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Browsing by discipline "Psykologi"

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  • Karadeniz, Sami (2016)
    Rhythmic fluctuations in the temporal activity of neuronal populations (neuronal oscillations) have been long since identified in electrophysiological recordings. Studies have also found correlations between oscillations across different brain areas during various cognitive tasks. These correlations between oscillations are called synchrony. Neuronal oscillations and synchrony are thought to be linked to behavior in at least three following ways: as a mechanism for sensory representations; gating and regulation of information flow across brain areas; and as a mechanism for storage and retrieval of information. Sensory systems continuously receive enormous amounts of information. Attention is a limited and selective process that directs an individual’s information processing resources to a subset of all the received sensory information. Stimuli can automatically capture our attention (exogenous attention) or we can willingly focus on specific stimuli (endogenous attention). Attention controls the selection of stimuli and enhances the processing of selected stimuli. Different brain networks have been found to underlie exogenous and endogenous attention. This thesis focuses on endogenous visual attention, which is a form of attention that concentrates on the attentional processing of visual information. Neuronal oscillations and synchrony appear to play a critical role in attention. Endogenous visual attention is based on fluent communication between different brain areas, especially between frontal, parietal and occipital lobes. Oscillations and synchrony gate information between areas responsible for stimulus selection and enhance stimulus processing in areas that represent the selected stimuli. Several different frequency bands have been linked to attentional processing, most notably alpha (8-14 Hz), beta (15-30 Hz) and gamma (>30 Hz) frequencies. However, aforementioned frequency bands have also been linked to other cognitive functions, e.g. to working memory. Abnormal oscillations and synchrony have also been found in certain pathophysiological states, e.g. schizophrenia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Future studies require more specific models and methods to achieve a unified view of oscillations and synchrony in their relation to cognitive functions and disorders.
  • Vuorikko, Salla (2016)
    Objectives Teachers experience a lot of stress, and their work has become increasingly demanding, which may contribute to depression. It has been reported that teachers’ depressive symptoms impair the quality of teaching. The literature reviewed here considers both major and minor depression. The purpose of this paper is to review teachers’ occupational risks for depression, their prevalence of depression and how depression affects the quality of teaching. Prevention of depression and enhancement of occupational well-being are also briefly discussed. Methods The literature was mainly selected from scientific article databases. Also reports from the Finnish National Board of Education and the Finnish Institution of Occupational Health were included. Results and conclusions Work load, burnout, insecure working environment and lack of social support at work increase the risk for teacher depression. Research results suggesting that teachers have worse mental health than other professionals are not conclusive. Teacher’s depression impair classroom-learning environment, thus making learning more difficult. Depression can be prevented by reducing stress or by increasing resources. More uniform research methodology is needed to get comparable findings about teachers’ depression.
  • Lång, Sakari (2016)
    Objectives Romantic relationships are one of the cornerstones of human experience. Availability and development of valid measurements of relationship status and relationship satisfaction is essential for studying romantic relationships. Currently, there are no adequate reviews of currently or most used measurements of relationship quality. The aim of this thesis was to identify and review the most commonly used questionnaires that measure relationship quality. Methods Literature search was conducted to find previous reviews. In Finnish there was none to be found, and in English there were very few as well. Different literature searches were then used to collect the most cited questionnaires and together with reviews, the most used measurements of relationship quality were identified. Ten such questionnaires were selected for further analysis, in which factorial structure and reliability estimates were examined. Results and Conclusions Self-report method and the use of likert-scale were identified as the common elements of relationship assessment questionnaires. Reliability estimates were above 0.8, which can be interpreted as good. The common flaws were identified as well. The first was the lack of precise and universal definitions, variation is measured without proper definition of relationship quality or satisfaction; also overlapping items and definitions inhibit valid comparison of measurements and hinder the interpretation of contributing factors. Second issue was the calculation of total sum from different scales, where we are left without clear definition of what does the number actually tell us, and within what limits. The third issue was the well-known problems within the self-report format. In conclusion all questionnaires, even the older ones, are still in use and relevant, and still fulfill their purpose. The fast changing world does however require the questionnaires to evolve and update as well, to better match the new definitions of relationships and what we conceive the relationship quality to encompass today.
