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See detailImpact of learning to read in a mixed approach on neural tuning to words in beginning readers
van de Walle de Ghelcke, Alice; Rossion, Bruno; Schiltz, Christine UL et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2020), 10

The impact of learning to read in a mixed approach using both the global and phonics teaching methods on the emergence of left hemisphere neural specialization for word recognition is yet unknown in ... [more ▼]

The impact of learning to read in a mixed approach using both the global and phonics teaching methods on the emergence of left hemisphere neural specialization for word recognition is yet unknown in children. Taking advantage of a natural school context with such a mixed approach, we tested 42 first graders behaviorally and with Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation using electroencephalographic recordings (FPVS-EEG) to measure selective neural responses to letter strings. Letter strings were inserted periodically (1/5) in pseudofonts in 40 s sequences displayed at 6 Hz and were either words globally taught at school, that could therefore be processed by visual whole-word form recognition (global method), or control words/pseudowords eliciting graphemephoneme (GP) mappings (phonics method). Results show that selective responses (F/5, 1.2 Hz) were left lateralized for control stimuli that triggered GP mappings but bilateral for globally taught words. It implies that neural mechanisms recruited during visual word processing are influenced by the nature of the mapping between written and spoken word forms. GP mappings induce left hemisphere discrimination responses, and visual recognition of whole-word forms induce bilateral responses, probably because the right hemisphere is relatively more involved in holistic visual object recognition. Splitting the group as a function of the mastery of GP mappings into “good” and “poor” readers strongly suggests that good readers actually processed all stimuli (including global words) predominantly with their left hemisphere, while poor readers showed bilateral responses for global words. These results show that in a mixed approach of teaching to read, global method instruction may induce neural processes that differ from those specialized for reading in the left hemisphere. Furthermore, given their difficulties in automatizing GP mappings, poor readers are especially prone to rely on this alternative visual strategy. A preprint of this paper has been released on Biorxiv (van de Walle de Ghelcke et al., 2018). [less ▲]

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See detailEditorial: Advancements in Technology-Based Assessment: Emerging Item Formats, Test Designs, and Data Sources
Goldhammer, Frank; Scherer, Ronny; Greiff, Samuel UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2020)

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See detailApp-Based Habit Building Reduces Motivational Impairments During Studying - An Event Sampling Study
Stojanovic, Marco; Grund, Axel UL; Fries, Stefan

in FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY (2020), 11

In this app-based event sampling study, we observed the intentional formation of new study habits. A sample of 91 university students defined individual study habits and logged data over 6 weeks on ... [more ▼]

In this app-based event sampling study, we observed the intentional formation of new study habits. A sample of 91 university students defined individual study habits and logged data over 6 weeks on motivational conflict, motivational interference (MI) and automaticity of behavior after each habit repetition using an app on their phone. The app was specifically created for this study and gave feedback on habit automaticity. A total of N = 2,574 habit repetitions have been generated and were analyzed using multilevel modeling. The results suggest that (1) app-based intentional habit building works, as automaticity of behavior could be predicted by habit repetition, (2) motivational impairments during studying can be reduced by building habits, as want conflicts and MI decreased with automaticity, and (3) trait self-control supports studying indirectly by fostering habit building rather than directly by suppressing impulses during the activity, as self-control predicted automaticity, but not motivational impairments during the habit execution. The effect of self-control on automaticity of the new study habit was fully mediated by the general automaticity of the students' other study habits (general study habit strength). This study showcases an app-guided genesis of new study habits and its beneficial motivational effects for learning behavior. [less ▲]

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See detailContrasting Classical and Machine Learning Approaches in the Estimation of Value-Added Scores in Large-Scale Educational Data
Levy, Jessica UL; Mussack, Dominic UL; Brunner, Martin et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2020), 11

There is no consensus on which statistical model estimates school value-added (VA) most accurately. To date, the two most common statistical models used for the calculation of VA scores are two classical ... [more ▼]

