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Theory, Practices and Consequences of Operative Psychology
Theorie, Praxis und Konsequenzen der Operativen Psychologie
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Ass.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Martin Wieser
Project runtime: 01.07.2020 - 30.06.2023
Research Focus:
  • Psychology and History
Topic:
  • History of psychology in social and political contexts
Project leader:

Ass.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Martin Wieser (martin.wieser@sfu-berlin.de

Project team:

Dr. Nikolai Okunew; Charlotta Sippel, MSc.; Prof. Dr. David Becker (david.becker@sfu-berlin.de

Cooperation partners:

Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Psychoanalyse und Psychotherapie e. V., Berlin; BÜRGERBÜRO e. V. Verein zur Aufarbeitung von Folgeschäden der SED-Diktatur; Gegenwind – Beratungsstelle für politisch Traumatisierte der DDR-Diktatur; Union der Opferverbände Kommunistischer Gewaltherrschaft; Universität Potsdam, Prof. Robert Seckler; Universität Zürich, Prof. Andreas Maercker; Institut für Medien- und Digitaljournalismus der SFU Berlin, Prof. Detlef Gwosc

Project runtime:

01.07.2020 - 30.06.2023

Grants:

Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF), Projektnr. P 33103

Description:

English
This project sheds light on the history, theory and consequences of "operative psychology", a branch of applied psychology developed and taught at the at the Juridical High School in Potsdam, which belonged to the Ministry of State Security of the GDR, from 1965 to 1990. Using methods from the history of science as well as approaches from empirical social research, a team of science historians and psychologists reconstructs the contribution of psychological knowledge to political repression in the GDR, but also the psychosocial consequences that can be traced to the present day.
German
Dieses Projekt beleuchtet die Geschichte, Theorie und Konsequenzen der "Operativen Psychologie", einem Zweig der angewandten Psychologie, der im Ministerium für Staatssicherheit der DDR von 1965 bis 1990 an der Juristischen Hochschule in Potsdam entwickelt und gelehrt wurde. Mittels wissenschaftshistorischer Methoden sowie Ansätzen der empirischen Sozialforschung beleuchtet ein Team aus Wissenschaftshistoriker*innen und Psycholog*innen den Beitrag der Psychologie zur politischen Repression in der DDR, aber auch die psychosozialen Folgen, die sich bis in die Gegenwart verfolgen lassen.
Understand_ELSED: Public perception of the ethical, legal and socio-economic dimensions of the COVID-19 outbreak
Understand_ELSED: Die öffentliche Wahrnehmung der ethischen, rechtlichen und sozio-ökonomischen Dimensionen des COVID-19-Ausbruchs
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Prof. Dr. Meike Watzlawik
Project runtime: 01.06.2020 - 30.11.2021
Research Focus:
  • Psychology of social and cultural change
Topic:
  • Psychological research on crises and pandemics
Project leader:

Prof. Dr. Meike Watzlawik (meike.watzlawik@sfu-berlin.de

Project team:
Cooperation partners:

-

Project runtime:

01.06.2020 - 30.11.2021

Grants:

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Deutschland

Description:

English
In this rapid response research project, we use a mixed-methods approach to document, preserve, and share ephemeral data on the social dimensions of an emergent outbreak, and to translate this knowledge into tangible countermeasures that can aid in minimizing the negative impacts of the disease on individuals and communities. Our mixed-methods approach includes (1) a national, representative, longitudinal/repeated measures survey of up to 1,050 German households (30,000 households contacted, est. response rate 3.5%), (2) follow-up interviews across Germany (n = 90 over three intervals) to gain additional details, (3) a diary method to understand the nuances of everyday life under dramatically new conditions, (4) an online ethnography on Twitter to understand how a range of public health and affective content is received and communicated by diverse audiences (5) content analysis of mainstream media and public health releases. This approach will help us to understand a range of research questions covering the ethical, legal and socio-economic dimensions of the COVID-19 outbreak, including how individuals and communities perceive risks and protective behaviours related to COVID-19 with regards to individual human rights, pro-social ethical duties and their own socio-economic situations; how public understandings of the disease evolve as a result of information production, reception and internalisation processes; how these vary across diverse populations and demographics; and how German citizens are experiencing stigmatization and negative outcomes. Understanding these aspects will inform discussions pertaining to what local knowledge can be mobilized to help respond and facilitate German citizens who seek to contribute, and how pro-social behaviours can be fostered.
The Psychological is Political
Das Psychologische ist politisch
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Ass.Prof. in Dr. in Nora Ruck
Project runtime: 01.10.2018 - 30.09.2021
Research Focus:
  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Psychology and history of science
Topic:
  • Diversity
  • Politics and psychology
Project leader:

Ass.Prof. in Dr. in Nora Ruck (nora.ruck@sfu.ac.at

Project team:

Vera Luckgei, BSc.; Mag. a Elisabeth Parzer; Max Beck, BSc.; Florian Knasmüller, BSc. 

