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  • 1.
    Petersén Karlsson, Kristina
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Autobiographical Memory: Depending on sensory retrieval cue and gender2019Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In my thesis I raised two questions: Does autobiographical memory differ i) depending on the sensory retrieval cue (Study I and II)? and ii) depending on gender (Study III)?

    Concerning retrieval cues, three unimodal cues (i.e., photographs, naturalistic sounds and odors) and one multimodal cue (i.e., the three unimodal cues presented simultaneously) were used to evoke autobiographical memories. The results demonstrated that the memories differed depending on retrieval cue. In particular, the olfactory-cued memories differed in semantic content and were from an earlier age in contrast to the other modalities. The visually and auditory-evoked memories differed less than expected in their semantic content and age distribution in relation to the multimodal condition. The multimodally cued memories could be described as being a combination of the three unimodalities, as illustrated by the semantic content and age distribution, though they were more similar to the visually and auditory-cued memories than to the olfactory-cued memories. One possible explanation for these results could be that we attend more to visual and auditory perceptions than to olfactory.

    With regard to gender, previous research has found gender differences in the manifest content (i.e., the actual words used) of autobiographical memories. However, to my knowledge none has investigated gender differences in the latent content (i.e., the underlying meaning in the expressed words). The results indicated that there was no difference between the genders in the manifest content. However, the females latently described their memories in more communal terms than males did, which supports the assumption that females are more communally oriented than are males.

  • 2.
    Tyrberg, Mårten
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Bringing psychological treatment to the psychiatric ward: Affecting patients, staff, and the milieu2019Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The psychiatric ward is a complex setting. This has to do partly with the severity of the patients’ suffering. Often, they present with such diagnoses as psychosis, self-harm, substance abuse, and suicidality. In fact, they often present with a combination of these. This renders the delivery of effective treatment a challenging task. Partly, the complexity of the ward has to do with aspects of the context itself. Admissions and discharges often happen fast and unexpectedly, staff members are expected to handle various challenging behaviors, they display quite high levels of burnout and work dissatisfaction, and the wards are often staffed by bank staff, leading to a lack of continuity of care. This adds to the challenge of delivering effective treatment. In the typical Swedish ward, treatment consists of medication, nursing, observation, and management of risk behaviors. Psychological treatment is seldom a routine part of inpatient care. However, there are sound arguments for adding psychological treatment in the form of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) of various modalities. Further, there is promise in psychosocial interventions delivered by the nursing staff after appropriate training, and in providing supervision to the staff.

    The aim of the present thesis was to investigate the feasibility and potential efficacy of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a CBT based psychotherapy model, as a broadly applied intervention in the context of psychiatric inpatient care. In three studies, ACT was evaluated as a brief individual psychotherapy intervention, and as a psychologically informed approach to dealing with patients performed by the nursing staff group in a psychiatric ward for psychosis patients.

    In study I, an average of two sessions of ACT was delivered to patients (n = 11) with a diagnosis of psychosis. Compared to a control group (n = 10), the risk for rehospitalization during a four-month follow-up period was significantly smaller for patients in the experimental group. There was also a trend toward increased values-based living scores in the experimental group, compared to controls.

    Study II evaluated the effects on staff members (n = 20) and patients (n = 9) of a brief ACT training intervention tailored to the staff group, the aim of which was to introduce ACT as a day-to-day approach to dealing with patients. After a total of 12 hours of ACT training, the staff group displayed a slight increase in work-related psychological flexibility, compared to before, while a non-randomized control group (n = 18) displayed a slight decrease. Patients being treated on the ward after the staff training displayed a slight increase in psychological flexibility during ward treatment, while patients being treated before displayed a slight decrease. In both cases, however, the differences were considered quite small (non-significant in statistical terms). Further, the study investigated ACT-consistent behavior changes among staff members following ACT training, using a multiple baseline single-subject design. Results revealed both expected and unexpected patterns of behavior.

    In study III, the usefulness of the ACT model was investigated using a qualitative content analysis. Staff members (n = 10) experienced ACT as useful in terms of dealing with patients’ struggles, enriching typical duties, and dealing with their own stress. Difficulties in using the model related to time restraints, complexities of the model itself, and the severity of patients’ illnesses.

    In summary, the present thesis adds to the research basis for ACT as a treatment for psychosis, delivered in an inpatient setting. It shows that the introduction of ACT as an add-on to traditional ward treatment in Sweden is for the most part feasible and acceptable. However, the thesis also discusses various challenges in the implementation of psychological treatment in such a complex context as the inpatient ward, both in terms of delivery of the treatment itself and the evaluation of its effectiveness.

  • 3.
    Azad, Azadé
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Characteristics of adolescent females with limited delinquency: Developmental challenges in relation to family, peers and education2019Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Adolescence is a developmental period marked with several changes in a young person’s life. Most adolescents who commit crimes desist over time. Despite this, research has mainly focused on those with extensive and long-term delinquency, including mostly males. Young females with limited delinquency are thus an under-researched group. The overall aim of the thesis was to explore the characteristics of young females with limited delinquency, and relate these features to developmental aspects of adolescence. Further, the objective was to study potential challenges they experience, in connection to family, peers and school. All four studies were based on data from young females sentenced to youth service. Studies 1 and 2 include all (N=144) females convicted in a major city in Sweden during 2007–2012. The data collected through self-reports based on ADAD interviews at the beginning of youth service in Study 1 was further complemented and followed up in Study 2 with registry data on education and recidivism 24 months after starting their sentence. Studies 3 and 4 were based on in-depth interviews with nine adolescent females who started their sentence between 2012–2013 in one of two major cities in Sweden. The results confirmed the assumption that this group of offenders displayed limited delinquency. Their self-reports in Study 1 showed low involvement in crimes during twelve months prior to youth service, which was similar to the reporting of a reference group of females in general. Displaying limited delinquency was supported by registry data in Study 2, showing that the majority of the females did not reoffend within two years after being sentenced, as measured by suspicion and conviction rates. However, they did show high educational deficits. This was evident both by high levels of self-reported school problems in Study 1 and final grade point in compulsory and upper secondary school in Study 2. Their educational attainment was lower than adolescent females in general, irrespective of whether they reoffended or not. These findings suggest that although the females were limited in their delinquency, their low levels of education could still put them at risk for suboptimal development. In the interviews, participants ascribed particular importance to peers and family when describing their delinquency. The narratives illustrated how the process of delinquency as it concerned interpersonal relations involved mutually influential exchanges, both contributing to as well as being affected by the delinquency. As such, delinquency was, in Study 3, portrayed as a way to socialize, where delinquent peers were considered important for committing crimes, and pro-social peers for desisting. Likewise, family relations in Study 4 were given a prominent role in the entire process. Accordingly, delinquency was described as a consequence of the relations to the family, where these were negatively as well as positively affected by the crimes. The collective results indicate that committing crimes for the females may be viewed as part of normative development, in which the quest for independence and establishing ones’ identity can contribute to these behaviors. Practical implications for work with young female offenders are also discussed.

  • 4.
    Nordström, Henrik
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen. Gösta Ekmans Laboratory.
    Emotional Communication in the Human Voice2019Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Emotional communication is an important part of social interaction because it gives individuals valuable information about the state of others, allowing them to adjust their behaviors and responses appropriately. When people use the voice to communicate, listeners do not only interpret the words that are said, the verbal content, but also the information contained in how the words are said, the nonverbal content. A large portion of the nonverbal content of the voice is thought to convey information about the emotional state of the speaker. The aim of this thesis was to study how humans communicate and interpret emotions via nonverbal aspects of the voice, and to describe these aspects in terms of acoustic parameters that allow listeners to interpret the emotional message.

    The thesis presents data from four studies investigating nonverbal communication of emotions from slightly different perspectives. In a yet unpublished study, the acoustic parameters suggested to communicate discrete emotions – based on theoretical predictions of how the voice may be influenced by emotional episodes – were compared with empirical data derived from listeners’ judgments of actors portraying a wide variety of emotions. Results largely corroborated the theoretical predictions suggesting that previous research has come far in explaining the mechanisms allowing listeners to infer emotions from the nonverbal aspects of speech. However, potentially important deviations were also observed. These deviations may be crucial to our understanding of how emotions are communicated in speech, and highlight the need to refine theoretical predictions to better describe the acoustic features that listeners use to understand emotional voices.

    In the first of the three published studies, Study 1, the common sense notion that we are quick to hear the emotional state of a speaker was investigated and compared with the recognition of emotional expressivity in music. Results showed that listeners needed very little acoustic information to recognize emotions in both modes of communication. These findings suggest that low-level acoustic features that are available to listeners in the first tenths of a second carry much of the emotional message and that these features may be used in both speech and music.

    By investigating listeners recognition of vocal bursts – the kind of sounds people make when they are not speaking – results from Study 2 showed that listeners can recognize several emotional expressions across cultures, including emotions that are often difficult to recognize from speech. The study thus suggests that the voice is an even more versatile means for emotional communication than previously thought.

    Study 3 also investigated emotional communication in a cross-cultural setting. However, instead of studying emotion recognition in terms of discrete categories, this study investigated whether nonverbal aspects of the voice can carry information about how the speaker evaluated the situation that elicited the emotion. Results showed that listeners were able to infer several aspects about the situation, which suggests that nonverbal expressions may have a symbolic meaning comprising several dimensions other than valence and arousal that can be understood across cultures.

    Taken together, the results of this thesis suggest that humans use nonverbal manipulations of the voice to communicate emotions and that these manipulations can be understood quickly and accurately by listeners both within and across cultures. Although decades of research has investigated how this communication occurs, the acoustic parameters allowing listeners to interpret emotions are still elusive. The data from the four studies in this thesis, the methods used, and the acoustic analyses performed shed new light on this process. Future research in the field may benefit from a more standardized approach across studies, both when it comes to acoustic analysis and experimental design. This would facilitate comparisons of findings between different studies and allow for a more cumulative science within the field of emotional communication in the human voice.

