Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

Language Learning Patterns


The study conductor(s)top
Public Studies
The participant(s)top
530 speakers of French, Spanish, and English.
Date study concludedtop
January 21, 2010
Funded bytop
Public Studies (publicstudies.com)
Purposetop

To single out language learning characteristics that could lead to improvements in conlang design and teaching methods by identifying key difficulties in language learning.

Summarytop

The study showed that the largest issues with language learning were complexities surrounding verb tense and prepositional usage. Participants had trouble correctly identifying verb tenses when the verb itself was modified, but when verb tense was modified by separated words (adverbs in most cases) the participants were more likely to correctly identify the tense. Prepositions proved to be a problem in complex sentences. Participant responses varied when identifying what the preposition applied to, this is likely because the control language did not have a consistent means of removing prepositional ambiguity (much like many conlangs).

Methods usedtop

A theoretical language with limited vocabulary was created and participants were provided with a simple standardized tutorial. Once the participants covered the basics of the language, they were asked to correctly identify the meanings of various sentences written in the control language.

Resultstop
Task Correct Incorrect Varied
Identify verb tenses (inflection) 110 319 101
Identify verb tenses (adverbal) 488 23 19
Identify adjectives 511 10 9
Identify adverbs 495 24 11
Differentiate subject and object 341 72 117
Identify vocabulary 441 32 57
Identify and define prepositional usage 71 44 415

Varied indicates that the participants in this column did not consistently get the task correct or incorrect.

Notestop
  • [-] This study was limited to French, Spanish, and English speakers.
  • [-] This study did not measure vocabulary learning patterns.
External Sourcestop
Public Studies Original
APA Citation(s)top
Language Learning Patterns. (2010).
   Retrieved August 16, 2017, from Public Studies Web site:
   http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2010/01/language-learning-patterns/
MLA Citation(s)top
“Language Learning Patterns”
   Public Studies. 21 January 2010.
   August 16, 2017. <http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2010/01/language-learning-patterns/>.

ADHD Stimulants and Sudden Fatalities


The study conductor(s)top
Lead Author: Prof. Madelyn Gould, (child psychiatry and epidemiology at Columbia University)
The participant(s)top
564 children in the United States who died suddenly and inexplicably between 1985 and 1996; A accidental death “counterpart” to each sudden death.
Date study concludedtop
June 1, 2009
Funded bytop
Food and Drug Administration and The National Institute of Mental Health
Purposetop

To determine if a link between ADHD medication and sudden childhood fatalities exists.

Summarytop

To determine if a link exists between ADHD medication and sudden fatalities, researchers evaluated 562 sudden deaths and an equal number of accidental deaths. Ten children who died suddenly were taking ADHD medications as opposed to two children who died accidentally who were taking ADHD medications.

Methods usedtop

The researchers evaluated how many of the children who died had been taking stimulant drugs by asking their parents and caregivers and by reviewing medical documents. For every child who died suddenly and inexplicably, the researchers then found another child closely matched in terms of age, sex and other variables who died in a traffic accident. Taking a stimulant drug is unlikely to have played any role in a child getting killed in an accident. If stimulant drugs had nothing to do with sudden, unexplained death, then the number of victims on stimulant drugs who suffered such deaths and the number of victims on stimulant drugs who died in traffic accidents ought to have been about the same.

Resultstop

Gould found that 10 children in the group that suffered sudden, unexplained death had been taking stimulant drugs, whereas only two children in the group killed in traffic accidents were taking such medications.

Notestop
  • This study was peer-reviewed prior to entering the Public Studies database.
  • The accuracy of reporting could be effected as guardians may be more likely to note medications taken if a child dies suddenly, than if a child dies in a vehicle accident.
External Sourcestop
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/15/AR2009061502833.html | http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/06/16/roundup/entry5091407.shtml
APA Citation(s)top
ADHD Stimulants and Sudden Fatalities. (2009).
   Retrieved August 16, 2017, from Public Studies Web site:
   http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2009/06/adhd-stimulants-and-sudden-fatalities/
MLA Citation(s)top
“ADHD Stimulants and Sudden Fatalities”
   Public Studies. 1 June 2009.
   August 16, 2017. <http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2009/06/adhd-stimulants-and-sudden-fatalities/>.

