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J Psycholinguist Res ; 51(3): 563-576, 2022 Jun.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35292888


Health messages are central to the field of public health in influencing behavioral change, and previous research does not offer a univocal answer on the most effective ordering of health outcomes and (un)healthy behaviors within health communication. An archival study revealed that online mass-media communicators tend to mention behaviors first. This strategy was questioned in two experimental studies (Ntot=158) examining the impact of word order on behavioral intention. Specifically, by manipulating the mentioning order of health outcomes (i.e., effect-first vs. effect-later) within a health message, results revealed a subtle role of word-order. English and Italian middle-aged men were more willing to change unhealthy habits after being exposed to a health-related message following the effect-first order rather than the effect-later order. Besides extending the comprehension of the role of word-order in socio-cognitive processes, our findings provide health communicators feedback about subtle linguistic strategies while dealing with health messages construction.

Comunicación en Salud , Intención , Conductas Relacionadas con la Salud , Comunicación en Salud/métodos , Humanos , Masculino , Persona de Mediana Edad
Pers Soc Psychol Bull ; 48(1): 49-64, 2022 01.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33514275


In four studies, we test the hypothesis that people, asked to envisage interactions between an ingroup and an outgroup, tend to spatially represent the ingroup where writing starts (e.g., left in Italian) and as acting along script direction. Using soccer as a highly competitive intergroup setting, in Study 1 (N = 100) Italian soccer fans were found to envisage their team on the left side of a horizontal soccer field, hence playing rightward. Studies 2a and 2b (N = 219 Italian and N = 200 English speakers) replicate this finding, regardless of whether the own team was stronger or weaker than the rival team. Study 3 (N = 67 Italian and N = 67 Arabic speakers) illustrates the cultural underpinnings of the Spatial Intergroup Bias, showing a rightward ingroup bias for Italian speakers and a leftward ingroup bias for Arabic speakers. Findings are discussed in relation to how space is deployed to symbolically express ingroup favoritism (Spatial Ingroup Bias) versus shared stereotypes (Spatial Agency Bias).

Escritura , Sesgo , Humanos
Appl Psychol Health Well Being ; 12(4): 1054-1073, 2020 12.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33016564


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic in Italy represents a unique threat in terms of psychological distress. This cross-sectional study aims to investigate the psychological health of Italian healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak. We assessed participants' current psychological distress and coping strategies in the midst of the COVID outbreak (March-April 2020), and also asked them to retrospectively report how they remember feeling before the COVID-19 outbreak (December 2019). We examined associations between psychological distress and coping strategies with mental health and infection perceptions. METHODS: Self-administered questionnaires were distributed online to healthcare professionals (N = 580) residing in different Italian regions from 26 March to 9 April 2020. The questionnaire measured changes in psychological states, coping strategies, and demographic variables testing variations in mental health and infection risk perception among Italian healthcare workers. RESULTS: Overall, approximately 33.5 per cent of healthcare professionals in our sample meet the threshold for psychiatric morbidity. Participants perceive their current psychological health to be worse during the COVID-19 emergency outbreak as compared to before the outbreak, and this was especially true among women. CONCLUSIONS: Both immediate and long-term monitoring psychological assistance services for healthcare workers should be implemented by national institutions to re-establish the psychological well-being and enhance the self-confidence and resilience of hospital personnel.

Adaptación Psicológica , Síntomas Conductuales/epidemiología , COVID-19 , Trastornos Mentales/epidemiología , Personal de Hospital/estadística & datos numéricos , Adulto , Estudios Transversales , Femenino , Humanos , Italia/epidemiología , Masculino , Persona de Mediana Edad , Distrés Psicológico , Medición de Riesgo , Factores Sexuales , Estrés Psicológico/epidemiología
J Exp Psychol Appl ; 25(3): 354-371, 2019 Sep.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30816729


