Publications using Mangold Software

One of Mangold International's goals is to spread knowledge about studies on behavior among the research community. That's why we have created this platform for researchers to publish their results, achieved with software and system solutions from Mangold.


Human Behavior

Attachment Reminders Trigger Widespread Synchrony across Multiple Brains

Authors: Shimon-Raz O., Yeshurun Y., Ulmer-Yaniv A., Levinkron A., Salomon R., Feldman R. (2023)

Infant stimuli elicit widespread neural and behavioral response in human adults, and such massive allocation of resources attests to the evolutionary significance of the primary attachment. Here, we examined whether attachment reminders also trigger cross-brain concordance and generate greater neural uniformity, as indicated by intersubject correlation. Human mothers were imaged twice in oxytocin/placebo administration design, and stimuli included four ecological videos of a standard unfamiliar mother and infant: two infant/mother alone (Alone) and two mother–infant dyadic contexts (Social). Theory-driven analysis measured cross-brain synchrony in preregistered nodes of the parental caregiving network (PCN), which integrates subcortical structures underpinning mammalian mothering with cortical areas implicated in simulation, mentalization, and emotion regulation, and data-driven analysis assessed brain-wide concordance using whole-brain parcellation. Results demonstrated widespread cross-brain synchrony in both the PCN and across the neuroaxis, from primary sensory/somatosensory areas, through insular-cingulate regions, to temporal and prefrontal cortices. The Social context yielded significantly more cross-brain concordance, with PCNs striatum, parahippocampal gyrus, superior temporal sulcus, ACC, and PFC displaying cross-brain synchrony only to mother–infant social cues. Moment-by-moment fluctuations in mother–infant social synchrony, ranging from episodes of low synchrony to tightly coordinated positive bouts, were tracked online by cross-brain concordance in the preregistered ACC. Findings indicate that social attachment stimuli, representing evolutionary-salient universal cues that require no verbal narrative, trigger substantial interbrain concordance and suggest that the mother–infant bond, an icon standing at the heart of human civilization, may function to glue brains into a unified experience and bind humans into social groups.
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Does prior knowledge affect interaction dynamics and learning achievement in digital problem-based learning? A pilot study

Authors: Möser M., Hermkes R., Filmann N., Rüttermann S., Gerhard-Szép S. (2023)

Objective: Previous research on problem-based learning (PBL) describes that videotaped observations develop meaningful insights into cognitive processes in tutorial groups. Analysis regarding the amount of prior knowledge on learning achievement has not been investigated in medical education so far, although both are key factors of PBL success. Thus, we intended to analyse videos of digital problem-based learning (dPBL) sessions, focusing on knowledge acquisition and interaction dynamics among groups with different levels of prior knowledge to reveal any distinctions.

Methods: This study employed a pilot design by dividing 60 dental students into twelve subgroups with less or more prior knowledge, determined by a pre-semester multiple choice test (MCQ). The groups engaged in videotaped dPBL cases, which were examined regarding group interactions and tutor effectiveness. The learning achievement was assessed through a post-semester MCQ, an oral and practical exam. 

Results: The video analysis showed that dPBL groups with less prior knowledge achieved significantly higher tutor effectiveness and group interaction utterances, but that the percentage of time in which utterances occurred was similar in both groups. Related to the MCQ results, the students with less prior knowledge learned four times more than those with profound previous abilities, but no significant difference was found in the results of the oral exam and practical exam.

Conclusions: The interaction dynamics in dPBL depend on the group’s amount of prior knowledge. Especially groups including participants with less prior knowledge seemed to benefit from dPBL in comparison to groups with more prior knowledge. The dPBL groups acquired knowledge in different ways during the courses but, finally, all students arrived at a similar level of knowledge.

