- The relationship between psychological states and health perception in individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease. [Journal Article]
- PRPsychol Res Behav Manag 2019; 12:317-324
- CONCLUSIONS: A mismatch between individual health perceptions and cardiovascular disease risks was associated with depressive symptoms. As health perception is affected by depressive symptoms, clinicians should assess depressive symptoms when exploring health perceptions and engaging individuals in decision-making about a healthy lifestyle.
- Pair-bonding influences affective state in a monogamous fish species. [Journal Article]
- PBProc Biol Sci 2019 Jun 12; 286(1904):20190760
- In humans, affective states are a key component in pair-bonding, particularly in the early stage of a relationship. Pairing with a high-quality partner elicits positive affective states which, in tur…
In humans, affective states are a key component in pair-bonding, particularly in the early stage of a relationship. Pairing with a high-quality partner elicits positive affective states which, in turn, validate and reinforce the mate choice. Affective states thus strongly affect pair stability and future reproductive success. We propose generalizing the link between affective states and pair-bonding to encompass other monogamous species exhibiting biparental care, chiefly where the reproductive success of the pair critically depends on the coordination between partners. The convict cichlid Amatitlania siquia is a monogamous fish species that forms long-lasting pairs with strong cooperation between parents for parental care. In this species, we showed that females paired with their non-preferred male had lower reproductive success than those paired with their preferred male. We then transposed the judgement bias paradigm, previously used in other animal species, to assess objectively affective states in fishes. Females that were assigned their non-preferred partner exhibited pessimistic bias, which indicates a negative affective state. By contrast, females that were assigned their preferred partner did not exhibit changes in their affective state. Our results highlight that the influence of pair-bonding on affective states is not human-specific and can also be observed in non-human species.
- Coupling of palaeontological and neontological reef coral data improves forecasts of biodiversity responses under global climatic change. [Journal Article]
- RSR Soc Open Sci 2019; 6(4):182111
- Reef corals are currently undergoing climatically driven poleward range expansions, with some evidence for equatorial range retractions. Predicting their response to future climate scenarios is criti…
Reef corals are currently undergoing climatically driven poleward range expansions, with some evidence for equatorial range retractions. Predicting their response to future climate scenarios is critical to their conservation, but ecological models are based only on short-term observations. The fossil record provides the only empirical evidence for the long-term response of organisms under perturbed climate states. The palaeontological record from the Last Interglacial (LIG; 125 000 years ago), a time of global warming, suggests that reef corals experienced poleward range shifts and an equatorial decline relative to their modern distribution. However, this record is spatio-temporally biased, and existing methods cannot account for data absence. Here, we use ecological niche modelling to estimate reef corals' realized niche and LIG distribution, based on modern and fossil occurrences. We then make inferences about modelled habitability under two future climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). Reef coral ranges during the LIG were comparable to the present, with no prominent equatorial decrease in habitability. Reef corals are likely to experience poleward range expansion and large equatorial declines under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. However, this range expansion is probably optimistic in the face of anthropogenic climate change. Incorporation of fossil data in niche models improves forecasts of biodiversity responses under global climatic change.
- Knowledge and risk perceptions of foodborne disease by consumers and food handlers at restaurants with different food safety profiles. [Journal Article]
- FRFood Res Int 2019; 121:845-853
- Food handlers and consumers are responsible for avoiding foodborne diseases (FBD). Considering the meals consumed away from home, can the consumer identify the FBD risk level of the food that he/she …
Food handlers and consumers are responsible for avoiding foodborne diseases (FBD). Considering the meals consumed away from home, can the consumer identify the FBD risk level of the food that he/she consumes in restaurants? This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge, risk perception, and optimistic bias of food handlers and consumers of restaurants and the relationship of these variables with the FBD risk of these establishments. Sixty-four handlers and 265 consumers of 14 restaurants in the city of Limeira - São Paulo, Brazil participated in the study. A validated checklist was used to evaluate the food safety profile of restaurants with a score ranging from zero to 2565.95. A structured questionnaire was employed to assess knowledge of food safety and the risk perception of FBD. The food handlers indicated their own risk and their peers' risk of causing a FBD. Consumers evaluated their own risk and the risk of their peers of contracting a FBD after making their own meals, consuming meals at the studied restaurants and consuming meals in other food establishments. The answers were based on a structured scale with seven options. The difference between their risk perception levels (risk attributed to itself and to a peer) indicated the optimistic bias of FBD risk. The mean food safety risk score of the food service establishments was 105.51. The restaurants were classified into two groups, higher or lower FBD risk. The mean score of knowledge (percentage of correct answers) of food safety was 61.7% for handlers and 59% for consumers, showing a nonsignificant difference (p = .29). Both food handlers and consumers stated that they were less at risk for FBD than their peers (p < .001). A direct effect of consumers' optimistic bias on food service FBD risk was observed through multivariate analysis. Optimistic bias may lead consumers to choose restaurants with a higher FDB risk. A direct negative effect of food handlers' knowledge of food service FBD risk was observed. These results show that consumers may have incorporated a sense of affection and identity to a place, associating it with making their own meals at home. Therefore, the consumer may not differentiate restaurants with regard to food safety. This result reinforces the need for governments and health agencies to protect the health of the population.
