Liverpool Hope University
  • Liverpool, United Kingdom
Recent publications
Face mask wearing was an important preventative strategy for the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. However, the effects that occluding the mouth and nose area with surgical masks could have on young children’s language processing and emotion recognition skills have received little investigation. To evaluate the possible effects, the current study recruited a sample of 74 children from the North West of England (aged 4–8 years). They completed two computer-based tasks with adults wearing or not wearing surgical face masks to assess (a) language processing skills and (b) emotion recognition ability. To control for individual differences, age, sex, receptive vocabulary, early reading skills, and parent-reported social–emotional competence were included in analyses. The findings from the study highlighted that although younger children were less accurate than older children, face masks did not significantly impair basic language processing ability. However, they had a significant effect on the children’s emotion recognition accuracy—with masked angry faces more easily recognized and masked happy and sad faces less easily recognized. Children’s age and social-emotional skills also played a role. The findings suggest that the effects of face masks should continue to be evaluated.
Via three experiments, we investigated heightened anxiety's effect on the offline planning and online correction of upper-limb target-directed aiming movements. In Experiment 1, the majority of task trials allowed for the voluntary distribution of offline planning and online correction to achieve task success, while a subset of cursor jump trials necessitated the use of online correction to achieve task success. Experiments 2 and 3 replicated and elaborated Experiment 1 by assessing movement-specific reinvestment propensity and manipulating the self-control resources of participants. This allowed more detailed inference of cognitive resource utilisation to tease apart the effects of conscious processing and distraction-based anxiety mechanisms. For the first time, we demonstrate that: anxiety-induced online-to-offline motor control shifts can be overridden when the need for online correction is necessitated (i.e., in jump trials); anxiety-induced online-to-offline shifts seem to be positively predicted by conscious processing propensity; and optimal spatial efficacy of limb information-based online correction seems to require cognitive resources. We conclude that long-standing definitions of limb information-based online correction require revision, and that both conscious processing and distraction theories appear to play a role in determining the control strategies of anxiety induced upper limb target directed aiming movements.
In Western societies, school pedagogies tend to be biased in favour of talk and emphasise the links between talking, thinking and learning. Thus talk is often privileged over silence as the basis for learning activities in classrooms, sustained by theories of learning which afford priority to talk. Such cultural bias towards talk means that by contrast, silence can be perceived negatively and construed as a form of 'non-participation'. Through a systematic literature review of journal articles relating to silence as a pedagogical approach published between 2000 and 2021, this article reappraises the role and value of silence in school education. Some of the apparent paradoxes of silence as a pedagogical approach, different types and uses of silence in the classroom, cultural dimensions of silence and the relationships between silence, power and critical pedagogy are examined. The pedagogical importance of silence as a participatory approach to learning emerges as a significant point for educators and the paper offers some suggestions for potential applications in classroom practice.
A top-down attentional set can persist from a relevant task to an irrelevant task, influencing allocation of attentional resources, visual search, and performance. Whilst this 'carry-over' effect has been found across numerous experiments, past studies have utilised paradigms that present similar tasks to the same spatial location. The present research explored whether attentional settings persist in more dynamic situations. In Experiment One participants played a computer game that encouraged a horizontal, vertical, or random spread of search. After 10 or 30 seconds they moved 90° to their right and monitored a driving video for hazards. Eye movements to the videos were not impacted by the characteristics of the preceding game, revealing no carry-over of attentional settings. One possible explanation for this was the visuospatial shift between the tasks. To explore this further, Experiment Two adopted a similar paradigm to previous research; participants searched horizontal, vertical, or random letter strings before completing an image search. In one block the tasks were presented to the same screen, and in one block the tasks were presented to different screens (incorporating a 90° visuospatial shift mid-trial). Carry-over was found in the one-screen block, with significantly wider horizontal search and narrower vertical search in the pictures after a horizontal letter search. However, there was no carry-over from the letter to the picture task in the two-screen block. This indicates the flexibility of attentional control in dynamic situations, and it is suggested that persistence of attentional settings will be most costly under stable conditions.
In the present study, we aimed to explore the dynamic relationships among self-esteem, self-efficacy in managing negative emotions (SRN), and expressing positive emotions (SEP) in a short-term, daily framework. We used data collected over 10 days from 101 Italian and 237 Spanish young adults. Results from a Random-Intercept Cross-Lagged Panel Model indicated that the relationships were mostly at the trait-level, since the positive correlations among the latent random intercepts of self-esteem, SRN, and SEP were medium-to-large in size. At the state-level, we found a similar pattern of correlations (although their size was smaller than the correlations at the trait-level) in which higher-than-expected levels of self-esteem on a given day (e.g., Monday) were related to higher-than-expected levels of SRN and SEP at the same day. Interestingly, we also found that higher-than-expected levels of SRN on a given day predicted slightly higher-than-expected levels of self-esteem the next day (but not vice-versa). These results did not change when the effects of country, age, gender, and daily events were included in the Ri-CLPM. The theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of our findings for informing clinical and personality psychologists about the daily dynamics between emotion regulatory processes and self-esteem are discussed.
