Our Reading Group

The inaugural meeting on 11 June 2021 opens AMHRG Research Group, comprised of a group of academics and HDRs who meet once a month to read and discuss scientific articles with a focus on research paradigm and theories. Meeting time: the first Friday of the month from 5-6pm (AEST) / 3-4pm Singapore time. Venue: Zoom.

If you are interested to join our reading group, please contact Ms Alyssia Merrick via email: alyssia.merrick@my.jcu.edu.au

Henrich, S., & Worthington, R. (2021). Let your clients fight dragons: A rapid evidence assessment regarding the therapeutic utility of 'Dungeons & Dragons'. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/15401383.2021.1987367

Summary: With an increasing public interest in the roleplaying game ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ (D&D) comes the claim it holds psychological benefits. While the therapeutic role-play is empirically well established, the evidence surrounding D&D is unclear. The current study aims to summarize the literature pertaining to this topic and present possible avenues for the implementation of D&D in psychological interventions. A Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) was conducted following the standards by the Center for Evidence-Based Management. Relevant search strings were entered into seven databases (e.g., PsycArticles, PsycInfo, Child Development & Adolescent Studies). Only papers published in the English language till September 2020 were considered and their quality appraised. The thematic analysis of 13 studies yielded four themes: No unified personality type of D&D players, stakeholders’ attitude about D&D, lack of maladaptive coping associated with D&D, and potential psychological benefits of D&D. The results appear promising, but preliminary. Practical implications are contextualized with the wider literature.

Reading (1):
Ryan, R. M., Rigby, C. S., & Przybylski, A. (2006). The motivational pull of video games: A self-determination theory approach. Motiv Emot, 30, 347-363. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-006-9051-8

Four studies apply self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000) in investigating motivation for computer game play, and the effects of game play on wellbeing. Studies 1–3 examine individuals playing 1, 2 and 4 games, respectively and show that perceived in-game autonomy and competence are associated with game enjoyment, preferences, and changes in well-being pre- to post-play. Competence and autonomy perceptions are also related to the intuitive nature of game controls, and the sense of presence or immersion in participants’ game play experiences. Study 4 surveys an on-line community with experience in multiplayer games. Results show that SDT’s theorized needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness independently predict enjoyment and future game play. The SDT model is also compared with Yee’s (2005) motivation taxonomy of game play motivations. Results are discussed in terms of the relatively unexplored landscape of human motivation within virtual worlds.

Reading (2):
Demotrovics, Z., Urban, R., Nagygyorgy, K., Farkas, J., Zilahy, D., Mervo, B., Reindl, A., Agoston, C., Kertesz, A., & Harmath, E. (2011). Why do you play? The development of the motives for online gaming questionnaire (MOGQ). Behav Res Methods, 43, 814-825. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-011-0091-y

Although the majority of research focuses on the risks and disadvantages of online gaming, the present authors suggest that online games also represent new ways of satisfying basic human needs within the conditions of modern society. The aim of our present study was to reveal and operationalize the components of the motivational basis of online gaming. A total 3,818 persons (90.6% males; mean age 20.9 years, SD = 5.81) were recruited through websites providing online games. A combined method of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was applied. The results confirmed our preliminary model as we identified seven motivational factors (social, escape, competition, coping, skill development, fantasy, and recreation), which were used to develop the 27-item Motives for Online Gaming Questionnaire (MOGQ). The seven dimensions identified seem to cover the full range of possible motives for gaming, and the MOGQ proved to be an adequate measurement tool to assess these motives.

Reading (3):
Burke, B. L., Martens, A., & Faucher, E. H. (2010). Two decades of terror management theory: A meta-analysis of morality salience research. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 14(2), 155-195. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868309352321

A meta-analysis was conducted on empirical trials investigating the mortality salience (MS) hypothesis of terror management theory (TMT). TMT postulates that investment in cultural worldviews and self-esteem serves to buffer the potential for death anxiety; the MS hypothesis states that, as a consequence, accessibility of death-related thought (MS) should instigate increased worldview and self-esteem defense and striving. Overall, 164 articles with 277 experiments were included. MS yielded moderate effects (r = .35) on a range of worldview- and self-esteem-related dependent variables (DVs), with effects increased for experiments using (a) American participants, (b) college students, (c) a longer delay between MS and the DV, and (d) people-related attitudes as the DV. Gender and self-esteem may moderate MS effects differently than previously thought. Results are compared to other reviews and examined with regard to alternative explanations of TMT. Finally, suggestions for future research are offered.