  • 5.
    Cornell Kärnekull, Stina
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen, Perception och psykofysik.
    Auditory and Olfactory Abilities in Blind and Sighted Individuals: More Similarities than Differences2018Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Blind individuals face various challenges in everyday life because of the lack of visual input. However, since they need to rely on the non-visual senses for everyday tasks, for instance, when navigating the environment, the question has been raised as to whether perceptual and cognitive abilities in these senses may be enhanced. This question has mainly been addressed for auditory and tactile abilities, whereas there is considerably less research into the chemical senses, such as olfaction. However, to determine whether blindness has general effects, different senses and types of tasks should be studied, preferably in one and the same study. Therefore, throughout this thesis, analogous auditory and olfactory tasks that varied in cognitive complexity were studied. In Study I, absolute thresholds, discrimination, identification, episodic recognition (i.e., after a short retention interval), metacognition, and self-reported imagery ability were assessed in early blind, late blind, and sighted participants. The only objective measure on which the blind and sighted clearly differed was the auditory episodic recognition task. The fact that early blind but not late blind participants displayed better memory than the sighted suggested that the onset age of blindness may be important for whether this ability becomes enhanced following blindness. Furthermore, the early blind participants rated their auditory imagery ability higher than the sighted, whereas both early and late blind participants rated their olfactory imagery ability higher than the sighted. In Study II, the participants from Study I were followed up after more than a year and retested on auditory and olfactory episodic recognition and identification. This time, the early blind displayed no advantage over the sighted, suggesting that the influence of blindness on auditory memory may be modulated by the length of the retention interval. Moreover, in line with Study I, identification of sounds and odors was similar in the three groups. In Study III, early blind and sighted participants were examined for potential differences in autobiographical memory as evoked by sounds and odors, respectively. Blindness did not influence the reminiscence bumps (i.e., memory peaks in certain age intervals) or have any clear impact on the number of retrieved sound- or odor-evoked memories. Taken together, the present findings indicate that blindness has no general influence across tasks or sensory modalities. Rather, specific auditory abilities, such as episodic memory, may be enhanced in blind individuals, although such effects may depend on both the onset age of blindness and the length of the retention interval. In conclusion, for most perceptual and cognitive abilities examined, performance seemed unaffected by blindness.


  • 6.
    Stengård, Johanna
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen, Arbets- och organisationspsykologi.
    Being stuck in the workplace: Who is locked-in and what are the implications for well-being and health?2018Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In today’s working life, it has been argued that employees themselves to a large extent are expected to take charge of their own careers. However, some individuals may feel a lack of control over their careers as they feel stuck working in a workplace/organization they do not want to continue to work in, but perceive that they have few if any chances to leave for a better alternative elsewhere. Such a position has been referred to as being locked-in at the workplace. As professional life occupies a large part of the lives of many individuals, it could be argued that being locked-in has negative consequences for the individual. This also means that potential risk factors that lead to a locked-in position need to be identified to prevent such involuntary career non-mobility. However, there is paucity of research on this topic. Consequently, the overall aim of this thesis was to examine the phenomenon of being locked-in in terms of possible determinants related to the individual, and furthermore, consequences for well-being and health. In the present thesis, being locked-in was conceptualized as 1) combining being in a non-preferred workplace/organization with low perceived employability, and 2) adding an additional category including individuals at risk of becoming locked-in. The aim of Study I was to examine determinants of being locked-in. In particular, matching factors between the employee and the work, as well as demographics, were studied. The results indicated that misfit between knowledge/skills and work tasks was related to being locked-in. More specifically, it was revealed that being overqualified or not having enough physical or mental work abilities increased the odds ratios for being or becoming locked-in. Also, both unskilled manual workers and non-manual workers in lower positions were found to have higher odds ratios for being/becoming locked-in. Study II examined the relationship between helplessness and being locked-in, specifically focusing on the cross-lagged relationship between these two factors. The analyses indicated that helplessness worked in both ways, but should primarily be regarded as a determinant of being locked-in. Finally, Study III showed that there were differences in levels of reported depressive symptoms and self-rated health between employees who were stably locked-in compared to employees who were not being locked-in. The ‘risk category’ exhibited an intermediate position, with better well-being and health than those who were locked-in, but with worse well-being and health than those who were not locked-in. Furthermore, a change of locked-in status over time was followed by changes foremost in depressive symptoms. Specifically, positive changes in locked-in status corresponded to positive development, while negative changes in locked-in status were followed by negative development in terms of depressive symptoms and to some extent, self-rated health. In conclusion, this thesis contributes to knowledge of the phenomenon of being locked-in—which is a rather neglected topic in research—by incorporating it into a theoretical perspective of career control and PE fit, as well as by developing its conceptualization/operationalization. Furthermore, this thesis contributes to the research field by examining the relationship between being locked-in and various determinants associated with the individual, and consequences related to health.

  • 7.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen, Perception och psykofysik.
    Human olfaction: Associations with longitudinal assessment of episodic memory, dementia, and mortality risk2018Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    A declining sense of smell is a common feature in older age. Above and beyond diminished smelling capacity due to normal processes of human aging, impairments in olfactory function have also been linked to numerous ill-health related outcomes, such as cognitive dysfunctions, dementia pathology and even an increased risk of death. Based on population-based data from the Swedish Betula Prospective Cohort Study, the aim of this thesis was to further our understanding regarding the role of olfaction in long-term memory decline, dementia, and mortality. Furthermore, this thesis investigated the predictive utility of self-reported olfactory dysfunction for assessing the risk of conversion to later dementia and to mortality, as well as the predictive utility of long-term subjective olfactory decline for an actual long-term decline in odor function. Study I explored associations of olfactory deficits with memory decline and found that impairments in an odor identification test were related to an ongoing and long-term decline in episodic memory only in carriers of the e4 allele of the Apolipoprotein E, a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Study II investigated the predictive utility of olfactory ability for conversion to common forms of dementia in participants with intact baseline cognition during a follow-up time-span of 10 years. The results showed that lower odor identification scores, as well as subjectively assessed odor impairment, were associated with an increased risk for dementia conversion, and that the effects of objective and subjective odor function were cumulative. Study III investigated whether olfactory ability could predict mortality and showed that lower odor identification scores, as well as subjective odor impairments, were associated with an elevated risk of death within a follow-up time-span of approximately 10 years. Crucially, this effect could not be explained by dementia conversion prior to death. Study IV showed that a subjectively assessed long-term and ongoing olfactory decline was predictive of an objectively assessed long-term and ongoing decline in odor function. Subjective olfactory impairments might thus be indicative of an actual olfactory decline in older adults. Overall, the findings of this thesis indicate that sense of smell is closely related to processes of memory decline and dementia as well as mortality in older adults. Furthermore, the results of these investigations shed a new light on the role of subjectively experienced olfactory decline, which might reflect an actual intra-individual change in olfactory ability in older adults.

  • 8.
    Gonzalez, Nichel
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen, Kognitiv psykologi.
    Interest to Reinvest: Individuals’ use of numerical information for investment decisions2018Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The general aim of this thesis is to contribute to the understanding of how numerical information, such as asset values and interest rates, influences inexperienced investors in their investment decisions. In relation to this, I have investigated the participants’ own understanding of what information they rely on for their own decisions. I have also investigated how their willingness to wait for greater rewards is related to their investment decisions. Importantly, I have distinguished between average behavior (group behavior) and individual behavior in an attempt to better describe how different information is important for different individual investors.

    On the group level the only reliable predictor of investment size was whether there was a gain or a loss during the period before the investment. However, how large the gain or loss was had no, or very limited, influence on investment size. When looking at each investor’s individual decisions, it was revealed that a substantial number of participants actually did rely on information other than only the gain/loss information, for example, the interest rates of forecasted developments of the different investment prospects. Furthermore, a substantial number of participants relied heavily on one of the cues; at least 50% of their investments were explained by the cue relied upon.

    Interestingly, very few participants’ investments were influenced by their own judgments of future asset outcomes. Furthermore, the participants’ willingness to invest in funds with guaranteed gains was used as a proxy for time preference (willingness to wait for greater rewards instead of accepting lesser rewards in the present). Time preference was relevant for investments but it did not relate to judged asset outcomes. This indicates that people may be more influenced by their future-oriented preferences rather than by their future-oriented beliefs (judgments).

    To conclude, these findings suggest that people use a preference-driven simplified strategy for investments and that these strategies differ substantially between individuals. This corroborates the idea about heuristic thinking, meaning that people simplify their decisions in a way that can deviate from normative value-maximizing behavior. For practical application, it is important to note the variety of strategies among individuals. This variety suggests that there is no “one size fits all” solution regarding instructions that can be given to inexperienced investors. The participants’ very limited insight into what information they relied upon is reason for researchers and advisors to understand the individuality in strategies in greater depth.

  • 9.
    Jemstedt, Andreas
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen, Kognitiv psykologi.
    Metacognitive Aspects of Learning: What Influences Magnitude and Accuracy of Ease-of-Learning Judgments?2018Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    To learn efficiently, many situations require people to judge what will be easy or difficult to learn, or how well it has been stored in memory. These metacognitive judgments are important to understand because they most likely guide how people behave when they learn, and consequently how much they learn. In this thesis, I focus on what is referred to as ease-of-learning (EOL) judgments, that is judgments about how easy or difficult a material will be to learn. EOL judgments have received relatively limited attention in the metacognitive literature. Therefore, this thesis also considers for comparison the more extensively researched judgments of learning (JOL), which are judgments of how well a studied material has been learned or how likely it is to be remembered on a later memory test. I had two major aims with my research. First, I aimed to investigate how accurate EOL judgments are, that is, how well they can predict the ease of future learning, and what moderates this accuracy. More precisely, I investigated what affects EOL judgment accuracy by varying how much an item-set varies in a predictive item characteristic, as well as varying methodological aspects of the judgment situation. The second major aim was to investigate what sources of information people use to make EOL judgments and how the information is used to make metacognitive judgments. In three studies, participants made EOL judgments for word pairs (e.g., sun – warm), or single words (e.g., bucket), studied the items, and tried to recall them on memory tests. In Study II, participants also made JOLs after studying the items. To estimate the accuracy of the judgments, the judgments were correlated with recall performance on memory tests. The results of the thesis show that EOL judgments can be accurate when they are made on a to-be-learned material which varies in a predictive item characteristic (Study I and II). In some conditions, EOL judgments are even as accurate as JOLs (Study II). Study II also supports the cue competition hypothesis, which predicts that, when people judge memory and learning, they sometimes rely less on one source of information if other information is available. Furthermore, Study III shows that processing fluency (the experience of effort associated with processing information), may be an important source of information for EOL judgments, and that people’s beliefs about available information can moderate how the information is used to make EOL judgments. Overall, the results show when EOL judgments will be accurate and when they will not, and provides evidence that people may use processing fluency to make EOL judgments even when it contradicts their beliefs. Importantly, the results also indicate that when multiple sources of information are available, information may compete for influence over metacognitive judgments.

