Archive for September, 2012

Effects of sleep deprivation at work: Sleep and self-regulation in organizations

September 28, 2012

Working in our sleep: Sleep and self-regulation in organizations

From Organizational Psychology Review

Sleep is a fundamental requirement for human functioning. A large-scale study indicates that 29.9% of Americans get less than 6 hours per day; for those in management and enterprises, 40.5% get less than 6 hours. Negative effects of sleep deprivation are especially problematic in contemporary organizations. The purpose of this paper is to further extend the sleep literature into the organizational psychology literature, with a focus on self-regulation. The author suggests there are links with sleep to work withdrawal, goal level, incivility, and defection in workplace social dilemmas. Sleep quantity and quality are defined, highlighting these distinct properties of sleep, and the sleep literature is summarised into a model of sleep and self-regulation. The paper is closed with a discussion of methodological approaches and potential areas of future research examining sleep and workplace behavior.


Cyberbullying in schools

September 26, 2012

Special issue and accompanying podcast

From School Psychology International

This special issue considers the proliferation of cyberbullying in schools. It clarifies how this form of bullying is defined, explores how such behavior manifests and to what extent the trend affects students, teachers, parents and other educators, recognizing how this special form of bullying is an increasing challenge for schools.

In the related podcast, Guest Editor Dr von Marées discusses current research on cyberbullying in schools and author Dr Kowalski presents her new research on traditional bullying as a potential warning sign of cyberbullying.


Behavior issues are a bigger headache for children with migraine

September 25, 2012

Behavioral and emotional symptoms and primary headaches in children – A population-based study

From Cephalagia

Kids who get migraine headaches are much more likely than other children to also have behavioral difficulties, including social and attention issues, and anxiety and depression. The more frequent the headaches, the greater the effect. For this study the authors studied 1,856 Brazilian children aged 5 to 11. They say that this is the first large, community based study of its kind to look at how children’s behavioural and emotional symptoms correlate with migraine and tension-type headaches (TTH), and to incorporate data on headache frequency. The study used internationally validated headache questionnaires as well as the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to assess emotional symptoms. Until now, few studies have examined the contrasts between TTH in children and observed headache frequency. “As previously reported by others, we found that migraine was associated with social problems, the ‘social’ domain identifies difficulties in social engagement as well as infantilized behavior for the age and this may be associated with important impact on the personal and social life.”  commented Arruda, one of the authors “Providers should be aware of this possibility in children with migraines, in order to properly address the problem.”


How good is Google? The quality of Otolaryngology information on the internet

September 21, 2012

Article and accompanying podcast

From: Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

The use of the Internet to seek information about health-related topics by patients has and will continue to grow at a rapid pace. This article questions the quality of medical information a person will look at on the internet and if it is even a good idea to look up medical information on the internet. When asked in the accompanying  podcast what inspired this article, the lead author replied “the amount of patients that I had met with and had pre-opted for surgery who had said I’ve looked this up and brought in information, had brought in print-outs from different sources they found on the internet…and I basically wanted to get a good feel for what they were looking at and what the quality of information on the sites they were looking at.”

To assess the quality of information on the internet, the authors of this article performed Google keyword searches of the ten most commonly treated otolaryngologic diseases. Once this was completed, they used a brief questionnaire to assess the quality of these websites. It was observed that none were perfect and left many questions unanswered. “The biggest thing is that the doctor just needs to stay in the loop and [the doctor] needs to be aware of the fact that the great majority of patients who come in will do their prior research of the disease even before coming to see the doctor.”


What are the effects of the great recession on local governments?

September 19, 2012

Special issue: The new normal: local governments after the Great Recession

From State and Local Government Review

This special issue documents the crisis affecting city and county governments following the Great Recession.  It examines the severity and potentially lasting changes brought about by the economic downturn and presents new data collected from local government administrators. The lead article documents the profound challenges facing local governments in this new era. In a survey of 580 city and county governments, nearly half cited budget shortfalls as a top problem.  This important new research sheds light on the challenges faced by city and county governments that must provide most basic services. Other articles in this Special Issue take up complementary themes. This Special Issue is a collaboration between SLGR and the National Association of Counties and National League of Cities.