There is no consensus on which statistical model estimates school value-added (VA) most accurately. To date, the two most common statistical models used for the calculation of VA scores are two classical methods: linear regression and multilevel models. These models have the advantage of being relatively transparent and thus understandable for most researchers and practitioners. However, these statistical models are bound to certain assumptions (e.g., linearity) that might limit their prediction accuracy. Machine learning methods, which have yielded spectacular results in numerous fields, may be a valuable alternative to these classical models. Although big data is not new in general, it is relatively new in the realm of social sciences and education. New types of data require new data analytical approaches. Such techniques have already evolved in fields with a long tradition in crunching big data (e.g., gene technology). The objective of the present paper is to competently apply these “imported” techniques to education data, more precisely VA scores, and assess when and how they can extend or replace the classical psychometrics toolbox. The different models include linear and non-linear methods and extend classical models with the most commonly used machine learning methods (i.e., random forest, neural networks, support vector machines, and boosting). We used representative data of 3,026 students in 153 schools who took part in the standardized achievement tests of the Luxembourg School Monitoring Program in grades 1 and 3. Multilevel models outperformed classical linear and polynomial regressions, as well as different machine learning models. However, it could be observed that across all schools, school VA scores from different model types correlated highly. Yet, the percentage of disagreements as compared to multilevel models was not trivial and real-life implications for individual schools may still be dramatic depending on the model type used. Implications of these results and possible ethical concerns regarding the use of machine learning methods for decision-making in education are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailAltered interoceptive awareness in high habitual symptom reporters and patients with somatoform disorders
Flasinski, Tabea; Dierolf, Angelika UL; Rost, Silke et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2020), 11(1), 1859

Objective. Altered interoception may play a major role in the etiology of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). It remains unclear, however, if these alterations concerns noticing of signals or if they ... [more ▼]

Objective. Altered interoception may play a major role in the etiology of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). It remains unclear, however, if these alterations concerns noticing of signals or if they are limited to the interpretation of signals. We investigated whether individuals with MUS differ in interoceptive awareness as assessed with the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA) questionnaire. Methods. Study 1: 486 individuals completed the Screening for Somatoform Disorders (SOMS-2). 32 individuals each of the upper and lower decile of the SOMS distribution (low symptom reporters/LSR, high symptom reporters/HSR) completed the MAIA. Study 2: MAIA scores of individuals diagnosed with somatoform disorder (SFD; n = 26) were compared to individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD; n = 25) and healthy controls (HC; n = 26). Results. HSR had lower scores than LSR on the MAIA scales Not-Distracting and Not-Worrying. The SFD and MDD groups showed lower scores than HC on the MAIA scales Not-Distracting, Self-Regulation, and Trusting. The MDD group scored lower than the other two groups on the scales Body Listening and Attention Regulation. There were no group differences on the scale Noticing. Conclusion. HSR, SFD and MDD patients do not differ from HC in the awareness of noticing of interoceptive signal processing, whereas cognitive facets of interoception, such as distraction or self-regulation are differentially affected. This highlights the necessity of including specifically targeted interventions, which improve interoceptive awareness, in the prevention and treatment of SFDs. [less ▲]

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See detailTeachers' Implicit Attitudes Toward Students From Different Social Groups: A Meta-Analysis
Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke UL; Glock, Sabine UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2019)

Teachers' attitudes toward their students have been associated with differential teachers' expectations and, in turn, with students' educational pathways. Theories of social cognition can explain the link ... [more ▼]

Teachers' attitudes toward their students have been associated with differential teachers' expectations and, in turn, with students' educational pathways. Theories of social cognition can explain the link between attitudes and behavior. In this regard, the distinction between implicit and explicit attitudes is worth to be considered, whereby implicit attitudes are automatically activated when the attitude object is present and guide automatic behavior. In contrast, explicit attitudes infer deliberation and reflection, hence affecting controlled behavior. As teachers often are required to act immediately in situations that do not allow for thoughtful reflection due to time restraints, teachers' implicit attitudes concerning different student groups with shared characteristics, such as gender or ethnicity, may be especially important when considering teachers' behavior in relation to students' educational pathways. This notion is reflected by an increased interest in adopting implicit methodology in the educational domain. Over the last 10 years, several studies have been conducted in different countries, involving in- and pre-service teachers and investigating their attitudes toward different student groups. Estimates of effects have varied and may be affected by sampling bias. To systematically review and integrate data from different studies, this meta-analysis focuses on teachers' implicit attitudes. Following the systematic search of the database and initial screening, 43 articles were identified from which 22, describing 34 studies, were retained for the meta-analysis after further inspection. First analyses revealed an estimated average effect size of 0.56 for implicit attitudes in favor of non-marginalized groups. As there was a large extent of heterogeneity between studies, several moderator variables were investigated. Results showed that the employed implicit measure and stimulus materials as well as the student target group affected the effect sizes. Low or non-significant relationships were reported between implicit and explicit attitudes. Findings are discussed in terms of theory and future research. [less ▲]

