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    The measurement of implicit responses to life and death: Implications for sub-clinical psychopathology


    Rai, Laura (2015) The measurement of implicit responses to life and death: Implications for sub-clinical psychopathology. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    What an individual thinks about their own life and death appears to provide useful information on the likelihood of self-destructive behaviour. While these evaluations are typically measured using self-report methodologies, there is a burgeoning literature on implicit responses to life and death. The current thesis employs the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) to assess implicit relational responses to life and death in a non-clinical undergraduate population (N = 181) across four experiments. Experiment 1 (N = 39) employed the IAT and two IRAPs to measure implicit relations among the self, other people, life and death. The findings replicated previous research using the Death-Life IAT in normative groups and also supported the utility of the Death IRAP and Imagine Death IRAP in measuring clinically-relevant implicit processes. Experiment 2 (N = 46) measured responses to life-related stimuli, including evaluations about life in the present versus in the future using the Pessimism IRAP and Self Pessimism IRAP. Experiment 3 (N = 50) further developed the IRAP as a measure of future-thinking and explored responses to perceptions of worthiness using the Positivity IRAP and the Worthiness IRAP. Finally, Experiment 4 (N = 46) assessed hopelessness about perceived success and failure with the Behaviour IRAP and the Emotions IRAP. In each experiment, the implicit outcomes were compared with standard self-report measures of psychopathology. The self-report measures included the Depression, Anxiety, Stress scales, Belief in Afterlife Scale, Beck Hopelessness Scale, Acceptance and Action Questionnaire, Life Orientation Test-Revised, and the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale. Overall, the data indicated that responding on the IRAP could differentiate among groups as identified on the self-report measures. The results of the current thesis support the use of the IRAP as an indirect measure of clinically-relevant relational responses regarding life and death.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Additional Information: M.Sc.
    Keywords: measurement; implicit responses; life and death; Implications; sub-clinical psychopathology;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 7553
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2016 15:23
    URI:

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