Video Games and Aggression in Children


The study conductor(s)top
Dr. Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D. (Iowa State University)
The participant(s)top
181 Japanese students ages 12 to 15; 1,050 Japanese students aged 13 to 18; 364 U.S. kids ages 9 to 12
Date study concludedtop
November 3, 2008
Funded bytop
Iowa State University, other independent sources unlisted.
Purposetop

To determine if correlation between aggression and violent video games exists.

Summarytop

The aggression levels of children who played “violent” video games (or genres) were recorded as higher than children who did not play the same video games or video game genres.

Methods usedtop

The U.S. students were asked their three favorite games and how often they played them. The younger Japanese group was polled on how often they played games from specific violent genres. The final group of older Japanese children were gauged on how often they played versus the violence levels contained within their favorite genres. Aggression levels in the children were determined by input from the children, parents, and teachers.

Resultstop

The study found that children who played violent video games were more aggressive than those that did not. The results were determined not so much through observation, though comments from parents and teachers were taken into account, but rather by asking the children about their own aggression levels.

Notestop
  • The accuracy of children rating their own aggression levels is questionable.
  • Violence can range dramatically in most genres, sampling based on genre seems to make little sense — except perhaps with FPSs (First Person Shooters)
External Sourcestop
http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/family/11/03/healthmag.violent.video.kids/index.html
APA Citation(s)top
Video Games and Aggression in Children. (2008).
   Retrieved August 16, 2017, from Public Studies Web site:
   http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2008/11/video-games-and-aggression-in-children/
MLA Citation(s)top
“Video Games and Aggression in Children”
   Public Studies. 3 November 2008.
   August 16, 2017. <http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2008/11/video-games-and-aggression-in-children/>.

Monkeys’ Simple Math Abilities Compared To Humans.


The study conductor(s)top
Jessica Cantlon (graduate student, Duke University);
Elizabeth Brannon, PhD. (psychology professor, Duke University)
The participant(s)top
Two rhesus monkeys; 14 college students
Date study concludedtop
December 1, 2007
Funded bytop
Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Purposetop

To help determine how far back, evolutionarily, that basic math skills go.

Summarytop

On the addition math test, college students scored correctly 94 percent of the time on average and the monkeys scored correctly 76 percent of the time.

Methods usedtop

The participants had to add two sets of dots together. They were each shown one set of dots on a computer touchscreen for a half-second, and then another set a half-second later. They were then shown two separate clusters of dots at the same time, one of which was the correct sum of the first two sets.

Resultstop

The college students did better than the monkeys, scoring correct 94 percent on average compared to the monkey’s 76 percent. Like the college students, the more similar in size the two given choices were, the more the monkeys had a hard time picking the right answer. This suggests monkeys and humans were adding up numbers in their heads in a similar way. Supporting this notion is the fact that both humans and monkeys found it harder to pick the right choice the larger the numbers got.

Notestop
  • From an evolutionary standpoint, monkeys would have math skills because “math could help monkeys and other animals choose larger amounts of food or gauge the size of a rival group.”, according to Cantlon.
External Sourcestop
Video: http://www.duke.edu/web/mind/level2/faculty/liz/addition.htm | http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317526,00.html | Monitor on Psychology Volume 38, No. 3 March 2007 | http://www.duke.edu/web/mind/level2/faculty/liz/Publications/APA%20Online%202007.pdf
APA Citation(s)top
Monkeys’ Simple Math Abilities Compared To Humans.. (2007).
   Retrieved August 16, 2017, from Public Studies Web site:
   http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2007/12/monkeys-simple-math-abilities-compared-to-humans/
MLA Citation(s)top
“Monkeys’ Simple Math Abilities Compared To Humans.”
   Public Studies. 1 December 2007.
   August 16, 2017. <http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2007/12/monkeys-simple-math-abilities-compared-to-humans/>.

Personality changes, now and then


The study conductor(s)top
Prof. Jaap Dennissen (Humboldt University, Berlin)
The participant(s)top
103 children followed to adulthood
Date study concludedtop
February 2, 2007
Funded bytop
Humboldt University, other independent sources.
Purposetop

This study attempts to show a relationship from childhood behavior to adult behavior.

