• The evolution and social dynamics of compassion

      Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby; Kingsway Hospital (Wiley, 2015-06-04)
      The inner processes that make compassion possible arose from the evolutionary advantage of caring for others, especially offspring, kin and in-group allies. This paper explores issues in defining compassion and its link to similar concepts such as altruism. It also explores compassion as a social motive and social mentality that choreographs social interactions and how the successful enactment of compassion is dependent on certain competencies such as sympathy, empathy, perspective taking, and distress tolerance (among others), as well as social contexts. As a motivational system, compassion has to compete with other socially choreographed motives, such as tribalism and individualistic competitiveness – much darker sides of the human psyche that have been harmful in human history. One of the challenges for compassion is to explore not only how it can promote personal well-being but also how it can counteract the destructive sides of our other motives and social mentalities.
    • An evolutionary approach to emotion in mental health with a focus on affiliative emotions.

      Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby; Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Kingsway Hospital, UK (Sage, 2015-04-10)
      Emotions evolved to guide animals in pursuing specific motives and goals (e.g., to find food, avoid harm, seek out sexual partners, rear offspring). They function as short-term alertors and regulators of behaviour and can be grouped into their evolved functions (evolutionary function analysis). Emotions can coregulate/influence each other, where one emotion can activate or suppress another. Importantly, affiliative emotions, that arise from experiencing validation, care and support from others, have major impacts on how people process and respond to threats and emotions associated with threats. Hence, exploring how affiliative emotional experiences change and transform the capacity to cope with threat and pursue life goals, are salient research issues.
    • Evolutionary models: Practical and conceptual utility for the treatment and study of social anxiety disorder

      Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby (Wiley Blackwell, 2014-03-01)
      It is well known that group living poses certain challenges in that some individuals will be potentially threatening (eliciting either fight and flight or submissive responses), while others offer potential opportunities for reproduction, and forming cooperative, sharing alliances (requiring approach and display behaviour). The navigation of these challenges has led to the evolution of mechanisms for the estimation of threat versus opportunity (approach and avoidance). This chapter explores social anxiety in this evolutionary context. It highlights recent adaptations to social competition by which social rank and position are competed for with demonstrations of attractiveness (e.g., talent, physical beauty, humour, intelligence, personality, altruism). This is competition to be chosen by others for various roles (e.g., as friends, team mates, sexual partners, work employees). This chapter builds on earlier models of social anxiety which focused on impression management, and links them to evolutionary concepts of social status and desirability competition.
    • Examining factors of engagement wth digital interventions for weight management: Rapid review

      Sharpe, Emma; Karasouli, Eleni; Meyer, Caroline; University of Derby; University of Warwick (JMIR Publications, 2017-10-23)
      Background: Digital interventions for weight management provide a unique opportunity to target daily lifestyle choices and eating behaviors over a sustained period of time. However, recent evidence has demonstrated a lack of user engagement with digital health interventions, impacting on the levels of intervention effectiveness. Thus, it is critical to identify the factors that may facilitate user engagement with digital health interventions to encourage behavior change and weight management. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify and synthesize the available evidence to gain insights about users’ perspectives on factors that affect engagement with digital interventions for weight management. Methods: A rapid review methodology was adopted. The search strategy was executed in the following databases: Web of Science, PsycINFO, and PubMed. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they investigated users’ engagement with a digital weight management intervention and were published from 2000 onwards. A narrative synthesis of data was performed on all included studies. Results: A total of 11 studies were included in the review. The studies were qualitative, mixed-methods, or randomized controlled trials. Some of the studies explored features influencing engagement when using a Web-based digital intervention, others specifically explored engagement when accessing a mobile phone app, and some looked at engagement after text message (short message service, SMS) reminders. Factors influencing engagement with digital weight management interventions were found to be both user-related (eg, perceived health benefits) and digital intervention–related (eg, ease of use and the provision of personalized information). Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of incorporating user perspectives during the digital intervention development process to encourage engagement. The review contributes to our understanding of what facilitates user engagement and points toward a coproduction approach for developing digital interventions for weight management. Particularly, it highlights the importance of thinking about user-related and digital tool–related factors from the very early stages of the intervention development process.
    • Examining the effects of rational emotive behavior therapy on performance outcomes in elite paralympic athletes