  • 10.
    Larsson Sundqvist, Max
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Effects of retrieval and articulation on memory2017Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Many would agree that learning occurs when new information is stored in memory. Therefore, most learning efforts typically focus on encoding processes, such as additional study or other forms of repetition. However, as I will outline in this thesis, there are other means by which to improve memory, such as retrieval practice in the form of tests. Testing memory has a reinforcing effect on memory, and it improves retention more than an equal amount of repeated study – referred to as the testing effect – and it has been assumed that retrieval processes drive this effect. Recently, however, this assumption has been called into question because of findings that suggest that articulation, that is, the act of providing an explicit response on a memory test, may play a role in determining the magnitude of the testing effect. Therefore, in three studies, I have examined the effects of retrieval and articulation on later retention, in an attempt to ascertain whether the testing effect is entirely driven by retrieval, or if there are additive effects of articulation. I have also explored possible boundary conditions that may determine when, and if, the effects of retrieval and articulation become selective with respect to memory performance. In all three studies, participants studied paired associates and were tested in a cued recall paradigm after a short (~5 min) and a long (1 week) retention interval, and retrieval was either covert (i.e., responses were retrieved but not articulated) or overt (i.e., responses were retrieved and articulated). 

    In Study I, I demonstrated that uninstructed covert retrieval practice (by means of delayed judgments of learning) produced a testing effect (i.e., improved memory relative to a study-only condition) similar to that of explicit testing, which supports the idea that the testing effect is mainly the result of retrieval processes. In study II, I compared memory performance for covert and overt testing, and found partial support for a relative efficacy in favor of overt retrieval, compared to covert retrieval, although the effect size was small. In Study III, I further explored the distinction between different response formats (i.e., covert retrieval vs. various forms of overt testing), specifically handwriting and keyboard typing. I also examined the relative efficacy of covert versus overt retrieval as a function of list order (i.e., whether covert and overt retrieval is practiced in blocks or random order) and its manipulation within or between subjects. The results of Study III were inconclusive insofar as a relative efficacy of covert versus overt retrieval, with respect to later retention, could not be demonstrated reliably. The list order manipulations did not appear to affect covert and overt retrieval selectively. More importantly, in cases where a relative efficacy was found, the effect size was again small.

    Taken together, the three studies that of thesis indicate that the benefit of testing memory appears to be almost entirely the result of retrieval processes, and that articulation alone adds very little – if anything – to the magnitude of the testing effect, at least in cued-recall paradigms. These findings are discussed in terms of their theoretical implications, as well as their importance for the development of optimal teaching and learning practices in educational settings.

  • 11.
    Öhrstedt, Maria
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Högskolestudenters lärande: Ett lärstrategiskt perspektiv på studier i psykologi2017Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Högskolestudenters lärstrategier inverkar på deras akademiska prestation och utvecklandet av olika kvaliteter i lärandet. Lärstrategier formas i en process där personfaktorer hos studenterna samspelar med lärkontextuella faktorer. Studenternas subjektiva föreställningar om lärmiljön tycks vara av avgörande betydelse.

    Avhandlingens syfte är att utifrån en etablerad forskningstradition bidra till en djupare förståelse av hur studenter anpassar sina lärstrategier till sina föreställningar om lärmiljön i en avgränsad lärkontext. I tre delstudier utforskas förutsättningar för lärstrategiers utveckling och variation hos psykologistudenter på ett svenskt universitet.

    I studie I undersöktes hur lärstrategier varierar med förväntningar på examinationsresultat, akademisk prestation och förmåga att predicera tentamensresultat (N = 189). Psykologistudenterna hade generellt svårt att göra en korrekt prediktion av sitt tentamensresultat. Det var allra svårast för studenter med ytinriktad lärstrategi. I enlighet med studenternas egna förväntningar uppnådde strategiskt inriktade studenter högre betyg, medan studenter med ytinriktad lärstrategi presterade sämre. Djupinriktade studenter förväntade sig att prestera väl men tentamen tycktes inte gynna en djupinriktad lärstrategi.

    Studie II avsåg kartlägga vilka faktorer psykologistudenterna själva ansåg påverkade deras sätt att ta sig an sina studier, med målet att presentera likheter hos studenter som anammar olika lärstrategier. Ett urval av studenter beskrev sina studieaktiviteter i upprepade intervjuer (N = 11, N = 7). Formandet av lärstrategier beskrevs som en slags förhandling där olika aspekter av lärandet relaterades till varandra. Studenterna lyfte fram fem referenspunkter: 1) deras upplevelse av tidigare studieerfarenheter, 2) kursrekommendationer, 3) lärande, 4) examinationskrav, och 5) uppskattad arbetsinsats. Trots stor variation i studenternas benägenhet att anpassa sina lärstrategier till lärmiljön ledde anpassningsprocessen till en successiv homogenisering av studieaktiviteter.

    Studie III undersökte om även mindre variationer i parallella lärmiljöer kunde ge upphov till skillnader i studenters reglering av lärstrategier och om tendenser att variera skiljde sig mellan studenter med olika lärstrategier (N = 195). Samtliga lärstrategier visade sig variera mellan lärkontexter, men strategiskt inriktad lärstrategi varierade i mindre grad än ytinriktad och djupinriktad lärstrategi. Studenter med låg ytinriktad, hög djupinriktad eller hög strategiskt inriktad lärstrategi uppvisade störst variation, medan studenter med hög ytinriktad, låg djupinriktad eller låg strategiskt inriktad lärstrategi var mer stabila.

    Resultaten visar att psykologistudenters lärstrategier verkar utvecklas i en process där de relaterar olika aspekter av lärandet till varandra i en slags förhandling. Av strategiska skäl driver examinationer studenterna mot en ytinriktad lärstrategi. En gemensam tolkning av faktorer i lärmiljön tycks resultera i att studenters studieaktiviteter successivt homogeniseras, trots att olika studenter visar olika benägenhet att anpassa sina lärstrategier till en specifik lärkontext. En strategiskt inriktad lärstrategi förefaller optimal för akademisk prestation. Sammanfattningsvis visar avhandlingen på hur kontextnära studier kan bidra till en förståelse av lärstrategiers utveckling.

  • 12.
    Todorov, Ivo
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Individual Differences in Multitasking: Support for Spatiotemporal Offloading2017Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In both the private and work spheres, multitasking among three or more activities has become and is continuing to evolve as a pervasive element of everyday life, and recent technological advances only seem to be exacerbating the process. Despite attempts to understand the mental processes that let humans successfully multitask, little is known about the functional cognitive level at which these mental processes take place. This thesis makes a case for the involvement of spatial ability (among other cognitive abilities) in successful multitasking behavior. It focuses on the importance of the cognitive off-loading of executive control demands onto spatial ability, due to the inherent complexity of relationships between task goals and deadlines in multitasking scenarios. Importantly, it presents a working hypothesis—the spatiotemporal hypothesis of multitasking—as a tool for making specific predictions about multitasking performance, based on individual and sex differences in spatial ability.

    In Study 1, individual differences in spatial ability and executive functions emerged as independent predictors of multitasking performance. When spatial ability was decomposed into its subcomponents, only the coordinate (metric), but not categorical (nonmetric), processing of spatial relations was related to multitasking performance. Males outperformed females in both spatial ability and multitasking, and the effects were moderated by menstrual changes, in that sex differences in coordinate spatial processing and multitasking were observed between males and females in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, but not between males and females at menses. In Study II, multitasking performance reflected age- and sex-related differences in executive functioning and spatial ability, suggesting that executive functions contribute to multitasking performance across the adult life span, and that reliance on spatial skills for coordinating deadlines is reduced with advancing age. The results of Study III, in which the spatiotemporal hypothesis was directly scrutinized, suggest that the spatial disruption of multiple deadlines interferes with multitasking performance. Overall, these findings suggest that multitasking performance, under certain conditions, reflects independent contributions of spatial ability and executive functioning. Moreover, the results support the distinction between categorical and coordinate spatial processing, suggesting that these two basic relational processes are selectively affected by female sex hormones and are differentially effective, even across the age span, in transforming and handling temporal patterns as spatial relations in the context of multitasking. Finally, fluctuations of sex hormones exhibit a modulating effect on sex differences in spatial ability and multitasking performance.

  • 13.
    Ingre, Michael
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    P-hacking in academic research: a critical review of the job strain model and of the association between night work and breast cancer in women2017Doktorsavhandling, monografi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    P-hacking can be described as a more or less deliberate, explorative approach to data analysis with a flexible/opportunistic search space and the reporting of primarily statistically significant findings. This leads to inflated type-1 error rates and to bias in reported estimates in the scientific literature.

    This thesis aims to describe how p-hacking can be manifested in academic research and to illustrate how bias due to p-hacking is expected to affect the veracity of published findings using two specific examples from the literature. This thesis also argues that when evaluating published findings in the current academic environment, we should assume a priori that biases due to p-hacking and publication bias are present.

    The thesis used Monte Carlo simulations and systematic reviews of the literature in two specific fields: the proposed associations between exposure to night work and breast cancer in women, and between job strain and coronary heart disease.

    A general model and mathematical framework to predict expected bias from p-hacking was developed, and can be used for  a priori defined protected inferences of any published finding, under explicit assumptions of various levels of p-hacking. The model indicated a close to 100% chance of demonstrating a false positive association in larger studies, but also showed that even minimal p-hacking results in substantial bias in estimates.

    The literature review identified large flexibility in the analytical process, allowing for the final model to be picked from a large pool of available models, with an implied search space of thousands of estimates. Some of the specific observations made here could be used to argue evidence for high risk of p-hacking and publication bias in the reviewed literature:

    • None of the 17 reviewed studies on job strain and coronary heart disease reported the proper estimate of the job strain interaction (chapter 6) and our analysis showed that the proper estimate would not have been statistically significant in any of the studies (chapter 7).
    • One study described a data driven approach with an implied search space of at least 502 models, where adjusting for confounding did not reduce the strength of the association, as would be expected, but instead increased its strength so it fell above the threshold for statistical significance (chapter 5).
    • One study was based on a speculative and marginally significant estimate after arbitrarily restricting the analysis to a subgroup, when estimates on the full group were available and indicated a non-significant association (chapter 5).
    • Statistical power analyses on research into night work and breast cancer indicated that statistically significant findings were over-represented in the literature (p≈.001) suggesting the presence of bias from p-hacking or selective publishing of significant findings (chapter 5).

    The findings also suggest that previously reported estimates in meta-analyses was likely to represent prevailing bias in the two fields reviewed here. A bias-adjusted meta-analysis on the job strain model and coronary heart disease with a total of 462,220 subjects and 6,836 CHD events indicated no support for the job strain interaction (RR=1.00; 95% CI: 0.88--1.14). In addition, it did not show an increased risk due to high job demand (RR=1.03; 95% CI: 0.97--1.11) but it did confirm previously reported risks due to low job control (RR=1.11; 95% CI: 1.03--1.20).

