Unisa Psychologia - latest Issue
Volume 29, Issue 1, 2003
Source: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 3 –4 (2003)More Less
Extracted from text ... Editorial It has now become standard prac- tice for Unisa Psychologia to be edited by an editorial committee consisting of the Master's students in clinical psychology and in social research consultancy. We teamed up to form a ten-person committee guided by Vasi van Deventer and Johan Kruger, with the rest of the editorial board getting involved in the (r)nal editing processes. Although the pro- cess was not always smooth sailing, it remained an interesting experience for all the students involved. We had to put in long and tedious hours selecting from a large number of articles a handful deemed ..
Author Karin Strydom KochSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 5 –20 (2003)More Less
This study explored whether improvements in attentional ability, as resulted during neurotherapy electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback treatment, were maintained over time in children with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A computerised continuous performance test, the test of variables of attention (TOVA), was used to test the attentional ability of 28 clients (23 male and 5 female, aged 7 to 16 years, average age = 12 years) of the Behavioural Neurotherapy Clinic in Melbourne, Australia. Measurements were taken prior to the start of treatment (point 0), at the point where treatment finished (point 1) and at an average of 19 months since the completion of treatment (point 2). Where a participant had three valid test results (n=12), the raw scores were compared. It showed that the improvement in attentional ability for these candidates had remained stable since treatment finished. To account for children who had one or more sets of invalid scores, the number of invalid quarters for the entire group (N=28) was compared at the three points. This metric indicates that there was convincing evidence that when neurotherapy offered results, there is lasting improvement. However, attentional ability did not necessarily remain at the same level as at the completion of treatment. This study offers guarded support for neurotherapy as a safe and possibly long-lasting treatment for attention deficit. Somewhat contradictory evidence was found about the longevity of treatment results based on different measurement metrics. The results should also be interpreted in the light of reservations about bias in the sample and possible concerns about usage of the TOVA as a repeat measurement tool. This article also offers suggestions for further research in this area, such as the significance of other treatments and the effect of comorbidity.
Author Brigid MackaySource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 21 –31 (2003)More Less
Two hypotheses were tested in this study, namely (1) that people behave more aggressively when driving their cars (road rage) than they do when they are not driving (everyday rage), and (2) that age is a predictor of road rage. A pilot group of 15 motorists was interviewed to determine South African experiences. The interview was based on questions drawn from road rage questionnaires developed by Wiesenthal et al. (2000), Snell and Dorris (2000), and Parry (1968). Questions had to be adapted from these overseas questionnaires and several new questions were added to accommodate South African situations. The questionnaire was then applied using a sample of 35 white licensed drivers of mixed ages and both genders (15 males and 20 females). The ages ranged from 21 to 82 years. The first hypothesis was tested calculating the correlation as well as a t test for difference between road rage and everyday rage. No support for this hypothesis was found. People who behave aggressively when driving are more aggressive people in their everyday lives. This finding is discussed in the light of the 'age of rage' and a 'culture of disrespect' hypotheses. The second hypothesis was tested using multiple regression, and accepted - age seems to be a good predictor of road rage. Young people (21- 34) feel the most road rage. However, while road rage decreases with age, everyday rage does not. The implications of these findings are discussed. Suggestions for tackling road rage help reduce stress levels and everyday aggression. Some of these suggestions are: changing culturally acquired attitudes of negativity, competitiveness and hostility to supportive, courteous and tolerant behaviour by means of compulsory courses and workshops; disseminating courteous, emotionally intelligent driving tips in the media and rigorous enforcement of legislation against aggressive driving.
Author Diana BingeSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 32 –45 (2003)More Less
Road rage is seen as a growing problem worldwide. South Africa has a high road accident rate, with a high concomitant rate of serious injuries and fatalities. One of the possible contributory factors to this phenomenon is road rage. This exploratory study examines the context of road rage in South Africa. Road rage scores of urban minibus taxi drivers and urban light motor vehicle drivers in the Gauteng region of South Africa were compared. A questionnaire measuring driving beliefs, attitudes and behaviours was administered to non-random convenience samples of taxi drivers (n = 19) and light motor vehicles (n = 19). The means of the groups were compared for statistical significance using a t test. The results did not support the hypothesis that taxi drivers would experience more road rage than light motor vehicle drivers, but interesting attitudinal differences emerged. The findings are discussed in terms of prior research and societal trends. Possible explanations are presented. Problems were encountered with the data collection process, particularly with the taxi driver sample. Recommendations are made to avoid these pitfalls in future research. Further research is suggested in order to glean information upon which to base education and prevention programmes. This comes at a time when there are sweeping changes afoot in the minibus taxi industry and general driver's licence system that aims to make all drivers accountable for their behaviour, reduce aggressive driving and introduce pro-social driving.
Author David BothaSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 46 –59 (2003)More Less
Hierdie studie wou vasstel hoe die Suid-Afrikaanse jeug die kruiskulturele-kontak in hulle skole beleef. 'n Kwalitatiewe en eksploratiewe ondersoek is gedoen om antwoorde op hierdie vraag te kry. Daar is met vyf leerders in die hoërskool wat vir byna drie jaar saam skool gegaan het en saam in 'n koshuis gewoon het, gesprekke gevoer. Die interpretatiewe metode is gebruik om die inligting te verwerk. Die leerders kom uit die wit en bruin gemeenskappe van die platteland en praat almal Afrikaans. Die resultaat van die gesprekke dui daarop dat die wit leerders die kruiskulturele-kontak baie negatief ervaar - selfs traumaties. Daarenteen ervaar die bruin leerder dit baie positief. Geen noemenswaardige kruiskulturele vriendskappe is gevorm nie. Afstand en verwydering het eerder groter geword. Kontak maak dus nie outomaties 'n positiewe bydrae tot die verwydering van rassevooroordeel nie. Daarom sal die kruiskulturele-kontak in skole en koshuise sorgvuldig bestuur moet word. As dit nie gedoen word nie, mag die konflik tussen die rasse eerder verhoog.
This study sought to establish how the youth of South Africa are experiencing cross-cultural contact in their schools. A qualitative and explorative investigation was launched to obtain answers to these questions. Five learners from a high school, who had been at school and in hostel together for three years, were interviewed. The interpretive method was used to process the information. The learners all come from a rural environment and they all speak Afrikaans. The result of the discussions indicates that the white learners are experiencing the cross-cultural contact very negatively - even traumatically. In contrast, the brown learners regarded it as a positive experience. No significant cross-cultural friendships had been formed. Distance and alienation had, in fact, increased. Contact, therefore, does not necessarily automatically make a positive contribution towards the eradication of racial prejudice. For this reason, cross-cultural contact in schools and hostels will have to be managed carefully. If this is not done, conflict between races might even increase.
Author Wanda RoosSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 60 –75 (2003)More Less
A phenomenological study about peer group pressure was conducted with a 17-year-old male from a middle-class Afrikaans family. The subject appeared to be intelligent and socially well adjusted. The data used for analysis was gathered in a two-hour interview with the subject. The study found that the subject attached the following main categories of meaning to his personal experience of peer pressure: diminished control, resistance against pressure to conform, fear of exclusion, rejection and victimisation, dualism / confused identity, the setting of personal boundaries, and the experience of peer pressure as all-pervasive in domains relating to peer life. This article concludes with an integrated description of the peer pressure phenomenon.
Author Julie-Ann RuthenbergSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 76 –80 (2003)More Less
This quantitative research experiment investigated whether or not classical music has an affect on memory. Results indicated that groups performing memory tasks in the presence of classical music achieved significantly higher scores than those subjects in non-music conditions. A group of 99 randomly selected subjects was divided into two groups to perform memory tests: the experimental group performed the tests listening to classical music while the control group completed the tasks in silence. Subjects performed three tasks where they had five minutes to view words, objects or numbers and then recall these items once they had been removed. The subjects were graded on their ability to recall, receiving a mark out of 50. Results of a two-tailed t test showed a significant difference between the groups, indicating that classical music enhances memory. These results may be of use to educators and learners who hope to enhance memory skills.
Author N. SardiwallaSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 81 –88 (2003)More Less
The purpose of this study was to determine whether a correlation exists between work-related stress and the ability to lead a balanced lifestyle in employees who do shift work. Data on employees' awareness of stress and their subjective feelings about their shift work was collected by means of two questionnaires as well as semi-structured interviews designed with the aid of a local General practitioner. The sample consisted of 20 employees in shift work environments. Data obtained from the questionnaires were analysed quantitatively using the phi-coefficient and failed to show a relationship between work-related stress and the ability to balance one's life. Qualitative data were analysed using interpretive methods and also did not suggest a clear link between the two constructs. The implication of these findings is that stress may not be caused by an inability to lead a balanced lifestyle, but may be the result of multiple stressors and negative attitudes in the working environment.
Author K.E. NeethlingSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 89 –99 (2003)More Less
Hierdie studie ondersoek die verskynsel van sosiale fobie en moontlike verwante toestande soos chemiese middel-afhanklikheid. Die studie kyk ook na die subjektiewe betekenisse wat persone met hierdie versteurings aan die verskynsels se effek op hul sosiale wêreld en verhoudingsisteme heg. Data is ingesamel by 'n rehabilitasiekliniek vir dwelm- en drankverslaafdes. Vyftien persone het aan die studie deelgeneem. 'n Vraelys is gebruik om die bestaan al dan nie van sosiale fobie vas te stel en verder is daar ook onderhoude met die proefpersone gevoer. Die studie dui aan dat daar in hierdie steekproef wel 'n sterk tendens tot sosiale fobie bestaan en ook 'n sterk tendens om chemiese middels te misbruik as gevolg van die fobie. Tabelle dui die onderskeidings hierop aan, asook die onderskeidings ten opsigte van verskille tussen mans, vroue, enkellopende en getroude persone. Die studie het bevind dat sosiale fobie en chemiese middelafhanklikheid hierdie persone se verhoudings negatief beïnvloed en dat sosiale fobie die ontwikkeling van chemiese middel-afhanklikheid aanhelp en die moontlikheid vergroot. Die studie beveel deegliker evaluasies vir pasiënte en hulle nabye gesins- en familielede aan.
Author E.J. PretoriusSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 100 –111 (2003)More Less
In this article, some findings pertaining to the reading skills of first-year psychology students are presented and briefly discussed. These findings form part of a larger, two-year longitudinal study undertaken in the Department of Psychology at Unisa to assess the effectiveness of print-based learner support strategies in a distance teaching situation. However, the effectiveness of print-based learner support strategies also needed to be situated within the context of reading practices, attitudes and general reading abilities of the students for whom these learner support strategies are designed. The aim of this article is simply to present, in broad outline, the main findings from the reading test. It is beyond the scope of this article to present a detailed analysis and comprehensive discussion of all the results from the reading test.1 The main research questions that inform the reading component of the study were: (1) How successful are students at making inferences during reading? (2) Is there a relationship between the making of inferences during reading and academic performance? and (3) Is there a relationship between low and high inferences made during reading and academic performance? With regard to the first research question it was found that students' mean score for high inference items (46, 9 per cent) was much lower than their mean score for low inference items (66, 1 per cent). The second and third research questions explored the relationship between the making of inferences during reading and academic performance by way of a comparison of means. The dependent variable was academic performance, with respondents categorised into five groups, depending on their final examination mark. The results showed that there were indeed consistent differences in inferencing ability between the different academic groups.
