Scholarly Work - Psychology

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    Perceived discrimination, political efficacy, and political participation in American Indian adults
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2024-03) Wood, Zachary J.; John-Henderson, Neha A.
    Introduction: Psychological factors linked to political participation are largely understudied in American Indians. Prior work notes relatively low levels of participation compared to other racial and ethnic groups and suggests that identification with being American Indian is linked to overall levels of civic engagement in part through perceptions of group discrimination. Methods: In the current work, in a sample of 727 American Indian adults, we created two groups: Group 1 (N = 398) reported perceived discrimination related to race, and Group 2 (N = 329) reported perceived discrimination not related to race or ethnicity. We investigated the relationships between individual experiences of everyday discrimination related to race, levels of political efficacy, and political participation (Group 1), and individual experiences of everyday discrimination not related to race or ethnicity, political efficacy, and political participation (Group 2). Results: We found that greater experiences of everyday discrimination related to race was associated with higher levels of political participation through increased levels of internal and collective efficacy. In contrast, greater experiences of everyday discrimination related to race was associated with higher levels of political participation through lower external political efficacy. For Group 2, we found that greater experiences of everyday discrimination not related to race or ethnicity was not directly associated with political participation, but mediation analyses revealed a relationship with lower levels of political participation through decreased internal and collective efficacy. The indirect effect through external political efficacy was not significant. Discussion: Given low levels of American Indian political participation, political efficacy could be a target for interventions aiming to increase participation in the political system.
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    Profiles of historical loss and childhood trauma as predictors of mental and cardiometabolic health in American Indian adults
    (Elsevier BV, 2023-12) John-Henderson, Neha A.; Ginty, Annie T.
    Cardiometabolic disease and mental health conditions are two major contributors to persistent inequities in health and life expectancy for American Indian adults. The atrocities associated with European colonization are linked to intergenerational psychological and emotional wounding (i.e., historical trauma) and high incidence of childhood trauma. Prior work has examined the independent relationships of childhood trauma and thoughts about historical loss with cardiometabolic and mental health in American Indians. In the current work, we used a data-driven approach to identify profiles of childhood trauma and frequency of thoughts about historical loss, and then examined how these profiles related to cardiometabolic and mental health in a sample of American Indian adults from across the United States (N = 727). We found that a profile characterized by high levels of childhood trauma and high frequency of thoughts about historical losses was associated with the greatest risk for mental health conditions. The profile characterized by the highest levels of childhood trauma and by moderate frequency of thoughts about historical losses was associated with the largest risk of cardiometabolic conditions. The findings represent an important first step towards understanding how childhood trauma and thoughts about historical loss may simultaneously inform enduring inequities in American Indian health.
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    Fast, Accurate, But Sometimes Too-Compelling Support: The Impact of Imperfectly Automated Cues in an Augmented-Reality Head-Mounted Display on Visual Search Performance
    (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2023-01) Warden, Amelia C.; Wickens, Christopher D.; Rehberg, Daniel; Ortega, Francisco R.; Clegg, Benjamin A.
    While the visual search for targets in a complex scene might benefit from using augmented-reality (AR) head-mounted display (HMD) technologies by helping to efficiently direct human attention, imperfectly reliable automation support could manifest in occasional errors. The current study examined the effectiveness of different HMD cues that might support visual search performance and their respective consequences following automation errors. A total of 56 participants searched a three-dimensional environment containing 48 objects in a room, in order to locate a target object that was viewed prior to each trial. They searched either unaided or assisted by one of the three HMD types of cues: an arrow pointing to the target, a plan-view minimap highlighting the target, and a constantly visible icon depicting the appearance of the target object. The cue was incorrect in 17% of the trials for one group of participants and 100% correct for the second group. Through both analysis and modeling of both search speed and accuracy, the results indicated that the arrow and minimap cues depicting location information were more effective than the icon cue depicting visual appearance, both overall, and when the cue was correct. However, there was a tradeoff on the infrequent occasions when the cue erred. The most effective AR-based cue led to a greater automation bias in which the cue was more often blindly followed without careful examination of the raw images. The results speak to the benefits of AR and the need to examine potential costs when AR-conveyed information may be incorrect because of imperfectly reliable systems.