  • 14.
    Nylén, Eva Charlotta
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Psykosocial arbetsmiljö i välfärdssektorn: Krav i arbetet, resurser i arbetet och personliga resurser samt betydelsen av organiserade arbetsmiljöinsatser2017Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Individers upplevelse av den psykosociala arbetsmiljön har visat sig hänga samman med trivsel, hälsa och välbefinnande. I ett långsiktigt perspektiv kan en god psykosocial arbetsmiljö främja kvalitet och produktivitet i organisationer, medan en sämre arbetsmiljö kan resultera i det motsatta. Arbetsgivare, som i Sverige har ett yttersta arbetsmiljöansvar, strävar efter att arbeta förebyggande och systematiskt med fokus på psykosociala arbetsmiljöinsatser. Samtidigt utgör individerna en del av den psykosociala arbetsmiljön och i samband med att de utför sitt arbete bidrar de även till formandet av arbetsmiljön. Med detta som utgångspunkt syftar avhandlingen till att studera psykosociala och personliga faktorer i form av krav och resurser, hälsa och välbefinnande samt ett organisatoriskt förebyggande program för anställda i välfärdssektorn. Detta har gjorts genom att undersöka hur olika krav och resurser i arbetet samt personliga resurser relaterar till olika hälsorelaterade utfall. Vidare har två varianter av ett nyutvecklat interventionsprogram med fokus på psykosociala faktorer och personliga resurser undersökts och utvärderats. En variant av programmet var riktad till både chefer och medarbetare, medan den andra varianten riktades enbart till chefer. Interventionsprogrammen undersöktes utifrån genomförbarhet och utifrån effektutvärdering. Resultaten visar att resurser i arbetet verkar ha mer hälsofrämjande potential än personliga resurser. Vidare visar resultaten att det program som inkluderade medarbetare och chefer accepterades av deltagarna och gick att genomföra praktiskt. Resultaten visar också att effekterna av båda programmen var oklara. Sammantaget visar avhandlingen på vikten av att såväl reducera krav i arbetet som att främja olika resurser, men även på de utmaningar som finns i att utforma, genomföra och utvärdera förebyggande organisatoriska interventioner.

  • 15.
    Forsström, David
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    The use and experience of responsible gambling tools: An explorative analysis of user behavior regarding a responsible gambling tool and the consequences of use2017Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Responsible gambling tools are an intervention that is designed to decrease gambling among individuals with an at-risk gambling behavior. Studies have indicated that responsible gambling tools can decrease gambling behavior, but little is known about how this intervention is used by gamblers. The aim of the present thesis was to explore different facets of the use, experience and functions of these tools. Study I used descriptive statistics and latent class analysis (LCA) combined with multinomial regression to explore the use of the responsible gambling tool Playscan among 9528 gamblers (regular and at-risk gamblers). The participants had volunteered to use the tool. The functions of the tool had a high rate of initial use but a low rate of repeated use. The LCA identified five user classes. Two of the classes (self-testers and multifunctional users) were defined as high users of the tool and had a higher risk of developing gambling problems according to multinomial regression. The multifunctional users were characterized by an extensive use of all the functions while the other high usage class had an extensive use of the self-test. The three other classes were as follows: those who did not use the tool, those who visited the tool but did not engage in any of the functions, and those who only used the tool’s advice on how to decrease their gambling. Participants’ reasons for use and non-use of the tool were attributed to their degree of need of the tool and its functions. The tool’s most widely used function was the self-test that investigated the level of negative consequences faced by a user due to his or her gambling. Study II was a qualitative study investigating participants’ views, experiences and their reasons for using the tool. The study was conducted by interviewing 20 volunteer users of the tool. These semi-structured interviews were analyzed by thematic analysis. The results showed that the users had a positive attitude towards the tool and understood its purpose. The self-test was the most widely used function in this sample as well. However, the participants’ positive attitude toward the tool did not effectively encourage them to use it; they displayed low use of the tool’s functions. This paradox was explained by lack of feedback and the fact that some participants did not understand that they had registered to use the tool. Providing more feedback and tailoring the feedback to individual users were seen as ways of bridging the paradox. Study II also found that participants used the gambling website (which Playscan was linked to) in an analogue way, preparing their bets before placing them online. This limited the time they spent on the site and inhibited their use of Playscan. Study III was motivated by the extensive use of the self-test among users in Study I and Study II. The aim of Study III was to investigate the psychometric properties of the self-test (known as GamTest) to better understand how it could be used with Playscan in the most efficient way. Two thousand two hundred and thirty four respondents answered the questionnaire, along with instruments measuring depression, anxiety and another instrument measuring problems due to gambling. Factor analysis, parallel analysis, Cronbach’s alpha, and correlations were used to establish the tool’s psychometric properties. The results yielded a three-factor model, excellent reliability, and high correlation with the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), endorsing the validity of the self-test. The results also indicated that the questionnaire could be effectively shortened. Overall, the studies show that the tool has an initial high use, low repeated use and that the self-test is the most used feature. In addition, the self-test had good psychometric properties. 

  • 16.
    von Below, Camilla
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    When psychotherapy does not help: ...and when it does: Lessons from young adults' experiences of psychoanalytic psychotherapy2017Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The process and outcome of psychoanalytic psychotherapy have been studied for a long time. However, the experiences of patients, particularly in therapies where goals were not met, have not yet been the target of extensive research. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy with young adults might face particular challenges. The overall aim of this thesis was to explore the experiences of young adults in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, with a particular focus on differences between suboptimal therapies and therapies with generally good outcome. The setting was naturalistic, and perspectives of the patient, therapist and observer were combined. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Study I explored experiences of psychotherapy process and outcome among seven patients in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, who expressed dissatisfaction. Interviews at termination and 18 months later were analysed using grounded theory and compared to therapist experiences. Patients experienced abandonment with their problems in and after therapy, since therapy according to the patients lacked connections to daily life, as well as flexibility, activity and understanding from the therapist. Therapists presented a different picture of the same therapies, mainly focused on the difficulties of the patients. Study II analysed the experiences of 20 non-improved or deteriorated young adult psychotherapy patients at termination of therapy and 36 months later. Non-improvement and deterioration were calculated based on the reliable change index on self-rating scores. The grounded theory analysis of interviews established spinning one’s wheels as a core category. The relationship to the therapist was described as artificial, although at times helpful. Participants experienced their own activity in life and active components of therapy as helpful, but thought focus in therapy was too much on past experiences. Study III explored the experiences of 17 young adult patients, in psychoanalytic individual or group therapy, overcoming depression. The analysis of interviews from therapy termination and 18 months later indicated that finding an identity and a place in life were perceived as intertwined with symptom relief. Negative experiences included difficulties to change oneself, fear of change, and problems in therapy, such as too little activity on the therapist’s part.

    The results were discussed in relation to young adulthood, therapeutic alliance, mentalization, and attachment. The conclusion was expressed in a comprehensive process model of suboptimal therapy with young adults, with suggested ways to prevent such a development. The therapist’s meta-communication and correct assessment of the patient’s mentalization capacity from moment to moment are proposed as crucial. Regarding clinical implications, therapists of young adult patients need to establish meta-communication on therapy progress, as even experienced therapists might be unaware of dissatisfaction or deterioration. Meta-communication could be considered part of the treatment itself, as it may foster mentalization and good outcome. Further, the period of young adulthood entails decisions and developing an adult life, and therapists need to make room for this by active interventions.

  • 17.
    Sundqvist, Kristina
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen, Klinisk psykologi.
    Beyond Recreational Gambling: a Psychological Perspective on Risk- and Problem Gambling2016Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The general aim of this thesis was to examine risk gambling in the general population from a psychological perspective. This was done in three studies targeting personality, risky alcohol habits and gambling motives, respectively. Initially, 19 530 randomly assigned Swedish citizens were screened for problem gambling via telephone using the two questions in the Lie/Bet questionnaire. This sample constitutes the basis for one of the studies in the thesis. For the other studies, individuals answering yes to one of the questions in the Lie/Bet questionnaire and agreeing to participate further were sent a postal questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions about gambling, personality and gambling motives.


    Some of the main results showed that:

    • Negative consequences of gambling were associated with higher levels of impulsivity and negative affectivity.
    • Risk gamblers reported lower levels of negative affectivity compared to the general population.
    • Compared to non-risk gamblers, twice as many of the risk gamblers reported weekly binge drinking during the past 12 months. This association, however, seemed to be explained by shared demographic characteristics, rather than by the risk gambling causing binge drinking.
    • High risk gamblers more often reported that they gambled for the challenge and for coping reasons, compared to low risk gamblers.
    • High risk gamblers had overall stronger motives for gambling.
    • The results also indicated that the level of risk gambling was highly intertwined with gambling motives and could explain some differences in gambling motives between, for example, women/men and younger/older gamblers.

    One of the focal points in the discussion was that higher levels of negative affectivity may be a cause of elevated problems rather than a cause of risk gambling. Another issue discussed was that the level of risk- /problem gambling may be important to consider when comparing gambling motives across subgroups of gamblers.

