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Thoughts in Simulated Situations

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BIOL 110
Gordon Dueck

The articulated Thoughts in Simulated Situations (ATSS) method is one way to assess immediate thoughts in specific situations. o In this procedure, a person pretends that he is a participant in a situation, such as listening to a T.A criticize a term paper. Presented on audio tape, the scene pauses every 10 or 15 second. During the ensuing 30 seconds of silence, the participant talks aloud about whatever is going through his or her mind in reaction to the words just heard. o Research using this method indicated that socially anxious therapy patients articulate thoughts of greater irrationality (eg; “oh god, i wish i were dead, i’m so embarrassed”) than do non-anxious members of control groups. o In a study that directly compared ATSS data with overt behaviour, thoughts of positive self-efficacy wee found to be inversely related to behaviourally indexed speech anxiety; the more anxiously subjects behaved on a timed behavioural checklist measure of public-speaking anxiety, the less capable they felt they were while articulating thoughts in a stressful, simulated speech giving situation. Thought-listing: the person writes down his thoughts prior to or following an event of interest, such as entering a room to talk to a stranger, as a way to determine the cognitive components of social anxiety. Open-ended techniques, such as the ATSS and thought listing, may be preferable when investigators know relatively little about the participant and want to get general ideas about the cognitive terrain. Videotape-Reconstruction: involves videotaping an individual while they are engaged in some task or an actual or role-played problematic situation. The person then watches the videotape while attempting to reconstruct his thoughts and feelings at the time as accurately as possible. o it is of course difficult to determine with certainty the degree to which people are actually reconstructing or are simply constructing the flow of thoughts and feelings as they observe themselves on videotape. FAMILY ASSESSMENT: it is important to recognize that many forms of dysfunction have their developmental origins in problematic family interactions.  Contemporary roles of the role of the family in psychopathology are based on a family systems perspective. This approach holds that behaviours produced in the family environment reflect the various components that are present in the family setting, including the characteristics of each family member and the various interactions between family members. The family is dynamic and changing rather than static, so it is important to measure ongoing changes in thr famil
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