Currrent Issue: Volume 3, Number 2, 2015


Article

Near Infrared Spectroscopic Study of Brain Activity during Cognitive Conflicts on Facial Expressions

1Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Japan


Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2015, 3(2), 32-38
doi: 10.12691/rpbs-3-2-3
Copyright © 2015 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Munehide Nakagawa, Mie Matsui, Masatoshi Katagiri, Takatoshi Hoshino. Near Infrared Spectroscopic Study of Brain Activity during Cognitive Conflicts on Facial Expressions. Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2015; 3(2):32-38. doi: 10.12691/rpbs-3-2-3.

Correspondence to: Mie  Matsui, Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Japan. Email: mmatsui@las.u-toyama.ac.jp

Abstract

The Stroop task has been typically used for measuring cognitive functions of inhibition and interference. However, this task has limited applications with young children, because reading ability is required to perform the task. Using a new, non-letter Stroop-like task named the ‘happy-sad task,’ in which participants are instructed to say ‘happy’ for a sad face and ‘sad’ for a happy face, we can assess differences in inhibition in participants from early childhood to adulthood. We investigated whether differences between the happy-sad task and the letter Stroop task could be observed in brain activation of healthy participants (N = 30), by using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and skin conductance responses (SCR). We focused on the right and left anterior prefrontal cortex and frontal pole, which are known as centers for response inhibition and processing of emotions. We used region-of-interest analysis that approximately covered these regions and compared brain activation patterns between the two tasks. Results indicated that there was prefrontal activation during both tasks. Particularly, the incongruent condition of the happy-sad task resulted in greater activation than the letter Stroop task. In addition, SCR amplitude for the happy-sad task was greater than that for the letter Stroop task. These findings suggest that brain activity in the happy-sad task is associated with suppression of emotions and inhibition of behavior.

Keywords

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Article

Academic Performance of Introductory Psychology Students: The Importance of Critical Thinking

1Department of Psychology, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Carolina, USA


Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2015, 3(2), 25-31
doi: 10.12691/rpbs-3-2-2
Copyright © 2015 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Kerry A. Schwanz, Megan McIlreavy. Academic Performance of Introductory Psychology Students: The Importance of Critical Thinking. Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2015; 3(2):25-31. doi: 10.12691/rpbs-3-2-2.

Correspondence to: Kerry  A. Schwanz, Department of Psychology, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Carolina, USA. Email: kaschwan@coastal.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the importance of critical thinking for academic performance of students enrolled in introductory level psychology courses. Critical thinking skills and academic self-efficacy were significantly related to how students performed at the end of an introductory psychology course. Critical thinking skills along with high school GPA were the best predictors of student learning at the end of the course. Critical thinking was not predictive of overall academic performance as measured by cumulative GPA at the end of the semester. Instead, high school GPA emerged as the sole predictor of cumulative GPA, accounting for 22% of the variance. Results indicated no significant difference in critical thinking, academic self-efficacy, or final exam performance at the end of the semester for students enrolled in psychology courses taught using two different methods; Team-Based Learning vs. a traditional lecture format. The implications for these findings as they relate to academic performance and overall student learning in higher education are discussed.

Keywords

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Article

Comparison of the Efficiency of Self-awareness, Stress Management, Effective Communication Life Skill Trainings on the Social and Academic Adjustment of First-year Students

1Department of Educational Science, Literature and Human Science Faculty, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2015, 3(2), 18-24
doi: 10.12691/rpbs-3-2-1
Copyright © 2015 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Farzaneh Michaeli Manee, Shahpoor Ahmadi Khoiee, Marjan Khosh Eghbal. Comparison of the Efficiency of Self-awareness, Stress Management, Effective Communication Life Skill Trainings on the Social and Academic Adjustment of First-year Students. Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2015; 3(2):18-24. doi: 10.12691/rpbs-3-2-1.

Correspondence to: Farzaneh  Michaeli Manee, Department of Educational Science, Literature and Human Science Faculty, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran. Email: f.michaeli.manee@gmail.com

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of self-awareness, life skills training, stress management, and effective communication, on the social and academic adjustment of first-year university students. To achieve study aim, a quasi-experimental method was used. In total, 100 first-year male and female students of Uremia’s Islamic Azad University were chosen and randomly placed into four groups, each of which included 25 persons; Three of the groups were experiment groups, and the received training in one of these areas, self-awareness skills, stress management or effective communication while the fourth group served as the control group and received no intervention. Training content packages were sourced from the Publications Office and Cultural Affairs of State Welfare Organization and compiled from materials on student life skills training, and injury prevention. Training sessions were conducted through workshops and used active learning techniques such as; brainstorming, role playing and group activities. The Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ) was used for pre-test and post-tests. Independent sample T-tests and ANCOVA were used to analyze the data. The results showed that life skills training had an overall positive effect on the social and academic adjustment of the students in the experimental groups (P<01/0). In determining the efficacy of each of the skills on social adjustment, it was found that the self-awareness skills variable had a greater affect than the other skills. Stress management skills and effective communication were the next effective, respectively. Efficacy was similar in each of the three skills for academic adjustment, and there was no significant difference between them.

Keywords

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