  • Tuominen, Mirka (2016)
    Objectives: Work-related stress is a major factor influencing human well-being and society, which is why it is important to recognize the factors predisposing to it. In addition to work related stressors, individual differences such as personality, affect perceiving work stress as well. It is important to examine the role of personality in experiencing work related stress in order to prevent it as effectively as possible. The aim of this bachelor’s thesis is to examine personality as a predisposal factor to work-related stress by examining existing scientific research. Methods: This is a scientific review, which used studies concerning association between personality and work-related stress. Results and conclusions: Especially high neuroticism has been found to be associated with high perceived work stress. High extraversion and high agreeableness have been found to protect from work stress at least at some level. High negative emotionality, low sociability, high harm avoidance and low novelty seeking have been reported to be related with higher perceived work stress. From the so called A-type personality have two components been found to predict higher perceived work stress: high hostility and high hard driving. Leadership, which is a component of A-type personality as well, has been shown to predict lower level of work stress. Low self-esteem and low optimism have been found to be related with higher perceived work stress as well. Internal locus of control and high sense of coherence have been reported to correlate with lower levels of perceived work stress. More longitudinal studies are needed to examine the predictive effect of personality on the level of work-related stress. It is important to study the role of personality in perceiving work stress, to be able to plan interventions and address them to people who are more vulnerable to perceive work-related stress. It is however important to notice that personality is not the only factor predisposing to work stress, and it is possible to improve one’s coping skills.
  • Geier, Anna (2016)
    Goals. Pro anorexia websites have raised concerns about their possible negative effects on young people as they might increase eating pathology. However, this subject is relatively new and there are only a few studies that have examined the effects of pro anorexia websites have been examined. In addition, with correlational studies it is difficult to determine whether the websites affect the visitors or whether certain types of visitors visit pro anorexia websites more regularly. The aim of this thesis is to assess the effects of pro anorexia websites and to review how this new area of research has been studied experimentally. Methods. Nine studies were reviewed. In one of the studies the participants had suffered from an eating disorder. In eight of the studies the participants were collected from schools or universities, most of the participants were healthy and didn’t have eating disorder related symptoms. The participants were mostly children or young adults. Results and conclusions. Results showed that pro anorexia websites had significant negative effects on body image dissatisfaction, dieting and negative affect. Information about these websites and their effects should be distributed to professionals who work with eating disorders.
  • Hannukkala, Samu (2016)
    In recent international military operations war has traumatised and caused mental health problems to a massive amount of soldiers. Psychiatric symptoms often emerge during service and its not uncommon to evacuate these psychiatric patients prematurely. According to this literary review approximately every two hundredth soldier has been evacuated prematurely due to psychiatric reasons. However, approximately every fifth soldier is in immediate need of mental health services. Young soldiers have significantly greater risk for evacuation. According to this literary review its possible to prevent mental health problems and psychiatric evacuations in military operations.
  • Ding, Tapio (2016)
    Objectives: There is vast literature on the association between personality traits and individuals performance. In addition to individual it is important to focus also on groups. By only focusing on individuals the effect of interactive nature of groups is omitted. Overall the factors that might be affected by performance in a way synergistic nature or by tapping into the social dimension of group work are missed when only examining the individuals. The aim of this thesis was to conduct a literature review on the effect of personality traits on group performance. Methods: Based on the literature review the current state of the research was analysed. Based on the articles and perception of the current situation the final conclusions were done. Results and Conclusions: Based on the literature review, conscientiousness was mostly positively related to the performance of groups. The higher the level of conscientiousness of the group, the better they performed. In terms of extraversion the results were not as straight forward as with conscientiousness but indicated a possibility of also having a positive relation to performance. In addition, the literature indicated that the association between extraversion and group performance might be non-linear. For the other three traits, agreeableness, neuroticism and openness to experience, there is no conclusive evidence towards one way or another. To conclude, it is still unclear what the effects of a group’s personality traits are on the overall performance of the group. More research is needed to make more accurate conclusions.
  • Rovamo, Eeva (2016)
    Alcohol and other drugs have long been identified as addictive substances. However, one can also argue that certain forms of behaviour can lead to addiction-like states, and also resemble substance addictions in both symptoms as well as shared neurobiological factors. Sex addiction can be described as a disorder, which is characterized by excessive concentration in sexual thinking or/and behaviours and causes distress or impaired functioning in one or more important aspects of life. Definition, treatment, and even naming behavioural addictions such as sex addiction, has proven to be challenging, as many of these forms of behaviour include daily activities and are vital for survival. While sex addiction has been discussed in the media a great deal, scientific evidence is far from definite. The underlying concept of sex addiction, its characteristics, causes, and associations with other mental disorders are still uncertain in many respects. There is no unified or agreed definition of sexual activity that excessive or out of control. Preliminary studies suggest that sex addiction causes considerable personal distress and significant adverse psychosocial consequences. It is also commonly associated with psychiatric comorbidity, especially mood, anxiety, substance use, and personality disorders. Further research is needed to better our understanding of the disorder.
  • Leppänen, Seela (2016)
    Stressful environments can affect human behaviour and physiology through epigenetic mechanisms possibly in an age-dependent manner. Epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, can activate or inhibit gene expression. Stressful experiences can lead to methylation changes and thus relay environmental effects to an individual’s phenotype. This thesis examines the relationship between an individual’s methylation profile and stressful life events encountered during the prenatal period, childhood and adulthood. Increased methylation in the NR3C1 gene, which has been linked to the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, has been associated with stressful childhood experiences in single gene studies. However, the relationship between NR3C1 gene methylation and stressful experiences has been contradictory in studies that have focused on the prenatal period. These conflicting results might be explained by issues related to sample sizes. In genome wide association studies, no relationship has been found between NR3C1 gene methylation and stressful life events. Stressful life events have been found to increase mean methylation levels of the promoter region of SERT gene, which has been linked to depression. The 5-HTTLPR region of SERT and methylation of SERT promoter might regulate SERT expression and thus predispose an individual to depression. On the other hand, it is possible that another epigenetic mechanism (e.g. histone acetylation) regulates SERT expression. Stressful childhood and adulthood experiences have been linked to increased methylation levels of various genes in genome-wide association studies. Yet, studies have failed to find a specific gene whose methylation levels would be repeatedly linked to stressful experiences. Some genome studies have found no relationship between methylation levels and stressful prenatal or early childhood experiences. Conflicting results between studies might be due to methodological issues or differences in sample sizes. Traumatic adulthood experiences have been linked to increased methylation levels across the genome while post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms have been associated with decreased methylation levels. It is possible that increased methylation of genes related to the HPA axis might protect an individual from PTSD symptoms after traumatic event. Stressful environments might alter an individual’s methylation profile and thus lead to various psychopathological states. However, these changes in methylation profiles might be reversible. Additional research focusing on the relationship between stressful life events and methylation profiles can lead to the development of different epigenetic therapies in the future.
  • Häkli, Eveliina (2016)
    Over the last few years, there has been growing interest among researchers in the relationship between the gut’s microbiota and psychiatric disorders. Recent studies have shown that changes in the gut's microbiota are associated with many psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, and Parkinson's disease. Therefore, it has been proposed that microbiota's imbalance or dysbiosis might be a potential risk factor for these disorders. The purpose of this review was to collect together results of studies that have examined the communication between central nervous system and the gut's microbiota. In particular, the aim was to consider the role of the gut microbiota in psychiatric disorder’s etiology and pathogenesis. So far, most of the research has been conducted on rodents, but there are some human studies as well. In a typical study design researchers have assessed probiotic treatment's effect on behavior that contributes to stress, anxiety or depression. Animal experiments indicate that the alterations in gut microbiota can induce changes in the anxiety, stress, and depression symptoms. However, the gut microbiota has direct effects on systems that are also known to be integrally affiliated with psychiatric disorders. These include the immune, stress and neurotransmitter system. It seems that the relationship between psychiatric disorders and the microbiota is primarily explained by a variety of mediating mechanisms. Better understanding of these mechanisms could enable a more efficient treatment and prevention of psychiatric disorders in the future. The significance of the gut microbiota in terms of human well-being is still mostly unknown, as majority of the knowledge so far is based on indirect evidence.
  • Järvinen, Ilkka Jousia (2016)
    Diabetes mellitus, a disease of glucose metabolism, can have adverse effects on cognition. At worst, these effects may complicate the management of the disease. Type1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is caused by an autoimmune mechanism. Dozens of studies have investigated its effects on cognition, and some of the results have been pooled in several meta-analyses. However, the studies are heterogeneous, which complicates evaluating and comparing them, leading to conflicting results in the meta-analyses. This review examines the cognitive effects in different age groups. In children, T1DM has been found to have mild adverse effects on most of the principal cognitive functions, excluding learning and memory. These two can, however, be affected by early-onset T1DM. An early onset is also associated with other adverse cognitive effects. Furthermore, hypoglycaemic episodes caused by treatment may also have deleterious effects, although the results are conflicting. Also in adults, the cognitive effects of T1DM have been found to be mild. However, clinically relevant effects have been reported, particularly in late middle age. Moreover, the effects appear to progress with time. As in children, T1DM in adults is associated with adverse effects in most areas of cognition, excluding learning and memory. An early onset is associated with adverse effects also in adults, although only in conjunction with diabetes complications. Similarly, poor glycaemic control is associated with adverse cognitive effects, though possibly only in conjunction with complications. In the aged, the cognitive effects of T1DM have been studied very little. However, it appears to be associated with an increased risk for dementia. A similar association in type 2 diabetes mellitus has been extensively documented. Moreover, results from an animal study support the notion of T1DM as a risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In conclusion, T1DM appears to cause a subtle decline in many cognitive areas: the effects are small in children and moderate in adults. In the aged, T1DM increases the risk of dementia.