Reading (1):
Dhillon, P. (2021), How to be a good peer reviewer of scientific manuscripts. FEBS J, 288, 2750-2756. https://doi.org/10.1111/febs.15705

Peer review is an integral part of the publication process for all academics in the molecular life sciences and beyond. You may groan about being invited to review as academic life is so busy – there are grant proposals to write, students to supervise, conferences to attend, not to mention one’s own manuscripts to write – but the inescapable truth is that reviewing your colleagues’ work is a necessary part of the job description. Although nobody gets paid to do it, high-quality peer review pays dividends by promoting data validity and reproducibility and ensuring a better standard of published research all round. From the individual researcher’s perspective, having your ‘peers’ evaluate the merits and limitations of your work and suggest improvements helps you to see the bigger picture and maximise the significance of your findings for the target audience. On the flip side, a bad reviewer can end up being the stuff of nightmares. In this latest instalment of the Words of Advice series, I provide tips on being a good reviewer. Reviewing is a skill that needs to be honed with practise and experience and being an expert in your field doesn’t automatically make you a good reviewer. So, from early on in your career, I suggest that you devote time to practising and perfecting this art, as refining your reviewer skills will also help you to improve your own papers.

Reading (2):
Mavrogenis, A. F., Quaile, A., & Scarlat, M. M. (2020). The good, the bad and the rude peer-review. International Orthopaedics, 44(3), 413–415. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-020-04504-1

This editorial note aims to communicate to the readers of the journal the unified set of rules for a good and bad peer-review, and to emphasize on the avoidance and consequences of a rude peer-review.

Reading (3):
Estrada, C., Kalet, A., Smith, W., & Chin, M. H. (2006). How to be an outstanding reviewer for the Journal of General Internal Medicine … and other journals. Journal of General  Internal Medicine, 21, 281 – 284. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00354.x

Peer reviewers are essential to maintaining the excellence and relevance of the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM). We salute the many volunteers who consistently provide high-quality peer reviews of manuscripts submitted for publication. As advisors to the authors and Editors, your work allows our journal to maintain high standards and provide a well-respected venue for publication of manuscripts essential to the work of the members of the Society of General Internal Medicine. In this editorial, we hope to increase the number of you who feel empowered to participate as peer reviewers. We briefly summarize what is known about peer reviews and reviewers, make transparent the peer review process at the Journal, and highlight the benefits of participating as a reviewer. In this spirit, we provide specific suggestions about how to become an effective reviewer, comments that we hope will assist current and prospective reviewers in preparing their responses. Additional resources are available elsewhere.

Reading (1):
Barker, T.H., Migliavaca, C.B., Stein, C. et al. (2021). Conducting proportional meta-analysis in different types of systematic reviews: a guide for synthesisers of evidence. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 21, 189. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-021-01381-z

Background: Single group data present unique challenges for synthesises of evidence. Proportional meta-analysis is becoming an increasingly common technique employed for the synthesis of single group data. Proportional meta-analysis shares many similarities with the conduct and reporting of comparative, or pairwise, meta-analysis.  While robust and comprehensive methods exist detailing how researchers can conduct a meta-analysis that compares two (or more) groups against a common intervention, there is a scarcity of methodological guidance available to assist synthesisers of evidence in the conduct, interpretation, and importance of proportional meta-analysis in systematic reviews.
Main body: This paper presents an overview targeted to synthesisers of evidence and systematic review authors that details the methods, importance, and interpretation of a proportional meta-analysis. We provide worked examples of how proportional meta-analyses have been conducted in research syntheses previously and consider the methods, statistical considerations, and presentation of this technique.
Conclusion: This overview is designed to serve as practical guidance for synthesisers of evidence in the conduct of proportional meta-analyses.