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    How history trails and set size influence detection of hostile intentions
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-05) Patton, Colleen E.; Wickens, Christopher D.; Clegg, Benjamin A.; Noble, Kayla M.; Smith, C. A. P.
    Previous research suggests people struggle to detect a series of movements that might imply hostile intentions of a vessel, yet this ability is crucial in many real world Naval scenarios. To investigate possible mechanisms for improving performance, participants engaged in a simple, simulated ship movement task. One of two hostile behaviors were present in one of the vessels: Shadowing—mirroring the participant’s vessel’s movements; and Hunting—closing in on the participant’s vessel. In the first experiment, history trails, showing the previous nine positions of each ship connected by a line, were introduced as a potential diagnostic aid. In a second experiment, the number of computer-controlled ships on the screen also varied. Smaller set size improved detection performance. History trails also consistently improved detection performance for both behaviors, although still falling well short of optimal, even with the smaller set size. These findings suggest that working memory plays a critical role in performance on this dynamic decision making task, and the constraints of working memory capacity can be decreased through a simple visual aid and an overall reduction in the number of objects being tracked. The implications for the detection of hostile intentions are discussed.
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    Supporting detection of hostile intentions: automated assistance in a dynamic decision-making context
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023-11) Patton, Colleen E.; Wickens, Christopher D.; Smith, C. A. P.; Noble, Kayla M.; Clegg, Benjamin A.
    In a dynamic decision-making task simulating basic ship movements, participants attempted, through a series of actions, to elicit and identify which one of six other ships was exhibiting either of two hostile behaviors. A high-performing, although imperfect, automated attention aid was introduced. It visually highlighted the ship categorized by an algorithm as the most likely to be hostile. Half of participants also received automation transparency in the form of a statement about why the hostile ship was highlighted. Results indicated that while the aid’s advice was often complied with and hence led to higher accuracy with a shorter response time, detection was still suboptimal. Additionally, transparency had limited impacts on all aspects of performance. Implications for detection of hostile intentions and the challenges of supporting dynamic decision making are discussed.
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    Association of racism and substance use treatment with belief in the myth of an American Indian/Alaska Native biological vulnerability to alcohol problems
    (American Psychological Association, 2023-06) Gonzalez, Vivian M.; Skewes, Monica C.
    Objectives: Belief in an American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) specific biological vulnerability (BV) to alcohol problems is associated with worse alcohol outcomes among AIANs. Despite a notable lack of evidence that biogenetic factors play a greater role in the development of alcohol problems among AIANs than other groups, many people still believe this myth. Consistent with theory and evidence that greater experiences with discrimination leads to the internalization of stereotypes and oppression, we hypothesized that greater perceived racial discrimination (racism) would be associated with greater BV belief, but that having a stronger ethnic identity would weaken this association. We also examined whether previous substance use treatment as well as participation in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) was associated with BV belief. Method: Participants were 198 reservation-dwelling AI adults with a substance use problem who completed a survey as part of a larger community-based participatory study. Results: A multiple regression analysis revealed that greater systemic racism was associated with greater belief in a BV; this association was not moderated by ethnic identity. Greater interpersonal racism was also associated with greater BV belief—but only among those low in ethnic identity. A regression analysis revealed that previous treatment, AA, and NA participation were not associated with BV belief. Conclusions: Greater systemic and interpersonal racism were associated with belief in a BV, and greater ethnic identity buffered the association between interpersonal racism and BV belief. This suggests that both combatting racism and fostering positive ethnic identity may help to lessen BV belief. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)
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    A longitudinal assessment of variability in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and psychosocial correlates in a national United States sample
    (Elsevier BV, 2023-02) Shook, Natalie J.; Oosterhoff, Benjamin; Sevi, Barış
