• Presenteeism in academic employees - occupational and individual factors

      Kinman, Gail; Wray, Siobhan; University of Bedfordshire; York St John University (Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy B - Oxford Open Option D, 2018-01-17)
      Background: There is growing evidence that presenteeism can be damaging for individuals and organisations. It is therefore important to identify the prevalence of working while sick in different working environments and the factors that contribute to such behaviour.   Aims: To examine the prevalence of self-reported presenteeism in academic staff working in UK universities and colleges and the extent to which job demands, control, support and work engagement are risk factors. Methods: Scales from the Health and Safety Executive Management Standards Indicator Tool were used to measure job demands, control and support from managers and co-workers. Work engagement was assessed using a validated measure and the frequency of self-reported presenteeism was measured. The effects of demands, control, support and engagement on presenteeism were examined with ordinal regression analysis. Results: The study sample comprised 6,874 people working in academic roles in UK colleges and universities (59% female).  Most respondents (88%) reported working while sick at least sometimes. The risk factors for presenteeism were job demands, control, support from managers and work engagement. Conclusions: The findings of this study indicate that presenteeism is commonplace in UK colleges and universities. Some of the features of the job that might encourage employees to work while sick are highlighted, whereas engagement in work was an additional risk factor.  
    • Problem solving: perspectives from cognition and neuroscience

      Robertson, S. Ian (Taylor and Francis Inc., 2016-11-28)
      The way that we assess and overcome problems is an essential part of everyday life. Problem Solving provides a clear introduction to the underlying mental processes involved in solving problems. Drawing on research from cognitive psychology and neuroscience, it examines the methods and techniques used by both novices and experts in familiar and unfamiliar situations. This edition has been comprehensively updated throughout, and now features cutting-edge content on creative problem solving, insight and neuroscience. Each chapter is written in an accessible way, and contains a range of student-friendly features such as activities, chapter summaries and further reading. The book also provides clear examples of studies and approaches that help the reader fully understand important and complex concepts in greater detail. Problem Solving fully engages the reader with the difficulties and methodologies associated with problem solving. This book will be of great use to undergraduate students of cognitive psychology, education and neuroscience, as well as readers and professionals with an interest in problem solving.
    • Problem-solving deficits in Iranian people with borderline personality disorder

      Akbari Dehaghi, Ashraf; Kaviani, Hossein; Tamanaeefar, Shima; Tehran University of Medical Sciences; University of Bedfordshire (Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, 2014-12-31)
      Interventions for people suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD), such as dialectical behavior therapy, often include a problem-solving component. However, there is an absence of published studies examining the problem-solving abilities of this client group in Iran. The study compared inpatients and outpatients with BPD and a control group on problem-solving capabilities in an Iranian sample. It was hypothesized that patients with BPD would have more deficiencies in this area. Fifteen patients with BPD were compared to 15 healthy participants. Means-ends problem-solving task (MEPS) was used to measure problem-solving skills in both groups. BPD group reported less effective strategies in solving problems as opposed to the healthy group. Compared to the control group, participants with BPD provided empirical support for the use of problem-solving interventions with people suffering from BPD. The findings supported the idea that a problem-solving intervention can be efficiently applied either as a stand-alone therapy or in conjunction with other available psychotherapies to treat people with BPD. OBJECTIVE METHODS RESULTS CONCLUSIONS
    • Procedural and declarative memory task performance, and the memory consolidation function of sleep, in recent and abstinent ecstasy/MDMA users

      Blagrove, Mark; Seddon, Jennifer L.; George, Sophie; Parrott, Andrew C.; Stickgold, Robert; Walker, Matthew P.; Jones, Katy A.; Morgan, Michael J. (SAGE, 2010-07-08)
      Ecstasy/MDMA use has been associated with various memory deficits. This study assessed declarative and procedural memory in ecstasy/MDMA users. Participants were tested in two sessions, 24 h apart, so that the memory consolidation function of sleep on both types of memory could also be assessed. Groups were: drug-naive controls (n = 24); recent ecstasy/MDMA users, who had taken ecstasy/MDMA 2-3 days before the first testing session (n = 25), and abstinent users, who had not taken ecstasy/MDMA for at least 8 days before testing (n = 17). Procedural memory did not differ between groups, but greater lifetime consumption of ecstasy was associated with poorer procedural memory. Recent ecstasy/MDMA users who had taken other drugs (mainly cannabis) 48-24 h before testing exhibited poorer declarative memory than controls, but recent users who had not taken other drugs in this 48-24-h period did not differ from controls. Greater lifetime consumption of ecstasy, and of cocaine, were associated with greater deficits in declarative memory. These results suggest that procedural, as well as declarative, memory deficits are associated with the extent of past ecstasy use. However, ecstasy/MDMA did not affect the memory consolidation function of sleep for either the declarative or the procedural memory task.
    • Psychological distress, physical symptoms, and the role of attachment style in acupuncture

