Sanna Malinen

University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

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Publications (5)5.99 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The present study was designed to explore the relationships between post-disaster self-reports of depression, vigilance task performance, and frontal cerebral oxygenation. Forty participants (20 women) performed vigilance tasks following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. In addition to performance, we measured self-reports of depression, anxiety, and stress anchored to the initial earthquake event, and frontal cerebral activity with functional near-infrared spectroscopy. Among the participants, one case may have been an outlier with extremely elevated levels of self-reported depressivity. Excluding the extreme case, there was a correlation between change in response time (response slowing) and depressivity. Including the case there was a correlation between depressivity and right hemisphere oxygenation. These results provide some support for a relationship between moderate depressivity and sustained attention difficulties.
    Experimental Brain Research 02/2013; · 2.22 Impact Factor
  • Sanna Malinen, Lucy Johnston
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    ABSTRACT: Background/Study Context: Research largely shows no performance differences between older and younger employees, or that older workers even outperform younger employees, yet negative attitudes towards older workers can underpin discrimination. Unfortunately, traditional "explicit" techniques for assessing attitudes (i.e., self-report measures) have serious drawbacks. Therefore, using an approach that is novel to organizational contexts, the authors supplemented explicit with implicit (indirect) measures of attitudes towards older workers, and examined the malleability of both. Methods: This research consists of two studies. The authors measured self-report (explicit) attitudes towards older and younger workers with a survey, and implicit attitudes with a reaction-time-based measure of implicit associations. In addition, to test whether attitudes were malleable, the authors measured attitudes before and after a mental imagery intervention, where the authors asked participants in the experimental group to imagine respected and valued older workers from their surroundings. Results: Negative, stable implicit attitudes towards older workers emerged in two studies. Conversely, explicit attitudes showed no age bias and were more susceptible to change intervention, such that attitudes became more positive towards older workers following the experimental manipulation. Conclusion: This research demonstrates the unconscious nature of bias against older workers, and highlights the utility of implicit attitude measures in the context of the workplace. In the current era of aging workforce and skill shortages, implicit measures may be necessary to illuminate hidden workplace ageism.
    Experimental Aging Research 01/2013; 39(4):445-65. · 1.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Emotionally fueled public responses to news of released sex offenders have the potential to jeopardize the re-entry process, for example, hindering access to stable housing and employment opportunities. Influencing change in public attitudes towards sex offenders so that they are conducive to successful community re-entry is important in efforts to prevent recidivism. Maximizing the effectiveness of attempts to change public attitudes first requires identifying whether specific demographic groups are more prone to negative attitudes, so that attempts to change attitudes can be appropriately targeted. In the present study, 401 community members completed an online questionnaire designed to assess the affective, cognitive and behavioral dimensions of attitudes towards sex offenders. Differences in attitudes towards sex offenders based on respondent sex, age, educational attainment, occupation, parental status and familiarity with victims and perpetrators of sexual assault were investigated. Females demonstrated more-negative attitudes on affective and behavioral measures compared with males, and respondents with low levels of educational attainment demonstrated more-negative attitudes than respondents with higher levels of educational attainment on cognitive and behavioral measures; however, all groups demonstrated negative attitudes towards sex offenders to some extent. Implications for community-level interventions that promote effective re-entry, and hence reduce the likelihood of sexual reoffending are discussed.
    Psychiatry Psychology and Law 01/2012; · 0.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study was designed to explore the performance costs of negative emotional stimuli in a vigilance task. Forty participants (20 women) performed a vigilance task in two conditions: one with task-irrelevant negative-arousing pictures and one with task-irrelevant neutral pictures. In addition to performance, we measured subjective state (energetic arousal, tense arousal, task-related and task-unrelated thoughts) and frontal cerebral activity with near infrared spectroscopy. Overall performance in the negative picture condition was lower than in the neutral picture condition and the negative picture condition had elevated levels of energetic arousal, tense arousal and task-related thoughts. Moreover, there was a significant relationship between the impact of the negative pictures on tense arousal and task-related thoughts and the impact of the negative pictures on performance (in comparison to the neutral picture stimuli task). These results provide support for indirect cost models of negative emotional stimuli on target detection performance.
    Consciousness and Cognition 12/2011; 20(4):1649-58. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    Sanna Malinen
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    ABSTRACT: Due to the ageing population, an increasing number of older workers form the labour force. Unfortunately discriminatory practices against older workers are well documented and the antecedents of such discrimination are assumed to be negative attitudes towards older workers. No previous research has investigated implicit attitudes towards older workers or their behavioural consequences. Accordingly, the present research aimed to investigate both implicit and explicit attitudes towards older workers, and their predictive utility in an employment-related context. In addition, attitude malleability and the role it may play in the attitude-behaviour relationship was investigated. This thesis reports findings from 5 studies, a pilot study and 4 main studies. The pilot study determined that the Implicit Association Test (IAT; A.G. Greenwald, D. E. McGhee & J. L. K. Schwartz, 1998) was to be used in the main studies. The 4 main studies investigated implicit attitudes, and the malleability of such attitudes towards older, relative to younger, workers. The malleability of attitudes was investigated with a mental imagery intervention where the experimental group participants were asked to imagine and describe respected and valued older workers in their surroundings. The control group participants were asked to imagine holiday destinations they would like to visit. In general, it was expected that negative implicit and explicit attitudes would be found towards older workers but that such bias could be alleviated with a mental imagery intervention. In all studies, negative implicit attitudes against older workers were found and such attitudes were relatively uninfluenced by the mental imagery manipulation. Three studies included explicit measures of attitudes. Although some variation was found between the studies and the measures used, overall positive attitudes towards older and younger workers were found. The mental imagery manipulation was also found to influence the explicit attitudes to a greater degree than implicit attitudes. The final study investigated the relationship between attitudes and behaviour. Specifically, both implicit and explicit attitudes’ relationships with spontaneous and controlled-type behaviours towards an older and a younger target were examined. Overall, some evidence for youth-bias in the participants’ behaviour was found, as well as evidence for the relationship between explicit attitudes and spontaneous behaviours. Implicit attitudes were largely unrelated to behaviour. In general, the mental imagery intervention did not impact the attitude-behaviour relationship. Implications for older workers are discussed, as well as educational methods for reducing discrimination older workers face in employment.