  • 18.
    Rozental, Alexander
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen, Klinisk psykologi.
    Negative effects of Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy: Monitoring and reporting deterioration and adverse and unwanted events2016Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Internetbaserad kognitiv beteendeterapi (IKBT) har goda förutsättningar att kunna bli en form av psykologisk behandling som på ett effektivt sätt hjälper patienter med att hantera sin psykiska ohälsa och förbättra sitt välmående. Trots detta är det dock långtifrån alla som tycks bli bättre. För en del kan det till och med resultera i negativa effekter. Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling har således varit att undersöka förekomsten av sådana fall och hur dessa uttrycks, såväl med kvantitativa som kvalitativa metoder. Studie I fastställde andelen försämrade, oförändrade samt andra ogynnsamma eller oönskade händelser bland 133 personer som behandlades med IKBT för social ångest. Resultatet visade att uppemot 6,8 % försämrades under sin behandlingsperiod beroende på vilket självskattningsformulär respektive tidpunkt som studerades, beräknat enligt metoden Reliable Change Index (RCI). Likaså var 29,3 % till 86,5 % oförändrade vid eftermätningen samt att 12,9 % rapporterade andra former av negativa effekter. Studie II undersökte svaren på öppna frågor som gällde ogynnsamma eller oönskade händelser bland 556 patienter i fyra olika kliniska studier med IKBT; social ångest, paniksyndrom, egentlig depressionsepisod och prokrastinering. Totalt sett rapporterade 9,3 % att de hade erfarit negativa effekter, vilka analyserades med hjälp av kvalitativ innehållsanalys. Två övergripande kategorier och fyra subkategorier framkom; patientrelaterade, som ökad insikt respektive nya symptom, samt behandlingsrelaterade, som svårigheter att implementera behandlingsinterventionerna respektive problem med behandlingsformatet. Studie III utrönte andelen patienter som försämrades i enlighet med RCI, baserat på insamlad rådata från 2866 personer i 29 olika kliniska studier med IKBT. Resultatet visade att försämring var mer förekommande hos de som var i en kontrollgrupp, 17,4 %, jämfört med de som fick behandling, 5,8 %. Bland de som genomgick behandling existerade det även ett par prediktorer som innebar lägre odds för försämring; större svårigheter vid förmätningen, att befinna sig i en relation, att ha en universitetsutbildning respektive att vara äldre. För de som var i en kontrollgrupp var enbart större svårigheter vid förmätningen relaterat till lägre odds för försämring. Studie IV testade ett nykonstruerat självskattningsformulär; Negative Effects Questionnaire. Resultatet visade på en faktorlösning med sex faktorer och 32 påståenden; symptom, kvalitet, beroende, stigma, hopplöshet respektive misslyckande. En tredjedel av personerna svarade att de hade upplevt obehagliga minnen, stress och ångest, samtidigt som nya symptom och bristande kvalitet i både behandlingen respektive den terapeutiska relationen hade haft störst negativ inverkan på dem. Den generella slutsatsen av denna avhandling är således att negativa effekter förekommer i IKBT och att de kännetecknas av försämring, ett oförändrat tillstånd samt andra ogynnsamma eller oönskade händelser, något som liknar tidigare forskning av psykologisk behandling som bedrivs ansikte-mot-ansikte. Forskare och behandlare i IKBT rekommenderas att övervaka och rapportera negativa effekter i syfte att förhindra en negativ utveckling i behandlingen samt för att öka kunskapen om vad som kan bidra till deras förekomst. Framtida forskning bör undersöka relationen mellan negativa effekter och behandlingsutfall utifrån längre tidsperspektiv för att se om dess påverkan är övergående eller ihållande. Vidare kan till exempel intervjuer utföras med de patienter som har försämrats för att ta reda på om och hur det uppfattas samt huruvida det har förorsakats av behandlingen eller andra omständigheter.

  • 19.
    Sundling, Catherine
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen, Perception och psykofysik.
    Overall Accessibility of Public Transport for Older Adults2016Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis is based on four studies that explore accessibility for older adults during whole trips by public transport. The overall goal was to gain knowledge of the interrelationships among key variables and to develop a conceptual model of the overall accessibility of public transport. More specifically, the research goals were: (a) to explore links among the key variables postulated to be involved in overall accessibility and to explore the links between these variables and railway accessibility; (b) to gain a deeper understanding of links between critical incidents in traveling and travel behavior decisions; and (c) to develop a conceptual model of overall accessibility. The key variables contributing to overall accessibility are functional ability (depending partly on the person’s functional limitation or disease), travel behavior, and barriers encountered during whole-trip traveling involving train. Respondents with more than one functional limitation or disease reported lower functional ability than did those with only one such limitation and respondents with low functional ability were less frequent travelers than were those with high functional ability. Frequent travelers reported railway accessibility to be better than did those who traveled less frequently. The main barriers were ticket cost and poor punctuality, but respondents with the lowest functional ability attributed the barriers encountered to their own health. The critical incidents most frequently reported were found in the categories “physical environment onboard vehicles” and “physical environment at stations or stops”, as well as in the “pricing and planning during ticketing” phase of the trip. Five themes of reactions to critical incidents were identified that had resulted in behavior change: firm restrictions, unpredictability, unfair treatment, complicated trips, and earlier adverse experiences. A conceptual model of overall accessibility was developed, grounded in the empirical research results. This model is summarized in the following propositions: Overall accessibility is a reciprocal relationship among the barriers/facilitators encountered, functional ability, and travel behavior. Accessibility emerges in the person–environment interaction. To understand accessibility, past experiences and future expectations should both be considered, because both will guide travel decisions.

  • 20.
    Sand, Anders
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen, Perception och psykofysik.
    Subliminal or not?: An appraisal of semantic processing in the near absence of visual awareness2016Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Stimuli that cannot be perceived (i.e., that are subliminal) can still elicit neural responses in an observer, but can such stimuli influence behavior and higher-order cognition? Empirical evidence for such effects has periodically been accepted and rejected over the last six decades. Today, many psychologists seem to consider such effects well-established and recent studies have extended the power of subliminal processing to new limits. In this thesis, I examine whether this shift in zeitgeist is matched by a shift in evidential strength for the phenomenon.

    This thesis consists of three empirical studies involving more than 250 participants, a simulation study, and a quantitative review. The conclusion based on these efforts is that several methodological, statistical, and theoretical issues remain in studies of subliminal processing. These issues mean that claimed subliminal effects might be caused by occasional or weak percepts (given the experimenters’ own definitions of perception) and that it is still unclear what evidence there is for the cognitive processing of subliminal stimuli. New data are presented suggesting that even in conditions traditionally claimed as “subliminal”, occasional or weak percepts may in fact influence cognitive processing more strongly than do the physical stimuli, possibly leading to reversed priming effects. I also summarize and provide methodological, statistical, and theoretical recommendations that could benefit future research aspiring to provide solid evidence for subliminal cognitive processing.

  • 21.
    Annell, Stefan
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen. Swedish Defence Recruitment Agency.
    Hållbar polisrekrytering: Teoretiska, metodologiska och praktiska perspektiv på rekrytering och urval2015Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Organisationer behöver kvalificerad personal för att fungera effektivt och därmed blir rekrytering en viktig aktivitet. Det är också angeläget att ny personal anpassar sig väl till arbetsförhållandena. Syftet med denna avhandling var att tydliggöra möjligheterna att genom urval bidra till en långsiktigt hållbar rekrytering för organisation, individ och samhälle.

    Avhandlingen omfattar tre delstudier och baseras på data från rekrytering av nya poliser i Sverige. En kohort har följts från urvalet av de sökande till polisutbildningen våren 2008 (N = 1 344) över tre uppföljningstillfällen (N = 717–729), nämligen vid slutet av två års polisutbildning, vid slutet av sex månaders aspirantutbildning och vid slutet av det första anställningsåret.

    Studie I syftade till att undersöka möjligheterna att välja ut de sökande som är mest lämpade att bli poliser genom att kombinera information från flera urvalsmetoder. Vanligtvis används intervjuer för att i slutet av urvalsprocessen välja ut de mest lämpade kandidaterna. Analyser med flera kriterier på framgångsrik rekrytering (prestation, tillfredsställelse med utbildning respektive arbete, vilja att stanna i yrket och hälsa) vid de tre uppföljningstillfällen, visade att ett alternativt förfarande – att kombinera information från urvalsmetoder som i tidigare steg använts för att sålla bort olämpliga sökande – hade högre prognosförmåga. Det handlade om information från begåvningstest, personlighetstest och konditionstest. Ett sådant förfarande kan också vara mer tillförlitligt och resurseffektivt. Vid urval av poliser bör intervjuer däremot främst ses som ett verktyg för att sålla bort olämpliga kandidater.

    Studie II syftade till att öka förståelsen för hur resultat från begåvningstest ska tolkas och användas vid urval. För de flesta yrken, inklusive polisyrket, har begåvningstest visats vara en av de urvalsmetoder som bäst predicerar prestation. Det har förklarats med effekter av generell begåvning. Resultaten från Studie II visade dock att utöver generell begåvning kan också en verbal och kunskapsladdad komponent antas viktig för att predicera prestation. Samtidigt gav studien stöd för att vid urval använda en samlad totalpoäng från begåvningstest.

    Studie III syftade till att undersöka den relativa betydelsen av urvalsfaktorer som personlighet och begåvning respektive den psykosociala arbetsmiljön för nya polisers arbetsrelaterade attityder och hälsa efter det första anställningsåret. Studien visade att arbetsmiljöfaktorer, såsom möjligheter till utveckling och återkoppling i arbetet samt rimlig arbets­belastning, var betydligt viktigare än urvalsfaktorer för nya polisers anpassning till arbetsförhållandena i yrket.

    Sammanfattningsvis visar föreliggande avhandling att det är meningsfullt att över tid beakta flera kriterier på framgångsrik rekrytering. Den visar också att information från flera urvalsmetoder bör kombineras för att välja ut de mest lämpade kandidaterna. Vidare visar avhandlingen på värdet av att använda verbalt laddade begåvningstest vid urval. Förmågan att predicera framgång i polisyrket med olika urvalsmetoder är dock måttlig. Avhandlingen visar däremot att arbetsförhållandena för ny personal kan ha avgörande betydelse. Det betyder att organisationer som strävar efter hållbar rekrytering bör prioritera både urval och sunda arbetsförhållanden för ny personal. Det gäller inte minst polisorganisationer där kostnaderna för rekrytering är höga.

  • 22.
    Låstad, Lena
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Job insecurity climate: The nature of the construct, its associations with outcomes, and its relation to individual job insecurity2015Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Work is an essential part of most people’s lives. With increasing flexibility in work life, many employees experience job insecurity – they perceive that the future of their jobs is uncertain. However, job insecurity is not just an individual experience; employees can perceive that there is a climate of job insecurity at their workplace as well, as people collectively worry about their jobs. The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate the job insecurity climate construct and how it relates to work- and health-related outcomes and to individual job insecurity. Three empirical studies were conducted to investigate this aim. Study I investigated the dimensionality of the job insecurity construct by developing and testing a measure of job insecurity climate − conceptualized as the individual’s perception of the job insecurity climate at work − in a sample of employees working in Sweden. The results indicated that individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate are separate but related constructs and that job insecurity climate was related to work- and health-related outcomes. Study II examined the effects of individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate on work- and health-related outcomes in a sample of employees working in a private sector company in Sweden. The results showed that perceiving higher levels of job insecurity climate than others in the workgroup was associated with poorer self-rated health and higher levels of burnout. Study III tested the relationship between individual job insecurity and job insecurity climate in a sample of Flemish employees. The results indicated that individual job insecurity is contagious, as individual job insecurity predicted perceptions of job insecurity climate six months later. In conclusion, by focusing on perceptions of the job insecurity climate, the present thesis introduces a new approach to job insecurity climate research, showing that employees can perceive a climate of job insecurity in addition to their own individual job insecurity and, also, that this perception of the job insecurity climate at work has negative consequences for individuals and organizations.