When battered women fight back stereotyping can kick in

September 18, 2012

But most of all, they fought together’: Judicial attributions for sentences in convicting battered women who kill

Psychology of Women Quarterly

The topic of domestic abuse remains a controversial issue when it comes to determining punishment for battered women who use violence towards their partner. According to this study battered women who are seen as engaging in mutual violence and shared substance abuse are often regarded negatively and subject to harsher sentences.

The author analyzed the reasoning underlying judges’ sentencing decisions in 26 domestic homicide and abuse cases from 1974-2006 in Canada. She found that a judge’s reliance on each line of reasoning was associated with harsher sentencing. She also identified one judge who demonstrated resistance to these stereotyped portrayals of battered women who fight back. “Judges downgraded acts of previous partner violence by using minimizing descriptions and by emphasizing the mutuality of the violence and of substance abuse,” wrote the author. She asserted that legal systems need to recognize the complex psychological nature of victim mentality and behavior within domestic abuse cases.


Customer service is an emotional experience

September 14, 2012

The problem-solving service worker: Appraisal mechanisms and positive affective experiences during customer interactions

From Human Relations

This study has shown not only that positive emotion from sales staff is contagious to a customer, but that a satisfied customer also improves the salesperson’s mood. a qualitative diary study with 276 sales employees to shed light on the sales experience from the employees’ perspective. In psychology, ‘affect’ is the experience of feeling or emotion. We often feel emotions in response to specific events, particularly social interactions. Affective events theory (AET) suggests that a salesperson’s thoughts about how they rate their interaction with a customer (appraisal) will then help determine the emotions they feel. Until now, studies of how an individual’s positive emotion appraisals fluctuate in real life, or organizational settings, have been thin on the ground. Organizational experts are increasingly accepting that positive affect has important implications for optimal health and well-being, with implications being shown for how organizations think about customer service and quality.


Moderate voices muted in political news

September 13, 2012

Moderatism or Polarization? Representation of Advocacy Groups’ Ideology in Newspapers

From Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

While commentators and scholars argue that political groups have become more polarized in the US, this study finds that moderate political groups are not as well covered in newspaper articles as more radical right and left-wing groups. “Extremes are more intuitively novel, entertaining, and colorful, representing another common news value,” wrote the authors “Moderate voices may be more difficult to portray as exciting than extreme voices.”

208 political advocacy groups that represented a range of political ideologies were examined as they were represented across 118 newspapers. The authors found that groups that expressed more polarized opinions on political issues were mentioned in larger newspapers, appeared earlier in articles, and were mentioned in more paragraphs. The authors wrote, “More people had the opportunity to note those groups, fueling perceptions of those groups as important or legitimate.”


Sex-related literature jeopardizes and empowers young women’s sexuality

September 11, 2012

Striving for pleasure without fear: Short-term effects of reading a women’s magazine on women’s sexual attitudes

From Psychology of Women Quarterly 

The outstanding global success of ‘50 Shades Of Grey’ by E. L. James seems to have prompted the abundance of erotic novels on the market and storming the charts. At the moment 8 out of the top 10 bestselling fictional books in the UK are works of erotica. The boom of ‘mummy porn’ has no doubt encouraged speculation about the effects the popularity may have on attitudes and behavior. While the effects of sexualized media on young women has long been debated, this study finds that women who read sex-related magazine articles from popular women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan are less likely to view premarital sex as a risky behavior. Additionally, the women who are exposed to these articles are more supportive of sexual behavior that both empowers women and prioritizes their own sexual pleasure. The article concludes  “Our results suggest that the complex and sometimes conflicting representations of female sexuality proliferating in the mass media and popular culture could potentially have both empowering and problematic effects on women’s developing sexual identities.”


Understanding the ‘zig-zag’ trend of criminal careers has policy implications

September 6, 2012

Processes of Intermittency in Criminal Careers: Notes From a Swedish Study on Life Courses and Crime

From International Journal of Offender Therapy Comparative Criminology

It is generally recognized that most criminal careers follow a ‘zig-zag’ path with movements back and forth between periods of offending and nonoffending. This study considers the processes of Intermittency, whether it be a criminal life-course characterized by patterns of pauses and breaks, or of incomplete or aborted activity. The main aim of this article is to develop a qualitative understanding of intermittency among offenders with criminal careers characterized by serious and frequent criminal offending not limited to adolescence. It concludes by highlighting Implications for policy and future research.


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