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This chapter describes the behavior change technique of goal setting. Goal setting is an established and ubiquitous technique that has been used successfully in varied and diverse contexts, for multiple behaviors, and in numerous populations. Goal setting encompasses many different perspectives from individual-level goal setting (e.g., making a new year’s resolution or reading one book a week) to goal setting by global organizations (e.g., the United Nations’ sustainable development goals). This chapter considers many different kinds of goal setting interventions, including those that have emerged in popular culture and those derived from specific theories. Given that goal setting is ubiquitous, numerous theories have emerged to explain how and why goals operate, with Locke and Latham’s (1990) goal setting theory, the focus of the current chapter, as the only theory that deals with goal setting as a behavior change technique in its own right. Goal setting theory is described in detail and used to illustrate how different types of goal setting interventions might operate. The final section includes a step-by-step guide of what to do, what not to do, and what can be left to personal preference when setting goals.
This chapter provides an overview of the use of affect-based interventions to change behavior. Affect is defined in terms of affect proper and affect processing; both of these terms are used regularly in research on affect interventions. The evidence of direct modification of these affect constructs is then reviewed. Based on this evidence, step-by-step guides to techniques focusing on changing two key aspects of affective processing are provided: changing affective attitudes and anticipated affect. The guides to these techniques include typical means of delivery, target audience, behaviors, enabling or inhibiting factors, training and skills required, intensiveness, typical materials needed, and typical examples of implementation. In addition, application of implementation intentions, fear appeals, evaluative conditioning, and exercise games as other ways to change affect as a means to changing behavior are reviewed. Finally, two additional intervention pathways that could have impact on behavior change are reviewed: direct modification of other sources of behavioral influence (e.g., traditional social cognitive factors) in order to overcompensate for the impact of affect and self-regulation of the intensity of the affect experience as a means of inhibiting its impact.
The nature and degree of cognitive impairments in schizoaffective disorder is not well established. The aim of this meta-analysis was to characterise cognitive functioning in schizoaffective disorder and compare it with cognition in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Schizoaffective disorder was considered both as a single category and as its two diagnostic subtypes, bipolar and depressive disorder.
Following a thorough literature search (468 records identified), we included 31 studies with a total of 1685 participants with schizoaffective disorder, 3357 with schizophrenia and 1095 with bipolar disorder. Meta-analyses were conducted for seven cognitive variables comparing performance between participants with schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia, and between schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder.
Participants with schizoaffective disorder performed worse than those with bipolar disorder (g = −0.30) and better than those with schizophrenia (g = 0.17). Meta-analyses of the subtypes of schizoaffective disorder showed cognitive impairments in participants with the depressive subtype are closer in severity to those seen in participants with schizophrenia (g = 0.08), whereas those with the bipolar subtype were more impaired than those with bipolar disorder (g = −0.23) and less impaired than those with schizophrenia (g = 0.29). Participants with the depressive subtype had worse performance than those with the bipolar subtype but this was not significant (g = 0.25, p = 0.05).
Cognitive impairments increase in severity from bipolar disorder to schizoaffective disorder to schizophrenia. Differences between the subtypes of schizoaffective disorder suggest combining the subtypes of schizoaffective disorder may obscure a study's results and hamper efforts to understand the relationship between this disorder and schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Many psychiatric disorders show gender differences in prevalence. Recent studies suggest that female patients diagnosed with anxiety and depression carry more genetic risks related to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared with affected males.
In this register-based study, we aimed to test whether female patients who received clinical diagnoses of anxiety, depressive, bipolar and eating disorders are at higher familial risk for ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders, compared with diagnosed male patients.
We analysed data from a record-linkage of several Swedish national registers, including 151 025 sibling pairs from 103 941 unique index individuals diagnosed with anxiety, depressive, bipolar or eating disorders, as well as data from 646 948 cousin pairs. We compared the likelihood of having a relative diagnosed with ADHD/neurodevelopmental disorders in index males and females.
