. In a second step, we examined how the best fitting RAN model was related to reading and arithmetic outcomes, assessed several months later. Finally in a third step we took a clinical perspective and investigated specific contributions of RAN measures to reading and arithmetic outcomes. While RAN has emerged as a promising predictor of reading, the relationship between RAN and arithmetic has been less examined in the past. Hundred and twenty-two first graders completed seven RAN tasks, each comprising visually familiar stimuli such as digits, vowels, consonants, dice, finger-numeral configurations, objects, and colors. Four months later the same children completed a range of reading and arithmetic tasks. From a general descriptive perspective, structural equation modeling supports a one-dimensional RAN factor in 6- to -7-year-old children. However, from a clinical perspective, our findings emphasize the specific contributions of RANs. Interestingly, alphanumeric RANs (i.e., vowel RAN) were most promising when predicting reading skills and number-specific RANs (i.e., finger-numeral configuration RAN) were most promising when predicting arithmetic fluency. The implications for clinical and educational practices will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailPreserved crossmodal integration of emotional signals in binge drinking
Lannoy, Séverine; Dormal, Valérie; Brion, Mélanie et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2017), 8

Binge drinking is an alcohol consumption pattern with various psychological and cognitive consequences. As binge drinking showed qualitatively comparable cognitive impairments to those reported in alcohol ... [more ▼]

Binge drinking is an alcohol consumption pattern with various psychological and cognitive consequences. As binge drinking showed qualitatively comparable cognitive impairments to those reported in alcohol-dependence, a continuum hypothesis suggests that this habit would be a first step toward alcohol-related disorders. Besides these cognitive impairments, alcohol-dependence is also characterized by large-scale deficits in emotional processing, particularly in crossmodal contexts, and these abilities have scarcely been explored in binge drinking. Emotional decoding, most often based on multiple modalities (e.g., facial expression, prosody or gesture), yet represents a crucial ability for efficient interpersonal communication and social integration. The present study is the first exploration of crossmodal emotional processing in binge drinking, in order to test whether binge drinkers already present the emotional impairments described among alcohol-dependent patients, in line with the continuum hypothesis. Twenty binge drinkers and 20 matched controls performed an experimental task requiring the identification of two emotions (happiness or anger) presented in two modalities (visual or auditory) within three conditions (unimodal, crossmodal congruent or crossmodal incongruent). In accordance with previous research in binge drinking and alcohol-dependence, this study was based on two main hypotheses. First, binge drinkers would present a reduced facilitation effect (i.e., classically indexed in healthy populations by faster reaction times when two congruent modalities are presented simultaneously). Second, binge drinkers would have higher difficulties to inhibit interference in incongruent modalities. Results showed no significant difference between groups in emotional decoding ability, whatever the modality or condition. Control participants, however, appeared slower than binge drinkers in recognizing facial expressions, also leading to a stronger facilitation effect when the two modalities were presented simultaneously. However, findings did not show a disrupted facilitation effect in binge drinkers, whom also presented preserved performance to inhibit incongruence during emotional decoding. The current results thus suggest that binge drinkers do not demonstrate a deficit for emotional processing, both in unimodal and crossmodal contexts. These results imply that binge drinking might not be characterized by impairments for the identification of primary emotions, which could also indicate that these emotional processing abilities are well-preserved at early stages of excessive alcohol consumption [less ▲]

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See detailGrand challenges in eating behavior research: preventing weight gain, facilitating long-term weight maintenance
Meule, Adrian; Vögele, Claus UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2017), 8

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See detailDo executive functions predict binge-drinking patterns? Evidence from a longitudinal study in young adulthood
Bø, Ragnhild; Billieux, Joël UL; Gjerde, Line C. et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2017), 8

Background: Impairments in executive functions (EFs) are related to binge drinking in young adulthood, but research on how EFs influence future binge drinking is lacking. The aim of the current report is ... [more ▼]