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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 detailWhat do teachers think about their students’ inclusion? Consistency of students’ self-reports and teacher ratings
Venetz, Martin; Zurbriggen, Carmen UL; Schwab, Susanne

in Frontiers in Psychology (2019), 10(1637), 114

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See detailEditorial: Etiology, Pathogenesis, and Consequences of Maladaptive Habits.
Malloy-Diniz, Leandro Fernandes; Brevers, Damien UL; Turel, Ofir

in Frontiers in psychology (2019), 10

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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 detailValence and Motivation as Predictors of Student Time Use in Everyday Life: An Experience Sampling Study
Koudela-Hamila, Susanne; Grund, Axel UL; Santangelo, Philip et al

in FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY (2019), 10

Popular descriptions of studying frequency show remarkable discrepancies: students complain about their workload, and alumni describe freedom and pleasure. Unfortunately, empirical evidence on student ... [more ▼]

Popular descriptions of studying frequency show remarkable discrepancies: students complain about their workload, and alumni describe freedom and pleasure. Unfortunately, empirical evidence on student time use is sparse. To investigate time use and reveal contributing psychological factors, we conducted an e-diary study. One hundred fifty-four students reported their time use and valence hourly over 7 days, both at the start of the semester and during their examination period. Motivational problems, social support and self-control were assessed once via questionnaires. Whereas the mean academic time use was in the expected range, the between-subject differences were substantial. We used multilevel modeling to separately analyze the within- and between-subject associations of valence as within factor and time use and social support, self-control, and motivation as between factors and time use. The analyses revealed the importance of affective factors on a within-subject level. Before studying, valence was already low, and it deteriorated further during studying. As expected at the between-subject level, motivational problems were related to less time studying, whereas surprisingly, self-control had no effect. The findings at the start of the semester were replicated in the examination period. [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 detailTesting Is More Desirable When It Is Adaptive and Still Desirable When Compared to Note-Taking
Heitmann, Svenja; Grund, Axel UL; Berthold, Kirsten et al

in FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY (2018), 9

Testing is a well-established desirable difficulty. Yet there are still some open issues regarding the benefits of testing that need to be addressed. First, the possibility to increase its benefits by ... [more ▼]

Testing is a well-established desirable difficulty. Yet there are still some open issues regarding the benefits of testing that need to be addressed. First, the possibility to increase its benefits by adapting the sequence of test questions to the learners' level of knowledge has scarcely been explored. In view of theories that emphasize the benefits of adapting learning tasks to learner knowledge, it is reasonable to assume that the common practice of providing all learners with the same test questions is not optimal. Second, it is an open question as to whether the testing effect prevails if stronger control conditions than the typical restudy condition are used. We addressed these issues in an experiment with N = 200 university students who were randomly assigned to (a) adaptive testing, (b) non-adaptive testing, or note-taking (c) without or (d) with focus guidance. In an initial study phase, all participants watched an e-lecture. Afterward, they processed its content according to their assigned conditions. One week later, all learners took a posttest. As main results, we found that adaptive testing yielded higher learning outcomes than non-adaptive testing. These benefits were mediated by the adaptive learners' higher testing performance and lower perceived cognitive demand during testing. Furthermore, we found that both testing groups outperformed the note-taking groups. Jointly, our results show that the benefits of testing can be enhanced by adapting the sequence of test questions to learners' knowledge and that testing can be more effective than note-taking. [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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