Alice Chirico

Alice Chirico
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | UNICATT · Department of Psychology

Ph.D. Psychology
Co-director Experience Lab; Research Center in Communication Psychology

About

111
Publications
64,063
Reads
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1,665
Citations
Citations since 2016
107 Research Items
1662 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
Introduction
Alice Chirico is Postdoc researcher at the Department of Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. Alice does research in Experimental Psychology, Media Psychology and Positive Psychology. Her main current project consists in the application of complex experiences, such as the Sublime, Flow and Awe, combined with art and new technologies to elicit Transformative Experiences.
Additional affiliations
November 2015 - present
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Position
  • PhD Student
September 2014 - October 2016
I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Auxologico Italiano
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (111)
Article
Full-text available
Measures of the same phenomenon should produce the same results; this principle is fundamental because it allows for replication—the basis of science. Unfortunately, measures of a psychological construct in one language can often measure something a bit different in another language (i.e., low “scale equivalence”). Historically, the problem was tho...
Cover Page
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With the development of data-driven tools, including machine learning, audio signal processing has attained a high level of accuracy, either for speech recognition or emotion analysis. Both issues necessitate creating a model for the signal's source. Whereas this requirement has been solved for speech signals, through the repartition of the recogni...
Article
Research shows that reduced exposure to natural contexts is associated with an increase in psychophysical disorders. Recent evidence suggests that even a brief experience in natural scenarios can positively affect people's health and well-being. However, natural contexts are not always easily accessible. This study investigates the effects of natur...
Article
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Art is a complex subject of analysis. Nonetheless, Empirical Aesthetics has proved that the interaction between some bottom-up and top-down mechanisms shapes individuals’ perception of a work of art. Recently, the Vienna Integrated Model for Art Perception [1] added that, during the observation of an artwork, the emotional state of the observer, as...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The primary goal of this study was to elaborate an integrated model on the development of Internet use behavior (including functional and not functional use) across life span, by outlining the interaction among Physical, Cognitive, Emotional, Social, Material, Environmental, Digital resources, and challenges. Moreover, since the focus was on the tr...
Article
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The concept of transformative experience (TE) has been widely explored by several disciplines from philosophy to neurobiology, and in different domains, from the spiritual to the educational one. This attitude has engendered heterogeneous models to explain this phenomenon. However, a consistent and clear understanding of this construct remains elus...
Article
The considerable connection between religiosity/spirituality and positivity in life in general has been widely demonstrated. However, preliminary evidence has shown that when also a cognitive component is included, the direction of this relationship seems to emerge more clearly. Specifically, the differential pathways linking specific positive self...
Conference Paper
Despite of the number of significant scientific discoveries in Italy, youth engagement with science and technology is still very low in this country. Teaching young generations about the complex relationship between science, technology, and society (STS) is fundamental in order to promote higher level critical thinking skills, foster lifelong civic...
Article
Emotions are our internal compass: not only do they influence a wide range of cognitive processes, including perception, attention, learning and reasoning; they also play a fundamental role in shaping people’s mental health and wellbeing. Thanks to recent advances in software and hardware platforms, virtual and augmented reality systems (hereinaft...
Article
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Complexity has been always a part of an individual’s life under different guises. However, it has always been hard to provide a clear definition of what complexity really is. For instance, in the field of science, complexity has been defined in terms of systems. A system can be deemed as complex when multiple interactions occur among different comp...
Article
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Despite a rapidly ageing world population, ageism – particularly in its implicit form – is widespread in society. In this article, we propose that a paradigm shift is needed in how we approach ageing-related design research and practice in areas such as assistive technologies. We also put forward the idea of using the Healthy Ageing (HA) framework...
Chapter
In response to an increasingly ageing world population, the World Health Organization has recently proposed a new framework – called Healthy Ageing – to better cater to older adults’ life needs and desires. This framework calls for transdisciplinary approaches to answer the challenges and opportunities posed by an ageing society. Following this fra...
Article
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So far, several aspects of autobiographical memory (AM) have been found to be impaired in depression. Among others, depressed patients show the tendency to recall more negative than positive events (i.e., negative bias) and usually retrieve memories that lack of specificity and details (i.e., overgeneral memories). Based on this, we designed an AM...
Article
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The Allocentric Lock theory (ALT) suggests that anorexia (AN) may be the outcome of a primary disturbance in the way the body is “experienced” and “remembered”. A long tradition of research had proved that emotions can influence the encoding, storing and retrieving of memories. The aim of the present study was to explore the effectiveness of a new...
Article
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VR effectiveness has been tested before in Anorexia Nervosa (AN) with full-body illusion. The embodiment of patients with AN into a different virtual body to modify their long-term memory of the body is a crucial factor for the onset and maintenance of this disorder. In this pilot study, we aimed to test the usability and User Experience (UX) of th...
Article
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In the past years, the field of collaborative robots has been developing fast, with applications ranging from health care to search and rescue, construction, entertainment, sports, and many others. However, current social robotics is still far from the general abilities we expect in a robot collaborator. This limitation is more evident when robots...
