EXPRESS: Data driven group comparisons of eye fixations to dynamic stimuli

Recent advances in software and hardware have allowed eye tracking to move away from static images to more ecologically relevant video streams. The analysis of eye tracking data for such dynamic stimuli, however, is not without challenges. The frame by frame coding of regions of interest (ROIs) is labour intensive, and computer vision techniques to automatically code such ROIs are not yet mainstream, restricting the use of such stimuli. Combined with the more general problem of defining relevant ROIs for video frames, methods are needed that facilitate data analysis. Here we present a first evaluation of an easy-to-implement data-driven method with the potential to address these issues. To test the new method, we examined the differences in eye movements of self-reported politically left- or right-wing leaning participants to video clips of left- and right-wing politicians. The results show that our method can accurately predict group membership on the basis of eye movement patterns, isolate video clips which best distinguish people on the political left-right spectrum and reveal the section of each video clip with the largest group differences. Our methodology thereby aids the understanding of group differences in gaze behaviour, and the identification of critical stimuli for follow-up studies or for use in saccade diagnosis.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research
Tochukwu Onwuegbusi, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology
Frouke Hermens, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology
Todd Hogue, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Integrating models of self-regulation and optimal experiences: A qualitative study into flow and clutch states in recreational distance running

In this study, we aimed to understand the self-regulatory processes facilitating optimal experiences in running by integrating models of self-regulation with flow and clutch states.

Using an event-focused approach, we interviewed 16 runners less than one day on average after recreational running activities (M = 22.17 hours later, range = 3–46) they described as positive, rewarding experiences. Our analysis drew on principles for thematic and connecting analyses.

We structured our analysis of the self-regulatory processes facilitating flow and clutch states into three overarching themes: forethought; monitoring; and control. Flow was facilitated by intrinsic experiential motives and non-specific goals, whereas clutch states involved an intrinsic motive to accomplish specific goals. The perceived ease and pleasure during flow motivated runners to continue this experience, which appeared to be aided by active and involuntary distraction. Conversely, clutch states were described as more effortful and less pleasant during the run, with active self-regulation strategies used to exert control over cognition and manage feelings of difficulty. Attending to specific outward or internal sensory stimuli appeared to initiate changes that contributed to the disruption of flow, although many runners described transitioning into a clutch state after flow disruption. No runner reported transitioning from a clutch state into flow.

Our study offers novel insights into optimal experiences in running by integrating models of self-regulation with flow and clutch states. We discuss how these insights can inform research and applied practice seeking to develop interventions for promoting optimal experiences during running.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Trish Jackman, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Rebecca Hawkins, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Amy E. Whitehead, Liverpool John Moores University, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences

Noel E. Brick, Ulster University, Department of Psychology


New Guidance to Support Doctoral Researchers

In line with calls in the higher education sector for the development of prevention strategies to promote mental health and wellbeing in doctoral researchers, researchers at the University of Lincoln have recently shared findings from research that explored how to best support doctoral researchers in the transition to doctoral study.

The project team, led by Dr Trish Jackman in collaboration with colleagues Lisa Jacobs and Rebecca Sanderson, worked with doctoral researchers and higher education stakeholders to co-design principles to inform the design of doctoral researcher induction programmes. The findings were recently shared via a webinar run by the project funder, the Student Mental Health Research Network (SMaRteN), and a summary of the good practice principles can be accessed via the LILI Impact blog:

The effects of concurrent biomechanical biofeedback on rowing performance at different stroke rates

The aims of this study were to assess the effects of stroke rate (SR) on the ability of trained rowers to: a) comply with concurrent biomechanical biofeedback on knee-back-elbow joint sequencing; and b) transfer any changes to competition-intensity conditions (maximal rowing task). Following a five-minute maximal rowing task (Baseline), 30 trained rowers were randomised to four groups. Two groups rowed at high SRs (90% maximum SR with biofeedback (BFb90) or control), while others rowed at low SRs (60% maximum SR with biofeedback (BFb60) or control) for 3 sessions. All rowers then completed another maximal rowing task (Transfer). Rowers complied with the biofeedback at both SRs, which promoted coordinative changes to knee-elbow motions during the pull. During Transfer, control rowers did not improve whereas those receiving biofeedback covered significantly greater distances (increase from Baseline: BFb60 = 6 ± 5%; BFb90 = 5 ± 4%; p < 0.05). However, movement adaptations were temporally different between SRs and were better maintained into Transfer by those that rowed at higher rates. This indicated biofeedback specificity, as transference of modified movement patterns appeared better when acquisition and transfer conditions were similar. These findings have practical implications for assimilating biofeedback into training programmes.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Anthony J. Gorman, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Alexander P. Willmott, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

David R. Mullineaux, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Comprehensive assessment of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy processes (CompACT): Measure refinement and study of measurement invariance across Portuguese and UK samples

The need for a transnational validation is imperative at the stage of development of the CompACT, a self-report measure of psychological flexibility. This study aimed to translate, validate and test the factor structure of the Portuguese version of the CompACT and to conduct a measurement invariance analysis comparing the scale’s performance in Portuguese and UK samples.

Results from an Exploratory Factor Analysis demonstrated that the Portuguese version of the CompACT statistically performed better without 5 items from the Openness to Experience subscale. The 18-item Portuguese-adapted CompACT presented significant correlations in the expected directions and with the expected magnitudes with AAQ-II, CFQ-7, MAAS, CAQ-8, and DASS-21. Partial metric invariance was demonstrated between the Portuguese-adapted 18-item CompACT and the original CompACT in a UK sample. The non-correspondence between responses to these versions may be due to differences between the Portuguese and British cultures.