Cooperation partners:

Prof.in Alex Rutherford, York University Toronto; Dr.in Ilse Korotin, Dokumentationsstelle Frauenforschung, Institut für Wissenschaft und Kunst;

Project runtime:

01.10.2018 - 30.09.2021

Grants:

FWF Einzelprojekt P 31123-G29, Fördersumme 305.686,50 €,

Description:

English
In 2016, Austria ranked 53rd in the international Global Gender Gap Report, losing 15 ranks from 2015. This development needs to be countered on many levels including science. In order to reach real gender equality in Austrian society it is indispensable that the psychological dimensions of gender inequality be addressed in at least three ways: First, the psychological reasons for women and men not to counter gender discrimination need to be studied scientifically. Second, the consequences of gender inequalities for the psychological health and wellbeing of those affected must be understood scientifically. And third, these psychological consequences need to be addressed by psychosocial services that take into account the social dimension of psychological suffering. There is no need to invent these approaches anew because in Austria - like in other places - there is a wealth of knowledge on all these three layers that need only be excavated, documented, and made available to a larger public, which is precisely what the proposed project aims to do.  “The Psychological is Political” aims to analyze how knowledge about the psychological dimensions of gender discrimination developed in Vienna between 1972 and 2000. In the early 1970s, activists of the women’s movement began examining the conditions and psychological effects of discrimination against women. Observing how inequality or discrimination caused harm, activists were soon offering specialized counseling and psychotherapy. In the course of time, this focus was broadened to include the lives and experiences of those who do not comply with heterosexuality or who do not identify as the sex they were assigned at birth. While the history of knowledge production about the psychological conditions and consequences of gender inequality is well documented particularly in the USA, Canada and Great Britain, there is strikingly little literature on the subject in the German-speaking countries. This project is designed to fill this gap. It is our contention that knowledge about the psychological dimension of gender inequality, for example, has burgeoned in Austria especially since the late 1970s, only that for various reasons it has not been able to gain a foothold in academia. Through archival research and oral history interviews, we will reconstruct how this knowledge was used and produced in Vienna, in feminist consciousness-raising groups (e.g., AUF Aktion Unabhängiger Frauen and at so-called ‘Volkshochschulen’), in women’s counseling and information centers (e.g., Frauen beraten Frauen, Peregrina, Lefö, Ninlil), and at the Department of Psychology at the University of Vienna from 1972 until the the year 2000. In our analysis, we will focus on the institutional and social context of psychological knowledge about the psychological conditions and consequences of gender inequality in order to get a sense of the conditions that have facilitated or hindered the development of knowledge about the psychological dimensions of gender inequality.
German
2016 belegt Österreich Platz 53 im internationalen Global Gender Gap Report und hat damit 15 Plätze im Vergleich zum Vorjahr verloren. Um wirkliche Chancengleichheit für Frauen und Männer zu erreichen, muss der psychologischen Dimension von Geschlechterungleichheit auf mindestens drei Ebenen begegnet werden: (1) Die psychologischen Gründe, die Frauen wie Männer davon abhalten, sich gegen die Diskriminierung von Frauen zur Wehr zu setzen, bedürfen wissenschaftlicher Erklärung. (2) Die Konsequenzen von Geschlechterdiskriminierung auf die psychische Gesundheit der Betroffenen muss wissenschaftlich untersucht werden. Und (3) bedarf es psychosozialer Angebote, die die sozialen Bedingungen psychischer Gesundheit addressieren. Um diesen drei Ebenen Rechnung zu tragen, muss das Rad nicht neu erfunden werden. Es ist vielmehr notwendig, die bestehenden Wissensbestände und psychosozialen Angebote aufzuarbeiten und sie einer breiten Öffentlichkeit zugänglich zu machen.  „Das Psychologische ist politisch“  untersucht daher die historische Entwicklung psychologischen Wissens über die psychologischen Dimensionen von Geschlechterdiskriminierung in Wien von 1972 bis 2000. In den frühen 1970er Jahren erkannten Aktivistinnen der Zweiten Frauenbewegung, dass die gesellschaftliche Benachteiligung von Frauen psychisches Leid produzierte, dem Aktivistinnen wiederum durch spezialisierte Beratungs- und Therapieangebote begegneten. Im Laufe der Zeit wurde zudem nach den Lebenserfahrungen von Menschen gefragt, deren Lebensweisen nicht der heterosexuellen Norm entsprechen oder die sich weder als Männer noch als Frauen erfahren. Während die historische Entwicklung wissenschaftlichen Wissens über die psychologischen Dimensionen von Geschlechterdiskriminierung vor allem in den USA, in Kanada und in Großbritannien sehr gut erforscht ist, findet sich im deutschsprachigen Raum kaum wissenschaftliche Literatur zu diesem Thema. Dieses Projekt will diese Forschungslücke schließen. Unsere Archivrecherchen und Interviews zeigen, dass im deutschsprachigen Raum ab den späten 1970er Jahren profunde Erkenntnisse über die psychologischen Dimensionen von sozialer Geschlechterungleichheit erlangt wurden, die aber aus verschiedenen Gründen kaum Einzug an den Universitäten halten konnten. Mithilfe von Archivrecherchen und Oral-History-Interviews untersuchen wir, wie und von wem in Wien zwischen 1972 und 2000 derartiges Wissen produziert wurde: in Selbsterfahrungsgruppen, in Frauenberatungs- und Informationszentren, in Volkshochschulen und an der Universität Wien. In unserer Analyse werden wir auf den institutionellen und sozialen Kontext dieser Psychologien fokussieren, um so ein Verständnis für die Bedingungen zu entwickeln, unter denen sich Wissen über die psychologischen Voraussetzungen und Konsequenzen von Geschlechterdiskriminierung entwickelt und insitutionalisiert hat oder gerade nicht.
Anthropogenic climate change and multisensory virtual reality
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Rosita Borlimi, PhD
Project runtime: 01.09.2019 - 31.12.2020
Research Focus:
  • Cognitive Psychology
Topic:
  • Virtual Reality
Project leader:

Rosita Borlimi, PhD (r.borlimi@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Greta Riboli, MSc (g.riboli@milano-sfu.it); Mattia Nese, MSc (m.nese@milano-sfu.it); Prof. Gianni Brighetti (g.brighetti@milano-sfu.it

Cooperation partners:

Università Politecnica delle Marche

Project runtime:

01.09.2019 - 31.12.2020

Grants:

None

Description:

English
There is wide consensus among scientists that human activities have contributed to warm the planet over the past 50 years (Tranter & Booth, 2015). However, a significant part of the population denies the reality of anthropogenic climate change and is therefore not motivated to undertake the necessary change in their behaviour towards more sustainable lifestyles (Trischler, 2016). In order to overcome this issue, new approaches for measuring and promoting sustainability should be tested. Multisensory virtual reality (VR) can be used for this purpose given its possibility to create immersive scenarios in which people build knowledge through unmediated sensory information instead of higher order linguistic information (Ragan et. al., 2012; Markowitz et al., 2018). This embodied approach could also contribute to increase the psycho-emotional proximity to the experienced event (Blascovich and Bailenson, 2011). In the present study, a novel approach for the promotion of knowledge and attitude change towards climate change will be proposed. Two immersive 360 videos showing realistic future scenarios negatively affected by global warming. The first aim of the study is to test the use of a multisensory VR as a tool for promoting knowledge about climate change and shortening the psychological distance from this topic. The second aim is to investigate the relationship between the implicit cognition about sustainability and emotional arousal of participants while exposed to multisensory VR experience representing future scenarios affected by climate change.
Interoception in eating disorders
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Rosita Borlimi, PhD
Project runtime: 01.10.2017 - 31.12.2020
Research Focus:
  • Clinical Psychology
Topic:
  • Psychophysiology
  • Eating Disorders
Project leader:

Rosita Borlimi, PhD (r.borlimi@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Prof. Gianni Brighetti (g.brighetti@milano-sfu.it); Greta Riboli, MSc (g.riboli@milano-sfu.it); Mattia Nese, MSc (m.nese@milano-sfu.it

Cooperation partners:

None

Project runtime:

01.10.2017 - 31.12.2020

Grants:

None

Description:

English
Interoception is fundamental to support the homeostatic mechanisms that regulate motivational behaviours and feelings. There is growing evidence of interoceptive deficits in patients with eating disorders. This project aims to investigate the relationship between several psychological constructs (e.g. drive for thinness, dietary restraint) and interoception using a variety of psychological tasks and supporting the evidence using psychophysiological measures (e.g. electrodermal activity).
Questionnaire on behaviour in an emergency situation (COVID-19)
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Rosita Borlimi, PhD
Project runtime: 08.03.2020 - 31.12.2020
Research Focus:
  • Health Psychology
  • Social Psychology
Topic:
  • Everyday life
Project leader:

Rosita Borlimi, PhD (r.borlimi@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Greta Riboli, MSc (g.riboli@milano-sfu.it); Mattia Nese, MSc (m.nese@milano-sfu.it); Prof. Gianni Brighetti (g.brighetti@milano-sfu.it

Cooperation partners:

None

Project runtime:

08.03.2020 - 31.12.2020

Grants:

None

Description:

English
Unprecedented community containment measures were taken following the recent outbreak of COVID-19. The aim of the project is to explore the impact of the outbreak and the containment measures on citizens by means of online surveys. Within this context, several psychological variables will be taken into consideration in order to build models of people's psychological functioning and to predict future behaviour.
Childhood neglect and its consequences on young adults health
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Greta Riboli, MSc
Project runtime: 01.09.2018 - 31.12.2020
Research Focus:
  • Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychopathology, Child- and Adolescent Psychology
Topic:
  • resilience
Project leader:

Greta Riboli, MSc (g.riboli@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Prof. Gianni Brighetti (g.brighetti@milano-sfu.it); Rosita Borlimi, Phd (r.borlimi@milano-sfu.it); Mattia Nese, MSc (m.nese@milano-sfu.it

Cooperation partners:

None

Project runtime:

01.09.2018 - 31.12.2020

Grants:

None

Description:

English
Childhood neglect (CN) is one of the most widespread type of child maltreatment. CN can generate several consequences (e.g. depression, anxiety) throughout adolescence and adulthood. Maternal and paternal neglect may cause different pathological outcomes in development. Children who experienced CN tend to use specific maladaptive strategies of emotional regulation, including rumination. This project aims to investigate the connection between maternal and paternal neglect and repetitive thoughts (i.e. depressive and anger rumination).
e-Health in clinical settings: new tools for remote psychological assessment
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Mattia Nese, MSc
Project runtime: 01.09.2018 - 31.12.2021
Research Focus:
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
Topic:
  • Mental Health
  • Psychophysiology
Project leader:

Mattia Nese, MSc (m.nese@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Prof. Gianni Brighetti (g.brighetti@milano-sfu.it); Rosita Borlimi, PhD (r.borlimi@milano-sfu.it); Greta Riboli, MSc (g.riboli@milano-sfu.it

Cooperation partners:

None

Project runtime:

01.09.2018 - 31.12.2021

Grants:

None

Description:

English
Electronic devices (such as mobile phones) can be used as a support for mental health practices. The advantages of using this technology in clinical settings are multiple, from the remote acquisition of data using self-report questionnaires to the recording of psychophysiological data through biosensors (e.g pulse rate, heart rate variability, sleep cycles monitoring). All these data can be used to build home-based models of health care with a significant reduction of costs and an increase of their efficacy (Kumar et al., 2013).Moreover, mobile applications can be used also to deliver self-administered interventions for the management of negative mental and physical states (e.g. guided mindfulness-based exercises, psychoeducational contents). The aim of this project is to implement new technologies into existing health care services and thus to simplify the current practices by means of: (1) computerized questionnaires and tasks and fully automated scoring procedures for psychological assessments; (2) mobile applications for the collection of time series which can be used to build personalized temporal network of functioning possibly able to predict the evolution of symptoms over time.
Error processing in perfectionism: linking the mind to the body
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Rosita Borlimi, PhD
Project runtime: 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2020
Research Focus:
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
Topic:
  • Psychophysiology
  • Mental Health
Project leader:

Rosita Borlimi, PhD (r.borlimi@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Prof. Gianni Brighetti (g.brighetti@milano-sfu.it); Mattia Nese (m.nese@milano-sfu.it

Cooperation partners:

None

Project runtime:

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2020

Grants:

None

Description:

English
Perfectionism is a well-known multidimensional construct defined as ‘high standards of performance which are accompanied by tendencies for overly critical evaluations of one’s behavior’ including overconcern with mistakes to the extent that performance is either perfect or worthless and minor flaws represent failure (Frost et al., 1990). Specific error-related EEG components have been observed while performing an error-signaling task (Steinhauser and Yeung, 2010), but there is still no evidence of an associated autonomic activation. The aim of this project is to investigate the presence of an autonomic response to errors during a simple visual task performance and to compare the activation of individuals with low and high levels of perfectionism measured using validated self-reported questionnaires.
Virtual reality and psychotherapy
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Prof. Gianni Brighetti
Project runtime: 01.09.2018 - 30.06.2021
Research Focus:
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
Topic:
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy
  • Psychophysiology
Project leader:

Prof. Gianni Brighetti (g.brighetti@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Rosita Borlimi, PhD (r.borlimi@milano-sfu.it); Greta Riboli, MSc (g.riboli@milano-sfu.it); Mattia Nese, MSc (m.nese@milano-sfu.it

Cooperation partners:

None

Project runtime:

01.09.2018 - 30.06.2021

Grants:

None

Description:

English
Virtual reality (VR) received increasing attention in the last years since the drop of its cost allows to spread its use in a variety of contexts. In particular, the possibility to experience sensory stimulation in VR immersive environments gives psychologists the opportunity to create customized exposure experiences for the treatment of phobias, post-traumatic stress disorders, and substance use disorder (Botella et al., 2017; Beidel et al., 2019; Worley, 2019). There are multiple advantages in the use of VR compared to traditional techniques (e.g mental imagery, in vivo exposure): VR can be personalized in great detail; it offers the opportunity of carrying out exposures in a safe environment (compared to in vivo exposure); and it can be extended to domestic use by means of smartphones (Hartanto et al., 2015). The aim of this project is to create personalized virtual environments for the implementation of a VR-based exposure therapy protocol and to test their efficacy.
Investigation of the response of neural circuits in animal models of psychiatric disorders
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr Mattia Ferro, PhD
Project runtime: 01.03.2020 - 28.05.2025
Research Focus:
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
Topic:
  • Psychophysiology
Project leader:

Dr Mattia Ferro, PhD (m.ferro@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Prof Antonio Malgaroli, MD (malgaroli.antonio@unisr.it); Dr Francesco Isotti, MSc (fra.iso@hotmail.it

Cooperation partners:

Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milano, Italy

Project runtime:

01.03.2020 - 28.05.2025

Grants:

None

Description:

English
Study of synaptic transmission in vitro and in vivo, using modern tools for visualizing synaptic activity, in animal models of psychiatric diseases
Socio-psychological features of non binary gender identities
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Greta Riboli, MSc
Project runtime: 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2020
Research Focus:
  • Social Psychology
Topic:
  • Gender
Project leader:

Greta Riboli, MSc (g.riboli@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

 

Cooperation partners:

None

Project runtime:

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2020

Grants:

None

Description:

English
Non-binary transgender/gender non-conforming (TGNC) young adult have reported high levels of psychological distress
in research studies, specifically depression, suicidal behaviors, anxiety, eating disordered behaviors, substance use. Several studies have highlighted the relationship between low social support and psychological distress in TGNC samples. This project aims to examine the relationship between sociopsychological features in a specific young adult non-binary sample.
The role of Pre – Supplementary Motor Area (Pre-SMA) in the fluence of the speech and voluntary control and inhibition processes.
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr Mattia Ferro, PhD
Project runtime: 15.02.2020 - 01.09.2024
Research Focus:
  • Clinical Psychology
Topic:
  • Psychophysiology
Project leader:

Dr Mattia Ferro, PhD (m.ferro@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Prof Antonio Malgaroli, MD (malgaroli.antonio@unisr.it); Dr Gabriela Sequeiros Miranda de cima (gsequem@gmail.com

Cooperation partners:

Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milano, Italy

Project runtime:

15.02.2020 - 01.09.2024

Grants:

none

Description:

English
The experimental approach will be based on brain stimulation using repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in healthy subjects. This technique is used to treat various pathologies including depression, addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette syndrome. We will evaluate the role of the Pre-supplementary motor area and language centres using low frequency (inhibitory) and high frequency (excitatory) rTMS. The experiment will involve participants producing words following the presentation of a stimulus cue. The voluntary control and inhibition processes will also be evaluated using the Stroop task. They will be evaluated at two stages: before receiving rTMS, and during the stimulation, either, giving an excitatory and inhibitory stimulus, with the aim of comparing the changes if these occur with the baselines (status before the stimulation). The time between the presentation of the stimulus and the response of the subject will also be considered, as well as the intensity and fluency of the speech.
TMS/tDCS application in psychiatric disorders
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr Mattia Ferro, PhD
Project runtime: 01.04.2020 - 28.05.2025
Research Focus:
  • Clinical Psychology
Topic:
  • Psychophysiology
Project leader:

Dr Mattia Ferro, PhD (m.ferro@milano.sfu.it

Project team:

Prof Antonio Malgaroli, MD (malgaroli.antonio@unisr.it); Prof Leonor Romero Lauro, PhD (leonor.romero1@unimib.it

Cooperation partners:

Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milano, Italy; Università degli studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy

Project runtime:

01.04.2020 - 28.05.2025

Grants:

None

Description:

English
TMS/tDCS application for the evaluation of the improvement of symptomatology in psychiatric disorders (depression, OCD and addiction) and for the evalution of a better effectiveness of psychotherapy in the same psychopatology
RISK PERCEPTION OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE: TESTING THE EFFECT OF DIFFERENT RISK-COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr Mattia Ferro, PhD
Project runtime: 01.07.2019 - 01.05.2022
Research Focus:
  • Health Psychology
Topic:
  • Quality of Life
Project leader:

Dr Mattia Ferro, PhD (m.ferro@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Prof Antonio Malgaroli, MD (malgaroli.antonio@unisr.it); Prof Peter Schulz, PhD (peter.schulz@usi.ch); Dr Roberta Galizia (roberta.galizia@usi.ch

Cooperation partners:

USI - Università della Svizzera Italiana

Project runtime:

01.07.2019 - 01.05.2022

Grants:

None

Description:

English
Regardless the potential of regulatory focus theory 1for interdisciplinary research, the theory rests underexplored by health professionals interested in sexually transmitted diseases prevention. To address this gap, the current study examines whether the different message framing (fit vs. unfit)2 between the regulatory focus (promotion vs. prevention) would lead to higher or lower risk perception of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Moreover, the study aims to test the existence of correlations between regulatory focus with obsessive and compulsive tendencies, providing a deeper explanation about risk perception of STIs.In this area of research, experimental tests of the effects of regulatory fit can improve the design of persuasive health messages and the development of effective intervention campaigns.
An exploratory study on meta-cognition, worry and anxious symptoms in children.
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr. Simona Scaini; Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Giovanni Michelini; Dr. Marcella Caputi
Project runtime: 01.01.2018 - 15.05.2025
Research Focus:
  • Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychopathology, Child- and Adolescent Psychology
Topic:
  • anxiety disorders
Project leader:

Dr. Simona Scaini (s.scaini@milano-sfu.it); Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Giovanni Michelini; Dr. Marcella Caputi 

Project team:

 

Cooperation partners:

-

Project runtime:

01.01.2018 - 15.05.2025

Grants:

-

Description:

English
Meta-cognition refers to the “stable knowledge or beliefs about one’s own cognitive system, and knowledge about factors that affect the functioning of the system; the regulation and awareness of the current state of cognition, and appraisal of the significance of thought and memories” (Wells, 1995, p. 302). Wells and Matthews (1994, 1996) developed the self-regulatory executive function (S-REF) model in which meta-cognitive beliefs play a role in the persistence of maladaptive forms of coping (e.g. heightened self-focused attention, rumination and worry, and threat monitoring; termed the cognitive attentional syndrome - CAS), which in turn contribute to the development and maintenance of psychological disturbances and distress. Meta-cognitive beliefs can be divided in: 1) positive meta-cognitive beliefs about control strategies that impact on inner events and 2) negative meta-cognitive beliefs concerning the significance, controllability, and danger of inner events (Wells, 2000). 
Coherently with the S-REF model, meta-cognition has been investigated as a feature of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive and panic disorder, and depression on adult populations (Cucchi et al., 2012; Holeva, Tarrier, &Wells, 2001; Papageorgiou & Wells, 2003). Recent studies have extended the meta-cognitive model to a different target age, evaluating its applicability to children and adolescents (Ellis & Hudson, 2010; Esbjørn, Normann, & Reinholdt-Dunne, 2015; Simons, Schneider, & Herpertz-Dahlmann, 2006).
Previous research suggests that children as young as 7 years of age endorse both positive and negative beliefs about worry, and that these beliefs are positively associated with emotional symptoms. Moreover, emerging research supports the extension of metacognitive model of anxiety to developmental age populations. Thus, studies on worry and metacognition in children affected by anxious and depressive symptoms can help in determining whether the metacognitive model can be applied to children. Moreover, no study, to our knowledge, has so far compared worry and positive/negative beliefs about worry in different types of anxiety symptoms. In addition, the role of depressive symptoms in moderating the relationship between worry/metacognition and anxiety is actually unclear. Evaluating whether metacognitive processes contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety symptoms can guide the development of specific training for the treatment of anxiety disorders, as well as the elaboration of preventive programs.
Interestingly, studies conducted on both adults and adolescents found that low emotion identification skills and emotional awareness are able to predict poor emotion regulation strategies and higher rates of anxiety/depression (Ciarrochi et al., 2008; Taylor & Bagby, 2004). Therefore, such constructs also deserve to be investigated in the present work.

The main purpose of the study is to evaluate metacognitive processes (worry and rumination) and metacognitive beliefs in children presenting different types of anxiety symptoms (somatic anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety, generalized anxiety) and depressive symptoms, considering the moderation effect of emotional status, emotional awareness and meta-emotive competence. In addition, considering the tight (and variable) relation among theory of mind, executive functions and metacognition, relevant measures assessing such abilities will be administered to children. Finally, the relationship between children’s and parents’ metacognition will be analysed.
Social skills, metacognitive abilities, prosocial behaviors in clinical and nonclinical populations of children and adolescents
Project status: Completed
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr. Simona Scaini; Dr. Marcella Caputi; Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Giovanni Michelini
Project runtime: 15.05.2020 - 15.05.2020
Research Focus:
  • Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychopathology, Child- and Adolescent Psychology
Topic:
  • development research
Project leader:

Dr. Simona Scaini (s.scaini@milano-sfu.it); Dr. Marcella Caputi; Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Giovanni Michelini 

Project team:

 

Cooperation partners:

-

Project runtime:

15.05.2020 - 15.05.2020

Grants:

.

Description:

English
This research project aims at investigating the development of social skills, metacognitive abilities, prosocial in typical and atypical populations. Part of this project focuses on the relationship between social skills, metacognitive abilities, prosocial behaviours and internalizing and externalizing problems in children and adolescents.
Genetic and environmental contributions to psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr. Simona Scaini; Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Giovanni Michelini; Dr. Marcella Caputi
Project runtime: 01.01.2018 - 15.05.2025
Research Focus:
  • Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychopathology, Child- and Adolescent Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
Topic:
  • Clinical Child- and Adolescentpsychology
  • Psychophysiology
Project leader:

Dr. Simona Scaini (s.scaini@milano-sfu.it); Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Giovanni Michelini; Dr. Marcella Caputi 

Project team:

 

Cooperation partners:

-

Project runtime:

01.01.2018 - 15.05.2025

Grants:

-

Description:

English
This research project aims at investigating the role of genetic and environmental (life events, parenting, etc) contribution in explaining the variance for neuropsychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence. Several methods will be used: molecular genetic analysis, behavioural genetics, psychophysiological methods.
Validation of new scales and questionnaires in the field of developmental psychology and psychopathology
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Marcella Caputi; Dr. Simona Scaini; Dr. Giovanni Michelini
Project runtime: 01.01.2018 - 15.05.2025
Research Focus:
  • Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychopathology, Child- and Adolescent Psychology
Topic:
  • diagnostics
Project leader:

Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Marcella Caputi; Dr. Simona Scaini (s.scaini@milano-sfu.it); Dr. Giovanni Michelini 

Project team:

 

Cooperation partners:

-

Project runtime:

01.01.2018 - 15.05.2025

Grants:

-

Description:

English
This research project aims at the validation of scales and questionnaires specifically created to evaluate different abilities or problems in typical and atypical populations. The scales will be translate and validate by psychometric analyses for the use in Italian population.
Resilience, trauma and mental health
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr. Simona Scaini; Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Giovanni Michelini; Dr. Marcella Caputi
Project runtime: 01.01.2018 - 15.05.2025
Research Focus:
  • Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychopathology, Child- and Adolescent Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
Topic:
  • resilience
  • Clinical Child- and Adolescentpsychology
  • Psychotraumatology
Project leader:

Dr. Simona Scaini (s.scaini@milano-sfu.it); Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Giovanni Michelini; Dr. Marcella Caputi 

Project team:

 

Cooperation partners:

-

Project runtime:

01.01.2018 - 15.05.2025

Grants:

-

Description:

English
This research project aims at investigating the complex interaction between risk and protective factors in influencing the developmental trajectories of childhood psychopathological problems. In particular, the project focuses on the role of resilience abilities in prevent the effect of stressful life events in the aetiology of psychopathological problems event and on the effect of traumatic events on the development of neuropsychiatric disorders.
Validation of scales and questionnaires on internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children and adolescents
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr. Simona Scaini
Project runtime: 01.01.2017 - 15.05.2025
Research Focus:
  • Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychopathology, Child- and Adolescent Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
Topic:
  • diagnostics
  • Clinical Child- and Adolescentpsychology
Project leader:

Dr. Simona Scaini 

Project team:

 

Cooperation partners:

-

Project runtime:

01.01.2017 - 15.05.2025

Grants:

.

Description:

English
This research project aims at the validation of scales and questionnaires specifically created to assess internalizing and externalizing symptoms in children and adolescents. The scales will be translate and validate by psychometric analyses for the use in Italian population.
Psychophysiological components of different domains of anxiety in childhood
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr. Simona Scaini
Project runtime: 01.01.2017 - 15.05.2025
Research Focus:
  • Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychopathology, Child- and Adolescent Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
Topic:
  • anxiety disorders
  • Psychophysiology
  • Clinical Child- and Adolescentpsychology
Project leader:

Dr. Simona Scaini 

Project team:

 

Cooperation partners:

Vita-Salute San Raffaele University Milan

Project runtime:

01.01.2017 - 15.05.2025

Grants:

-

Description:

English
The project aims at developing a non-invasive tool for recognizing and analysing emotional response in children with anxiety disorders symptoms. The project is carried out within an interacting environment that combines and integrates expertise in the field of Statistics, Computer Science, Bioengineering, Psychology. Specifically, as a final result, we aim at contributing to the research in the field of affective sciences by identifying a set of physiological indices and psychological traits/characteristics/profiles characterizing different emotional states in children affected by symptoms of anxiety disorders. This goal can be reached only by integrating data on facial expression, biosignals, clinical and demographic characteristics and using robust statistical methodology. Deriving accurate classification rules of emotional states based on all these information is crucial for improving/enhancing child’s social performances and psychosocial wellness. The identification of processes underlying the development and maintenance of deficits in these abilities is crucial not only from a diagnostic point of view and for determining trait complexity but also to improve treatment of anxiety disorders.
Genetic and environmental contributions to anxiety disorders
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Dr. Simona Scaini
Project runtime: 01.01.2017 - 15.05.2025
Research Focus:
  • Developmental Psychology; Developmental Psychopathology, Child- and Adolescent Psychology
Topic:
  • anxiety disorders
Project leader:

Dr. Simona Scaini (s.scaini@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Dr. Barbara Forresi; Dr. Marcella Caputi; Dr. Giovanni Michelini 

Cooperation partners:

-

Project runtime:

01.01.2017 - 15.05.2025

Grants:

-

Description:

English
This research project aims at investigating the role of genetic and environmental (life events, parenting, etc) contribution in explaining the variance for anxiety phenotypes in childhood and adolescence.
The effect of desire thinking on facilitating beliefs in Alcohol Use Disorder: An experimental investigation
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Gabriele Caselli
Project runtime: 19.05.2020 - 19.05.2020
Research Focus:
  • Clinical Psychology
Topic:
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy
  • Addiction
Project leader:

Gabriele Caselli 

Project team:

Marcantonio Spada 

Cooperation partners:

London South Bank University, Studi Cognitivi

Project runtime:

19.05.2020 - 19.05.2020

Grants:

none

Description:

English
The purpose of this study is to undertake a first experiment to explore the direct causal effect of desire thinking on permissive beliefs.  A recent experimental study demonstrated that the induction of desire thinking had a significant effect on craving compared to distraction across a range of addictive behaviours in a community (Caselli, Soliani & Spada, 2013) and clinical sample of patients with AUD (Caselli, Gemelli & Spada, 2017). The impact of desire thinking was independent of baseline craving. The current study extended the investigation about the effect of desire thinking on permissive belifs in a sample of social drinker and patients with AUD. In particular, we tested: (1) whether the induction of desire thinking would have a stronger effect on rate of conviction in permissive beliefs compared to a control cognitive response in the form of distraction; and (2) whether this effect would be specific for the AUD patients.
Metacognitions and pathological jelousy in romantic relationship
Project status: Running
Faculty: Psychology
Project leader: Gabriele Caselli
Project runtime: 01.03.2020 - 31.05.2020
Research Focus:
  • Clinical Psychology
Topic:
  • Mental Health
Project leader:

Gabriele Caselli (g.caselli@milano-sfu.it

Project team:

Giorgia Tanzini 

Cooperation partners:

London South Bank University

Project runtime:

01.03.2020 - 31.05.2020

Grants:

none

Description:

English
Jealousy is supported by some cardinal elements: core beliefs and rules or intermediate beliefs (on self, others and world), automatic thoughts and cognitive bias (systematic errors of thought), worry and rumination (dysfunctional coping strategies that are used in order to deal with threats of rejection, betrayal or abandonment). All these elements contribute to maintain and process the initially detected feeling of threat, amplify the importance of events, confirm fears and fix the imagination on what could happen or what we think has already happened. Furthermore, there is another cardinal element that is metacognition, a knowledge system consisting of a set of beliefs that the individual uses to evaluate his or her mental phenomena. Metacognition influences attentional resources and focuses individual's attention on specific aspects of his or her mental phenomena, creating dysfunctional processes and self-confirming circuits that help generate and maintain symptoms. The aim of the study is to investigate jealousy, metacognition and worry in romantic relationships. Questions will investigate and focus on thoughts, moods (anxiety or depression traits), jealousy and worry