Invited addresses

1. Neurodynamics of figure-ground organization  [presentation, ppt, 3911 kB]
Domijan D.
University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

Figure-ground organization is an important early step in visual processing. It separates structured input to which processing efforts should be devoted (figure) from less structured background. Gestalt psychologists identified several variables which influence figure-ground assignment, including size, contrast, surroundness, and convexity, symmetry, parallelism and horizontal-vertical axes. Recently, several new factors affecting figure-ground organization were discovered. Those are lower region, top-bottom polarity, and extremal edges. Early neurophysiological investigations of figure-ground assignment found enhanced firing rate in the primary visual cortex of monkeys. Activity enhancement was observed in the region which corresponds to the perceived figure in texture segregation task. On the other hand, recent investigations revealed a special group of neurons in the visual cortex which detect border ownership. The figure is distinguished from the background by different responses to the same boundary. If the figure is on one side of the boundary, a certain neuron will fire, but if the figure is on the other side of the same boundary, the same neuron will be silenced and another neuron will show an enhanced firing rate. There are many computational models proposed to explain the properties of figure-ground organization. Several models focused on the boundary assignment alone. Other models are concerned with explaining psychophysical findings. Although the models share some common assumptions, there are also important differences between them. Border ownership models could not explain many of the identified Gestalt principles of figural assignment. On the other hand, psychophysical models are based on the assumptions that are not supported by the neurophysiology. Important problem for the future research is how to reconcile psychophysical and neurophysiological models in order to provide a unified account of the figure-ground organization.

2. Brain-computer interfacing and neurofeedback  
Neuper C.
Department of Psychology, Section of Neuropsychology, University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) connect the living human brain with an external system. Motivated by the idea of controlling machines not by manual operation, but by "mere thinking", researchers working at the crossroads of neurosciences, computer science, biomedical engineering and psychology have joined forces and started to develop first prototypes of BCIs over the last decade. Common goals are, for example, to develop novel communication devices, neural prostheses, and therapeutic tools to assist people with severe motor disabilities. Such a BCI system uses a person's brain activity, i.e. specific features automatically extracted from the recorded brain signals, to operate computer controlled devices. Herewith, the system translates particular intentions into actions – such as moving a wheelchair, selecting a letter from a virtual keyboard, or grasping with the aid of a neuroprostesis. The neuronal activity of the brain can be recorded non-invasively with electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, and imaging technology as well as invasively with electrocorticography or intracortical recordings. Within a closed loop, users are provided with visual, auditory, or tactile feedback of a specific component of their brain activity which enables them, to some extent, to regulate this activity. In many studies it has been shown that patients with severe motor impairment can learn to communicate and control devices by means of a BCI. Moreover, newly developed BCIs offer promise for clinical therapy and rehabilitation to improve motor and cognitive function and to influence emotional reaction. There are still some technical problems to overcome to broaden the field of BCI application, but especially the influence of psychological variables on BCI performance remains to be elucidated in further research.

3. Narrative psychological content analysis in studies of therapeutic impact  
Péley B.
University of Pécs Institute of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

Impact of psychotherapy is a long disputed issue in clinical psychology. Westen and Weinberger (2004) depict the studies along the coordinates "Method of Aggregation" x "Type of Informants". Method of aggregation can be statistical vs. informal, whereas the source of data can be either the patient (self report) or the clinician (clinicians report). The two coordinates give four quadrants. The authors claim that whereas two quadrants are heavily loaded, "Until recently, virtually no research has addressed the quadrant, which crosses clinical observation with statistical aggregation". There are also missing studies working with informal data collection from the patients’ self reports. This lack of research is partly due to the reluctance of researchers for dealing with interpreted data statistically. One of the major advantage of the narrative psychological content analysis is that it has the capacity to give diagnostic judgments on the patient’s psychological states, which are based on her informally occurring narrative discourse, and these data are apt to statistical aggregation. A further advantage is that whereas the frequency of using objective tests, which are easily amenable to statistical analysis, is limited in the course of a therapy, discourse samples are available in a non-intrusive way, and content analysis works as a quasi on-line methodology. The lecture presents the results of a pilot study, which compared efficiency of the cognitive scheme therapy with that of the short dynamic therapy along the changes in the therapeutic discourse. Narrative patterns that were quantified in this study included activity-passivity (agency), mentalization, intentionality, evaluation, and characters' psychological functions. Activity-passivity dimension was measured by an algorithm based on a dictionary of active verbs (e.g. do, construct, etc.) and passive verbs (e.g. sleep, stand, etc.) and on local grammars specifying the use of these verbs with meaning of activity and passivity. The algorithm involves partial syntax for identifying passive voice. Similar grammars were built for intentionality. The intentionality algorithm distinguishes between wishes (e.g. hope) and intentions (e.g. want) as well as between "musts" (e.g. ought, must, should) or possibilities (e.g. may). The mentalization algorithm includes three subscales: emotionality, intentionality and cognitive processes. Each subscale is constructed with the logic described above. The emotion algorithms of course handle with adjectives and adverbial forms. Samples of therapeutic discourse were analyzed with the above tools. Therapists gave parallel evaluations on the sessions and on the progress of the patients. In both therapy types systematic changes could have been observed in the course of the therapy; e.g. at sessions, where therapists perceived progress, frequency of activity and intentionality increased.

4. Optical-geometrical illusions: A list of problems  
Vicario G. B.
Università di Udine, Udine, Italy

A list of problems to be solved sooner or later in investigations on optical-geometrical illusions is set forth. (a) Etymology. Optical-geometrical illusions are no "errors": illusions are surprising and unavoidable (e.g., Delboeuf, 1892*25), while errors are admitted and corrigible (e.g., Tolansky, 1964*26). (b) Naming and definition. Names and definitions are countless: optical-geometrical illusions (Oppel, 1855; Wundt, 1898; Rausch, 1952; Metzger, 1975), optical illusions (Delboeuf, 1865a; Pegrassi, 1904; Ehrenstein, 1954; Tolansky, 1964; Imai, 1984), optical paradoxa (Brentano, 1892), optical illusions of judgement (Müller-Lyer, 1889), visual illusions (Luckiesh, 1922; Robinson, 1972), illusions (Goto & Tanaka, 2005), figures trompeuses (Delboeuf, 1865b), inadequate representations (Benussi, 1906), and so on. (c) Phenomenology. Looking at some displays we feel to be in front of an illusion (e.g., Oppel, 1855*5), while looking at other ones we cannot see anything dubious (e.g., Ebbinghaus, 1908*82). (d) Nomenclature. It is at least chaotic, ranging from the name of the discoverer to the effect observed or to the supposed underlying mechanism. (e) Classification. The author is acquainted with 24 classifications of optical-geometrical illusions, but probably every scholar of the field can exhibit his own classification. (f) Delimiting the field of research. Too often optical-geometrical illusions are mixed with heterogeneous phenomena, like anomalous surfaces (Schumann, 1900a*7), masking (Metzger, 1975*79), impossible objects (Penrose & Penrose, 1958), alternating ambiguous figures (Boring, 1930, 444), coexisting ambiguous figures (Schuster, 1970*1), reversible figures (Necker, 1833*18; Schröder, 1858*12-13), brightness contrast (Kitaoka et al., 2004*6CF). (g) Pictorial perception. There is to settle the question whether the numerous optical-geometrical illusions involving two-dimensional representations of solids (to begin with Thiéry, 1895a*2, and Filehne, 1898*23) are indebted with pictorial perception (Gibson, 1954) or not. (h) Whole-parts relation. This relation is manifold and often indecipherable: sometimes parts influence the whole (Schumann, 1900b*6) and sometimes the whole influences parts (Sander, 1926b*9-I), but there are also cases by which influence is supposed but not perceivable (Vicario, 2006b*11.3) or not demonstrable (Vicario, 2006, unpublished). (i) Optical-geometrical illusions and everyday experience. There is a hýsteron próteron figure in the question: optical-geometrical illusions do not exist "also" in everyday experience (see, for instance, Höfler, 1896*2; Metzger et al., 1970*2a, Vicario, 2001*40) - they take place in everyday experience and therefore "also" in drawings or pictures, which are impoverished images of the actual environment. (j) The measure of illusions. Fisher's (1973) argument on the impossibility of obtaining a true measurement of illusions is demonstrated (Vicario, 2008, unpublished) and developed. (k) Why do optical-geometrical illusions exist? Adaptive behaviour, phylogenetically developed, should exclude their presence. A possible solution of the problem is to suppose that the evolution of perceptual systems is a matter of costs/benefits.

5. Recent developments in child personality research  [presentation, ppt, 2424 kB]
Zupančič M.
Department of Psychology, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

A relative agreement on the Five-Factor Model to summarize the organization of personality traits in adults in many countries and language communities has been established (e.g., McCrae & Costa, 1997). Although the model has its critics, its value has also been enhanced when developmental precursors of the five domains were identified. In addition to Digman's work (1963, 1989), recent studies of children living in different societies provide compelling evidence that children are perceived by adults in terms of traits that are markers for the general FFM (e.g., Kohnstamm et al., 1998). This presentation will focus on personality trait research in children and early adolescents with a special attention to ongoing studies in Slovenia. Strategies to assess personality in non-adult age groups are reviewed and the free descriptive strategy is emphasized: (a) findings suggest that adults describe even infants/toddlers in terms that are predominantly categorized into the FFM taxonomy and distributions of descriptors show developmental patterns; (b) based on parental free descriptions of children across countries, ecologically valid assessment tools were created. The ICID (Halverson et al., 2003) is also conceptualized as an age and culture neutral instrument, it is widely used in Slovenia and is currently being normed. Several aspects of consistency in personality traits from early through middle childhood using the ICID, longitudinal and multiple-informant approach will be presented (structural, normative, rank-order, ipsative), as well as the aspects of consistency across contexts/informants. Cross-sectional studies on ratings of 3- to 14-year-olds provide information on age, sex, and culture differences in child personality trait expression. In addition to the trait-centered approach, results based on the child-centered approach suggest 3 to 4 internally replicable personality types. The predictive validity of traits vs. types will be discussed from a developmental perspective. Concurrent and longitudinal predictive value of child/adolescent traits was found for several outcomes: emotional and social adjustment, sibling relationships, differential parenting, academic skills, academic motivation and achievement. Prospects for future research on personality development will be discussed, including assessment, at risk samples, preventing behaviour problems, and promoting competence.


Researches from the fields of Clinical Health psychology

1. Temperament and character in scleroderma and lupus erythematosus  
Csókási K., Hargitai R., Gyöngyösiné Kiss E., Nagy L., Paksi E., Czirják L.
First author's affiliation: Pécsi Tudományegyetem, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

The personality of patients with systemic autoimmune diseases is rarely examined. In our study we investigated 50 women with systemic sclerosis and the same amount of women with systemic lupus erythematosus. The control group consisted of 50 healthy women. The applied psychological instrument was The Temperament and character inventory (TCI), which is based on Cloninger’s personality-theory. It considers not only the influence of the social environment and learning, but also the biological and genetic factors in the process of personality-development. According to our results the patients with systemic autoimmune diseases presented significantly higher scores on harm avoidance and significantly lower on novelty seeking. Summing up the results, it can be said, that the most important difference among the healthy and the two patient groups appears in the temperament factors – for example obsessive-compulsive temperament was reported by more than half of the women with scleroderma.

2. Ego-control and ego-resiliency in systemic autoimmune disorders  
Gyöngyösiné Kiss E., Czirják L., Hargitai R., Nagy L., Paksi E.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Institute of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

The aim of our scientific project at the Institute of Psychology with collaboration of the Dept. of Immunology and Rheumatology is a complex clinical and health psychological approach of patients suffered in different systemic autoimmune diseases. One part of the research deals with the connection of ego-resiliency and distress in systemic autoimmune diseases. Earlier psychodynamic studies dealt with the role of aggression and ego-control in different, inflamed chronic illnesses (Alexander, 1948; Müller, 1961; Cobb, 1968; Beck, 1974). In modern personality psychology ego-control refers to the inhibition/expression of impulse and ego-resiliency to the dynamic capacity to contextually modify one’s level of ego-control in response to situational affordances (Block, 1950, 2002; Block, 1951; Block & Block, 1980). Highly ego-resilient individuals are characteristically able to modify their level of control, either up or down, as may be appropriate or necessary according to the situational context. Individuals with a low level of ego-resiliency are more restricted to the same level of impulse containment or expression regardless of situational demands (Letzring, Block, Funder, 2004). In our research it was proposed that we would find higher trait anxiety and lower ego-resiliency in systemic autoimmune patients compared to the healthy subjects. We examined patients with systemic sclerosis (SSC, N = 100), rheumatoid arthritis (RA, N = 20), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, N = 50) and compared to a healthy sample as controls (N = 100). We measured ego-resiliency with the short version of Wagnild and Youngs’ questionnaire (1993) made by Neill and Dias (2001) (RS15), and examined the degree of anxiety by the Hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS; Zigmond and Snaith, 1983). The results can be useful for clinicians, doctors, nurses and the patients’ close relatives as well.

3. Anxiety and depression in patients with autoimmune disorders  
Hargitai R., Czirják L., Gyöngyösi Kiss E., Nagy L., Paksi E.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Institute of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

Psychiatric symptoms are common to many autoimmune disorders. Patients often will have mood disorders, anxiety, cognitive deficits, delirium, and psychosis. These symptoms may reflect the direct or indirect effect of the autoimmune disorder. The presentation aims to examine the degree of depression and anxiety in patients with autoimmune disorders. Subjects were selected on a database from the Immunology and Rheumatology Clinic of University of Pécs. During the recruitment period September 2007 to May 2008, 170 female patients who attended were asked to participate in the study. As diagnostic assessment instruments two standardized questionnaires, The Centers for epidemiological studies of depression scale (CES-D; Radloff, 1977) and the Hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS; Zigmond and Snaith, 1983) were used to examine the degree of depression and anxiety in patients with systemic scleroderma (SSC, N = 100), with rheumatoid arthritis (RA; N = 20) and with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, N = 50). In age and qualification matched healthy female were used as controls (N = 100). CES-D and HADS are well suited for the population of autoimmune patients because these do not rely on somatic indices of depression, thus differentiating themselves from other depression inventories. The CES-D and HADS have high internal consistency for medical and healthy control populations. The patients with autoimmune disorders had significantly higher scoring rate for clinical anxiety (28%) and for clinical depression (49%) compared with control group (p<0.05). These results indicate that autoimmune patients often have mood disorders, which may affect their quality of life. Accurately recognizing the psychiatric component and generating a differential diagnosis is a complex task for the treating physician. Treatment of the psychiatric component to the disorder is essential.

4. Psychopathological symptoms in patients with autoimmune disorders  
Nagy L., Czirják L., Gyöngyösiné Kiss E., Hargitai R., Paksi E.
First author's affiliation: University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary

In many respects, the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory (MMPI-2) is a widely used measure of psychopathology and internationally accepted comprehensive instrument for the assessment of individual differences in personality psychology (Butcher, 2006). Because of its clinical utility, the MMPI often is present in existing data sets, and its broad coverage of symptomatology makes it a frequent choice when several personality/psychopathology measure is obtained. The presentation aims to examine the degree of psychopathological symptoms in patients with autoimmune disorders. Subjects were selected on a database from the Immunology and rheumatology clinic of University of Pécs. During the recruitment period September 2007 to May 2008, 170 female patients who attended were asked to participate in the study. The sample consists of patients with systemic scleroderma (SSC, N = 100), with rheumatoid arthritis (RA; N = 20) and with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, N = 50). In age and qualification matched healthy female were used as controls (N = 100). As diagnostic assessment instrument we used the booklet form of the MMPI-2 Hungarian translated 567-item version. As a group, patients with autoimmune disorders respond somewhat differently in MMPI measures than healthy adults on 6 of the 10 basic clinical scales. In aggregate they tend to have higher scores on the Hypochondriasis, Hysteria, Depression, and Social introversion scales and lower scores on the Psychopathic deviate and Hypomania scales. But there are huge differences among the SSC, RA and SLE patients. More details, the results of the content scales and their implications will be discussed in our presentation.

Sports psychology

5. The visual search in service return in table tennis  [presentation, pdf, 734 kB]
Bianchi B., Pin A., Righi G., Gherzil A., Agostini T.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Trieste, Italy

This work analyzes the relationship between visual perception and sports performance. Improved technology in table tennis has decreased the number of hits per rally. For this reason, serves and returns become primarily important (Djokic 2003). According to some studies, ball speed can reach 160 km/h (Major & Lang 2003) and spins can reach 8000 rpm (Ushiyama et al., 2003). On the service return, not only that motor response is very important, but visual selection of significant information at the right time is also important. There are few studies on table tennis. More studies have been conducted in other sports like cricket and squash. A previous study on visual search in table tennis takes advantage of eye movements methodology (Ripoll & Fleurance, 1988, 1989; Rodrigues, Vickers & Williams 2002). According to some authors (Williams & Davis 1997, 1998), this methodology presents a disadvantage in that it does not consider incoming information from the periphery of vision. For these reasons we decided to use temporal occlusion and spatial occlusion methodologies in two experiments. The results show a clear relation between time exposure and athletes' performance.

6. Perception and action in playing tennis: The role of the acoustic information in tennis service  
Crescimbeni M., Gherzil A., Murgia M., Pin A., Agostini T.
First author's affiliation: MIS LAB, Department of Psychology, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

The aim of this study was to assess the importance of acoustic information in playing tennis during the backward service. The theory demonstrated that athletes without the aid of acoustic information produce an awful performance. To test and verify if the athletes were exposed to a decrement of performance, a setting has been built to measure their action-time and accuracy for every hit. Two experiments have been done. In the first one, the athletes were tested in two conditions: 1) Baseline condition (backward service in normal conditions) 2) Deprivation condition (backward service without acoustic stimulation). Both conditions were replicated in the second experiment but a third level had been added to the independent variable. This level was named Deprivation plus mediated sound condition. In this condition, the acoustic information produced by the impact racket-ball was transmitted to the athlete directly trough the headphones. This was the only acoustic information that the athlete could perceived since the use of the headphones guaranteed a complete isolation from the external environment. This allowed us to understand whether the acoustic information of the impact was ignored or not. The results show that there are two kinds of athletes: those that perform better in the visual/acoustic condition (Baseline) and others that perform better in acoustic deprivation.

7. Perceptual processes elicited in responding to the tennis service  
Gherzil A., Galmonte A., Righi G., Bianchi B., Pin A., Agostini T.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

The visual strategies that tennis players use in responding to the service have a determinant role in optimizing the return hit. In fact, the possibility to anticipate the direction of the ball by extracting the information coming from the opponent's movements, allows the athlete to reach his/her aim by saving time and energy. In the first experiment, we studied the ability to predict the trajectory of the stroke in tennis players. In particular, we tested whether there is a difference among tennis players of different expertise levels (unexperienced, amateur and experienced). To analyze this, movies with temporal occlusion were used. More specifically, the image was blocked when the racket of the server came in contact with the tennis ball. The results of this first experiment showed a difference among the different groups. Subsequently, other two experiments were run to test the hypothesis that a video training (with visual stimulus or with acoustic feedback) could improve the performance of unexperienced subjects to anticipate the final destination of the service. The results showed that the visual training did not improve the ability to predict the right trajectory of the ball, while the performance of the subjects improved if a training with acoustic feedback was used. We concluded that visual cues are important elements in predicting the trajectory of the ball. Furthermore, it has been shown that specific training can improve the performance but only if an acoustic feedback is present.

8. Reprogramming motor action in tennis: A methodological proposal  
Murgia M., Gherzil A., Crescimbeni M., Righi G., Agostini T.
First author's affiliation: MIS LAB, Department of Psychology, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

During sport activities it is often necessary to modify a motor action when it has already started and doing it efficiently requires cognitive-motor skills that are particularly developed in high level athletes. In the literature there are no studies about motor reprogramming in tennis and there are no psychological tools to assess it. In this work, we created an ecological experimental setting aimed to force a tennis player to modify his/her own action. We divided the bottom court area of the server in three sectors and participants had to return the service in one of these sectors. Each time the subjects were required to throw the ball in the sector that was indicated by a visual cue. The independent variable was the latency of cue presentation. Visual cue could appear before the service (baseline condition) or with a delay since the moment of the racket-ball impact in the service. We analyzed the response accuracy, measured as a capability to throw the ball in the right sector. We also controlled for both action time and service speed. Results suggest that expert tennis players can reorganize efficiently their action with a latency of 500 ms. This setting could be an useful tool for athletes screening and could be used to assess the training efficacy. Furthermore, the same setting could also be used as a training to improve reprogramming motor skills.

9. Visual cues, temporal factors and motor control in soccer penalty kick  
Pin A., Agostini T., Galmonte A., Righi G., Gherzil A., Bianchi B.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Experimental sport psychology studies cognitive processes underlying performance with the aim of its optimization. Twenty goalkeepers were tested by using a temporal occlusion paradigm. The experimental variable was the amount of visual information provided by the penalty kicker during the run-up. Fifteen kickers shot 40 penalties, 10 for each of 4 sectors in which the goal was divided. At the centre of each sector a light bulb marked the target zone. In the baseline condition, the kickers were told in advance where to kick, while in the other conditions they started the run-up without knowing where to shoot. The temporal gap between the visual stimulus presentation and the foot-ball contact was set on 3 anticipation levels: RT (kicker’s reaction time), RT + 300 ms, and RT + 600 ms. Results show that the best goalkeepers' performance corresponded to the baseline condition, whilst a performance decrease was observed for RT condition. The results underline the relevance of available visual cues and of the temporal factors connected to efficiency of anticipation skills.

10. Improving service skill in young tennis player: Experimental analysis on the efficacy of the use of video and audio models in training sessions  
Righi G., Ferletic E., Furlan D., Gherzil A., Galmonte A., Agostini T.
First author's affiliation: MIS LAB, Department of Psychology, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Service skill is very important for tennis players. A professional training is often focused on the research of the best efficacy of the service. In young athlete the training for the improvement of the service skill is always based on the use of models: Usually, the athlete is shown a standard performance by the teacher or by another player. The use of self-modeling is also used as a strategy in tennis training: The athlete is shown her/his standard performance in a video tape before a training session. From a psychological point of view, the use of visual models suggest a question: Are visual models the best way to improve a motor skill, such as the tennis service? Experimental sport psychology research suggests the relevance of an acoustic representation of action as a model for the performance. Audio models of the sport performances are very important in the strategies based on the use of self-model. Results obtained by a systematic use of self-models based on a rhythmical acoustic representation highlight the strong standardization effect due to the use of this kind of models. We investigated the effect of the use of different kinds of self-models, where we manipulated the perceptual information available (visual, acoustic, visuo-acoustic) as a training strategy on 20 young tennis players engaged in a serve task (100 trials). Results show that there are significant differences in the learning rate among athletes trained with different kinds of models: The best result is obtained after acoustic stimulation, the worst one with a visual model, while the visual-acoustic model led to intermediate results. Therefore, data collected with the young tennis players confirm the evidence about the efficacy of the use of a self-model in a training based on acoustic stimulation. The effect of the strategies based on the acoustic models shows a strong tendency to the standardization of the timing of the performance.


1. Conditional significance in the test of the difference between two proportions in small samples  [presentation, pdf, 1375 kB]
Gori F., Grassi M.
First author's affiliation: Dipartimento di Statistica, Probabilità e Statistiche Applicate, Università "La Sapienza", Roma, Italy

When hypotheses concerning difference between proportions are at stake, the significance test is performed on the variable p₁-p₂, which for sufficiently large samples approaches the normal distribution. The reliance on this test seems problematic when sample sizes, n₁ and n₂, are unequal, particularly as n becomes smaller and the values of parameter P are very different from 0.5. In addition, although the study of sampling with replacement is useful for theoretical purpose, in practice researchers rarely use extraction with replacement when small samples are used (as is often the case in psychological research). In this study, a (programmed) solution based upon the exact distribution of the two independent samples in their whole universe is illustrated. Final remarks about the conditional significance and the experimental model are carried out.

2. Comparison of different procedures for eliciting aroused psychophysiological state and emotions  [presentation, pdf, 2534 kB]
Komidar L., Podlesek A., Sočan G., Bajec B., Bucik V., Mihelič F., Gajšek R., Štruc V.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

A lot of scientific effort is put lately in development of intelligent computer systems that would be able to extract some information from human speech in order to verify or determine the speaker's identity and assess his emotional state. Contemporary studies use different procedures to elicit emotion in participants that may be expressed in speech. Some studies put effort into evoking spontaneous emotional speech (e.g. the participants have to describe a certain situation that evoked their emotions in the past), whereas in others researchers use professional actors who are asked to perform and express an emotion through their verbal behaviour. We designed several laboratory situations in order to obtain speech recordings from which we could extract features characteristic of the aroused psychophysiological state or a certain emotion. The aim of our study was to examine which situation is most effective in evoking arousal or emotions in participants. We used the following situations: giving instructions to a different person in playing a computer game, and solving difficult cognitive tasks. We will present different situations for eliciting emotions and preliminary results regarding their efficiency, which was assessed by means of self-reported experiences, and comparison of speech characteristics in normal and aroused psychophysiological state.

3. Generation of Fat Tail Distributions  [presentation, ppt, 1347 kB]
Luccio R.
Dipartimento di Psicologia "G. Kanizsa", University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Several quite different phenomena distribute according to few different functions, which share in gross sense a particular shape that has induced to call them “fat (heavy, long) tail distributions”. Well-known examples are the so-called Benford’s law (originally stated by Newcomb, 1881), according to which the probability that the first digit in a series of statistical data is d is given by a log function of the digit. Other well-known examples are Bradford’s law (about the distribution of scientific journals), Heap’s law (vocabulary growth and text size), Lotka’s law (number of authors and number of contributions), and so on. In economics, Lorentz’ law and Pareto’s law (on inequality of incoming) are well known. In psycholinguistics the most celebrated is undoubtedly Zipf’s law, on relation between number of words and their rank of frequency, originally stated in 1925, a power (quasi-hiperbolic) law. According to Zipf, it could be explained in force of an economic psychological principle: more frequent are the words, more easily they come to consciousness. In this study I have investigated the alliterations, that is the relationship between number of words interposed between two words sharing the same first letter in the first syllable (x) and number of occurrences of each given x, that is n(x). Analysing different excerpts of texts of different authors (Italian, French and American novelists like D’Annunzio, Invernizio, France and James, or essayists like Leopardi), I found invariably an excellent fit to Lorentz’ law, with an R-squared always above .93, and a remarkable stability of parameters within each author, rather than between them. This induces to consider using this regularity in the studies on attribution of authorship. Some hypotheses about the generating mechanisms of such distributions are advanced.

4. A comparative analysis of different procedures for measuring speech recognition threshold  
Podlesek A., Komidar L., Brezovar S., Smodiš K., Rus J.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

In Slovenia, the adapted Freiburg Monosyllabic Word Test has been used to assess speech recognition threshold (SRT). The aim of our study was to compare several adaptive procedures with the Freiburg Test. Based on the analysis of comprehensibility and commonness of stimuli used in the Freiburg Test, we selected the most appropriate words for use in three adaptive procedures: two variants of a descending procedure, both recommended by the ISO 8523-3 standards for measuring SRT, and the staircase method. On a normal-hearing sample (N = 36 in test measurement and N = 24 in retest measurement), comparable SRTs were obtained with the adaptive procedures, whereas the Freiburg Test yielded slightly higher SRTs. This could be attributed to a non-optimal pool of words used in the classical version of the Freiburg test: When the selected stimuli were used in the Freiburg test, the results were similar to the ones obtained with the adaptive methods. The methods also showed moderate reliability. We conclude that adaptive methods can be validly used instead of the Freiburg test for measuring SRT. The poster will also present the first step in developing a new base of monosyllabic words, which will be more representative of contemporary Slovenian language than the present base.

5. An Italian validation study of the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire (AQ)  [presentation, ppt, 227 kB] [short paper, doc, 189 kB]
Sommantico M., Osorio Guzmàn M., Parrello S., De Rosa B., Donizzetti A.
First author's affiliation: Dip. Scienze Relazionali "G. Iacono", Università degli Studi di Napoli "Federico II", Napoli, Italy

The main aim of this study was to analyse the psychometric properties of the pre-publishing Italian version of the Aggression Questionnaire (AQ) (Fossati, Maffei, Acquarini, Di Ceglie, 2003), considered one of the most useful self-report instruments to analyse aggressive behaviour in youths and adolescents, using a non clinical sample of students from different educational settings in the community of Naples (N = 860, 41% males & 59% females; 445 subjects attending secondary high schools & 415 subjects attending universities; average age = 20.10, SD = 3.70). It was necessary because the psychometric properties of this Italian version of the questionnaire were evaluated using a large clinical and non clinical sample of subjects only from north and centre Italy population. The results of the exploratory factor analysis, effectuated using a principal component analysis and omitting some items of the original scale, confirm the four-factors structure individuated by different authors, in different countries (Buss and Perry, 1992; Nakano, 2001; Morren, Meesters, 2002; von Collani, Werner, 2005; Gallardo-Pujol et al., 2006; Bouchard, 2007) with some specificities: while physical and verbal aggression represent the instrumental or motor component of the aggressive behaviour, and hostility as the cognitive component of the same, anger factor, as discussed, leads to a more complex interpretation. Instead, results of a successive confirmatory factor analysis, based on an exploratory factor analysis effectuated with principal axis factorisation, and omitting some items, show a three-factors structure.

6. How early can we begin assessing g with Coloured progressive matrices?  [presentation, ppt, 612 kB]
Sočan G., Kavčič T., Zupančič M.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Raven’s progressive matrices (RPM) are among the most frequently used tests of general intelligence. Coloured progressive matrices (CPM) were designed particularly for assessing cognitive abilities of preschool children. The specific feature of CPM, compared to other RPM tests, is that solving items requires processing like global pattern apprehension, mirroring, repetition etc., rather than analogical thinking and discovering abstract rules in proper sense. We shall present the results of a psychometric analysis of responses of 905 2-, 3- and 4-year old children. The results show an increase of both reliability and unifactorial homogeneity with age. Nevertheless, the items could be scaled according to the Rasch model reasonably well. The relation between item parameters and item content proved to be quite consistent. Finally, the implications of the results for the early assessment of intelligence shall be discussed. Possibilities of a further development of CPM or similar tests, respectively, shall also be outlined.

