Monday, 5 September 2016

Bias in grading: A meta-analysis of experimental research findings

Title

Bias in grading: A meta-analysis of experimental research findings

Abstract 

This article provides a meta-analysis of experimental research findings on the existence of bias in subjective grading of student work such as essay writing. Twenty-three analyses, from 20 studies, with a total of 1935 graders, met the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. All studies involved graders being exposed to a specific type of information about a student other than the student’s performance on a task. The hypothesized biasing characteristics included different race/ethnic backgrounds, education-related deficiencies, physical unattractiveness and poor quality of prior performance. The statistically significant overall between-groups effect size was g = 0.36. Moderator analyses showed no significant difference in effect size related to whether the work graded was from a primary school student or a university student. No one type of biasing characteristic showed a significantly higher effect size than other types. The results suggest that bias can occur in subjective grading when graders are aware of irrelevant information about the students.

Link 

http://aed.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/08/22/0004944116664618.abstract

Covered in 

The Age and Daily Mail (Australia)

Cook, H. (2016, September 1). The 'halo effect' that helps beautiful students get better marks. The Age.

Cite 

Malouff, J. M., & Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2016). Bias in grading: A meta-analysis of experimental research findings. Australian Journal of Education, 60, 245-256. doi:10.1177/0004944116664618

Depression, anxiety, and stress in partners of Australian combat veterans and military personnel: A comparison with Australian population norms

Title

Depression, anxiety, and stress in partners of Australian combat veterans and military personnel: A comparison with Australian population norms

Abstract 

Partners of Australian combat veterans are at an increased risk of experiencing mental health problems. The present study provides a comparative analysis of the mental health of partners of veterans with that of the Australian normative data. To compare different types of groups of partners, the study samples comprised: (a) partners of Australian combat veterans (Sample 1: n = 282, age M = 60.79, SD = 5.05), (b) a sub-sample of partners of Australian combat veterans from the previous sample (Sample 2: n = 50; M = 60.06, SD = 4.80), (c) partners of Special Air Services Regiment (SASR) personnel (Sample 3: n = 40, age M = 34.39, SD = 7.01), and (d) partners of current serving military (non-SASR) personnel (Sample 4: n = 38, age M = 32.37, SD = 6.20). Respondents completed measures assessing their reported levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. Samples 1 and 2 comprised partners of Australian military veterans who reported significantly greater symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress than the comparative population norms. The sample of SASR personnel partners (Sample 3) reported significantly lower levels of depression and anxiety, whereas the sample with non-SASR personnel partners (Sample 4) reported a significantly greater stress symptomatology than the comparative norms. Number of deployments was found to be associated with depression, anxiety, and stress in partners of non-SASR veterans (Sample 4). Lessons and protective factors can be learnt from groups within the current military as to what may assist partners and families to maintain a better level of psychosocial health.

Links 

https://peerj.com/articles/2373/?td=bl (reviewed and published)
https://peerj.com/preprints/1876/?td=bl (preprint)

Cite

MacDonell, G. V., Bhullar, N., & Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2016). Depression, anxiety, and stress in partners of Australian combat veterans and military personnel: A comparison with Australian population norms. PeerJ, 4, e2373. doi:10.7717/peerj.2373

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Health Psychology textbook

Published in 2017: A new Health Psychology textbook with an Australian focus 

Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2017). Common models in health psychology. In Health Psychology in Australia (pp. 45-67). Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2017). Health inequalities. In Health Psychology in Australia (pp. 282-304). Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2017). Nutrition, exercise and health. In Health Psychology in Australia (pp. 96-125). Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

Dorrian*, J., Thorsteinsson*, E. B., Di Benedetto, M., Lane-Krebs, K., Day, M., Hutchinson, A., & Sherman, K. (2017). Health Psychology in Australia. Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

Dorrian*, J., & Thorsteinsson*, E. B. (2017). Introduction to health psychology. In Health Psychology in Australia (pp. 1-15). Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

*Equal contribution; authors listed in alphabetical order. 


Links

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Reducing workplace burnout: The relative benefits of cardiovascular and resistance exercise

Title

Reducing workplace burnout: The relative benefits of cardiovascular and resistance exercise

Abstract 

Objectives. The global burden of burnout cost is in excess of $300 billion annually. Locally, just under half of working Australians experience high levels of occupational burnout. Consequently, burnout interventions are paramount to organisational productivity. Exercise has the potential to provide a multilevel and cost effective burnout intervention. The current study aims to extend the literature by comparing cardiovascular with resistance exercise to assess their relative effectiveness against well-being, perceived stress, and burnout. Design. Participants were 49 (36 females and 13 males) previously inactive volunteers ranging in age from 19 to 68 that completed a four week exercise program of either cardiovascular, resistance, or no exercise (control). Randomised control trial design was employed. Method. Participants were measured against the Subjective Exercise Experience Scale, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Results. After four weeks of exercise participants had greater positive well-being and personal accomplishment, and concomitantly less psychological distress, perceived stress, and emotional exhaustion. Cardiovascular exercise was found to increase well-being and decrease psychological distress, perceived stress, and emotional exhaustion. Resistance training was noticeably effective in increasing well-being and personal accomplishment and to reduce perceived stress. The present findings revealed large effect sizes suggesting that exercise may be an effective treatment for burnout. However, given a small sample size further research needs to be conducted. Conclusion. Exercise has potential to be an effective burnout intervention. Different types of exercise may assist employees in different ways. Organisations wishing to proactively reduce burnout can do so by encouraging their employees to access regular exercise programs.