Reading (2):
Higgins, J.P.T. and Thompson, S.G. (2002). Quantifying heterogeneity in a meta-analysis. Statistics in Medicine, 21, 1539-1558. https://doi.org/10.1002/sim.1186

The extent of heterogeneity in a meta-analysis partly determines the difficulty in drawing overall conclusions. This extent may be measured by estimating a between-study variance, but interpretation is then specific to a particular treatment effect metric. A test for the existence of heterogeneity exists, but depends on the number of studies in the meta-analysis. We develop measures of the impact of heterogeneity on a meta-analysis, from mathematical criteria, that are independent of the number of studies and the treatment effect metric. We derive and propose three suitable statistics: H is the square root of the 2 heterogeneity statistic divided by its degrees of freedom; R is the ratio of the standard error of the underlying mean from a random effects meta-analysis to the standard error of a fixed effect meta-analytic estimate, and I2is a transformation of H that describes the proportion of total variation in study estimates that is due to heterogeneity. We discuss interpretation, interval estimates and other properties of these measures and examine them in five example data sets showing different amounts of heterogeneity. We conclude that H and I2, which can usually be calculated for published meta-analyses, are particularly useful summaries of the impact of heterogeneity. One or both should be presented in published meta-analyses in preference to the test for heterogeneity.

Tadesse, M. M., Lin, H., Xu, B., & Yang, L. (2019). Detection of Depression-Related Posts in Reddit Social Media Forum. IEEE access, 7, 44883-44893. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2909180

Abstract: Depression is viewed as the largest contributor to global disability and a major reason for suicide. It has an impact on the language usage reflected in the written text. The key objective of our study is to examine Reddit users’ posts to detect any factors that may reveal the depression attitudes of relevant online users. For such purpose, we employ the Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques and machine learning approaches to train the data and evaluate the efficiency of our proposed method. We identify a lexicon of terms that are more common among depressed accounts. The results show that our proposed method can significantly improve performance accuracy. The best single feature is bigram with the Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier to detect depression with 80% accuracy and 0.80 F1 scores. The strength and effectiveness of the combined features (LIWC + LDA + bigram) are most successfully demonstrated with the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) classifier resulting in the top performance for depression detection reaching 91% accuracy and 0.93 F1 scores. According to our study, better performance improvement can be achieved by proper feature selections and their multiple feature combinations.

Tracy, J. L., & Robins, R. W. (2004). Putting the Self into Self-Conscious Emotions: A Theoretical Model. Psychological Inquiry, 15(2), 103–125. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327965pli1502_01

Abstract: Self-conscious emotions (e.g., shame, pride) are fundamentally important to a wide range of psychological processes, yet they have received relatively little attention compared to other, more “basic” emotions (e.g., sadness, joy). This article outlines the unique features that distinguish self-conscious from basic emotions and then explains why generally accepted models of basic emotions do not adequately capture the self-conscious emotion process. The authors present a new model of self-conscious emotions, specify a set of predictions derived from the model, and apply the model to narcissistic self-esteem regulation. Finally, the authors discuss the model’s broader implications for future research on self and emotion.

Carstensen, L. L. (1992). Social and emotional patterns in adulthood: Support for socioemotional selectivity theory. Psychology and Aging 7(3), 331-338. https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.7.3.331

Abstract: This investigation explored 2 hypotheses derived from socioemotional selectivity theory: (a) Selective reductions in social interaction begin in early adulthood and (b) emotional closeness to significant others increases rather than decreases in adulthood even when rate reductions occur. Transcribed interviews with 28 women and 22 men from the Child Guidance Study, conducted over 34 years, were reviewed and rated for frequency of interaction, satisfaction with the relationship, and degree of emotional closeness in 6 types of relationships. Interaction frequency with acquaintances and close friends declined from early adulthood on. Interaction frequency with spouses and siblings increased across the same time period and emotional closeness increased throughout adulthood in relationships with relatives and close friends. Findings suggest that individuals begin narrowing their range of social partners long before old age.

Johnson, B. R. & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3700093

Abstract: The purposes of this article are to position mixed methods research (mixed research is a synonym) as the natural complement to traditional qualitative and quantitative research, to present pragmatism as offering a n attractive philosophical partner for mixed methods research, and to provide a framework for designing and conducting mixed methods research. In doing this, we briefly review the paradigm "wars" and incompatibility thesis, we show some commonalities between quantitative and qualitative research, we explain the tenets of pragmatism we explain the fundamental principle of mixed research and how to apply it, we provide specific sets of designs for the two major types of mixed methods research (mixed-model) designs and mixed-method designs), and, finally, we explain mixed methods research as following (recursively) an eight-step process. A key feature of mixed methods research is its methodological pluralism or eclecticism, which frequently results in superior research (compared to mono-method research). Mixed methods research will be successful as more investigators study and help advance its concepts and as they regularly practice it.