Female patients with anxiety disorders were more likely than affected males to have a brother with ADHD (odd ratio (OR) = 1.13, 95% CI 1.05–1.22). Results for broader neurodevelopmental disorders were similar and were driven by ADHD diagnoses. Follow-up analyses revealed similar point estimates for several categories of anxiety disorders, with the strongest effect observed for agoraphobia (OR = 1.64, 95% CI 1.12–2.39). No significant associations were found in individuals with depressive, bipolar or eating disorders, or in cousins.
These results provide modest support for the possibility that familial/genetic risks for ADHD may show gender-specific phenotypic expression. Alternatively, there could be gender-specific biases in diagnoses of anxiety and ADHD. These factors could play a small role in the observed gender differences in prevalence of ADHD and anxiety.
The term flow originates from studies on what motivates people to devote more time to activities – across both work and play settings – than could be expected based on external rewards such as money or fame. The main underlying reason appears to be the intrinsically rewarding subjective experience of flow. Flow refers to a psychological state of high but subjectively effortless attention, low self–awareness, sense of control and enjoyment that can occur during the performance of tasks that are challenging but matched in difficulty to the skill level of the person. This chapter gives an introduction to flow that focuses on the prerequisites and phenomenology of effortless attention, and how the flow experience relates to perception, cognition, and action. Flow and creativity are discussed in particular detail, centering on three hypotheses of how flow may relate to creative cognition; as a motivating factor for task engagement and skill acquisition, as a feedback signal for optimal task-based adaptation, and as relying on similar psychological and neural underpinnings. Lastly, the need for more basic research and applied research is discussed – the former on the relation between flow states and the quality of creative performance and the latter on how the concept of flow could be implemented successfully in training and education.
This essay is an outline of some of the key terms in the classical Sanskrit tradition that can be translated as “imagination.” This enables us to map a very different yet recognizable terrain for our understanding of the concept. The essay is in four parts. The first looks at the articulation of ideas recognizably centred on imagination in the performative aspects of early or Vedic texts (1500–300 BCE). The second presents various terms that approach different aspects of “imagination,” and looks at some of the genres within which these terms were thematized. The third section surveys some influential contemplative practices in which imagination was carefully explored as a disciplined way of cultivating and expanding awareness. The fourth section very briefly considers the philosophical question of the cognitive status of imagination at least in aesthetic production. The conclusion opens up discussion about how this tradition of thematizing imagination may enrich the contemporary study of imagination, whose philosophical roots lie in the Western tradition.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a persistent, pervasive disorder characterised by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Although traditionally considered a disorder of childhood, symptoms and associated impairments persist into adulthood for a significant proportion of individuals. Untreated ADHD can have a number of adverse effects for both the individual and wider society. Despite this, ADHD in adults is often misdiagnosed or its diagnosis is ‘missed’ in general psychiatric settings and this article highlights some reasons for this.
Impairments in social cognition contribute significantly to disability in schizophrenia patients (SzP). Perception of facial expressions is critical for social cognition. Intact perception requires an individual to visually scan a complex dynamic social scene for transiently moving facial expressions that may be relevant for understanding the scene. The relationship of visual scanning for these facial expressions and social cognition remains unknown.
In 39 SzP and 27 healthy controls (HC), we used eye-tracking to examine the relationship between performance on The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT), which tests social cognition using naturalistic video clips of social situations, and visual scanning, measuring each individual's relative to the mean of HC. We then examined the relationship of visual scanning to the specific visual features (motion, contrast, luminance, faces) within the video clips.
TASIT performance was significantly impaired in SzP for trials involving sarcasm (p < 10−5). Visual scanning was significantly more variable in SzP than HC (p < 10−6), and predicted TASIT performance in HC (p = 0.02) but not SzP (p = 0.91), differing significantly between groups (p = 0.04). During the visual scanning, SzP were less likely to be viewing faces (p = 0.0001) and less likely to saccade to facial motion in peripheral vision (p = 0.008).