    Recent evidence suggests that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is not static. In order to develop effective vaccine uptake interventions, we need to understand the extent to which vaccine hesitancy fluctuates and identify factors associated with both between- and within-person differences in vaccine hesitancy. The goals of the current study were to assess the extent to which COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy varied at an individual level across time and to determine whether disgust sensitivity and germ aversion were associated with between- and within-person differences in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. A national sample of U.S. adults (N = 1025; 516 woman; Mage = 46.34 years, SDage = 16.56, range: 18 to 85 years; 72.6 % White) completed six weekly online surveys (March 20 – May 3, 2020). Between-person mean COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy rates were relatively stable across the six-week period (range: 38–42 %). However, there was considerable within-person variability in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Approximately, 40 % of the sample changed their vaccine hesitancy at least once during the six weeks. There was a significant between-person effect for disgust sensitivity, such that greater disgust sensitivity was associated with a lower likelihood of COVID-19 vaccine hesitance. There was also a significant within-person effect for germ aversion. Participants who experienced greater germ aversion for a given week relative to their own six week average were less likely to be COVID-19 vaccine hesitant that week relative to their own six-week average. This study provides important information on rapidly changing individual variability in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy on a weekly basis, which should be taken into consideration with any efforts to decrease vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccine uptake. Further, these findings identify-two psychological factors (disgust sensitivity and germ aversion) with malleable components that could be leveraged in developing vaccine uptake interventions.
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    Development and Feasibility Pilot Study of Indigenous Recovery Planning: A Community-Engaged Approach to Addressing Substance Use in a Native Community
    (SAGE Publications, 2023-02) Skewes, Monica C.; Gonzalez, Vivian M.; Gameon, Julie A.; Ricker, Adriann; Martell, Shannon; Reum, Martel; Holder, Shannon
    Although Native (American Indian [AI] and Alaska Native [AN]) populations have high rates of abstinence from alcohol, health problems associated with substance use remain a pressing concern in many AI/AN communities. As part of a longstanding community-based participatory research project involving 5 years of relationship building and three preliminary studies, our team of academic and community coresearchers developed a culturally grounded intervention to facilitate recovery from substance use disorders among tribal members from a rural AI reservation. Our Indigenous Recovery Planning (IRP) intervention consists of six weekly sessions and is designed to provide inroads to existing resources in the community, affirm and enhance Native identity, address culturally relevant risk factors, and build on strengths. Results from a feasibility pilot study (N = 15) suggest that IRP is feasible to implement and acceptable to the community. Although there was insufficient statistical power to conduct hypothesis testing, there were changes between pretest and posttest scores in the expected directions. Future directions and limitations of this research are discussed.
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    Infant negativity moderates trajectories of maternal emotion across pregnancy and the peripartum period
    (Elsevier BV, 2023-01) Brooker, Rebecca J.; Mistry-Patel, Sejal; Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Liu, Shuling; Van Lieshout, Ryan J.; Schmidt, Louis A.; John-Henderson, Neha
    Background. Although the effects of maternal behavior on the development of child emotion characteristics is relatively well-established, effects of infant characteristics on maternal emotion development are less well known. This gap in knowledge persists despite repeated calls for including child-to-mother effects in studies of emotion. We tested the theory-based postulate that infant temperamental negativity moderates longitudinal trajectories of mothers’ perinatal symptoms of anxiety and depression. Method. Participants were 92 pregnant community women who enrolled in a longitudinal study of maternal mental health; symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and again at infant age 4 months. A multimethod assessment of infants’ temperament-based negative reactivity was conducted at infant age 4 months. Results. Maternal symptoms of anxiety showed smaller postnatal declines when levels of infant negativity were high. Mother rated and observed infant negative reactivity was related to smaller postnatal declines in maternal anxiety, while infant negative reactivity, at the level of neuroendocrine function, was largely unrelated to longitudinal changes in maternal anxiety symptoms. Infant negativity was related to early levels, but largely unrelated to trajectories of maternal symptoms of depression. Limitations. Limitations of this work include a relatively small and low-risk sample size, the inability to isolate environmental effects, and a nonexperimental design that precludes causal inference. Conclusions. Findings suggest that levels of infant negativity are associated with differences in the degree of change in maternal anxiety symptoms across the perinatal period.