Keywords: problem-based learning, PBL, video-study, digital, interaction, prior knowledge, learning achievement 

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Sing to me, baby: Infants show neural tracking and rhythmic movements to live and dynamic maternal singing

Authors: Nguyen T., Reisner S., Lüger A., Wass S.V., Höhl S. and Markova G. (2023)

Infant-directed singing has unique acoustic characteristics that may allow even very young infants to respond to the rhythms carried through the caregiver’s voice. The goal of this study was to examine neural and movement responses to live and dynamic maternal singing in 7-month-old infants and their relation to linguistic development. In total, 60 mother-infant dyads were observed during two singing conditions (playsong and lullaby). In Study 1 (n = 30), we measured infant EEG and used an encoding approach utilizing ridge regressions to measure neural tracking. In Study 2 (n =40), we coded infant rhythmic movements. In both studies, we assessed children’s vocabulary when they were 20 months old. In Study 1, we found above-threshold neural tracking of maternal singing, with superior tracking of lullabies than playsongs. We also found that the acoustic features of infant-directed singing modulated tracking. In Study 2, infants showed more rhythmic movement to playsongs than lullabies. Importantly, neural coordination (Study 1) and rhythmic movement (Study 2) to playsongs were positively related to infants’ expressive vocabulary at 20 months. These results highlight the importance of infants’ brain and movement coordination to their caregiver’s musical presentations, potentially as a function of musical variability.

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Interaction coding in leadership research: A critical review and best-practice recommendations to measure behavior

Authors: Güntner A.V., Meinecke A.L., and Lüders Z.E.K. (2023)

Leadership scholars increasingly acknowledge the shortcomings of using questionnaires. Consequently, there is a trend towards more behavior-based research, with interaction coding as one promising method. By precisely analyzing recordings of leader–follower interactions, interaction coding helps quantify verbal and non-verbal behavioral patterns that unfold between leaders and their followers, thereby providing access to the behavioral dynamics that are at the core of leadership. Yet, analyzing leader–follower interactions is much less straightforward than it might appear. Bold claims like “objective data” and “actual behavior” frequently used in such studies tend to paint a somewhat tainted picture of the opportunities and challenges associated with interaction coding. To synthesize the existing empirical knowledge concerning the use of interaction coding in leadership research, we present the findings from a critical review of the current research landscape. This review highlights that questions related to observer inference, standards for observer agreement, and the validity of interaction coding are often not sufficiently addressed in empirical work. Drawing on these findings, we identify questionable research practices and juxtapose these with best-practice recommendations. Finally, we provide a discussion and outlook on how behavior-based methods can move the leadership field forward by facilitating theoretical advancements and deriving actionable guidance for practitioners.

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Story-Telling, Well-Organized, or Solution-Focused Meeting? Investigation of Behavior-Based Group Profiles and Performance

Authors: Allen, J. & Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (2023)

Insights into the behavioral profile of groups during meetings help us understand why some groups outperform others on meeting and work tasks. The presented studies investigate behavior-based group profiles in meetings and their relation to group performance. A total of 101 problem-solving meetings took place in two studies in a laboratory setting; data were coded using the act4teams coding scheme and analyzed using INTERACT software. The findings indicate there are four distinct group profile clusters: story-telling, well-organized networking, solution-focused, and problem-focused profiles. These behavior-based group profiles were meaningfully and differentially linked to group performance in the context of a meeting task.

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Outdoor Space Elements in Urban Residential Areas in Shenzhen, China: Optimization Based on Health-Promoting Behaviours of Older People

Authors: Zhang, L.; Shao, K.; Tang, W.; Lau, S.S.Y.; Lai, H.; Tao, Y. (2023)