7. Development and bi-cultural validation of the new sexual satisfaction scale (NSSS)  [presentation, ppt, 218 kB] [short paper, pdf, 198 kB]
Stulhofer A., Busko V., Brouillard P., Kuljanic K.
First author's affiliation: Department of Sociology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

In this paper we present the development and bi-cultural validation of a new measure of sexual satisfaction. A review of the existing measures of sexual satisfaction demonstrated the need for a measure that would be theoretically grounded, focused on sexual satisfaction rather than the absence of sexual health difficulties, gender non-specific, equally useful in assessing sexual satisfaction among heterosexual and homosexual persons, among individuals in committed relationships and those who are not in a relationship, and valid across contemporary cultures. The New Sexual Satisfaction Scale (NSSS) is based on a 5-dimensional conceptual model, which emphasizes the importance of sexual activities, sexual exchange, sexual sensations, sexual presence/focusing, and emotional closeness for one's sexual satisfaction. Scale construction and validation were carried out using seven different samples, three student and four community samples (including one clinical sample), with over 2000 participants aged 18-60, surveyed in Croatia and the US. Factor analysis pointed to two underlying dimensions of sexual satisfaction: the ego-centered factor and the partner & sexual activity-centered factor. Reliability of the two subscales and the full NSSS (k = 20) was high in all independent samples (alpha coefficients ranged from .90 to .95). Further analysis confirmed construct validity of the scale in both cultures. The NSSS was also found to have satisfactory one-month temporal stability. A short version of the NSSS (SNSSS; k = 12), which included items from all five theoretically implied dimensions, demonstrated reliability and validity comparable to the full scale.

8. As time goes by…  [presentation, pdf, 584 kB]
Wiedermann W., Gula B.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Klagenfurt, Austria

Observations obtained from reaction time (RT) experiments often violate the normality assumption underlying parametric significance tests. The present study compares several strategies that deal with non-normally distributed RT observations. In 2000 the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance published 385 experiments. In about 60% of these studies RTs were analyzed. The most common procedure was trimming (47%), ranging from 2 to 4 SDs. In 41% of the RT studies neither outlier analyses nor any distributional considerations were mentioned. This state is quite alarming because in case of non-normal data such analyses mostly fail to detect true differences. Other approaches such as transformation or nonparametric tests were rather uncommon. Based on our review, common criteria for trimming were chosen to compare the efficiency of this method with less common procedures. A Monte Carlo approach was used to simulate plausible RT observations based on twelve ex-Gaussian distributions (Miller, 1988). In order to investigate the two-sample problem, the t-test on raw RT scores was compared to (a) constant and adaptive trimming, (b) logarithmic and adaptive transformation, and (c) the non-parametric Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney-test (WMW). Results reveal that all procedures are robust for the twelve distributions. However, the t-test on raw scores entails a great power loss, especially if distributions are extremely skewed (skewness: 2.09, kurtosis: 9.11). For these distributions the log-transformation, as well as the WMW-test were most powerful and an increasing amount of trimming enhances the power of the t-test for trimmed means. For less skewed distributions (skewness: 0.71, kurtosis: 4.54) choosing a transformation adaptively is slightly more powerful than the log-transformation and an increasing amount of trimming reduces the power of detecting true differences in trimmed means. Based on the characteristics of sample distributions, a detailed decision tree will be suggested to aid the choice of the most accurate procedure.

9. Pattern of preferences by searching a place in a nursing home  
Zernig Malatschnig C., Frick U., Habich M., Zaminer I.
First author's affiliation: FH - Kärnten, Feldkirchen, Austria

Based on the fact that the population grows older and older, the health care system needs more than ever a computerised documentation and information system. The project CAREN „Carinthia Registry of Nursing“ is aimed at establishing a populated based nursing registry in Carinthia. To query the status of the daily availability of beds in all nursing homes in Carinthia, a well-structured database needed to be designed. To prioritize potential decision criteria for chosing a place in a nursing home, N = 226 patients, relatives and professionals in hospitals and/or nursing homes were asked to fill out the questionnaire from the perspective of a patient. Patterns of preferences and relative importance of 47 decision criteria were analysed by latent class analysis (LCA). The LCA differentiates between five patterns of preferences. The five motives are very different from “everything is important in a nursing home” by “what is the present price of all these things” and “I don’t care”. Some criteria discriminate very well for example the item “there is a sauna in the nursing home”, between the five types than other criteria. Other criteria like “There are qualified employees in nursing homes” will be judged as very important by all persons. The chi-square test shows a correlation between sex and the five types. The result will be considered by the construction of the structure of the CAREN information website.

Cognitive psychology

1. Distance and orientation in suspect identification under poor illumination conditions: Simulation of a real case  
Agostini T., Righi G., Galmonte A.
First author's affiliation: University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Visual perception plays a crucial role within witness psychology. It is not unusual that the accused are found guilty only on the basis of eyewitness identification. The Italian national TV asked us to reproduce the visual conditions under which a witness was in at a mafia murder, and to run an experiment to test whether in these conditions she could have unambiguously identified the killer. A group of 72 observers has been tested. Two variables were manipulated: distance (killer-observer: 6 or 16 meters) and orientation (killer viewed frontally, 45 degrees left, 45 degrees right). Illumination conditions were controlled (low intensity illumination). The experiment was run in 2 different days. In the fist day, each observer (12 for each condition) viewed the killer for 1.5 seconds. Four days later they were asked to identify the killer among 5 look-alike persons in a simultaneous line-up. Results show that in our stimulation conditions (low intensity illumination) both correct and incorrect identifications were not statistically different from chance, independently from both viewing distance and orientation.

2. Stimulus-reaction complexity and magnitude of the Stroop effect  
Barać D., Šunjić M.
First author's affiliation: University of Mostar, Philosophy faculty, Psychology department, Mostar, BiH

The aim of the study was to examine reaction times in different situations of the Stroop effect. Thirty subjects participated in various (non)congruent stimulus situations, where they had to react in compatible and incompatible way. Four different words (red, blue, green, and yellow) were used together with four corresponding colours. The word was combined with colours in such a way that six of them made congruent situations and 18 of them made incongruent situations. The subject’s task was, when the word which meant one of the four colours appeared on the screen, to press the adequate key corresponding to the colour or the meaning of the word. In compatible situations, the subject had to: (i) react on the meaning of the word by pressing the key with the name of the colour written in black ink, (ii) react on the colour the word was written in (but not the meaning) by pressing the key of the same colour. In non-compatible situations the subject had to: (i) react on the meaning of the word by pressing the key whose colour corresponded to the meaning of the word, (ii) react on the colour the word was written in by pressing the key with the name of the colour written in black ink. The results showed the shortest reaction times in the compatible situations, where words had meaning of the colours they were written in. Reaction times were longer in situations where subjects reacted to the colour whereby the stimulus colour corresponded to the word. Generally speaking, reaction times were significantly longer in non-compatible situations where subjects had to react to the meaning of the word written in a different colour by pressing the adequate coloured key. The longest times were obtained in situations where stimulus word was written in non-adequate colour and subject had to react to the colour by pressing the adequate key with the name of the colour written in black ink. The results therefore showed that the magnitude of the Stroop effect depends on the complexity of reaction between stimulus and response.

3. Relationships between solving different problems demanding nonlogical thinking  
Bernáth L., Barkóczi I.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

A pilot study was conducted, the aim of which was to reveal the relationships between solving different problems - simple A:B::C:D four term analogies, visual and verbal creativity tests, visual and verbal insight problems, visuo-spatial ability test, similarity ratings between analog story problems (e.g. the radiation problem) by pairs, and the difference of ratings between analog and non-analog control story problems. This theme was concerned with the questions of verbal-visual processing and nonlogical problem solving. In sum, 241 students, girls and boys participated in four groups: high school students, vocational secondary school students, university students of mathematics and university students of history. With the standardized results of the eight problems mentioned above, correlations, factor analysis, and cluster analysis were calculated. Four problems emerged with strong 0,40-0,50 highly significant intercorrelations: the simple analogies, the visuo-spatial ability test, the verbal and the visual insight problems. Besides there were many lower but significant relations. Therefore, to find the direct and indirect relations, partial correlations were calculated one by one with the simple analogies, the visuo-spatial ability test, and the verbal insight problem. The results showed direct relationships between the before mentioned four problems except the relation between the simple analogies and the visual insight problems. The most of the creativity tests’ relations were mediated by the simple analogies, but direct relation remained between the visual creativity test and the similarity ratings plus the difference ratings. Thus, verbal and visual problems did not separate each other. Based on the performance in the various tasks we have established the so called "thinking profiles".

4. Spatial Opposites  [presentation, ppt, 1843 kB]
Bianchi I., Savardi U., Kubovy M.
First author's affiliation: Department of Educational Sciences, Macerata, Italy

We investigated the structure of 37 spatial dimensions of opposite properties, such as open-closed, vertical-horizontal, full-empty, and far-near. The structure of each dimension was defined by means of phenomenological psychophysics. Metrical and topological definitions of the three components of the dimensions (the two poles and the intermediate states) were derived and similarities and differences between these dimensions were identified. These studies revealed that the proportional extension of the two poles and the intermediates can be defined by participants with high accuracy. These metrical definitions are further enriched if topological aspects identifying the nature of poles and intermediates are considered, i.e. if a distinction is made either between points and ranges or between open and closed ranges. Four types of opposites emerged as a result of these analyses: (i) closed range, point, closed range (cpc), e.g. left-right; (ii) point, range, point (prp), e.g. full-empty; (iii) open range, none, point (onp), e.g. open-closed; (iv) open range, range, closed range (orc), e.g. high-low. We believe that this approach may be extended to the study of the perceptual structure of opposites in any domain. Further research would reveal whether the four structures which emerged from the studies on spatial opposites are typical only of spatial dimensions or may have a more general application in various perceptual domains. We suggest that this type of investigation is a fruitful addition to both semantic and linguistic approaches to opposition.

5. Psychoacoustic aspects on the speed in the performance of melodies  
Bisesi E., Vicario G.
First author's affiliation: Università di Udine, Udine, Italy

As anyone knows, performed melodies have to span into a certain speed range. At the same time, it is a fact that musicians base their interpretation just on the possibility of selecting any other velocity within that range, provided that their choice allows to preserve the required expressive content. We tested the effect of different acoustical, musical and structural features of a given melody on the suitability of the chosen speed. Experimental stimuli were seven classical musical pieces differing in musical structure, articulation (legato versus staccato), and phrasing (accelerando versus rallentando). Fourteen trained music students served as subjects. Constant stimuli method was applied in submitting trials varying in speed. Preliminary observations showed the influence of musical structure on the performing velocity, in agreement with previous studies on perceptual grouping (Fraisse, 1956). At the same time, adding expressive (agogical) elements widens the range of possible performing speeds.

6. Does physical contrast affect global induction in Agostini & Galmonte's reversed lightness-induction Necker cube?  
Galmonte A., Agostini T., Righi G.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology and Cultural Anthropology, Verona, Italy

In 2002 Agostini & Galmonte offered a reversed-contrast display where a gray target entirely surrounded by a black area appears darker than an identical gray target entirely surrounded by white. This effect can not be attributed to assimilation phenomena; moreover, it occurs because of higher-level grouping factors: when both higher-level factors and lower-level factors affect a configuration simultaneously, the former prevail. Hence, the authors showed that the lightness induction determined by perceptual belongingness prevails against retinal lateral inhibition. The purpose of this work was to investigate whether the lightness induction produced by global grouping factors does change as a function of the physical contrast between induced and inducing elements. We systematically manipulated the relative physical contrast among the regions forming the original Agostini & Galmonte display. Observers had to judge the lightness of both the inducing and induced element on a Munsell Scale. From the results we can conclude that: 1. the global induction overcomes local induction for all the tested physical contrasts, 2. it is stronger for decrements, 3. the amount of the global induction does not depend on the size of physical contrast, 4. the global induction seems to be modulated by the physical contrast of increments only.

7. The influence of alcohol on basic motor and attention-perceptual abilities  
Ivanec D., Rebić V.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia

The aim of the study was to investigate effects of different levels of the blood alcohol concentration on the performance in three basic motor and attention perceptual tasks. Participants (N=24, repeated measurement design) were tested at four levels of the blood alcohol concentration: placebo, 0.3, 0.5, and 0.8 g/kg. In every single measurement, participants were performing three different tasks: go-no-go reaction time task, the test of perceptual speed, and the classical Stroop task. These three tasks were chosen due to the different levels of perceptual, motor and cognitive-attention abilities they are proven to include. Results showed that different effects of the blood alcohol concentration have a statistically significant and linear effect on the performance in go-no-go reaction time task and the test of perceptual speed. As alcohol concentration increased, reaction time decreased and perceptual speed was more impaired. For the classical Stroop task, the effect of alcohol consumption was also significant, but the obtained function was quadratic, not linear. The amount of interference was the same for the non-alcohol (placebo) and highest alcohol (0.8 g/kg) blood concentration level, and interference in those two situations was smaller than in those obtained at mid (0.3 and 0.5 g/kg) alcohol concentration levels. According to these results, Stroop performance is more impaired at moderate then at higher level of alcohol consumption. At higher level, results are similar to those obtained for non-alcoholic consumption. The influence of different alcohol levels was statistically significant for all three tasks. Size effects were also high, but in terms of differences on absolute measurement unit, effects were small.

8. Connotative meaning of abstract visual patterns and pseudowords  
Janković D.
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Meaning of concepts is mostly composed of denotative (objective) and connotative (subjective) semantic features. In previous studies we established the factorial structure of connotative meaning for concepts and suggested a parsimonious instrument named connotative differential. In the present study, we tried to specify the basic connotative meaning structure of stimuli without conventional meaning and stimuli from two different modalities: visual and verbal (i.e. abstract visual gestalt and nonsense verbal material - pseudowords). In experiment 1, subjects (N=82) were asked to evaluate abstract visual patterns on 35 bipolar scales (adjectives with opposite meaning defined the poles of scales). The selection of scales for the instrument was based on the previous studies. The stimuli were constructed in order to cover a wide spectrum of visual gestalten. The principal component analysis using promax rotation method was performed for all abstract visual patterns in order to establish invariant factorial structure, independent of evaluated content. The results showed that scales converge in three main factors: evaluative, cognitive, and conative. In experiment 2, the same group of subjects evaluated 32 pseudowords using the same instrument. Principal component analysis showed the same triple factorial structure as in experiment 1. Obtained results are compatible with the previous results on concepts and confirm robust structure and cross-modal nature of connotative meaning.

9. Spatial abilities test for drivers-operators  
Khon N., Kim A., Mukhitdinova T., Shaukenova Z., Basybekova K.
First author's affiliation: Kazak National State University, Almaty, Kazakhstan

The purpose of the present research was to present a test of spatial abilities for drivers-operators of over dimension cargo. A driver-operator operates by the platform with eight pairs of wheels. Up to four single platforms could be connected for extra dimension cargo. A driver-operator of such an extra platform must feel the spatial position or angle of all 32 pairs of wheels. Spatial abilities of drivers-operators are of mental rotation kind. Should selection procedure for drivers-operators job include any mental rotation test and what kind of mental rotation test is the most effective one, is not yet clear. We interviewed 3 professional trainers and 2 HR-managers of transport company and made an observation of job selection procedure during two years. We found that in the most used job selection procedure for drivers-operators all applicants are first selected according to some formal requirements (normally about 50% of all applicants); then all selected applicants are professionally trained as drivers-operators (to set cargo at the platform, to stick it, to operate etc.); finally, the participants most effective in training are selected (normally, about 25% of all people trained). As a result, time and money of the company are wasted because most of the trained applicants are not offered job in the end. We also found that the procedure of job selection doesn’t include any mental rotation tests. The reason is that most of them are constructed as perception tasks, not as a model of motor-perception coordination. Obviously, a new measure of mental rotation ability should be developed. We suggested a special procedure of professional test, measuring mental rotation abilities of applicants for driver-operator position. The result of implementation of this procedure in the job selection was the following: 5 candidates from 40 applicants were selected and then professionally trained. All of them (100%) became successive drivers-operators after professional training. Experts (i.e.., professional trainers as well as HR-managers) considered the procedure as a very good professional test.

10. Spatial experience results in better performance on Money Road Map Test  
Kim A., Mukhitdinova T., Khon N.
First author's affiliation: Kazak National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan

The purpose of our study was to investigate whether the experience in activities that load considerably on visuo-spatial functions will result in better performance on Money Road Map Test (MRMT). We were also interested whether the performance on this test is sensible to the hand used for tracing the dotted pathway of MRMT. It was hypothesized that right-handers may be more effective (performance times will be shorter and/or with fewer errors), when using their left hand, which is controlled by the right, “spatial”, hemisphere. Thirteen male non-drivers and 14 male non-professional drivers were randomly distributed to four experimental groups (with mean age in years in parentheses): RL non-drivers (22.7), RL drivers (21.6), LR non-drivers (23.1) and LR drivers (23.7). In RL groups, subjects were asked to perform MRMT using their right hand first (in 3 successive trials). They were then given a mental rotation task, followed by 3 trials on MRMT using their left hand. The order was inverse in LR groups. Right-handedness of all subjects approached 75 per cent and higher as assessed by the Edinburgh Handedness Questionnaire. Significant effects of both the order of trials (RL vs. LR) and driving experience were revealed. The interaction of these factors was not significant. LR drivers were performing better than both RL drivers and RL non-drivers, whereas no significant difference in performance of drivers and non-drivers was found in LR group. Non-drivers of LR group performed the task better than RL non-drivers after they had performed the task with their left hand. Therefore, relevant spatial experience enhances performance on Money Road Map Test. The test has also been shown to be sensible to motor activation of the right hemisphere of the brain.

11. Symbolization and plastic representation of emotions  
Kovačev A. N.
University of Ljubljana, Health Faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The aim of the present study was to ascertain the main characteristics of the plastic representation of emotions. Subjects had to experience four primary emotions (joy, sorrow, anger, and fear) with the help of autosuggestion. Then they had to draw them with fibre pen. Their drawings had to be abstract. The only available means of self-expression were: colours, lines, and dots. Drawings were analysed with the help of a list of plastic elements and the main characteristics of the whole. The list was prepared in advance. The analysis showed that the symbolization of emotions was strongly determined by their conceptualization and that their experiencing was not crucial. In spite of the successive drawing of four emotions there were no interferences among them. The hypothesis of the independence of the use of plastic elements of emotions was tested with the chi2-test. It was found out, that colours differentiated between emotions more significantly than lines. The basic characteristics of the symbolization of each primary emotion were identified. There were a lot of similarities between the plastic representations of the same emotion drawn by different subjects. These were clearly seen from the use of plastic elements, structural characteristics of the completed representations and the added schemes.

12. Strategy solutions in mental arithmetic: are flexible strategists better than stable ones?  
Lucidi A., Lefevre J., Rossi-arnaud C., Cestari V.
First author's affiliation: L.U.M.S.A, Roma, Italy

Mental arithmetic has been investigated for some time but only recently have researchers explored the solution procedures that adults use to mentally solve arithmetic problems. Solution procedures vary considerably across individuals and across cultural backgrounds. In the present study individual differences in mental arithmetic were investigated by examining the solution strategies used by adults to mentally solve 2- plus 2-digit addition problems (e.g., 35 + 47) across four levels of complexity (no carry; carry in ones; carry in tens and carry in both). Operands were presented sequentially over 3 s in two conditions: visually (i.e., one addend of the addition problem at a time appeared at the centre of a computer screen) and aurally (the addition problems were presented through the headphones). Participants reported two broad categories of strategies: Digit strategies are versions of a standard algorithm, based on written addition and involve operating on a series of single digits, and Holistic strategies are based on more representations of the numbers that preserve overall magnitude and involve decomposing and recombining the operands in various ways. Participants could be grouped according to whether they were “flexible” (i.e. employed a variety of strategies, such as decomposition, transformation, standard algorithm) or “stable” in that they used one of these strategies throughout the experiment. Results suggest that the type of strategy solution has a greater effect on solution latency than on accuracy. Although response times were longer with auditory presentation, in this modality, flexible strategists solved problems more quickly than stable strategists. Results are discussed in terms of a contribution from working memory to the encoding and maintenance of operands and intermediate products during mental arithmetic.

13. Is the logical equivalence between conditional and disjunction also a psychological equivalence?  
Manfrinati A., Tasso A., Cherubini P., Giaretta P., Altoè G.
First author's affiliation: University of Valle d'Aosta, Venezia, Italy

One of the main problems that a theory of conditionals has to deal with is that some conditionals are well understood by people in everyday reasoning, even if they seem partially undefined as they lack truth value when the antecedent is false. The aim of this study was to investigate the following hypothesis: explicit disjunctive information affects the extent to which related conditionals are perceived as defined in different situations. Participants (N=39) evaluated meaning equivalence of conditional and disjunctive sentences using a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (different meaning) to 5 (same meaning). The independent variables were: type of conditional (conditional vs. biconditional); content (concrete vs. abstract); order of presentation (disjunction first vs. conditional first); polarity (conditional with a negated antecedent vs. disjunction with a negated term). Statistical analysis showed that equivalence evaluation is affected by content (p < .001), polarity (p < .001) and, more interestingly, by order of presentation (p = .026) - a disjunction seems to involve a conditional but not vice versa. This study provides evidence for the idea that mental representation (or mental model) of the disjunction could make it easier to form the mental representation (or mental model) of the conditional.

14. Voluntary attention increases the phenomenal length of briefly flashed lines  [presentation, ppt, 487 kB]
Masin S. C.
Università di Padova, Padova, Italy

In 1956, Fraisse, Ehrlich, and Vurpillot found that subjects judged that lines were longer when voluntary attention was focused on the lines than when attention was distracted from the lines. There have been many attempts to repeat these results, but so far none has been able to ascertain whether the effect of attention on reported line length was a phenomenal effect. In the present study, 46 subjects were shown stimuli consisting of pairs of horizontal or vertical briefly flashed lines with a fixation cross placed equidistant between the lines, far from each of the lines. A change in colour of one arm of the cross was used as a cue to focus the subject's voluntary attention on one line. The results showed that attention increased the judged length of the attended lines. Since this effect of attention also occurred when the subjects were absolutely certain that they saw that the stimulus lines differed in length, this effect indicates that attention increased the phenomenal length of the attended lines. This lengthening was quite small: it involved a maximum mean increase of about 0.15 in the probability of responding that the attended line was longer. This effect occurred in the horizontal dimension and was almost absent in the vertical dimension. In agreement with data indicating that flashed lines expand phenomenally by activating motion detectors and that focused attention makes neural motion responses increase in amplitude, the present results suggest that focused attention makes attended lines look longer because it makes these lines expand phenomenally more rapidly.

15. Colour effect on picture recognition memory  [presentation, pps, 1122 kB]
Nakic S., Pavela I.
First author's affiliation: University hospital "Sestre milosrdnice", Zagreb, Croatia

Different features of pictures can be used as recognition clues. Previous studies have shown that colour is one of them. However, it is still unclear whether enhanced recognition memory by colours is due to the distinctiveness of features highlighted by colours (sensory facilitation), or it is due to the colour representation in memory (cognitive facilitation). In the last case, unnaturally coloured pictures would be more difficult to memorize. This study was conducted to investigate colour effects on picture recognition memory. Colour diagnosticity was manipulated by using pictures in two colours modes: naturally and unnaturally coloured pictures, as well as black and white pictures. Since there were three different versions of picture in the encoding phase and three in the recognition phase, there were nine possible combinations of encoding and recognizing pictures. There were three groups of participants who were exposed to three different combinations of encoding and recognizing pictures. Accuracy and recognition time were measured. Results showed strong encoding-specificity effect (better picture recognition in the same version as in the study phase), as well as improved recognition memory by both colour modes. This indicates that colour improves recognition memory through sensory facilitation, not by colour representation in memory. Moreover, recognizing pictures in black and white includes different mechanisms from those involved in recognizing coloured pictures. Furthermore, recognition time was the longest for black and white pictures and the shortest for naturally coloured ones, which suggests that recognition time depends on the fact that colour is a part of the identity of picture stimuli.

16. Attention difficulties and impulsivity in euthymic outpatients with bipolar disorder  
Novak T., Šprah L.
First author's affiliation: Sociomedical Institute SASA, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Bipolar affective disorder is characterised by impulse disregulation and cognitive disturbances. Although numerous studies agree that bipolar patients show extensive attention deficits and increased impulsivity, it is still unclear to which extent these problems persist across different mood states, including euthymia. In the present study, we aimed to examine selective attention functioning, emotional attentional bias and impulsivity in the group of euthymic outpatients with bipolar disorder. Thirty outpatients with euthymic bipolar disorder without current depression or mania episode were age- and education-matched with 30 healthy individuals. Participants completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11 version) which is subfactored into attentional, motor, and nonplanning impulsiveness, as well as the computer administered colour-word and emotional Stroop task. Relative to the controls, euthymic bipolar outpatients displayed higher levels of impulsiveness and demonstrated a generally worse performance on colour–word and emotional Stroop task regarding longer reaction times and less accurate responding. The between-group differences were most pronounced in the interference condition of the colour-word task and in neutral and negative words condition of the emotional task. Within bipolar group, we found negative correlations between impulsiveness dimensions and performance on colour-word task. To conclude, euthymic bipolar outpatients in our study demonstrated a relatively marked impairment in aspects of impulse regulation and selective attention functioning. Attentional bias was discovered with neutral and negative stimuli and problems with interference control were revealed. However, a causal role between impulsivity and attention has yet to be established.

17. Adult theory of mind, cooperation, Machiavellianism, sensitivity to punishment and reward: the effect of mindreading on social relations  
Paál T., Bereczkei T.
First author's affiliation: Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Theory of mind – the ability to attribute independent mental states and processes to others – plays an important role in our social lives. First, it facilitates social cooperation, and second, it enables us to manipulate others in order to reach our own goals. In two subsequent studies, we have analyzed some basic aspects of the complex relationship between adult theory of mind and social behavior that had not been researched in depth so far. Our results show 1) a strong negative correlation between Machiavellianism and social cooperative skills; 2) a connection between the extent of cooperative tendency and the level of mindreading; 3) a positive correlation between Machiavellianism and sensitivity to reward; and 4) a lack of significant correlation between theory of mind and Machiavellianism. For the interpretation of the results – especially for our fourth finding – we used the concepts of „hot” and „cold” empathy and the lack of representation of moral emotions. Finally, we have started to explore the effects of theory of mind and Machiavellianism on life-like situations by using various games developed within the game theory paradigm.

18. The effect of level of processing, test instruction, and the type on priming in memory tests  
Pojhan M.
Islamic Azad University of Tonekabon, Tonekabon, Iran

This research had been examining the effects of three factors – level of processing (graphemic-semantic), test instruction (implicit-explicit), and the type of test (word-stem and word-fragment) on priming in memory tests. On the basis of transfer appropriate processing (TAP) model and retrieval intentionality criterion (RIC), and with respect to the characteristics of word stem and word fragment tests, it was predicted that the subjects in the condition of implicit test instruction do differently in word stem and fragment tasks. The subjects were 80 university undergraduates, randomly assigned in eight experimental groups. As expected, each of the three factors had significant effect on priming, specifically in the implicit condition. The tests did not have similar effects: Level of processing affected the word fragment, but not the stem. In addition, on the basis of these findings it can be concluded (i) that word fragment task is not a pure perceptual implicit test and (ii) that word stem is a cued-recall test under explicit test instruction and a perceptual implicit test under implicit test instruction.

19. Threshold of coherent motion and contour integration in children with development dyslexia  
Révész G., Séra L., Járai R., Berényi I.
First author's affiliation: Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Previous empirical research suggests that visual perceptual impairment may occur in up to 75% of developmental dyslexics (e.g., Boden & Giaschi, 2007; Samar & Parasnis, 2005). These deficits, especially the magnocellular and the dorsal stream of visual pathways deficit are well documented in dyslexia (e.g., Skottun, 2000; Skottun & Skoyles, 2005). On the other hand, another explanation proposes that magnocellular and parvocellular channels are intact but that there is an abnormal interaction between them: a failure of mutual inhibition (e.g., Slaghuis & Pinkus, 1993) or the transient but delayed magnocellular processing inhibits (masks) the sustained parvocellular processes (Keen & Lovegrove, 2000). Other possibilities are that the visual disorder in dyslexia is located in higher visual areas which may explain the disordered perception of coherent global motion in dyslexia. In this research we examined the threshold of coherent motion with our own developed method (CoMot & Geier, 2008) and the threshold of contour integration (Kovács & Julesz, 1993; Kovács, Kozma, Fehér, & Benedek, 1999; Kovács, 2000) in two age and IQ matched dyslexic and typically developed groups. There was no difference between the two groups in the task of contour integration, while the threshold of coherent motion was higher in the group with dyslexia. This result suggests that the deficit of visual processing may not be in the lower – local - pathways, but instead in the higher - integrative - visual areas (MT).

20. Cognitive features of suicidal and depressed individuals  
Roskar S., Zorko M., Repovs G., Bucik V., Marusic A.
First author's affiliation: Institute of Public health of the Republic Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Problem solving deficiencies, attentional bias and reduced anticipation of positive events in the future are regarded as cognitive features which can trigger feelings of hopelessness and subsequently suicidal behaviour. The main objective of the study was to evaluate these attributes and to determine whether these cognitive changes improve over time. Three samples of participants were recruited: individuals after suicide attempt (all diagnosed with depressive disorder), individuals with depressive disorder (no suicide attempt), and healthy volunteers. Each participant was interviewed (for personal and family psychiatric history) and individually tested with neuropsychological tests. Beck Hopelessness Scale was applied to determine the rate of hopelessness. All measures were obtained from participants (except from healthy volunteers) shortly after admission and again 8 weeks later in order to assess cognitive changes over time. Results indicate that suicide attempters and depressed individuals are less efficient problem solvers and exhibit greater levels of hopelessness compared to healthy controls. No differences regarding attentional bias were found between the groups. Among all groups, the biggest lack of future positive events anticipation was exhibited by depressed individuals, in particular depressed individuals with suicide ideation. The later group also scored highest on levels of hopelessness. Except for changes in feelings of hopelessness which decreased over time, no differences in cognitive functions were observed between baseline and retesting. Revealed cognitive features are very likely to be involved in the development of the suicidal process. This particularly holds for feelings of hopelessness and reduced anticipation of positive life events.