  • 23.
    Seddigh, Aram
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Office type, performance and well-being: A study of how personality and work tasks interact with contemporary office environments and ways of working2015Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Kontorslandskap med eller utan fasta arbetsstationer förekommer idag i många organisationer. Förespråkare för kontorslandskap hänvisar till kostnadsbesparing samt förbättrade förutsättningar för kommunikation, medan motståndare hävdar att kontorslandskap leder till försämrad prestation och hälsa bland medarbetarna. Denna avhandling undersöker om kontorstyp påverkar de anställdas hälsa och prestation, samt om effekten av kontorstyp varierar beroende på de anställdas personlighet och typ av arbetsuppgifter. Data i form av enkätsvar och prestation på kognitiva tester samlades in från fem organisationer med olika typer av kontorslösningar (cellkontor, delade kontorsrum, små kontorslandskap, mellanstora kontorslandskap, stora kontorslandskap och flexkontor). I studie I (N = 1241) var syftet att undersöka huvudeffekten av kontorstyp på indikatorer för hälsa och prestation samt om effekten är beroende av koncentrationskraven i arbetet. Kontorstyp visade samband med distraktion och kognitiv stress på så sätt att medarbetare i cellkontor uppgav minst problem, följt av de i flexkontor, medan kontorslandskap var förknippade med mer problem. Vidare rapporterade anställda som hade arbetsuppgifter som krävde koncentration mer problem i kontorslandskap och flexkontor, medan anställda i cellkontor, oavsett arbetets krav, rapporterade lika mycket problem. I studie II (N = 527) undersöktes hur prestation på ett minnestest påverkades under normala arbetsförhållanden jämfört med en tyst referensmätning i olika kontorstyper. Det fanns ett negativt dos-responssamband mellan storleken på kontorslandskapet och hur många procent sämre medarbetare presterade under normala arbetsförhållanden. Men Studie II visade också att personer som arbetar i cellkontor hade ett lika högt bortfall i prestation under normala arbetsförhållanden som de som arbetade i stora kontorslandskap. I studie III (N = 1133-1171) låg fokus på interaktionseffekten mellan kontorstyp och personlighet. Vänlighet var den enda personlighetsvariabeln som interagerade med kontorstyp på utfallsvariablerna distraktion och arbetstillfredsställelse. Mer specifikt visade Studie III att när kontoret blir mer öppet och flexibelt, så rapporterar människor som skattar sig högt på personlighetsvariabeln vänlighet fler problem. Resultaten i avhandlingen kan få flera praktiska implikationer då den visar att kontorstyp påverkar medarbetarnas hälsa och prestation, medan koncentrationskrävande arbetsuppgifter och vänlighet modererar effekterna. Vidare visar avhandlingen att även om anställda rapporterar mindre distraktion i cellkontor jämfört med i kontorslandskap, behöver inte cellkontor vara lika gynnsamma som självskattade mått visar när prestationen mäts med objektiva mått under normala arbetsförutsättningar, i det här fallet ett minnestest. Slutligen bör organisationer även vara medvetna om att avhandlingen visar en viss tendens att små kontorslandskap är förknippade med mindre problem än stora.

  • 24.
    Eib, Constanze
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Processes of Organizational Justice: Insights into the perception and enactment of justice2015Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Well-being at work is of major public interest, and justice at the workplace can be a key factor contributing to employees and managers feeling well. Research has found direct relationships between organizational justice perceptions and work and health outcomes. With research on the justice–health link still emerging, this thesis examines the moderating and mediating processes for the effects of justice perceptions on work outcomes and especially health outcomes. As little is known about those who enact justice, the antecedents and consequences of justice enactment are also studied. In Study I, the relationships between organizational justice and work and health outcomes were in focus, as the moderating role of job characteristics was investigated utilizing the demand–control(–support) model. Organizational justice and job characteristics were associated with work and health outcomes within and across time. The multiplicative effects showed that the organizational justice effects were stronger when perceived job demands were high, job control was low or social support was low. Study II examined the processes through which justice perceptions translate into health outcomes. Building on the allostatic load model, mental preoccupation with work was found to be a relevant mediator of the justice–health relationship, with locus of control moderating the mediated relationships. Study III focused on the actor perspective. Investigating predictions based on the deontic model of justice and ego-depletion theory, moral regard and justice self-efficacy predicted justice enactment positively, and justice enactment had positive effects on feeling professionally recognized but also negative health consequences for the actors themselves. This thesis contributes to advancing the emergent justice–health research stream by providing insights into the processes underlying these aspects, and by incorporating this stream into the actor perspective. 

  • 25.
    Mattson, Malin
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Promoting safety in organizations: The role of leadership and managerial practices2015Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Workplace accidents and injuries are a growing problem for organizations in Sweden as well as in many other countries. As a consequence, improving workplace safety has become an area of increasing concern for employers and politicians as well as researchers. The aim of this thesis was to contribute to an increased understanding of how leadership and management practices can influence safety in organizations. In Study I, three leadership styles were investigated to determine their relative importance for different safety outcomes. A leadership style specifically emphasizing safety was found to contribute the most to employee safety behaviors; transformational leadership was found to be positive for safety behaviors only when it also involved a safety focus; and a transactional leadership style (management-by-exception active) was shown to be slightly negatively related to workplace safety. Study II examined the role of leader communication approaches for patient safety and the mechanisms involved in this relationship. Support was found for a model showing that one-way communication of safety values and leader feedback communication were both related to increased patient safety through the mediation of different employee safety behaviors (safety compliance and organizational citizen behaviors). Study III explored whether and in what ways the use of staff bonus systems may compromise safety in high-risk organizations. The three investigated systems were all found to provide limited incentives for any behavioral change. However, the results indicate that design characteristics such as clearly defined and communicated bonus goals, which are perceived as closely linked to performance and which aim at improved safety, are imperative for the influence that bonus programs have on safety. Group-directed goals also appeared to be more advantageous than corporate- or individual-level goals. The thesis highlights the importance of actively emphasizing and communicating safety-related issues, both through leadership and in managerial practices, for the achievement of enhanced workplace safety.

  • 26.
    Persson, Ninni
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    The aging brain and changes in cognitive performance: Findings from morphometry and quantitative susceptibility mapping of iron2015Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Brain aging is a heterogeneous phenomenon, and this thesis illustrates how the course of aging can vary within individuals over time and between individuals as a function of age, sex, and genetic variability. We used two contrasts from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), namely spin-lattice T1-weighted imaging, and quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) from gradient-echo images, to picture the aging brain, by means of morphometric measures and brain-iron concentrations. Within each study, the same rigorous imaging acquisitioning protocols were used over large samples sizes of 167-183 individuals, which contribute to the uniqueness of the studies. Most of the current knowledge about the aging brain rests on the foundation of cross-sectional age-related differences, and studies I and III contribute to current knowledge with longitudinal designs to investigate individual rates of change. The importance of genetic variation in relation to regional brain changes was addressed with a specific emphasis on functional polymorphisms involved in pro-inflammatory responses. These studies further shed light on the importance of bi-directional relations between structural integrity and maintained cognitive abilities over time. Study II is the largest study to date to have quantitative susceptibility estimates examined in healthy adults, and the first in-vivo report to show a lowering in overall subcortical brain iron estimates in women from midlife to old age. Studies I and III are unique by examining longitudinal differences in anatomical brain regions using high resolution images from a 4 Tesla scanner. Peripheral vascular risk factors were not strong determinants of either brain- or cognitive changes in the studied samples. The results are discussed in the context of cognitive reserve, the brain maintenance hypothesis, and potential influences of hormones, inflammation and oxidative stress.

  • 27.
    Sundelin, Tina
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    The Face of Sleep Loss2015Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Sleep deprivation has been studied for over a century, providing knowledge about the benefits of sleep for many physiological, cognitive, and behavioural functions. However, there have only been anecdotal indications about what a tired or sleep-deprived person looks like, despite the fact that appearance influences not only how other people perceive a person but also how they evaluate them and behave towards them. How someone with sleep loss is perceived and evaluated by others is the focus of this thesis. Facial photographs of 48 participants were taken after normal sleep and after either one night of total sleep deprivation or two nights of partial sleep deprivation. The photographs were then evaluated in four different studies by a total of 288 raters recruited from universities and the general public in Stockholm, Sweden. The faces were rated on attractiveness, health, tiredness, sleepiness, sociability, trustworthiness, employability, and leadership ability. These factors were all adversely affected by sleep loss. Furthermore, looking tired was strongly related to being less attractive, looking less healthy and less trustworthy, and being perceived as a poorer employee and leader. One of the studies assessed facial features commonly associated with looking tired, showing that sleep deprivation results in eyes which appear more swollen and red, with dark circles and hanging eyelids, as well as paler skin with more fine lines and wrinkles. When sleep deprived, people were also perceived as more sad. In conclusion, the four studies show that sleep loss and a tired appearance affect how one is perceived by other people. These perceptions may lead to negative evaluations in interpersonal situations, both personal and professional. This thesis thus demonstrates social benefits of prioritizing sleep, adding to the physiological, cognitive, and behavioural research on sleep loss.

  • 28.
    Rådsten Ekman, Maria
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Unwanted wanted sounds: Perception of sounds from water structures in urban soundscapes2015Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Water structures, for example, fountains, are common design elements in urban open public spaces. Their popularity is probably explained by their visual attractiveness. Less is known about how the sounds of water struc-tures influence the urban soundscape. This thesis explores the potential ef-fects of water sounds on urban soundscapes based on the character of water sounds. Three psychoacoustic studies were conducted in which listeners rated the perceptual properties of various water sounds. Study I found that water sounds had a limited ability to mask traffic noise, as the frequency composition of the sounds resulted in road-traffic noise masking fountain sounds more than the reverse. A partial loudness model of peripheral audito-ry processes overestimated the observed masking effect of water sound on road-traffic noise, and it was suggested that this was related to central pro-cesses, in particular, target/masker confusion. In Study II, water sounds of different degrees of perceived pleasantness were mixed with road-traffic noise to explore the overall effect on soundscape quality. The overall pleas-antness was increased substantially by adding a highly pleasant water sound; however, less pleasant water sounds had no effect or even reduced overall pleasantness. This result suggests that the perceptual properties of water-generated sounds should be taken into consideration in soundscape design. In Study III, this was explored by analyzing a large set of recordings of sounds of water fountains in urban open spaces. A multidimensional scaling analysis of similarity sortings of sounds revealed distinct groups of percep-tually different fountain sounds. The group of pleasant fountain sounds was characterized by relatively low loudness and high fluctuation strength and tonality, generating purling and rippling sounds. The group of unpleasant fountain sounds was characterized by high loudness and low fluctuation strength and tonality, generating a steady-state like noisy sound.. A joint result of all three studies is that sounds from water structures with a high flow rate (i.e., a large jet and basin in Study I, a waterfall in Study II, and large fountains in Study III) generating a steady-state noisy sound should be avoided in soundscape design. Instead, soundscape design might better focus on more fluctuating water sounds, which were considered more pleasant in both studies II and III. A general conclusion from this thesis is that water-generated sounds may be used to improve the soundscape, but that great care must be taken in selecting the type of water sound to use.