Cite


Bretland, R. J., & Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2015). Reducing workplace burnout: The relative benefits of cardiovascular and resistance exercise. PeerJ, 3, e891. doi:10.7717/peerj.891

Data

Bretland, R. J., & Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2017). Reducing workplace burnout through exercise [DATA]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.4762495.v2

Link 

https://peerj.com/articles/891/?td=bl

Covered in 

Barba, R. P. (2015, September 11). If you want to prevent workplace burnout, get exercising [STUDY]. TECH.CO.

Ergolog. (2015, June 15). Resistance training and cardio training offer protection against burnout. Physical Culturist.

IRON Magazine. (2016, September 16). Burnout protection with resistance training and cardio training. IRON Magazine

Jennings, M. (2017, February 1). 4 weeks of pumping iron to avoid office burnout. Men'sHealth. 



Parents’ evaluation of support in Australian hospitals following stillbirth

Title

Parents’ evaluation of support in Australian hospitals following stillbirth

Abstract 

The present study evaluated the level of support and satisfaction among parents of stillborn babies in Australian hospitals. One-hundred and eighty-nine mothers and fathers completed an online survey designed by the researcher based on the guidelines designed by the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand. Support was inconsistent with guidelines implemented on average only 55% of the time. Areas of support regarding creating memories, birth options and autopsy were most problematic. A significant positive correlation was found between support and satisfaction and there is indication that there has been some increase in support and satisfaction over time. There has been a significant increase in both support and satisfaction since the release of the guidelines in 2009. Creating memories was regarded by parents as the most influential to their grief. It is recommended that health professionals review guidelines and seek feedback from parents as to how they can improve the support they provide.


Cite

Basile, M. L., & Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2015). Parents’ evaluation of support in Australian hospitals following stillbirth. PeerJ, 3, e1049. doi:10.7717/peerj.1049

Link

https://peerj.com/articles/1049/?td=bl

Beliefs and attitudes towards mental illness: An examination of the sex differences in mental health literacy in a community sample

Title

Beliefs and attitudes towards mental illness: An examination of the sex differences in mental health literacy in a community sample

Abstract 

Objectives. The current study investigated mental health literacy in an Australian sample to examine sex differences in the identification of and attitudes towards various aspects of mental illness. Method. An online questionnaire was completed by 373 participants (M = 34.87 years). Participants were randomly assigned either a male or female version of a vignette depicting an individual exhibiting the symptoms of one of three types of mental illness (depression, anxiety, or psychosis) and asked to answer questions relating to aspects of mental health literacy. Results. Males exhibited poorer mental health literacy skills compared to females. Males were less likely to correctly identify the type of mental illness, more likely to rate symptoms as less serious, to perceive the individual as having greater personal control over such symptoms, and less likely to endorse the need for treatment for anxiety or psychosis. Conclusion. Generally, the sample was relatively proficient at correctly identifying mental illness but overall males displayed poorer mental health literacy skills than females.

Cite


Gibbons, R. J., Thorsteinsson, E. B., & Loi, N. M. (2015). Beliefs and attitudes towards mental illness: An examination of the sex differences in mental health literacy in a community sample. PeerJ, 3, e1004. doi:10.7717/peerj.1004

Link 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The effect of weight controllability beliefs on prejudice and self-efficacy

Title

The effect of weight controllability beliefs on prejudice and self-efficacy

Abstract 

An experiment was conducted to test for the presence of prejudice towards obesity and whether weight controllability beliefs information reduces this prejudice and impacts on a person’s own healthy eating self-efficacy. The experiment randomly allocated 346 participants (49 males) into one of three conditions: controllable contributors toward obesity condition (e.g., information about personal control about diet and exercise); uncontrollable contributors toward obesity condition (e.g., information about genes, factors in society); and a control condition with no information given. Prejudice was present in 81% of the sample. High prejudice was predicted by low self-efficacy for exercise and weight. Weight controllability beliefs information had no significant effect on prejudice levels or exercise or healthy eating self-efficacy levels. Future research directions are discussed.


Cite


Thorsteinsson, E. B., Loi, N., & Breadsell, D. (2016). The effect of weight controllability beliefs on prejudice and self-efficacy. PeerJ, 4, e1764. doi:10.7717/peerj.1764

Link 

https://peerj.com/articles/1764/?td=bl


Covered on  

ABC New England North West (radio) 8 November 2016

Perfect imperfections: Locus of control, perfectionism and postpartum depression

Title Perfect imperfections: Locus of control, perfectionism and postpartum depression Abstract We examined whether locus of control (...