- Functional MRI reveals evidence of a self-positivity bias in the medial prefrontal cortex during the comprehension of social vignettes. [Journal Article]
- SCSoc Cogn Affect Neurosci 2019 May 14
- A large literature in social neuroscience has associated the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) with the processing of self-related information. However, only recently have social neuroscience studies b…
A large literature in social neuroscience has associated the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) with the processing of self-related information. However, only recently have social neuroscience studies begun to consider the large behavioral literature showing a strong self-positivity bias, and these studies have mostly focused on its correlates during self-related judgments and decision making. We carried out a functional MRI (fMRI) study to ask whether the mPFC would show effects of the self-positivity bias in a paradigm that probed participants' self-concept without any requirement of explicit self-judgment. We presented social vignettes that were either self-relevant or non-self-relevant with a neutral, positive, or negative outcome described in the second sentence. In previous work using event-related potentials, this paradigm has shown evidence of a self-positivity bias that influences early stages of semantically processing incoming stimuli. In the present fMRI study, we found evidence for this bias within the mPFC: an interaction between self-relevance and valence, with only positive scenarios showing a self vs other effect within the mPFC. We suggest that the mPFC may play a role in maintaining a positively-biased self-concept and discuss the implications of these findings for the social neuroscience of the self and the role of the mPFC.
- Discrimination learning and judgment bias in low birth weight pigs. [Journal Article]
- ACAnim Cogn 2019 May 03
- Low birth weight (LBW) is a risk factor for cognitive and emotional impairments in humans. In pigs, LBW is a common occurrence, but its effects on cognition and emotion have received only limited sci…
Low birth weight (LBW) is a risk factor for cognitive and emotional impairments in humans. In pigs, LBW is a common occurrence, but its effects on cognition and emotion have received only limited scientific attention. To assess whether LBW pigs suffer from impaired cognitive and emotional development, we trained and tested 21 LBW and 21 normal birth weight (NBW) pigs in a judgment bias task. Judgment bias is a measure of emotional state which reflects the influence of emotion on an animal's interpretation of ambiguous stimuli. Pigs were trained to perform a specific behavioral response to two auditory stimuli, predicting either a positive or negative outcome. Once pigs successfully discriminated between these stimuli, they were presented with intermediate, ambiguous stimuli. The pigs' responses to ambiguous stimuli were scored as optimistic (performance of 'positive' response) or pessimistic (performance of 'negative' response). Optimistic or pessimistic interpretation of an ambiguous stimulus is indicative of a positive or negative emotional state, respectively. We found LBW pigs to require more discrimination training sessions than NBW pigs to reach criterion performance, suggesting that LBW causes a mild cognitive impairment in pigs. No effects of LBW on judgment bias were found, suggesting a similar emotional state for LBW and NBW pigs. This was supported by comparable salivary and hair cortisol concentrations for both groups. It is possible the enriched housing conditions and social grouping applied during our study influenced these results.