21. To drag, to push, to give a push: Sensory-motor structures in the mental images of three causal verbs  [presentation, ppt, 1439 kB]
Schepis A., Zuczkowski A., Biassoni F., Karp N., Bianchi I.
First author's affiliation: Università degli studi di Macerata, Macerata, Italy

The leading hypothesis of the present contribution is that the mental image activated by a linguistic signifier - in particular, the causal verbs to drag, to push, and to give a push, studied in their perceptual structure by Michotte - are referable to underlying schemata grounded in perceptual experience. The Gestaltist approach of Michotte with particular reference to his hypotheses of the prefiguration and derivation of the semantic structures from the perceptual ones is conjugated here with more recent contributions coming from other fields (Jackendoff 1997, Talmy 2000, Barsalou 2003, Langacker 2004). Three methodologically analogous studies (one for each verb) have been conducted, each one divided into two phases. In the first phase, 2 groups of 5 subjects described and drew the mental image activated by the verb under examination. Among different representations, the common structural characteristics were individuated and constituted the base for the formulation of a questionnaire specific for the given verb. In the second phase, a wide sample of subjects was asked to produce a mental image related to the verb, to describe and to draw it, and to answer the questionnaire. The data analysis was either qualitative (descriptions and drawings) and quantitative (questionnaire’s answers). The results confirmed the existence of structural invariant characteristics comparable among the three verbs, concerning in particular topological (reciprocal position, contact, plane), kinetic (speed, direction, nature of the motion), dimensional (size, weight) and kinesthetic features (resistance, friction, effort). The theoretical and practical implications concern the intensional and extensional representation of meaning.

22. A neural model for learning of number representation in children and adults  
Setic M., Domijan D.
First author's affiliation: University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

Investigations with children showed that they gradually develop an approximate representation of magnitude (numerosity). Lipton and Spelke (2004) investigated the children capacity to distinguish sequences of sounds. Six month babies were able to discriminate sequence with 16 sounds from the sequence of 8 sounds. However, they were not able to discriminate between sequences of 12 and 8 sounds. On the other hand, nine month babies were able to discriminate sequences of 12 and 8 sounds. Similar process could be observed in adults when they are faced with the problem of learning new system of relationships between numbers. For instance, Marques and Dehaene (2004; Dehaene & Marques, 2002) showed that participants in Portugal and Austria had problems in estimating values of various goods when they are shown in euro and not in national currency. These problems were seen immediately after the euro was introduced. Few years of experience with euro reduces the problem. Described results are explained (simulated) using neural network for number representation proposed by Domijan (2004). In the original version, the model simulated the neurophysiological findings about neurons in the prefrontal cortex, which are sensitive to numerosity. In the model, all connections were fixed. Here, we proposed a new version of the model which is able to learn using Hebb rule. This type of associative learning has a plausible neurophysiological interpretation (long-term potentiation). Computer simulations showed that the width of the tuning curves for the neurons sensitive to different numbers gradually decrease as a function of experience. In other words, tuning curves become sharper with learning, which enable better discrimination of numbers. The same result is obtained with different sensory modalities. We conclude that the proposed model explains neural mechanisms for the construction of number representation in the parietal and prefrontal cortex.

23. Can Evolutionary Psychology be revived? - A solid epistemological endeavour  [presentation, ptx, 137 kB]
Suessenbacher G.
University of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria

Evolutionary Psychology (EP) has been both welcomed because of its promise to reveal the basic structure of the mind as well as profoundly criticized in many ways (e.g. Buller, 2007; and many others). This talk tries (a) to look for some possible onsets of amendments and (b) to present an exemplary model which might serve as a starter for some restructuring endeavours of EP. Ad (a): If only EP renounced its effort to search for Human Nature, a genuine evolutionary investigation seems possible. Such change had to define the scientific aim of EPs research in a new way; however, EP would have very much to count on evolutionary Neuroscience. Ad (b): Taking the question of energy into account when looking at the evolutionary adaptions of the Genus Homo, many semiotic and symbolic (cultural) perspectives become attractive - the very first being the view of the step from australopithecine subsistence to early human existence by inventing and evaluate the use of fire. This talk will present an attempt, the Hot-Interference-&-Symbolic-Transformation Model (HIST) which gathers important features of this topic in order to offer an opportunity for EP to innovatively relate its reconstruction to the current design of the mind. This can be done by stressing the reticular features of antagonist (sub-neocortical versus neo-cortical) loci of control as well as of the polarities of the human mind: The channeling characteristics of which as well as of its substrate (the brain) presumably never did change since the beginning. Nevertheless, their perturbation initiated the start of recursion as an internal neural problem-solver.

24. A comparison of methods for estimating the capacity of visual working memory: Examination of encoding limitations  [presentation, ppt, 168 kB]
Švegar D., Domijan D.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

The primary goal of the present study was to answer the following question: is visual working memory capacity indeed extremely limited, or it is erroneously underestimated due to inadequate encoding of stimuli? Visual working memory capacity is estimated by a procedure known as change-detection paradigm, in which two sets of stimuli are presented. These two displays are separated by an interstimulus interval, during which a change may occur, usually on one of the stimuli. Participants' task is to answer if change had occurred or not, and the memory capacity is then estimated through analyses of their performance. In the majority of recent studies it was found that the memory capacity is limited to three or four objects. Although there is a consensus regarding the capacity limitation, all previous studies are based on the same procedure, in which it is uncertain that visual objects are adequately encoded into working memory. In order to assure their adequate encoding, we constructed a new procedure, in which stimuli are presented successively in the initial stage. That experimental condition was compared to a condition using classical change-detection paradigm, in which objects are initially presented simultaneously. Besides the initial presentation, testing of memory was also varied: in one condition memory was tested with partial test-displays, while in the other, full test-displays were applied. Thus, a 2 x 2 experimental design was used. Analyses have shown that the main effect of the type of presentation was not significant, and it can therefore be concluded that visual working memory capacity was not underestimated due to encoding limitations in previous studies. The main effect of test display type and the interaction were both also insignificant.

25. Problem solving deficits and smaller social network in persons treated for alcoholic liver disease  [presentation, ppt, 634 kB]
Zorko M., Roškar S., Bucik V., Jeriček H., Čebašek Travnik Z., Kocijančič B., Štabuc B.
First author's affiliation: Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Contemporary research highlights the importance of cognitive functions and availability of social support in the development of alcohol dependence syndrome. Cognitive deficits, specific features of perceived social support, and high prevalence of depression were found in alcohol-dependent persons treated for alcohol dependence by psychiatrists. On the other hand, the population of people treated for alcoholic liver disease in gastroenterology departments has seldom been investigated. The aim of our study was to investigate the prevalence of depression, problem-solving, and perceived social support in persons with alcoholic liver disease (N = 42) as compared to those with non-alcoholic liver disease (N = 9) and hospital controls (N = 31). AUDIT-10, Beck Depression Inventory, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Means-ends Problem Solving Test and Perceived Social Support Questionnaire were used. The hypothesis that persons with alcoholic liver disease would show more signs and symptoms of depression as compared to the other two groups was not confirmed. Compared to hospital controls, persons with alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver disease showed decreased cognitive flexibility and deficits in problem solving. Moreover, the group with alcoholic liver disease showed deficits in interpersonal problem solving, which were evident in the phase of generating alternative solutions to the problem. In this group, no correlations between the level of harmful drinking, severity of liver cirrhosis and cognitive deficits were found. Persons with alcoholic liver disease had a smaller social network, while no differences between the groups were found regarding satisfaction with support and other examined social network characteristics. We conclude that psychosocial interventions aimed at persons treated for alcoholic liver disease in gastroenterology departments should focus on teaching effective problem-solving techniques, strengthening supportive network ties and encouraging people to use alternative sources of support.

Emotion and motivation

1. Academic self-handicapping among high-school students  [presentation, ppt, 170 kB]
Šimek D.
Srednja ekonomska šola Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia

In comparison to French and English school systems relatively competitive and achievement-oriented Slovene system offers fewer possibilities for less successful students to maintain positive self-esteem within the system (Kobal in dr., 2003). One of the strategies students employ to protect their self-worth and self-esteem is self-handicapping. Although strategic creation of obstacles to successful performance increases the likelihood of failure, it permits the self-handicapper to externalize poor performance and protect self-worth and self-esteem (Jones in Berglas, 1978). The study aimed at investigating dispositional academic self-handicapping among 747 Slovene secondary-school students (NM=371, NF=377). Using the Academic self-handicapping scale (Midgley et al., 1998) the Slovene participants showed lower level of self-handicapping than the American students (e.g. Thomas and Gadbois, 2007), which may be a reflection of historically higher collectivism and less profound individualism, intertwined with Slovenian teachers' negative attitude toward using competition in the teaching process (Smart et al., 2006). While self-handicapping in academic setting remains stable through the secondary school years, boys showed significantly higher level of self-handicapping than girls; decrease of self-esteem in academic setting is found to represent a bigger threat for boys than for girls (Ferrari, 1991). Higher level of academic self-handicapping was established among students with low academic performance and among those who subjectively overestimated their school performance. Socio-economic status of the family proved less impact on self-handicapping than the quality of interactions within the family: attendants who had a trusted person within the family self-handicapped less then those who did not or had one outside the family, yet no significant differences in academic self-handicapping were observed with regard to formal education of the parents. Self-handicapping can represent the last connection to the school and the possibility for the teachers to channel students' self-worth motivation in a more constructive direction.

2. The relationship between personality traits and accuracy in facial expression judgments  
Šverko D., Težak K., Župan D.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Previous studies found strong associations between personality and emotions, more precisely neuroticism was related to negative emotions and extraversion to positive ones. In these studies personality was mainly conceptualized and assessed according to five-factor theoretical framework, while emotions were assessed in different ways: subjective ratings, autonomic reactions recording (e.g. skin conductance responses) and psychophysiological information recording (e.g. using fMRI). The aim of the present study was to extend the exploration of the associations between personality and emotions by investigating the relationship between Big Five personality model traits and emotion recognition assessed by an objective method. The participants were 236 students from the University of Zagreb who completed personality inventory and were presented 12 pictures of facial expressions selected from Facial Action Coding System Manual (Ekman et al., 2002). The participants’ task was to identify emotions from facial expressions. Each of six following emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, disgust and fear, was represented by two pictures of facial expressions. The results showed that students with higher scores on dimension of agreeableness were more accurate in recognition of positive and negative emotions from facial expressions. Consistent with the findings in the literature, female students were more accurate in emotion recognition from facial expressions than male students.

Personality and individual differences

1. Women closed in body: The body image and self-esteem of young women went through cosmetic surgery  
Alfoldi L., Lábadi B.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Institut of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

This study investigates the psychology of cosmetic surgery among young women. Previous studies have allocated symptoms of body dismorphic disorder by the significant fraction of those women, who submitted or went through a plastic surgery. The aim of this research was to find out the change and pathology development of the body image and self-esteem by patients went through cosmetic surgery. We compared cosmetic surgery patients (N= 20, mean age=28,8) and a control group (university women N= 28, mean age =24,86) on different questionnaires (Tenessee Self Concept Scale, EDI: perfectionism subscle, Self-Report Mirror Gazing Questionnaire, Self Esteem- Scale, Body- and Self Image Questionnaire). The results showed that there are remarkable differences between the two groups in judgments of their body and themselves, in anxiety, in satisfaction with appearance, and in the reaction of the aesthetic stimulus and expectations of their social environment. The results are discussed due to personality traits and cognitive theory.

2. Personal goals and trait emotional intelligence as predictors of domains of life-satisfaction  
Avsec A., Bajec B., Takšić V.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Many studies confirmed the importance of trait emotional intelligence for subjective well-being but specific domains of life-satisfaction was rarely of interest. One can assume the greater importance of emotional intelligence for domains, related to interpersonal or communion-related domains, such as satisfaction with friends, intimate partners… than to agentic domains (e.g. work, competence), where emotional intelligence should be of less importance. Beside emotional intelligence, the content of personal goals as predictors of domain satisfaction was of interest. On the basis of value orientation studies, we predicted that higher communion-oriented personal goals should be related to higher satisfaction in communion oriented domains and higher agency-oriented personal goals to higher satisfaction in agency related domains. We also examined possible moderator effects of emotional intelligence in personal goals and domain satisfaction relationship. 230 participants aged from 18 to 60 years took part in our Internet study. They completed Emotional Skills and Competence Questionnaire (ESCQ), Personal goals questionnaire (PGQ), and the list of domains of life satisfaction. Results confirmed the importance of emotional intelligence and personal goals for most of the life domains Emotional intelligence and personal goals explained independent parts of variance of domain satisfaction. Motivational aspect of personality, often neglected in well-being research, seems to add an important variance to domains of life-satisfaction beside of emotional intelligence.

3. The Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment – Revised (IPPA-R)  
Babity M., Bíró V., Nagy L.
First author's affiliation: PTE-BTK, Pécs, Hungary

Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA) developed by Armsden and Greenberg (1987) is a self – report measure of attachment for children and adolescents. In line with Bowlby’s attachment theory, the IPPA measures psychological security derived from relationships with significant others, e.g. mother, father, (trust, communication, alienation). The aim of the present study was to generalize the results of Armsden and Greenberg’s (1987) three – dimension model of adolescents’ attachment to their parents in a group of Hungarian adolescents. Two samples of adolescent students who ranged in age from 10 to 15 and 16 to 18 years were investigated. Among the participants there were children living in families and foster cared. In our survey good internal consistency were found for the IPPA with Cronbach’s alpha coefficients ranging between 0.717 and 0.898 for the sub-scales across both the parent and peer subscales. Good test-retest reliability was found in both samples of adolescents over a three-week period. There were differences between children living in residential care or living in families on the three subscales. The rate of trust in their mother was lower among boys living in residential care compared to boys living in their own family. The rate of trust in their father was lower among girls living in residential care and the highest rate of trust was found among the younger adolescents. Communication with mother is significantly lower among children living in residential care (both girls and boys), and the highest rate of communication was found in older adolescents girls. We got significant differences in alienation – the rate was higher among girls living in residential care.

4. The effect of facial attractiveness on the judgment about altruism and "free riding"  
Béla B., Tamás B.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Institut of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

In the present study, we were curious how the attractiveness of faces is related to the judgments about cooperativeness. In the light of previous studies we expected that the participants attribute less selfishness and more altruism to an attractive face and on the other hand, they regard less attractive faces as more selfish and less altruistic. Photographs of male and female faces were presented to the participants. These pictures were differentiated by their attractiveness: "very attractive", "attractive" and "non-attractive". In one set of experimental groups a self-report was associated with each picture that contained the person's opinion how she/he would behave in a specific, teamwork situation. Some of them were depicted as altruistic, others as exploitative person. Three kinds of pictures were shown to participants (altruistic, exploitative, and picture without self-report). The participants were also asked to fill out a checklist about the persons' perceived negative and positive features. A few days later, the participants completed a recognition task. The pictures were presented pair-wise on a computer screen and the participants were asked to choose those photos they had seen in the first experimental phase. Reaction time was also measured. Our findings indicate that female participants are sensitive to the attractiveness of male faces but not to female faces. They recognized the "very attractive" and "attractive" male pictures faster than non-attractive ones, regardless of whether these pictures were associated with self-report or not. Male participants did not show significant differences in reaction time. However, when only the "non-attractive" faces were considered, both male and female participants reached significantly shorter reaction times if the presented pictures were characterized as an altruistic rather than a selfish person.

5. Attachment style, coping strategies and behavioral problems among adolescents in residential care  
Biro V., Babity M., Nagy L.
First author's affiliation: University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary

From the beginning of life, love is as important for the emotional developing like food for physical development. For a baby it is important to be sure that it can rely on her nurse in any case. Those children who miss his/her mother’s love are unable to develop normal emotional relationship with other people (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). According to surveys (Shechory & Sommerfeld, 2007) children who get into residential care after the age of 7 have a higher level of depression, anxiety, and they have more social problems compared to children who are taken into care system earlier. It is well known that the time they spend in residential care is related to the level and the types of their behavioural problems. Two samples of adolescent students who ranged in age from 10 to 13 and 14 to 18 years were investigated. Among the participants there were children living in families and foster care. The attachment was measured with IPPA-R. In our survey, good internal consistency was found for the IPPA with Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for all sub-scales. The behavioural problems were registered with the CBCL self-report questionnaire. Our results show that adolescents living in residential care exhibit higher levels of depression and anxiety. The coping strategies were measured with the CISS-48. When adolescents use coping strategies, those living in residential care (both boys and girls) prefer emotional strategies. Avoiding strategies are used mainly by boys living in residential care, and problem-focused coping is characteristic for children (both boys and girls) living in families.

6. Comparing factors of Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) with the Szondi-test in a sample of criminal offenders  [presentation, ppt, 661 kB]
Biro V., Gyöngyösiné Kiss E.
First author's affiliation: University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary

Characteristics of criminal personality have been studied by several theorists in the history of psychology from Gall’s phrenology till the latest psychopathological approaches. Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI, 1994) is designed to assess differences between people in seven basic dimensions of temperament and character. The four temperament dimensions are Novelty Seeking, Harm Avoidance, Reward Dependence, Persistence and the three character dimensions are Self-Directedness, Cooperativeness and Self-Transcendence. The inventory has been developed to account for individual differences in normal and abnormal (deviant) behavior patterns as well. In our empirical research we examine 100 criminal offenders. The subjects filled out the TCI, and the Szondi Test was also taken with them (eight times). We compared the scores of the TCI factors with the factors of the Szondi Test. Our hypotheses are based on Dr. Phil. Enikő Gyöngyösiné Kiss’ examination (on a non-criminal, healthy sample), which obtained, that in the cases of Harm Avoidance, Novelty Seeking, Reward Dependence and Cooperativeness factors in the TCI there is a positive correlations with the suitable Szondi Test signs.

7. Coping strategies of children with learning disability in situation of frustration  
Bolla V.
Apáczai Csere János Faculty of the University of West Hungary, Major of Education for children with special needs, Győr, Hungary

Owing to the variances turning up at the early stage of psychological development in case of children with learning disabilities specific abilities are not functioning reliably; therefore these children are blocked in reaching acceptable learning performance expected by level of their intelligence and age. Disorders in abilities are not manifested as changes of performance alone but concern the whole personality and influence its development. The aim of this research was to compare the reactions of two groups of children in everyday life situations of frustration: children with learning disabilities and without learning disabilities (control group). Sixty 9–14 year-old children, supposed to be a representative group by age and intelligence performance, took Picture Frustration Test (Rosenzweig, 1950). The results revealed that, in a frustrating situation, children with learning disabilities show direct aggression toward the surroundings, whereas members of the control group reply with aggression toward themselves or avoid aggression and talk over bagatelle. Due to the significant differences, I intend to disclose coping strategies and personality factors protecting against stress in children with learning disabilities.

8. Who will win the competition? The relationship between personality, strategy and success in a competitive situation  
Czibor A., Bereczkei T.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Institute of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

Identifying the personality factors which can influence individual’s decisions in a competitive situation is a crucial dilemma on different fields of psychology. From the evolutional perspective, the goods gained in the competition can increase the individual’s prospect for surviving and mating, resulting in a higher genetic representation in the next generations. Our aim was to investigate, how personality traits, conflict solving methods, and Machiavellianism influence the benefits earned and strategies applied to a competitive game that was played for real money. In the experimental settings university students played the public goods game transformed to a competitive situation. Winners were expected to behave on a self-interest manner, so they do not significantly contribute to the collective property. In order to obtain information about the subjects’ personality and character profiles and their typical conflict solving strategies we used Temperament and Character Inventory by Cloninger, the Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Inventory, and additionally the Mach IV. Test. The scores of competitive conflict-solving strategy showed significant negative correlation with the amount of individual contributions in the first round of the game, whereas the high Avoidance scores were positively associated with a higher contribution in the middle of the game. The amount of benefit individuals gained showed differences between the two sexes, and negatively correlated with the Reward Dependence. High-Mach persons were likely to gain higher benefit than low-Machs, although the difference did not reach the level of significance. In the light of the participants’ answers to the experimenter’s questions at the end of the game, participants could be classified into individually-oriented and group-oriented players. These attitudes had a remarkable effect on the participants’ decisions on the game strategy, and the amount of benefit they gained.

9. Relations between mate selection and the Big Five model of personality  [presentation, pdf, 2273 kB]
Dinic B., Rakic B.
First author's affiliation: Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Psychology, Belgrade, Serbia

The aim of this research was to examine relationships between heterosexual mate selection criteria and personality dimensions. Participants (274) were balanced by gender, aged 18-59. Mate selection criteria were measured using the KIP110 questionnaire (Dinic, 2005) which is operationalized through six criteria: competency, emotional investment and connivance, excitement, social status and similar origin, specific interest and similar interest (intellect). Personality dimensions were measured using the BFI (John, Donahue, Kentle, 1991). Results have shown that competency and emotional investment and connivance, as main criteria for mate selection, positively correlate with all personality dimensions except Neuroticism. Excitement has shown positive correlations with Extraversion, Agreeableness and Openness, and negative with Neuroticism. Further, social status and similar origin have shown positive correlations with Conscientiousness and negative with Openness, and similar interest have shown positive correlations only with Openness. Specific interest did not show significant correlations with Big Five dimensions, probably because of weak psychometric characteristic. This study provides empirical evidence that personality play important role in the mating process and suggest mating based on similarity.

10. Well-being and internalized homophobia in a sample of lesbians and gays in the Region Friuli Venzia Giulia  
Flebus G. B., Bottino M.
First author's affiliation: Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy

The Multifactor Internalized Homophobia Inventory (MIHI, Flebus & Montano, 2003) was used to measure internalized homophobia in a large sample of gays and lesbians living in the Friuli Venezia Giulia. The MIHI is made up of six scales which tap different aspects of internalized homophobia: (1) fear of coming out; (2) regret for sexual orientation; (3) counter-prejudicial attitude; (4) homosexual marriage; (5) homosexual parenthood; (6) stereotype of gays/lesbians. The anonymous questionnaire, distributed in either paper and electronic format, comprised also a short scale derived by Ryff's model of well-being, the Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale and a new scale, aimed to measure the impact of sexual orientation on life events. Other biographical data (such as age, gender, sexual orientation, family status, education) were used to better analyse and understand the answers. The connections of well-being, self esteem and internalized homophobia are presented in the results.

11. The effects of personality traits and suppression of positive emotion on physiological changes  [presentation, ppt, 445 kB]
Gračanin A., Kardum I., Hudek - Knežević J.
First author's affiliation: Faculty of Arts and Sciences Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

The effects of emotional suppression and personality traits on the changes in the physiological activation in the situation of positive affect compared to emotionally neutral situation were examined. Participants (N = 119) viewed film clips of neutral and emotional content. They were divided in two groups, the one that received instructions to suppress experienced emotions and the one with instructions to act normally. During the experiment, skin conductance level (SCL), peripheral pulse amplitude (PPA), and heart rate (HR) were measured. Data about personality traits were collected with NEO-PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1991), which measures Five factor personality dimensions as well as their facets, six within each dimension. No effects of suppressing on the differences in physiological activation between neutral clip and the one aimed to induce positive emotion were found. Main effects of the Five factor dimensions and their facets on physiological changes were found, as well as the interactions between them and group (suppression/normal behaviour). The effects of neuroticism and facets of neuroticism, extraversion and conscientiousness on the changes in SCL were found. Also, the effects of neuroticism and extraversion facets on the changes in the PPA as well as the effects of the facets of agreeableness on the changes in HR were found. Most importantly, interactions between neuroticism, conscientiousness, facets of neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness and group (suppression/normal behaviour) on the changes in SCL and PPA were found, which suggest that suppression of positive emotion has different effects on physiological activity, depending on the personality traits. The results obtained were discussed having in mind the role of personality traits in emotional experience and expression.

12. Personality and coping in patients with chronic diseases  
Kerekes Z., Tiringer I., Netling I., Toth M., Bors P., Palfi I.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Pécs, Hungary

Patients with chronic diseases may suffer from variety of problems (effects of the disease itself, the therapy, psychosocial consequences). The proposal of this investigation is to find out whether there are any personality factors which can play important part in coping with cancer, cardiac diseases (myocardial infarct) psoriasis and IBD (includes M. Crohn and colitis ulcerosa). During the investigation we used the standardized, self-report versions of TCI, BDI and FKV-LIS questionnaires. 38 people were diagnosed with psoriasis, 42 with cancer, 50 with myocardial infarct, 26 patients with IBD. We also have data from 39 healthy control persons corrected by age and sex according to the patient groups. We found that depressive coping strategy, active and problem-focused coping were significantly higher in psoriasis group, than in the control. Active, problem-focused coping was the most significant coping style in all patients groups, most of all in the cancer patients group. We can determine that in the IBD as well in psoriasis and cancer group the Harm Avoidance TCI factor had a higher value than in the control group and the Self-directedness and Cooperativeness factors were lower. In the psoriasis group the Novelty Seeking is lower than in IBD and in control group, but the Cooperativeness was similar to the IBD group. Cancer patients have the highest Self-transcendence. Besides the personality differences, the patient’s depression rate is also an important factor for coping with the illnesses. The BDI results show a higher level of depression rate in IBD and psoriasis group. Obviously further investigation on higher patient number and longitudinal design is necessary to map the differences more adequately in the future.

13. Self-concept and competition: Toward a structural model of factors of motivation  [presentation, ppt, 183 kB]
Kobal Grum D.
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Among various studies on cross-cultural aspects of self-concept there is a huge lack on relation of self-concept with competition. In our study, we try to reject a stereotype, that competition is not a desired personal characteristic. Therefore, the principal hypothesis is, that if competition is investigated in a context of self-concept, also positive correlations with self-concept areas could appear. As a consequence, a new model of self-concept, based on different kinds of competition, could be postulated. It could also be assumed that this model might differ from culture to culture. Therefore, the participants from three countries participated in the study. Countries were chosen on the basis of political and cultural indicators in Eastern/Southern versus Western/Southern European changes: Slovenia, Serbia and Monte Negro and Spain. The investigation of the correlations between self-concept and competition within each national cultural group is underlined. The study comprised of 128 Slovene, 99 Serbian and Monte Negro and 140 Spanish participants. We found that culture has a significant impact on self-concept and competition.

14. Preference for self-resembling faces in human mate choice and interpersonal relations  [presentation, ppt, 2014 kB]
Kocsor F., Juhász S., Rezneki R., Bereczkei T.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Empirical studies proved that human mate choice tends to be homogamous for various traits. However, results of the experiments on facial resemblance are contradictory. Bereczkei (2004) showed a high degree of similarity between spouses, while deBruine (2004) found negative correlation between self-resemblance and attractiveness of opposite sex images. To obtain additional data about the preference for self-resemblance, we took photos of volunteers' faces, which were morphed into male and female composite faces. The volunteers had to choose between self-resembling and non-resembling faces, and images which were more attractive then the self-resembling faces. Women did not show any preference for similarity, they preferred the most attractive male and female faces. In contrast, men preferred the self-resembling images of women to non-resembling images. In a situation, when men had to choose between the three types of opposite sex images at the same time, they preferred the most attractive to self-resembling and the latter to non-resembling faces, as predicted. The self-resemblance of same-sex faces was not preferred by men nor by women. Presumably in a real mate-choice situation both similarity and attractiveness play an important role. The difference in the preference for the same and opposite sex self-resembling faces supports the theory that instead of mere perceptional biases, higher level, adaptive, evolved neuronal processes of decision-making contribute to the mechanism of choosing between faces.

15. Tolerance, depression and sense of humor  
Kolesarić V., Krizmanić M.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia

Depressed people are for the most part concentrated on themselves and their troubles. People with a well developed sense of humor do not put themselves in the center of the universe. Tolerant people do take into account other people and their rights and needs, so the aim of the research was to established possible relations between these variables. Students at the University of Zagreb have given answers to scales of tolerance towards family members and peers, a depression questionnaire and two tests for sense of humor. The obtained results show some interesting relations between the examined variables.

16. Correlation between mother's and daughter's body image regarding the quality of their relationship  
Koračin N., Pirnar Z., Vidmar L.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

In our research we were interested whether mother's body image is related to the daugter's one. Previous researches indicate that mother influence on daughter's body image through process of identification, quality of relationship and daughter's imitation of mother behaviour. Mothers more often criticize daughter's physical look, weight and give them advice about diets. Additionaly, we focused on the question, whether the quality of mother-daughter attachment is related to the magnitude of the relationship between mother's and daughter's body images. 52 mothers and their daughters filled out three measures of body image (BES, SDQIII, CSW) and the measure of attachment quality ECR-R. The results confirmed our expectations about the positive relations between weight and figure on BES and CSW. Our further assumption that the relation between mother's and daughter's body image with the secure attachment styles would be higher than that of the non-secure attachment styles was not confirmed. The possible cause of it could be our categorization of the secure and non-secure attachment styles.

17. The comparison of measuring attachment with a questionnaire and the measurement range of the Szondi test  
Kormos K., Török I., Nagygyörgy K., Lacsán K., Korchmáros Z., Kőváry Z.
First author's affiliation: University of Szeged, Department of Psychology, Szeged, Hungary

Several examinations prove that the dysfunctions of the attachment influence the psychiatric vulnerability and may cause different psychiatric dysfunctions. In our study, we used the Hungarian version of two current questionnaire methods (ECR-R, AAS) and the vectors of the Szondi test measuring attachment on the sample of the normal population of 80 people (aged 20–26). During the examination, we used the two-profile method of Szondi-Mérei; one was recorded before filling in the questionnaires and one after it. Thus, for the second time, the effect of the attachment-experience also appeared by the attachment questionnaires. We compared the attachment styles given by the questionnaire with the inherent constellation of vectors Szondi ‘C’ and ‘S’. Some constellations of factor Szondi ‘C’ were related significantly more often to secure, avoiding, and anxious attachment styles. In case of secure attachment style, we received significantly more often the Szondi ‘C’ factor 0+, -+ and -0 constellations. In case of avoiding and anxious attachment, the ++ constellation also appeared whereas the -+ constellation was typical of avoiding and secure attachment styles. We had to pay attention to the intimate signs of factor ‘h’. We conclude that the 0+ constellation is the sign of the secure attachment. The ++ sign can be interpreted in a way that attachment is not sufficient, anxious searching may emerge. That is why the anxious attachment or avoiding attachment can appear as a form of reaction. According to the study, the Szondi test does not categorize so accurately, but the behaviour and motivations can be understood more clearly.

18. Creativity and the elaboration of aggression  
Kőváry Z., Török I., Látos M.
First author's affiliation: Institution of Psychology, University of Science of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary

A number of psychoanalysts and psychologists came to the conclusion that creativity and aggression are affecting each other: aggression feeds man's pursuit to cope with inner and external obstacles successfully, and creative process – by Freud's original theory on sublimation – helps us to express our aggression in a socially acceptable form. Arts also have a special psychological function in regulating affective states of the Self. We therefore assumed that there will be a negative correlation between creativity and anger acting out. To verify our hypothesis, we used Torrance's (1960) test to measure creativity (originality) and Spielberger’s Anger In-Anger Out Scale (Perczel, Kiss, Ajtay, 2007) to study the style of coping with anger. To examine if there is a connection between low level creativity and authoritarianism, we also used the Hungarian adaptation of F-scale (Fábián, 1998). We studied 18-year-old Hungarian students: art high-school students (N = 75) and control regular high-school students (N = 75). The whole sample scored 19.6 on the Anger Out scale, which is higher than the Hungarian standard value. Students with above-mean Non Verbal Originality (NVO) on Torrance test had lower Anger Out values than the group with below-mean NVO. Students in art high-school scored higher on F-scale than regular high-school students. These findings confirm that people with lower NVO (less creativity) tend to act their anger out more then people with higher NVO. It seems that creative persons show less hostility, because they have the way to elaborate their negative emotions.