Smart and local energy systems (SLES) offer an alternative to large-scale energy provision and a boost to the transition towards a low-carbon economy. However, the Business Model Canvas (BMC), an increasingly used framework for analyzing SLES, does not adequately describe the multiple value streams that can characterize the business models of numerous SLES projects. In this research, we modify and use the triple-layered BMC to analyze 18 SLES projects selected globally. The decarbonisation, digitalization and democratization associated with SLES, means that the value proposition extends beyond straightforward economic value and towards environmental and social value, and we find a wide reporting gap of environmental and social elements. We argue that the triple-layered BMC, which incorporates the environmental and social layers into its analysis, better reflects real-world business model complexity. We provide a common framework to SLES stakeholders for identifying and adding environmental and social value to their business models.
The book presents an ethnographic exploration of contemporary neoliberal reforms of community mental health services. The introduction of market-based delivery and performance mechanisms has restructured this setting and produced a shift from predominantly relational to informational forms of practice, within an organisational culture of defensive risk management. The time and space within services to develop trusting supportive practitioner-user relationships has been significantly constrained. The implementation of these organisational reforms was also accompanied by punitive forms of managerial control. Overall, these developments have generated tensions and stress for practitioners and service users alike. However, neoliberal reform processes are uneven and the sediments of earlier systems of mental health provision remain visible in the form of biomedical, custodial but also social-relational approaches. These diverse organisational features create a range of institutional tendencies (or situational logics). While situational logics in neoliberal services that tended to reinforce restrictive biomedical and custodial practices were predominant, sometimes countervailing practices that challenged the constraints of these informational, medically reductive and coercive tendencies also emerged. Discontent with currently dominant logics generated resistance in the form of micro-level attempts by practitioners to maintain social-relational and community approaches. This also included the development of nascent alliances between practitioners and service-user survivor activists to contest these restrictions. This book offers a case study both of the effects of neoliberal reform on mental health services, and of the way this restructured action environment shapes how practitioners, service users and carers understand and respond to lived experiences of mental distress.
The physiological determinants of high-intensity exercise tolerance are important for both elite human performance and morbidity, mortality and disease in clinical settings. The asymptote of the hyperbolic relation between external power and time to task failure, critical power, represents the threshold intensity above which systemic and intramuscular metabolic homeostasis can no longer be maintained. After ~ 60 years of research into the phenomenon of critical power, a clear understanding of its physiological determinants has emerged. The purpose of the present review is to critically examine this contemporary evidence in order to explain the physiological underpinnings of critical power. Evidence demonstrating that alterations in convective and diffusive oxygen delivery can impact upon critical power is first addressed. Subsequently, evidence is considered that shows that rates of muscle oxygen utilisation, inferred via the kinetics of pulmonary oxygen consumption, can influence critical power. The data reveal a clear picture that alterations in the rates of flux along every step of the oxygen transport and utilisation pathways influence critical power. It is also clear that critical power is influenced by motor unit recruitment patterns. On this basis, it is proposed that convective and diffusive oxygen delivery act in concert with muscle oxygen utilisation rates to determine the intracellular metabolic milieu and state of fatigue within the myocytes. This interacts with exercising muscle mass and motor unit recruitment patterns to ultimately determine critical power.
This paper argues for recognition of the centrality of relational pedagogy for student learning and the important role played by academic developers in supporting this. In the paper, the authors situate relational pedagogy within the context of contemporary marketized higher education, explore the nature and importance of relational pedagogy, and they illustrate some of the ways in which it may be developed and enacted. Academic developers play a significant role in supporting academics' understanding and practice of relational pedagogy. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of a relational pedagogy at a time when care and relationships with others have mattered more than ever. Therefore, the authors suggest that relational pedagogy is an important area worthy of academic developers' attention and institutional backing.
This paper discusses the findings of two studies that critically analysed teachers' perspectives on the operation of the standards and inclusion agenda in primary schools in England. The studies were carried out in 2010–2011 and 2019, respectively. Through the application of Q methodology, the paper examines whether teachers' perspectives of standards and inclusion have changed over time. Analysis of the data strongly suggests that teachers have experienced significant difficulties including children with SEND while at the same time trying to operationalise the objectives of the standards agenda. The research concludes that there needs to be a focus on developing effective strategies to include children with SEND within the hostile environment of the standards agenda. Within such an environment it is suggested that focus needs to move away from concentrating on ‘children with SEND having difficulties’ to the creation of inclusive educational settings which welcome all learners. In addition, it is argued that Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) should also be revised to consider the needs of all learners.
