• How are Iranian gay men coping with systematic suppression under Islamic law? a qualitative study

      Yadegarfard, Mohammadrasool; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2019-05-20)
      The existence of gay men is undeniable in Iran; however, Iran’s Islamic law considers same sex relationships a crime punishable by the death penalty. The aim of this study is to use a qualitative approach to gain a more in-depth understanding of the coping strategies adopted by gay men living in Iran under systematic suppression based on each individual’s subjective experiences, feelings, intention and beliefs. A semi-structured interview in Farsi (Persian) language was used to gather the qualitative data. Twenty-three men who identified themselves as gay and who currently live in Iran were interviewed for this study. Transcripts of the interviews were subjected to analysis using thematic analysis. The key themes that emerged as coping strategies were: risk taking; internalized oppression; travelling/leaving the country; social networks and family of choice; mental health and psychological therapy and medication; social class; and developing a new identity. The implications of these findings are discussed.
    • Identifying wellbeing challenges and solutions in the police service using the World Café method

      Clements, Andrew James; Sharples, Adrienne; Kinman, Gail; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2020-01-10)
      Police work presents risks to mental and physical health for officers and civilian staff. We report a project that involved police employees in identifying wellbeing challenges and potential solutions. We facilitated ‘World Café’ events in which approximately 180 officers and civilian staff participated. Qualitative data were collected and thematically analysed drawing upon the Job Demands-Resources model. We identified themes relating to workload, management practices, occupational health processes, and continuing mental health stigma. Our analyses suggest an environment in which resources are insufficient to meet demands. The resulting pressures may contribute to management behaviours that can impair subordinate wellbeing.
    • The impact of gender on primary teachers' evaluations of children's difficulties in school

      Cline, Tony; Ertubey, Candan; University of Bedfordshire (BRITISH PSYCHOLOGICAL SOC, 1997-12-01)
      Background. More boys than girls receive provision to meet special educational needs. It has been suggested that teachers' evaluations of children's difficulties in school may be subject to gender bias. But the evidence is inconsistent, and the methodology of some work that reported bias has been criticised because the type of rating task that was used may have encouraged stereotypic thinking (Langfeldt, 1993).Aims. This study investigated whether gender of child would still have an influence on teacher's judgments ifa fuller context was provided for the stimulus and there was a more realistic rating task.Samples. The sample comprised 523 teachers in 79 primary schools in London, the home counties and the North-West of England.Methods, Participants completed questionnaires on what action might be required in their school for children with difficulties who were described in short vignettes. The children's gender was varied systematically. The construct of 'seriousness', which had generally been left vague in earlier research, was given a concrete definition.Results, It was found that, when the experimental task was contextualised in this way, the gender-of-child effect disappeared. Teacher characteristics such as gender did not influence the results.Conclusions, These findings should be treated with some caution as they relate to the small and restricted range of types of difficulty that were included in the study and to a sample of primary schools in one society. However, they give support to an emphasis on 'realism' in the method of investigation that is used for exploring teachers' judgments.
    • The impact of misleading information on the identifiability of feature-based facial composites

      Pitchford, Melanie; Green, Danielle; Frowd, Charlie D.; University of Bedfordshire; University of Winchester; University of Central Lancashire (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2017-11-02)
      The misinformation effect demonstrates that when eyewitnesses are exposed to details of a crime that are incorrect, they are less accurate in their later recall of those details. Research has also shown that misinformation has a measurable effect on recall and construction of a target face using a mechanical but now-outdated feature-based composite system. In a laboratory-based psychology experiment, we demonstrate that misinformation has a detrimental effect on the construction of a facial composite produced by a modern, computerized feature-based system. Participants were shown a target face and constructed a composite of it the following day using PRO-fit software. Composites were less identifiable when, prior to face construction, participants were exposed to misinformation-in this case, by reading a description of an inaccurate identity: a face that was different to theirs (relative to participants who read a description of the same identity, or did not read a description at all). This is important for criminal justice systems and security services as facial composites constructed under such circumstances would appear to be less identifiable, thus limiting the effectiveness of this type of forensic evidence.
    • Implementation intention and planning interventions in health psychology: recommendations from the Synergy Expert Group for research and practice