19. Friendship and parental treatment: How early childraising habits effect adult friendship features  
Lassú Z. F.
Eötvös Lóránd University, Faculty of Elementary and Nursery School Teacher Training, Budapest, Hungary

This paper investigated the effect that perceived parental treatment had on adult friendships. College students (N=345, 161 men and 184 women) were asked about their relationships with their best friends and their memories of how their parents treated or mistreated them during their childhood. The relationship between the two was derived from factor and cluster analysis. Gender differences were also part of the focus. Memories of a mothers' treatment are found to be more influential on adult friendships for both sexes than the fathers' treatment for both sexes, especially for women. Results showed that mistreatment by the adults' mothers and fathers had different effects on the level of intimacy and supportiveness in their friendships.

20. Insecure attachment and emotion dysregulation  [presentation, ppt, 107 kB]
Láng A.
University of Pécs, Institute for Educational Studies, Pécs, Hungary

Rooted in early caregiver-infant relation, people with different attachment styles deal differently with emotional issues. In this study connection between attachment dimensions (i.e. attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety), alexithymia and anxiety was investigated. Correlation between avoidance and alexithymia, and between anxious attachment and anxious symptoms was expected and tested on a sample of university students (n=90) using self-report measures (ECR-S for attachment dimensions; TAS-20 for alexithymia; STAI and self-report of vegetative symptoms for anxiety). Correlational analysis partially confirmed hypotheses. Alexithymic features and anxiety correlated with attachment dimensions in expected way and in accordance with attachment theory.

21. Correlation of aggressiveness with self-image, self-esteem and optimism  [presentation, pdf, 1628 kB]
Marčič R.
Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The purpose of this research was to examine the correlation of two personal factors with aggressiveness. The first was self-image and its aspect: self-esteem. No significant correlations were presumed between aggressiveness and self-image or between aggressiveness and self-esteem, because previous research gave inconsistent results. More recent research has shown that there may be other aspects of self-esteem that are more relevant for its relation to aggressiveness, i.e. fragility of high self-esteem (Baumeister, Smart, & Boden, 1996; Kernis, 2003; Kernis, Grannemann, & Barclay, 1989). Therefore significant correlations between aggressiveness and fragile high self-esteem were presumed. The second personal factor, which might correlate with aggressiveness, was optimism. Existing data report of negative connection between optimism and aggressiveness, which was also presumed in this research. These presumptions were examined on a sample of more than 50 women, aged 19 to 34, who were college students or had a college degree. The Aggression Questionnaire (Buss and Perry, 1992) was used to measure aggressiveness, Adult Sources of Self-Esteem Inventory was used to measure self-image and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale was used to measure the level of self-esteem. The fragility of self-esteem was measured in three ways: with the measurement of false responses about the level of self-esteem, contingent self-esteem and instability of self-esteem. The Generalized Expectancy for Success Scale - revised and Life Orientation Test - revised were used to measure optimism. The results showed that only hostility, as a form of aggression, was related to self-image and the level of self-esteem. Other forms of aggression were not significantly related to self-image and the level of self-esteem. Fragile high self-esteem was related to summary aggression and some specific forms of aggression, especially hostility. Optimism was correlated with hostility and physical aggression, but not with other forms of aggression.

22. The effects of exposure to thin media images in young females  
Mian E., Gerbino W.
First author's affiliation: University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Body dissatisfaction in young females has been shown to be a causal risk factor for dieting, negative body image, and increases in eating disorder symptoms. Research has shown that women’s ideal body images are influenced by exposure to diet messages and thin media images. However, studies that explored this phenomenon compared groups of healthy females exposed vs. non-exposed to thin media images, exclusively by means of questionnaires or silhouettes ratings. Such methods have low test-retest reliability. Our experiment studied the effects of exposure to physique salient (PS) vs. physique non-salient (PNS) media images and the moderating influence of perceived body discrepancies (PBD). We used a digital assessment method called Body Image Revealer (BIR), consisting in a digital simulation technique capable of manipulating a picture of the participant, previously taken by a digital camera, to simulate a thin/fat body. Participants, 53 female students, filled validated questionnaires in order to exclude those with an eating disorder. Body Mass Index (BMI) was measured to exclude women outside normal weight range. Five participants were excluded because of high scores in the aforementioned questionnaires or low/high BMI values. To define a baseline, participants’ perceived bodies (PB) and ideal bodies (IB) were assessed using the BIR. The retest was managed after 5 minutes, consisting of a second BIR session following the presentation of PS vs. PNS media images taken from magazines that girls read, according to a poll subministered all over the nation before the experiment. Higher PB scores were associated with the exposure to PS images. The analysis of IB scores indicated that participants increased their desire for thinner bodies after exposure to PS images. Both effects were positively correlated with age and BMI. Results suggest that PS images portraying thin models elicit negative PBD and a desire for thinness greater than images that are considered physique non-salient. This can be detrimental for women’s body images and could be prodromic for an eating disorder.

23. From Big Five to Big One: Higher-order structural hierarchy of personality  [presentation, ppt, 305 kB]
Musek J.
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Hierarchical structural models comprising the general factor solution have been established in different fields of psychology (e.g. general factor of intelligence). In the personality domain however, the discussion has been between two-, three-, five- or more factor solutions, while the general factor solution has never been taken seriously until a very recent time. In this study, the evidence for the general factor of personality (GFP) is presented and a new hierarchical structural model of personality is proposed. Additionally, the psychological nature of the GFP or the Big One is discussed as well as its possible evolutionary, genetic and neurophysiological basis.

24. Increased media exposition of the erotic contents and the psychosexual maturation in prepuberty and puberty  
Nagygyörgy K., Kormos K., Török I., Kőváry Z.
First author's affiliation: University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary

From the point of view of the socialisation effects of media contents in the past few years, analyses concerning the erotic representation of muliebrity appeared which suggest that sexual attractiveness is transmitted primarily to young girls as a requirement. The presentation of the fashionable lesbian relationship is not well studied area. According to the media representation, kiss can be a part of the intimacy between women, which otherwise allows more physical intimity. We studied whether these representations form the image of young boys about female sexualism. In our survey 523 students aged 12 and 16 were asked how much bisexual content they could see in different kinds of genres and what cognitive and emotional effects (acceptance and rejection) were caused by these contents. The results showed that the lesbian erotic relationship with passionate kiss was spotted on the main TV programmes in an astonishingly high rate. There was a significant difference between students aged 12 and 16. At the age of 12 years, rejection, loathness and surprise were high in boys, whereas at the age of 16 the same held true for girls only. According to the results media representation causes increased reflexion concerning own sexualism. If the negative emotional effect is too intense, a post-trauma concerning sexual identity might develop, and in a milder case imperfect integration of sexual desires might occur.

25. Psychomotor and intelligence attribution as self esteem maintenance  
Nouri A., Salahian A., Oreizi H.
First author's affiliation: Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran

According to literature on social cognition, people usually accept the validity of favorable evaluation to their source and conversely derogate the source of unfavorable evaluations. They express their affirmative affect toward the result of achievement tests when they have done well on it; vice versa they derogate the test's results when they believe they have done poorly. The aim of the current research was to test these claims. Undergraduate students of psychology (N = 149)responded to three psychomotor tests (called Pattern, Precision and Coordinance test, from Flanagan Aptitude Classification Tests or FACT) and General Intelligence tests (from General Aptitude Test Battery). Then, they received counterfactual feedbacks about outcomes of their performance on Intelligence and Psychomotor tests. Then, they responded to a test that investigators pretended to be the judgment and comprehension test from FACT. On this constructed test, equal positive statements were included on applying intelligence and psychomotor tests, as well as negative statements on applying intelligence and psychomotor tests was included. Subjects should report their conclusions about these prepositions. Findings showed that subjects who received negative feedbacks about their performance on general intelligence test disparaged them, while negative feedbacks about performance on psychomotor tests didn't produce negative reactions. Conclusions indicated that self-esteem is more sensitive to intelligence than psychomotor performance, because people attribute intelligence more than psychology performance to their self concept.

26. Factor analysis of social networking services behaviour and some characteristics of SNS users  [presentation, ppt, 1308 kB]
Popov B., Bodroža B.
First author's affiliation: Faculty of Philosophy, Novi Sad, Serbia

Internet social networking services (SNS) represent virtual space for communication and development of social relations (like Facebook, MySpace, etc.). To our knowledge few researches focused on such services so far, whereas internet chat services received more scientific attention. The research explores latent structure of behaviour on web-based SNS. In order to operationalize this form of behaviour, the preliminary version of SNB (Social Networking Behaviour, Popov & Bodroza, 2008) scale has been established. The scale consists of 73 items focused on the quality of computer mediated communication, identity and excessive use of these services. The sample includes 105 subjects. The factor analysis with Promax rotation revealed five interpretable factors, which account for 41.4% of variance. The first factor is interpreted as “SNS addiction” and it describes the excessive use of these services and their use as self confidence booster. The second factor is called “SNS socializing” and it describes the use of SNS to enhance social life, transferring the virtual friendships into real life. The third factor is named “SNS profile as social self” and it refers to the expression of own identity through SNS. The next factor refers to the “negative attitude towards SNS communication” and SNS in general. The fifth factor is called the “flirty communication” and it includes the instrumental use of communication in order to gain sexual stimulation. All these factors have weak to moderate correlation, with the exception of the “negative attitude towards SNS communication” where no correlation with other factors has been found. The second part of the research highlights the differences in behaviour of users of various SNS, predominantly MySpace and Facebook, these two being most commonly used. Furthermore, the differences among users have been analysed from the point of the time consumed by SNS, length of user status and various preferences in SNS communication.

27. The impact of emotional arousal on memory  
Pupić-Bakrač A., Kovač R.
First author's affiliation: University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

According to the attention narrowing hypothesis, emotional excitement directs the focus of attention on stimuli which cause emotions and make the focus of attention on other information considerably reduced. As high anxious subjects tend to focus attention on negatively affected stimuli more often than the low, the aim of this study was to determine the difference between low and high anxious subjects in the number of correctly recognized neutral black-and-white drawings and time needed for their recognition, as well as accuracy in retrieving emotionally affected pictures. Fourteen subjects, seven high and seven low anxious, participated in the study. Pictures from the IAPS (International Affective Picture System) basis were taken as an emotionally affected stimulus. Black-and-white drawings of everyday objects were used as neutral material. Neutral black-and-white drawings and emotionally affected stimulus (positive, neutral or negative pictures) were presented simultaneously for 3, 6 or 9 seconds. After five minute period, during which subjects were solving signal detection task, they were asked to recognize neutral black-and-white drawings, as well as retrieve emotionally affected pictures. The accuracy of recognition was recorded for drawings and pictures, and recognition time for drawings. The results showed no difference between high and low anxious subjects in the number of recognized neutral black-and-white drawings presented with all categories of emotionally affected pictures, as well as in recognizing time. There was the lowest number of recognized drawings when they were presented with negatively affected pictures, and that was followed with the longest recognizing time at all intervals of the exposition. The greatest number of recognized black-and-white drawings was when they were presented with positively affected pictures. Low anxious subjects were more successful in retrieving negatively affected pictures than high anxious, while there was no difference between these two groups in retrieving positively and neutrally affected pictures.

28. The relationship of attachment style and emotional intelligence: The moderating role of gender  
Rebernjak B., Buško V., Marjanović I.
First author's affiliation: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Zagreb, Croatia

The association of attachment style and emotional intelligence (EI) with a possible moderating effect of gender was investigated in a sample of 281 Croatian students. Previous studies indicated the existence of connection between parental warmth and emotional intelligence, and between attachment and emotional intelligence, although this relationship was not thoroughly explored. Moderated hierarchical regression analysis indicated weak to moderate relationship between attachment style and two ability measures of EI. Male participants who exhibit negative model of self (anxious and fearful attachment styles) scored lower on EI measures than those exhibiting positive model of self (secure and dismissive attachment styles). Female participants, on the other hand, scored more or less consistently on EI (depending on the measure used) no matter what their attachment style was.

29. Examining the efficiency in tasks of signal detection within subjects with different personality traits  
Škrinjarić L.
University of Zadar, Department of Psychology, Zadar, Croatia

Previous researches showed subject's efficiency decline in performing a monotonous task, like Mackworth's clock, as the function of task duration. It has also been shown that there is a difference in the task performing efficiency regarding the signal detection between introverts and extroverts. This is usually explained by higher level of cortical arousal within introverts for which they show lower decline of efficiency than the extroverts. The aim of this research was to examine the changes of efficiency in detecting signals of different duration with regard to dimensions of extroversion and neuroticism, and to determine possible changes within the parameters of ECG in the function of task duration within subjects with different personality traits. The research was performed on a group of students (N = 20). On the basis of results obtained by Eysenck's personality questionnaire, the subjects were divided into 2 groups, with 10 subjects each (with regard to the dimensions of extraversion). During the research a computer with an adequate software (Mackworths's clock) and an ECG device (PowerLab System) were used. As expected, changes within all parameters regarding subjects' efficiency in the function of task duration were found, except for the proportion of false alarms. Subject's efficiency significantly decreases as a function of task duration. Statistically significant difference between extroverts and introverts was found only for the proportion of false alarms. Although introverts showed a tendency of better efficiency than the extroverts, the differences between groups were not significant on any examined efficiency parameter. Changes in heart frequency and sinus arrhythmia (mean values of R-R intervals and parameters of SD and SDD) showed a general tendency of tranquilizing subjects' organism as a function of task duration, as well as the differences between personality traits. Introverts had a lower mean values and lower variability of R-R intervals (SD and SDD).

30. Relationship among some sexuality dimensions, life satisfaction and sexual experience  
Šunjić M., Škegro I., Barišić M.
First author's affiliation: Faculty of Philoshophy, University of Mostar, Mostar, BIH

Sexual satisfaction and adjustment are important aspects of satisfaction with one's intimate relationship and with life satisfaction generally. Some individuals, however, experience problems and frustrations concerning sexual aspect of their relationship, which are mainly due to individual differences in human sexuality. Snell (1998) developed a questionnaire that deals with three not enough explored dimensions of human sexuality: sexual-esteem, sexual-depression and sexual-preoccupation. It may be argued that sexual-preoccupation is the result of previous learning in the domain of sexuality, while sexual-esteem and sexual-depression reflect previous individual sexual experiences. Following this argument, the aim of this study was to investigate possible relationships amongst these three dimensions, as well as some aspects of sexual experience (having a sexual partner, satisfaction with sexual life, pornography watching), and life satisfaction. The instruments used included a socio-demographic questionnaire, Sexuality Scale (Snell, 2001) and Life Satisfaction Scale (Penezić, 1996). They were administered to the sample of 186 students (95 males and 91 females). According to expectations, the factor structures of the two scales were confirmed. Results indicate that there are differences in three sexuality dimensions regarding gender. Furthermore, the results showed significant correlations between the results on the two scales and the three aspects of sexual experience. There were also significant correlations between the sexuality dimensions and life satisfactions.

31. Constructive validity of Croatian version of Pavlovian Temperament Survey (PTS)  
Tatalovic Vorkapic S., Lučev I., Tadinac M.
First author's affiliation: Teacher Education College, Dept. of Preschool Education, Rijeka, Croatia

The aim of this study was to examine construct validity of Pavlovian temperament survey (PTS) by determining relationship between three Strelau´s dimensions of temperament (strength of excitation, strength of inhibition, mobility) and basic dimensions of personality that were defined by Eysenck and in 5-factor model of personality. It was expected that strength of excitation and mobility will have significant positive correlations with extraversion and negative correlations with neuroticism, while strength of inhibition will show significant negative correlations with neuroticism. First part of study was conducted on a sample of 74 female students with age average of 22. Pavlovian temperament dimensions were assessed with Croatian version of PTS (Lučev, Tadinac-Babić & Tatalović, 2002) and five basic dimensions of personality were measured by Five-Factor Nonverbal Personality Questionnaire, FF-NPQ (Paunonen, Ashton & Johnston, 2001). Second part of study included sample of 54 female students of psychology, with age average of 20, who completed PTS and EPQ R/A which measures dimensions of personality developed by Eysenck (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1994). Reliability coefficients for all three instruments used in this study were satisfactory but not very high. Coefficients of correlation determined in the first study were mostly not in agreement with what could be theoretically expected and empirical results of other authors, probably due to low reliability and unclear factor structure of FF-NPQ. However, results of the second study confirmed expected pattern of correlations: rSE&E=.41, p<.01, rMO&E=.65, p<.01, rSE&N=-.67, p<.01, rMO&N=-.56, p<.01 and rSI&N=-.36, p<.01, and this can be considered an indicator of good construct validity of PTS.

32. The role of humor in human relationships: An evolutionary model  [presentation, ppt, 415 kB]
Tisljar R., Sefcsik T., Bereczkei T.
First author's affiliation: University of Szeged, Department of Psychology, Szeged, Hungary

Many theories explain the functions of humor in the people's everyday lives. In the light of evolutionary psychology, humor has adaptive features, but the questions on the exact selective pressure has remained unanswered. Human relationships, including mate choice, involve several aspects of humor. We regard humor as a signaling tool that, among others, enable people to detect the degree of similarity between the prospective partners or friends. One of the main questions of our study is to what degree couples and friends share the same humor style, and whether this kind of resemblance (or homogamy) leads to a higher level of satisfaction with their relationship.

33. Comparison of high school, undergraduate and graduate students in procrastination  [presentation, ppt, 268 kB]
Uzun Ozer B.
Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Procrastination is an undesirable and maladaptive behavior common especially in academic domain. Research studies have shown that it is one of the common barriers to academic success since it decreases the quality and quantity of work. There has been intense body of literature on procrastination and its reasons in different age groups. However, direct comparison of different academic grade levels on procrastination prevalence and its reasons has drawn less attention in the literature. Hence, the purpose of the present research was to investigate the levels, prevalence and the reasons of academic procrastination on high school, undergraduate and graduate students. In this respect, Procrastination Assessment Scale-Student (PASS) was administered to a total of 448 students: 149 (83 female; 66 male) were high-school, 150 (80 female; 70 male) undergraduate and 148 (84 female; 64 male) graduate students. The average age was 15.5 years old for high-school, 20.4 years old for undergraduate, and 25.5 years old for graduate students. Results showed a significant difference in procrastination among these three groups. Specifically, undergraduate students (M = 20.1; SD = 3.8) claimed to procrastinate more than graduate (M = 18.5; SD = 4.1) and high school students (M = 17.2; SD = 4.5). 37% of high school students and 56% of undergraduate students claimed to be nearly always or always procrastinator on studying for exams, while graduate students (39%) procrastinate more on writing term papers. High school students engage in procrastination due to the reason of perfectionism, difficulty in making decision, laziness and risk taking; while undergraduates procrastinate due to lack of assertion and aversiveness of tasks. Graduate students procrastinate due to fear of failure, rebellion against control and laziness.

34. Narcissism and empathy among actors and non-actors  
Vervega D., Veselko K., Voljavec A.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The purpose of our research was to examine the presence of some personality characteristics stereotypically attributed to actors in a group of actors and non-actors. With the use of NPI and IRI questionnaires we measured the degree of narcissism and empathy of 142 participants of average age 26,41 years, who were equally represented by sex and with regard to their possession or lack of acting experiences. Considering the past research done in this field we hypothesized that actors would be more narcissistic than non-actors, but the results did not support this hypothesis. Although some authors report about a higher degree of narcissism of male non-actors and female actors, we found no significant statistical differences in the degree of narcissism either between males and females or between actors and non-actors. Although most researchers came to the conclusion that females are more empathic than males, we found no significant statistical differences between males and females, among either actors or non-actors. According to the total IRI result actors indeed appear to be more empathic than non-actors, but we ascribe this to the fact that on the subscale measuring imaginational empathic ability actors attained results below our expectations.

Psychophysiology, cognitive neuropsychology and neuroscience

1. Subjects' effort in Fitts Tapping Tasks regarding the task difficulty  
Brecic A., Manenica I.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Mostar, Mostar, BIH

Fitts tapping task (FTT) consists of 12 psychomotor tasks, which difficulty varies from one to six bits. Previous studies where FTT was used, showed a linear decrement in performance and also a linear increment in the task difficulty assessment as the task difficulty objectively increased. Since the tasks consist of motor and mental components, this would mean that the motor component decreases and the mental component increases as the task difficulty increases. In the view of this, it could be argued that summative effort (motor plus mental) which subjects put in the task remains the same throughout the tasks. The aim of this study was to check this hypothesis by using different heart rate parameters as indicators of the total effort put in the task by the subject. If this effort were constant, the cardiac indices would not significantly differ throughout the tasks. Fifteen subjects performed all the tasks for five minutes each, while their cardiac R-R intervals were continuously recorded before, during and after the task. Their performance (number of target hits) was also recorded, together with intertap intervals. At the completion of every task subjects were asked to assess their difficulty on Borg's scale. As expected, the results showed a fall in the number of target hits as the task difficulty increased, and an increase in the task difficulty assessment. The analysis of cardiac R-R intervals included classical analyses, as well as spectral analysis procedure. All the parameters showed differences between the preceding resting and the five-minute working periods. There was no difference, however, amongst the tasks of various difficulties. The results suggest, although the load contents of the tasks change as their difficulty changes, the total effort, put in the task by subjects, remains the same regardless of the task difficulty.

2. Repressors show more prefrontal brain activity to irrelevant negative stimuli during a visual search task: An fMRI preliminary study  
Deak A., Kaplar M., Toth L., Bogner P., Revesz G., Bernath L.
First author's affiliation: University of Pecs, Institute of Psychology, Pecs, Hungary

People with repressive personality style tend to keep distance from threatening or negative emotional experiences. When faced with unpleasant stimuli, they show higher level of responsiveness due to physiological mechanisms. They have been found hypersensitive in their cognitive attention. In our fMRI study, we investigated repressor and non-repressor subjects' brain activity during a visual search task. Using a block-design paradigm, subjects were instructed to follow numbers in a matrix while either an unpleasant (active phase) or a neutral picture (baseline phase) was presented in the background. Our preliminary results show that repressors have more neural activation in the right prefrontal cortex (superior frontal gyrus, medial frontal gyrus) and left inferior temporal gyrus. Activation in the cingular cortex have been found in the non-repressor group.

3. Depression and mental adjustment in cancer patients: The role of serotonin transporter polymorphism  
Giraldi T., Capozzo M., Martinis E., Schillani G.
First author's affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Trieste, Italy

Serotonin transporter (SERT) play a crucial role in monoaminergic neurotransmission, and was shown to be associated to the development of mental disorders, such as depression, and to the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs. The 5-HTTLPR polymorphism has been identified in the promoter region of SERT; this polymorphism has a high penetrance, significantly influences the transcriptional activity of the gene, and was shown to play a considerable role in determining difficulties in the adaptation to life events and the ensuing possible mental suffering in mental health. The aim of this study was consequently that to examine the role of 5-HTTLPR in determining the difficulties of mental adaptation to the disease in cancer patients. A series of 145 breast cancer patients (mean age 55.8 years, SD 9.00) were evaluated at two different times (T0, and T1 3 months later) by using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) in order to determine depression, and the Mini-Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale (Mini-MAC) to examine the mechanisms of coping to the disease; the patients were also characterized for the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism. The results obtained indicate that, when the patients are stratified for the 5-HTTLPR allelic variants, at T1 the patients carrying the LL allele had higher mean scores on depression, as well as on the Hopelessness-Helplessness (HH) and Anxious Preoccupation (AP) scales of Mini-MAC, as compared with carriers of an S allele. The patients with SS and SL haplotypes, when examined at T1, diplayed HH and AP scores which were significantly lower than those observed at T0. These results seem to encourage further research aimed to study the genetic polymorphism 5-HTTLPR, and its role in contributing to depression and difficulties in mental adaptation to the disease in cancer patients.

4. Neural correlates of visual search and change blindness: An fMRI study  
Kaplar M., Deak A., Toth L., Bognar P., Bernath L.
First author's affiliation: University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary

The phenomenon "change blindness" means that people can not recognize changes between two or more stimuli, if there is a masking stimulus between the two others. This phenomenon gives us the opportunity to use change blindness in experiments examining attention. In a change blindness task the subjects have to recognize the difference between two similar pictures with a masking screen between them. This task can be used to map unconscious attention and the processing of unconscious information because the target (what? and where?) is unknown by the subject. In our experiment we examined if a conscious attentional task like visual search activates the same brain areas as solving a change blindness task. In an fMRI study we presented two very similar sets of stimuli, one for visual search, one for change blindness task. We used the activations during the a visual search task as baseline in the analysis of activations during the change blindness task. We got few activated brain areas like Middle Occipital and Temporal Gyrus, Fusiform Gyrus, Supramarginal Gyrus, Nucleus Caudatus and Thalamus due to performance. The activation of these areas can be explained well by the differences of a the two types (search vs. recognize, conscious vs. unconscious) of the two tasks used in the study.

5. Differentiation of motor and cognitive load components in Fitts tapping tasks  
Manenica I., Šuto A.
First author's affiliation: University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

The aim of this study was to try to differentiate relative contributions of motor and cognitive load components in Fitts tapping tasks (FTT) by keeping the motor component constant throughout the tasks in one situation, and comparing it with parameters in the standard situation. Twelve subjects performed the series of FTT in the standard way and in the situation with constant motor load, identical to the individual speed in the most difficult standard task. The working time for every task was five minutes. In both situations, target hits, intertap times and subjects' cardiac R-R intervals were continuously recorded. At the completion of each task subjects estimated its difficulty on Borg's scale (Borg, 1973). Performance indices (number of target hits and intertap time) changed as expected in relation to the task difficulty and the differences between the two experimental situations. Parameters and spectral analyses of R-R intervals in the middle frequency range (0.7- 0.14 Hz) showed differences in and between the two experimental situations, indicating a decrease in motor and an increase in mental component, as well as a higher overall task load in the standard situation due to a greater motor involvement. The task difficulty assessment on Borg's scale showed almost linear increase with the task difficulty, as well as a difference between the two experimental situations, indicating significantly lower task load in the situation with constant motor load. On the basis of regression lines between the task difficulty (bits) and the scale assessments in the two situations (y = 0.7+2.228x and y = -1.55+2.37x), the assessments in both situations were transformed into the difficulty equivalents in bits. The difference between the lines was equivalent to 0.71 bits, which was attributed to the differences in the motor involvement. These results showed, generally speaking, cognitive component in FTT as more prominent in task load than motor component.

6. Stable and state-dependent impulsivity in bipolar disorder   [presentation, ppt, 949 kB]
Milavec M., Šprah L.
First author's affiliation: Sociomedical Institute at SRC SASA, Ljubljana, Slovenia

One of prominent and measurable characteristic of Bipolar disorder is impulsivity which may have both stable and state-dependent aspects. Emotional modulation of cognitive control, which is state-depended aspect of impulsivity, has been reported as attentional bias to positive and negative information. The present study aimed to determine whether emotional valence of stimulus influences cognitive control in bipolar patients compared to healthy individuals and whether there is an interaction between stable and state-dependent aspect of impulsivity in bipolar disorder. We compared 39 bipolar outpatients and 38 healthy individuals, matched for age, gender and years of education. All participants completed Baratt Impulsiveness Scale 11 (BIS-11) and computer administered Affective Go/No-Go Task (including pictures of negative, positive and neutral emotional valence taken from International Affective Picture System). On Affective Go/No-Go Task bipolar outpatients demonstrated longer reaction times to emotional stimuli and more errors on global score in compare to the control group, especially in negative and neutral contexts and when the targets were pictures with neutral emotional valence. Global score on BIS-11 indicated that bipolar outpatients had higher levels of trait impulsivity than healthy individuals. Bipolar patients with heightened levels of trait impulsivity also underestimated stimuli with positive emotional valence and tended towards underestimation of stimuli with negative emotional valence. These data suggest that patients with bipolar disorder have poorer control of cognitive inhibition than healthy subjects, probable due to increased levels of impulsivity and other associated cognitive impairments. We confirmed that emotional valence of stimulus influences cognitive control in bipolar patients compared to healthy subjects and that there is an interaction between stable and state-dependent aspect of impulsivity in bipolar disorder.

7. Influence of interhemispheric differences on the Stroop and the Reverse Stroop effect  
Nikolić M., Juranić I.
First author's affiliation: University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

The Stroop effect is demonstration of interference in the reaction time of a task, where subjects have to ignore the word’s semantic meaning and react on the word’s color. Opposite effect is the reverse Stroop effect where subjects have to react on the word’s semantic meaning and ignore the word’s color where extension of reaction time is also obvious. Methods; One of the possible explanation are interhemispheric differences in elaboration of information - so the aim of this study was to explore effects of interhemispheric differences on the Stroop and the reverse Stroop task in groups of extreme left handed (N = 10) and extreme right handed (N = 10) subjects. The subjects were asked to solve two kinds of tasks, Stroop (naming color) and reverse Stroop (reading word), within different conditions (neutral, congruent and incongruent for the Stroop task and congruent and incongruent for the reverse Stroop task). In every situation they reacted with right and left hand. In right handed group both effects were identified while in left handed group only Stroop effect occurred. Subjects from both groups made more mistakes in incongruent conditions of both tasks, because of interference which is caused with difference in semantic meaning and ink color of the word. Interesting finding is that in right handed group Stroop effect is larger when subjects were reacting with right hand and reverse Stroop effect when reacting with left hand. This is the result of difference in interhemispheric elaboration of information where left hemisphere is dominant for verbal information and right hemisphere for color information. This has not been identified in left handed group because left handed individuals have more fibers in corpus callosum, which ensures better interhemispheric interaction and reduces interference.

Developmental psychology

1. Croatian version of Selection, optimization and compensation questionnaire, and its demographic correlates  
Brković I.
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia

Theoretical framework of SOC model (Baltes et al., 1997; 1999; 2002) is developed to gain a better understanding of the factors contributing to a successful development. It attempts to specify the self-regulation strategies people use to master their lives. The aim of research presented here was twofold: to develop Croatian version of SOC questionnaire and check its psychometric properties and to examine demographic correlates of SOC scores. The sample consisted of 335 adults (202 women and 133 men). The questionnaire consisted of 49 dichotomous items measuring 4 dimensions hypothesized by the model (Elective Selection, Loss-Based Selection, Optimization and Compensation). Analyses revealed that the subscales reached psychometric properties similar to those of the original version of the questionnaire (Cronbach alpha’s ranging from 0,50 to 0,70) with low to moderate intercorrelations. Considering the length of the questionnaire suggestions for its shortening are discussed, showing that short versions keep good or gain improved psychometric properties. More educated participants, both women and men, showed higher results on Loss-based selection scale. Men reached higher scores than women on Elective selection. Age differences varied depending on subscale and gender. Correlations between spouses were found low but significant for Loss-based selection and Compensation subscales.