      Sochos, Antigonos; Bennett, Ashley; University of Bedfordshire (InnoVision Health Media, 2016-10-04)
      Context • Attachment research has contributed significantly to the understanding of the origins as well as the treatment of psychological and somatic distress; however, no study so far has explored the role of attachment in acupuncture. The effects on endogenous opioids of both acupuncture and intimate interpersonal bonding as well as clients’ reliance on a practitioner’s care may suggest that individual differences in attachment style could be linked to individual differences in responses to acupuncture. Objective • The study intended to investigate the role of attachment style in determining outcomes in acupuncture. Design • A pre- and postintervention, single group, quasiexperimental design was used. Setting • Treatment and data collection took place in an acupuncture clinic in London, England, United Kingdom. Participants: Eighty-two acupuncture clients with a mean age of 46 ± 14.53 took part in the study. Participants suffered from a variety of somatic and psychological complaints. Intervention • Traditional Chinese acupuncture was administered to all participants in weekly sessions, with the mean number of sessions that participants received being 5 ± 3.5. Outcome Measures • Psychological distress and somatic symptoms were measured using the General Heath Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and the Bradford Somatic Inventory (BSI), respectively. The Relationship Questionnaire (RQ) was used to assess attachment style, with the 4 styles being secure, dismissing, preoccupied, and fearful. Results • After treatment, both somatic and nonsomatic distress were reduced (P <.001), whereas pretreatment associations between attachment insecurity and symptom severity ceased to exist. The strength rather than the quality of the attachment style moderated the reduction in somatic distress, whereas the preoccupied style of attachment moderated the effects of medically unexplained symptoms on distress. Conclusions • Attachment style may have an impact on acupuncture outcomes by predisposing individuals to different patterns of opioid elicitation and a different manner of relating to the practitioner.
    • The psychosocial hazards of academic work: an analysis of trends

      Wray, Siobhan; Kinman, Gail (Routledge, 2020-07-22)
      This study examines the psychosocial hazards experienced by academic staff working in UK institutions over time. A risk assessment framework developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was used to measure seven key hazards: demands, control, support from managers and colleagues, relationships, role and change management. Data were obtained from three waves of a national survey of academic staff across the UK (2008, n = 6,203; 2012, n = 7,068; 2014, n = 3,952). Mean scores for each hazard were compared with HSE benchmarks from the UK working population and changes over the three waves were examined. Apart from job control, none of the benchmarks was met and the risk associated with demands, manager and peer support, role and change was particularly high. An increase in most of the psychosocial hazards was found over time, particularly for job demands, control, role and relationships, showing clear cause for concern. How the findings could be used to monitor the wellbeing of academic staff over time and develop targeted interventions is considered.
    • Relationships between psychosocial characteristics and democratic values in Iranians: a cross-cultural study

      Kaviani, Hossein; Kinman, Gail; University of Bedfordshire (2017-04-11)
      This paper investigates the extent to which differences in people’s socio-political attitudes and behaviours are underpinned by individual characteristics. Two groups of volunteers: (a) an Iranian sample that have been resident in UK for less than two years, and (b) a British sample, took part in this study. A series of validated scales was used to examine differences in levels of empathy, theory of mind, flexibility, suggestibility, emotionality, openness, normative identity style, interpersonal trust, cooperativeness, emotionality, prosocial behaviour, egalitarian sex role, and authoritarianism between groups. Self-reported socio-political tendency, in terms of adherence to democracy, was also assessed. The results show significant differences in levels of these variables between the two cultural groups. Furthermore, the findings shed some light on the psychological and social factors that are related to democratic values and that predict this outcome in the two groups. Implications of the findings for policy makers and educational systems are discussed.
    • Research ethics in practice: lessons from studies exploring interpersonal violence in different contexts

      Vearey, Jo; Barter, Christine; Hynes, Patricia; McGinn, Tony (Policy Press, 2016-08-26)
      Studies researching interpersonal violence (IPV) are associated with a range of ethical challenges. In this article, lessons are drawn from three case studies exploring the experiences of different groups of survivors and perpetrators of IPV in diverse contexts: refugees in the Thailand-Burma border area; partner-violent adult men and female survivors in Ireland; and school children in five European countries. The ethical – and associated methodological – challenges faced, and the ways in which they were overcome, are presented. Drawing on the case studies presented, the article concludes that three key areas require special attention when conducting research in this field: accessing and recruiting participants, researcher skills and experience, and appropriate use of data.
    • A review of the role of radical feminist theories in the understanding of rape myth acceptance

      Maxwell, Louise; Scott, Graham G.; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2013-02-27)
      Research into rape myth acceptance (RMA) first emerged in the 1970s, when authors such as Brownmiller (1975) and Burt (1980) proposed that rape was a mechanism that allowed men to exert power over women and that the endorsement of rape myths justified this sexual dominance. These influential theories have meant that subsequent definitions of rape myths have failed to acknowledge male victims of serious sexual assault, despite an increase in prevalence rates. More recent research has attempted to explore RMA in relation to male victims, with results suggesting that men are more likely than women to endorse rape myths regarding male victims when the victim is assumed to be homosexual, or when the victim is heterosexual and the perpetrator is female. Brownmiller's theory is challenged and a more holistic view of the importance of sex-role traditionality is explored, while acknowledging the contribution of individual factors relating to the development of RMA. © 2014 © 2014 National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers.
    • The role of attention in eye-movement awareness

      Mahon, Aoife; Clarke, Alasdair D.F.; Hunt. Amelia R.; University of Aberdeen; University of Bedfordshire; University of Essex, (Springer, 2018-07-02)
      People are unable to accurately report on their own eye movements most of the time. Can this be explained as a lack of attention to the objects we fixate? Here, we elicited eye-movement errors using the classic oculomotor capture paradigm, in which people tend to look at sudden onsets even when they are irrelevant. In the first experiment, participants were able to report their own errors on about a quarter of the trials on which they occurred. The aim of the second experiment was to assess what differentiates errors that are detected from those that are not. Specifically, we estimated the relative influence of two possible factors: how long the onset distractor was fixated (dwell time), and a measure of how much attention was allocated to the onset distractor. Longer dwell times were associated with awareness of the error, but the measure of attention was not. The effect of the distractor identity on target discrimination reaction time was similar whether or not the participant was aware they had fixated the distractor. The results suggest that both attentional and oculomotor capture can occur in the absence of awareness, and have important implications for our understanding of the relationship between attention, eye movements, and awareness.
    • The role of child-keyworker attachment in burnout among Saudi residential staff

      Sochos, Antigonos; Aljasas, Najla Abdulrahman; University of Bedfordshire; University of Shaqra (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2020-07-02)
      Research on the impact of the keyworker-child relationship on residential staff is scarce. This longitudinal study investigated the potential moderating effects of child and keyworker attachment styles on the link between child behavioural problems and staff burnout and the moderating effects of child attachment style on the link between keyworker attachment style and keyworker burnout. Participants included 261 children and 59 residential child care workers, from 5 orphanages in Saudi Arabia. Five self-report measures were utilised: The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, the Security Scale, the Coping Strategies Questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Experiences in Close Relationships Questionnaire. Keyworkers caring for relatively non-avoidant children and those with an avoidant attachment style themselves experienced relatively high burnout a year later. Relatively high burnout was also reported by avoidant keyworkers who cared for avoidant and generally insecure children, while anxiously attached keyworkers reported relatively high burnout when they cared for children with any type of insecure attachment style. The present findings highlight essential interpersonal processes involved in the development of burnout in residential child care workers and call for the employment of attachment-focused interventions as measures of burnout prevention.
    • The role of serious games in the iManageCancer project

      Hoffmann, Stefan; Wilson, Stephen; Promotion Software GmbH; University of Bedfordshire (ecancer Global Foundation, 2018-07-11)
      Within the iManageCancer project, two serious games were developed, one for adults and one for children and adolescents. The adult’s game was developed by the University of Bedfordshire (UK), the kid’s game by Promotion Software GmbH (Germany). The aim was to support adult and young cancer patients with serious games to manage the impact of the disease on their psychological status, such as negative emotions, anxiety or depression, and motivate them to stay positive and to participate in social life [Patterson and Garwick (1994) Ann Behav Med 16 131–142; Brennan et al. (2002) J Consul Clin Psychol 70 1075–1085; Robinson et al. (2007) J Pediatr Psychol 32 400–410]. Early demonstrators showed how important it is that players understand the meaning behind the game design. Improvements in the design of the games addressed that issue. Also, technical and use case issues were found that had a significant impact on the outcome. Both games interact with the iManageCancer platform, record game results and make them available for research. Two pilots are on the way and another evaluation cycle will follow.
    • Scenarios for the development of smart grids in the UK: synthesis report

      Balta-Ozkan, Nazmiye; Watson, Tom; Connor, Peter; Axon, Colin; Whitmarsh, Lorraine; Davidson, Rosemary; Spence, Alexa; Baker, Phil; Xenias, Demitrios; UKERC (UKERC, 2014-02-05)
      ‘Smart grid’ is a catch-all term for the smart options that could transform the ways society produces, delivers and consumes energy, and potentially the way we conceive of these services. Delivering energy more intelligently will be fundamental to decarbonising the UK electricity system at least possible cost, while maintaining security and reliability of supply. Smarter energy delivery is expected to allow the integration of more low carbon technologies and to be much more cost effective than traditional methods, as well as contributing to economic growth by opening up new business and innovation opportunities. Innovating new options for energy system management could lead to cost savings of up to £10bn, even if low carbon technologies do not emerge. This saving will be much higher if UK renewable energy targets are achieved. Building on extensive expert feedback and input, this report describes four smart grid scenarios which consider how the UK’s electricity system might develop to 2050. The scenarios outline how political decisions, as well as those made in regulation, finance, technology, consumer and social behaviour, market design or response, might affect the decisions of other actors and limit or allow the availability of future options. The project aims to explore the degree of uncertainty around the current direction of the electricity system and the complex interactions of a whole host of factors that may lead to any one of a wide range of outcomes. Our addition to this discussion will help decision makers to understand the implications of possible actions and better plan for the future, whilst recognising that it may take any one of a number of forms.
    • Sickness presenteeism at work: prevalence, costs and management

      Kinman, Gail (OUP, 2019-01-11)
      Introduction: Presenteeism is defined as continuing to attend work during illness. As a growing health concern, awareness of the factors that encourage presenteeism and the risks of this behaviour is needed. Sources of data: A narrative review of research obtained via several databases, including Medline and Psycinfo, was conducted. Areas of agreement:  A range of contextual and individual factors is associated with presenteeism.  Workers in some sectors, such as healthcare, appear to be at greater risk. Presenteeism may facilitate rehabilitation and recovery but it can exacerbate existing health problems and increase the risk of subsequent illness and absence as well as impair workability. Areas of controversy: The incidence of sickness presenteeism is rising, alongside reductions in absenteeism. The growing awareness of the costs of presenteeism, especially in safety-critical environments, suggests that it should be considered a risk-taking behaviour and carefully measured and managed. Growing points and areas for developing research: Measuring presenteeism as well as absenteeism will provide more accurate information about employee health. Raising awareness of the risks of working while sick and the economic, moral, cultural and social pressures on employees to do so appears crucial. Systemic interventions to manage presenteeism based on research evidence are required. 
    • Silence is golden: using ‘safe words’ to promote research student ownership in supervisory meetings

      Clements, Andrew James; Kinman, Gail; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2017-03)
      The quality of supervisory relationships has a significant impact on research students’ ability to successfully attain their goals. One risk factor is contrasting expectations of the role of the supervisory team. We report a case where we became aware firstly, that a student may have different expectations to us (as supervisors) relating to the level of independence that we expected from them and secondly, that we had unwittingly enabled a passive approach which masked the student’s ability. We subsequently describe a strategy we developed, based on the use of ‘safe words,’ for ensuring that the student’s contributions took centre stage during supervisory meetings. Also considered is how this practice allowed us to make a more accurate assessment of their abilities as well as enabling us to form recommendations to help the student develop their ideas more independently.
    • Slower is not always better: response-time evidence clarifies the limited role of miserly information processing in the Cognitive Reflection Test.

      Stupple, Edward J.N.; Pitchford, Melanie; Ball, Linden J.; Hunt, Thomas E.; Steel, Richard; University of Derby; University of Bedfordshire; University of Central Lancashire; Loughborough University (Public Library of Science, 2017-12-31)
      We report a study examining the role of 'cognitive miserliness' as a determinant of poor performance on the standard three-item Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT). The cognitive miserliness hypothesis proposes that people often respond incorrectly on CRT items because of an unwillingness to go beyond default, heuristic processing and invest time and effort in analytic, reflective processing. Our analysis (N = 391) focused on people's response times to CRT items to determine whether predicted associations are evident between miserly thinking and the generation of incorrect, intuitive answers. Evidence indicated only a weak correlation between CRT response times and accuracy. Item-level analyses also failed to demonstrate predicted response-time differences between correct analytic and incorrect intuitive answers for two of the three CRT items. We question whether participants who give incorrect intuitive answers on the CRT can legitimately be termed cognitive misers and whether the three CRT items measure the same general construct.
    • Stress and wellbeing in prison officers

      Clements, Andrew James; Kinman, Gail; Hart, Jacqui Ann (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 2020-03-01)
      Prison officers are at greater risk of work-related stress than most other occupations in the UK (Johnson, et al, 2005). The rates of mental health problems and burnout in the profession are also comparatively high (Kinman et al., 2016; Kunst, 2011). Challenges to the wellbeing of prison staff include heavy workloads, lack of autonomy and support, low resources, role stressors and exposure to aggression and violence (Finney et al,. 2013).  In this chapter we draw on research conducted by ourselves and others that identifies the key stressors experienced by UK prison officers and the implications for their wellbeing and job performance. Particular focus is placed on our research that has utilised the Health and Safety Executive Management Standards framework to diagnose the psychosocial hazards experienced by prison staff, but other stressors, such as personal experiences of aggression and violence, poor recovery opportunities and presenteeism, are also considered.  We argue that carefully targeted, multi-level interventions are needed to address the challenges faced by the sector and identify priorities for future research.
    • Student experience of gamified learning: a qualitative approach

      Clements, Andrew James; Ahmed, Sajeel; Henderson, Bernadette; University of Bedfordshire (Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2017-10-17)
      Student engagement and student outcomes in Higher Education continue to be the subject of academic concern, and thus receive research attention. To address these concerns, we aim to explore the use of gamification to enhance student engagement, and thereby improving student learning and performance. Gamification represents the use of game elements to enhance engagement in activities such as learning.  This paper highlights the use of game elements such as: leader boards, scores for activities, and multiplayer (group) activities.  The paper does this by exploring students’ learning journeys, as well as their experience of modules in which gamification had been introduced. Group-based competitive activities were introduced to modules undertaken by business students, student nurses, and paramedic students.  Students undertaking these modules were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews.  Twelve students drawn from the three disciplines took part in these semi-structured interviews, which were digitally recorded to enable production of accurate transcripts. Thematic analysis was used to identify key themes from the interviews. To explain student responses and their learning experience, four themes were developed; challenge, difference, group processes, and competition. Students often presented themselves as enjoying challenge, although this was sometimes contrasted with enjoyment of ‘easy’ activities.  Challenge was presented not only as a motivational factor, but also sometimes as a barrier to success.  This sense of challenge was often conceptually linked to students’ perception of difference within their gamified learning, which was pedagogically distinct from their typical learning experience.  Most, but not all, expressed positive views of this difference.  As with the theme of challenge, discussion of difference could be both positive and negative.  Participants highlighted competition as a positive factor.  The competition between groups influenced some group processes.  Some students noted previous challenges involved in group-work, such as unequal work distribution.  Participants observed the potential for intra-group friction, while identifying the positive learning outcomes of group work.  Taken together, the analysis suggests that competitive group work is a beneficial strategy for enhancing student engagement and performance.
    • Supporting students of diverse cultures and faiths - experiences from a university perspective

      Gale, Jill; Thalitaya, Madhusudan Deepak (Medicinska Naklada Zagreb, 2017-09-01)
      Background: University of Bedfordshire is a large University with over 24000 students from over 100 countries. The main religions recorded are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jewish and Sikhism amongst others. Around 45% of them do not have any recorded religion. The Mental Health Advisor will come across a wide range of students from different backgrounds each with their own unique presentation of mental health distress. It is well known that people of different communities and cultures experience signs and symptoms of mental distress in different ways. This is very important for clinicians to be aware of the nuances around cultures and traditions in the context of mental illness in order to assist clinicians more accurately diagnose, support and manage them. In an effort to improve diagnosis and care to people of all backgrounds, the 5th edition of the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) incorporates a greater cultural sensitivity throughout the manual. This includes a reflection of crosscultural variations in presentations and cultural concepts of distress. Role of the Mental Health Advisor: The mental Health Advisor is available to help with practical support to assist students to manage their mental health and study. This includes support with an initial assessment, structures support, assisting with making reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act (2010), support students to access Disabled Student's Allowances and reasonable adjustments to enable them to study effectively and achieve their potential and where necessary, making appropriate referrals to internal and/or external services. One of the main roles of the advisor is to support students with mental health difficulties which are impacting on their studies. This support may include anxiety management, motivation, relaxation techniques, study plans and understanding the impact of medication. Discussion: This paper will look at some of the experiences faced by the mental health advisor and will also reflect on understanding the finer nuances of cultural aspects of mental health in different student communities. This paper will also reflect on the learning gained by these experiences which will help better support and assist the student population at the University of Bedfordshire.