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    Once established, goal reminders provide long-lasting and cumulative benefits for lower working memory capacity individuals.
    (American Psychological Association, 2022-12) Hood, Audrey V. B.; Charbonneau, Brooke; Hutchison, Keith A.
    Previous research has shown that Stroop effects interact with working memory capacity (WMC) more strongly with lists of mostly congruent items. Although the predominant explanation for this relationship is goal maintenance, some research has challenged whether listwide effects truly reflect goal-maintenance abilities. The current study improved upon previous methodology by using both within-subject and between-subjects manipulations of goal reminder, increasing both the number of trials between reminders and the total length of the task to allow for greater goal neglect, and more precisely maintaining congruency proportion within each block. Participants completed the Automated Operation Span followed by a Stroop task in which they stopped every 24 trials to vocalize either a goal-reminder statement (“name the color not the word”) or a nongoal statement (“This is part of my intro to psychology class”). In the within-subject manipulation (Experiment 1), there was no consistent benefit for goal reminders over nongoal statements. However, in the between-subjects manipulation (Experiment 2), results demonstrated a strong benefit of goal reminders, such that goal reminders eliminated the relation between WMC and Stroop effects, whereas that relation was robust following nongoal statements. Moreover, the benefit of receiving goal reminders lasted for at least 24 trials and accumulated across the course of the experiment. These data provide strong evidence that goal reminders eliminate the relationship between WMC and Stroop errors and suggest goal reminders can be a useful intervention for those suffering from lapses in controlled attention. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)
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    A Phenomenological Divide: Reference Group Consequences for Existential Isolation
    (SAGE Publications, 2022-10) Helm, Peter J.; Jimenez, Tyler; Carter, Skyler; Arndt, Jamie
    An apparent phenomenological divide between majority and minoritized groups exists in contemporary America in terms of feelings of social connection. Drawing on recent findings relating to existential isolation (i.e., the sense that one is alone in one’s subjective experience), three studies compare these feelings toward one’s in-group and out-group. Study 1 assesses whether Black and White participants vary in their self-reported existential isolation when referencing their own or another racial group. Results reveal Black Americans feel as though other Black Americans share their perceptions more than do White Americans. In contrast, White Americans report similarly shared perceptions by both racial groups. Study 2 (preregistered) assessed these effects with a concealable identity: sexual orientation. Study 3 further replicates these effects and finds effects among Black Americans to significantly differ from a neutral control condition. Implications and future directions for epistemic (in)validation are discussed.
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    Childhood Trauma and Cortisol Reactivity: An Investigation of the Role of Task Appraisals
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2022-04) Counts, Cory J.; Ginty, Annie T.; Larsen, Jade M.; Kampf, Taylor D.; John-Henderson, Neha A.
    Background: Childhood adversity is linked to adverse health in adulthood. One posited mechanistic pathway is through physiological responses to acute stress. Childhood adversity has been previously related to both exaggerated and blunted physiological responses to acute stress, however, less is known about the psychological mechanisms which may contribute to patterns of physiological reactivity linked to childhood adversity. Objective: In the current work, we investigated the role of challenge and threat stress appraisals in explaining relationships between childhood adversity and cortisol reactivity in response to an acute stressor. Methods: Undergraduate students (n = 81; 61% female) completed an online survey that included general demographic information and the Risky Families Questionnaire 24 h before a scheduled lab visit. In the lab, a research assistant collected a baseline salivary cortisol sample. Following the baseline period, participants were read instructions for the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a validated psychological lab stressor. Next, they completed a challenge vs. threat task appraisal questionnaire and completed the speech and math portion of the TSST. Twenty minutes following the start of the TSST, a second salivary sample was collected to measure changes in salivary cortisol following the TSST. Results: Linear regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, childhood socioeconomic status (SES), and baseline cortisol levels, showed childhood adversity associated with changes in cortisol levels [B = –0.29 t(73) = –2.35, p = 0.02, R2=0.07]. Linear regression analyses controlling for age, sex, and childhood SES showed childhood adversity associated with both challenge [B = –0.52 t(74) = –5.04, p < 0.001, R2=0.24] and threat [B = 0.55 t(74) = 5.40, p < 0.001, R2=0.27] appraisals. Significant indirect effects of childhood trauma on cortisol reactivity were observed through challenge appraisals [B = –0.01 (95% confidence interval = –0.02, –0.003)], and threat appraisals [B = –0.01 (95% confidence interval = –0.01, –0.003)]. Conclusion: Childhood adversity may contribute to blunted cortisol reactivity, a pattern of response which is linked to obesity, addiction, and other behavior-related diseases. Our findings suggest that this relationship is in part a product of stress appraisals.
