Article of the Month

Division 15 suggests each month the “Article of the Month”. This is an article from the very
recent literature focusing on an interesting topic to all psychology students and aiming to
cover all disciplines.

Division 15 expresses its gratitude to Csilla Jeszenszky and Sarah Turgut for their initiative
and work for this project.
Your contributions can be sent at: iaap.division15 at gmail.com


  MARCH 2012

Rowen, D., Brazier, J., Tsuchiya,  A., Young, T., &  Ibbotson, R. (2012) It’s all in the name, or is it? The impact of labeling on health state values. Medical Decision Making, 32, 31-40.doi: 10.1177/0272989X11408435


Background. Many descriptions of health used in vignettes and condition-specific measures name the medical condition. This article assesses the impact of referring to the medical condition in the descriptions of health states valued by members of the general population. Methods. A valuation study was conducted using face-to-face interviews involving the time trade-off valuation technique. All respondents valued essentially the same health states, but for each respondent, the descriptions featured an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) label, a cancer label, or no label. Random effects generalized least squares regressions were used to estimate the impact of each label and experience of the condition on health state values. Data. A sample of 241 members of the UK general population each valued 8 states, generating 1910 observations (response rate = 39%, completion rate = 99% for all states). Results. The authors find no significant difference between health state values when the description contains no label or an IBS label. They find that the inclusion of a cancer label in health state descriptions affects health state values and that the impact is dependent on the severity of the state, with a significant reduction in values for more severe health states (up to −0.25 for the worst possible state) but no significant difference for mild states. Conclusions. A condition label can affect health state values, but this is dependent on the specific condition and severity. The authors recommend avoiding condition labels in health state descriptions (where possible) to ensure that values are not affected by prior knowledge or preconception of the condition that may distort the health state being valued.







Holley, K. A., & Gardner, S. (2012, January 23). Navigating the pipeline: How socio-cultural influences impact first-generation doctoral students. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0026840


This paper examines the experiences of doctoral students who are the first in their families to graduate from college. First-generation college students constitute one third of doctoral degree recipients in the United States (Hoffer et al., 2002), yet little is known about their graduate school experience. Social capital and reproduction theory offer insight into the relationship between individual mobility and social structures, while the concept of intersectionality emphasizes the multiple characteristics of individual identity. Through interviews with 20 first-generation doctoral students, this article considers the role of the discipline, the institution, finances, and family in the graduate school experience. The findings emphasize how the manifold components of a student's identity beyond the educational achievements of a parent help explain the first-generation doctoral student experience. Implications and recommendations for practice are offered. DECEMBER 2011

  JANUARY 2012

DeCelles, K. A., DeRue, D. S., Margolis, J. D., & Ceranic, T. L. (2012, January 16). Does power corrupt or enable? When and why power facilitates self-interested behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0026811


Does power corrupt a moral identity, or does it enable a moral identity to emerge? Drawing from the power literature, we propose that the psychological experience of  power, although often associated with promoting self-interest, is associated with greater self-interest only in the presence of a weak moral identity. Furthermore, we propose that the psychological experience of power is associated with less self-interest in the presence of a strong moral identity. Across a field survey of working adults and in a lab experiment, individuals with a strong moral identity were less likely to act in self-interest, yet individuals with a weak moral identity were more likely to act in self-interest, when subjectively experiencing power. Finally, we predict and demonstrate an explanatory mechanism behind this effect: The psychological experience of power enhances moral awareness among those with a strong moral identity, yet decreases the moral awareness among those with a weak moral identity. In turn, individuals’ moral awareness affects how they behave in relation to their self-interest.