This study contributes with the adaptation of the original CompACT to the Portuguese language and with the refinement of this instrument to an 18-item measure of psychological flexibility, that appears to be adequate for use in Portuguese samples. The lack of complete metric invariance of the CompACT found across the Portuguese and UK samples highlights the importance of psychometrically analyzing psychological instruments before use in cultural contexts distinct from the one targeted in the measure’s original validation study.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Inês A.Trindade, University of Coimbra, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences

Nuno B.Ferreira, University of Nicosia

Ana Laura Mendes, University of Coimbra, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences

Cláudia Ferreira, University of Coimbra, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences

Dave Dawson, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Nima Golijani-Moghaddam, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology


Visual attention reveals affordances during Lower Palaeolithic stone tool exploration

Tools, which have a cognitive background rooted in our phylogenetic history, are essential for humans to interact with their environment. One of the characteristics of human beings is the coordination between the eyes and hands, which is associated with a skilled visuospatial system. Vision is the first input of an action that influences interaction with tools, and tools have affordances, known as behavioural possibilities, which indicate their possible uses and potentialities. The aim of the present study is to investigate body–tool interaction from a cognitive perspective, focusing on visual affordances during interaction with the early stone tools. We analyse visual attention, applying eye tracking technology, during a free visual exploration and during haptic manipulation of the Lower Palaeolithic stone tools. The central area of the tool is the most observed region, followed by the top and the base, while knapped areas trigger more attention than the cortex. There are differences between stone tool types, but visual exploration does not differ when aided by haptic exploration. The results suggest that visual behaviour is associated with the perception of affordances, possibly from the beginning of the brain–body–tool interaction, associated with the Lower Palaeolithic culture.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Maria Silva-Gago, Centro Nacional de Investigación Sobre La Evolución Humana

Annapaola Fedato, Centro Nacional de Investigación Sobre La Evolución Humana

Tim Hodgson, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Marcos Terradillos-Bernal, Universidad Isabel

Rodrigo Alonso-Alcalde, Museo de La Evolución Humana

Emilliano Bruner, Centro Nacional de Investigación Sobre La Evolución Humana


COVID 19: Suggestions to Universities, Supervisors and Line Managers from Doctoral and Early Career Researchers.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK in March 2020, universities closed their doors with uncertainty over when they would reopen. In the early stages of lockdown, many doctoral and Early Career Researchers (collectively, ECRs) felt their institutions had forgotten them.

Vitae and the UKRI-funded Student Mental Health Research Network (SMaRteN) surveyed 5,900 ECRs across 128 UK universities at the end of April 2020, to establish the impact of lockdown on their work. While almost two thirds of respondents agreed that their supervisor/line manager had done all they could to support them, only 38% felt the same way about their institution. A quarter of respondents identified that their relationship with their university had worsened since the pandemic began. Right now, a key question is: what can universities do to support their ECRs?

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Nicola Byrom, King’s College London

Patricia Jackman, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Amy Zile, University of East Anglia

Elizabeth James, Teeside University

Katie Tyrrell, University of Suffolk

Cameron J. Williams, University of New South Wales

Tandy Haughey, Ulster University

Rebecca Sanderson, University of Lincoln, Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute

Michael Priestly, University of Durham

Nicola Cogan, University of Strathclyde


Building partnerships and undertaking impactful research in collaboration with vulnerable groups and the services that support them

We are a team of four academics from the Schools of Health and Social Care, and Psychology, with experience in frontline services and conducting research into homelessness, addiction, criminal justice and mental health.

In the past 2 years, we have worked on multiple mixed-methods projects with people who are vulnerable due to complex needs. Projects have included investigation into the critical success factors for Nottinghamshire Rough Sleeper Initiative Services; investigation of the effectiveness of a local social impact bond project supporting people experiencing entrenched rough sleeping; a review of the Lincolnshire Blue Light Service which supports people considered ‘treatment resistant drinkers’; and an exploration of the impact of Covid-19 on people experiencing homelessness locally. The findings inform future delivery to underpin continuous service improvement for services supporting people experiencing multiple and complex needs.

In our discussion, we will share our learning from undertaking such research including collaboration with local organisations; ethical and practical considerations for interviewing people who are vulnerable; adapting and undertaking research within the pandemic; the benefit of undertaking smaller scale projects to inform the development of future successful applications; the effectiveness of inter-disciplinary working across schools; and the importance of drawing upon practice experiences alongside academic experience.

Dr Jim Rogers, School of Health and Social Care
Dr Lauren Smith, School of Psychology
Dr Amanda Roberts, School of Psychology
Mr Thomas George, School of Health and Social Care

Sensoriality, Social Interaction, and “Doing sensing” in Physical–Cultural Ethnographies

As recently highlighted, despite a burgeoning field of sensory ethnography, the practices, production, and accountability of the senses in specific social interactional contexts remain sociologically under-explored. To contribute original insights to a literature on the sensuous body in physical–cultural contexts, here we adopt an ethnomethodologically sensitive perspective to focus on the accomplishment, social organization, and accountability of sensoriality in interaction. Exploring instances of the senses at work in social interaction, we utilize data from two ethnographic research projects to investigate the production of running-together and swimming-together by skilled, experienced practitioners. We focus on two interlinked sensory modalities: auditory attunement, and vision and intercorporeality, identified as key dimensions of sensory embodiment and “togethering” in these particular domains.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science

Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Gareth McNarry, Loughborough University, Sports Development Centre

Adam B. Evans, University of Copenhagen, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports