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  • IPA: The black swan of qualitative research

    Dennison, Melissa (2019)
    Critics of IPA suggest that it is unscientific, lacking a complex subjectivity and displaying a promiscuous epistemology. This article aims to explore these criticisms, offering a response that is inspired by the language of fertility and ideas adapted from evolutionary science. As the swan is often seen as a symbol of fidelity, this article draws an analogy between the promiscuous behaviour of Australian Black Swans and IPA research. Within this frame, flirtations with other methodologies are described as being advantageous in that they encourage gene flow and a productive cross fertilisation of ideas. An intermingling of genes can open up new avenues of research, enhance reflexive awareness and allow the voice of others to be heard. Finally as IPA is happy to engage in flirtations and dalliances with diverse theoretical frames to enhance its longevity, this article suggests that a good match could be made between IPA and dialogical methods.
  • Understanding the mother-infant bond

    Milne, Elizabeth; Johnson, Sally E.; Waters, Gillian M.; Small, Neil A. (2018-09)
  • Cabotage as an external non-tariff measure on the competitiveness on SIDS's agribusinesses: The case of Puerto Rico

    Suárez II Gómez, William (2018)
    This paper explores the multidimensional effects of an external non-tariff measure (NTM) on maritime transportation between the United States (US) and Puerto Rico (PR) trades. In particular, this research addresses the vulnerability level of PR’s agrifood sector in relation to sustainability as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) highly influenced by a larger economy. Due to the high potential of climate changes in the Caribbean, this study reviewed the effects of a maritime cabotage policy on a SIDS agribusinesses’ logistic. Could a NTM affect the supply chain capabilities and the food security of a SIDS? What challenges and opportunities does the US Cabotage policy present for PR’s agricultural sector’s competitiveness? Based on mixing empirical analysis in an exploratory convergent design, the research categorizes the cabotage policy in relation to the effects on PR’s agrifood supply chain, its port infrastructure, and its native agribusinesses’ competitiveness. Results show the maritime cabotage itself is a constraint. However, the interactions with others NTMs, indirectly related to the cabotage but inherent to the political status and business relationship between PR and the US, add other limits. In addition, it revealed that internal factors have an impact on the efficiency and competitiveness of PR’s agro-industrial sector.
  • Alienation and emotion: social relations and estrangement in contemporary capitalism

    Burkitt, Ian (2019)
    In this article I look at the emotional effects of alienation in modern capitalist societies. I begin by considering Marx’s theory of alienation, focusing especially on the alienation between people and between them and the social institutions to which they should be connected. In this way, alienation is understood as a form of estrangement within social relations and I draw out the emotional implications of this, in terms of the relations between people and in the way people feel about their own self. This is enhanced through an understanding of emotions as relational phenomena, a position highly attuned to Marx’s own mode of social analysis. I then illustrate and develop this understanding of alienation and emotion by drawing on the empirical examples of political relations and property relations in the UK, concluding with a discussion of what this tells us about alienation and emotion in contemporary capitalist societies.
  • Critical capacity development

    Analoui, Farhad; Danquah, Joseph K. (2017)
    This book contributes to our understanding of a neglected and poorly-understood concept within the development field: ‘capacity development’ in the context of human and organisational sustainable development. Relating ‘capacity development’ to other perspectives in development thinking and practice and giving an account of the concept’s genesis, the book introduces readers to recent empirical research initiatives that help to elucidate the concepts of capacity, capacity development, and capacity management. While capacity development initiatives and programmes have been used by most international and national agencies over the course of the last five decades, the term means different things to different people and especially to different major players in the international community. This weakens its effectiveness. This book therefore strives first of all to set ground rules that can be utilised by international aid providers such as UNDP, OECD, World Bank, and CIDA and practitioners alike.
  • Drought: the achilles heel of the Islamic Republic of Iran