Yazan, B. (2015). Three Approaches to Case Study Methods in Education: Yin, Merriam, and Stake. The Qualitative Report, 20(2), 134-152. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol20/iss2/12

Abstract: Case study methodology has long been a contested terrain in social sciences research which is characterized by varying, sometimes opposing, approaches espoused by many research methodologists. Despite being one of the most frequently used qualitative research methodologies in educational research,  the methodologists do not have a full consensus on the design and implementation of case study, which hampers its full evolution. Focusing on the landmark works of three prominent methodologists, namely Robert Yin, Sharan Merriam, Robert Stake, I attempt to scrutinize the areas where their perspectives diverge, converge and complement one another in varying dimensions of case study research. I aim to help the emerging researchers in the field of education familiarize themselves with the diverse views regarding
case study that lead to a vast array of techniques and strategies, out of which they can come up with a combined perspective which best serves their research purpose.

Perry, C. (1998). Processes of a case study methodology for postgraduate research in marketing. European Journal of Marketing, 32, 785-802. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03090569810232237

Abstract: This paper reports the Australian development of a successful, structured approach to using the case study methodology in postgraduate research. The paper is designed for postgraduate research students in marketing and their supervisors, for its aim is to present and justify guidelines for using the case study research methodology in honours, masters and PhD research theses. That is, only case studies used in postgraduate theses are considered, and not those used for other purposes such as consulting, program evaluation or market research.

Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 105-117). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Abstract:  In this chapter we analyse four paradigms that currently are competing, or have until recently competed, for acceptance as the paradigm of choice in informing and guiding inquiry, especially qualitative inquiry: positivism, postpositivism, critical theory and related ideological positions, and constructivism. We acknowledge at once our own commitment to constructivism (which we earlier called "naturalistic inquiry"; Lincoln & Guba, 1985); the reader may wish to take that fact into account in judging the appropriateness and usefulness of our analysis.

Although the title of this volume, Handbook of Qualitative Research, implies that the term qualitative is an umbrella term superior to the term paradigm (and, indeed, that usage is not uncommon), it is our position that it is a term that ought to be reserved for a description of types of methods. From our perspective, both qualitative and quantitative methods may be used appropriately with any research paradigm. Questions of method are secondary to questions of paradigm, which we define as the basic belief system or worldview that guides the investigator, not only in choices of method but in ontologically and epistemologically fundamental ways.

It is certainly the case that interest in alternative paradigms has been stimulated by a growing dissatisfaction with the patent overemphasis on quantitative methods. But as efforts were made to build a case for a renewed interest in qualitative approaches, it became clear that the metaphysical assumptions undergirding the conventional paradigm (the "received view") must be seriously questioned. Thus the emphasis of this chapter is on paradigms, their assumptions, and the implications of those assumptions for a variety of research issues, not on the relative utility of qualitative versus quantitative methods. Nevertheless, as discussions of paradigms/methods over the past decade have often begun with a consideration of problems associated with overquantification, we will also begin there, shifting only later to our predominant interest.

Norenzayan, A., & Heine, S. J. (2005). Psychological universals: What are they and how can we know? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 763–784. http://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.131.5.763

Abstract: Psychological universals, or core mental attributes shared by humans everywhere, are a foundational postulate of psychology, yet explicit analysis of how to identify such universals is lacking. This article offers a conceptual and methodological framework to guide the investigation of genuine universals through empirical analysis of psychological patterns across cultures. Issues of cross-cultural generalizability of psychological processes and 3 cross-cultural research strategies to probe universals are considered. Four distinct levels of hierarchically organized universals are possible: From strongest to weakest claims for universality, they are accessibility universals, functional universals, existential universals, and nonuniversals. Finally, universals are examined in relation to the questions of levels of analysis, evolutionary explanations of psychological processes, and management of cross-cultural relations.