SzP show highly significant deficits in the use of visual scanning of naturalistic social scenes to inform social cognition. Alterations in visual scanning patterns may originate from impaired processing of facial motion within peripheral vision. Overall, these results highlight the utility of naturalistic stimuli in the study of social cognition deficits in schizophrenia.
This chapter considers ways that perceived time – both at the level of seconds and lifetimes – may influence adult development. Research suggests that age-related impairments in divided attention contribute to older adults’ underestimation of short-term duration judgments. A separate literature suggests that perceived constraints on future time lead to the prioritization of emotionally meaningful goals. We consider ways that these two research streams may inform one another. Findings about duration judgments may help to explain age-related time acceleration that affects perceptions of the future. Findings about motivational changes associated with perceived constraints on time may influence attention in ways that reduce accuracy of duration judgments. We urge joint consideration of these literatures in hypothesis generation about developmental trajectories of cognitive processing, motivation, and emotional well-being.
Even healthy older people undergo some cognitive decline with real-world consequences, although the neural plasticity persisting in older brains indicates substrates for interventions. Yet there is no consensus on cognitive interventions. The literature on cognitive training is equivocal regarding the factors important in far transfer of training to untrained abilities. That there have been few hypotheses on mechanisms underlying far transfer of training is an obstacle to the design of cognitive interventions. We evaluate two hypotheses: (1) updating and (2) distraction suppression. (1) The updating hypothesis argues that updating and monitoring of working memory representations is an important mechanism of far transfer of training. Two meta-analyses of n-back training tasks found small, but significant, effect sizes in favor of transfer to fluid intelligence (Gf) in young and older people. However, direct tests of the updating hypothesis supported only narrow transfer effects. (2) The distraction suppression hypothesis argues that suppression of irrelevant events has a central role in cognitive processing. Perceptual discrimination training improved distraction suppression, enhanced neural activity associated with task-relevant targets, suppressed neural activity associated with task-irrelevant distractions, improved brain-stem evoked potential firing patterns and “speech-in-noise” perception, transferred to working memory, and reduced risk of dementia in a large-scale study. The evidence supports the conclusion that the strongest far transfer of cognitive training would be achieved by combined updating and distraction suppression training. Even small effect sizes of transfer to Gf can be beneficial to older people, consistent with the growing evidence for the role of lifestyle factors, including educational attainment, in risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
To assess the influence of mild behavioral impairment (MBI) on the cognitive performance of older adults who are cognitively healthy or have mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Secondary data analysis of a sample (n = 497) of older adults from the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center who were either cognitively healthy (n = 285) or diagnosed with MCI (n = 212). Over half of the sample (n = 255) met the operationalized diagnostic criteria for MBI. Cognitive domains of executive function, attention, short-term memory, and episodic memory were assessed using a battery of neuropsychological tests.
Older adults with MBI performed worse on tasks of executive function, attention, and episodic memory compared to those without MBI. A significant interaction revealed that persons with MBI and MCI performed worse on tasks of episodic memory compared to individuals with only MCI, but no significant differences were found in performance in cognitively healthy older adults with or without MBI on this cognitive domain. As expected, cognitively healthy older adults performed better than individuals with MCI on every domain of cognition.
The present study found evidence that independent of cognitive status, individuals with MBI performed worse on tests of executive function, attention, and episodic memory than individuals without MBI. Additionally, those with MCI and MBI perform significantly worse on episodic memory tasks than individuals with only MCI. These results provide support for a unique cognitive phenotype associated with MBI and highlight the necessity for assessing both cognitive and behavioral symptoms.
Children treated for brain tumors often experience social and emotional difficulties, including challenges with emotion regulation; our goal was to investigate the attention-related component processes of emotion regulation, using a novel eye-tracking measure, and to evaluate its relations with emotional functioning and white matter (WM) organization.
Fifty-four children participated in this study; 36 children treated for posterior fossa tumors, and 18 typically developing children. Participants completed two versions of an emotion regulation eye-tracking task, designed to differentiate between implicit (i.e., automatic) and explicit (i.e., voluntary) subprocesses. The Emotional Control scale from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function was used to evaluate emotional control in daily life, and WM organization was assessed with diffusion tensor imaging.