  • 29.
    Hansen, Niklas
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Arbetsvillkor i privat och offentlig sjukvård: Implikationer för personalens attityder och hälsa2014Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Omvandlingen av sjukvården mot marknadisering och nya driftsformer har huvudsakligen genomförts utifrån ekonomiska och politiska föresatser om ökad effektivitet och vårdkvalitet. Goda arbetsvillkor för personalen är en viktig förutsättning för förverkligandet av dessa mål. Givet det oklara kunskapsläget kring psykologiska implikationer av omställningen i välfärdssektorns styrning var syftet med avhandlingen att studera olika aspekter av arbetsvillkor samt arbetsrelaterade attityder och hälsa i privat, bolagiserad och förvaltningsdriven sjukvård. Det gjordes genom att undersöka hur krav och resurser i arbetet förhåller sig till uppkomsten och utbredningen av utbrändhet hos sjuksköterskor, betydelsen av kontroll i och över arbetet för de anställdas arbetstrivsel samt hur motivationsbaserade kognitioner av bemyndigande hos vårdpersonal förändras vid privatisering och relaterar till attityder och hälsa. De empiriska studierna inkluderade såväl tvärsnittliga som longitudinella enkätdata från tre svenska akutsjukhus med olika driftsform. Resultaten visade högre nivåer av utbrändhet hos sjuksköterskor i privat jämfört med förvaltningsdrivet sjukhus. För arbetstrivsel fanns ingen nivåskillnad mellan de tre driftsformerna. Krav i arbetet hängde samman med högre utbrändhetsnivåer och lägre arbetstrivsel. Flera resurser var förenade med lägre grad av utbrändhet medan kontroll hängde samman med högre trivsel. Vid en förändring från bolagiserad till privat driftsform var vårdpersonalens bemyndigande relativt stabilt. Dock fanns efter privatiseringen en tendens till standardisering då graden av bemyndigande blev mer lika. Likaså skedde en statusmässig differentiering i bemyndigande mellan yrkesgrupperna genom att flera med låg status fick mindre bemyndigande. Sammantaget pekar avhandlingen på fler likheter än skillnader mellan driftsformerna vilket antyder att driftsform tycks ha mindre betydelse för såväl nivå som betydelse av arbetsvillkor för personalens attityder och hälsa.

  • 30.
    Kubik, Veit
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Effects of Testing and Enactment on Memory2014Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning occurs not only when we encode information but also when we test our memory for this information at a later time. In three empirical studies, I investigated the individual and combined effects of interleaved testing (via repeated rounds of study and test practice) and encoding (via motor enactment) during learning on later cued-recall performance for action phrases. Such materials (e.g., “water the flowers”) contain a verb and a noun and approximate everyday memory that typically revolves around past and future actions. Study I demonstrated that both interleaved testing (vs. study only) and enactment (vs. verbal encoding) individually reduced the forgetting rate over a period of 1 week, but these effects were nonadditive. That is, the direct testing effect on the forgetting rate occurred for verbal, but not for enactive encoding; enactment reduced the forgetting rate for the study-only condition, but not for the study–test condition. A possible explanation of these findings is that both study techniques sufficiently elicit verb–noun relational processing that cannot be increased further by combining them. In Studies II and III, I replicated these testing-effect results and investigated whether they varied as a function of recall type (i.e., noun-cued recall of verbs and verb-cued recall of nouns). For verbal encoding (Study II), the direct testing effect was of similar size for both noun- and verb-cued recall. For enactive encoding, the direct testing effect was lacking irrespective of recall type. In addition, interleaved tests enhanced subsequent re-encoding of action phrases, leading to an accelerated learning. This indirect testing effect was increased for the noun-cued recall of verbs—for both verbal and enactive encoding. A possible explanation is that because nouns are semantically more stable, in that the meaning of nouns changes less over time and across different contexts, they are more recognizable. Hence, associated information (e.g., about the recall status) may be more available to the learner during restudy that, in turn, can initiate more effective re-encoding. The two different testing benefits (i.e., direct and indirect) may, partly, engage different mechanisms, as they were influenced differentially by the manipulations of encoding type and recall type. The findings presented in the thesis provide new knowledge regarding the combined effects of strategies and materials that influence memory.

  • 31.
    Lilliengren, Peter
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Exploring therapeutic action in psychoanalytic psychotherapy: Attachment to therapist and change2014Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of this thesis was to explore therapeutic action in psychoanalytic psychotherapy from different perspectives (patient, therapist, observer), using different methodological approaches (qualitative and quantitative). Study I explores patients’ views of therapeutic action with grounded theory methodology. The results indicated that talking openly in a safe therapeutic relationship led to new relational experiences and expanding self-awareness. Hindering factors included difficulties “opening up” and experiencing something missing in treatment. Study II investigates experienced therapists’ views of therapeutic action. The development of a close and trusting relationship was perceived as the core curative factor. Patients’ fear of closeness hindered treatment from the therapists’ perspective. Study III involves the development and psychometric examination of a new rating scale for patient-therapist attachment (Patient Attachment to Therapist Rating Scale; PAT-RS). Inter-rater reliability was good for three of the subscales (Security, Deactivation, Disorganization), but poor for one (Hyperactivation). Patterns of correlations with other measures suggest construct validity for the reliable subscales. Study IV examines the relationships between secure attachment to therapist, alliance, and outcome. Linear mixed-effects models, controlling for therapist effects, treatment length and patient-rated alliance, indicated that secure attachment to therapist relates to outcome. Further, the unique variance associated with secure attachment to therapist predicted continued gains in functioning during follow-up. The results of this thesis suggest that the development of a secure attachment to the therapist is a central mechanism of therapeutic change. The results are discussed in relation to established notions of therapeutic action in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Two tentative process models that may be useful for clinical practice and future research are proposed. 

  • 32.
    Eriksson, Gabriella
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    On Physical Relations in Driving: Judgements, Cognition and Perception2014Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Förare bör göra bedömningar som relaterar till hastighet, såsom bedömningar av medelhastighet, risk, restid och bränsleåtgång. Dessa bedömningar är nödvändiga för att föraren ska kunna välja en optimal hastighet, men också för att allmänheten, politiker och andra intressenter som är involverade i trafikfrågor ska kunna fatta välgrundade beslut. Denna avhandling består av fyra delstudier där förares bedömningar av restid (Studie I och II), bränsleåtgång (Studie III) och medelhastighet (Studie IV) studeras i relation till faktiska fysikaliska mått.

    Tidigare enkätstudier har påvisat ett kognitivt bias i tidsvinstbedömningar vid höga och låga hastigheter som påverkar mänskligt beteende. Studie I visade att detta bias också förekommer i en primärt perceptuell motorisk uppgift där förarna i studien kör i en körsimulator. Studie II visade att dessa intuitiva tidsbedömningar kan förbättras genom att köra med en alternativ hastighetsmätare i bilen som indikerar den inverterade hastigheten i minuter per kilometer istället för hastigheten i kilometer per timme.

    I Studie III undersöktes bedömningar av bränsleåtgång vid hastighetsökningar och hastighetssänkningar, och resultaten visar att bedömningarna systematiskt avviker från faktisk bränsleåtgång. Ett intressant resultat var att lastbilsförare i allmänhet underskattade bränslebesparingen som kan göras till följd av en hastighetssänkning. Studie IV visade att subjektiva bedömningar av medelhastighet som avviker från objektiva medelhastigheter kan predicera vägval, vilket tyder på att systematiska fel i dessa bedömningar är robusta och kan predicera vägval.

    Sammanfattningsvis visar avhandlingen hur bedömningar av medelhastighet, tidsvinst och bränsleåtgång systematiskt avviker från fysikaliska mått. Resultaten har betydelse för modellering av resebeteende och design av förarstödssystem.

  • 33.
    Folkesson Hellstadius, Lisa
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Psychobiological functioning in mid-adolescent girls and boys: Linkages to self reported stress, self-esteem and recurrent pain2014Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Among adolescents, the day-to-day functioning of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal-axis (HPA-axis) and of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and their relationships with stress, subjective health complaints and psychological factors such as self-esteem, studied in naturalistic settings, have been largely unexplored. This thesis aimed to investigate the diurnal activity of the HPA-axis (Studies I & II) in terms of salivary cortisol and the ANS/SNS system (Study III) in terms of salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) in mid-adolescent girls and boys. Additionally, linkages between self-reported stress, self-esteem, recurrent pain and biomarkers were investigated. A further aim was to describe potential differences between girls and boys respectively. Study I showed that both girls and boys exhibited the typical diurnal cortisol profile with high levels in the morning that decreased throughout the day. Girls had higher total cortisol levels, while no differences emerged for measures of the cortisol increase. Study II showed no significant linkages between self-ratings of stress and cortisol. However, stress was associated with recurrent pain in girls. Study III showed that, for girls, both self-esteem and self-reported stress were related to morning levels of both cortisol and sAA, to the diurnal sAA output and to a conjoint measure of amylase over cortisol, AOC. To conclude, the findings suggest that both stress and self-esteem may be linked to different measures of ANS and HPA-axis activity, but also to measures of ANS and HPA-axis dysregulation, particularly among mid-adolescent girls.

  • 34.
    Ivarsson, Malena
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Psycho-physiological reactions to violent video gaming: Experimental studies of heart rate variability, cortisol, sleep and emotional reactions in teenage boys2014Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Playing violent video games may provoke aggression. Psycho-physiological methods may provide knowledge about the underlying psychological processes. Most previous studies have been performed in laboratory settings at daytime with adults. Thus the aim of this thesis was to investigate psycho-physiological (autonomic and HPA related reactions), sleep-related and emotional responses in teenage boys to playing a violent and a non-violent video game at home before going to sleep. In Study I the autonomic responses differed between the violent and the non-violent game during playing and more distinctly during sleep. In Study II the HPA axis was not affected by video gaming at all. In Study III, the effect of habits of playing violent games was assessed (≤ 1h/day and ≥ 3h/day). High versus low experience of violent gaming were related to different autonomic, sleep-related and emotional processes at exposure to a violent and a non-violent game, during playing and during sleep. The present thesis demonstrated that violent and non-violent games induce different autonomic responses during playing and – more distinctly – during sleep. Frequent gaming seems to influence physiological, sleep-related and emotional reactions, possibly as an expression of desensitization processes.