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    Is disgust proneness prospectively associated with influenza vaccine hesitancy and uptake?
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-05) Shook, Natalie J.; Fitzgerald, Holly N.; Oosterhoff, Benjamin; MacFarland, Eva; Sevi, Barış
    Although various demographic and psychosocial factors have been identified as correlates of influenza vaccine hesitancy, factors that promote infectious disease avoidance, such as disgust proneness, have been rarely examined. In two large national U.S. samples (Ns = 475 and 1007), we investigated whether disgust proneness was associated with retrospective accounts of influenza vaccine uptake, influenza vaccine hesitancy, and eventual influenza vaccine uptake, while accounting for demographics and personality. Across both studies, greater age, higher education, working in healthcare, and greater disgust proneness were significantly related to greater likelihood of previously receiving an influenza vaccine. In Study 2, which was a year-long longitudinal project, disgust proneness prospectively predicted influenza vaccine hesitancy and eventual vaccine uptake during the 2020–2021 influenza season. Findings from this project expand our understanding of individual-level factors associated with influenza vaccine hesitancy and uptake, highlighting a psychological factor to be targeted in vaccine hesitancy interventions.
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    COVID-19 and food insecurity in the Blackfeet Tribal Community
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-05) John-Henderson, Neha A.; Oosterhoff, Benjamin J.; Johnson, Lester R.; Lafromboise, Mary Ellen; Malatare, Melveena; Salois, Emily
    To examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food insecurity in the Blackfeet American Indian Tribal Community. American Indian adults residing on the Blackfeet reservation in Northwest Montana (n = 167) participated in a longitudinal survey across 4 months during the COVID-19 pandemic (August 24, 2020- November 30, 2020). Participants reported on demographics and food insecurity. We examined trajectories of food insecurity alongside COVID-19 incidence. While food insecurity was high in the Blackfeet community preceding the pandemic, 79% of our sample reported significantly greater food insecurity at the end of the study. Blackfeet women were more likely to report higher levels of food insecurity and having more people in the household predicted higher food insecurity. Longitudinal data indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated already high levels of food insecurity in the Blackfeet community. Existing programs and policies are inadequate to address this public health concern in AI tribal communities.
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    Patience is a virtue: Individual differences in cue-evoked pupil responses under temporal certainty
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-04) Hood, Audrey V. B.; Hart, Katherine M.; Marchak, Frank M.; Hutchison, Keith A.
    Attention control is often examined behaviorally by measuring task performance and self-reported mind wandering. However, recent studies have also used pupillometry to measure task engagement versus task disengagement/mind wandering. In the current study, we investigated participants’ ability to engage versus relax attention control in anticipation of hard (antisaccade) versus easy (prosaccade) trials within a saccade task, creating a “Cue-Evoked” Pupillary Response (CEPR). Participants completed the Automated OSPAN as a measure of working memory capacity (WMC) followed by a saccade task with a constant 5000 ms delay between cue and stimulus. Occasional thought-probes were included to gauge on- versus off-task attentional state. Consistent with recent findings (Hutchison et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2015), we found better performance and more Task-Unrelated Thoughts (TUTs) on prosaccade trials, larger pupil diameters when preparing for antisaccade trials, and larger pupil diameters when on-task. Further, lower WMC individuals showed pupil dilation throughout the fixation delay for both types of trials, whereas higher WMC individuals only showed dilation immediately before stimulus onset when expecting an antisaccade trial. Saccade accuracy was predicted by WMC, smaller early CEPR, larger late CEPR, and less CEPR variability, but not self-reported TUTs. These findings demonstrate that, under temporal certainty, higher WMC individuals may be more efficient in their exertion of attention control. Further, they indicate that physiological measures can not only validate self-report measures, but also help identify situations in which self-report may be.