Background: Impairments in executive functions (EFs) are related to binge drinking in young adulthood, but research on how EFs influence future binge drinking is lacking. The aim of the current report is therefore to investigate the association between various EFs and later severity of, and change in, binge drinking over a prolonged period during young adulthood. Methods: At baseline, 121 students reported on their alcohol habits (the Alcohol use disorder identification test; Alcohol use questionnaire). Concurrently, EFs (working memory, reversal, set-shifting, response inhibition, response monitoring and decision-making (with ambiguity and implicit risk)) were assessed. Eighteen months later, information on alcohol habits for 103 of the participants were gathered. Data were analyzed by means of multilevel regression modeling. Results: Future severity of binge drinking was uniquely predicted by performance on the Information sampling task, assessing risky decision-making (β = -1.86, 95% CI: -3.69, -0.04). None of the study variables predicted severity or change in binge drinking. Conclusion: Future severity of binge was associated with making risky decisions in the prospect for gain, suggesting reward hypersensitivity. Future studies should aim at clarifying whether there is a causal association between decision-making style and binge drinking. Performance on all executive tasks was unrelated to change in binge drinking patterns; however, the finding was limited by overall small changes, and needs to be confirmed with longer follow-up periods. [less ▲]

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See detailHow Math Anxiety relates to Number-Space Associations.
Georges, Carrie UL; Hoffmann, Danielle UL; Schiltz, Christine UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2016), 7(1401),

Given the considerable prevalence of math anxiety, it is important to identify the factors contributing to it in order to improve mathematical learning. Research on math anxiety typically focusses on the ... [more ▼]

Given the considerable prevalence of math anxiety, it is important to identify the factors contributing to it in order to improve mathematical learning. Research on math anxiety typically focusses on the effects of more complex arithmetic skills. Recent evidence, however, suggests that deficits in basic numerical processing and spatial skills also constitute potential risk factors of math anxiety. Given these observations, we determined whether math anxiety also depends on the quality of spatial-numerical associations. Behavioral evidence for a tight link between numerical and spatial representations is given by the SNARC (spatial-numerical association of response codes) effect, characterized by faster left-/right-sided responses for small/large digits respectively in binary classification tasks. We compared the strength of the SNARC effect between high and low math anxious individuals using the classical parity judgment task in addition to evaluating their spatial skills, arithmetic performance, working memory and inhibitory control. Greater math anxiety was significantly associated with stronger spatio-numerical interactions. This finding adds to the recent evidence supporting a link between math anxiety and basic numerical abilities and strengthens the idea that certain characteristics of low-level number processing such as stronger number-space associations constitute a potential risk factor of math anxiety. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the origin of interoception
Ceunen, Erik UL; Vlaeyen, Johan UL; Van Diest, Ilse

in Frontiers in psychology (2016), 7

Over the course of a century, the meaning of interoception has changed from the restrictive to the inclusive. In its inclusive sense, it bears relevance to every individual via its link to emotion ... [more ▼]

Over the course of a century, the meaning of interoception has changed from the restrictive to the inclusive. In its inclusive sense, it bears relevance to every individual via its link to emotion, decision making, time-perception, health, pain, and various other areas of life. While the label for the perception of the body state changes over time, the need for an overarching concept remains. Many aspects can make any particular interoceptive sensation unique and distinct from any other interoceptive sensation. This can range from the sense of agency, to the physical cause of a sensation, the ontogenetic origin, the efferent innervation, and afferent pathways of the tissue involved amongst others. In its overarching meaning, interoception primarily is a product of the central nervous system, a construct based on an integration of various sources, not per se including afferent information. This paper proposes a definition of interoception as based on subjective experience, and pleas for the use of specific vocabulary in addressing the many aspects that contribute to it. [less ▲]

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See detailMore than only skin deep? Appearance self-concept predicts most of students' self-esteem.
Baudson, Tanja Gabriele UL; Weber, Kira; Freund, Alexander

in Frontiers in Psychology (2016), 7

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See detailThe mad genius: still alive and well
Baudson, Tanja Gabriele UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2016), 7

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See detailCognitive, emotional and psychosocial functioning of girls treated with pharmacological puberty blockage for idiopathic central precocious puberty
Wojniusz, S; Callens, N; Sütterlin, S et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2016), 7

