Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Interdisciplinaria]]> vol. 22 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Interdisciplinaria: 25 Años de labor editorial]]> <![CDATA[Cultura institucional y homogeneizacion mental: un analisis de impacto en universitarios]]> En el estudio que se informa se pusieron a prueba hipótesis inscriptas en el paradigma psico-sociocomunicacional que enfatiza los efectos cognitivos a largo plazo de los media y el rol del receptor en cuanto sujeto psicosocial: la hipótesis de la agenda-setting (Bregman & Missika, 1989; Cohen, 1963; Erbring, Goldenberg & Miller, 1980; Eyal, Winter & De George, 1981; McCombs & Shaw, 1972; McLeod, Becker& Byrnes, 1974; Zucker, 1978). Los objetivos centrales de este trabajo fueron: (1) esclarecer los efectos cognitivos de los media en universitarios, (2) detectar niveles de manipulación y homogeneización de sus mapas mentales y (3) indagar sobre los factores institucionales que condicionan la receptividad diferencial (filtro de la noticia) con relación al contexto socioevaluativo (151 variables). El análisis recupera dos líneas: la primera enfatiza los efectos de los media según la psicología del individuo y la segunda tiene como eje los mapas mentales y sustenta que el nivel de penetración de los media depende de diferentes parámetros ligados a las características psicosociales de los jóvenes y los mensajes. Las hipótesis fueron: (a) habría una marcada correlación entre el orden de importancia otorgado por los media y por los jóvenes a la información, (b) la receptividad del destinatario variaría conforme a la competencia cognoscitiva y (c) determinadas características psicológicas harían al sujeto menos susceptible a la influencia de los media. Los hallazgos evidencian la incidencia de los media en la conformación de los mapas mentales y además, la franca incidencia institucional. A la lectura homogeneizada asociada a los media se suma la lectura homogeneizada según subsistemas del sistema universitario.<hr/>This study tests hypotheses included in the psycho-sociocommunicational paradigm, which emphasizes the long term cognitive effects of the media and the role of the psychosocial subject as recipient: the hypothesis of agenda-setting. The primary objectives were: (1) to elucidate such effects in audiences with different levels of education, (2) to detect levels of manipulation and homogenization of the mental maps linked with the centralization of the fourth power, to ascertain personality factors which condition differential receptivity of the addresses (filter of the news) related to the socio-evaluative context. Two lines interest us: the first emphasizes the effects of the media according to individual psychology, and the second, centered on different parameters linked with psychosocial characteristics of the youths and the messages. Finally, the central hypotheses are offered, taking into account that forty nine were considered: (a) there would be a marked correlation between the order of importance assigned to the information by the media and the one adopted by youths (high incidence of mental construing), (b) receptivity of the addresses would vary according to cognitive competence and (c) certain psychological characteristics would render the subject less impressionable to media influence. The sample was made up of graduates (N = 516) and drop-outs from eighteen careers in Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Argentina) between 1980-1993. The sampling was stratified and of random start, confidence interval was taken at 95% and error margin at 4%. Quanti-qualitative techniques were complemented: semistructured survey, indepth interviews, life stories and anecdote accounts. Also, tests were applied in order to observe the behavior of certain psychosocial variables (such as locus of control, stress, aggressiveness, self-esteem). Some of these tests (e.g. CEP, J.L. Pinillos, Maudsley's Inventory, J. Eysenck) have been validated in Argentina by the author. The analysis was made in two instances: products and processes. Procedure: (1) Survey of data in files over ten years old, (2) implementation of the aforementioned techniques. Being a vertical assessment, the follow-up was carried out in private homes, as graduates and drop-outs were no longer in the educational system. In the survey of both agendas (those of the media and the public), setting up of the time frame, was taken into account the models of the agenda/effect: awareness, relevance and priorities (Becker, McCombs, McLeod). Graphic media was also used (six representative national newspapers, displaying different ideologies), as well as visual media (television newsreels). The comparison procedure for both agendas and analytical strategy were original. The range of variables was very wide (151), covering psychological, base line, pedagogic/institutional, structural and communicational aspects. Finally, hypotheses and results were compared. The methodological options made it possible to analyze the psychological dimension related to the life stories and academic aptitude measurements. The effects of the intervening variables were recognized by means of discerning interpretation. The results inform: (1) hypotheses concerning social, cognitive and media psychology were corroborated, (2) it was observed that the