      Wood, Andrew G.; Barker, Jamie B.; Turner, Martin J.; Sheffield, David; Staffordshire University; University of Derby; Life Sciences and Education; Staffordshire University; Stoke-on-Trent UK; Life Sciences and Education; Staffordshire University; Stoke-on-Trent UK; Life Sciences and Education; Staffordshire University; Stoke-on-Trent UK; Life Sciences; University of Derby; Derby UK (2017-06-05)
      Traditionally a psychotherapeutic intervention, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) is receiving increasing attention within the extant literature as an intervention to enhance the athletic performance and psychological well-being of competitive athletes. Whilst the benefits of REBT on psychological health are established, less is understood about the effects on athletic performance. This study aimed to examine the immediate and maintained effects of REBT on physiological, psychological, and performance outcomes with elite Paralympic athletes. Using a single-case research design, eight athletes recruited from the same Paralympic sport (M=40.12, SD=12.99) received five, one-to-one REBT sessions. Measures of irrational beliefs were collected weekly, whereas the remaining psychological and physiological measures were collected at a pre-, post-, and at a 9-month follow-up time point. Visual and statistical analyzes of the data indicates reductions in irrational beliefs were coupled with reductions in systolic blood pressure indicative of an adaptive physiological response, improved athletic performance during competition simulations, and reductions in avoidance goals. Furthermore, social validation data indicated greater self-awareness, emotional control, and enhanced focus during competition as a result of the REBT intervention. This study contributes to growing literature supporting the efficacy of REBT as an intervention that not only facilitates psychological health but also enhances athletic performance. Results are discussed with reference to theory, limitations, and future recommendations.
    • Experiences of enhanced recovery after surgery in general gynaecology patients: An interpretative phenomenological analysis.

      Phillips, Elly; Archer, Stephanie; Montague, Jane; Bali, Anish; University of Derby (Sage, 2019-07-03)
      There is little qualitative research exploring non-cancer gynaecology patients’ experiences of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols. Seven women participated in audio-recorded interviews, discussing their experiences of enhanced recovery after surgery for gynaecological surgery. Data were transcribed and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Three themes were identified: meeting informational needs, taking control of pain, and mobilising when feeling fragile. Control emerged as a key element throughout the themes and was supported by provision of factual information. While participants were generally satisfied with their experience, topics such as concerns about analgesic use, the informal role of staff in mobilisation, and the expressed desire for more experiential information for participants require further research.
    • An exploration into depression-focused and anger-focused rumination in relation to depression in a student population.

      Gilbert, Paul; Cheung, Mimi; Irons, Christopher Paul; McEwan, Kirsten; Cardiff University; Kingsway Hospital; University of Derby (British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, 2005-07-01)
      Research has shown an important link between depression and rumination. This study set out to explore depression-focused rumination and anger-focused rumination in relation to shame and entrapment, and depression. 166 undergraduate students completed a battery of self-report questionnaires measuring current depression, rumination on depressive symptoms, rumination on anger, and the frequency of shame-focused and entrapment-focused thoughts. Both depression-focused and anger-focused rumination were related to depression, and to the frequency of shame and entrapment thoughts. In a mediational model, the link between depression-focused rumination and depression was partially mediated by feeling trapped by, and wanting to escape from, one's thoughts and feelings. Thus the link between rumination and depression is complex. Although rumination may contribute to depression by generating a spiral of negative thinking and negative feeling, feeling trapped and unable to control one's rumination, and being flight motivated, may add a further dimension to the depressogenic qualities of rumination.
    • An exploration of competitiveness and caring in relation to psychopathology.

      McEwan, Kirsten; Gilbert, Paul; Duarte, Joana; Kingsway Hospital, Derby; University of Coimbra (British Psychological Society, 2011-04-14)
      Objectives. Social mentality theory outlines how specialist systems have evolved to facilitate different types of social behaviour such as caring for offspring, forming alliances, and competing for resources. This research explored how different types of self-experiencearelinkedtothedifferentsocialmentalitiesofcompetitivesocialranking (focusingongaininganddefendingone’ssocialposition/status/rank)incontrasttocaring (being helpful to others). Perceived low social rank (with feelings of being inferior and unfavourable social comparison, SC) has been linked to depression, but a caring sense of self has less so. We hypothesized therefore that depression, in both clinical and nonclinical populations, would be primarily linked to competitive and rank focused sense of self rather than a caring sense of self. Method. Students (N=312) and patients with depression (N=48) completed selfreport scales measuring: self-experience related to competitiveness and caring; social rank; social safeness; and depression, anxiety, and stress. Results. The data suggest that in students, and particularly in patients, competitiveness (and feeling unsuccessful in competing for resources) is strongly associated with depression. Although caring shares a small correlation with depression in students, and with depression, anxiety, and stress in patients, when controlling for the rank variable of submissive behaviour this relationship ceases to be significant. Submissive behaviour was found to be a full mediator between caring and depression. We also found that how safe and comfortable one feels in one’s social relationships (social safeness), was a full mediator between competitiveness and depression. So, it is the feeling of being unable to compete where one does not feel secure in one’s social environment that is particularly linked to depression. Conclusion. The results of this study suggest that self-experience is complex and multifaceted and is linked to different social roles that are socially contextualized. In addition, perceived low social rank and perceived failures in being able to ‘attract’ others and compete for social resources, are strongly linked to depression, whereas experiencing oneself as caring and helpful is not when submissiveness is controlled for.
    • An exploration of different types of positive affect in students and patients with bipolar disorder.

      Gilbert, Paul; McEwan, Kirsten; Mitra, Ranjana; Richter, Anne; Franks, Leigh; Mills, Alison; Bellew, Rebecca; Gale, Corinne; Kingsway Hospital; University of Derby (Giovanni Fioriti Editore, 2009-08)
      Objective: Depue and Morrone-Strupinsky (2005) distinguished between two different types of positive affect regulation system: 1. relates to activated positive affects such as excitement, joy and vitality; and 2. relates to positive affects associated with peacefulness, contentment and well-being, and is linked to the experience of attachment and social safeness. In addition, people can derive positive feelings from doing social things (e.g. enjoying being with friends), and non-social things (e.g. watching a sunset). The first aim of this study was to develop two scales to assess the enjoyment of social and non-social events and to explore how these relate to the two types of affect regulation. In addition, we explore how these two types of positive affect regulation system are related to measures of affective temperament linked to mood disorders. The second aim was to explore these dimensions in people who have a bipolar disorder. Method: Students (n=202) and patients with bipolar disorder (n=49) completed a set of self-report scales measuring: social and non-social positive affect; different types of positive affect; social rank; current affective temperament and mood. Results: Our data showed that, in both patient and student groups, non-social positive affect has few correlations with other types of positive affect and affective temperament. In contrast, the pleasures derived from social relationships are significantly related to other types of positive affect and mood linked affective temperaments. Conclusions: Social and non-social positive affect seem to operate quite differently. It is the positive affects that we receive from our social relationships that are most significantly linked to affective temperament and social rank variables. This finding may have implications for pharmacological, psychological and social therapies.
    • An exploration of formal and informal mindfulness practice and associations with wellbeing.

      Birtwell, Kelly; Williams, Kate; van Marwijk, Harm; Armitage, Christopher J.; Sheffield, David; University of Derby; University of Manchester; NIHR School for Primary Care Research Manchester England; Brighton and Sussex Medical School University of Brighton; NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (Springer., 2018-05-21)
      Mindfulness has transdiagnostic applicability, but little is known about how people first begin to practice mindfulness and what sustains practice in the long term. The aim of the present research was to explore the experiences of a large sample of people practicing mindfulness, including difficulties with practice and associations between formal and informal mindfulness practice and wellbeing. In this cross-sectional study, 218 participants who were practicing mindfulness or had practiced in the past completed an online survey about how they first began to practice mindfulness, difficulties and supportive factors for continuing to practice, current wellbeing, and psychological flexibility. Participants had practiced mindfulness from under a year up to 43 years. There was no significant difference in the frequency of formal mindfulness practice between those who had attended a face-to-face taught course and those who had not. Common difficulties included finding time to practice formally and falling asleep during formal practice. Content analysis revealed “practical resources,” “time/routine,” “support from others,” and “attitudes and beliefs,” which were supportive factors for maintaining mindfulness practice. Informal mindfulness practice was related to positive wellbeing and psychological flexibility. Frequency (but not duration) of formal mindfulness practice was associated with positive wellbeing; however, neither frequency nor duration of formal mindfulness practice was significantly associated with psychological flexibility. Mindfulness teachers will be able to use the present findings to further support their students by reminding them of the benefits as well as normalising some of the challenges of mindfulness practice including falling asleep.
    • An exploration of group-based compassion focused therapy for a heterogeneous range of clients presenting to a community mental health team.