- Exploring the Asymmetrical Relationship Between the Power of Finance Bias and Evidence. [Journal Article]
- PBPerspect Biol Med 2019; 62(1):159-187
- Financial conflicts of interest can influence the design, conduct, and dissemination of medical trials. In attempting to resist "finance bias," critics and proponents of evidence-based medicine (EBM)…
Financial conflicts of interest can influence the design, conduct, and dissemination of medical trials. In attempting to resist "finance bias," critics and proponents of evidence-based medicine (EBM) and its precursors have largely focused on trying to improve evidence. These efforts have led to successes ranging from the 1962 Kefauver-Harris amendments to the US Federal Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 to recent recommendations that all trials be published. However, there are two problems with the strategy of trying to improve evidence as a buffer against finance bias. First, without political teeth, rules of evidence can be ignored with relative impunity. This is because, as sociologist Bent Flyvbjerg has pointed out, there is an asymmetry between power (of finance bias) and rationality (evidence), tending towards victory of power in an open confrontation. Second, by improving the way evidence is produced, the process has become more expensive, and thus more susceptible to influence by finance bias. Unless they address the powers behind finance bias directly, critics and proponents may be doomed to lose the war against finance bias, even if they win some battles. For EBM to be effective, the power of finance bias influencing the production and dissemination of evidence needs to be addressed as a priority. This is starting to happen, with initiatives such as the AllTrials campaign, which identifies and exposes unpublished trials. On the other hand, there are reasons to be less optimistic, as Cochrane, the most trusted source of evidence, has become more susceptible to stronger influences from industry.
- The contagion of optimism: The relationship between patient optimism and palliative care clinician overestimation of survival among hospitalized patients with advanced cancer. [Journal Article]
- PPsychooncology 2019; 28(6):1286-1292
- CONCLUSIONS: Patients' optimism may have some influence over their clinicians' prognostic judgments.
- Human resource primacy, dispositional optimism, and chest pain: A prospective, cross-lagged study of work, personality, and health. [Journal Article]
- PlosPLoS One 2019; 14(4):e0215719
- Chest pain (CP) is common, frightening, and often medically unexplained. Occupational psychological factors are associated with somatic pain. Personality may influence both perceived working conditio…
Chest pain (CP) is common, frightening, and often medically unexplained. Occupational psychological factors are associated with somatic pain. Personality may influence both perceived working conditions and somatic health, thereby confounding associations of work with health. Despite this, very few studies have investigated the interplay between work factors, personality and pain. The current study assessed relationships of a relatively novel work factor, human resource primacy (HRP), and a personality factor known to be relevant to health, dispositional optimism (Opt), with CP across two years (N = 6714). A series of structural equation models (SEMs) were fitted, modeling "substantive" and "confounded" relationships of psychological factors with CP. A "common latent factor" (CLF) was included to account for bias by unmeasured factors that may have influenced all variables (e.g. reporting bias) and the role of optimism as a possible confounder of the relationship between HRP and CP was investigated specifically. Independent effects of HRP and Opt on CP were observed. No effects of HRP/CP on Opt were observed. Opt appeared to confound the relationship between HRP and CP to some extent. However, best fit was observed for a "reciprocal" model with independent lagged effects from HRP/Opt to CP as well as from CP/Opt to HRP. Thus, results suggested a mutual causal dynamic between HRP and CP along with an influence of Opt on both HRP and CP-implying that working conditions influence the experience of chest pain while the chest pain also influences the experience of working conditions. Optimistic dispositions may influence the experience of both work and pain, but not to an extent that fully explains their relationship. Hence, the notion that associations of HRP with CP are mere artifacts of optimistic/pessimistic reporting was not supported. More likely, complex reciprocal relationships exist between these factors, in which mutual reinforcements occur and both vicious and virtuous cycles may result.
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- [Smoking, alcohol and diabetes (Update 2019)]. [Journal Article]
- WKWien Klin Wochenschr 2019; 131(Suppl 1):67-70
- Smoking and second-hand smoke strongly increase incidence of diabetes and probability for its complications. Smoking cessation can lead to weight gain and increased diabetes risk; however, it decreas…
Smoking and second-hand smoke strongly increase incidence of diabetes and probability for its complications. Smoking cessation can lead to weight gain and increased diabetes risk; however, it decreases cardiovascular and total mortality. A basal diagnostics (Fagerström Test, exhaled CO) is the basis for successful smoking cessation. Supporting medication include Varenicline, Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Bupropion. Socio-economic as well as psychological factors play an important role for smoking and smoking cessation.Moderate consumption of alcohol possibly decreases risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Selection bias and underreporting in studies maybe contribute to a too optimistic view. On the other hand, alcohol increases in a dose dependant fashion excess morbidity and disability adjusted life years, especially by cancer, liver diseases and infections.