Academic freedom is seriously under threat. Here I will consider how the marketisation of Higher Education has exacerbated the decline of ‘academic freedom’. While the effects of a ‘cancel culture’ on university provision are difficult to ignore, threats to academic freedom raise a number of questions, such as: ‘who is allowed to speak on campus?’, ‘to whom?’, and ‘about what?’. These questions are fundamental to the academic profession, and therefore have clear implications for teaching and learning in Higher Education. Through an analysis of Netflix’s The Chair (2021), and drawing on the works of Martin Buber, I argue that academics’ freedom to teach is implicitly constrained by student-consumer desires, and in turn this reduces the space for genuine dialogue on university campuses. Rather than closing down debate and the discussion of ‘controversial’ topics, universities instead need to cultivate a climate of trust, openness, and reciprocity on campuses, such that genuine staff-student dialogue can flourish. University campuses are precisely the places where academics should be able to engage in scholarly debate on matters of importance – where students may be exposed to radically different viewpoints and perspectives – and film and TV series can be used to initiate such conversations.
Inspired by the famous Star Wars movie, we decide a moving and interactive robot which is similar to the BB8 character of the sequel. The proposed system is based on a low-cost set of components allowing to control the device wirelessly by means of a mobile app. The robot incorporates an mp2 module and a visual interactive system, and it could be used for human–robot interactive applications.
The robotics industry is rapidly evolving driven by better and cheaper computer chips and affordable 3D printing technologies. All these aspects are a catalyst that helps in building new concepts and prototypes at a lower cost, and easier and faster than ever before. This paper presents the entire process of building an articulated robotic arm with 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) and a gripper, all controlled from a designed Arduino command center. The project will go through the 3D designing process and the selection of different actuators. Then, an optimization of the hardware options for controlling the motors and the software to operate the robotic arm is presented. Finally, advantages and drawbacks of the proposed architecture are discussed.
This quasi-experimental study implemented and compared the efficacy of an educational intervention based on the PRECEDE–PROCEED model to teach anger management and improve the driving performance of urban taxi drivers delivered using with same instructional materials either face-to-face (traditional) and online. Participants were 76 taxi drivers from two cities in Iran, randomly assigned to face-to-face or online delivery of the intervention. Data was collected using a survey which included demographic questions, Ecological and Educational Assessment Questionnaire (measuring knowledge, reinforcing factors, and enabling factors), Driver Attitude Questionnaire, Driver Behavior Questionnaire, and Driving Anger Scale at baseline, and two-months (follow-up 1) and four-months (follow-up 2) after the intervention. Additionally, participant’s driving performance was assessed using the Wiener Fahrprobe technique. Both intervention modes were effective in improving driving performance in follow-up 1. Knowledge, reinforcing factors and enabling factors were improved in both modes of intervention in follow-up 1, although scores had decayed by follow-up 2. Compared to baseline, face-to-face delivery of the intervention improved drivers' attitudes and self-reported driving behaviors, although there was a small decay at follow-up 2, whereas online delivery improved drivers' attitudes in follow-up 1 only. By follow-up 2, the face-to-face group had reduced driving anger, but no change was observed in the online group. Altogether, retention of the educational intervention was greater in the face-to-face group than the online group. Reasons for this difference can be attributed to increased efficacy of face-to-face teaching that includes an opportunity to question the instructional content and get feedback.
Many higher education (HE) systems in the Global South have prioritised English language education (ELE), including in Colombia where English has become the dominant foreign language of HE. However, little is known about its effects on the lives of HE students from low-income backgrounds. Addressing this knowledge gap is critical to ensure that ELE in Colombian HE is relevant. The current study used the capability approach (CA) to identify the substantive freedoms which English can enlarge or constrain in the lives of economically vulnerable graduates in Colombia, and to identify factors which are instrumental in this process. The findings from this qualitative study show that English in Colombia can cultivate economic, sociocultural and epistemic capabilities. However, they also show how this capability expansion is also shaped by a range of conversion factors and individual agency.