2. Gender differences and the degree of compatibility within mother's and father's parenting style in adolescents  
Delale E. A.
University of Zagreb, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Law, Zagreb, Croatia

The goal of the study was to explore the degree of compatibility within mother's and father's parenting style in male and female adolescents. The study is a part of a broader study, which examined the relationship between parenting style and self-perceived emotional intelligence in adolescents. Parenting style was studied within the parental acceptance-rejection theory (Rohner, 1984), and discussed within the larger theoretical frame of recent models of family socialization. Measures included self-reported parental acceptance (Rohner, 1984): perceived warmth and affection, hostility and aggression, indifference and neglect, undifferentiated rejection; parental control (Ajduković & Delale, 2001): perceived settings of strict rules, restrictiveness, invasion of privacy and surveillance as well as self-perceived emotional intelligence (Delale, 2001; adapted from Takšić, 1998). Father's parenting style was significantly related to mother's at all assessed measures of parenting styles, both for boys and girls. There were also significant gender differences in the degree of compatibility of mothers' and fathers' parenting style in all measures except warmth and surveillance. Boys perceived parenting style of their parent more compatible than girls (correlations varied from 0.50 to 0.87 for boys and from 0.28 to 0.87 for girls). Since there were significant differences in perception of mothers' and fathers' parenting style, additional scores from mother's and father's parenting style were calculated and girls were more discriminative in observing their parents. Results are discussed according to gender differences in perceived emotional intelligence found in this research and better recognition of their own and other's emotions in girls. Females are socialized more than males in recognition and expression of emotions, they are biologically better equipped and they are spending more time on emotions (Mayer et al., 1999), so they could better differentiate relationships and emotion related content in their parents.

3. Psychological adjustment patterns between Italian majority and Slovene minority children  
Dimitrova R., Tallandini M.
First author's affiliation: University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Based on the model developed by Garcia Coll and Szalacha (2004), the present research aims to explore the psychological situation of children from two native ethnic groups in Northern Italy. The model suggests that minority status leads to a decrease in children’s psychological well being, so that the ethnic minority children show more adjustment difficulties compared to the majority ones. Important buffering factors which prevent the development of negative outcomes are strong ethnic cohesion, community support and good family socio-economic conditions (Stansfeld et al., 2004). All these factors characterize the Slovene minority, which is the dominant ethnic group owning a specific minority status in North Italy. Triggered by these considerations, the present study investigates psychological adjustment of Slovene minority compared to Italian majority school-age children. Given the high ethnic density and historical presence of Slovene ethnic community in the area, it is expected that Slovene children would not present adjustment differences as compared to the Italians (Stansfeld et al., 2004). Moreover, we hypothesized gender differences with boys presenting more adjustment problems than girls (Boxer, Tisak, & Goldstein, 2004) for both groups. The sample consisted of 130 children aged 7 to 12 years – 61 Slovene minority and 69 Italian majority. To test the predictions, adjustment was assessed in terms of emotional instability, prosocial, aggressive behavior and depressive symptoms through two standardized questionnaires - Social Adjustment Capacity Indicators Questionnaire (Caprara et al., 1992) and Children’s Depression Inventory (Kovacs, 1988). Consistent with our expectations, results did not show ethnic group differences between the Slovenian and Italian participants, who presented more similarities in their self-ratings of adjustment. The gender comparisons showed that girls tend to respond more pro-socially than boys did. These results contribute to understanding the Slovene minority children’s integration, suggesting positive adjustment in relation to their school and peer-related context.

4. Attachment to family members and romantic partners with regard to completeness of family structure and the quality of parental relationship  
Jelić M., Kamenov Z., Ivanković P.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

The aim of this research was to examine the differences in attachment to family members and romantic partners among individuals whose parents had divorced as opposed to those whose parents had high quality marriages and those whose parents had low quality marriages. 529 participants, students from various faculties of the University of Zagreb, were included in the research. 52.2% of them were female and 47.8% of them were male. The average age was M=21.6, SD=1.95. Data about family structure and the quality of parental relationship were obtained. Attachment to family members and attachment to romantic partners were assessed with comparable measures and results were computed separately for each dimension of both types of relations. Results showed significant sex differences only on Avoidance dimension in relationship with parents, but no gender differences were found on the Anxiety dimension, and no significant sex differences were found on dimensions of attachment to romantic partners. As far as effects of family structure and quality of parental relationship are concerned, significant differences emerged on Avoidance in attachment to family and on Anxiety in attachment to romantic partners due to low quality of parental relationship. No significant interactions of sex and family structure were found. Specifically, individuals whose parents had low marital quality while they were teenagers appear to be more avoidant towards their parents and more anxious in their romantic relationships in comparison with individuals in two other groups. These findings contribute to a new direction in research of consequences of divorce on children, which postulates parental marital discord accompanied by inadequate parental interaction and maladaptive communication strategies, and not merely divorce, to be the key factor detrimental to psychological functioning, well-being and social adjustment of children.

5. Parent-child conflicts and pubertal development in Croatian adolescents  [presentation, ppt, 226 kB]
Keresteš G., Brković I., Kuterovac Jagodić G.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Conflicts between children and parents are a salient aspect of interaction in families with adolescents. Although during the last few decades many empirical studies on parent-child conflict have been conducted, their results are inconclusive and still much has to be investigated before we get clearer picture about the nature and developmental meaning of parent-child conflict. The aim of this study was to examine conflicts between Croatian adolescents and their parents, as well as to investigate relationships between conflicts and several indicators of pubertal development. The sample consisted of 219 intact families with early adolescents (10 to 15 years old). Children and parents independently completed questionnaire measure of parent-child conflict. Children's self-reports about pubertal development were also collected. Findings revealed that according to both parents' and children's ratings, conflicts were more frequent in mother-child than in father-child dyad. Parents generally perceived higher level of conflicts than children. In all parent-child dyads and according to all informants, conflicts most often occurred over home chores. Age and pubertal status, but not pubertal timing, were related to frequency of conflicts, with child's gender and source of information about conflict (i.e. informant) acting as moderators in these relationships.

6. The cognitive developmental investigation of the attribution of privileged access to mental states  [presentation, ppt, 76 kB]
Kiss S.
University of Pécs, Institute of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

Research on mindreading is one of the central topics of present-day cognitive science. Within this research, children’s thinking about the mind is especially important. The present paper will be about the relationship of the so-called ideal speech situation developed by Habermas and the child’s theory of mind. First, the ideal speech situation will be analyzed, showing the importance of the ascription of privileged access to mental states. Then, the history of first person authority within general psychology, social psychology and cognitive developmental psychology will be presented. One of the conclusions of this historical presentation is that within adult folk psychology we often ascribe privileged access to intentional states when we interpret other people’s behavior. The paper will show how we operationalized the ideal speech situation of the universal pragmatics of Habermas. In a word, we naturalize this philosophical concept. The notion of the ideal speech situation will be investigated from the point of view of contemporary empirical theory-of-mind research. Then I raise two questions: When and how does the child acquire the notion of the ideal speech situation? I will show a cognitive developmental experiment which aimed to answer the above questions. During the experiment we used a modified version of the classic theory-of-mind task developed by Bartsch and Wellman. In this task, the child has to infer the mental states from the action of a protagonist. Then we tested whether the child could select the main character on the basis of his first person verbal report. We argued that if the child was able to do this then he attributed first person authority to the character. Finally, the task analysis of our experiment will be presented. It is suggested that the acquisition of the ideal speech situation is related to the imaginative abilities of children, particularly to his or her capability to participate in imaginative conversations

7. Authority and authority styles in adolescents-parents relationships  [presentation, ppt, 933 kB]
Kuhar M.
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Firstly, the presentation provides an overview and criticism of the main approaches to parenting – i.e. the parenting style approach (Baumrind), parenting dimensions (Barber), the domain paradigm (Turiel, Smetana), family communication patterns (Ritchie and others) etc. On the basis of the overview I emphasize the absence of in-depth conceptualization of the construct of authority and I offer preliminary theoretical conceptualization of this concept. Then the concept is analyzed and applied empirically with the help of four vignettes about different parent-adolescent conflict situations. The quantitative data (scales on conversation and conformity orientation and psychological control) further explain this concept. Both, quantitative and qualitative data point out the concept of authority style as the communication enforcement of parental authority. The sample consisted of 194 11- to 18-year-old first born adolescents and both of their parents in Slovenia; therefore the qualitative and quantitative self-reports of all three sides are presented which has indicated some methodological considerations.

8. Predictors of parenting behavior and parenting satisfaction among parents that transited to parenting during the war in Croatia  [presentation, ppt, 459 kB]
Kuterovac Jagodić G., Keresteš G., Brković I.
First author's affiliation: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia

Studies have documented a relationship between different parental stressors and parenting behavior, but effects of war on parenting behavior has not been studied often. This study examined relationship between subjective war stress, perceived social support, parental mental health indices (depression and aggressive and hostile behavior), and self-reported parenting behaviors and parenting satisfaction. The sample consisted of 812 pairs of mothers and fathers from 10 Croatian cities and towns differently affected by the war 1991-1995. The mean age of mothers was 39 and fathers 42 years at the time of data collection, i.e. 25 and 28 at the beginning of the war. The average number of children per family was two, and their age at the time of the study ranged from 10 to 15 years. There were 54.7% daughters and all the children were born during the war in Croatia. Separate hierarchical regression analyses were performed for maternal and paternal positive and negative parenting and parenting satisfaction as dependent variables. In each regression child demographic variables were entered first (age and gender), followed by self perceived negative effects of war on relationship with others, on life values and on life circumstances, social support was entered in the third step, and parental mental health indices entered in the last step. The results indicate significant association of self perceived negative effects of war, parental mental health and social support with their parenting behavior and satisfaction. These associations suggest that war and problems with mental health may have deleterious effects on parental behavior and parenting satisfaction, while self perceived social support seems to have more beneficial effect on positive parental behaviors and parenting satisfaction than on negative parental behaviors.

9. Storytelling in early childhood: Do the preschool and family environment matter?  
Marjanovič Umek L., Fekonja Peklaj U.
First author's affiliation: Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Storytelling is one of child’s pragmatic competences which is based on the expression of decontextualized contents and develops rapidly in the early childhood. The development of storytelling is affected by different factors in child’s environment, such as symbolic play or joint reading. The aim of the present study was to examine whether the child’s enrollment into a preschool institution, maternal education and the quality of home literacy environment represent important factors of child’s storytelling. The sample included 229 children, aged approximately 6 years, who at the time of the assessment, visited 1st grade of primary school. Children differed in the years they have spent in preschool prior to the primary school enrollment (children visiting preschool for 5 or 3 years and children not enrolled into preschool) and their mother’s educational level. Stories, spontaneously told by children while looking at the pictures, were analyzed with respect to the level of their coherence and cohesion using the criteria designed and established in some of our previous studies. The quality of home environment was assessed using the Home Literacy Environment Questionnaire (Marjanovič Umek, Podlesek, & Fekonja, 2005). The findings suggest that child’s enrollment into preschool, especially at the age of three, has a significant effect on his/her storytelling competence. Six years old children who entered preschool at the age of three told more coherent and cohesive stories than their peers who were not enrolled into preschool prior to entering primary school. The positive effect of preschool on child’s storytelling was evident in the group of children whose mothers had a high level of education. Maternal education proved to have a positive effect on the developmental level of child’s storytelling as well as correlated with the quality of child’s home environment related to mother’s correct use of language.

10. Stress experiences and family coping strategies among families with adolescent children  
Mihic I., Zotovic M., Petrovic J., Jerkovic I., Dedic M.
First author's affiliation: University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia

The research presented in this paper aims to investigate relations between stress experiences of adolescents and the coping strategies in their families. The sample consisted of 201 adolescents, aged 15 to 19 years. All the participants gave information on their stress experiences (Risk scale, Grossman et al., 1990) and then assessed the dominant coping strategies in their families (F-COPES, McCubbin et al., 1981). The most frequent stress experiences among the participants are death of a family member or a person close to the adolescent (60.2%) and car accident (42.3%). Most of the adolescents from the sample have had 2 stress experiences by the time of research. Dominant coping strategies were internal coping strategies (redefining and passive assessment). Based on the number of indicated stress experiences, all participants were divided into two groups: with low stress experiences (up to 2), and high stress experiences (3 or more stress experiences). Research results indicate that these two groups significantly differ in dominant coping family strategies. The participants from the group with higher stress experiences assessed that their families rarely use redefining, and mostly use passive assessment and seeking institutional help as the strategies when coping with stressful events. These results indicate tendency that cumulative family stress may lower the adaptive behaviors and beliefs within family, and alter the family coping mechanisms towards collective denial of the stressful experience itself, and/or family’s capabilities to cope with it.

11. Gender differences in some aspects of sexuality among Croatian adults  
Nekić M.
University of Zadar, Department of Psychology, Zadar, Croatia

Human sexuality includes three important concepts: sexual-esteem, sexual-depression and sexual-preoccupation. Snell and Papini (1989) define sexual-esteem as positive regard for and confidence in the capacity to experience one's sexuality in a satisfying and enjoyable way. Sexual-depression is defined as the experience of feelings of depression regarding one's sex life and finally sexual-preoccupation is defined as the tendency to think about sex to an excessive degree. The results from Snell and Papini's (1989) initial study revealed considerable similarity between men's and women's sexual-esteem tendencies. Analyses revealed a significant gender effect only for the sexual-preoccupation subscale, with males reporting higher levels of sexual-preoccupation than females. Some interesting results about gender differences were reported in studies which examined sociosexuality (person’s inclination to engage in sexual intercourse in the absence of strong emotional commitment to his/her partner). The purpose of the present contribution is to present the results of a study designed to examine some aspects of sexuality and gender differences among young and middle aged adults. Therefore, the first aim was to examine gender differences in sexual-esteem, sexual-depression, sexual-preoccupation and sociosexuality, while the second aim included analysis of relation between examined variables. The 101 participants (48 males and 53 females) in this research filled out The Sexuality Scale (Snell & Papini, 1989) and The Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (Simpson & Gangestad, 1991). Results of this study showed expected differences in some aspects of sexuality among male and female participants. Males show higher tendencies in sexual-preoccupation and more comfort with engaging in casual sex than female participants.

12. Evaluating the socio-emotional and communicative development in day-care: Observational tools for nurses and parents  
Ongari B., Francesca T.
First author's affiliation: Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Trento, Trento, Italy

This contribution focuses on a research project whose aim was to evaluate a battery of tools which allows caregivers (parents and nurses) to monitor the emotional wellbeing and the first emergence of the socio-communicative abilities of each child within the peer group at the day-care center. Using individualized observations our objective was to analyze the quality of the children’s socio-emotional adaptation to the educational context, particularly focusing on a) the quality of play and social interaction, b) the differences related to the temperament, c) the degree of the communicative competence. In order to obtain reliable individual profiles, the effects of variables such as age, sex, amount of time attending the day-care were controlled, as well as the concurrent validity of each tool. Nurses observed 265 children (22-38 months old) attending day-care centers using the Socio-Affective Profile (PSA, Dumas, La Frenière, Capuano, & Durning, 1997). A half of the sample was then submitted to other tools. Six specific episodes of the daily life for each child have been video-registered by the nurses and coded with a specific system for evaluating the Social Interactions (ISN, Ongari, Tomasi, & Zoccatelli, 2004) derived from the Play Observation Scale (Rubin, 1976).The mother and the nurse fulfilled the Italian Questionnaire on Temperament (QUIT, Axia, 2002), which assesses the usual behavior of the child in the relationship with others, during play and coping with unexpected things. Moreover, the connection between the quality of the affective-emotional adaptation and the socio-communication competence has been checked with a questionnaire (QCSP, Molina, Bulgarelli, Marsan, Spinelli, & Miceli, 2002). At last, a questionnaire which analyzes the representations of each caregiver with respect to her own effective interaction with the child and her image of her own caring role has been purposed to the mothers and to the nurses (QZ; Zaouche-Gaudron; Ricaud-Droisy, & Beaumatin, 2002).

13. Empirical paradigms in developmental psycholinguistics  [presentation, ppt, 377 kB]
Schnell Z.
University of Pécs, Institute of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

The presentation intends to give an overview of the observational and experimental methods in today’s psycholinguistics, regarding language acquisition as a life-long experience from fetus to adolescent and even beyond. It also offers an informative guide to the history and evolution of empirical, applied psycholinguistic techniques, aiming to describe background mechanisms of language processing, perception, production, and acquisition, giving us an insight into fetal sensitivity to speech input, and to the intricacies of language processing both in the preverbal and in the verbal stages (Karmiloff & Karmiloff-Smith, 2002). The new paradigms introduced by the cognitive turn of the 1960’s affected research in the study of language and the mind, bringing on a revolutionary change in experimental techniques, due to which the focus of attention shifted from production to comprehension. The emerging innovative research methods allow us to investigate the multi-level process of language use and acquisition from new perspectives, and examine the development which begins during intrauterine life (Gleason & Ratner, 1998). The new findings also contribute to the resolution of long-standing debates in the discipline, such as the primacy of nature vs. nurture, or that of blind imitation vs. rule application. In the preverbal period children actively communicate through proto-communicative acts and through different actions (e.g. joint attention, following adults’ gaze) (Tomasello, 2002), which serve as important instances of active participation in social settings. Through such interpersonal interactions children begin their journey of socialization, in which language plays a crucial, if not the most important role. The mapping of the intricacies of the experimental paradigms prevalent in today’s psycholinguistic research, and the understanding of the underlying mechanisms that fuel language acquisition may shed light on the cognitive strategies that are responsible for the construction, comprehension and production of language at all stages of our ontogenetic development

14. Incremental validity of personality hardiness over the Big Five in predicting psychological well-being of young adults  
Smiljanič S., Zupančič M.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Extant research provides evidence of considerable association between basic personality dimensions and psychological well-being. Except for openness, four dimensions of the five-factor model (FFM) of personality are related to well-being. Dimensions of psychological well-being are also linked to personality hardiness. According to Ryff (1989), people with more hardy personality perceive life events mainly as positive, they are active in everyday life and estimate unexpected changes as a challenge in life. In the present research, the dimensions of FFM and personality hardiness were explored as predictors of psychological well-being in Slovene young adults. Relations of these variables with gender, age, education and developmental tasks successfully mastered were also examined. Data are based on self-reports using the BFQ (Caprara, et. al., 1997), Psychological Well-Being Scales (Ryff, 1989), Questionnaire of Personality Hardiness DRS-II (Sinclair & Oliver, 2003) and Demographic List, including reports on mastery of developmental tasks of young adulthood. Participants (N = 150) were aged from 24 to 45 years. The results suggest no differences among young adults in psychological well-being by gender, age, education, and developmental tasks already mastered. Multiple regression analyses show that both the FFM dimensions and the dimensions of personality hardiness predict considerable portions of variance in all of the dimensions of psychological well-being. Moreover, hierarchical multiple linear regressions demonstrate that the dimensions of hardiness have a substantial incremental power over and above the FFM in predicting psychological well-being. The FFM dimensions also contribute significantly over and above the prediction based on dimensions of hardiness. However, the incremental predictive value of the FFM is weaker than the incremental power of personality hardiness.

15. Family in a developmental context: Do communication technologies  
Svetina M.
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Recent studies on adolescent behavior in both Europe and the USA suggest that the use of new communication technologies (mobile telephones and particularly internet) relate to age: children seem most likely to use internet to play games, adolescents to establish and maintain social relationships, and adults to search for different kinds of information. In Europe, there is a significant proportion of families in which children/adolescents know much more than parents do about communication technologies (like purchasing items, communicating with authorities via internet portals and so on). The fact that these children seem to help their parents to cope with the societal requirements, and not the vice versa, has an impact on various aspects of family life, including parental roles, statuses, and family decision making processes. The paper presents findings from a larger study on Slovenian adolescents who were given scales of family functioning, personality, as well as adolescents' experience and attitudes toward communication technologies. The findings suggest that the gap between adolescent's and parental experience with communication technologies relates to some vital family processes and relations. The implications of these findings are further discussed.

16. Effects of early learning experience on infants' exploration skills  [presentation, pdf, 1965 kB]
Tsolo M., Needham A., Libertus K.
First author's affiliation: Center for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, London, United Kingdom

We explored whether enrichment of infants’ early experiences as agents able to act on objects would have an effect on their object exploration skills. Three-month-old infants were given the opportunity to reach for and ‘grasp’ objects while wearing “sticky mittens”: mittens with palms that stuck to the edges of toys and allowed the infants to pick up the toys. The effects of this experience on their object exploration behavior were assessed by comparing their exploratory skills before and after the experience with the infants freely exploring a gummy teether. Their skills were also compared to the skills of another group of infants of the same age (control group), who did not actively manipulate the objects but were just passive observers of objects’ movements. We predicted that the looking and reaching behavior towards objects will increase in the experimental group after they have received the simulated experience of reaching. The results indicated that after the learning experience infants in the experimental group became more interested in the object, indexed by significantly longer looking in the second than in the first test phase, and also compared to the control group at the second test phase. We also examined infants’ latency to touch once an object had been introduced and while the two groups did not differ significantly in the first phase, latency in the second phase dropped considerably in the experimental group but not in the control group. These measures provide a demonstration of the experimental group infants’ increased interest in the object and a decreased interest in the external environment following their experience with “sticky mittens”. This suggests that the learning experience with mittens and the new ability to bring objects closer to their faces motivated babies to keep their attention on the object.

17. The present situation and prospects of the studies on Chinese left-at-home rural countryside children  
Wang X.
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Since early 1980s, China has undergone the course of Opening Policy and social transformation. Due to the fast economic growth in urban cities, a great number of peasant workforce have migrated to towns and cities, or even foreign countries to look for urban jobs. As most of these peasant workers are unable to migrate with their child, consequently, their children became so-called “left-at-home” rural countryside children. In the beginning, little attention has been paid to this special group by the society. However, today the population of “left-at-home” rural countryside children has already exceeded a number of 20 million, and their educational and psychological developmental problems turned out to be remarkable. In 2002, Chinese government has begun to fully recognize the severity of this social problem, while in 2004, more close attention has been paid both from Chinese government and academia. At present, plenty of surveys and studies have been made. Generally, these research could be classified into 4 groups: current situational surveys; quantitative studies on psychological health of left-at-home children, their personality and self-esteem, parenting styles and family function, their social support system and problem behaviors; a small quantity of qualitative studies on the process of how these left-at-home children adapt their daily life; and limited studies on developing questionnaires. During these years, many surveys and studies focusing on left-at-home children have been done, however, the findings have not been well organized and classified. Therefore, in this article the author has first discussed the accurate definition of “left-at-home” rural countryside children. Secondly, the findings of former surveys and studies are summarized, and their insufficiency discussed. Finally, the author has prospected the future studies on Chinese “left-at-home” rural countryside children.

Social psychology, (cross-)cultural issues and political psychology

1. The effects of national identification and perceived solution of inter-ethnic conflicts on the use of linguistic categories (infrahumanization, LIB, agency)‏  
Banga C., László J.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Institute of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

Linguistic inter-group bias is the tendency to describe positive in-group behaviors and negative out-group behaviors more abstractly than negative in-group behaviors and positive out-group behaviors. Infrahumanization paradigm suggests a preferential attribution of “human essence” to in-groups, independently of the valence of emotions. Identification with a nation is usually disentangled into two types: patriotic versus nationalist, and it has a mediating role in inter-group emotions. In our study, the subjects first fulfilled a national identification questionnaire. Then, they were consecutively presented with eight photographs depicting “good” and “bad” historical events as well as positive and negative emotional events where the group-identity of the participants was not identifiable. Labels of the participating groups were systematically varied. We used Hungarian as in-group and Romanian, Polish, Lithuanian, Serbian, Croatian, and Slovakian as out-groups. As dependent variables subjects had to choose between three or four different picture captions. These were varied systematically in linguistic abstraction and in type of emotions (primary versus secondary). Finally, subjects fulfilled a questionnaire about how they perceive the conflicts with these nations. The results showed that subjects with a nationalist attitude expressed a stronger tendency to infrahumanization regardless of the conflict. They also expressed a stronger tendency to linguistic intergroup bias, but only toward those nations with which they perceived an unsolved conflict.

2. Strategies of coping with injustice and justice related beliefs  
Ćubela Adorić V., Tucak Junaković I., Sulić P.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

Supplementing previous research into coping with experiences of injustice, this study aimed at exploring the various strategies people might use in dealing with injustice, and the pattern of their relationships with fundamental beliefs about justice and the (un)justness of the world. A self-reported measure of coping with injustice (Cubela Adoric, 2007), modelled after the existent measures of coping strategies, was administered to an age heterogenous group of adult participants (age range: 20 to 65 years) along with measures of justice centrality and just-world beliefs. The results showed a large number of specific forms of coping with injustice can be interpreted in terms of several dimensions as identified in the relevant literature (e.g., problem focused coping, avoidance, distraction, restructuring, rumination). The reported preference of using some strategies was found to correlate with the importance attached to justice as well as with the fundamental beliefs about the justness of the world. The observed pattern of relationships will be discussed in terms of previous research and theorizing about the functioning of these fundamental beliefs in providing the general interpretative framework for observed injustice.

3. Stereotypes about the elderly: representations from an Italian sample  [presentation, ppt, 301 kB]
Deponte A., Vetere A.
First author's affiliation: University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Elderly people are usually considered a target for stereotyping and discrimination. Recent development in medicine, ways of life and society caused evident changes in the process of aging and new representations of elderly emerged, for example in media and advertising. Is the stereotype of the old person as frail, poor, alone and slow still resistant? Are the “new elderly” converting the social representations about old people in more adequate, more positive, less stereotyped ones? A sample of 569 Italians, from 18 to 79-years-old, were asked to mark in an adjective list the labels that “describe the typical old man/old woman”. Data were analysed separately for the sex of the target, by the mean of hierarchical cluster analysis. Results indicate a variety of social representations, both positive and negative. Therefore, it should be that the elderly are perceived in a more flexible and enriched way. However, this optimistic conclusion has to face the fact that negative representations are prevailing, especially for old men. Furthermore, it has to be proved that the more positive views are not stereotyping, are not simply a more acceptable way to keep elderly people at a distance.

4. The emotional representation of history  
Fülöp É.
University of Pécs, Institute Of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

Our aim in this study was to get a view about the emotional representation of Hungarian history through analyses of history books and stories about historical events told by people. An emotion dictionary was applied with all Hungarian words containing emotional meaning. This dictionary was implemented into NooJ language technological device. By applying local grammars it was possible to handle a large text corpus and to detect emotional expressions while filtering out false matches. Emotions were categorized on the dimensions of valence (positive, negative, neutral) and of human nature (social, basic emotions). These emotion-classes were then used for the examination of various social-psychological models, like that of infrahumanization, inter-group emotion theory and models of collective emotions. We supposed that narrative psychological analyses of social representations of history concerning emotions provide an opportunity to get at the conclusions about the constructions of group identity. We assumed that historical trajectory of a nation may have an effect on emotional representations. East- Middle European national identity has special features: instability of national frames, permanent fear from destruction, and danger of occupation by other nations. In contrast, stable Western nation states allow their people to be relaxed about their national identity. Our results support the notion that characteristics of Hungarian historical trajectory override the phenomena found in other cultures concerning emotions: infrahumanization, IET and collective emotions appear in a specific way in emotional representations of Hungarian history as a consequence of Hungarian historical trajectory.

5. The investigation of group characteristics of attributing intention through the narration of historical events  
Ferenczhalmy R., László J.
First author's affiliation: Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

In a broader sense, the concept of intentionality comprises assigning intentions and mental states to others. In our study we focus on one aspect of attributing intentions, namely, the identification of intention in texts. Our approach is based on Brunner’s distinction between the descriptive and the psychological levels of narration. On the psychological level the interpretation and evaluation appear beyond the pure description of events. In our research we investigate what intentions the narrator assigns to specific agents in the text. We also focus on the interpretation of opportunity and compulsion in the text. Our research group works with the NOOJ language technological tool. We compose dictionaries relevant to the concept of intentionality, and with the help of local grammars this program enables us to do analyses on textual and morpho-syntactic levels. In our research we aimed to analyse the narratives of 10 historical events that bear great significance for the Hungarian national identity. We worked with two corpora: history textbooks used in current Hungarian elementary and secondary schools, and folk historical corpus which incorporates the texts of a representative sample taken from 500 individuals. We regarded these texts as important social representations of national identity. Our main focus was the comparison between the assigned intention to the in- or the outgroup in the description of positive and negative events. According to our hypothesis, in the formation of a positive identity intention will be assigned to the ingroup in the description of positive events, whereas in the description of negative events it will be assigned to the outgroup. We further hypothesize that with the positive events it will be mainly the opportunities, while with the negative events it will be mainly the compulsions that characterize the ingroup. Our results are in concordance with our hypotheses, according to which the representation of national identity can be interpreted in terms of control, responsibility, and agency.

6. Basic personal values and political choice  
Feric I.
Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, Croatia

Modern politics has become increasingly personalized as the individual characteristics of voters, particularly their basic personal values, become decisive for political choice – replacing traditional group interests as the crucial grounding of ideology. An abundant literature reports relations of values to political attitudes and choice. People are inclined to vote for parties whose leaders and policies they perceive as likely to promote or protect the attainment of their own important values. Conversely, they are inclined to vote against those they perceive as likely to frustrate or block the attainment and preservation of the values they cherish. Basic value priorities, through their influence on core political values and on perceptions of candidates and party platforms, can help us understand individual differences in political opinions and attitudes. However, value priorities that are likely to influence political attitudes and behavior are sensitive to the issues prominent in the social milieu. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze what the political choices in the specific sociopolitical context imply for the particular values. The present work examines the role of voters' personal values in their political choice, using the Schwartz (1992) theory of basic personal values. Controlling for some basic demographic variables (age, gender, income and education), the relative contribution of personal values to political choice is assessed, using data from 1130 voters for the major political parties in the Croatian national election of 2007. Hypotheses about the relations between values and political preferences are based on the implications for value attainment of policy differences between the political parties and coalitions. Results show that supporters of the major political parties differ in values largely as hypothesized.