Article
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Recently, interest in the unique pathways linking discrete positive emotions to specific health outcomes has gained increasing attention, but the role of awe is yet to be elucidated. Awe is a complex and transformative emotion that can restructure individuals' mental frames so deeply that it could be considered a therapeutic asset for major mental...
Article
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The sublime-the mixed aesthetic experience of uplift and elevation in response to a powerful or vast object that otherwise is experienced as menacing-has nurtured philosophical discourse for centuries. One of the major philosophical issues concerns whether the sublime is best thought of as a subjective response or as a stimulus. Recently, psycholog...
Article
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The goal of this large-scale study was to test the relationship between positive emotion dis-positions (i.e., Joy, Contentment, Pride, Love, Compassion, Amusement, and Awe) and two strategies of emotion regulation (i.e., reappraisal and suppression) in the Italian population. 532 Italian-speaking adults completed the Dispositional Positive Emotion...
Article
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Starting from the pro-environmental potential of virtual reality (VR), the aim was to understand how different statistical information formats can enhance VR persuasive potential for plastic consumption, recycling and waste. Naturalistic, immersive virtual reality environments (VREs) were designed ad hoc to display three kinds of statistical eviden...
Book
Come ogni libro che desideri introdurre concetti nuovi ai più, anche questo inizierà con un tentativo di definire il suo oggetto principale. Il primo obiettivo è rispondere alla domanda di chi prende in mano e vuole capire cosa siano i "momenti di eternità". Come spesso accade traducendo un termine straniero in italiano, si sceglie di usare delle p...
Article
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This empirical study examines how philosophical work on the sublime relates to contemporary psychological work on awe. We operationalized several aspects of the sublime drawing from prominent philosophical theories and analyzed them in relation to three different measures of awe: the modified Differential Emotions Scale (mDES), the awe sub-scale of...
Preprint
Despite sophisticated scale-generic guidance for adapting/translating self-report scales and widespread adherence to guidance, low invariance remains a problem in cross-cultural clinical research. This may be due to scale-specific translation challenges, and original scale-creation papers provide little information about item-writing choices. It is...
Article
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Self-transcendence has been characterized as a decrease in self-saliency (ego disillusionment) and increased connection, and has been growing in research interest in the past decade. Several measures have been developed and published with some degree of psychometric validity and reliability. However, to date, there has been no review systematically...
Article
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Background: Older people's deficits in executive functions (EF) have been shown to lead to higher fall risk, postural sway, and reduced speed. Crucially, EF impairments are even more pronounced in individuals with chronic cerebrovascular disease (CVD), namely vascular cognitive impairment. Methods: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, we...
Article
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Due to COVID-19 spreading in Italy, on March 11 the Prime Minister of Italy declared a lockdown and imposed severe restrictive measures impacting citizens' freedom at several levels. People were required to stay at home and go out only to satisfy basic needs. Several risk models have postulated a link among online searching behavior, affect, anxiet...
Article
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Background: Living in the time of the COVID-19 means experiencing not only a global health emergency but also extreme psychological stress with potential emotional side effects such as sadness, grief, irritability, and mood swings. Crucially, lockdown and confinement measures isolate people who become the first and the only ones in charge of their...
Article
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Sometimes, life houses rare and unexpected events, such as moving abroad or meeting a special person unexpectedly. Recently, these situations have been indicated as "diversifying experiences" (DEs), defined as unusual and unexpected events that drag people outside their daily routine and accustomed schemas. The core mechanism of DEs would entail th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Virtual Reality (VR) has progressively emerged as an effective tool for wellbeing and health in clinical populations. VR effectiveness has been tested before in Anorexia Nervosa (AN) with full-body illusion. It consists in the embodiment of patients with AN into a different virtual body to modify their long-term memory of the body as a crucial fact...
Article
Full-text available
Elderly people affected by Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) usually report a perceived decline in cognitive functions that deeply impacts their quality of life. This subtle waning, although it cannot be diagnosable as dementia, is noted by caregivers on the basis of their relative’s behaviors. Crucially, if this condition is also not detected in tim...
Preprint
Full-text available
In addition to established body image alterations, abnormal perception and executive functioning in anorexia nervosa (AN), neurocognitive factors including multisensory integration (MSI) and episodic memory (EM) might play a pivotal role in the diagnosis of this disorder. According to the allocentric lock theory, deficits in the updating of distort...
Article
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Our aim was to explore emotions in Instagram images marked with hashtags referring to body image–related components using an artificial intelligence–based discrete emotional analysis. A total of 500 Instagram photos marked by specific hashtags related to body image components were analyzed and specific discrete emotions expressed in each picture we...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Living in the time of the COVID-19 means experiencing not only a global health emergency but also extreme psychological stress with potential emotional side effects such as sadness, grief, irritability and mood swings. Crucially, lockdown and confinement measures isolate people who become the first and the only ones in charge of their o...