agenda/effect is present: youths consider relevant only whatever is so for the media. The remaining information is not recovered nor is able to access the cognitive maps, and (3) a high homogenization of thought is thus confirmed, as a result of the homogenization of news (incremented in quantity by means of unified quality). Nevertheless, it is interesting to point out that the strengthening of a certain image of reality is not found equally for all, nor every time, depending on the conjugation of different factors among which education and personality act as decisive filters. Results show different interpretations and levels of filtering in accordance with self-esteem, n-ach (n-achievement), fatalism, valuations, stress, apathy, prejudices, among other variables. <![CDATA[La resolucion de anáforas en niños: incidencia de la explicitud y de la distancia]]> Se presentan los resultados de un estudio exploratorio acerca de la resolución de anáforas en niños. Las investigaciones realizadas con adultos jóvenes muestran que hay una serie de factores que inciden en el procesamiento anafórico. Tomando como referencia dichos factores, en este estudio se ha analizado la incidencia del grado de explicitud y de la distancia entre la forma anafórica y el antecedente. El grupo social de procedencia de los niños (nivel socioeconómico: NSE medio y NSE bajo) es otra de las variables independientes y como variables dependientes se tomaron las respuestas de los niños a preguntas sobre el antecedente de una expresión anafórica en un texto breve. Los tipos de anáforas eran: repetición, sinonimia, pronombre con clave de género, frase nominal, pronombre sin clave de género, supraordenamiento semántico y anáfora cero. Participaron cuatro grupos de niños de segundo y tercer año del nivel de Enseñanza General Básica (EGB). Los resultados muestran un mejor desempeño de los niños de NSE medio con respecto a los de NSE bajo, independientemente del grado de explicitud y de la distancia de las formas anafóricas. Las diferencias entre grupos de niños son mayores entre los de segundo año. En tercero, en ambos grupos se observan porcentajes de respuestas correctas superiores al 90%, excepto en el caso de anáfora sin clave de género. Se observa la incidencia del grado de explicitud de la forma anafórica y de la distancia en aquellas formas cuya resolución presenta dificultades. La anáfora cero no resulta difícil de resolver para los grupos estudiados.<hr/>The present work aims to explore children's abilities to resolve anaphoric expressions. Anaphors are linguistic devices used to refer to previously mentioned concepts. Most of the studies on this subject were conducted to understand how adult deal with anaphors. It was observed that several factors can influence the relative accessibility of antecedent information and the ease of anaphor resolution, among them the degree of explicitness (Gernsbacher, 1990) and the distance between the anaphors and its antecedents (Carreiras, Garnham, & Oakhill, 1996). Explicitness refers to the degree to which anaphors share features with the appropriate antecedent. Anaphors can take many forms ranging along a continuum in terms of this factor. In several experiments it was found that explicit anaphors are resolved more quickly and easily than less explicit anaphors. Within the framework of comprehension models it was postulated that the information of the anaphors, their explicitness, controls how rapidly and powerfully they trigger suppression and enhancement (Gernsbacher, 1990). With respect to distance, its influence may be due to the mechanisms of suppression triggered by other concepts introduced between the anaphor and its referent (O'Brien et al., 1997). The purpose of this study is to start exploring anaphor resolution in young Spanish speaking children considering the influence of explicitness and distance. It also aims to examine the differences, if any, on comprehension skills between children from middleincome homes and from low-income families since it has been shown that children raised in poverty often have limited exposure to books. The limited experience may have a negative effect on children's comprehension performance. Two groups of second and two groups of third grades children, one from low-income and one from middle-income families in each grade, participated in the study. Twenty one experimental texts were constructed, three texts for each anaphoric expression: repetition, noun phrase, synonym, gender-explicit pronoun, gender-ambiguous pronoun, semantic superordinate and zero anaphor. Three versions of each text were written to get three levels of distance between the potential anaphor and the antecedent. The versions were formed by two sentences, three sentences and four sentences being the antecedent in the first sentence and the anaphor in the last one. At the end of each text a question was presented about the referent of the action or state mentioned in the last sentence. Children were tested individually. The texts and the questions were read to them. Results showed that groups from middle-income families had a better performance than groups from low-income ones. This difference was statistically significant between the second grade groups in the responses to all the anaphoric expressions, except in the case of the repeat anaphor; between the third grade groups the difference was only significant in genderambiguous pronouns. The distance between the anaphor and its referent had no systematic effect on children's performance. These results may be due to the fact that the task was not very demanding and allowed sufficient computation time (Long,& Logan, 2000). On the contrary, the influence of explicitness was apparent in the responses of all groups of children; this factor especially affected the performance of second grade group from low-income homes. Gender-ambiguous pronouns were very difficult to resolve for all children. Overall results suggest that children had not developed enough processing abilities to use information from the various sources that contribute to the resolution of anaphoric expressions. <![CDATA[Afrontamiento activo y adaptacion al envejecimiento en mujeres de la ciudad de Mar del Plata: una revision de la estrategia de autodistraccion]]> El presente trabajo propone, a partir de datos empíricos obtenidos en un grupo de adultas mayores, una reconceptualización de las estrategias de afrontamiento evitativas, especialmente la autodistracción, destacando su valor adaptativo frente a la crisis vital que genera el proceso de envejecimiento en las mujeres. Clínicos e investigadores sugieren que el envejecimiento implica una crisis del desarrollo que afecta la adaptación vital. La literatura científica considera que existe relación entre estrategias de afrontamiento y adaptación a situaciones críticas. Mediante un diseño cuasi-experimental de tipo pretest - postest con grupo control, se evaluaron las estrategias de afrontamiento antes y después de un programa de aprendizaje social, en una muestra de sesenta mujeres ancianas, de las cuales, treinta participaron de un curso de aprendizaje social en la Universidad de Adultos Mayores de la Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (Mar del Plata - Argentina), y treinta no lo hicieron. Se realizó un análisis comparativo y cuantitativo de los datos. Los resultados evidencian que las mujeres que participaron del programa de aprendizaje social presentan un estilo de afrontamiento activo y adaptativo y a la vez, un uso significativo de la estrategia de autodistracción, caracterizada teóricamente como evitativa y no adaptativa. Los resultados permiten elaborar una comprensión alternativa de la estrategia de autodistracción en función del afrontamiento a los sucesos críticos de la vejez. Se propone que frente a situaciones que no constituyen un problema a resolver como el proceso de envejecimiento en particular, la autodistracción debería considerarse como una estrategia de afrontamiento que promueve una adaptación efectiva.<hr/>This paper reviews the concept of avoidance coping (particularly the coping strategy of self-distraction), pointing out its adaptative value in coping with critical life-events during old age in women. Scientific literature considers that there is a relationship between coping strategies and adaptation to critical events. Some studies suggest that active coping strategies promote effective adaptation, but avoidant strategies are considered less effective. The coping strategy of self-distraction is a mental and behavioural disengagement which occurs via a wide variety of activities that serve to distract the person from thinking about the goal with which the stressor is interfering. Tactics that reflect disengagement include: using alternative activities to take one's mind off a problem (a tendency opposite to problem focused coping or active coping), escaping through reading, cooking, visiting friends, studying, going out for a conference, or escape by immersion in television or in new projects. This paper discusses the empirical data obtained from a study on coping with critical life-events in female aging in a group of senior women in the city of Mar del Plata. By means of a quasi-experimental design using a pretest-postest technique and a control group, we evaluated coping strategies through the Brief-Cope Inventory, before and after a social learning program in a sample of 60 senior women who did not have any neurological symptomatology. The sample was divided into two groups: intervention group and control group. The intervention group consisted of 30 individuals, who participated in a social learning program at the Universidad de Adultos Mayores (Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata), and the control group, consisting of 30 individuals, did not do it. A comparative and quantitative analysis of data was done. Results of the study showed that critical life-events senior women have to cope with were loneliness, illness, widowhood, parental death or oncoming personal death, and social discrimination. There were significant differences in coping styles in both post-test groups. In general, the use of active and adaptative strategies (particularly the behavioural and cognitive coping style or type) increased in the intervention group; but the use of those evasive and emotional strategies decreased. Social learning was correlated positively and significantly with an active and adaptative coping style in the face of crisis in female aging. However, the use of self-distraction as a coping strategy also increased in the post-test intervention group. The data are discussed considering the theoretical