      Judge, Lorna; Cleghorn, Ailish; McEwan, Kirsten; Gilbert, Paul; Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow; Kingsway Hospital, Derby (Guilford Press, 2012-12)
      This study explored the benefits of a group-based compassion-focused therapy approach in a heterogeneous group of clients presenting with severe and enduring mental health difficulties to a community mental health team. Seven groups with an average of five clients per group were run over 12–14 weeks. The format of the group followed the procedures of explaining the evolutionary model, formulating client problems within the compassion-focused therapy model, introducing clients to the core practices of compassionate training, and using compassion based interventions to address core difficulties. Questionnaires were completed pre- and post intervention: Self-criticism, shame, depression, anxiety, and stress. Significant reductions were found for depression, anxiety, stress, self-criticism, shame, submissive behavior, and social comparison post intervention. Of importance, at pre-intervention the majority of patients were in the severe category of depression scores. At the end of therapy the majority were in the borderline category. A combination of self-report data and client feedback suggests that compassion focused therapy is easily understood, well-tolerated, seen as helpful and produces significant changes in objective measures of mental health difficulties in naturalistic settings.
    • An exploration of primary school teachers’ maths anxiety using interpretative phenomenological analysis

      Dove, Jane; Montague, Jane; Hunt, Thomas, E; University of Derby (Final International University, 2021-06-30)
      Primary school teachers are important in children’s learning of mathematics, and maths anxiety development has been partly attributed to children’s classroom experiences (Das & Das, 2013). Maths anxiety was explored in UK primary school teachers, with a view to understanding its development and impact. Data from four semi-structured individual interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), which facilitates a deeper knowledge of individuals’ personal experience. Three key themes emerged: “experiencing the psychological consequences of maths anxiety”, “social influences” and “the consequences of experiencing maths anxiety as a teaching professional”. The findings contribute to our understanding of the influence of maths anxiety on teachers and teaching practices.
    • An exploration of primary school teachers’ understanding of art and the place of art in the primary school curriculum

      Hallam, Jenny; Das Gupta, Mani; Lee, Helen A. N.; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2008)
      Some research within developmental psychology shows a slow period of development in children’s expressive drawings during the primary school years (Davis, 1997; Ives 1984; Jolley, Fenn and Jones, 2004). Developmental researchers suggest that ‘educational factors’ could contribute to this dip in development but have not explored these factors. This study explores links between educational policy – in terms of the English National Curriculum - and the development of expression in child art. A Foucauldian style analysis of interviews is presented which investigates how ten primary school teachers working in two Staffordshire schools approach art. A specific concern is to explore how different understandings of art and teaching practices are shaped and managed by the curriculum. This allows links between the demands of the curriculum and the observed dip in expressive drawing development to be investigated.
    • An exploratory study of the association between online gaming addiction and enjoyment motivations for playing massively multiplayer online role-playing games

      Hussain, Zaheer; Williams, Glenn A.; Griffiths, Mark D.; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2015-04-20)
      Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a popular form of entertainment used by millions of gamers worldwide. Potential problems relating to MMORPG play have emerged, particularly in relation to being addicted to playing in such virtual environments. In the present study, factors relating to online gaming addiction and motivations for playing in MMORPGs were examined to establish whether they were associated with addiction. A sample comprised 1167 gamers who were surveyed about their gaming motivations. Latent Class Analysis revealed seven classes of motivations for playing MMORPGs, which comprised: (1) novelty; (2) highly social and discovery-orientated; (3) aggressive, anti-social and non-curious; (4) highly social, competitive; (5) low intensity enjoyment; (6) discovery-orientated; and (7) social classes. Five classes of gaming addiction-related experiences were extracted including: (1) high risk of addiction, (2) time-affected, (3) intermediate risk of addiction, (4) emotional control, and (5) low risk of addiction classes. Gender was a significant predictor of intermediate risk of addiction and emotional control class membership. Membership of the high risk of addiction class was significantly predicted by belonging to a highly social and competitive class, a novelty class, or an aggressive, anti-social, and non-curious class. Implications of these findings for assessment and treatment of MMORPG addiction are discussed.
    • Exploring Differences in Pain Beliefs Within and Between a Large Nonclinical (Workplace) Population and a Clinical (Chronic Low Back Pain) Population Using the Pain Beliefs Questionnaire