  • Lång, Esko (2016)
    Objective. The purpose of this review is to gather information on what is known today about the psychology of stalking; its background, psychological consequences to the victim and coping strategies. Methodology. The review is based on recent finnish and international research literature. Findings. The most usual motive for stalking is desire to form an intimate relationship with the victim. Victim is typically stalkers ex- partner or close acquaintance. Mental health disorders are common among stalkers, especially delusional disorders and cluster B personality disorders. Experiences of being stalked are common, especially women are at risk of being stalked at some point in their lives. Typical psychical symptoms caused by stalking include anxiety and depressed mood, which can accumulate into diagnosable mental health disorders. Coping skills used by victims have been studied, but their efficiency has not been researched. Main goal for future research is to find out efficient ways to reduce stalking and psychical consequences caused by it.
  • Niinivaara, Noora (2016)
    Objective The subject of the bachelor's thesis is the impact of early attachment-based interventions on attachment quality. The objective of the thesis is to investigate what is currently known about the effects of early interventions on children's attachment quality. Researches investigating interventions' efficacy to improve children's attachment quality which were published between 2006 and 2015 were selected to the thesis. Conclusions Based on researches the early attachment-based interventions can improve children's attachment quality. In majority of the researches intervention changed children's attachments more secure. Among different risk groups, for example maltreated children, the attachment quality improved with very different interventions. Weekly meetings at least at the beginning of the intervention was a feature common to all the interventions that improved children's attachment security. The length and timing of the intervention varied considerably instead. Comparison of the researches did not bring clarity why some interventions succeed and others do not. It seems that all the factors that improve children's attachment quality in interventions are not yet known.
  • Uotila, Eino (2016)
    This review focuses on the relationships between the Big Five personality traits and phishing susceptibility online. Phishing is defined as an act where the phisher attempts to gather delicate information, such as passwords or bank credentials. Online phishing happens usually by the means of e-mail or social media. Phishing is a common occurrence and people spend a lot of time on the internet. Therefore it is important to examine how personality traits might be linked to how susceptible different people are to phishing. In addition to the Big Five personality traits, the principles of social manipulation discussed in literature are within the framework of this review. Social manipulation is a key component of phishing, as the phisher’s aim is to get the victim to give out their information. No single trait alone exposes anyone to phishing. Phishing susceptibility is always dependent on the context. However, agreeableness, conscientiousness and extraversion seem to be most related to higher phishing susceptibility. These connections are somewhat dependent on the principles of social manipulation that the phisher takes advantage of. Still, the foregoing traits might in some cases be connected to lower phishing susceptibility, thus protecting people from phishing. In addition, neuroticism and openness can sometimes be connected to higher phishing susceptibility. Personality is only a part of the concept of phishing susceptibility. Regardless, the relationships between personality and phishing susceptibility have been examined to some extent. Personality can also be taken into account when training users against phishing. Training in cybersecurity is found to be a worthwhile remedy against phishing online.
  • Patrikka, Marikki (2016)
    Background. Drug addiction is a worldwide health issue. Criminalization of drug use and scare tactics do not help addicts. Previous studies suggest that negative life experiences increase the risk of addiction while positive life experiences reduce it. In a laboratory environment, environmental enrichment is one way to model positive life experiences. It provides social stimulation and exercise for animal subjects Methods. This thesis is based on a review article from 2010 which suggested that environmental enrichment acts as a neurobiological and functional opposite to stress. I reviewed 17 articles that were published after said article from 2011 to 2015 which researched the effects of environmental enrichment to prevention and cure of drug addiction and compared their results to the 2010 review article. I also hypothesized reasons for contradictory results. Results. Environmental enrichment prevented drug addiction and eased withdrawal. It also prevented drug sensitization and cross-sensitization in some of the reviewed articles. Losing the enriched environment acts as an independent stressor which increases cravings and risk of relapse. Short-term environmental exposure did not have a lasting protective effect. Longer exposures did seem to have a longer-lasting protective effect especially animal subjects had free use of a running wheel. Without the possibility to exercise the effect of environmental enrichment was modest.