SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Ondobaka, S., de Lange, F. P., Newman-Norland, R. D., Wiemers, M., & Bekkering, H. (2012). Interplay between action and movement intentions during social interaction. Psychological Science, 23, 30–35.

Abstract: Observing the movements of another person influences the observer’s intention to execute similar movements. However, little is known about how action intentions formed prior to movement planning influence this effect. In the experiment reported here, we manipulated the congruency of movement intentions and action intentions in a pair of jointly acting individuals (i.e., a participant paired with a confederate coactor) and investigated how congruency influenced performance. Overall, participants initiated actions faster when they had the same action intention as the coactor (i.e., when participants and the coactor were pursuing the same conceptual goal). Participants’ responses were also faster when their and the coactor’s movement intentions were directed to the same spatial location, but only when participants had the same action intention as the coactor. These findings suggest that observers use the same representation to implement their own action intentions that they use to infer other people’s action intentions and also that a dynamic, multitiered intentional mechanism is involved in the processing of other people’s actions.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What steps should the researchers take to protect the confidentiality of the subject in this study?
  2. Do you think it would be ethically appropriate for the researchers in this study to administer the reinforcements themselves? Why or why not?
  3. Do the researchers take the necessary steps to reduce harm to the subjects? How so?
  4. There is deception in this study. How are the researchers deceiving the subjects and are they properly debriefing?
  5. If you were an IRB member reviewing this study, what information would you ask the researchers to provide to allow you to determine the risk-benefit analysis for this study?

Journal Article 2: Sandman, C. A., Poggi Davis, E., & Glynn, L. M. (2012). Prescient human fetuses thrive. Psychological Science, 23, 93–100.

Abstract: Fetal detection of adversity is a conserved trait that allows many species to adapt their early developmental trajectories to ensure survival. According to the fetal-programming model, exposure to stressful or hostile conditions in utero is associated with compromised development and a lifelong risk of adverse health outcomes. In a longitudinal study, we examined the consequences of prenatal and postnatal exposure to adversity for infant development. We found increased motor and mental development during the 1st year of life among infants whose mothers experienced congruent levels of depressive symptoms during and after pregnancy, even when the levels of symptoms were relatively high and the prenatal and postnatal environments were unfavorable. Congruence between prenatal and postnatal environments prepares the fetus for postnatal life and confers an adaptive advantage for critical survival functions during early development.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some ethical issues for this study regarding informed consent?
  2. What steps do you think the researchers of this study would have taken to obtain informed consent from the research subject in order to conduct an ethical study?
  3. How can the researchers reduce possible harm to the subject in this study?
  4. If you were an IRB member reviewing this study, what information would you ask the researchers to provide to allow you to determine the risk-benefit analysis for this study?