      Hagger, Martin S.; Luszczynska, Aleksandra; de Wit, John; Benyamini, Yael; Burkert, Silke; Chamberland, Pier-Eric; Chater, Angel M.; Dombrowski, Stephan U.; van Dongen, Anne; French, David P.; et al. (Routledge, 2016-03-16)
      The current article details a position statement and recommendations for future research and practice on planning and implementation intentions in health contexts endorsed by the Synergy Expert Group. The group comprised world-leading researchers in health and social psychology and behavioural medicine who convened to discuss priority issues in planning interventions in health contexts and develop a set of recommendations for future research and practice. The expert group adopted a nominal groups approach and voting system to elicit and structure priority issues in planning interventions and implementation intentions research. Forty-two priority issues identified in initial discussions were further condensed to 18 key issues, including definitions of planning and implementation intentions and 17 priority research areas. Each issue was subjected to voting for consensus among group members and formed the basis of the position statement and recommendations. Specifically, the expert group endorsed statements and recommendations in the following areas: generic definition of planning and specific definition of implementation intentions, recommendations for better testing of mechanisms, guidance on testing the effects of moderators of planning interventions, recommendations on the social aspects of planning interventions, identification of the preconditions that moderate effectiveness of planning interventions and recommendations for research on how people use plans.
    • Incoherence in the Iraq War narrative and the concept of collective attachment

      Sochos, Antigonos (Association for Psychohistory, 2015-12-31)
      As a major function of ideological and institutional frameworks is to provide security to the social group, by constructing ideologies and socio-political institutions, social groups also construct their objects of collective attachment. When social debates are conducted openly and freely, they are informed by secure collective attachment representations leading to effective and group-protecting action. When they are conducted in the context of social domination they are informed by insecure collective attachment representations, leading to ineffective and group-compromising action. The decision to invade Iraq in 2003 seems to have been informed by insecure collective attachment representations defining an incoherent social narrative and an ineffective protective strategy.
    • Introduction: Special section on well-being in academic employees

      Kinman, Gail; Johnson, Sheena; University of Bedfordshire; University of Manchester (American Psychological Association, 2019-05-31)
    • Investigating effects of emoji on neutral narrative text: evidence from eye movements and perceived emotional valence

      Robus, Christopher M.; Hand, Christopher J.; Filik, Ruth; Pitchford, Melanie; University of Bedfordshire; Glasgow Caledonian University; University of Nottingham (Elsevier, 2020-04-03)
      Digital images of faces such as emoji in virtual communication have become increasingly popular, but current research findings are inconsistent regarding their emotional effects on perceptions of text. Similarly, emoji effects on reading behaviours are largely unknown and require further examination. The present study (N = 41) investigated how the position and emotional valence of emoji in neutral narrative sentences influenced eye movements during reading and perceptions of sentence valence. Participants read neutral narrative sentences containing smiling or frowning emoji in sentence-initial or sentence-final positions and rated the perceived emotional valence of the sentence. Results from linear mixed-effects models demonstrated significantly longer fixations on sentence-final emoji and longer sentence reading times when emoji were in sentence-final positions. These findings are comparable to sentence ‘wrap-up’ effects witnessed in the processing of lexical units during sentence reading, providing new evidence towards the way readers integrate emoji into contextual processing. However, no impact of emoji valence or position on first-pass target word processing or sentence-valence ratings were found. This would refute previous suggestions that digital faces influence text valence, raising questions about reader preference for emoji or sentence sentiment, the influence of sentence formatting, and delivery/display mechanism on these effects.
    • Investigating the depression-anxiety link in clients receiving Integrative Counselling

      Sochos, Antigonos; Kotonou, Marina; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2017-01-30)
      Objective: The aim of this paper was to investigate how anxiety and depression impact upon each other over the course of a counselling intervention. Method: A single-group repeated measures quasi-experimental design was employed. Data were collected at four time points: at pre-therapy assessment and at first, third, and last sessions. The sample consisted of 562 predominantly white British clients receiving Integrative Counselling at North Kent Mind, UK. Two measures were used: the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Scale to measure anxiety and the Patient Health Questionnaire to measure depression. Results: Clients improved in both dimensions at every measurement point. Path analysis suggested that anxiety and depression remained interlinked throughout treatment but they presented different effect profiles. They both appeared to have a premature effect on the other, but they did so in different ways. Conclusions: The therapeutic relationship may be a crucial factor in understanding the  premature effect observed and future research should utilise direct measures of the relationship. 
    • Investigating the validity of the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale in a Nepali student sample

      Sochos, Antigonos; Regmi, Murari Prasad; Basnet, Dess Mardan (Wiley, 2020-11-26)
      This paper investigates the cross‐cultural validity of the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale. Two samples of university students were recruited: 504 from a Nepali university and 260 from a UK university. In relation to culture, structural equation modelling analyses provided support for the scale's configural invariance and the configural, metric, and scalar invariance of two if its subscales. Evidence for measurement invariance was also found in relation to gender in both samples. Tentative analyses suggested that the correlation between self and other emotion appraisal was stronger among UK participants and that UK participants scored higher on the Other Emotion Appraisal subscale. No gender differences on emotional intelligence were found in the Nepali sample, while among UK students, males scored higher on Regulation of Emotion and lower on Other Emotion Appraisal than females. In the Nepali sample, science students scored lower on various aspects of emotional intelligence than humanities students.
    • “It really is about telling people who asylum seekers really are, because we are human like anybody else”: negotiating victimhood in refugee advocacy work

      Wroe, Lauren; (Sage Journals, 2017-11-22)
      This article explores how refugee advocates, and refugees themselves, manage social hostility towards refugees and migrants through their talk, specifically how this hostility is managed through orientation to the category ‘victim’. Case studies from the publicity materials of four advocacy organisations, as well as the ‘internal’ talk of their staff, volunteers and beneficiaries collected via Narrative Biographical Interviews, are analysed using discourse analytic methods, specifically Membership Categorisation Analysis. This allows insight into the differing aspects of the organisation’s talk and allows analysis of how orientation to the victim category is distributed and managed across the ‘dialogical network’. This discourse analytic approach, sensitive to how members of the ‘dialogical network’ make hostile and sympathetic voices relevant features of their local talk and manage categorisations of refugees in often tacit ways, highlights a pattern of category change, where a reworking of the dominant modes of refugee representation performed by the organisations in their publicity materials is achieved by their members and beneficiaries. The category work negotiated by advocate and refugee informants rearranges the components of the helping relationship, centring the experience, voice and strength of asylum seekers/refugees, and de-centres the objectives of the helping organisations – offering insights into new ways forward for refugee advocacy as a practice of solidarity beyond charity.
    • It's not what you say, it's how you say it: language use on Facebook impacts employability but not attractiveness

      Scott, Graham G.; Sinclair, Jason; Short, Emma; Bruce, Gillian (Mary Ann Liebert Inc., 2014-07-31)
      The expansion and increasing diversity of the Internet has seen a growth in user-generated online content, and an escalation in incorrect and nonstandardized language use (e.g., text speak). This evolution has been exemplified by social networking sites such as Facebook. In our experiment, participants viewed six Facebook profiles whose walls contained status updates that were either spelled correctly, incorrectly, or using text speak, and then rated the profile owners on measures of attractiveness and employability. It was shown that language use had no impact on attractiveness, but users who used correct language were seen as more intelligent, competent, and employable. These results highlight the need to control language in this area of research by demonstrating the variables' seemingly elevated importance to employers compared to peers. The findings also pave the way for further exploration of the Warranting Theory of impression formation online and the role of language in social media-based identity statements and behavioral residue. © Copyright 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2014.
    • ‘It’s my secret space’: the benefits of mindfulness for social workers

      Kinman, Gail; Grant, Louise Jane; Kelly, Susan (Oxford Academic Press, 2019-06-10)
      Social workers are at high risk of job-related stress that can impair their wellbeing and professional practice. Although organisational support is a fundamental requirement, it has been argued that social workers need to develop emotional resilience to help them manage the demands of the job.  This mixed-method study examines the effects of an eight-week mindfulness training course on several resources previously found to underpin resilience in social workers (emotional self-efficacy, psychological flexibility, reflective ability and self-compassion) together with aspects of wellbeing relevant to the role (compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction and perceived stress).  Participants’ perceptions of the benefits of mindfulness for their wellbeing and professional practice are further explored via the content analysis of open-ended questions and semi-structured interviews. Emotional self-efficacy, psychological flexibility and compassion satisfaction increased following the intervention and compassion fatigue and perceived stress were reduced. No significant changes were found in reflective ability and self-compassion.  The qualitative data provided greater insight into the potential benefits of mindfulness for the wellbeing and job performance of social workers and factors that might encourage and discourage its use.
    • Job demands, resources and mental health in UK prison officers

      Kinman, Gail; Clements, Andrew James; Hart, Jacqui Ann (Oxford University Press, 2017-07-03)
      Background: Research findings indicate that working as a prison officer can be highly stressful, but the aspects of work that predict their mental health status are largely unknown. Aims: To examine, using elements of the demands-resources model, the extent to which work pressure and several potential resources (i.e. control, support from managers and coworkers, role clarity, effective working relationships and positive change management) predict mental health in a sample of UK prison officers. Methods: The Health and Safety Executive Management Standards Indicator Tool was used to measure job demands and resources. Mental health was assessed by the General Health Questionnaire-28. The effects of demands and resources on mental health were examined via linear regression analysis with GHQ score as the outcome. Results: The study sample comprised 1,267 prison officers (86% male). 74% met ‘caseness’ criteria for mental health problems. Job demands, poor interpersonal relationships, role ambiguity and, to a lesser extent, low job control and poor management of change were key predictors of mental health status. Conclusions: The findings of this study can help occupational health practitioners and psychologists develop structured interventions to improve wellbeing among prison officers.
    • Link between mindfulness and personality-related factors including empathy, theory of mind, openness, pro-social behaviour and suggestibility

      Kaviani, Hossein; Hatami, Neda; University of Bedfordshire; Tehran University of Medical Sciences (OMICS International, 2016-11-02)
      This research investigated a potential linkage between mindfulness and personality characteristics such as openness to experience, empathy (empathic concern and theory of mind), prosocial behavior and suggestibility. A sample of 275 volunteers was recruited. A series of the research questionnaires and scales was employed to measure mindfulness, empathic concern, theory of mind (or perspective taking), prosocial behavior (or altruism) and suggestibility. Based on the quartile scores, participants were divided into two low (first quartile) and high (forth quartile) on mindfulness. Using a two-way MANOVA, the results showed that participants high on mindfulness exhibited increased theory of mind, prosocial behaviour and openness, in addition to decreased suggestibility. Neither main nor interaction effects were found for gender factor. Theoretical models in the field of social cognition will be discussed to explain how enhancement in cognitive functions due to mindfulness practice might alter personality characteristics and, in turn, influence socio-political behaviour.
    • Masculinity, injury and death – implications for anti-knife-carrying messages

      Palasinski, Marek; Brown, William Michael; Shortland, Neil; Riggs, Damian W.; Chen, Minsi; Bowman-Grieve, Lorraine (SAGE, 2019-01-18)
      Although knives are the most common homicide instrument in Britain, factors that influence knife-carrying tolerance (i.e., the extent to which it is seen as acceptable and justified) and perceptions of anti-knife messages (i.e., slogans and posters aimed at reducing knife crime) have not been examined, which the current paper will cover by featuring progressively related studies.  In Study 1, 227 men took part in a study on factors associated with knife-carrying.  In Study 2, 200 participants took part in an experimental study on anti-knife slogans.  In Study 3, 169 men took part in a study on existing anti-knife injury posters.  In Study 4, 151 men took part in a study on anti-knife CGI posters.  Study 1 proposes a structural equation model that shows the inter-correlations between physical defence ability, limited trust in authority, limited control over one’s status and the need for respect, and how they predict aggressive masculinity (i.e. macho culture), which, in turn, predicts knife-carrying tolerance.  The model also reveals two significant latent factors: saving face inter-male competition (i.e., honor) and perceived social ecological constraints (i.e., socio-economic limitations).  Study 2 shows that the injury slogan was rated as most persuasive.  Study 3 shows that the fresh injury poster was rated as most persuasive, emotional and believable.  Study 4 shows that it was the eye injury that was rated as most persuasive, emotional and believable. The paper supports protection motivation theory and offers practical insights into tackling knife crime.
    • Mate value and self-esteem: evidence from eight cultural groups