7. Social cohesion and safety perceptions in a multicultural context: When the natives are the minority group  
Giovannini D., Pintus A., Vezzali L., Ferrari B.
First author's affiliation: University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Although several studies suggest that urban environment is experienced as less safe than non-urban one, different areas of the same city may consistently differ with respect to feelings of safety perceived by residents. The aim of this study was to analyze the representations and perceptions of people living in the area close to the railway station (Districts 6 and 7) of Reggio Emilia, where immigrants constitute the majority group, in terms of perceived safety and specific problems linked to the immigration process and intergroup relations. First, we hypothesized that marginalization perceptions occur more for Italians than for immigrant residents. Second, we expected that safety perceptions would be enhanced by social ties, and this relation would be mediated by sense of community. Furthermore, we explored the role of sense of community in fostering a more harmonious climate within the community. Data were collected in two distinct phases: in the first, we conducted deep interview to stakeholders so as to understand the real problems faced from people living in the area; in the second, semi-structured interviews, constructed on the basis of the contents collected in the first step, were conducted with a sample of residents. Results generally confirmed the hypotheses, supporting in particular the role of social cohesion in fostering safety perceptions and satisfaction within the community.

8. Youth participation from school to community  
Gril A.
Educational Research Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The study on youth social participation was conducted among adolescents in the municipality of Ljubljana. The aim of the study was to disclose the social and the personal correlates of youth involvement in the community affairs. We therefore focused on the school enrolled adolescents (from primary (N=816) and secondary schools (N=867) to the university students (N=327)) and their experiences with social participation in the school and in the extracurricular activities. Also, some measures were applied on their social knowledge, attitudes, sociability, locus of control and perception of self-efficacy related to social involvement. The analyses explored the appropriate model which could explain the relations among the extracurricular experiences, social knowledge and motivation for social action. The developmental trajectories of social participation through adolescence were also investigated.

9. Politics and the need for closure – In what sense are people with a higher need for closure more flexible?  
Harsányi S., Csanádi A.
First author's affiliation: University of Szeged and ELTE University, Budapest, Szeged, Hungary

Cognitive style is a theory that explains how and in what ways we organize the pieces of information we have about society and the people living around us. Rokeach, the originator of the theory identified two styles of information processing: an open approach, capable of individual consideration, and a closed one, characterized by less flexibility and refinement. This theory was amended by Kruglanski, who pointed out that cognitive closure is situation dependent and that the motivational background of the individual should be taken into account. Over the last few decades, several authors have found connections between political conservativism and closed thinking, while others argued that a high need for closure is equally present in the political Left. We asked 330 university students to answer the survey we created by translating Kurglanski's original Need for Clousure Scale survey to Hungarian. The survey provides a statistically reliable means of measurement, making it a possible first Hungarian version. In addition, close to half of the respondents (N=150) were asked about their political party preference, level of commitment, and specific ideologies. Our hypothesis was that a higher need for closure is present in proponents of both the political Left and Right. This assumption is partially based on the fact that political parties in Hungary do not have such well defined camps of voters as do the parties in more developed democracies. Our results show that there is no significant difference between conservative and socialist voters in terms of the need for closure, while liberals achieved remarkably lower scores. Another interesting result is that those respondents who have changed their party preference since the last elections (two years ago) showed a higher need for closure than those who have not changed their preference.

10. Elaboration of traumatic historical events in the media – Longitudinal content analytic study of the press coverage of the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy in the Hungarian press from 1920 to 2007  
Ilg B.
University of Pécs, Pilis, Hungary

Research group at the University of Pécs has developed a set of programs for narrative psychological content analysis. These programs are related to social psychological phenomena of inter-group relations in historical narratives. The programs measure agency in inter-group conflicts, collective emotions, primary and secondary emotions, intentionality, cognitive processes, and negation. These computer algorithms also have the capacity to tie psychological “hits” to characters and groups participating in the narrated event. The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which was completed by the Paris Treaties in 1920, was a traumatic experience to Hungarian national identity because of the secession of two thirds of the former territory as well as population of the country. History leading to this event as well as consequences of the Paris Treaty have been discussed in the mass media in details ever since, however in changing length and political orientation depending on the changing historical epochs in the twentieth century. A sample consisting of left wing, liberal and conservative daily news papers was selected for analysis. Sample texts dealing with the Paris Treaty were selected from every fifth year of each journal from 1920 to 2007 arriving at a text corpus of 300 000 characters. This corpus was analyzed with the aforementioned programs looking for differences and changes in emotions, cognitions, negations, group agency and group intentionality. The results show that the elaboration of the trauma is reflected in a decreasing number of negations, increasing cognitions by both in-group and out-group, decreasing intentionality of out-groups for bad deeds, and increasing in-group agency in bad deeds.

11. Perspective and group-membership influences causal attribution of interpersonal verbs  
Kabai P., Pólya T., László J.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs Psychology PhD School, Pécs, Hungary

By the concreteness-abstractness of description of an event, there are other mechanisms, which have impact on causal attribution. Actor-observer bias suggests that actors tend to attribute their actions to situational factors, whereas observers rather use dispositional attribution. Perspective can be manipulated implicitly, by group membership. In our experiment we have varied valence, abstractness of interpersonal verbs, group membership and actor-observer perspective. We performed the latter variation by using mental verbs, e.g., "Petru was aggressive with Mihály" versus "Petru thought he was aggressive with Mihály." Participants were asked to estimate the dispositional and situational causal attribution of the interpersonal events. Linguistic manipulation of the perspective has effects which are in accord with theory of Bertram Malle on actor-observer bias. Results point to the potential linguistic means of alleviating stereotypes.

12. Researching the identity of a city – The case of Osijek, Croatia  
Kamenov Z., Huic T., Huic A.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Citizens of a certain city can, for different reasons, be dissatisfied with the image of their city and be interested in re-positioning people's perception of it to a more favorable one. City branding is a strategic process for developing a long-term vision for a place that influences and shapes positive perceptions. Developing a strategy for city branding first requires an in-depth knowledge of the city identity itself. What are the key characteristics of the city? Which of its symbols are recognized? What are the people like? What is it like to live in it? What are its potentials? It’s advantages and disadvantages? What should the city be like in the future? This paper explains the methodological steps used in researching an identity of a city. The main goal of this research was to assess the identity of the city of Osijek, Croatia. An elaborate research strategy combined both qualitative and quantitative methodology. In-depth interviews with city opinion makers and focus groups with representatives of different areas relevant for the city were conducted. Additionally, 1097 people participated in a detailed survey. These steps enabled us to find out how do people involved in city policy making see Osijek, what citizens of Osijek think about the town they live in, and finally, how citizens from other cities in Croatia perceive it.

13. Cross-cultural comparison of family and friendship influences between adolescents in Croatia, Bosina and Herzegovina, and Macedonia  
Klarin M., Prorokovic A.
First author's affiliation: University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

Recent investigations often emphasize the necessity of cross-cultural comparisons of parenting and friendship influences on different aspects of adolescent behaviour. Unfortunately, the number of cross-cultural studies in this field of research is still very small and most development theories are based on research conducted in western cultures. Therefore, the main goal of this study was to identify the similarities and differences in the perception of parenting and friendship influences between adolescents in three states: Republics of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. As expected, the results (ANCOVA) showed significant differences in family and friendship interactions due to cultural affiliation. The main difference is related to adolescent perception of the quality of family interactions. Adolescents from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia estimate the quality of their family interaction to be better than do adolescents from Croatia. Also, there was a significant difference in family and friendship influences on various specific clusters of adolescents' social behaviour.

14. Identity and behaviour patterns in the text of literary works approached by narrative psychology  
Kopasz F.
University of Pécs, Faculty of Humanities, Institute for Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

Texts of literary works allow handing down the past to generations getting farer and farer from events in time by enabling them to have personal experience of history. They help us to remember, attach and draw behaviour patterns from them. The narrative principle was extended to national identity by Assmann. It is through literary texts that we have a personal experience of the content of belonging together shaped from the interpretation of the common past, history. Since the universal world view of the Middle Ages dissolved coherence between individual members of mankind has been ensured by the feeling and awareness of belonging to a nation, which becomes available to individuals in texts, who turn into members of the social large group through integration into society. The use of narrative psychology as an approach and method for handling the subject of national identity represented in literary texts (primarily in historical novels) has been initiated by János László. The analysis is based on the view as a fact that national identity, the content, issues of the awareness of the nation are closely related to the interpretation of the past of the nation. It is in the wake of these thoughts that we draw a parallel between awareness of the nation and history, culture and identity. The elements of the awareness of the nation arise from the interpretation of history, which interpretation is conveyed to the individual by culture (too). And nation as a social large group provides the individual getting integrated into society with a framework of reference. The novel that provides the basic text of the analysis serves to characterize group identity. The key point is what literature carrying identity conveys to the reader and how this message can be grasped. We highlight elements (of psychological significance) that can be grasped from, are manifested in the quasi statements and constructed world of literature regarding the relation between the individual and the group. We gather types of action, behaviour patterns, evaluating statements; we determine the characters’ functions and the properties implied by actions. The latent levels of meaning of the text readable between the lines, manifested in the background, its stylistic content, aspects of interpretation in literary history are not included in the scope of the narrative psychology analysis. It is in its approach and method that this narrative psychology analysis addressing the issue of identification primarily in historic novels carries a new element.

15. Internet-based public opinion research  
Lamza Posavec V., Rihtar S.
First author's affiliation: Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, Croatia

Internet-based surveys are becoming widely used in social research and are usually conducted through placing survey questions on web-pages or distributing them via e-mail. In public opinion research, results are usually generalized to the total population. In Internet surveying, a major methodological issue stems from the coverage bias: the sampling frame from which the sample is drawn does not match the target population. The main aim of our research was to investigate the possible effect of coverage bias in Internet-based surveys of public opinion in Croatia. Research was conducted in November 2007, on a representative probabilistic sample of adult population of Croatia. Sample included 1130 respondents from 93 communities or 118 sample points. Results were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics and discriminant analysis. According to the results, at the end of 2007, approximately 35% of adult population of Croatia had access to the Internet, and were using it mostly for information search (34%) and e-mail (28%). As expected, Internet users differ significantly from non-users in their demographic and social characteristics (they are younger, better educated, better situated, living in urban communities), but also in their political and social attitudes (they are more critical of the government and their leaders and less satisfied with the situation in society). When comparing the results of the total sample with those of the Internet-users, the observed differences point to a significant bias in almost all of the examined variables of political attitudes and behavior. An additional, important source of bias stems from the unresolved issue of probabilistic sampling, suitable for public opinion research.

16. Are we really Europeans? European identity in Serbia  [presentation, pdf, 289 kB]
Mihic V., Mihic I.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia

The birth of the European Union in the mid 20th century marked the birth of a new social identity which was shared by many, if not all Europeans, both in the EU and outside of it. The main questions raised in regard to this European identity dealt with its possible correlates with national identities in different countries. Although untill very recently most of the researchers dealing with this questions were sociologists and historians, in the last decade or so psychologist have started to claim there rightful place. This paper deals with the following question: is there a sense of belonging to Europe in Serbia, a country which is presently not a part of the EU and will not be its part for years to come? The sample consisted of 451 ethnic Serbs and Hungarians from Serbia, out of whom 47% women and 53% men, of different age and educational levels. The instruments used were STEIN scale (Attitudes toward European integration), collective self-esteem scale (Luhtanen and Crocker), and SDO scale (Sidanius, Pratto, Stallworth, Malle), as well as the European and national identity scale (Cinnirela). The results showed that there were significant differences between Serbs and Hungarians, and that low social dominance orientation and positive attitudes toward European integration are significant correlates of the European identity. We could not find any differences between men and women, as well as between subjects of different age and educational levels. Also, the results show that national and European identities can be perceived as independent types of social identity since there were no significant correlations between the two.

17. Influence of social context on the pain perception: The effect of the passive observer's distance  
Modić Stanke K., Ivanec D.
First author's affiliation: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia

Some previous research has shown that the presence of passive observer in unpleasant (painful) situation increases pain tolerance. However, in such research no attention was paid to the spatial distance of the passive observer from the participant experiencing pain. The goal of this research was to test whether and in what way is the effect of the social context on the experience of pain moderated by spatial distance of the passive observer from the participant. Unpleasant (painful) stimuli were caused by the flow of warm air. Variables measured in this research were pain threshold and tolerance, as well as evaluations of intensity and discomfort of stimuli, and some physiological indicators (pulse, blood pressure, temperature). All participants (N = 36) have passed through two experimental situations - with and without the presence of the passive observer; the only difference being that the spatial distance of the passive observer from one half of the participants (N = 18) was small, while the distance of the passive observer from the rest of the participants (N = 18) was greater. The research results did not confirm statistically significant analgesic effect of the passive observer who was at a greater spatial distance from participants to any pain measure (although such trend was present in pain threshold and tolerance) but did show significant opposite effect of a passive observer at very close distance - his presence lowering pain threshold and tolerance. Such results suggest the potential importance of including personal space as a variable in testing the experience of pain.

18. Hungarian and French economics students' social representations of competition and fraud: A confirmatory study  
Orosz G.
University of Szeged, University of Rheims, Eötvös Lóránd University, Szeged, Hungary

Considering Fülöp et al.'s previous studies, immoral competition is pervasively present in Hungarian business sphere – a phenomenon that can be interpreted as a negative after-effect of the change of regime. Hence, the aim of this research project was to analyze how the moral dimension appears in the next generation of businessmen’s social representations of competition. Hungarian and French economics students with different historical and cultural backgrounds were compared. The results of the first study show that moral dimensions are present, but only in the secondary peripheral part of Hungarians’ representations of competition. Moreover, Hungarian students concentrate on the result of competition, while French students’ representation contains more elements pertaining to the process of competition. Surprisingly, in the Hungarians’ fraud representation, academic cheating was strongly present. 127 Hungarian and 115 French economics students participated in this research; first they had to choose five most typical words from a 20-word list concerning competition and fraud, later they made relations between the 12 most peculiar words. These lists of words were constructed on the base of a previous study. The results of these tasks confirm the first study: French students’ competition representation is more self-developmental than that of Hungarian students, whose representation focuses on the results and not the manner of competition. In Hungarian’s social representation of fraud, academic cheating again appeared significantly more frequently than among their French peers. Previous studies show that academic cheating is more prevalent where goal orientation is more important (Hungarian students) than self-developmental aspects (French students). Moreover, former studies found a strong correlation between academic cheating and workplace frauds, which proves the importance of academic cheating in the socialization of dishonesty in the business sphere.

19. Moral emotions and political choice  
Rihtar S., Lamza Posavec V.
First author's affiliation: Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, Croatia

Numerous studies in the area of global impression formation have shown that morality and competence form two separate and most important clusters of traits (with a strong evaluative component) in person perception, including perception, evaluation and choice of political actors. Although moral information is more easily processed than information about competence, moral impressions are stronger and more resistant to change than impressions about competence, contrary to the expectations of dual processing models. The assumption that moral emotions might be partly responsible for this phenomenon was verified in public opinion research, conducted prior to the parliamentary elections in 2007 on a nationally representative sample of adults in Croatia. Results have shown that moral emotions are, in addition to perceived competence and morality of political actors, significant and stronger predictors of political choice, that negative moral emotions are better predictors of political animosity than positive of political sympathy, and, finally, that moral emotions are more responsible for the polarization of voters and public in general than other criteria of political choice.

20. Emotional representations of historical events found in Hungarian history textbooks  
Somogyi L.
University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

As part of an extended research aiming to investigate the narratives of 20th century historical events as they appear in Hungarian history textbooks, the focus of this study was to assess visual representations in the form of images and illustrations to measure the levels of emotional processing of specific events in respect to the Kubler-Ross (1969) grief model. Utilizing qualitative methods, 42 illustrations together with their short explanations were examined and ranked on grief scale from denial to acceptance. These illustrations, serving as beacons by the author(s), may represent how Hungarians over the last hundred years have come in terms with events emotionally. Findings indicate that emotional processing of some events has not been fully completed in the examined period.

21. How do we care about justice: Relationships among various justice related beliefs in Croatian adults  
Sulić P., Ćubela Adorić V., Tucak Junaković I.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

Based on previous research and theorizing about why and how people care about justice, the current study aimed at exploring the relationships among several forms of self-reported justice concerns in an age heterogeneous group of Croatian adults. The participants completed self-report measures of the beliefs in the (un)justness of the world, justice centrality, sensitivity to injustice from three perspectives (victim, observer, and beneficiary), and of the attitudes toward justice at the societal level. As expected, the beliefs in a just and an unjust world correlated negatively. However, both beliefs were found to correlate positively with the importance attached to justice, as indicated by the justice centrality. Justice centrality was also positively related to justice sensitivity from all perspectives, whereas the beliefs in just and unjust world showed a somewhat different pattern of relationships with justice sensitivity variables. Along with the pattern of correlations between these variables and the evaluation of societal (un)fairness (which spread across several domains), these results provide support for the notion that a genuine concern and strive for justice is mostly reflected in the belief in the justness of the world as well as in the justice sensitivity from observer and beneficiary perspectives. The victim sensitivity and the belief in the unjustness of the world seem to reflect a more negative focus in evaluating the (un)fairness and a more self-focused rather than other-focused concern for justice. In general, the results suggest that the various forms of caring about (in)justice can be reliably assessed and differentiated in adults of various age using the measures that are being developed in the studies with younger (mostly student) participants.

22. "Beyond the age of innocence" - Adolescents’ beliefs about the institutions of democratic society  
Szabó É.
University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary

The aim of our study was to explore the way Hungarian teenagers (age 17) think about the institutions of democratic society and whether they trust them. A survey (Likert-type scale) was conducted on 649 secondary school youngsters born in the time of dramatic social and political changes in Hungary. Unlike their parents who were socialized in the communist era they grew up in the new plural political system. The teens’ beliefs are constructed on the basis of their parents’ experiences as well as their own specific ones. We supposed that because of this kind of socialization their views on politics are quite confused and they don't trust democratic institutions (e.g. law - jurisdiction, politicians, elections) either. The outcomes of the study support this hypothesis. The interviewees do trust neither the democratic institutional system nor its politicians. They believe that the administration of justice is especially unreliable. Their attitudes toward participation in the elections are also ambivalent.

23. Dreaming of the American Dream – Investigating the representations of social differences in the function of family socialization  
Szabo B.
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

The most important source of children’s socialization is the family. In this environment we obtain important information which is crucial for latter adaptive functioning in society. Occasionally, this natural process discontinues and the functions of the family are assigned to another institution. The following study examines the effects of different social contexts through children’s representations about social differences. Our research investigates the differences and similarities in the conceptions about wealth and poverty among Hungarian pupils growing up in families and their peers who don't have this kind of stable family background and socialization. We compared the ideas of nearly a hundred primary school pupils (average age=10,2 years) living in families with different socio-economical status and the conceptions of nearly 40 children in State Custody (average age=10,4 years) living in children’s home or at foster parents. Based upon the children’s drawings and structural interviews, we compared the groups’ representations along several indices (e.g. physical, psychological, as well as social characteristics of poor and wealthy people, the causes of their social position, or the degree of reality or fantasy in the drawings). Preliminary results indicate that the representations of children in State Custody differ from the children in families along several lines. We found particular differences in the degree of reality connected to social positions and in the tendency of the attributions. Poverty appears like a hard fact, while wealth is revealed like a kind of an idealized dream in these children’s representations. The results show the dominant effect of the social context on the formation of children's views besides the characteristics of age. Implications of these results are discussed in order to reveal new investigational directions for developing the programs for development and integration.

24. Does the perceived solution of historical conflicts have an effect on linguistic intergroup bias and infrahumanization?  
Szabo Z. P., Laszlo J.
First author's affiliation: University of Pecs Psychology Department, Pecs, Hungary

This study examined linguistic intergroup bias and infrahumanization in relation to historical conflicts between national groups. Linguistic intergroup bias is the tendency to describe positive in-group behaviors and negative out-group behaviors more abstractly than negative in-group behaviors and positive out-group behaviors (Maas et al, 1989; 1996). To illustrate the LIB, the Linguistic Category Model (LCM) was used in this current research (Semin and Fiedler, 1989; 1991). We also tried to examine the hypothesis of infrahumanization which suggests a preferential attribution of the “human essence” to in-groups, independent of in-group favoritism (Haslem et al, 2005; Leyens et al, 2003). We tried to measure the perceived solution of historical conflicts. In this way a historical conflict is placed on a continuum between "terminated" and "unterminated". We also tried to examine whether the type of identification with one's nation influences linguistic bias and infrahumanization or not (Roccas&Klar, 2006). In our first study participants were presented with single-frame drawings in which a people performed a certain behavior. The people on the drawings were introduced as a typical Austrian, Hungarian, Lithuanian or Romanian people. We used a fixed-response scale format controlling for the level of abstractness developed from LCM. We also asked the participants to choose primary and secondary emotions which the picture target might felt. In our second study participants were presented with the same drawings, but this time we used a free-response format. We also asked the participants to rate primary and secondary emotions which the picture target might felt. The participants of our studies only showed linguistic bias and infrahumanization towards out-group members where the in-group and the out-group have an unsolved historical relationship. The type of identification had no effect on linguistic bias and infrahumanization.

25. Frequency of active and passive verbs in history narratives  
Szalai K.
University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Agency – the ability to act effectively (Hamilton, 2007) – is a major component in social perception and identity studies. It makes a difference whether we see other people as actively shaping their life as opposed to being passive recipients of events. Similarly, our own capacity of agency or our group’s capacity to cope actively with challenges reflect important aspects of individual and group (national) identity. Activity appears in narrative texts mainly through the use of active and passive verbs. Implicit semantics of verbs has been studied previously in several psychological paradigms (LCM, Semin and Fiedler, 1989, 1991; LIB, Maas et al.). We have developed a verb dictionary with two major categories: active versus passive. We inserted this dictionary into the NooJ language technological device (Silberztein, 2008), that has the capacity to build local grammars for identifying language patterns in context. Our program is therefore not a mere dictionary, but performs morphological and grammatical analyses as well. Using this program we tested the ingroup–outgroup asymmetry phenomena in Hungarian history textbooks and narratives of Hungarian people. Results show that there appears much more agency for the ingroup in positive stories than in negative ones, while for the outgoup the situation is reversed.

26. History and its comprehension – Cognitive infrahumanization in contemporary history textbooks and lay narratives  
Vincze O.
University of Pecs, Institute of psychology, Pecs, Hungary

Infrahumanization is currently one of the most studied topics in social psychology. Several studies have pointed out that people tend to ascribe the essential human characteristics to the ingroup, while these characteristics are denied to the outgroup. This phenomenon was demonstrated to be related to emotions (Leyens et. al. 2000) and also, in a broader sense, to mental states (Kozak, 2006). The psychological significance of this latter, the so called cognitive infrahumanization was the focus of our research. Ten historical events as portrayed in contemporary history schoolbooks and in lay narratives were analyzed according to the distribution of cognitive state verbs and expressions. Results show that while history textbooks tend to ascribe cognitive sates in an equal proportion to in- and outgroup, in lay narratives in the case of negative events cognitive actions are attributed almost exclusively to the outgroup.

27. Communication and meaning construction in social psychology: Group polarization as a communication process  [presentation, pdf, 178 kB]
Vodušek V.
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Communication is the medium and the dynamic principle of all social psychological processes and structures as they can be found in everyday life. Mainstream experimental social psychology tends to neglect this fact both in theory and methodology: quantification being the sine qua non, it has to define it's subject matter »outside of« the dynamics of communication, thereby crucially altering the very reality of the phenomena it seeks to explain. In my presentation I shall try to form a bridge between the qualitative and the quantitative approach by showing how a social psychological process – group polarization – can be approached not only »inside« communication but as a communication process. For this purpose I shall present the main findings of an in-depth discourse analysis of the discussions that are an integral part of the classic group polarization experiment. I am going to deal with two main issues: (i)The presupposition of the attitude scale used in such experiments is a »stable« attitude object that is »essentially the same« both from a synchronic and a diachronic perspective. The implication is that individuals evaluate the same thing, only with different intensity and/or value. Using representative examples from discussions, I am going to show that participants with opposite evaluations find very different meanings when discussing the same statements (comprising the attitude scale): the very reading of the statements is a function of the overall object evaluation. (ii)The meaning of the scale items (and thereby the structure of the attitude object itself) undergoes transformation through the discussion: the group strives to form a joint reading of each item when reaching a consensus on the item rating. When the group is attitudinally homogeneous, the reading of an item tends to simplify, leading to more extreme ratings. When the group is heterogeneous, the reading tends to complexify, leading to more moderate ratings. Attitude objects are therefore communicatively constructed, "attitude change" being the consequence of a specific communication setting.

Educational psychology

1. Are girls really socially more competent than boys?  
Ajdišek N., Pečjak S.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Social skills include different behaviours which help an individual to enter and interact in interpersonal relations. On the other hand, these skills are also learnt through the very same experience. Social skills are also an important factor of students' acceptance and popularity among their peers, and also a factor of their academic achievement. In our research we were interested in the way teachers assessed students' social skills. 907 students participated in the study, of which 470 were 7th grade primary school students (231 boys and 239 girls), and 437 3th grade secondary school students (176 boys and 261 girls). Merrell's School Social Behaviour Scales (1992) were used for the assessment of students' social skills and class teachers filled in the questionnaire for each participating student. The questionnaire includes six subscales, of which the first three refer to adaptive, prosocial behaviour in school situations, e.g. students' social competence (peer relations, self management/compliance, and academic behaviour). Other three subscales describe socially incompetent behaviour which is directed against others and leads to socially negative outcomes (hostile/irritable behaviour, antisocial-aggressive behaviour, and defiant/disruptive behaviour). Results of the two-way ANOVA showed teachers assessed girls as socially more competent on all subscales regardless of their school level. Academic behaviour was the only subscale on which there were significant differences between primary and secondary school students – primary school students were assessed higher than secondary school students, although again at both levels girls scored higher. The results bring up a question whether girls are really socially more skilled or perhaps our findings just reflect teachers’ perceptions, which might be biased. Further on, the results lead us to think what is it that contributes to better (perceived) social skills of girls and how to form such learning situations which will support development of social competence for all students, boys and girls.

2. Social skills in psychology students  [presentation, ppt, 5249 kB]
Arnaudova S., Trajkov I., Denkova F.
First author's affiliation: Faculty of Philosophy, Skopje, Macedonia

The lack of information concerning the social skills in students of helping professions (psychologists, social workers, pedagogues, and special educators) is a very big problem. Students, as future experts in the helping professions, have to communicate appropriately with the people, community and social services, and institutions for being successful in their job and relations with their clients. In this research, we have used qualitative and quantitative methods to measure empathy, altruism, and assertiveness in psychology students. The results showed that there is a positive relation between the level of empathy and altruism, and a negative relation between the level of empathy and assertiveness in psychology students. Also, there are significant differences in the birth order, gender, year of study, the quality and the quantity of the education in the field (practical work) that they have participated in during the studies. The obtained results can not be generalized to all helping professions because of the sample limitation, but they are significant for seeing the current state in regards of the examined characteristics and for building a strategy for their improvement. At the same time, the results present a significant indicator that confirms the idea of redesigning the current study programs that would provide opportunities for the present students to get the needed competencies for providing their professional success.

3. The effect of motivational beliefs and strategies on study performance in elementary, middle, and high school students  
Cornoldi C., De Beni R., Meneghetti C.
First author's affiliation: Department of General Psychology, Padova, Italy

Many students present severe school difficulties and some of them are related with strategic and motivational factors. The present paper will illustrate a model for examining these issues and a study which was focused on study strategies. In both studies we used an Italian standardized instrument called AMOS 8-15 (Cornoldi, De Beni, Zamperlin, & Meneghetti, 2005) devoted to measure motivation, strategies, and study performance. The model analyzes how motivational beliefs and strategic aspects influence study performance and was tested, in a first series of studies, with students in elementary school (age 8-10), middle school (11-14), and first year high school (15). Results of multigroup analysis showed that in all students groups, the relations between motivational beliefs and strategic aspects were confirmed. However in elementary and middle school motivational beliefs have direct influence on study performance, whereas in high school they influence performance through strategy use. In a second series of studies devoted to examine the specific role of strategies, we selected groups of students, with good and poor study skills respectively, and we asked them to rate their knowledge and actual use of good and less adequate study strategies. Results showed that all students reported using strategies to a lesser extent that should be expected on the basis of their estimated importance, but they were all able to distinguish between poor and good strategies. However, students with poor study skills were less able to make this distinction and were less consistent in matching their knowledge to their use of strategies. It is concluded that strategic use and consistency play a crucial role in successful studying.

4. Doing it now or later? Correlates, predictors and prevention of academic, decisional and general procrastination among students in Austria  [presentation, pdf, 3035 kB]
Essau C. A., Ederer Fick E., O’Callaghan J., Aschemann B.
First author's affiliation: School of Human and Life Sciences, Roehampton University, Whitelands College, London, United Kingdom

Procrastination has been defined as the tendency to postpone what is necessary to reach some goal. Because of its negative consequences (e.g., poor grades, course withdrawal, engagement in self-handicapping behaviour, low self-confidence and self-esteem), higher education policy is called upon to deal with the problem of procrastination, especially in light of the increasing average duration of studies. This study, in which 480 Austrian students participated, is unique because of its inclusion of a wide range of psychological constructs found to be related to procrastination. The following set of questionnaires was used: Procrastination Assessment Scale-Students (Solomon & Rothblum, 1984), Decisional Procrastination Scale (Mann, 1982), General Procrastination Scale (Lay, 1986), Self-Regulation Questionnaire (Carey et al., 2004), Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Frost et al., 1990), Ways of Coping Checklist (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) and Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995). Academic, decisional and general procrastination was found to be, to a significant degree, negatively correlated with self-regulatory behaviour, organization and problem-focused coping, whereas all three types of procrastination were, to a significant degree, associated positively with emotion-focused coping, depression and anxiety. Furthermore, self-regulation and organization were found to be the outstanding predictors of all three types of procrastination. Consequently, our prevention programme against procrastination is focused on project management tools (time and content planning and monitoring) on the one hand, and the strengthening of intellectual and motivational personal resources on the other hand. A progress plan for a thesis project will be introduced. Dividing the project into subtasks (modules), as it is common practice in project management, supports self-regulation, organization and problem-focused coping, thus facilitating the prevention of procrastination.

5. Food and sensory experiences: Testing the efficacy of an educational project in the primary school of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region   
Gellini G., Agostini T.
First author's affiliation: University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

It is well known that individual food preferences are strictly dependent on social, cultural, and cognitive factors. More recently, the relevance of the genetic component in determining people taste has been shown as well (Bufe et al., 2005; Mennella et al., 2005). In children, it is quite frequent to observe food neophobia, an unwillingness to ingest unfamiliar foods (Birch, 1980; Pliner & Loewen, 1997), which appears to be especially strong regarding vegetables. In the present research, we have tested the efficacy of a food educational method to promote correct alimentation behaviour in children. A selected sample of 340 students of Friuli Venezia Giulia primary school has been treated for three months with a sensory-cognitive didactic approach. The intervention focused on three main treatments: sensory literacy, food and drink guided testing, and didactic vegetable garden. Ad hoc prepared questionnaire has been used in the test and re-test phases of the research. Data show that children significantly changed their alimentary preferences toward a more extensive choice of wholesome foods that were experienced during the didactic phases of the research. Furthermore, the re-test revealed that children, after the treatment, increase their capabilities to argue their own food preferences.