Diedrichs, P. C.,  & Lee, C. (2011): Waif goodbye! Average-size female models promote positive body image and appeal to consumers. Psychology & Health, 26, 1273-1291. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2010.515308


Despite consensus that exposure to media images of thin fashion models is associated with poor body image and disordered eating behaviours, few attempts have been made to enact change in the media. This study sought to investigate an effective alternative to current media imagery, by exploring the advertising effectiveness of average-size female fashion models, and their impact on the body image of both women and men. A sample of 171 women and 120 men were assigned to one of three advertisement conditions: no models, thin models and average-size models. Women and men rated average-size models as equally effective in advertisements as thin and no models. For women with average and high levels of internalisation of cultural beauty ideals, exposure to average-size female models was associated with a significantly more positive body image state in comparison to exposure to thin models and no models. For men reporting high levels of internalisation, exposure to average-size models was also associated with a more positive body image state in comparison to viewing thin models. These findings suggest that average-size female models can promote positive body image and appeal to consumers.



Ragsdale, J. M., Beehr, T. A., Grebner, S., & Han, K. (2011). An integrated model of weekday stress and weekend recovery of students.  International Journal of Stress Management, 18, 153-180. doi: 10.1037/a0023190


In previous research on psychological stress recovery, recovery activities and recovery experiences have been studied separately rather than jointly. The present study advances previous knowledge about stress recovery by integrating the effects of these separate recovery constructs within a single study and examining them outside the work context. We propose and test an integrated model of the stress-recovery process that includes weekday stressors and weekend recovery activity behaviors, psychological recovery experiences, and recovery outcomes. Undergraduates (n = 221) from a Midwestern university reported on Friday about stressors experienced during the week, followed by a weekend during which recovery could occur. On Monday they reported their weekend activities and their current well-being. Results suggest that participating in specific recovery activities during a weekend and accompanying specific subjective recovery experiences reduce negative psychological outcomes. Future research and practical applications of the integrated model of the recovery process are discussed


  OCTOBER 2011

Bakker, M., & Jelte Wicherts, J. M. (2011). The (mis)reporting of statistical results in psychology journals. Behavior Research Methods, 43, 666-678. doi: 10.3758/s13428-011-0089-5


In order to study the prevalence, nature (direction), and causes of reporting errors in psychology, we checked the consistency of reported test statistics, degrees of freedom, and p values in a random sample of high- and low-impact psychology journals. In a second study, we established the generality of reporting errors in a random sample of recent psychological articles. Our results, on the basis of 281 articles, indicate that around 18% of statistical results in the psychological literature are incorrectly reported. Inconsistencies were more common in low-impact journals than in high-impact journals.  Moreover,  around  15%  of  the  articles contained  at  least  one  statistical  conclusion  that  proved, upon  recalculation,  to  be  incorrect;  that  is,  recalculation rendered  the  previously  significant  result  insignificant,  or vice versa. These errors were often in line with researchers’ expectations.  We classified the most common errors and contacted authors to shed light on the origins of the errors.



Allan, J. L., Johnston, M., Campbell, N. (2011) Missed by an inch or a mile? Predicting the
size of intention‐behaviour gap from measure of executive control. Psychology and Health
26, 635‐650. doi: 10.1080/08870441003681307


Failing to achieve healthy intentions can have a direct impact on subsequent health.
The extent of this impact is partially determined by the size of the discrepancy
between intentions and behaviour, that is, on whether an unachieved behavioural
target is missed by an inch or a mile. Over two studies, measures of ‘executive
control’ ability were used to predict the size of the intention–behaviour gap for two
dietary behaviours – eating fruits and vegetables and snacking. In Study 1,
participants (n = 50) reported intended dietary intake, completed objective and selfreport
measures of executive control ability and recorded actual dietary intake over 3
days with computerised diaries. Using multiple regression, general executive control
ability was found to account for 16–23% of the variance in the size of intention–
behaviour gap for both the dietary behaviours. In Study 2 (n = 52), deviation from
intentions about snacking was significantly related to individual differences in
prepotent response inhibition. Overall, individuals with weak executive control ate
less fruits and vegetables and more snacks than intended. Intention–behaviour
‘failures’ are not homogenous, but instead vary predictably with the availability of
executive control resources. This suggests that individuals with large intention–
behaviour shortfalls may benefit from interventions designed to reduce the demands
on executive control.