Central precocious puberty (CPP) develops due to premature activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, resulting in early pubertal changes and rapid bone maturation. CPP is associated ... [more ▼]

Central precocious puberty (CPP) develops due to premature activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, resulting in early pubertal changes and rapid bone maturation. CPP is associated with lower adult height and increased risk for development of psychological problems. Standard treatment of CPP is based on postponement of pubertal development by blockade of the HPG axis with gonadotropin releasing hormone analogs (GnRHa) leading to abolition of gonadal sex hormones synthesis. Whereas the hormonal and auxological effects of GnRHa are well researched, there is a lack of knowledge whether GnRHa treatment influences psychological functioning of treated children, despite the fact that prevention of psychological problems is used as one of the main reasons for treatment initiation. In the present study we seek to address this issue by exploring differences in cognitive function, behavior, emotional reactivity, and psychosocial problems between GnRHa treated CPP girls and age-matched controls. Fifteen girls with idiopathic CPP; median age 10.4 years, treated with slow-release GnRHa (triptorelin acetate – Decapeptyl SR ® 11.25) and 15 age-matched controls, were assessed with a comprehensive test battery consisting of paper and pencil tests, computerized tasks, behavioral paradigms, heart rate variability, and questionnaires filled in by the children’s parents. Both groups showed very similar scores with regard to cognitive performance, behavioral and psychosocial problems. Compared to controls, treated girls displayed significantly higher emotional reactivity (p = 0.016; Cohen’s d = 1.04) on one of the two emotional reactivity task conditions. Unexpectedly, the CPP group showed significantly lower resting heart rates than the controls (p = 0.004; Cohen’s d = 1.03); lower heart rate was associated with longer treatment duration (r = - 0.582, p = 0.037). The results suggest that GnRHa treated CPP girls do not differ in their cognitive or psychosocial functioning from age matched controls. However, they might process emotional stimuli differently. The unexpected finding of lower heart rate that was associated with longer duration of the treatment should be further explored by methods appropriate for assessment of cardiac health. [less ▲]

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See detailInteroception and the uneasiness of the mind: Anxiety as perceptual style
Petersen, Sibylle UL; von Leupoldt, Andreas; Van den Bergh, Omer

in Frontiers in Psychology (2015), 6

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See detailInteroception and Stress
Schulz, André UL; Vögele, Claus UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2015), 6(1), 993

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See detailThe relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals: insights from different stages of language acquisition
Van Rinsveld, Amandine UL; Brunner, Martin UL; Landerl, Karin et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2015), 6

Solving arithmetic problems is a cognitive task that heavily relies on language processing. One might thus wonder whether this language-reliance leads to qualitative differences (e.g., greater ... [more ▼]

Solving arithmetic problems is a cognitive task that heavily relies on language processing. One might thus wonder whether this language-reliance leads to qualitative differences (e.g., greater difficulties, error types, etc.) in arithmetic for bilingual individuals who frequently have to solve arithmetic problems in more than one language. The present study investigated how proficiency in two languages interacts with arithmetic problem solving throughout language acquisition in adolescents and young adults. Additionally, we examined whether the number word structure that is specific to a given language plays a role in number processing over and above bilingual proficiency. We addressed these issues in a German–French educational bilingual setting, where there is a progressive transition from German to French as teaching language. Importantly, German and French number naming structures differ clearly, as two-digit number names follow a unit-ten order in German, but a ten-unit order in French. We implemented a transversal developmental design in which bilingual pupils from grades 7, 8, 10, 11, and young adults were asked to solve simple and complex additions in both languages. The results confirmed that language proficiency is crucial especially for complex addition computation. Simple additions in contrast can be retrieved equally well in both languages after extended language practice. Additional analyses revealed that over and above language proficiency, language-specific number word structures (e.g., unit-ten vs. ten-unit) also induced significant modulations of bilinguals' arithmetic performances. Taken together, these findings support the view of a strong relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals. [less ▲]

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