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    Does collaboration help or hurt recall? The answer depends on working memory capacity.
    (American Psychological Association, 2022-08) Hood, Audrey V. B.; Whillock, Summer R.; Meade, Michelle L.; Hutchison, Keith A.
    Collaborative inhibition (reduced recall in collaborative versus nominal, or individual, groups) is a robust phenomenon. However, it is possible that not everyone is as susceptible to collaborative inhibition, such as those higher in working memory capacity (WMC). In the current study, we examined the relationship between WMC and collaborative inhibition. Participants completed three shortened span tasks (AOSPAN, RSPAN, SSPAN). They then viewed categorized word lists individually and then recalled the word lists alone or with a partner (Test 1), followed by an individual recall (Test 2). For correct recall, collaborative inhibition was greater among lower WMC individuals and they showed no post collaborative benefits. Only higher WMC individuals benefited from prior collaboration. For false recall, higher WMC individuals had less false recall on Test 1 and 2 and collaboration reduced errors on Test 1 for both lower and higher WMC individuals. There were no lasting effects of collaboration on Test 2 errors. Furthermore, partner WMC appeared to influence recall, although this tentative finding is based on a smaller sample size. Specifically, on Test 2, participants had less false recall when their partner was higher in WMC and greater correct recall when both they and their partner were higher in WMC. We conclude that collaboration is relatively more harmful for lower WMC individuals and more beneficial for higher WMC individuals. These results inform theories of collaborative inhibition by identifying attentional control and working memory capacity as mechanisms that moderate the magnitude of the effect.
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    Once established, goal reminders provide long-lasting and cumulative benefits for lower working memory capacity individuals.
    (American Psychological Association, 2022-10) Hood, Audrey V. B.; Charbonneau, Brooke; Hutchison, Keith A.
    Previous research has shown that Stroop effects interact with working memory capacity (WMC) more strongly with lists of mostly congruent items. Although the predominant explanation for this relationship is goal maintenance, some research has challenged whether listwide effects truly reflect goal-maintenance abilities. The current study improved upon previous methodology by using both within-subject and between-subjects manipulations of goal reminder, increasing both the number of trials between reminders and the total length of the task to allow for greater goal neglect, and more precisely maintaining congruency proportion within each block. Participants completed the Automated Operation Span followed by a Stroop task in which they stopped every 24 trials to vocalize either a goal-reminder statement (“name the color not the word”) or a nongoal statement (“This is part of my intro to psychology class”). In the within-subject manipulation (Experiment 1), there was no consistent benefit for goal reminders over nongoal statements. However, in the between-subjects manipulation (Experiment 2), results demonstrated a strong benefit of goal reminders, such that goal reminders eliminated the relation between WMC and Stroop effects, whereas that relation was robust following nongoal statements. Moreover, the benefit of receiving goal reminders lasted for at least 24 trials and accumulated across the course of the experiment. These data provide strong evidence that goal reminders eliminate the relationship between WMC and Stroop errors and suggest goal reminders can be a useful intervention for those suffering from lapses in controlled attention. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)
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    Providing goal reminders eliminates the relationship between working memory capacity and Stroop errors
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-11) Hood, Audrey V. B.; Hutchison, Keith A.