      Goodwin, Robin; Marshall, Tara; Fülöp, Marta; Adonu, Joseph; Spiewak, Slawomir; Neto, Felix; Hernandez Plaza, Sonia; Brunel University; Hungarian Academy of Sciences; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2012-12-31)
      This paper explores self-perceived mate value (SPMV), and its association with self-esteem, in eight cultures. 1066 participants, from 8 cultural groups in 7 countries, rated themselves on 24 SPMVs and completed a measure of self-esteem. Consistent with evolutionary theory, women were more likely to emphasise their caring and passionate romantic nature. In line with previous cross-cultural research, characteristics indicating passion and romance and social attractiveness were stressed more by respondents from individualistic cultures, and those higher on self-expression (rather than survival) values; characteristics indicative of maturity and confidence were more likely to be mentioned by those from Traditional, rather than Secular, cultures. Contrary to gender role theory, societal equality had only limited interactions with sex and SPMV, with honesty of greater significance for male self-esteem in societies with unequal gender roles. These results point to the importance of cultural and environmental factors in influencing self-perceived mate qualities, and are discussed in relation to broader debates about the impact of gender role equality on sex differences in personality and mating strategies.
    • Measuring health and broader well-being benefits in the context of opiate dependence: the psychometric performance of the ICECAP-A and the EQ-5D-5L

      Frew, Emma; Goranitis, Ilias; Coast, Joanna; Day, Ed; Copello, Alex; Freemantle, Nick; Seddon, Jennifer L.; Bennett, Carmel; University of Birmingham; University of Bristol; et al. (Elsevier Ltd, 2019-03-26)
      Background Measuring outcomes in economic evaluations of social care interventions is challenging because both health and well-being benefits are evident. The ICEpop CAPability instrument for adults (ICECAP-A) and the five-level EuroQol five-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) are measures potentially suitable for the economic evaluation of treatments for substance use disorders. Evidence for their validity in this context is, however, lacking. Objectives To assess the construct validity of the ICECAP-A and the EQ-5D-5L in terms of convergent and discriminative validity and sensitivity to change on the basis of standard clinical measures (Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure, Treatment Outcomes Profile, Interpersonal Support Evaluation List, Leeds Dependence Questionnaire, and Social Satisfaction Questionnaire). Methods A secondary analysis of pilot trial data for heroin users in opiate substitution treatment was conducted. Baseline convergence with clinical measures was assessed using the Pearson correlation coefficient. Discriminative validity was assessed using one-way analysis of variance and stepwise regressions. Sensitivity to changes in clinical indicators was assessed at 3 and 12 months using the standardized response mean statistic and parametric and nonparametric testing. Results Both measures had the same level of construct validity, except for clinical indicators of well-being, for which the ICECAP-A performed better. The ICECAP-A was sensitive to changes in both health and well-being indicators. The EQ-5D-5L had lower levels of sensitivity to change, and a ceiling effect (27%), particularly evident in the dimensions of self-care (89%), mobility (75%), and usual activities (72%). Conclusions The findings support the construct validity of both measures, but the ICECAP-A gives more attention to broader impacts and is more sensitive to change. The ICECAP-A shows promise in evaluating treatments for substance use disorders for which recovery is the desired outcome.
    • Mindfulness: cognitive and emotional change

      Kaviani, Hossein; University of Bedfordshire (OMICS International, 2016-12-28)