framework and current evidence. Results allow for an alternative conceptualization about evasive coping to critical life-events in old age, particularly the self-distraction strategy, which is theoretically described as avoidant and non adaptative. Due to the nature of situations during aging, which have a low potential for control, the use of self-distraction as a strategy may be adaptative coping because it allows senior women to adjust and adapt to life changes, maintaining an active lifestyle and improving their quality of life. We suggest that self-distraction as a coping strategy be considered functional, which promotes an effective adaptation to situations during aging. Technically, there is no specific problem to solve, but rather changes, worries or critical life-events to be accepted by seniors. This study contributes to the cognitive and behavioural avoidance theory form a different angle, taking into account age and the nature of stressful events in the effectiveness and adjustment in coping. Finally, this paper suggests possible classification of critical life-events during aging that seniors face using coping strategies. <![CDATA[Efectos cognitivos y emocionales del envejecimiento: aportes de investigaciones basicas para las estrategias de rehabilitación]]> El envejecimiento normal produce una serie de cambios que se presentan asociados a una declinación general de las funciones fisiológicas. Como consecuencia surge un conjunto de déficit conductuales, cognitivos y emocionales. Aunque es relativamente artificial separar las funciones cognitivas de las emocionales, en esta revisión se presentan estudios conductuales y neurofisiológicos, especialmente realizados con modelos animales, que abordan los cambios que provoca el envejecimiento en cada una de esas áreas. Los resultados muestran un deterioro de los procesos cognitivos, especialmente de la memoria y las funciones ejecutivas, una persistencia en las respuestas previamente aprendidas y una desregulación frente a situaciones de estrés. Tanto en los modelos animales como en los humanos las alteraciones de la memoria y de las demás funciones cognitivas se atenúan si los sujetos vivieron en medios enriquecidos y si continúan estimulando, mediante prácticas y ejercicios, tales funciones. Se presenta una recopilación de investigaciones acerca de los tratamientos aplicados para mejorar la calidad de vida, realizadas por quienes se valieron de estudios básicos para desarrollarlos. Las intervenciones conductuales son las más efectivas para atenuar los efectos del envejecimiento e incluyen el mantenimiento y cuidado general de la salud y una dieta adecuada, el ejercicio físico y un entrenamiento específico y continuado de las funciones cognitivas.<hr/>The aging process is a universal phenomenon that affects all kinds of life. It is associated to a general impairment of physiological functions. Among these functions we are interested in brain functioning, that is linked to behavioral, cognitive, and emotional problems. In the present article, results related to aging are presented, within the fields of cognition and emotion, with special emphasis in animal models. Though it could be quite artificial to separate cognitive from emotional functions because they interact with each other, in the present review article, we present behavioral and neurophysiological studies, in which the changes that aging process has upon the already mentioned functions have been considered. Lastly, we mention the treatments used to deal with these aging-related psychological problems. On one hand, within the cognitive functioning, one of the most evident impairments in humans is related with evocation memory, that is, the inability to recall information. Working memory is also compromised, specially when people face tasks that require complex parallel processing. On the other hand, procedural memory is usually conserved. Animal models have also shown that spatial long-term memory and spatial working memory are impaired with aging. In addition, executive functions are affected as evidenced by an impairment in attention, discrimination, and analysis of complex information in animals. The processing of reward incentive shifts is altered, as shown by the persistence of previously learned responses in aging rats. The temporal lobe and the prefrontal cortex seem to be the most important brain regions involved in this deficit. Cholinergic hypofunction may be the start point of these cognitive problems, also probably linked with an affected GABAergic transmission. Considering the emotional functions, aging humans may show anhedonia and a deficient gesture recognition associated with emotional states. In human and non-human studies, an exaggerated response to stress situations has been found, which is probably related to elevated noradrenaline levels, and to a dyisregulation of the HPA negative feedback. These findings, taken together, have allowed applied scientists to develop therapeutic goals. First, the existence of a set of drugs that enhance cholinergic functioning, and that have been successfully tested in non-human animal studies. Besides, diverse animal studies have tested drugs that modulate 5TH-ergic neurotransmission, and vaso-dilating drugs also seem to have a beneficial effect upon the performance on memory tasks. Second, on a