Given the ageing global population, it is important to promote “healthy ageing”. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by prolonging the health of older people. Both the physical and mental well-being of older people are closely related to their living environment. Providing daily outdoor activities and enhancing the quality of public spaces and amenities in residential areas can encourage the adoption of healthy behaviours among older people. This study selected eight typical residential areas in Shenzhen, China, and analysed 40 outdoor public spaces. Video content obtained from fixed-point behavioural observation was entered into the Mangold INTERACT behavioural analysis system to extract the health behaviour data of older people. Regression analysis was then performed on the health behaviour data and the index data of the sample space elements. The results showed that several factors affect the outdoor health behaviours of older people. These factors include the scale of the outdoor space, the size of the hard ground area, the quality of the grey space, the green-looking rate, the accessibility of the site, the number of fitness facilities, and the richness of site functions. This study focused on a host of health-related behaviours such as rest, leisure, communication, and exercise. It confirmed the corresponding spatial needs of the elderly when engaging in the aforesaid activities. In this way, the quantitative research has supplemented previous studies by studying and evaluating the behaviour and activities of the elderly in specific settings. Through the analyses, a configuration model of outdoor space in residential areas was constructed with the aim of health promotion. Based on this model, a flexible and multilevel configuration list revealing seven specific types under three priorities is being proposed. The findings provide a scientific and effective strategy for optimising the quality of outdoor environments in residential areas. More specifically, the deployment of the Mangold INTERACT system to extract and quantify behavioural data enabled this study to overcome the limitations of traditional approaches to behavioural observation and recording. This provides a prelude for other quantitative research on the environment and behaviour.


ageing society; health behaviour; health promotion; element configuration; older people

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Social-Motor Coordination Between Peers: Joint Action Developmental Trajectories in ASD and TD

Authors: Bar Yehuda, S., Bauminger-Zviely, N. (2022) 

Coordinating a physical movement in time and space with social and nonsocial partners to achieve a shared goal – “joint action” (JA) – characterizes many peer-engagement situations that pose challenges for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This cross-sectional study examined development of JA capabilities comparing ASD versus typically developing (TD) groups in early childhood, preadolescence, and adolescence while performing mirroring and complementing JA tasks with social (peer) and nonsocial (computer) partners. Results indicated better motor coordination abilities on computerized tasks than in peer dyads, with larger peer-dyad deficits shown by the ASD group. Developmental growth in JA abilities emerged, but the ASD group lagged behind same-age peers with TD. Socio-motor interventions may offer new channels to facilitate peer engagement in ASD.

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The terrible twos: How children cope with frustration and tantrums and the effect of maternal and paternal behaviors

Authors: Deichmann F., Ahnert L. (2021) 

Experimental Frustration Procedures with 158 children (15–39 months) of two-parent families were conducted, with each parent separately involved. We examined diverse characteristics of children's frustration and focused on specific behaviors of how children coped and parents supported them. In addition, external observers measured child attachment security (via Attachment Q Sort) toward the mother and the father during two home visits. Children with high attachment security became frustrated later and for a shorter time, and fathers, as compared to mothers, relieved these frustration patterns and reduced them. Although 22.2% children exhibited intense frustration responses up to tantrums, levels remained unaffected by child gender, but decreased with child age. Time-lag analyses revealed that children's self-comforting behaviors reduced frustration responses only by around 20%, but self-distracting (in younger children) and pretend-playing (in older children) by around 50% and 70%. Of the parent behaviors, demonstrating reduced children's frustration by up to 40% whereas distracting and reframing by around 60% (mothers) and 80% (fathers). In general, mothers tended to protect the child from distress, whereas fathers assisted the child in coping with frustration. However, if mothers soothed and fathers encouraged, children's frustration intensified.

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Coupling between Prefrontal Brain Activity and Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia in Infants and Adults

Authors: Nguyen T., Hoehl S., Bertenthal B. I., Abney D. H. (2022)

Self-regulation is an essential aspect of healthy child development. Even though infants depend on their caregivers for co-regulation during the first years, they begin to gain regulatory abilities through social interactions as well as their own developing agency and inhibitory control. These early regulatory abilities continue to increase with the development of both the prefrontal cortex and the vagal system. Importantly, theoretical accounts have suggested that the prefrontal cortex and the vagal system are linked through forward and backward feedback loops via the limbic system. Decreased coupling within this link is suggested to be associated with psychopathology.

The primary goal of this study was to examine whether intrapersonal coupling of prefrontal brain activity and respiratory sinus arrhythmia is evident in infancy. Using the simultaneous assessment of functional near-infrared spectroscopy and electrocardiography, we used Cross-Recurrence Quantification Analysis to assess the coupling of prefrontal brain activity and respiratory sinus arrhythmia in 69 4- to 6-month-old infants and their mothers during a passive viewing condition. However, we did not find significant coupling between the PFC and RSA in infants and adult caregivers. Future studies could examine social contexts associated with greater emotional reactivity to deepen our understanding of the pathways involved in self-regulation.

respiratory-sinus arrhythmia, fNIRS, prefrontal cortex, vagus nerve, self-regulation, brain-body connection

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Interpersonal synchrony is associated with infants’ reactions to subtle changes in caregiver-infant interactions

Authors: Markova, G., & Nguyen, T. (2022)

The present study examined the role of interpersonal synchrony between mothers and their 4-month-old infants (N = 40) in infant responses to a modified interaction where mothers continually looked and verbalised towards but did not engage with their children. During a natural interaction we observed behavioural synchrony and for a subsample of infants (n = 20) measured change in their salivary oxytocin from before to after the natural interaction. During the modified interaction we observed infant gaze, positive, and negative affect. We found that higher interpersonal synchrony was related to longer infants’ social gaze and shorter displays of negative affect during the modified interaction. Increase in infant oxytocin was also associated with longer gaze, but also longer negative and shorter positive affect during the modified interaction. Our results show that interpersonal synchrony allows infants to notice changes in interactions with others, but also helps them to regulate their emotions during such modified exchanges. These findings thus indicate the importance of synchrony experiences with caregivers for the development of early regulatory capacities.

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NegotiAct: Introducing a Comprehensive Coding Scheme to Capture Temporal Interaction Patterns in Negotiations

Authors: Jäckel, E., Zerres, A., Hemshorn de Sanchez, C. S., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., & Hüffmeier, J. (2022)

In the present research, we developed NegotiAct, a comprehensive coding scheme for negotiations, comprising 47 mutually exclusive behavioral codes. NegotiAct was derived by systematically integrating (i) 89 extant coding schemes for negotiations, (ii) pertinent findings from negotiation research, and (iii) specific interaction behaviors that were previously not considered in coding schemes for negotiations (e.g., active listening). To facilitate the application of NegotiAct, we designed a coding manual with precise instructions and with definitions and examples for every code. NegotiAct can be customized to address many research questions in experimental settings as well as field research by splitting codes into more specific behaviors. Thereby, differentiated codes can always be traced back to the original codes, preserving comparability across studies and facilitating cumulative research. In combination with interaction analytical methods, NegotiAct enables scholars to detect and investigate specific communication patterns across the negotiation process. As a first empirical validation of NegotiAct, we demonstrate a substantial interrater reliability for 18 videotaped negotiations (κ = .80) and conduct an exploratory validation analysis, studying the relation of multi-issue offers, active listening, and joint gains.

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Teacher feedback on procedural skills, conceptual understanding, and mathematical practices: A video study in lower secondary mathematics classrooms

Authors: Stovner R. B., Klette K. (2022)

Feedback is a prevalent teaching practice in mathematics classrooms, but few studies have documented how mathematics teachers enact feedback in classrooms. We investigated how 47 teachers provided feedback in 172 mathematics lessons in Norwegian lower secondary schools. We analyzed the quality of feedback, the quantity of feedback, and whether the feedback addressed students’ procedural skills, conceptual understanding, or engagement in mathematical practices. Teachers spent large amounts of time providing concrete and specific feedback, most of it addressing procedural skills while conceptual feedback was less common. The study highlights details of feedback relevant for both pre- and inservice mathematics teacher training.