Source: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 112 –135 (2003)More Less
In using the present evaluation schedule, it was found that there was room for improvement in some of the categories. This article aims to find a more valid and reliable evaluation schedule to rate articles submitted for possible publication in a journal such as <I>Unisa Psychologia</I>. Thus the existing schedule was evaluated and alterations suggested. This process entailed carrying out a literature review that guided the evaluation of each section of the evaluation schedule. The three criteria that were used were: the qualitative differences between rating scores and possible permutations of comments that were not addressed; language used in the qualitative comments contained in the evaluation schedule; omissions by the inclusion of some aspects. Suggestions were then made as to how to improve the evaluation process to enhance the quality of articles selected for publication in <I>Psychologia</I>.
Source: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 136 –141 (2003)More Less
The <I>Unisa Psychologia</I> is produced by a project team comprising Clinical Psychology and Research / Knowledge Management Master's students. These two groups of students are being academically prepared for future careers which rely on essentially different sets of knowledge, skills and attitudes. The students brought these training backgrounds with them into the process of putting together the journal and soon found that the task required a merging of their diverse perspectives on the job. This article describes the difficulties both groups encountered along the way and the strategies they adopted in aligning their different approaches to the task. It concludes with the lessons they learnt, as well as the personal and professional development they gained from the experience.
Author Johan NieuwoudtSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 142 –144 (2003)More Less
Extracted from text ... 'Go for it, Annie!' Johan Nieuwoudt Tonight I have to attend yet another graduation ceremony. 'Have to' in the real sense of the word as Caryl, one of my students, will be receiving her docto- rate; not 'have to' because they want numbers on the stage. They, us, them, powerful words in the present day Unisa ... But let me not digress from the story of transformation that I will tell. Yesterday I went to see my old friend Mr Phahlane. After all these years we know each other well. At least he knows me better than I know ..
Source: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 145 –150 (2003)More Less
Textbooks on research methodology describe logical and structured research methods. They prescribe criteria for good research designs and they warn against poorly structured approaches. However, the ideal world of textbooks is often far removed from the practical realities of real research. Of course this does not mean that textbook deliberations should be ignored - it simply means that a good researcher is the investigator who can make the most of the practical situation in which he or she has to conduct his or her study. This article presents two testimonies of researchers who have had to cope with the real reality of research and the reality of real research. The difficulties related here are not uncommon in the southern African context. The first example is an excerpt from Webster Gonzo's Master's dissertation on the repercussions of unemployment (Gonzo, 2001:81-6), and the second, a description of difficulties experienced by Diana Binge (2002) during her Honours research project on road rage and taxi drivers.
Author Patricia OosthuizenSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 151 –153 (2003)More Less
Extracted from text ... Book reviews Patricia Oosthuizen Department of Psychology, University of South Africa Shields S A, 2002. Speaking From the Heart: Gender and the Social Meaning of Emotion. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge In her 2002 release of Speaking from the Heart: Gender and the Social Meaning of Emotion, Stephanie Shields critically examines the interrelationship between gender and emotion in con- temporary American society. She does this by exploring how beliefs about emotion de(r)ne gender and, in turn, how beliefs about gender are recruited to de(r)ne emotion further. Unlike main- stream psychological research, which she criticises for perpetuating emotion? gender stereotypes, Shields ..
Research at Grass Roots : For the Social Sciences and Human Service Professions, A.S. de Vos (editor), H. Strydom, C.B. Fouché and C.S.L. Delport : book reviewAuthor Johan KrugerSource: Unisa Psychologia 29, pp 154 –158 (2003)More Less
Extracted from text ... Book review Johan Kruger Department of Psychology, University of South Africa A S de Vos (editor), H Strydom, C B Fouche? and C S L Delport, 2002. Re- search at Grass Roots: For the Social Sciences and Human Service Profes- sions (2nd edition) Van Schaik: Pretoria (ISBN 0627025277, 493 pages) This voluminous textbook provides an introduction to all facets of research, with an emphasis on the practicalities of doing research. It targets novice under- graduate and more advanced postgrad- uate students. 'It aims to provide South African social scientist and human service professionals with an indigen- ous methodology text ..