We found that emotional faces captured attention across all groups (F(1,51) = 32.18, p < .001, η2p = .39). However, unlike typically developing children, patients were unable to override the attentional capture of emotional faces when instructed to (emotional face-by-group interaction: F(2,51) = 5.58, p = .006, η2p = .18). Across all children, our eye-tracking measure of emotion regulation was modestly associated with the parent-report emotional control score (r = .29, p = .045), and in patients it was associated with WM microstructure in the body and splenium of the corpus callosum (all t > 3.03, all p < .05).
Our findings suggest that an attention-related component process of emotion regulation is disrupted in children treated for brain tumors, and that it may relate to their emotional difficulties and WM organization. This work provides a foundation for future theoretical and mechanistic investigations of emotional difficulties in brain tumor survivors.
Both clinically observable and subclinical hemispatial neglect are related to functional disability. The aim of the present study was to examine whether increasing task complexity improves sensitivity in assessment and whether it enables the identification of subclinical neglect.
We developed and compared two computerized dual-tasks, a simpler and a more complex one, and presented them on a large, 173 × 277 cm screen. Participants in the study included 40 patients with unilateral stroke in either the left hemisphere (LH patient group, n = 20) or the right hemisphere (RH patient group, n = 20) and 20 healthy controls. In addition to the large-screen tasks, all participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. The Bells Test was used as a traditional paper-and-pencil cancellation test to assess neglect.
RH patients made significantly more left hemifield omission errors than controls in both large-screen tasks. LH patients’ omissions did not differ significantly from those of the controls in either large-screen task. No significant group differences were observed in the Bells Test. All groups’ reaction times were significantly slower in the more complex large-screen task compared to the simpler one. The more complex large-screen task also produced significantly slower reactions to stimuli in the left than in the right hemifield in all groups.
The present results suggest that dual-tasks presented on a large screen sensitively reveal subclinical neglect in stroke. New, sensitive, and ecologically valid methods are needed to evaluate subclinical neglect.
Forgetting names is a common memory concern for people with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and is related to explicit memory deficits and pathological changes in the medial temporal lobes at the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the current experiment, we tested a unique method to improve memory for face–name associations in people with aMCI involving incidental rehearsal of face–name pairs.
Older adults with aMCI and age- and education-matched controls learned 24 face–name pairs and were tested via immediate cued recall with faces as cues for associated names. During a 25- to 30-min retention interval, 10 of the face–name pairs reappeared as a quarter of the items on a seemingly unrelated 1-back task on faces, with the superimposed names irrelevant to the task. After the delay, surprise delayed cued recall and forced-choice associative recognition tests were administered for the face–name pairs.
Both groups showed reduced forgetting of the names that repeated as distraction and enhanced recollection of these pairs.
The results demonstrate that passive methods to prompt automatic retrieval of associations may hold promise as interventions for people with early signs of AD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the commonest disorder presenting to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Ireland. ADMiRE is a specialist ADHD service in South Dublin that provides assessment and intervention for >200 children and adolescents with ADHD.
The first section of this article considers the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the provision of mental health services for young people with ADHD with specific reference to the difficulties that have been experienced in ADMiRE since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Ireland. In ADMiRE, there has been a significant reduction of face to face consultations, postponement of new assessments, difficulties with physical monitoring, delays in medication initiation, suspension of medication titration, lack of group interventions and problems with access to controlled drug prescriptions. Current guidelines and alternative ways of ensuring adequate service provision are discussed.
Restrictions to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 are likely to continue for many months, and child and adolescent mental health services need to find new ways to provide a sustainable service to young people in Ireland. There is a growing evidence base for telepsychiatry, the use of technology such as video conferencing to deliver mental health care remotely, and this approach may be particularly useful in assessment and management of ADHD. The second section of this article discusses the evidence base for telepsychiatry in ADHD, and outlines factors that should be considered when developing a telepsychiatry service for children and adolescents with ADHD.
Previous research has demonstrated that individual differences in conflict management predict second-language (L2) reading skill. The current experiment tested the hypothesis that this relation reflects the need to manage conflict from cross-linguistic interactions (CLI). A novel model specifying the relation between L2 reading skill, CLI, and the predictors of such interactions was tested in 253 L2 English speaking adults, using structural equation modeling. In support of the hypothesis, the findings revealed that stronger CLI was related to poorer L2 reading skill. In addition, variability in non-linguistic conflict management, as measured by executive attention tasks, and relative language dominance reliably predicted CLI. Specifically, better conflict management and lower L1 dominance corresponded to fewer interactions. These results fill a crucial gap by demonstrating for the first time that the ability to manage CLI is critical to L2 reading, and that both cognitive skills and language experience contribute to variability in these interactions.
Facial movements of others during verbal and social interaction are often too rapid to be faced and/or processed in time by numerous children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which could contribute to their face-to-face interaction peculiarities. We wish here to measure the effect of reducing the speed of one's facial dynamics on the visual exploration of the face by children with ASD. Twenty-three children with ASD and 29 typically-developing control children matched for chronological age passively viewed a video of a speaker telling a story at various velocities, i.e., a real-time speed and two slowed-down speeds. The visual scene was divided into four areas of interest (AOI): face, mouth, eyes, and outside the face. With an eye-tracking system, we measured the percentage of total fixation duration per AOI and the number and mean duration of the visual fixations made on each AOI. In children with ASD, the mean duration of visual fixations on the mouth region, which correlated with their verbal level, increased at slowed-down velocity compared with the real-time one, a finding which parallels a result also found in the control children. These findings strengthen the therapeutic potential of slowness for enhancing verbal and language abilities in children with ASD.
Reward sensitivity is an increasingly used construct in psychiatry, yet its possible inner structure and relationship with other affective variables are not well known.
A reward sensitivity measurement scale was constructed on the basis of large item pool collected from birth cohort representative samples (the Estonian Children Personality Behaviour and Health Study; original n = 1238). Affective Neuroscience Personality Scale (ANPS) and the Adult Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Self-Report Scale (ASRS) were administered in young adulthood. A variant (rs4570625) of the gene encoding tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) that is responsible for the synthesis of central serotonin was genotyped.
Reward sensitivity consisted of two orthogonal components, operationally defined as Openness to Rewards and Insatiability by Reward, that respectively characterise the striving towards multiple rewards and the strong pursuit and fixation to a particular reward. While SEEKING and PLAY (and to lower extent CARE) of the ANPS co-varied with Openness to Rewards, FEAR, SADNESS, and ANGER were related to Insatiability by Reward. The total score of ASRS was moderately correlated with Insatiability by Reward, while the association with Openness to Rewards was negligible. However, ASRS Inattention had some negative relationship with the Social Experience facet of Openness to Rewards. The T/T homozygotes for the TPH2 promoter polymorphism had lower Insatiability by Reward but not Openness to Rewards.
Behaviours sensitive to rewards are separable to the components of variability and fixation, and these components are differentially related to affective aspects of personality, attention, and hyperactivity as well as to TPH2 genotype.
Detecting, whether a document contains sufficient new information to be deemed as novel, is of immense significance in this age of data duplication. Existing techniques for document-level novelty detection mostly perform at the lexical level and are unable to address the semantic-level redundancy. These techniques usually rely on handcrafted features extracted from the documents in a rule-based or traditional feature-based machine learning setup. Here, we present an effective approach based on neural attention mechanism to detect document-level novelty without any manual feature engineering. We contend that the simple alignment of texts between the source and target document(s) could identify the state of novelty of a target document. Our deep neural architecture elicits inference knowledge from a large-scale natural language inference dataset, which proves crucial to the novelty detection task. Our approach is effective and outperforms the standard baselines and recent work on document-level novelty detection by a margin of
3% in terms of accuracy.