A huge and diverse amount of information is available online. In 4 studies, we provided complementary evidence about the psychosocial processes involved in online information gathering about vaccinations and the associated relation with trust in their safety. Study 1 investigated the relation between Italian Google inquiries and vaccine coverage for 0- to 2-year-old Italian children from 2000 and 2015, showing a correlation that turned negative over time. In Study 2, participants randomly assigned to a message providing a dual perspective (false balance condition) endorsed more conspiracy beliefs, which, in turn, reduced trust in vaccines compared with provaccine, antivaccine, and control messages. In Study 3, participants actively selected Google outputs that were in line with their opinion, and this confirmatory bias was particularly strong among participants distrusting vaccination. This association was disrupted by the exposure to provaccine messages, but only if antivaccine alternatives were absent. In Study 4, exposure to online comments questioning the human papilloma virus vaccination influenced attitudes toward the vaccination in a sample of not-yet-vaccinated young women. Practical implications for the way that media cover vaccination topics and for interventions addressing vaccine hesitancy are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Información de Salud al Consumidor , Medios de Comunicación de Masas/estadística & datos numéricos , Negativa a la Vacunación/psicología , Vacunación/psicología , Vacunas/administración & dosificación , Preescolar , Femenino , Comunicación en Salud , Humanos , Lactante , Recién Nacido , Internet , Italia , Masculino
Mem Cognit ; 47(2): 229-239, 2019 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30191408


Serial positioning biases are well documented and generally take a U-shaped form, with better memory for first (primacy) and last items (recency). Here, we test the hypothesis that the relative strength of primacy and recency depends on script direction. When presented with large arrays of images, people are expected to first direct attention to the side where they usually start reading (in our case, left among Italian, and right among Arabic speakers) and to then scan the remaining images along the habitual text trajectory. Besides supporting the predicted scanning direction with an eye-tracker methodology, Study 1a (n = 56 Italians) provides evidence for a spatial memory advantage for images positioned to the left. Study 1b (n = 34 Italians) shows that people are aware of the asymmetric scanning and the memory advantage deriving from it. Study 3 (n = 67 Italian and n = 44 Arabic speakers) shows opposite memory biases in the two samples, with best performance for images on the left among Italian and for images on the right among Arabic speakers. Together these studies contribute to the growing literature showing that scanning habits due to script direction exert a subtle influence on basic cognitive processes.

Reconocimiento Visual de Modelos/fisiología , Lectura , Percepción Espacial/fisiología , Memoria Espacial/fisiología , Adulto , Humanos , Psicolingüística , Adulto Joven
Laterality ; 22(1): 60-89, 2017 Jan.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26720399


Five studies investigated the role of handedness and effort in horizontal spatial bias related to agency (Spatial Agency Bias, SAB). A Pilot Study (n = 33) confirmed the basic assumption that rightward writing requires greater effort from left- than from right-handers. In three studies, Italian students (n = 591 right-handed, n = 115 left-handed) were found to start drawings on the left, proceeding rightward (Study 1a, 1b), and to draw moving objects with a rightward orientation in line with script direction (Study 1c). These spatial asymmetries were displayed stronger by left- than by right-handed primacy school children, arguably due to the greater effort involved in learning how to write in a rightward fashion. Once writing has become fully automatic (high school) right- and left-handed students showed comparable spatial bias (Study 1c). The hypothesized role of effort was tested explicitly in Study 2 in which 99 right-handed adults learned a new (leftward) spatial trajectory through an easy or difficult motor exercise. The habitual rightward bias was reliably reduced, especially among those who performed a difficult task requiring greater effort. Together, findings are largely in line with the body specificity hypothesis (Casasanto, 2011 ) and suggest that spatial asymmetries are learned and unlearned most efficiently through effortful motor exercises.

Lateralidad Funcional , Mano , Desempeño Psicomotor , Percepción Espacial , Adolescente , Adulto , Niño , Desarrollo Infantil , Preescolar , Femenino , Mano/fisiología , Humanos , Modelos Logísticos , Masculino , Persona de Mediana Edad , Pruebas Neuropsicológicas , Proyectos Piloto , Desempeño Psicomotor/fisiología , Percepción Espacial/fisiología , Escritura , Adulto Joven