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Psychological Bulletin - Vol 143, Iss 7

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Psychological Bulletin Psychological Bulletin publishes evaluative and integrative research reviews and interpretations of issues in scientific psychology. Primary research is reported only for illustrative purposes. Integrative reviews or research syntheses focus on empirical studies and seek to summarize past research by drawing overall conclusions from many separate investigations that address related or identical hypotheses.
Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
  • Interpersonal dysfunction in personality disorders: A meta-analytic review.
    Personality disorders are defined in the current psychiatric diagnostic system as pervasive, inflexible, and stable patterns of thinking, feeling, behaving, and interacting with others. Questions regarding the validity and reliability of the current personality disorder diagnoses prompted a reconceptualization of personality pathology in the most recent edition of the psychiatric diagnostic manual, in an appendix of emerging models for future study. To evaluate the construct and discriminant validity of the current personality disorder diagnoses, we conducted a quantitative synthesis of the existing empirical research on associations between personality disorders and interpersonal functioning, defined using the interpersonal circumplex model (comprising orthogonal dimensions of agency and communion), as well as functioning in specific relationship domains (parent–child, family, peer, romantic). A comprehensive literature search yielded 127 published and unpublished studies, comprising 2,579 effect sizes. Average effect sizes from 120 separate meta-analyses, corrected for sampling error and measurement unreliability, and aggregated using a random-effects model, indicated that each personality disorder showed a distinct profile of interpersonal style consistent with its characteristic pattern of symptomatic dysfunction; specific relationship domains affected and strength of associations varied for each personality disorder. Overall, results support the construct and discriminant validity of the personality disorders in the current diagnostic manual, as well as the proposed conceptualization that disturbances in self and interpersonal functioning constitute the core of personality pathology. Importantly, however, contradicting both the current and proposed conceptualizations, there was not evidence for pervasive dysfunction across interpersonal situations and relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The three-second “subjective present”: A critical review and a new proposal.
    It has been argued that there is a “subjective present” or “experienced moment” of about 3 seconds in duration, involving automatic binding of events into perceptual units on that time scale. Research on topics that have been taken as relevant to this proposal is reviewed. The topics include accuracy in reproduction of stimulus durations, synchronization of behavior with a regular beat, mental rhythmization of a regular beat, time units in behavior, segmentation of observed behavior into meaningful units, time scale of reversals of perception with bistable ambiguous figures, time scale of inhibition of return in visual search, and EEG responses to deviant stimuli in series of repeating stimuli. Most of the research findings were not consistent with the 3 s window hypothesis. The small amount of supportive evidence is better interpreted as effects of specific processing mechanisms, not as showing general temporal integration. The evidence shows that temporal integration occurs on multiple time scales and no particular duration is special, and that windows of temporal integration are defined in terms of information density, not in terms of duration. The subjective present is constructed through local temporal integration on multiple time scales, further integrated into a coherent global representation of what is going on. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Overstated evidence for short-term effects of violent games on affect and behavior: A reanalysis of Anderson et al. (2010).
    Violent video games are theorized to be a significant cause of aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Important evidence for this claim comes from a large meta-analysis by Anderson and colleagues (2010), who found effects of violent games in experimental, cross-sectional, and longitudinal research. In that meta-analysis, the authors argued that there is little publication or analytic bias in the literature, an argument supported by their use of the trim-and-fill procedure. In the present manuscript, we reexamine their meta-analysis using a wider array of techniques for detecting bias and adjusting effect sizes. Our conclusions differ from those of Anderson and colleagues in 3 salient ways. First, we detect substantial publication bias in experimental research on the effects of violent games on aggressive affect and aggressive behavior. Second, after adjustment for bias, the effects of violent games on aggressive behavior in experimental research are estimated as being very small, and estimates of effects on aggressive affect are much reduced. In contrast, the cross-sectional literature finds correlations that appear largely unbiased. Third, experiments meeting the original authors’ criteria for methodological quality do not yield larger adjusted effects than other experiments, but instead yield larger indications of bias, indicating that perhaps they were selected for significance. We outline future directions for stronger experimental research. The results indicate the need for an open, transparent, and preregistered research process to test the existence of the basic phenomenon. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Violent video game effects remain a societal concern: Reply to Hilgard, Engelhardt, and Rouder (2017).
    A large meta-analysis by Anderson et al. (2010) found that violent video games increased aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal, and aggressive behavior and decreased empathic feelings and helping behavior. Hilgard, Engelhardt, and Rouder (2017) reanalyzed the data of Anderson et al. (2010) using newer publication bias methods (i.e., precision-effect test, precision-effect estimate with standard error, p-uniform, p-curve). Based on their reanalysis, Hilgard, Engelhardt, and Rouder concluded that experimental studies examining the effect of violent video games on aggressive affect and aggressive behavior may be contaminated by publication bias, and these effects are very small when corrected for publication bias. However, the newer methods Hilgard, Engelhardt, and Rouder used may not be the most appropriate. Because publication bias is a potential a problem in any scientific domain, we used a comprehensive sensitivity analysis battery to examine the influence of publication bias and outliers on the experimental effects reported by Anderson et al. We used best meta-analytic practices and the triangulation approach to locate the likely position of the true mean effect size estimates. Using this methodological approach, we found that the combined adverse effects of outliers and publication bias was less severe than what Hilgard, Engelhardt, and Rouder found for publication bias alone. Moreover, the obtained mean effects using recommended methods and practices were not very small in size. The results of the methods used by Hilgard, Engelhardt, and Rouder tended to not converge well with the results of the methods we used, indicating potentially poor performance. We therefore conclude that violent video game effects should remain a societal concern. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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