Article
Full-text available
It is noted that the perceptual experience of body and space can be modulated by changing the action capabilities or by manipulating the perceived body dimensions through a multisensory stimulation. This study adds to pre-existing literature by investigating the alterations in bodily experience following embodiment to both enlarged and shrunked bod...
Chapter
Virtual reality (VR) technology is an integrated experiential platform able to engage obese individuals in mastering physical activity, diet, and self-regulatory strategies-targeting both emotions and experience of the body. It provides a safe environment for learner experimentation, real-time personalized behavioral weight management tasks, and s...
Chapter
Virtual reality (VR) technology is a promising platform to be included in obesity therapy as it provides a safe environment for learner experimentation, real-time personalized behavioral weight management tasks, and strategies. Moreover, it is able to target negative emotions and body image dissatisfaction that play a critical role in the onset and...
Article
Full-text available
If experiences of profound transformation have a core moment, that can be awe, an emotion able to maximize the possibility to change especially through its self-transcendent nature. Awe arises from stimuli so vast to prompt people to go beyond their current schema. Awe would drag people into a deep moment of uncertainty in which assimilation proces...
Article
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The recent model of Networked flow (NF) mapped out factors underlying optimal creative collaboration in blended spaces (physical and digital). NF conceives creativity as an evolving network bridging material and symbolic resources of the creative collaboration process at both inter and the intra-group levels. First, this model posits that optimal g...
Article
The spread of cobots working side-by-side to humans has recently drawn attention to the psychological aspects of human-robot interaction. We propose an exploratory study that investigates whether and how the role taken on by the robot during a collaborative task influences the human’s psycho-physiological response and production rate. We assume the...
Chapter
This chapter examines creativity by considering its social and cultural components. Starting from the Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) approach, the objective is to describe why creativity is a socially and culturally determined process and describe some dynamics that characterize creativity in human activity systems. From this point of v...
Article
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Instagram is an image-based social media platform for mobile devices that promotes a new form of communication and self-expression based on images and photos. Although this image-based communication has become a wide form of online self-presentation, it is still less investigated if compared to social media text content analysis of written posts. C...
Article
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Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a severe eating disorder affecting mostly young females and involving significant weight loss, a high fear of gaining weight and a distorted body image. Anorectic patients incur overestimations of their own body, thus suggesting that a distorted experience of body may play a crucial role in this disease. Specifically, a rec...
Article
Full-text available
Background. The effective illusory ownership over an artificial body in modulating body representations in healthy and eating disorders population has been repeatedly reported in recent literature. In this study, we extended this research in the field of obesity: specifically, we investigated whether ownership over a virtual body with a skinny abdo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The use of collaborative robots in the manufacturing industry has widely spread in the last decade. In order to be efficient, the human-robot collaboration needs to be properly designed by also taking into account the operator’s psychophysiological reactions. Virtual Reality can be used as a tool to simulate human-robot collaboration in a safe and...
Conference Paper
Several researches have revealed the potential of awe, a complex emotion arising from vast stimuli able to prompt for a restructuration of people’ mental schema, on wellbeing and health. Despite a lot has been revealed about awe, researchers still face the challenge of eliciting intense instances of awe in a controlled way. A combination of two or...
Poster
Full-text available
BACKGROUND: Body image (BI) is a complex construct that embraces perceptual, cognitive, affective and sociocultural factors. In particular, multisensory integration (MSI) plays a critical role for BI distortion and anorexia nervosa (AN). MSI is the brain's ability to integrate different sensory inputs (e.g., auditory and visual) in a coherent and d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Self-referencing refers to a set of cognitive processes that individuals use to understand incoming information, by relating it to one’s self or personal experiences (Northoff, 2006). Previous research has shown that self-referencing promotes narrative engagement, defined as the “degree of immersion” into the narrative content (Escalas, 2007; McDon...
Conference Paper
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La presente ricerca ha valutato un intervento di benessere psicologico in azienda basato su esperienze in realtà virtuale tese a promuovere emozioni positive, coinvolgimento, realizzazione, significato e resilienza. Il percorso era articolato in sette incontri a cadenza settimanale. Ciascuna sessione prevedeva un’esperienza virtuale seguita da una...
Conference Paper
Some life experiences can generate profound and long-lasting shifts in core beliefs and attitudes, including subjective transformation. These experiences can change what individuals know and value, their perspective on the world and life, evolving them as a grown person. For these characteristics, transformative experiences are gaining increasing a...
Article
Full-text available
Different studies suggest that Virtual Reality (VR) is an effective tool for behavioural health, with long-term effects that generalize to the real world. Here we suggest that the efficacy of VR can be explained by how it works. Specifically, VR shares with our brain the same basic mechanism: embodied simulations. Different major discoveries in the...
Article
Although virtual reality (VR) is increasingly regarded as an effective emotion induction technique, little research has examined whether and how emotions elicited in VR differ from those evoked in real life. To address this question, 50 participants (25 females and 25 males) were exposed to either a real-life contemplative scenario (a panoramic vie...