    Shahi, Afshin (2019-01)
    Approximately 97% of the country is experiencing drought conditions. Due to gross water mismanagement and its damaging impact on the country, Iran faces the worst situation in water resources of any industrialized nation. Tens of thousands of villages have been deserted and most of the major urban centers have passed their limits to absorb new rural migrants. Some officials predict that in less than 25 years, 50 million Iranians would be displaced from their current homes because of the pressing ecological conditions. This is happening at the time that the gap between the grassroots and the state has widened and there is increasing dissatisfaction with governance plagued by corruption, nepotism, economic mismanagement, unaccountability and a foreign policy which has produced various regional and trans-regional adversaries. This paper evaluates the pressing ecological challenges in Iran and by conceptualizing political resilience it critically evaluates whether the Islamic Republic is prepared to face the devastating ecological crisis and its socio-economic consequences.
  • Data quality and governance in a UK social housing initiative: Implications for smart sustainable cities

    Duvier, Caroline; Anand, Prathivadi B.; Oltean-Dumbrava, Crina (2018-05)
    Smart Sustainable Cities (SSC) consist of multiple stakeholders, who must cooperate in order for SSCs to be successful. Housing is an important challenge and in many cities, therefore, a key stakeholder are social housing organisations. This paper introduces a qualitative case study of a social housing provider in the UK who implemented a business intelligence project (a method to assess data networks within an organisation) to increase data quality and data interoperability. Our analysis suggests that creating pathways for different information systems within an organisation to ‘talk to’ each other is the first step. Some of the issues during the project implementation include the lack of training and development, organisational reluctance to change, and the lack of a project plan. The challenges faced by the organisation during this project can be helpful for those implementing SSCs. Currently, many SSC frameworks and models exist, yet most seem to neglect localised challenges faced by the different stak
  • Necessary connections: “Feelings photographs” in criminal justice research

    Rogers, Chrissie (2019)
    Visual representations of prisons and their inmates are common in the news and social media, with stories about riots, squalor, drugs, selfharm and suicide hitting the headlines. Prisoners’ families are left to worry about the implications of such events on their kin, while those incarcerated and less able to understand social cues, norms and rules, are vulnerable to deteriorating mental health at best, to death at worst. As part of the life-story method in my research with offenders who are on the autism spectrum, have mental health problems and/or have learning difficulties, and prisoner’s mothers, I asked participants to take photographs, reflecting upon their experiences. Photographs in this case, were primarily used to help respondents consider and articulate their feelings in follow-up interviews. Notably, seeing (and imagining) is often how we make a connection to something (object or feeling), or someone (relationships), such that images in fiction, news/social media, drama, art, film and photographs can shape the way people think and behave – indeed feel about things and people. Images and representations ought to be taken seriously in researching social life, as how we interpret photographs, paintings, stories and television shows is based on our own imaginings, biography, culture and history. Therefore, we look at and process an image before words escape, by ‘seeing’ and imagining. How my participants and I ‘collaborate’ in doing visual methods and then how we make meaning of the photographs in storying their feelings, is insightful. As it is, I wanted to enable my participants to make and create their own stories via their photographs and narratives, whilst connecting to them, along with my own interpretation and subjectivities.
  • Personalised nutrition: Making it happen

    Stewart-Knox, Barbara (2019)
    Personalised Nutrition allows individual variation in dietary, lifestyle, anthropometric, phenotypic and/or genomic information to be considered when giving dietary advice. Compared to ‘generic’ dietary health messages, personalised dietary advice has been shown more likely to result in healthy dietary change. Personalised regimes can help clients in this endeavour by putting them in control and taking into consideration individual propensity for behaviour change, motives for food choice as well as social and lifestyle factors impacting upon the eating context. Provision of personalised nutrition services across Europe should consider inter-country differences in perceived barriers to uptake of personalised nutrition including those associated with the process from the collecting of information and taking of biological samples through to how the results are interpreted and delivered. Irrespective of European country, potential consumers appear to trust health professionals such as dietitians over commercial agents to provide personalised nutrition. Dieticians, therefore, are likely to play a key role in making personalised nutrition happen in the future. Organisations representing nutrition and dietetics professionals will need to be consulted for guidance on how to address the ethical and legal issues around personalised nutrition and regulate practice. A future is envisaged where commercial personalised nutrition will work with existing health providers in bringing the benefits of personalised nutrition to the wider public.
  • The type of concurrent task affects dual-task performance in Huntington's disease

    Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Churchyard, A.; Stout, J.C. (2014-09)
  • Increasing the discoverability on non-English language research papers: a reverse-engineering application of the pitching research template

    Faff, R.W.; Shao, X.; Alqahtani, F.; Atif, M.; Bialek-Jaworska, A.; Chen, A.; Duppati, G.; Escobar, M.; Finta, M.A.; Jeny, A.; Li, Y.; Machado, M.A.V.; Nishi, T.; Nguyen, B.; Noh, J-E.; Reichenecker, J-A.; Sakawa, H.; Vaportzis, Ria; Widyawati, L.; Wijayana, S.; Wijesooriya, C.; Ye, Q.; Zhou, Q. (2017)
    Discoverability or visibility is a challenge that faces all researchers worldwide – with an ever increasing supply of good research entering the scholarly marketplace; this challenge is only becoming intensified as time passes. The global language of scholarly research is English and so the obstacle of getting noticed is magnified manyfold when the article is not written in the English language. Indeed, despite rapid advances in technology, the “tyranny of language” creates a segmentation inhibiting scholarly research and innovation generally. Mass translation of non-English language articles is neither feasible nor desirable. Our paper proposes a strategy for remedying this segmentation – such that, the work of non-English language scholars become more discoverable. The core piece of this strategy is a “reverse-engineering” [RE] application of Faff’s (2015, 2017) “pitching research” template. More specifically, we provide translated versions of the “cued” template across THIRTY THREE different languages: (1) Arabic; (2) Chinese; (3) Dutch; (4) French; (5) Greek; (6) Hindi; (7) Indonesian; (8) Japanese; (9) Korean; (10) Lao; (11) Norwegian; (12) Polish; (13) Portuguese; (14) Romanian; (15) Russian; (16) Sinhalese; (17) Spanish; (18) Tamil; (19) Thai; (20) Urdu; (21) Vietnamese; (22) Myanmar; (23) German; (24) Persian; (25) Bengali; (26) Filipino; (27) Italian; (28) Afrikaans; (29) Khmer (Cambodia); (30) Danish; (31) Finnish; (32) Hebrew; (33) Turkish. Further, we showcase illustrative dual language examples of the RE strategy for the Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and French cases.
  • Age and task difficulty differences in dual tasking using circle tracing and serial subtraction tasks

    Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Stout, J.C. (2014-04)
    The aim of this study was to investigate age-related differences in dual task performance by using an upper limb proprioceptive task. Twenty-eight younger (18–30 years) and 28 older (>60 years) healthy adults performed circle tracing and serial subtraction tasks separately and concurrently. The tasks had two levels of difficulty: easy and hard. The circle tracing task included direct (easy) and indirect (hard) visual feedback conditions, and it was paired with serial subtraction by twos (easy) or threes (hard). We found that older adults were significantly slower than younger adults across all conditions and had significantly greater dual task costs when they performed circle tracing with easy serial subtraction. Higher levels of task difficulty were associated with slower speed in both groups. We found no age differences in accuracy. Participants either traded speed for accuracy or accuracy for speed regardless of age group. Overall, the findings suggest that speed and accuracy may be affected differently during dual tasking. In addition, older adults may rely more extensively on proprioceptive feedback to guide upper limb movement compared with younger adults.
  • Effects of task difficulty during dual-task circle tracing in Huntington's disease

    Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Churchyard, A.; Stout, J.C. (2015-02)
    Huntington’s disease (HD) is associated with impairments in dual-task performance. Despite that, only a few studies have investigated dual-tasking in HD. We examined dual-task performance in 15 participants in the early stages of HD and 15 healthy controls. Participants performed direct circle tracing (able to view arm) and indirect circle tracing (arm obscured) either on their own (single tasks) or paired with serial subtraction by twos or threes (dual tasks). Overall, our results suggested that HD participants were significantly slower and less accurate than controls. Both groups were slower and less accurate when performing indirect circle tracing compared with direct circle tracing. HD participants experienced greater dual-task interference in terms of accuracy when performing direct circle tracing compared with indirect circle tracing. Despite that, controls were more inclined to speed–accuracy trade-offs compared with HD participants. Importantly, unlike controls, HD participants were not disproportionately faster when performing direct circle tracing as a single task compared with the dual-task conditions. Our results suggest that simple tasks place greater attentional demands on HD participants compared with controls. These findings support that impaired automaticity may be responsible for some of the attentional deficits manifested in HD.
  • A tablet for healthy ageing: the effect of a tablet computer training intervention on cognitive abilities in older adults

    Vaportzis, Ria; Martin, M.; Gow, A.J. (2017-08)
    Objective: To test the efficacy of a tablet computer training intervention to improve cognitive abilities of older adults. Design: Prospective randomized controlled trial. Setting: Community-based aging intervention study, Edinburgh, UK. Participants: Forty-eight healthy older adults aged 65 to 76 years were recruited at baseline with no or minimal tablet experience;43 completed follow-up testing. Intervention: Twentytwo participants attended a weekly 2-hour class for 10 weeks during which they learned how to use a tablet and various applications on it. Measurements: A battery of cognitive tests from theWAIS-IV measuring the domains ofVerbal Comprehension, Perceptual Processing,Working Memory, and Processing Speed, as well as health, psychological, and well-being measures. Results: A 2× 2 mixed model ANOVA suggested that the tablet intervention group (N = 22) showed greater improvements in Processing Speed (η2 = 0.10) compared with controls (N = 21), but did not differ in Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Processing, or Working Memory (η2 ranged from −0.03 to 0.04). Conclusions: Engagement in a new mentally challenging activity (tablet training) was associated with improved processing speed.Acquiring skills in later life, including those related to adopting new technologies, may therefore have the potential to reduce or delay cognitive changes associated with ageing.It is important to understand how the development of these skills might further facilitate everyday activities, and also improve older adults’ quality of life.
  • Dual task performance may be a better measure of cognitive processing in Huntington's disease than traditional attention tests

    Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Churchyard, A.; Stout, J.C. (2015)
    Background: Past research has found cancellation tasks to be reliable markers of cognitive decline in Huntington’s disease (HD). Objective: The aim of this study was to extend previous findings by adopting the use of a dual task paradigm that paired cancellation and auditory tasks. Methods: We compared performance in 14 early stage HD participants and 14 healthy controls. HD participants were further divided into groups with and without cognitive impairment. Results: Results suggested that HD participants were not slower or less accurate compared with controls; however, HD participants showed greater dual task interference in terms of speed. In addition, HD participants with cognitive impairment were slower and less accurate than HD participants with no cognitive impairment, and showed greater dual task interference in terms of speed and accuracy. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that dual task measures may be a better measure of cognitive processing in HD compared with more traditional measures.
  • Dual task performance in Huntington's disease: a comparison of choice reaction time tasks

    Vaportzis, Ria; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Churchyard, A.; Stout, J.C. (2015-09)
    Objective: This study investigated whether dual tasks make disproportionately high demands in Huntington’s disease (HD) compared with controls, and also tested the Multiple Resources Theory. Method: Thirteen HD participants and 13 controls completed 2 dual task sets that varied in difficulty and complexity: Set 1 paired simple choice reaction time (RT) with digit forward, and Set 2 paired complex choice RT with digit backward. Results: We found that HD participants were overall slower; however, although they maintained similar levels of accuracy in the simple choice RT tasks with controls, their accuracy decreased in the complex choice RT tasks. In addition, we found that HD participants were more susceptible to speed-accuracy trade-offs. Despite that, they did not show greater dual task costs than controls. Conclusions: Overall, our findings do not support the Multiple Resources Theory, but they do provide some support for the Unitary Resource Theory and the attentional impairment hypothesis.

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