    Previous research has shown that list-wide effects in the Stroop task interact with working memory capacity (WMC). The predominant explanation for this relationship is goal maintenance. However, some researchers have challenged whether list-wide effects truly reflect goal-maintenance abilities. In the current study, we examined whether goal maintenance explains higher WMC individuals’ better performance within mostly congruent (MC) Stroop lists by providing periodic goal reminders to some of the participants. Two hundred and twelve participants from Montana State University first completed the Automated Operation Span and were then assigned to either a true control, goal reminder, or nongoal reminder condition. During the Stroop task, the true control condition received rest breaks every 60 trials, whereas the goal reminder and nongoal reminder conditions stopped every 12 trials to vocalize either the task goal or a rehearsed statement, respectively. We regressed Stroop errors on reminder condition and WMC, comparing each group to the true control. For the Goal Reminder × True Control comparison, there was an interaction, such that WMC negatively correlated with Stroop errors in the true control, but not in the goal reminder condition. In contrast, for the Nongoal Reminder × True Control comparison, there was only an overall effect of WMC, with greater Stroop errors for those lower in WMC. These data provide evidence that goal reminders eliminate the relationship between WMC and Stroop interference.
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    The Differential Impact of Mystery in Nature on Attention: An Oculometric Study
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2021-12) Marois, Alexandre; Charbonneau, Brooke; Szolosi, Andrew M.; Watson, Jason M.
    Nature exposure can provide benefits on stress, health and cognitive performance. According to Attention Restoration Theory (ART), the positive impact of nature on cognition is mainly driven by fascination. Fascinating properties of nature such as water or a winding hiking trail may capture involuntary attention, allowing the directed form of attention to rest and to recover. This claim has been supported by studies relying on eye-tracking measures of attention deployment, comparing exposure to urban and nature settings. Yet, recent studies have shown that promoting higher engagement with a nature setting can improve restorative benefits, hence challenging ART’s view that voluntary attention is resting. Besides, recent evidence published by Szolosi et al. (2014) suggests that voluntary attention may be involved during exposure to high-mystery nature images which they showed as having greater potential for attention restoration. The current study explored how exposure to nature images of different scenic qualities in mystery (and restoration potential) could impact the engagement of attention. To do so, participants were shown nature images characterized by either low or high mystery properties (with allegedly low or high restoration potential, respectively) and were asked to evaluate their fascination and aesthetic levels. Concurrently, an eye tracker collected measures of pupil size, fixations and spontaneous blinks as indices of attentional engagement. Results showed that high-mystery nature images had higher engagement than low-mystery images as supported by the larger pupil dilations, the higher number of fixations and the reduced number of blinks and durations of fixations. Taken together, these results challenge ART’s view that directed attention is merely resting during exposure to restorative nature and offer new hypotheses on potential mechanisms underlying attention restoration.
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    Belief in the myth of an American Indian/Alaska Native biological vulnerability to alcohol problems among reservation‐dwelling participants with a substance use problem
    (Wiley, 2021-11) Gonzalez, Vivian M.; Skewes, Monica C.
    Belief in the myth of an American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) specific biological vulnerability (BV) to alcohol problems is associated with worse alcohol outcomes among AIAN college students who drink, despite also being associated with greater attempts to reduce drinking. This study examined the association of belief in a BV with alcohol use among reservation-dwelling AI adults with a substance use problem. Methods: Participants (n=141) who drank alcohol in the past 90 days were selected from a larger AI sample who self-identified as having a substance use problem. Moderated-mediation analyses examined whether belief in a BV was positively associated with alcohol use and substance use consequences, as well as whether self-efficacy and craving mediated the association of belief in a BV with alcohol use. Results: Among participants who reported using alcohol but not hard drugs (e.g., methamphetamine, opioids), greater belief in a BV was associated with greater drinking days, which in turn was associated with greater consequences. Among participants who used alcohol only, belief in a BV was also significantly associated with greater craving, and in turn with greater drinking days. Among those who used both alcohol and hard drugs, greater belief in a BV was associated with fewer drinking days, but was not significantly associated with consequences. No association was found between belief in a BV and self-efficacy to avoid alcohol or drug use. Conclusions: Among those who use only alcohol, belief in a BV may contribute to greater drinking days and consequences through its association with greater craving. This study provides further evidence of the potential harm of internalizing the belief that being AIAN contributes to risk for alcohol problems, a notion that lacks scientific evidence despite decades of research. The findings highlight the importance of combating societal myths regarding AIAN peoples and the internalization of these stereotypes.
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