  • 35.
    Stålnacke, Johanna
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Rough beginnings: Executive function in adolescents and young adults after preterm birth and repeat antenatal corticosteroid treatment2014Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis investigates long-term cognitive outcome in two cohorts of adolescents and young adults exposed to stressors during the perinatal period: one group born preterm (<37 weeks of gestation and birth weight <1,500 g); one group exposed to two or more courses of antenatal corticosteroids (ACS), to stimulate lung maturation in the face of threatening preterm birth. In fetal life the brain undergoes dramatic growth, and a disruption to the early establishment of functional neural networks may interrupt development in ways that are difficult to predict. Executive function refers to a set of cognitive processes that are important for purposeful regulation of thought, emotion, and behavior, and even a subtle depreciation may influence overall functioning. Study I investigated the stability of executive function development after preterm birth. Executive functions were differentiated into working memory and cognitive flexibility. Both components were highly stable from preschool age to late adolescence. In Study II, we identified subgroups within the group of children born preterm with respect to cognitive profiles at 5½ and 18 years, and identified longitudinal streams. Outcome after preterm birth was diverse, and insufficiently predicted by perinatal and family factors. Individuals performing at low levels at 5½ years were unlikely to improve over time, while a group of individuals performing at or above norm at 5½ years had improved their performance relative to term-born peers by age 18. Studies I and II pointed to the need for developmental monitoring of those at risk, prior to formal schooling. Study III investigated long-term cognitive outcome after repeat ACS treatment. The study did not provide support for the concern that repeat ACS exposure will have an adverse impact on cognitive function later in life. In sum, exposure to perinatal stressors resulted in great variation in outcome. However, for many, their rough beginnings had not left a lasting mark.

  • 36.
    Sjöberg, Sofia
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Utilizing research in the practice of personnel selection: General mental ability, personality, and job performance2014Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Identifying and hiring the highest performers is essential for organizations to remain competitive. Research has provided effective guidelines for this but important aspects of these evidence-based processes have yet to gain acceptance among practitioners. The general aim of this thesis was to help narrowing the gap between research and practice concerning personnel selection decisions. The first study compared the validity estimates of general mental ability (GMA) and the five factor model of personality traits as predictors of job performance, finding that, when the recently developed indirect correction for range restriction was applied, GMA was an even stronger predictor of job performance than previously found, while the predictive validity of the personality traits remained at similar levels. The approach used for data collection and combination is crucial to forming an overall assessment of applicants for selection decisions and has a great impact on the validity of the decision. The second study compared the financial outcomes of applying a mechanical or clinical approach to combining predictor scores. The results showed that the mechanical approach can result in a substantial increase in overall utility. The third study examined the potential influences that practitioners’ cognitive decision-making style, accountability for the assessment process, and responsibility for the selection decision had on their hiring approach preferences. The results showed that practitioners scoring high on intuitive decision-making style preferred a clinical hiring approach, while the contextual aspects did not impact practitioners’ preferences. While more research may be needed on practitioner preferences for a particular approach, the overall results of this thesis support and strengthen the predictive validity of GMA and personality traits, and indicate that the mechanical approach to data combination provides increased utility for organizations. 

  • 37.
    Kusterer, Hanna Li
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Women and men in management: Stereotypes, evaluation and discourse2014Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Very few women hold top corporate positions in Sweden, and women are underrepresented as managers in all work sectors. The present thesis examined stereotypes, perceptions and presuppositions about women, men and management with a combination of perspectives from social and organizational psychology, discourse analysis and gender in organization research. Study 1 of Paper I was a content analysis of management attributes and cultural stereotypes of female and male managers. In Study 2, an inventory of these attributes was formed, and participants’ stereotype endorsements tested. Stereotypes of female managers resembled good management more than male managers, and they were rated more positively, but a masculine norm was implied. Paper II aimed to study and compare gender-related management stereotypes and evaluations of actual managers, and examine perceived gender bias. Men evaluated the female manager stereotype more positively on communal attributes, and, contrary to women, judged the male manager stereotype more positively on agentic attributes. This may help explain the scarcity of women in top management. Women perceived more gender bias favoring male managers than men. Actual male and female managers were rated similarly. Still, the Euclidian distances showed that ratings of actual managers and stereotypes were linked. Paper III examined the discourse on the lack of women in top corporate positions, explanations and links to proposed measures in a project to counter the gender imbalance. A liberal discourse with contradictions and textual silences was exposed. Gender had to be construed in line with traditional gender norms and division of labor to make sense of the proposed explanations. To conclude, one can be reassured by the largely communal portrayal of good management and positive evaluations of female managers, but also apprehensive about the masculine norm of management, perceived gender bias in favor of men, and traditional gender constructions.

  • 38.
    Pudas, Sara
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Brain characteristics of memory decline and stability in aging: Contributions from longitudinal observations2013Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Aging is typically associated with declining mental abilities, most prominent for some forms of memory. There are, however, large inter-individual differences within the older population. Some people experience rapid decline whereas others seem almost spared from any adverse effects of aging. This thesis examined the neural underpinnings of such individual differences by using longitudinal observations of episodic memory change across 15-20 years, combined with structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. Study I found significant correlations between volume and activity of the hippocampus (HC), and memory change over a 6-year period. That is, individuals with decline in HC function also had declining memory. In contrast, Study II showed that successfully aged individuals, who maintained high memory scores over 15-20 years, had preserved HC function compared to age-matched elderly with average memory change. The successful agers had HC activity levels comparable to those of young individuals, as well as higher frontal activity. Study III revealed that individual differences in memory ability and brain activity of elderly reflect both differential age-related changes, and individual differences in memory ability that are present already in midlife, when age effects are minimal. Specifically, memory scores obtained 15-20 years earlier reliably predicted brain activity in memory-relevant regions such as the frontal cortex and HC. This observation challenges results from previous cross-sectional aging studies that did not consider individual differences in cognitive ability from youth. Collectively the three studies implicate HC and frontal cortex function behind heterogeneity in cognitive aging, both substantiating and qualifying previous results from cross-sectional studies. More generally, the findings highlight the importance of longitudinal estimates of cognitive change for fully understanding the mechanisms of neurocognitive aging.

  • 39.
    Schraml, Karin
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Chronic stress among adolescents: Contributing factors and associations with academic achievement2013Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    According to recent nationwide surveys there have been dramatic increases in stress and serious stress-related health problems among Swedish adolescents. The aims of the present thesis were to investigate the prevalence of perceived chronic stress among sixteen-year-old adolescents who attended their first year at high-ranking high schools in the Stockholm area, to examine if factors that have been found to be relevant in the development of chronic stress among adults also contribute to chronic stress among adolescents, and to investigate the associations between chronic stress and sleep-related variables and academic achievement. Data were collected by means of self-report instruments. The main outcomes showed that a substantial number of individuals (30%) reported to perceive severe stress symptoms. The highest degree was perceived by 8% who suffered from symptoms to an extent which otherwise only has been observed among adult clinical burnout patients. Besides, 15% reported severe stress symptoms throughout high school and were thus considered to suffer from chronic stress. Perceived high demands, low global self-esteem, sleep disturbances and low social support were crucial factors in explaining stress symptoms. Another finding showed that perceived chronic stress was associated with adolescents’ academic achievement. A closer look at the potential contribution of sleep-related variables to academic achievement revealed further that, apart from severe stress symptoms, social jetlag was involved in predicting variation in academic achievement. Overall, the findings indicated that there is a high prevalence of chronic stress among adolescents. The results should be taken seriously, as young people’s sense of well-being during this period impacts both their successful transition into adulthood and their life course. Future research options and potential practical applications in terms of chronic stress prevention were suggested and discussed.

  • 40.
    Hadlaczky, Gergö
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Coincidences and Paranormal Belief2013Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In this thesis it is argued that coincidences play an important role in the formation of belief, including belief in the paranormal. Three papers are presented. In the first paper, four studies are conducted to investigate whether the often-reported remarkable correspondences in telepathy studies (using the ganzfeld procedure) could be accounted for by chance. The results suggest that they can indeed come about by chance, and that they are almost expected to happen given the large number of variables that can be perceived as “remarkably connected.” The second paper investigates whether individuals who are more sensitive to coincidences are more likely to be believers in the paranormal. Participants were exposed to artificial coincidences, which were formally defined as less or more probable, and were asked to provide remarkability ratings. The results suggest that individual variation in sensitivity to coincidences is associated with belief in the paranormal. It is concluded that because some individuals are more likely to be surprised by coincidences, these individuals may be exposed to a greater number of coincidences that are difficult or impossible to explain naturally. This exposure may lead to the development of paranormal belief. The last paper was an explorative study investigating how sensitivity to coincidences is affected by requiring individuals to assess coincidences in probabilistic terms (reflecting controlled processing) compared to relying on the emotion of surprise (automatic processing), while taking associative looseness into consideration. It was concluded that automatic and controlled processing may have an effect on the judgments of coincidences, but only when individual differences in paranormal belief or associative processing is taken into account.

  • 41.
    Jakobsson, Marianne
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Decisions with Medium to Long-Term Consequences: Decision Processes and Structures2013Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    All of us make more or less important decisions during our entire lives, in private and professional arenas. Some decisions have consequences for an individual or organization in the short term, others have long lasting consequences. This thesis concerns studies of decision processes and structures involved indecision-making with medium to long-term consequences for an organization or individual. Study I and II focus decision-making theory and judgments in procurement. Study III concerns real-life, individual career decision-making. Study I used a laboratory context for an investigation of willingness to pay (WP) for the creation of a procurement offer. Study II investigated organizational decision processes and structures of procurement of large projects in a nuclear power plant organization. Study III investigated the decision process used to make a choice between two professional training programs leading to psychotherapist certification. Study I found, that participants used a multiplicative combination of probability and profit when judging WP for the creation of a bid. Scales of subjective probability had smaller ranges than objective probability. In this context, participants were more sensitive to variation in monetary value than to probability. In Study, II it was possible to describe the procurement process in a framework of information search and decision theory. A Multi Attribute Utility Theory-inspired model was used by the staff, in the evaluations of procurement alternatives. Both compensatory (e.g. negative aspects can be compensated by positive aspects) and non-compensatory (particular “pass” levels of attributes have to be exceeded for acceptance of a choice alternative) decision rules were used. In study III it was found that a development and extension of Differentiation and Consolidation theory described individual reasons pro and con alternatives before and after the choice of a professional training program.

  • 42.
    Langhammer, Kristina
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Psykologiska institutionen.
    Employee selection: Mechanisms behind practitioners’ preference for hiring practices2013Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)