College Students’ Attitudes, Stigma, and Intentions Toward Seeking Online and Face-to-Face Counseling

Around one‐fifth (20.3%) of all college students worldwide experience a psychological disorder within a given year, however, only 16% of these individuals receive treatment for their mental health issue (Auerbach et al., 2016). As approximately three‐quarters of lifetime mental illnesses are onset by the age of 24 (Kessler et al., 2005), it is paramount this age group receives the treatment they need. College students seeking help for their mental health concerns face numerous barriers to engaging in treatment such as stigma (D’Amico, Mechling, Kemppainen, Ahern, & Lee, 2016) and their attitudes toward help‐seeking (Kelly & Achter, 1995). Online counselling, defined as the provision of mental health services in a non‐face‐to‐face setting through distance communication such as telephone, email, and videoconferencing (Mallen & Vogel, 2005), provides benefits, such as convenience (Chester & Glass, 2006) and accessibility (Sampson, Kolodinsky, & Greeno, 1997) to clients. Additionally, this method provides anonymity (Young, 2005) that could lessen the impact of these barriers and therefore increase the likelihood an individual will seek treatment (Wallin, Maathz, Parling, & Hursti, 2018). Although online counselling provides these potential benefits, previous researchers have found attitudes toward this form of counselling to be less favourable when compared to the more traditional face‐to‐face method (Rochlen, Beretvas, & Zack, 2004; Lewis, Coursol, Bremer, & Komarenko, 2015). It is unclear, however, if this is due to a difference in levels of stigma toward this counselling modality. Furthermore, little is known about online counselling and its relationship with stigma, attitudes, and intentions to seek help among the college population. The purpose of this study, therefore, was twofold. First, this study set out to investigate how stigma, attitudes, and intentions toward seeking online counselling differed to that of face‐to‐face counselling. Secondly, this study sought to examine the relationship between stigma, attitudes, and intentions toward online counselling held by college students, and to identify if this relationship differed to that of these variables related to face‐to‐face counselling.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Dr Matt Bird, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Graig M Chow, Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Tallahassee

Yanyun Yang, Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Tallahassee


Perception of dynamic facial expressions of emotion between dogs and humans

Prof Kun Guo, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Psychology
 

Facial expressions are a core component of the emotional response of social mammals. In contrast to Darwin’s original proposition, expressive facial cues of emotion appear to have evolved to be species-specific. Faces trigger an automatic perceptual process, and so, inter-specific emotion perception is potentially a challenge; since observers should not try to “read” heterospecific facial expressions in the same way that they do conspecific ones. Using dynamic spontaneous facial expression stimuli, we report the first inter-species eye-tracking study on fully unrestrained participants and without pre-experiment training to maintain attention to stimuli, to compare how two different species living in the same ecological niche, humans and dogs, perceive each other’s facial expressions of emotion. Humans and dogs showed different gaze distributions when viewing the same facial expressions of either humans or dogs. Humans modulated their gaze depending on the area of interest (AOI) being examined, emotion, and species observed, but dogs modulated their gaze depending on AOI only. We also analysed if the gaze distribution was random across AOIs in both species: in humans, eye movements were not correlated with the diagnostic facial movements occurring in the emotional expression, and in dogs, there was only a partial relationship. This suggests that the scanning of facial expressions is a relatively automatic process. Thus, to read other species’ facial emotions successfully, individuals must overcome these automatic perceptual processes and employ learning strategies to appreciate the inter-species emotional repertoire.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Catia Correia-Caeiro, University of Lincoln, School of Life Sciences

Kun Guo, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Daniel S. Mills, University of Lincoln, School of Life Sciences


Valence-dependent Disruption in Processing of Facial Expressions of Emotion in Early Visual Cortex—A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study

Prof Kun Guo, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of PsychologyDr Patrick Bourke, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Psychology

Our visual inputs are often entangled with affective meanings in natural vision, implying the existence of extensive interaction between visual and emotional processing. However, little is known about the neural mechanism underlying such interaction. This exploratory transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) study examined the possible involvement of the early visual cortex (EVC, Area V1/V2/V3) in perceiving facial expressions of different emotional valences.

Across three experiments, single-pulse TMS was delivered at different time windows (50–150 msec) after a brief 10-msec onset of face images, and participants reported the visibility and perceived emotional valence of faces. Interestingly, earlier TMS at ∼90 msec only reduced the face visibility irrespective of displayed expressions, but later TMS at ∼120 msec selectively disrupted the recognition of negative facial expressions, indicating the involvement of EVC in the processing of negative expressions at a later time window, possibly beyond the initial processing of fed-forward facial structure information. The observed TMS effect was further modulated by individuals’ anxiety level. TMS at ∼110–120 msec disrupted the recognition of anger significantly more for those scoring relatively low in trait anxiety than the high scorers, suggesting that cognitive bias influences the processing of facial expressions in EVC. Taken together, it seems that EVC is involved in structural encoding of (at least) negative facial emotional valence, such as fear and anger, possibly under modulation from higher cortical areas.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Kun Guo, Univevrsity of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Patrick Bourke, Univevrsity of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Lauren Calver, Univevrsity of Lincoln, School of Psychology

 Yoshi Soornack, Univevrsity of Lincoln, School of Psychology