Mathematics education; Feedback; Teaching practices; Classroom observation; Lower secondary school

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Personality and Emotions in Social Interactions 

Authors: Rentzsch, K., Giese, A.-K., Hebel, V., & Lösch, T. (in press)

In this paper, we introduce the PESI project for investigating the interpersonal dynamics of Personality and Emotions in Social Interactions. The final sample in this preregistered study consisted of 436 participants (218 dyads) who were on average 31.2 years old (SD = 14.0, Range: 16-75). The study consisted of three parts and used a multimethod assessment: In Part 1, participants filled out online self-reports of personality. In Part 2, participants interacted in dyads at zero acquaintance in the laboratory and filled out self- and partner-reports of various states. During the interactions, video and audio tracks were recorded simultaneously, allowing later video analyses of every participant. In Part 3, participants provided self-reports via a follow-up online questionnaire. Our aim is to encourage researchers to use the present ideas, open materials, and data to be inspired to conduct future research.

personality, emotion, social interaction, interpersonal dynamics,
 multimethod assessment 


Helping healthcare teams to debrief effectively: associations ofdebriefers’ actions and participants’reflections during team debriefings

Authors: Kolbe, M., Grande, B., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Seelandt. J.-C., (2022)


Debriefings help teams learn quickly and treat patients safely. However, many clinicians and educators report to struggle with leading debriefings. Little empirical knowledge on optimal debriefing processes is available. The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential of specific types of debriefer communication to trigger participants’ reflection in debriefings.

In this prospective observational, microanalytic interaction analysis study, we observed clinicians while they participated in healthcare team debriefings following three high-risk anaesthetic scenarios during simulation-based team training. Using the video-recorded debriefings and INTERACT coding software, we applied timed, event-based coding with DE-CODE, a coding scheme for assessing debriefing interactions. We used lag sequential analysis to explore the relationship between what debriefers and participants said. We hypothesised that combining advocacy (ie, stating an observation followed by an opinion) with an open-ended question would be associated with participants’ verbalisation of a mental model as a particular form of reflection.

The 50 debriefings with overall 114 participants had a mean duration of 49.35 min (SD=8.89 min) and included 18 486 behavioural transitions. We detected significant behavioural linkages from debriefers’ observation to debriefers’ opinion (z=9.85, p<0.001), from opinion to debriefers’ open-ended question (z=9.52, p<0.001) and from open-ended question to participants’ mental model (z=7.41, p<0.001), supporting our hypothesis. Furthermore, participants shared mental models after debriefers paraphrased their statements and asked specific questions but not after debriefers appreciated their actions without asking any follow-up questions. Participants also triggered reflection among themselves, particularly by sharing personal anecdotes.

When debriefers pair their observations and opinions with open-ended questions, paraphrase participants’ statements and ask specific questions, they help participants reflect during debriefings.

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A positive parenting program to enhance positive affect in children of previously depressed mothers

Authors: Cullum, K. A., Goodman, S. H., Garber, J., Korelitz, K., Sutherland, S., & Stewart, J. (2022)

Children of mothers with a history of depression are at heightened risk for developing depression and other maladaptive outcomes. Deficits in parenting are one putative mechanism underlying this transmission of risk from mother to child. The present study evaluated whether a brief intervention with mothers with a history of depression produced greater use of positive parenting behaviors and an increase in observed positive affect in their 8- to 10-year-old children. Mothers with a history of depression (n = 65) were randomly assigned to either a positive parenting intervention or an attention control intervention condition. In addition, a comparison group of 66 mothers with no history of depression was evaluated one time. Results revealed significant increases in positive parenting behaviors (e.g., active listening, praise) immediately postintervention in mothers randomized to the positive parenting intervention as compared to those in the attention control condition. Children of mothers in the positive parenting intervention showed increases in positive affect as compared to children of mothers in the attention control intervention. Increases in mothers' active listening and smiling/laughing significantly predicted increases in children's positive affect. The intervention did not increase the rate of children's moment-by-moment positive affect contingent on mothers' positive parenting behaviors. This study showed the short-term effectiveness of a brief parenting intervention for enhancing interactions between mothers with a history of depression and their children by directly targeting mothers' positive parenting and, indirectly, children's expressions of positive affect. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved). 