6. Psychological correlates of blended learning in higher education  
Kada O., Brunner E., Zwischenberger R.
First author's affiliation: Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS), Feldkirchen, Austria

Blended learning, a combination of traditional teaching and e-learning (Akkoyunlu & Yılmaz-Soylu, 2008), is becoming increasingly important in higher education. It can be assumed that psychological variables – like self-efficacy (Bandura, 1966), attitudes (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) and past behaviour (Velicer & Prohaska, 2008) which have proven useful in the prediction of primarily health behaviour – play a role in the use of blended learning. This assumption was confirmed in several studies. In the context of e-learning Johnson et al. (2008) identified application-specific computer self-efficacy as a significant predictor of course instrumentality, performance and satisfaction. Furthermore, computer self-efficacy predicted nursing students’ intention to use online courses (Tung & Chang, in press, 2008). Computer self-efficacy also predicted attitudes towards computing as well as computing competence (Downey & McMurtrey, 2007). A positive attitude towards e-learning is correlated with a high intensity of computer use and greater experiences with computer-based and web-based training (Link & Marz, 2006). The association of these psychological variables in the context of blended learning in healthcare management study courses of the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS) will be investigated. A questionnaire measuring the following aspects was developed: past experience with the blended learning tools of the CUAS, blended learning specific self-efficacy, attitudes towards blended learning, perceived usefulness for study and workplace, and intention to use web applications in the workplace. Students of healthcare management will be surveyed. Full-time and part-time students will be compared. The results will help to identify students in need for additional support. Offering students access to blended learning tools and helping them develop a positive attitude might encourage the use of such technologies in workplace learning.

7. Personal epistemology of students  [presentation, ppt, 88 kB]
Konrad E.
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Personal epistemology is the study of how individuals develop a conception of knowledge and knowledge acquisition, and how they use that conception to understand the world (Hofer, 2002). This study has become an area of growing interest in educational research, with far reaching implications for teaching and learning practices and knowledge management in different organizational setting. The underlying assumption has been that in learning situations where individuals are systematically confronted with the need to acquire new knowledge, the way in which they perceive and approach the process of knowing is, to some extent, influenced by their beliefs about knowledge, knowing, and learning. In early work, Perry (1970) concluded that the lack of congruence between the conceptions of learning held by university undergraduates and their teachers was responsible for some learning difficulties, particularly where students saw knowledge as simple, certain and authority based, while teachers stressed ambiguity and conflicting truths. Perry proposed a qualitative developmental framework of nine stages to describe the changes in epistemological positions of college student. This framework influenced the development of quantitative measures of personal epistemology that are more convenient for research. The central hypothesis of the present work is that personal epistemology of students develops from more naive to more mature state. To test this hypothesis, epistemological beliefs of samples of student before enrolment in university, the first psychology students and the fourth year psychology students were compared. Epistemological beliefs were measured with the adaptation of Schommer Epistemological Questionnaire (1990) which includes 12 characteristic beliefs that characterize the naive views about knowledge and learning. The resulting comparisons did not confirm the expected pattern of results. Such results are major challenge for considering the improvement in the quality of the psychology students study.

8. Interpersonal relationships and academic achievement – (how) are they interrelated in different periods of schooling?  [presentation, ppt, 2039 kB]
Košir K., Pečjak S.
First author's affiliation: Visoka poslovna šola Doba Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia

In the past, academic and social variables were considered as two completely separated aspects of motivation. Recently, these beliefs have been changing radically; namely, academic and social variables can be intertwined in a number of ways. Two most frequent and important forms of social relations that students form and maintain in school are relations to teachers and to peers. The main purpose of the study was to examine the relation between both kinds of social relations and academic variables in different school periods. 1159 students from three different periods of schooling covering the age range from late childhood through early to middle adolescence participated in the study. Different models of relations between social and academic variables were tested using structural equation modeling. The results show that the mediating variables included (well-being in school and academic engagement) do not explain the relation between social relations and academic achievement. In younger students, peer relations are related to students’ academic achievement, which does not hold true for both older age groups. Relations to teachers are related to students’ academic outcomes in all periods of schooling. The results also suggest that the method of data assessment is a very important factor of establishing the relations between variables. Self-report as a source used in a lot of educational research seems to be quite unreliable measure of students’ social and academic characteristics. Therefore, multiple sources should be used for the assessment of students’ characteristics.

9. How anxiety and self-efficacy affect school performance: Mediating role of learning and coping strategies  [presentation, ppt, 787 kB]
Loncaric D.
University of Rijeka, Faculty of Teacher Education, Rijeka, Croatia

Anxiety and self-efficacy are among best investigated correlates of academic achievement. There is considerable empirical evidence suggesting that self-efficacy is one of the best motivational predictors of learning and achievement outcomes. Anxiety has somewhat more complex relationship with academic achievement. Zeidner (1998) points out that high level of anxiety usually leads to less adaptive cognitive processing and lower achievement, while Garcia and Pintrich (1994) suggest that some students can be motivated by anxiety to try harder and study more, thus increasing their achievement. Numerous researches have also investigated different mediating variables, usually focusing on cognitive learning strategies. This research aims to broaden our understanding of self-efficacy and anxiety effects on academic achievement using both learning strategies and coping with school failure strategies as mediators. Croatian upper elementary students (213 boys and 238 girls; 11-14 years of age) participated in this investigation. The self-reports were gathered by the Self-Regulated Learning Components Scale and Academic Stress Coping Scale (Loncaric, 2006, 2008). The results showed that learning and coping strategies fully mediate anxiety and self-efficacy effects. Some inconsistent mediation effects were identified, explaining inconsistencies in previous empirical research. For example, test anxiety has negative effect on the school achievement via the increase in the use of the emotion-protective disengagement coping strategy and surface cognitive processing learning strategy, and positive effect on academic achievement via the increase in the use of the (meta)cognitive control circle learning strategy. Also, some artificial direct effects of self-efficacy onto academic achievement appear only in the models that do not consider coping strategies as mediators. This finding is discussed and interpreted as model misspecification error.

10. Conditions and effects of teachers’ motivation: Perspectives on self-determination theory  
Müller F. H., Hanfstingl B., Andreitz I.
First author's affiliation: University of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria

The theoretical basis of the study is a multidimensional perspective of motivation, the so-called self-determination theory (SDT) of Deci and Ryan (2002). The theory proposes that perceived support of basic psychological needs (support of autonomy, support of competence, and social relatedness) are associated with intrinsic motivation or self-determined forms of extrinsic motivation. Accordingly, SDT proposes taxonomy of types of regulation for extrinsic motivation that differ in the degree to which they represent self-determination (continuum of regulation from controlled to autonomous, from amotivated to intrinsically motivated). Following this theoretical approach and taking the study of Pelletier and his colleagues (2002) into account the following research questions for our study can be formulated: (1) If teachers perceive their working conditions as supportive and feel free from pressure, will they be highly motivated (self-determined) and will they create supportive learning environments for their students?(2) If students’ basic needs in the classroom are satisfied, will they perceive themselves as self-determined?(3) Do self-determined students show more interest, a higher content-related self-concept, and less fear in classroom? The study was performed in mathematics and science classes. The sample includes about 1400 students and 60 teachers from Austrian secondary schools. The results of a structural equation model show that perceived pressure/support from the school system as well as from the single school is directly and indirectly associated with teachers’ self-determination, classroom instruction and students self-determined learning motivation. The study seeks to make both a theoretical and practical contribution.

11. Sociostructural, psychosocial, personality, and educational profile of students from different schools of Slovenian secondary education  
Musil B.
University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia

The contribution is aimed to present some results and findings from several studies, conducted among Slovenian secondary school students in years from 2005 to 2008. In all presented studies the students of different upper secondary, technical and vocational schools from public and private sphere were compared according to sociostructural variables (socioeconomic conditions, family size), psychosocial (parental closeness and control, anomy, alienation), personality (self-esteem, social anxiety, locus of control) and educational variables (school achievement, perception of past education, school attachment). In partial studies some other psychosocial and psychological variables were processed (values, achievement motivation, narcissism, intellectual ability). Distinctive patterns of students from different types of schools were further analyzed to gain more detailed picture of Slovenian secondary education sphere.

12. Primary and secondary school students’ academic motivation and achievement in math and Slovene language  [presentation, ppt, 245 kB]
Peklaj C., Puklek Levpušček M.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The aim of the study was to examine different aspects of students’ academic motivation and its effects on students’ achievement in two different school subjects (math and Slovene language). The sample consisted of 470 students (321 boys and 239 girls) who attended the seventh grade of the primary school and 437 students (176 boys and 262 girls) who attended the third grade of the secondary school in the school year 2006/07. Students’ academic motivation in math and Slovene language was assessed by different scales of PALS (Midgley et al., 2000): school related beliefs and strategies (academic self-handicapping strategies, scepticism about the relevance of school for future success), personal achievement goal orientations (mastery, performance-approach and performance-avoidance) and academic self-efficacy. Students’ grades in the previous academic year and their final grades in both subjects were also collected. The results showed negative and low correlations between self-handicapping and scepticism and achievement in both subjects in primary and secondary school students. Patterns of correlations between achievement goal orientations and self-efficacy and achievement in math and Slovene language were different for primary and secondary school students. Further analyses showed that students’ previous achievement was the best predictor of student current achievement at both school levels and in both subjects. In addition, school related beliefs and motivational dimensions added significantly to the prediction of the final grades. Among the motivational dimensions, self-efficacy was a significant predictor for the primary students’ final grades in math and Slovene language. On the other hand, mastery goal orientation significantly predicted the secondary students’ final grades.

13. Model of reading comprehension for primary school students  [presentation, ppt, 310 kB]
Pečjak S., Kolić-vehovec S., Ajdišek N., Rončević B., Podlesek A.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Reading comprehension is an indicator of reading literacy and it is also significantly related to the process of learning and students’ academic outcomes. There are different (meta)cognitive, motivational and emotional factors that contribute to reading comprehension. In our study 470 5th and 9th grade primary school students were included, of which 225 were boys and 245 girls. We proposed two confirmatory models of reading comprehension, one for younger and one for older students. Several factors were included in the models: (meta)cognitive factors (vocabulary, reading speed, summarizing, and metacognitive reading awareness), motivational factors (reading interest and reading competency), and emotional factors (feelings during recreational reading and academic reading). Models show direct and indirect effects of evaluated factors on students' reading comprehension which has further on important implications for educational praxis.

14. Reflective writing as a part of quality learning: Students’ perceptions of reflective writing task  [presentation, ppt, 54 kB]
Saric M.
Filozofska fakulteta Univerze v Ljubljani, Ljubljana, Slovenia

This paper explores the role of reflection in the learning process within a framework of the broader literature on theoretical approaches to reflection in learning, particularly on the experiential learning. There are different ways in which reflection is evidenced (e. g. conversation, learning journals) – the focus of this report is on reflective writing. This is followed by the presentation of an undergraduate experiential learning course, in which some elements of reflective writing have been used. The aim of this study was to explore written reflection in the learning process according to the learning objectives of the course. Additionally, we also wanted to examine the students’ perception of some of the elements of this task. The findings indicated that the students’ personal reflection of their own learning in written form is an important part of the learning process, and the students’ views supported the proposed usefulness of reflective writing. Some suggestions to change the future course design in order to enhance the effects of the task of reflective writing in terms of experiential learning are proposed. Furthermore, we address the question whether and/or how student written reflections should be assessed. It is concluded that by encouraging students to write reflectively about their own learning we can enhance the quality of learning.

15. Affective-motivational processes, parents’ behaviour perception and achievement in music theory  [presentation, ppt, 1653 kB]
Smolej Fritz B., Peklaj C., Bajec B.
First author's affiliation: Krsko Elementary Music School, Krsko, Slovenia

In the present study, we were interested in students’ achievement in Music theory (MT), which is a basic and obligatory subject in elementary music schools in Slovenia. It was supposed that students’ achievement should be related to different affective- motivational processes as well as to some factors of parent’s behaviour perception. 457 fifth and sixth grade students from elementary music schools in Slovenia (153 boys and 303 girls) participated in the study. Their mean age was 13 years and 8 months. Two questionnaires were constructed for the purposes of this study: The Music Theory Affective-Motivational Processes Questionnaire (MTAMPQ) and The Perception of Parents’ Behaviour Questionnaire (PPBQ) as well as The Music Theory Achievement Test (MTAT). Factor analysis of MTAMPQ revealed four different factors: perception of applicability and the importance of MTL, anxiety, competence and interest and perception of difficulty at auditory tasks. Factor analysis of PPBQ also revealed four different factors: help and encouragement, disapproval, lack of control and autonomy support. Final grades in Music theory were also collected. Results confirmed that affective-motivational processes as well as aspect of parents’ behaviour perception are positively related to measures of students’ achievement in MT. Anxiety and disapproval are important predictors of achievement accessed by MTAT, explaining 10% of its variance, while competence and interest, anxiety, help and encouragement, and disapproval are important predictors of final grades, explaining 36 % of its variance. We can conclude that affective-motivational processes and aspect of parent’s behaviour perception can better predict final grades in MT than achievement on MTAT. Possible reasons for such results were discussed as well as implications for further research and practice.

16. Identifying the patterns of students’ goal orientations  
Sorić I., Burić I., Vulić-prtorić A.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Zadar, Croatia

There are a number of different models of goal orientations in academic settings that have been developed by different researchers. The most of these models propose two general goal orientations that concern the reasons students are pursuing when approaching and engaging in a learning task. They are labelled learning and performance goals (Pintrich, 2003). Niemivirta (1996) distinguished a third type of goal orientation: work-avoidance goal orientation. The aim of this study was to examine classification of students into groups considering different goal orientations and to compare those groups in some other variables relevant for self-regulated learning process (gender, general self-esteem, academic self-efficacy, values, perceived academic control, academic achievement and expectancy of future academic achievement). The participants were 335 adolescents (aged between 13 and 17 years) which completed the questionnaires anonymously during a regularly scheduled classroom period. K-means cluster analysis was used to classify students into four groups according to their pattern of goal orientations: first group consisted of students with very low score on learning goal orientation and very high score on performance and work-avoidance goal orientations; second group consisted of students with very low score on learning and performance goals and very high score on work-avoidance goal orientations; third group included students with very high score on all goal orientations and fourth group included students with very high score on learning orientations and low score on performance and work-avoidance orientations. Obtained statistical analyses revealed differences between identified groups of students concerning their academic self-efficacy, learning task value, perception of academic control, and expectancy of future academic achievement. Particularly, the second group students have the lowest self-esteem, the lowest perceived academic control, the lowest expectancy of future achievement and they do not value learning tasks very highly.

Psychotherapy, clinical, counseling and health psychology

1. Meta analysis of the research conducted in the field of some obstetric risk factors for postpartum depression in Iran within 1995-2005  
Bahadoran P., Ehsanpoor S., Abedi A., Shokrani S.
First author's affiliation: Isfahan University of Medical Science, Isfahan, Iran

Mood disorders including postpartum depression are among the most important mental health disorders in postpartum period. There are numerous independent studies conducted in Iranian scientific and research centers but their meta analytic evaluation can yield practical and precise result. This is a meta analytic research using Hunter and Schmiedt approach. The subjects comprised 11 research projects and dissertations conducted in Iran within 1995-2005 based on a standard check list. The researches based on methodological parameters entered the study. The check list validity and reliability were respectively confirmed by content validity and consistency index. After summarizing the results, the effect size was calculated and combined based on meta-analysis approach and then commented according to Cohen chart. According to the calculated effect size, the finding of this research for postpartum depression revealed two factors with low association (pariety, type of delivery) and one factor with almost moderate association (unwanted pregnancy) with postpartum depression. The results are indicating importance of the detection and prevention of unwanted pregnancy by educating the spouses, family and health team staffs for an efficient step in women's health promotion.

2. Back to life, back to the origins -Thoughts and experiences about The Focusing method   
Bencze E.
University of Pécs, PHD School in Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

In the beginning of our lives we organise our experiences about the world, about our relations and even about ourselves through body felts and body impressions. Our self is organised through the relative persistence and unity of the body in space and in time, as well as through the body felts (posture, condition of the muscles, skin - the so called skin-ego, smell, flavour, sound). The development of the infant later opens new self-senses and organising powers for the todler that will operate and form together continuously with the first sense of an emergent self by Stern. Focusing is a kind of relaxation technique grew out by Gendlin. The aim of focusing is to pay attention to the felt senses of the body and the images, words, smells, memories or sounds that adjunct to them. Our deeper and wiser self („the body”) that knows the background and the relations of our problems, and even the specific, individual and creative, therefore effective solutions of them. In my presentation I would like to point out the connection between the methodological elements of focusing (trance-like state, glaze, clearing a space, felt sense, handle, resonating, mirroring) and the early, preverbal development through the narrative analyses of interviews that were made by university students (n=50) who had participated in focusing groups.

3. Investigating risky sexual behaviour – A mission (im)possible?  
Brajović T., Brunner E.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Although the number of adolescent pregnancies has declined since the 2000 in Slovenia, and condoms are used relatively frequently (Pinter et. al., 2006), investigating adolescent risky sexual behaviour (RSB) still appears to be necessary. Most of the studies being conducted so far have been oriented only towards limited aspects of RSB (e.g. intentions, attitudes), although this behaviour appears to be associated with various factors such as characteristics of the individual (specific emotions before/during/after the sexual intercourse with a partner), of the developmental stage (e.g. personal fable) and social interactions with others (e.g. negotiating safer sex). Developing an inventory for measuring RSB of adolescents is afflicted with some difficulties: operationalizing domains of RSB; forming items of high content validity which are going to include behaviours and situations in which (risky) sexual behaviour of adolescents occurs; application of qualitative and/or quantitative methods and theories essential for explaining RSB. The lack of definitions of RSB in the literature also makes it difficult to form such an instrument. Based on the knowledge presented on the poster, a questionnaire of RSB for adolescents was developed. It is going to be used in a research focusing on the connection between RSB and psychological characteristics of adolescents. Thus, the poster represents the announcement of a future research of RSB which is going to have some theoretical as well as some practical implications - for example designing contemporary programmes for adolescent health promotion.

4. Depressive, anxiety and stress symptoms among young people from three European countries and correlations between psychological distress and rumination, procrastination, perfectionism and coping  [presentation, pdf, 1767 kB]
Ederer Fick E. M., Essau C., O’Callaghan J., Bokszczanin A., Sasagawa S.
First author's affiliation: University of Graz, Department of Education, Special Education Unit, Graz, Austria

Psychological distress such as depression, anxiety and stress among young people represents a major health concern. This study compared depressive, anxiety and stress symptoms and their correlates in British, Austrian, and Polish undergraduate students (N = 1,176, Mean age = 22.9 years). The participants completed a set of self-report questionnaires which were used to measure psychological distress (Depression, anxiety, and stress scale DASS; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995), rumination (Rumination subscale of the perfectionism inventory; Hill et al., 2004), procrastination (Decisional procrastination scale; Mann 1982), perfectionism (Frost multidimensional perfectionism scale FMPS; Frost et al., 1993), and coping strategies (Ways of coping checklist questionnaire WOCC; Folkman & Lazaruz, 1984). The cohort from the Austria reported significantly lower levels of psychological distress than students from Poland or from the United Kingdom. The highest level of psychological distress was found in Poland. Females compared to males reported significantly higher scores on psychological distress as a whole, and particularly on the stress symptoms. No significant main effects were found for age groups on the DASS and on any of its subscales. In all countries, DASS total correlated significantly positive with rumination, procrastination, emotion-focused coping, and on the different dimensions of perfectionism (concern over mistakes, parental expectations, parental criticism, doubts about actions). In each country, rumination was a significant predictor of psychological distress. On the background of these results clinical implications in the development of prevention and intervention programmes to address psychological distress among students in the university settings will be discussed.

5. Content analytic study of future time perspective in a clinical setting: Integration and continuity related to different levels of functioning  
Garami V., Jakabos H.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Current research is aimed to study an important aspect of psychological time experience and future time perspective through content analytic method with implications to further use in clinical psychodiagnostics. Kurt Lewin defines time perspective as a basic component in human thinking and development. Thinking about the past and the future is strongly related to the sense of continuity, therefore the construction of identity. The sense of unity and integration in a personality is helped by cognitive processes of anticipating things into the future, planning, setting goals, etc. Future time perspective shows the level of a person’s reality testing, not only related to the sense of integration and continuity, but in recognizing the role of personal action in achieved outcomes, a disposition to make internal causal attributions. In the present study the subjects are psychiatry patients. The hypothesis of the study is that the content analytic coding of future time perspective – which is strongly related to effective self-regulation, cognitive control, and adequate sense of reality – shows definite differences between diagnostic groups determined by the level of the structural integration of the personality. The diagnosis is assessed according to the aspects of OPD-2 structural interview, with special emphasis on level of structural integration of the personality. The OPD-2 differentiates between four levels of personality integration (well integrated, medium, low, disintegrated). Besides the half-structured clinical interview, subjects are asked to write their „Future Autobiography”, which means they have to pretend looking back on their life from a point 20 years later. Content analytic method is used to code the various aspects of future time perspective, for example: preparation and planning, goal setting, internal causal attributions. Analysing different patterns of future time perspective could help in gaining aspects to the differential diagnosis of the structural level of functioning of the personality.

6. School-to-work-transition in the emerging adulthood  
Horvath T.
Eotvos Lorand University Faculty of Education and Psychology, Budapest, Hungary

The vocational guidance is a well researched area of the psychology. At the same time the beginning of the young adult career is more neglected theme. If we want to see the whole career process, we have to pay attention to the difficulty or 'crisis' of the beginning of working life. From the complex social and economic context it can be seen how important role transitions, future expectations, job experiences and outside factors like education and economy systems are in the forming of working career. I would like to analyse these variables trough a new phenomenon, called 'quarterlife crisis'. This psychological concept respects to young, graduate adults, who want to start their adult life and who are seeking or beginning a job and it is connected to unrealistic expectations, deficient knowledge of working market, social pressure of financial well being and the responsibility of making long-term decisions about their life. These variables can lead to strong anxiety, feeling of insecurity and impotence or depression. It could be presumed that the marks of the crisis – if this is an existing concept – must appear among university students in their last semester because they are standing in the door of real, working life. According to the results of previous surveys among senior students these conditions do not lead necessarily to a crisis, but it was proved that this period can be very hard and full of insecurity. In this presentation I try to place the concept in the sociology and the psychology literature and find an answer to the question whether QC brings a new approach to these fields or not.

7. Stress, appraisal and coping in nursing home residents relocated to hospitals: Outline of a research project in progress   
Janig H., Kada O.
First author's affiliation: Alps-Adriatic University of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria

Nursing home residents are frequently relocated to hospitals; a substantial proportion of these hospitalizations is potentially preventable (Grabowski et al., 2008). For Europe there is a lack of data in this area (Ramroth et al., 2006). A hospital stay itself can lead to functional decline in the elderly (Creditor, 1993) and hospitalization adds a change in environment and habits and a dependence on others (Bruchon-Schweitzer et al., 1995). Terms like ‘relocation stress’ or ‘transfer shock’ indicate the assumed negative consequences associated with relocation and hospitalization (Castle, 2001; Manion & Rantz, 1995). Many empirical work was done on mortality and morbidity in the elderly following relocation (Castle, 2001), but little is known about the stress process during such experiences. According to Lazarus and Folkman (1984) appraisal and coping are essential components of the stress process. Self-constructed items and open-ended questions are used to assess the stressors experienced by hospitalized nursing home residents as well as primary appraisal (threat, harm/loss, and challenge), secondary appraisal and the employed coping strategies. Perceived stress is measured by the German version of the Perceived stress questionnaire (PSQ; Fliege et al., 2001). The Sense of coherence (SOC; Antonovsky, 1997) – a protective factor regarding stress – is assessed using the SOC-L9 (Singer & Brähler, 2007). Lazarus (2000) points out the importance of multiple assessments in order to be able to capture changes in the stress experience as the situation proceeds. Hence, in the present study subjects are interviewed shortly after admission (t1) and after a few days of familiarization (t2). Additionally, in a second step, the documentations of a Carinthian hospital are analysed to describe the frequency of patient transfers from nursing homes to hospitals as well as patient characteristics and the proportion of potentially avoidable transportations.

8. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Hungarian version of Ego resiliency scale  
Jarai R.
University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

According to Letzring, Block and Funder (2004) ego resiliency (ER) refers to the dynamic capacity to contextually modify one's level of ego-control in response to situational affordances. In our pilot study we established the Hungarian version of Leztring's 15 item-self report Ego resiliency scale. In a confirmatory factor analytic procedure we calculated the goodness of fit measures and reliability scores of Ego resiliency scale. We used the original one factor scale structure for the analysis. The statistics are based on a sample of 300 subjects. The various fit measures indicate a valid and reliable Ego resiliency scale for Hungarian studies in the field of health and sport psychology.

9. The stigma of mental illness: A mixed methods study in a rural area of Austria.  
Jenull B., Salem I., Brunner E.
First author's affiliation: Alps-Adria University, Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria

Psychiatric reforms have reduced the number and length of in-patient treatment and improved community services for persons with mental illness. In order to provide mental health care in best possible proximity to their homes, transparency of offered services and rapid access to mobile social services are needed. We combined qualitative and quantitative methods to reach comprehensive and practically relevant findings from the perspectives of the user group, their family members and the mental health care professionals (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007). The user group and their family members (n = 83) were surveyed regarding their individual situation, current strains, experienced stigmatisation and level of social support. Furthermore, we interviewed experts in the community service (N = 44). Results show that an essential amount of mental health care is delivered by primary care physicians. As far as networking and training needs are concerned, the experts showed significant differences in opinions. Whilst staff of mobile services and social facilities located serious flaws, general practitioners did not see any need for action. Beside difficulties in accessibility and low availability of mental health care services in the rural area, all three target groups considered the taboo topic of stigmatisation as one of the main problems in the district. People with mental disorders are less likely to receive necessary care due to the reported low acceptance and tolerance.

10. Relations between dental fear in 8- to 10-year-old children and in their parents  
Kovács E., Kerekes Z., Szanto I.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Pécs, Hungary

Authors investigated dental fear in groups of children from two primary schools in Hungary. Among 8 to 10 years old children’s (N = 67) dental fear was measured with "Children's Dental Fear Survey". The participants parents' dental fear was examined with "Dental Fear Survey", together with their social background, education level, and marital status. To compare the two groups they characterized the parents' effect on the children’s dental fear. In this population the effect of parents' dental fear did not show influence on the children's dental fear. This fact was not affected neither by social background nor the children's DMF index. The results were comparable with the preceding studies. It seems that unpleasant dental experiences in childhood affect subsequently developed dental fear, and that common fear is positively correlated to the dental fear. In order to find the exact age, when the dental fear first develops, similar studies should be conducted on other age groups. The results of this and similar studies help us form efficient prevention techniques, which enable us to identify the risk groups and help them with available therapeutic treatment.

11. Assessment of mental health services in Slovenia with The European service mapping schedule  
Kurbos M., Šprah L.
First author's affiliation: Sociomedical Institute at SRC SASA, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Mental health is becoming one of the priorities for the European health care policies due to a high lifetime prevalence of mental disorders. Cost-benefit studies on mental health facilities are needed to improve planning and efficacious resource use. The European service mapping schedule (ESMS) is so far the only standardized and internationally applicable instrument for description and classification of mental health services and for measuring the intensity of service use. The aim of our study was to examine availability and utilization of mental health services in the Slovene regions by using the ESMS methodology. Slovenian translation of the ESMS was used for mapping services in Slovene statistical regions. All services meeting inclusion criteria were invited to participate in the study. A reference person from every service provided information about service features mostly by telephone. 280 mental health services fulfilled the ESMS. Marked differences between regions were noticed in patterns of service provision and utilization. In contrast with the scarcity of mental health services in the Zasavska region, the Central-Slovenian region offered the most diverse and abundant choice of services of all statistical regions. According to the service characteristics, day and structured activity services rarely offered work or work-related activities but provided other structured activities or social contact. Out-patient and community services were mainly medium intensity non-mobile services. Not all service types described in the ESMS were found in Slovenia. The Central-Slovenian region is comparable in certain aspects of service availability and diversity to the Northern European regions, while the other Slovenian regions are more similar to the Southern European regions. All in all, the ESMS appears to be useful for description and comparison of mental health services within and between several European regions and countries, including Slovenia.

12. Students’ Sense of coherence - A promising concept?  
Maier M., Brunner E.
First author's affiliation: University of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria

The Sense of coherence (SoC) is one of the central concepts of Antonovsky’s salutogenesis (Antonovsky, 1997). It can be seen as a global orientation (with the aspects of meaningfulness, comprehensibility and manageability) that determines how confident a person is in the predictability of events, how one evaluates resources to deal with these events and the gain of meeting challenges. To measure the Sense of coherence of academic and administrative staff at universities, Gräser (2003) constructed the U-SoC-scale which is adapted for students in the present study. Our Students’ Sense of coherence scale (S-SoC scale) was handed out, along with sociodemographic items and the short version of the WHO Quality of life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF; Angermeyer, Kilian & Matschinger, 2000), to 191 students at the University of Klagenfurt (82% female). The first aim was to assess the S-SoC’s postulated structural model’s goodness-of-fit. It turned out to be sufficient and indicated some possibilities for the refinement of the instrument. Having confirmed this, we could continue with scores derived from the S-SoC scale and relate the surveyed constructs to each other. A multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) with all five WHOQOL-BREF subdomains as outcomes and gender and the S-SoC’s subscales Manageability and Meaningfulness as independent variables showed significant relations between these constructs. Male respondents feel better globally and physically whereas women claim to have better social relationships. Results from the present study indicate that the students’ Sense of coherence has a considerable impact on people’s subjectively perceived well-being. These findings can be utilized in the manifold programs for health-promotion at universities to make these places a comprehensible, meaningful and manageable environment for students.

