New Ideas in Psychology

  • Toward an interdisciplinary conceptualization of moral injury: From unequivocal guilt and anger to moral conflict and disorientation
    Publication date: December 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 51

    Author(s): Tine Molendijk

    While the concept of moral injury has been embraced in academic, clinical and public discourses, it is still nascent and needs development regarding the ‘moral’ in ‘moral injury’. When questions about the complex nature of morality go unaddressed, clinical practice is based on unsubstantiated and possibly reductive assumptions about the moral dimensions of traumas. Current conceptualizations of moral injury approach morality implicitly as a harmonious belief system. However, people always have multiple moral commitments that may co-exist in tension. What are the implications of moral tension in the experience of distress, and what are the implications of the complex nature of morality for the theoretical understanding of moral injury? This article addresses these questions, drawing on relevant literature from the fields of philosophy and social sciences, and on 80 in-depth qualitative interviews with Dutch veterans, thus contributing to a refined, interdisciplinary concept of moral injury.





  • Defining embodied cognition: The problem of situatedness
    Publication date: December 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 51

    Author(s): Federico Da Rold

    The embodied view of cognition rejects the substantial dualism between brain and body, claiming the primary role of sensorimotor experience on the development of conceptual knowledge. From this perspective, knowledge is grounded on physical properties of the body and the surrounding world. Furthermore, cognition is situated in a social and environmental context. However, the terms embodied, grounded, and situated are not univocally defined. This article focuses on the notion of situatedness, developing the discussion from the point of view of a computational modeler and roboticist, showing that minor and negligible differences on the definition of the field causes major operational divergences in synthetic models of cognition. A definition of two notions of situatedness are developed a posteriori, that is, by considering epistemological and ontological differences on artificial models. Finally, strengths and weakness of the two approaches are discussed.





  • The relationship of psychological construals with well-being
    Publication date: December 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 51

    Author(s): Peter Horvath

    This paper examines the relationships of construals of the properties of psychological distance dimensions with well-being. Construal-Level-Theory (CLT) has identified space, time, social distance, and hypotheticality as psychological distance dimensions. Close objects are construed, or mentally represented, in terms of low-level features. These are concrete, specific, unstructured, and contextualized representations. Distant objects are construed in terms of high-level features. These are abstract, global, coherent, and decontextualized representations. Additionally, the properties of construals, like values, give them meaning and importance. These dimensions, properties, and construals have been shown to guide evaluations, decisions, predictions, and other behaviors. Little research, however, has applied them to issues of mental health and psychological well-being. This paper examines identity, security, value, and control as important properties of psychological distance dimensions. The review demonstrates that, in many circumstances, when these properties of distance dimensions are construed at high-levels, they are associated with psychological well-being and behavioral adjustment.





  • Towards an ecological approach to emotions and the individual differences therein
    Publication date: December 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 51

    Author(s): Rob Withagen

    In the present paper, I aim to develop a Gibsonian approach to our emotional responses to the environment. To that end, the relationships between affordances, emotions, and information will be explored. After laying out Gibson’s original concept of affordances as possibilities for action, I sketch a recent view that holds that affordances often invite or solicit actions. It is argued that Dewey’s theory of emotions is a natural ally of this concept of inviting affordances. Focusing on the emotions of fear and anger, I will discuss the individual differences in our emotional reactions. To explain these phenomena, a user-based account of information is needed. Drawing upon both developmental systems thinking and the insights of the clinical psychologist Miller, a conception of information is developed that can account for our emotional reactions and the individuals differences therein.





  • Is mediated embodiment the response to embodied cognition?
    Publication date: August 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 50

    Author(s): Laura Aymerich-Franch

    Emerging technologies such as virtual reality and robots are evolving to increasingly integrate the user into the interface. During this temporary merge, users experience a digital or a robotic body of an avatar as their own. Embodied cognition sustains that the body and its interactions with the environment play an important role in cognition. I argue that the adoption of mediated embodiment technologies to explore cognitive development might substantially contribute to demonstrating the postulates of embodied cognition.





  • Emotional strength: A response type, response disposition and organizing principle for emotion experience
    Publication date: August 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 50

    Author(s): Sharon Faye, Joel Hooper

    This paper presents ‘Emotional Strength’ as a response type, a response disposition and an organizing principle for responding to emotional life. Emotional strength is defined as ‘the ability to respond in an open and vulnerable way in the face of intense emotional experience, feeling one’s way deeper into the emotion which allows access to implicit functional processes driving action’. We present four hallmarks of emotional strength: (i) openness and vulnerability (ii) emotional responsiveness (iii) self-description using vulnerability-related words (iv) continuing engagement in action. Emotional strength is distinguished from psychological constructs such as mindfulness, emotion regulation, emotion-approach coping, resilience, emotional intelligence, emotion-focused therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. It is not the point of emotional strength to turn a negative into a positive experience. The skill is to feel deeply into all emotion experience, opening up vulnerability and emotional responsiveness and to change the way emotion is understood in everyday life.





  • Toward a postmaterialist psychology: Theory, research, and applications
    Publication date: August 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 50

    Author(s): Mario Beauregard, Natalie L. Trent, Gary E. Schwartz

    The majority of mainstream psychologists still adopt a materialist stance toward nature. They believe that science is synonymous with materialism; further, they are convinced that the view that mind and consciousness are simply by-products of brain activity is an incontrovertible fact that has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt. This is an incomplete view of what humans are. In this article, we review two categories of empirical evidence that support a shift toward a postmaterialist psychology. The first category of evidence includes mental events that seem to occur outside the spatial confines of the brain, whereas the second category includes mental events that seem to occur when the brain has ceased to function. Taken together, the two bodies of empirical evidence examined here indicate that the idea that the brain creates mind and consciousness is both incomplete and flawed. In the Discussion section, we argue that the transmission hypothesis of the mind-brain relationship can account for all the evidence presented in this article. We also discuss the emerging postmaterialist paradigm and its potential implications for the evolution of psychology.





  • Means and standard deviations, or locations and scales? That is the question!
    Publication date: August 2018
    Source:New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 50

    Author(s): David Trafimow, Tonghui Wang, Cong Wang

    According to standard experimental practice, researchers randomly assign participants to experimental and control conditions, deeming the experiment “successful” if the means of the two conditions differ in the hypothesized direction. Even for complex experiments, with many conditions, success generally depends on a comparison or contrast of means across conditions. Because the experimental manipulation may change the shape of the distribution, we show that a difference in means, even if large and in the hypothesized direction, does not necessarily indicate the success of the experiment. To make this determination, it also is necessary to compute location statistics. It is possible for means to change but for locations not to change, for means not to change but for locations to change, and for mean differences and location differences to be in opposite directions. Therefore, typical research that depends on differences between means across conditions, cannot be trusted in the absence of location statistics. For similar reasons, nor can standard deviations be trusted without scale statistics. Therefore, we take the radical step of arguing that all researchers who report means and standard deviations, also should be required to report corresponding location and scale statistics.





http://rss.sciencedirect.com/publication/science/0732118X

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