cognitive-behavioral level, a preventive and healing effect of cognitive exercising has been proven. This has lead to the development of cognitive stimulation programs directed to third-age people, with the goal of reducing the aging impact, and the associated mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer. Behavioral interventions in humans also include maintaining and caring for general health, and adequate feeding, physical exercise, and specific cognitive training. Studies with non-human subjects are showing the positive impact that the exposure to an enriched environment has on neuronal plasticity, which also implies enhancing cognitive functioning. Hebb (1949) already insisted on neuronal plasticity as a function of use, which eventually has been confirmed on recent research. In our concern, the use means that one of the crucial factors to reach a satisfactory aging process is to prompt an adequate interaction between the elderly and their environments, which may also mean to provide physical, social, and mental activities to deal with the environmental impoverishment that could arrive in the last period of our lives. <![CDATA[Desarrollos del analisis factorial para el estudio de item dicotomicos y ordinales]]> Los ítem de evaluación cualitativa (dicotómicos u ordinales) presentan problemas específicos para la utilización del análisis factorial en las pruebas de personalidad. En el presente trabajo se revisan algunos desarrollos recientes en análisis factorial que resultan apropiados para este tipo de ítem. Estos desarrollos se han realizado en el contexto de dos modelos estadísticos: la Teoría de la Respuesta al Item y el modelo de las ecuaciones estructurales. También se verá la relevancia del escalamiento de ítem en el contexto de estos dos modelos. Se presentan algunos ejemplos de la utilidad de estos modelos para resolver cuestiones básicas, tales como la dimensionalidad de la escala y las propiedades generales de los ítem, la adecuación de las respuestas observadas y el funcionamiento diferencial del ítem a través de diferentes submuestras.<hr/>Factor analysis has been used in formulating conceptual models in personality and personality assessment, as well as in the process of construction of personality scales. Factor analysis assumes continuously measured interval level data. However, applications of the factor analysis model in the personality literature frequently are conducted using dichotomous or ordinal data obtained at the item level. It has been proposed several solutions for studying dichotomous or ordinal data. Christoffersson (1978) introduced a method for factor analyzing dichotomous data using tetra-choric correlations. Muthén (1984) extended this method to provide a less computationally heavy approach. Standard factor analysis implies two different levels of variables: unobserved factors, and observed indicators for those factors (items). The generalized least squares method to the factor analysis of dichotomous data requires one additional intermediate level between the observed data and the latent variable. Thus two levels of abstraction are involved in the analysis: observed dichotomous or ordered categorical items are linked to unobserved latent response variables via tetra-choric or polychoric correlations. These unobserved latent response variables then serve as the indicators for the factors. In this model the factors summarize the relations among latent variables rather than directly among observed variables. Another method for the factor analysis of dichotomous or ordered categorical items is that of maximum likelihood. As in the case of the generalized least squares method, the maximum likelihood approach use tetrachoric correlations among items, but approximates a numerical integration of a distribution of observations, assumed to be normal, using weighted sums. There exist also parallel analysis programs (Buja, & Eyuboglu, 1992; Horn, 1965) that produce data sets based in aleatory numbers normally distributed, generated by the computer (O'Connor, 2000). Another manner of analysis of relationships between unobserved factors and observed dichotomous or ordinal data is that of aplying Item Response Theory (IRT). In conjunction with exploratory item-level factor analises that adress the underlying dimensionality of the item set, IRT and confirmatory item-level factor analyses are useful for the construction and validation of personality inventories. Another important function of IRT is in the design of appropiateness indices that serve in evaluating validity scales, identifying those protocols that may be characterized by aberrant responding for a set of items. IRT has also been used to develop the full-information item-level factor analysis (Bock, & Schilling, 1997) that direct-ely works on response patterns and avoid the artifacts associated to phi and tetrachoric coefficients (McLeod, Swygert, & Thissen, 2001; Swygert, McLeod, & Thissen, 2001). Summing up, it is necessary to elucidate implications of conceptual models of intelligence and personality assessment and their impact on how one approaches these data statistically (Panter, Swygert, Dahlstrom, & Tanaka, 1997). There are not standar methods nor models that one applies always and in every cases if one really want to obtain valid measures and assessment (Richaud de Minzi, 2005).