13. Depression and anxiety in correlation to purpose of life and quality of life in Slovenian HIV-infected patients  [presentation, ppt, 1763 kB]
Oblak T., Pasarič A., Ručna V., Matičič M., Škodlar B.
First author's affiliation: Medical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has improved the life expectancy of HIV-infected patients. Attention has moved to managing mental disorders and quality of life (abbr. QOL). The most prevalent mental disorders in HIV-infected patients are anxiety and depression which are correlated to low purpose of life. We studied prevalence of depression and anxiety, level of purpose of life and QOL in Slovenian HIV/aids patients and their relationship. We hypothesized that depression, anxiety, low purpose of life and low QOL are importantly present in this population. Study enrolled 162 HIV-infected patients followed at the Clinics for infectious diseases and febrile illnesses of University Medical Centre of Ljubljana. For assessment of depression and anxiety we used Hospitaly anxiety and depression scale (HADS). WHOQOL-HIV BREF was used for assessing quality of life and Purpose in life (PIL) was used for assessing purpose of life. Questionnaire was answered by 111 patients (68.5 %). Depression was present in 24 (21.6 %) and anxiety in 36 patients (32.4 %). Patients expressed moderate quality of life and moderate purpose of life. Sucidial ideations were present in 24 (22 %) cases, low purpose of life in 29 (26.1 %) and low QOL in 13 patients (11.7 %). Depression and anxiety were positively correlated (p < 0.01). Both were negatively correlated to low purpose of life (p < 0.01). Purpose of life and QOL correlated negatively with some antiretroviral treatment (abacavir, stavudine and nelfinavir [p < 0.05]). Depression, anxiety, low purpose of life and low QOL are present among HIV-infected patients in Slovenia. The questionnaires HADS and WHOQOL-HIV BREF are suitable to be used in everyday clinical practice to screen for depression, anxiety and low QOL among patients with HIV/aids and we highly recommend their introduction in Slovenia.

14. Effects of self efficiency training  
Pejić B., Lazić G., Žutić Milinković G.
First author's affiliation: National Employment Service of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia

Self Efficiency Training is a group counselling programme targeted at long-term unemployed persons or persons at risk of long-term unemployment. The objective of this training is to increase the motivation for active job search through self-confidence and efficiency building, development of perception of personal responsibility, more intense and persistent job search, psychological support and preparation for participation in other active employment measures. The elementary model is based on the theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1985). According to this theory, the most significant indicators for predicting one's behaviour are: intention to behave in a certain manner and perceived control of behaviour. The intention is formed through positive attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behaviour control. The purpose of this paper is to define the extent to which Self Efficiency Training can influence motivation, i.e. intention of unemployed persons to actively and persistently look for a job. This research was carried out on a sample of 300 unemployed persons of different gender, age, education level, work experience and duration of unemployment. The polled filled in three questionnaires (before and after the training) related to their attitudes towards job search and efficiency in job search (Vinokur & Caplan, 1987). The results showed that training has a positive impact on participants: increased self-confidence in job search, reduced anxiety as to the number of attempts and failure, increased capacity to solve problems and focus on employment, stronger functional beliefs and weaker dysfunctional beliefs, increased capacity to assess their own efficiency in job search. The results lead to the conclusion that Self Efficiency Training has a positive impact on unemployed persons, their motivation, self-confidence, tolerance of frustration and personal responsibility in job search.

15. Self-esteem changes in the course of eating disorders therapeutic programme  
Postuvan V., Hromc A.
First author's affiliation: Svetovalnica PU, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Many researches and clinical examples indicate a significant correlation between low self-esteem and eating disorders. The aim of our study was to test the changes in self-esteem in girls with eating disorders before and after the enrolment in the therapeutic programme. We applied a four dimensional self-esteem scale in the first and last week of an intensive year-long intervention. There were only female participants, aged between 17 and 27 years, involved in the study. The results at the first testing confirm previous findings that girls with eating disorders have a significantly lower self-esteem compared to the provided test population norms. On the contrary, the second testing revealed a significantly higher self-esteem in the same sample. Accordingly, the pre-post intervention changes showed a significant improvement of self-esteem in girls with eating disorders in the course of therapeutic programme. This improvement is congruent with other positive outcomes of the intervention programme, above all with the successful treatment of eating disorder.

16. Reciprocal burnout model (RBM): Interconnectedness of interpersonal and intrapersonal factors  [presentation, pps, 323 kB]
Pšeničny A.
Inštitut za razvoj človeških virov, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Most of researchers tend to link the burnout syndrome and environmental stress (interpersonal causes). Even though Freudenberger, who introduced the term burnout in 1976, thought that the burnout is a condition, that folows the preoccupation as a narcissistic need for omnipotence, reaserchers only recently focus their attention on personal characteristics of people that are experiencing burnout (intrapersonal causes). Reciprocal burnout model (RBM) links both causes. It shows why only a portion of people in same circumstances suffer from burnout syndrome. It states that personal characteristics are one of the main causes why people suffering from burnout syndrome enroll in nonreciprocal personal and professional relations and shows the role that the socialization process plays in development of these characteristics. The RMB explains the psychodynamic background of performance based self esteem (uncohesive) and four types of psychodynamic mechanisms that can lead to workoholism, which is the main symptom of burnout syndrom. The core of RBM consists in one's attitude towards his or her basic needs' fulfillment, personal system of values and correlation between fulfillment of basic needs (energy accumulation) and burning out process (energy consumption). RBM is a foundation for differentiation between burnout syndrom and smilar mental disorders and for understanding of the underlying dynamics that lead to burnout syndrom. It is also the fundament for appropriate chioce of psychotherapeutic modality for people experiencing burning out and burnout. RBM is also opening series of questions, like connection between personal traits, life satisfaction and personal values, and burnout syndrome risk behavior, as well as influence of whole life circumstances on burning out process.

17. The impact of individual's self acceptance on unemployment  [presentation, pdf, 509 kB]
Raad Z., Farahani H.
First author's affiliation: Islamic Azad University, Tehran Medicine, Department of Psychology, Tehran, Iran

Self acceptance reflects to an individual’s satisfaction involving self-understanding and awareness of one’s strength and weakness resulting in self help on creation and happiness and self improvement. The aim of this research was characterizing the relation between self acceptance and unemployment among persons with the age ranging from 20 to 30 years. A self acceptance question list using Likert spectrum was designed with 100 questions. Then the content validity and content formality of the self acceptance were obtained and its reliability was calculated with the assumption of Cronbach’s alpha=0.8. The prepared question list was filled by 400 persons with well defined job condition living in north, south, east and west of Tehran in Iran. Our results illustrated that the self acceptance has a direct impact on job condition meaning. To analyze the job opportunities in the society, considering the concept of self acceptance is vital to have a clearer picture.

18. Children mental health follow-up in youth communities of the SOS-Children’s Village  [presentation, ppt, 242 kB]
Rajhvajn Bulat L., Branica V.
First author's affiliation: Department of Social Work, Faculty of Law, Zagreb, Croatia

Mental health of children is influenced by the social environment and subject to different stresses that are more intensive in children who are growing up in some form of public care. The SOS-Children’s Village in Croatia is one of such forms of placing children under public care. A part of the results obtained from a comprehensive 5 year long research on behavior and feelings of children in public care will be presented. This research covered a total of 493 children placed in children's homes, 112 in foster homes and 187 in alternative forms of care (Nuevo Futuro and SOS-Children's Village). Results of 57 children and youth examinees from the youth communities of the SOS-Children's Village Croatia who participated in test and retest parts of the research (between a 5 year interval). The average age of children in the first measurement was 13 and 18 at the second. A total of 23 boys and 34 girls were interviewed. Two identical instruments were used as indicators of children's mental health: Youth self-report ( Achenbach,1991) filled by children and youth and the Child behavior check-list (Achenbach, 1991) filled by educators. The results have shown that the test-retest correlations on most sub-scales of mental health of children are statistically relevant, but this relevance ranges from low to middle. Also, the comparison of results obtained in 2003 with those obtained in 2008 show that educators evaluate that mental health of boys at the retest point has improved. In self-evaluation girls give evidence of their increasing externalization of problems (show a more delinquent and aggressive behavior). These results have additional weight as girls also stated that they feel more everyday stress than 5 years ago, and boys and girls both state that they feel less social support than before. At the end of the presentation, the measurement of mental health from different sources will be discussed, since results have shown that the evaluation of identical indicators of mental health by children and by educators have relatively low correlation (ranges from 0.02 to 0.37).

19. Relationship of stammering and the language competence (English and Urdu)  [short paper, doc, 87 kB]
Sajjad S.
Comsats Institute Of Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan, Islamabad, Pakistan

The research was conducted to find out the relationship between Language Competency and Stammering. A pilot study was conducted in which Urdu version of Test of Language Competence (TLC) was administered to speech disabled and normal group. In the second phase, both groups (N = 34, age range 18-28 years, males, education: O levels to Graduate Level) were given both English and Urdu version of TLC. Results showed that stammering people performed significantly poorly on TLC as compared to normal group. On the basis of this study it is seen that language competency is less in speech disabled group.

20. Efficiency in typical 'male' and typical 'female' tasks during menstrual cycle  
Šimić N., Manenica I., Pupić-bakrač A., Peričić M.
First author's affiliation: University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

Various studies have shown the best efficiency in typical 'female' tasks during late follicular phase (Hassman et al., 2000) or in the midluteal phase (Hampson, 1990), and in typical 'male' tasks during menstrual phase. The top efficiency in the first case corresponded to the highest level of estrogen and progesterone, while in the latter, these levels were at the lowest. The aim of this investigation was to try to associate efficiency in typical male and typical female tasks to hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. Twenty female students (18 to 21 years), with regular menstrual cycle of 28 days, took part in this study. As typical female task used was the O' Connor dexterimeter, and male task was a mental rotation task. Subjects performed the tasks during menstrual, late follicular and midluteal phase. Spielberger’s State Anxiety Questionnaire was administered before the tasks in each phase. After completion of the task, the subjects had to assess its difficulty on Borg's scale. The results showed the best performance in both tasks in the midluteal phase, which is characterised by a high level of estrogen and progesterone. The differences between the results in the late follicular and midluteal phase suggest that estrogen level was responsible for differences in the performance. The progesterone level seemed to be responsible for a lower anxiety in the midluteal phase, which may have indirectly improved the efficiency in mental rotation tasks. The anxiety level, together with task difficulty assessments, was the highest in menstrual and the lowest in midluteal phase.

21. Coping strategies and health-related quality of life in children with type 1 diabetes  
Vulić Prtorić A., Jović M., Padelin P., Baraban D., Grubić M., Brnović I.
First author's affiliation: University of Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

We examined the differences between two groups of subjects (children with diabetes type 1 in pediatric care and healthy controls) in seven different aspects of coping strategies (problem solving, expressing feelings, avoidance, distraction, social support- friends, social support – family, cognitive restructuring). The sample consisted of 199 schoolchildren: 47 patients with diabetes type 1 as a primary complaint and 152 healthy children and adolescents in control group. Coping strategies were measured with SUO - The Coping strategies inventory for children and adolescents. SUO is the self-assessment instrument that measures the frequency of coping strategies in response to stressful events. Children’s health problems were rated with PedsQL 4.0 (Pediatric quality of life inventory - Generic score scale) and with the PedsQL Diabetes module. PedsQL Generic core scales encompass 4 aspects of health-related quality of life: physical functioning, emotional functioning, social functioning and school functioning. The PedsQL Diabetes module encompasses five scales: diabetes symptoms, treatment barriers, treatment adherence, worry and communication. Significant differences were found in four of seven coping strategies compared with healthy controls: problem solving, support from friend and family, distraction and cognitive restructuring were more common in children with diabetes. Significant gender differences were found in four coping strategies: avoidance, social support from family, expressing feelings and distraction. In all cases girls scored higher than boys. Significant correlations were found between coping strategies and different aspects of health-related quality of life in children with diabetes: expressing feelings, avoidance, and social support from friends were negatively correlated with physical and social functioning. The findings of the present study suggest that child psychologists and clinicians treating children suffering diabetes should address coping strategies related to the health-related problems.

22. Identity and communication of the elders  
Zaletel M., Kovačev A.
First author's affiliation: Health Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Aging of the population is a growing problem of the contemporary developed societies, to which Slovenia also belongs. Therefore the problem of the elderly people's quality of life and the problem of their care are getting more and more important, since the elders need more social and health services. The aim of the present study was to research two decisive aspects of the self-experience and the behaviour of elderly people, which by now have not been given sufficient attention. These aspects are their identity and their communication. The research concentrated on the elders, who live in the homes for aged people. Communication research was particularly directed to those, whose verbal expression is severely restricted because of the old age degenerative processes. Therefore the non-verbal expressions which were registered by a »check list« were analysed. The identity research was concentrated on three types of identity: individual, social and collective identity. Since this research included self-governed responding to the questionnaire, the subject's verbal comprehension had to be sufficient. The research results proved that important(statistically significant differences) exist among members of both sexes and different age groups in their verbal and non-verbal expression. Important differences also exist among different employees, who care for them in the homes for aged people. Some important differences in individual and collective identity of the elders were also discovered.

23. High blood pressure representations in hypertensive adolescents: Structure and relations with personality and adherence  [presentation, ppt, 180 kB]
Žugelj U., Zupančič M., Kenda R., Komidar L.
First author's affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The aim of the study is to examine whether there are differences among hypertensive adolescents in the way they conceptualize their illness. Further we wish to explore how these conceptualizations relate to medical regimen adherence and personality. Hypertension is a chronic illness usually affecting adult and elderly population but can also affect adolescents. If not properly treated or controlled, it can result in severe health complications (i.e. heart disease, damage of organs). Another issue of importance is that hypertension is usually asymptomatic disease thus posing a great challenge to the patient adherence. The relation can be indirectly influenced by personality. The participants are 100 adolescents with diagnosed essential hypertension (age 14 - 24 years) and the study is currently under progress. The Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (Broadbent et al., 2006), modified MOS Adherence Questionnaire (Di Mateo, 1993) and The Inventory of Child Individual Differences (ICID, Halverson et al., 2003) are employed. A mediating role of illness representations in predicting adherence on the basis of personality traits was proposed. The fit of this model will be examined at the mid-level trait level and at the robust (the Big Five) level. Possible implications of our findings will be discussed.

24. The Transtheoretical model of change – Processes of change profiles within psychiatrical population  
Žuljević D., Gavrilov Jerković V.
First author's affiliation: Faculty of Philosophy, Novi Sad, Serbia

The processes of change represent hidden or obvious activities and experiences which people use or rely on in attempts to change their problematic behaviour. They were conceptualised as one of two key dimensions of Transtheoretical model of change (Prochaska et al. 1992). Metatheoretical analyses performed by TTM authors showed that over 400 different psychotherapeutical interventions could be summarized to 10 basic processes of change. By these authors patients use them more or less, depending on the fact at which stage of change they are. This research was conducted in attempt to discover if there was a difference in specific use of processes of change related to diagnosis of psychiatrical patients. The aim was to determine whether there was a difference in usage of change processes among patients with different diagnoses and also to determine which processes were dominantly used. The usage was measured by Processes of change questionaire PCQ-2001 (by Gavrilov-Jerković) completed by 221 patients diagnosed as neurosis, psychosis and personality disorder. Cluster analysis showed 6 clusters of patients with similar profile of processes usage. Analysis of variance showed a significant diferrence between them (F=2,78; p=0,019). By crosstabulating dignosis and cluster-membership variables we gained the following results: psychotic patients are mostly members of General low processes usage cluster and cluster defined by Relying on emotions, social support and psychotropic medications. Patients from neurotic spectrum were distributed between 4 clusters. Precontemplation cluster was defined by higher usage of passive processes. Contemplation cluster was defined by higher nondiscriminant usage of all processes. Action cluster was defined by low usage of medication process and high usage of all processes. The Maintenance cluster was defined by high usage of all processes except medication, and the highest usage of active and reorganizing processes. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings will be discussed.

Industrial / Organizational psychology and consumer behavior

1. Perception of stress, its sources, physical symptoms and specificity of police officers' work  
Baboselac Marić M., Tot B.
First author's affiliation: Ministry of Internal Affairs, Zagreb, Croatia

With regards to job characteristics of police officers, it has been recognized that police work is a highly stressful job even within a group of other risk occupations. Organizational and operational aspects of a job place high expectations on a police officer. In addition to extraordinary events there are daily sources of stress affecting the psychophysical stability of police officers. In this research attempts are made to discover to what extent some of work features influence the perception of stress level, number of physical symptoms and perception of sources of stress in police officers' work. Furthermore, efforts are made in this research to ascertain differences within explored variables in regard to the level of responsibility, level of education and effective service as the police officer. Police officers (N = 590) who underwent periodical systematic medical examinations during 2007 and 2008 participated in this research. Research results reveal that job requirements and lack of social support at working environment contribute significantly to perceived level of stress. Those police officers who reveal higher number of physical symptoms have also higher stress level as well as higher number of perceived sources of stress. It has been determined that with higher level of responsibilities and education, requirements and possibility of control at work place also increases. Obtained results can be used to enhance working conditions of police officers.

2. Application of Winter's scoring system for measuring unconscious motives  [presentation, pdf, 776 kB]
Boštjančič E.
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The purpose of the research was to get know Winter’s scoring method and analyze it results for recognition and evaluation of unconscious motives (of power, socialization, accomplishments, and moral responsibility) in the running text. This method was relatively unknown in Slovenia. The present randomized research included 60 executives employed in Slovenian and international companies with headquarters in Slovenia. We conducted a one hour structured interview with each individual. Winter’s motive scoring system for coding power, affiliation and achievement motives and expressions of responsibility was used to analyse the interviews. The evaluation method proved not to be sufficiently reliable; however, it has on the other hand opened new possibilities of qualitative measurement in the future. The results show that the achievement and power motivation are prevailing in entrepreneurs, whereas in managers the leader motive profile is more often (33%) noticed. An interesting finding is also that leader’s non-conscious need for power is in positive correlation with subordinate’s commitment, satisfaction and motivation.

3. Evaluation of workplace health promotion – how to counteract the well-known difficulties  [presentation, pdf, 990 kB]
Brunner E., Kada O., Jenull B.
First author's affiliation: Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS), Feldkirchen, Austria

Although there’s no doubt about the effectiveness of workplace health promotion (WHP) there are several well-known problems to be taken into account when evaluating WHP: The effectiveness of WHP is not precisely attributable to certain interventions (Lenhardt, 2005), the levels of evidence from evidence-based medicine are only in parts applicable (Bödeker, 2007), the generalisation of the results to other contexts is limited (Slesina, 2008), and the evaluation of lasting effects of WHP can only be captured using costly and time-consuming concepts and is thus hardly realized. A promising approach to overcome these difficulties is introduced on the basis of a WHP project implemented in a Carinthian hospital. The project uses health circles, an open space, and an employee survey for the as-is analysis which is the basis for the development of interventions. The project is accompanied by advisory board meetings. All interventions and the meetings of the advisory board are evaluated using adequate designs and methods: For example, the smoking intervention is evaluated using a pre-post control group design (summative evaluation); qualitative content analysis of the meeting protocols is used to evaluate and simultaneously improve the meetings of the advisory board in the sense of formative evaluation. Hence, based on the state of the art the present evaluation concept comprises multiple perspectives, qualitative and quantitative methods, is flexibly tailored to the particular interventions and combines different levels of evidence. It can be recommended that evaluation should be part of a WHP project from the very beginning so that formative and summative evaluation can be integrated. Regarding every single intervention the best applicable level of evidence should be realised and adequate methods for each research subject should be employed. In a successful WHP project the costs associated with evaluation must be precisely budgeted.

4. Perception of gender differences in competition in organizations  
Fülöp M., Sebestyén N.
First author's affiliation: Institute for Psychology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

Competition is an everyday context of the business life in a market economy. Most of the psychological results (developmental, social, personality) showed that males are more competitive than females. However, recent studies call the attention to an equally intensive competitive drive among women. Our study aimed at revealing if there are gender differences in terms of adapting and coping with a highly competitive environment, namely the business context. In order to examine this altogether 202 in-depth interviews were carried out with 50 business leaders from the capital of Hungary, Budapest and 152 from other cities of the country, 33% of them were females and 67% of them males. The age range was 23 to 60. The first part of the in depth-interviews aimed at revealing the personal attitude towards competition, winning and losing. The second half asked the respondents about the role they attribute to competition in the economic life in general, and in the Hungarian market specifically, and finally we asked the respondents to describe their views on gender differences (if any) in relations to competition in the business life, in the organizational realm. The approximately 70 minutes long interviews were transcribed and content analyzed and qualitatively different categories set up. The qualitative analysis was followed by a quantitative statistical analysis. This revealed – among others - an intensively negative view of female competition in organizations, and this negative view was shared both by our male and female respondents. Female-female competition was described in an especially negative way.

5. Risk-perception and risk-evaluation in the no-data-decision-making-situations  [presentation, ppt, 285 kB]
Fenzl T., Brudermann T.
First author's affiliation: Institute of Psychology, Department for Economic Psychology, Klagenfurt, Austria

In situations of uncertainty, for which people do not have any experiences, they seek for information in their environment, on which they can base their expectations. The concept of other-directedness (Riesman, 1952) implies that there are numerous situations in which people do not solely base their decisions on facts but rather react to the behavior of others. Evidence can be found by creating uncertainty or disorientation, panic or euphoria and by providing an environment that suggests explanations (Schachter & Singer 1962). To investigate the effects of other peoples´ behavior on perception and evaluation of risk our experimental design registered the risk-behavior of students in an oral exam under particular conditions. As a novelty we offered participants (n=59) to choose between an examiner, who is generally known at campus for risky and unpredictable exams, and an examiner who never took exams before. Our objective was to observe the different behavioral strategies in order to manage this situation. We focused on whether participants would perceive and evaluate risk using the behavior of other students passing the exam before them and to which degree a suspected bad performance of the first few candidates would influence their behavior. In this risky situation, where information is lacking and can´t be acquired from the environment, the majority of students rather chose the known evil than going for the completely unfamiliar alternative. Nevertheless one third of the students trusted in their abilities or the subjective appraisal of their skills and opted for the unfamiliar examiner. Faced with the bad outcome of the first few candidates taking the exam with him, a majority of the remaining participants that had originally chosen this alternative were rethinking their decisions, using the outcomes of these others to evaluate the risk faced anew, and 17% reversed their choice. Therefore the behavior and actions of other people in the environment plays an important role in perceiving and evaluating risk.

6. The relationship between locus of control and the three components of commitment to change among employees in the organization  
Jahanbakhsh Ganjeh S., Omidi Arjenaki N., Nouri A.
First author's affiliation: Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran

The impact of locus of control on psychological reactions of employees to change was investigated. Actually the relationship between locus of control and the three components of commitment to a change was studied. A random sample of 80 employees was selected from all employees of a social service organization in Yasuj, Iran. The data were analyzed by using single group MANOVA. The results indicated that locus of control can significantly predict participant's commitment to a specific change. In particular it was shown that the relationship between locus of control and the three components of commitment to change were different. Participants with more internal locus of control were more likely to have high affective and normative commitment to change, whereas participants with more external locus of control were more likely to have high continuance commitment to change.

7. Dissemination of organizational values, mission and vision: An examination among contact personnel  
Musek Lešnik K., Arzenšek A.
First author's affiliation: Mednarodna fakulteta za družbene in poslovne študije, Celje, Slovenia

There is a common belief that clear organizational values, a clear sense of common mission, and a clear organizational vision are important elements of excellent corporate cultures. Moreover, even though reported research findings regarding these organizational issues differ, some strong evidence supports this belief. Organization can only communicate with the outside world those issues that are successfully communicated internally. Therefore the important question for many organizations is not whether they have written organizational values, mission, and vision, as mostly they have in some form. More important questions address the process in which these statements are born in organizations, the ability of their »authors« to guarantee their shared ownership across the organization, and the power of these statements to transcend from paper into hearts and minds among employees and other key stakeholders, and their contribution towards making work and other relations with organization meaningful. As several researchers found, the failure of many values, mission, and vision statements does not lie in weak innate power of these concepts, but in their poor understanding and implementation in organizations. In our research we investigated how able were contact persons in Slovene companies to represent their organization's values, mission, and vision. Our results show that less than 15% of people that are the first to pick up the phone in the company, failed at these simple tasks, suggesting that in many cases key organizational concepts are not »owned« among people who are employed to be the first contact of the outside world with the company. These results correspond to findings of other authors who warned that in many organizations values, mission and vision are vague concepts used for PR purpose and in lip-talk, failing to affect the wider corporate community. Such findings lead to conclusion that many organizations either do not understand the full power of these organizational concepts, or are poor in their implementation.

8. The relationship of personality characteristics and job burnout among nurses  
Omidi Arjenaki N., Jahanbakhsh Ganjeh S., Nouri A.
First author's affiliation: Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran

This study aimed at investigating the relationship between personality characteristics and job burnout among nurses. A random sample of 75 nurses was selected from all nurses in the public hospital of Shahrekord. The measures were NEO Personality Characteristics Questionnaire and Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). The data were analyzed by using multiple regression analysis. The results of this research indicated that personal characteristics can significantly predict the three components of job burnout. The most noteworthy finding is the predictability of nurses' job burnout from the agreeableness trait.

9. The personality antecedents and the organizational consequences of the organizational commitment in client’s companies  
Oreyzi Samani H., Tabesh N.
First author's affiliation: University of Esfahan, Esfahan, Iran

One of the today's most important problems in Iran is the outsourcing services. According to transition from public organizations to private ones, the third party in organizational commitment was born because of the outsourcing and contracting companies. Workers in the contracting companies have two fold commitments, to their own company and to their client's companies. Participants in this study were 500 workers in six contracting companies responsible for outsourcing services toward client companies. Personality antecedents of commitment were: locus of control, measured by Internal-External scale (Rotter, Mulry, 1965), five dimensions of personality, namely contentiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness, measured by Revised Neo personality Inventory (Neo-PI, 1992), and adult attachment (Hazan, Shaver, 1991). The organizational variables in client organizations were organizational climate (Becker, 1992) and organizational support measured by perceived organizational support scale (Eisenberger, Huntington and Sowa, 1986). Mediational analyses show that organizational commitment (Belfor, Wexler, 1996) mediates personal characteristics and organizational characteristics.

10. What motivates employee to perform organizational citizenship behavior?  [presentation, ppt, 1105 kB]
Rak I., Penezić Z.
First author's affiliation: Elementary School A. M. Petropoljskog, Drniš, Croatia

Organizational citizenship behaviours (OCB) are defined as job behaviours that are discretionary, not explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, yet they contribute to organizational effectiveness. Examples of OCB may include helping a co-worker who has been absent from work, volunteering for extra duty when needed, representing the company enthusiastically at public functions, and acting in ways that improve morale, and resolve unconstructive interpersonal conflict. The aim of this study was to give some new clues in determining incentives for this type of behaviour. We questioned the importance of organizational justice that pertains to employees' views of whether they are being treated fairly by the organization. There are several components of organizational justice: distributive, procedural and interactional. We also evaluated employee's life satisfaction, work satisfaction and pay satisfaction. Our final variable was work values defined as goals that one wants to achieve in his work; using importance and realization of intrinsic and extrinsic work values in employees. The sample in this study consisted of full time bank employees (195; 172 female, 23 male). Questionnaire was collected in 25 bank offices. In our analysis we have used results of 172 female employees. Our results show the significant correlation between dimensions of organizational citizenship behaviour and all examined variables (dimensions of organizational justice, life, work and pay satisfaction and importance and realization of intrinsic and extrinsic work values). Regression analysis showed that the procedural justice, importance and realization of intrinsic work values were significant predictors of different dimensions of OCB. Our data suggest the further need for new studies on citizenship behaviour in organizations including some new variables which could give us new light on this interesting area of research.

11. The relationship between personality and the need for leadership of Iranian workers  
Salahian A., Oreizi H., Tabesh N.
First author's affiliation: Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran

Need for leadership (NL) differs from other concepts in the leadership domain because it is not an asset of a leader but of subordinate in his situation, job, or organization. NL is the extent to which an employee wishes the leader to facilitate the path toward individual, group, or organizational goals. A subjective need for leadership (SNL) is associated with individual goals, while the objective one is associated with group or organizational goals. The aim of the current research is to investigate relationship between personality of workers and their need for leadership. The participants were 650 workers chosen from a large Iranian factory producing automobiles. Three measures were used: first, The Revised Hazan and Shaver (1994) that contains three categories (immune style, anxiety style and ambivalence style), second, Revised Inventory (NEO-PI) Costa and McCrae(1992), and third, The scale of need for (subjective and objective) leadership (De Vries, 1997). Findings indicate that contentiousness, immune attachment style and extraversion predict objective need for leadership, while openness, anxiety attachment style, and neuroticism (reversely) predict subjective need for leadership. Implications of these studies were discussed for practical use in the organizations.

12. Age-stereotypes and -discrimination concerning aging workforce on the Hungarian labour market  [presentation, ppt, 1393 kB]
Szaszvari K.
University of Pécs, Institute of Psychology, Pécs, Hungary

Ageing society of the European Union brings on increasingly compelling questions regarding social-, health- and labour market issues for the member states. This essay intends to reveal the effects of the age-stereotypes on the labour market eider on the employers’ or on the employees’ side. The organisations have to face how the knowledge of the aging employees could be used, how their work experience could be utilized, how their performance at standard level could be maintained. It is dominant question on the employees’ side as well, in spite of the increasing retiring age that how they could get on within the competition with younger employees, how they could increase their workforce value. The research studied the stereotypes about the aging workforce (above 45 years) on the Hungarian labour market, due to questionnaires on wide range of employees. The following questions were drawn: have the employees’ age-stereotypes, what is the content of it, what correlations could be established between the age and work-experience of the employees and leaders and the characteristics of age stereotypes, is there any correlation between the prejudiced personality and the usage of the age-stereotypes. Although there is very low number of researches in the field of the status of the aging workforce in Hungary, this research initiated the tangible step toward serving the aging employees work-force equal opportunity.

13. The relationship between motivation to manage and competencies of the top executive level managers in traditional and bureaucratic organizations in Iran  
Tabesh N., Oreyzi H.
First author's affiliation: University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

In the traditional organizations managers are selected according to power relations while in the bureaucratic ones executive managers are assigned by succession planning and career development. Most organizations in Iran are traditional ones. The aim of the current research is to investigate the relationship between the motivation to manage and competencies of top executive managers in these two different organizations. The construct of motivation to manage, reflex striving for power and domination associated with favourable attitudes toward father's figures, a tendency to assert oneself and interested in administrative works were measured by Miner's Sentence Completion Scale (MSCS), (Miner, 1964). Competencies were measured via role playing, in-basket and business game as part of the assessment center method. After applying, coefficient of manager's total scores were computed and correlated with their scores on MSCS. From 85 executive managers, 45 were bureaucratic and 40 were traditional ones. The findings indicate that only in the bureaucratic organizations there is positive significant relation between competency and motivation. Findings emphasize on the career development path and succession planning. The current research also shows that the psychological variable of managers depends on organizational structure.