Dark Triad traits (psychopathy, narcissism) are associated with nonadherence to COVID-19 prevention measures such as social distancing and wearing face masks, although the psychological mechanisms underpinning this relationship remain unclear. In contrast, high threat-sensitivity may motivate compliance, and maybe seen in relation to vulnerable dark traits (secondary psychopathy, vulnerable narcissism and borderline personality disorder). The relationship between vulnerable dark traits and COVID-19 prevention behaviour has not been examined. During April 2021, participants (n = 263) completed an online psychometric study assessing engagement with COVID-19 prevention behaviour, traditional DT traits (primary psychopathy; grandiose narcissism) and vulnerable DT traits. Potential indirect effects were fear of COVID-19, perceived coronavirus severity, belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories and altruism. Model of path analysis identified predictors of engagement in disease prevention behaviour. Primary psychopathy, grandiose narcissism, secondary psychopathy and BPD were associated with less COVID-19 prevention behaviour, with an indirect effect of reduced coronavirus severity. Grandiose narcissism and BPD were also motivated by COVID-19 conspiracy theories, and increased prevention behaviour when fear of COVID-19 was higher. No direct or indirect effects were observed for vulnerable narcissism. The current study is the first to elucidate psychological mechanisms linking vulnerable dark traits with COVID-19 prevention behaviour.
Background Existing literature emphasised the spiritual value of grandparents in a child’s faith nurture, but this was not reflected in contemporary understandings or practices of the Christian community.PurposeThe discourses surrounding the perceptions and practices of grandparents themselves, the local church and wider Christian society were investigated; uncovering the dynamics of cross-generational relationships and interactions with a child’s spiritual journey.Methods Data was gathered from Christian media, resourcing organisations, denominational websites and focus group interviews with grandparents and church representatives, to reveal the discourses conveyed by individuals, institutions and the wider Christian community. Critical discourse analysis was used to investigate perceptions and implications.ResultsGrandparents unanimously reported collective worth and purpose in their grandparent-grandchild relations. However, church representatives observed barriers and tensions regarding their involvement in faith nurture, citing a culture of privacy surrounding faith. Denominational websites and Christian media indicated that grandparents were not integral to church strategies, being rarely mentioned, resourced or empowered. The dominant discourses were of grandparents being passive agents with background involvement. Resourcing primarily conveyed romanticism and nostalgia rather than addressing contemporary family life. For some, these relationships facilitated discussions about faith, whilst others said their family’s faith identity was unspoken. The grandparents were primarily motivated personally and independently of external bodies, often adopting a ‘trial and error’ mentality, suggesting a highly individual rather than collective approach to faith nurture of grandchildren. The local church rarely championed grandparents in this role, leading to grandparents being passive and feeling excluded. Many lacked confidence and were disengaged with faith nurture.Conclusions and ImplicationsThe value of grandparents needs better communicating, moving them from being minor contributors at the periphery of the team to being more actively and intentionally involved. This requires enhanced understanding at institutional and societal levels of grandparents’ role, and improvement in the functionality and efficacy of interactions between grandparents and their grandchildren. Redressing of the power dynamics at play within congregations and society is required to bring grandparents more equally into the equation. A paradigm shift is required at all levels to equip, empower and include grandparents more fully. This would lead to improved Christian faith transmission.
This article reassesses the debate around the meaning of ‘libertarian communism’ within the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist movement in the years prior to and during the Civil War. Drawing on recent historical and theoretical literature that argues for a non-pejorative and analytical understanding of utopia, it brings renewed attention to this aspect of Spanish anarcho-syndicalism. The article focuses on the proposals for a definition of libertarian communism that were debated in the run up to and during the National Confederation of Labour’s (CNT) Zaragoza Congress in May 1936. It argues that a utopian imagination was central to the movement’s self-understanding and concrete achievements, and not confined to its more idealist currents.
This study investigated the direct relationship between home play opportunity and prospective school readiness, and the indirect relationships as mediated through object and social mastery motivation among Hong Kong Chinese kindergarten children. Participants were 106 local children (44.4% girls, mean age = 60.0 months) and their parents and teachers. Parents reported the demographic information and children’s home play opportunity at time 1 (beginning of the school year), whereas children’s object mastery motivation, social mastery motivation, and school readiness were reported by their teachers at time 2 (six months later). Research Findings: Results from the path analytic model revealed that children’s home play opportunity significantly predicted their object mastery motivation, but not social mastery motivation or school readiness. Both object and social mastery motivation were positively associated with school readiness. Furthermore, the indirect relationship between home play opportunity, object mastery motivation, and school readiness was significant, but the one via social mastery motivation was non-significant. Practice or Policy: The findings highlight the collective roles of object and social mastery motivation in predicting children’s school readiness. The results also suggest the desirability of providing kindergarten children with a varied and accessible home play environment which may promote their mastery motivation and school readiness.
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Brett M Drury
  • Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering
Galina Paramei
  • Department of Psychology
Namrata Rao
  • School of Education
Omid Khaiyat
  • School of Health Sciences
Atulya Nagar
  • School of Mathematics Computer Science and Engineering
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