Summarytop

Shy children generally stayed shy, but “hyper or outgoing” children calmed down to an “average” level in adulthood.

Methods usedtop

To get an initial idea of the preschoolers’ personalities, the researchers surveyed both guardians and teachers when the children were ages 4, 5 and 6. Based on the observations of their teachers and guardians, the children were identified as having one of three personality types: over-controlled, under-controlled or resilient. Over-controlled equates to shy, under-controlled equates to “impulsive”, and resilient shows a “good” balance between the two. The parents were given questionnaires every year after the initial survey until the children were age 10, and then again at ages 12, 17, and 23.

Resultstop

Children labeled as over-controlled generally remain over-controlled through adulthood. Children who were labeled as under-controlled gained some self control over the years, and children who were labeled as resilient generally remained that way. One factor that may help the children develop normally is a part-time job during their teen years, according to Dennissen. He and his colleagues found that such work experience led to lower levels of aggressiveness among both the over-controlled and under-controlled kids. With the early job experience, teens learn some of the basic life’s rules, such as that aggression is met without reward, Dennissen explains.

Notestop
  • Parental behavior likely should have played a part in the study, but it’s generally similar results would indicate that may not be a factor.
  • This study validates the belief that working “temp” jobs as a youth increases one’s social skills.
External Sourcestop
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22554554/ | Journal of Personality, February 2007
APA Citation(s)top
Personality changes, now and then. (2007).
   Retrieved August 16, 2017, from Public Studies Web site:
   http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2007/02/personality-changes-now-and-then/
MLA Citation(s)top
“Personality changes, now and then”
   Public Studies. 2 February 2007.
   August 16, 2017. <http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2007/02/personality-changes-now-and-then/>.

Willpower and Self-control, APA


The study conductor(s)top
Roy F. Baumeister, PhD, Eppes Professor of Psychology at Florida State University.
The participant(s)top
800 persons of mixed-gender, age, and race.
Date study concludedtop
June 1, 2003
Funded bytop
Florida State University
Purposetop

To determine if willpower can be modified, and how other behaviors effect the strength of the participants willpower.

Summarytop

The participants who either worked to train their “willpower”, or who expended little willpower are more likely to have impulse control and resist temptation. Willpower was discovered to be like a “gas tank” that can increase in capacity as an individual exercises willpower.

Methods usedtop

The study tested three theories on self-control. One theory treats self-control as a cognitive process, one as a learned skill and another as a behavior that requires willpower. Through a series of experiments with 800 participants, Baumeister used the theories to investigate the levels of energy required for exercising self-control and resisting temptationIn one of the experiments, participants who had skipped a meal were tempted with freshly baked cookies and chocolates. Some participants were instructed to resist the treats and instead eat radishes. They were then asked to complete an unsolvable geometric puzzle. In another experiment participants were instructed to control their emotional responses–by stifling or amplifying their reactions–as they viewed an upsetting video.

Resultstop

Those who resisted the treats tended to give up faster on the puzzle than participants who were allowed to indulge in the temptation or who had not been tempted with any food. Baumeister believes that they gave up faster because they’d already expended energy exercising self-control. A similar pattern emerged in the other experiment in which participants were instructed to control their emotional responses–by stifling or amplifying their reactions–as they viewed an upsetting video. The researchers then gauged their physical stamina by testing how long they could squeeze a handgrip device. Participants who controlled their emotions tended to give up faster on the task compared with those who did not have to suppress or control their emotions while watching the video.

Notestop

[+] This study has been peer reviewed by the American Psychological Association and Florida State University.
[-] The first study’s results may be due to the lack of glucose provided by radishes that could lead to giving up on the puzzles sooner, as the brain uses glucose as a primary source of fuel.

External Sourcestop
http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun03/selfcontrol.aspx
APA Citation(s)top
Willpower and Self-control, APA. (2003).
   Retrieved August 16, 2017, from Public Studies Web site:
   http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2003/06/197/
MLA Citation(s)top
“Willpower and Self-control, APA”
   Public Studies. 1 June 2003.
   August 16, 2017. <http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2003/06/197/>.