      Baird, Andrew; Haslam, Roger A.; University of Derby (2013-07-25)
      BACKGROUND: Beliefs, cognitions, and behaviors relating to pain can be associated with a range of negative outcomes. In patients, certain beliefs are associated with increased levels of pain and related disability. There are few data, however, showing the extent to which beliefs of patients differ from those of the general population. OBJECTIVE: This study explored pain beliefs in a large nonclinical population and a chronic low back pain (CLBP) sample using the Pain Beliefs Questionnaire (PBQ) to identify differences in scores and factor structures between and within the samples. DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study. METHODS: The samples comprised patients attending a rehabilitation program and respondents to a workplace survey. Pain beliefs were assessed using the PBQ, which incorporates 2 scales: organic and psychological. Exploratory factor analysis was used to explore variations in factor structure within and between samples. The relationship between the 2 scales also was examined. RESULTS: Patients reported higher organic scores and lower psychological scores than the nonclinical sample. Within the nonclinical sample, those who reported frequent pain scored higher on the organic scale than those who did not. Factor analysis showed variations in relation to the presence of pain. The relationship between scales was stronger in those not reporting frequent pain. LIMITATIONS: This was a cross-sectional study; therefore, no causal inferences can be made. CONCLUSIONS: Patients experiencing CLBP adopt a more biomedical perspective on pain than nonpatients. The presence of pain is also associated with increased biomedical thinking in a nonclinical sample. However, the impact is not only on the strength of beliefs, but also on the relationship between elements of belief and the underlying belief structure
    • Exploring the experience of novelty when viewing creative adverts: An ERP study.

      Zhou, Shujin; Yin, Yue; Yu, Tingting; Stupple, Edward J. N.; Luo, Junlong; Shanghai Normal University; University of Derby (Frontiers, 2018-04-09)
      The electrophysiological correlates of experiencing novelty in creative advertising were studied in 28 healthy subjects using event-related potentials. Participants viewed images that were difficult to interpret until a description was presented providing either a creative description (CD) featuring an unexpected description of the image based on the original advertisement, or a normal description (ND), which was a literal description of the image (and served as a baseline condition). Participants evaluated the level of creativity of the description. The results showed that the N2 amplitude was higher for CDs than for NDs across middle and right scalp regions between 240 and 270 ms, most likely reflecting conflict detection. Moreover, CDs demonstrated greater N400 than NDs in a time window between 380 and 500 ms, it is argued that this reflects semantic integration. The present study investigates the electrophysiological correlates of experiencing novelty in advertising with ecologically valid stimuli. This substantially extends the findings of earlier laboratory studies with more artificial stimuli.
    • Exploring the international utility of progressing compassionate mind training in school settings: a comparison of implementation effectiveness of the same curricula in the UK and Portugal

      Maratos, Frances A.; Matos, Marcela; Alberquerque, Isabel; Wood, Wendy; Palmeira, Lara; Cuna, Marina; Lima, Margarida; Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby; University of Coimbra (British Psychological Society, 2020-09-01)
      Given current retention and well-being crises within the teaching profession worldwide, this research sought to explore implementation efficacy of a Compassion Mind Training (CMT) programme in cross-cultural school-settings. A 6-module CMT curriculum was implemented in teaching staff of two primary schools in the UK (N=76) and one primary school in Portugal (N=41). Results revealed that high-quality implementation was achieved across the UK and Portuguese cohorts, with the majority of staff providing extremely positive ratings regarding all aspects of module content, delivery, and interest/relevance. Moreover, recommendation of the CMT to others was the modal response across cohorts. These findings indicate that CMT in school settings has international appeal and utility in helping educators manage educational-based stresses.