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Fairness takes time: Development of cooperative decision making in fairness context

Authors: Chajes R. J., Grossmann T., Vaish A. (2022)

The current study examined the development of fairness behavior and tested whether children’s fair choices are fast and intuitive or slow and deliberate. Reaction times were measured while 4- to 9-year-olds (N = 94, 49 girls, 84.6% White) completed a novel social decision-making task contrasting fair choices with selfish choices. Fairness behavior increased during childhood, shifting from predominantly selfish choices among young children to fair choices by 7 years of age. Moreover, young children’s fair choices were slow and deliberate, whereas reaction times did not predict older children’s choices. These findings contrast with adults’ intuitive cooperation and point to protracted development and learning of cooperative decision making in fairness contexts.

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Proximity and touch are associated with neural but not physiological synchrony in naturalistic mother-infant interactions

Authors: Nguyen T., Abney D. H., Salamander D., Bertenthal B. I., Hoehl S. (2021) 

- Mother-infant neural and physiological synchrony arise during mutual engagement.

- Behavioral correlates of neural and physiological synchrony diverge.
- Interpersonal neural synchrony is related to proximity and affective touch.

- Interpersonal physiological synchrony is related to infant negative affect.

Caregiver touch plays a vital role in infants’ growth and development, but its role as a communicative signal in human parent-infant interactions is surprisingly poorly understood. Here, we assessed whether touch and proximity in caregiver-infant dyads are related to neural and physiological synchrony. We simultaneously measured brain activity and respiratory sinus arrhythmia of 4–6-month-old infants and their mothers (N=69 dyads) in distal and proximal joint watching conditions as well as in an interactive face-to-face condition. Neural synchrony was higher during the proximal than during the distal joint watching conditions, and even higher during the face-to-face interaction. Physiological synchrony was highest during the face-to-face interaction and lower in both joint watching conditions, irrespective of proximity. Maternal affectionate touch during the face-to-face interaction was positively related to neural but not physiological synchrony. This is the first evidence that touch mediates mutual attunement of brain activities, but not cardio-respiratory rhythms in caregiver-infant dyads during naturalistic interactions. Our results also suggest that neural synchrony serves as a biological pathway of how social touch plays into infant development and how this pathway could be utilized to support infant learning and social bonding.

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Do ask, do tell? Observations of Mothers’ Solicitation and Adolescents’ Disclosure

Authors: Mounts, N. S., Valentiner, D. P. (2021)

This investigation used sequential analysis to examine patterns of maternal solicitation and adolescent disclosure that occur in adolescents’ and mothers’ conversations about peer relationships. An ethnically diverse sample of 68 early adolescents (Mage = 12.39; 51% girls) and their mothers from the United States participated in the investigation. Participants completed questionnaires and participated in video-recorded discussions of hypothetical situations related to peer relationships. Sequences of maternal solicitation followed by adolescent disclosure and sequences of adolescent disclosure followed by maternal solicitation occurred at higher than chance levels. Higher levels of conflict about peer relationships in conjunction with a lower likelihood of adolescent disclosure following maternal solicitation were related to lower levels of adolescent-reported prosocial behavior, higher levels of adolescent-reported victimization, and higher levels of mother-reported aggression and victimization. Results suggest that similar interaction dynamics can have different effects depending on the relational context in which they take place. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

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First Impressions Matter: Warm-up play Impacts Toddlers' Cooperative Ability with a Same-aged peer

Authors: Breeland N., Henderson A. M. E., (2021) 


2-year-olds can coordinate their action with same-aged peers, although their ability is not as well-developed as older children (Brownell et al., 2006).

Markers of a cooperative interaction quality such as affiliative or antagonistic behaviour shapes the extent to which cooperative partners can and are willing to attain shared goals (e.g., Endedijk et al., 2015; Schuhmacher et al., 2015).

One possibility is that these social behaviours convey cooperative intentionality (Hunnius et al., 2009).

It remains unknown whether peers' first impression (i.e., the quality of an initial interaction) supports their initial interaction quality supports their future cooperative interaction quality and ability.

Exploring this question is key since many studies on toddlers' cooperative ability rely on an initial warm-up period prior to the cooperative interaction of key interest.

Consistent with spill-over hypotheses, we expected that warm-up affiliation and antagonism would enhance and hinder children's cooperative ability, respectively.

Poster presentation at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.


What are you Thinking? The role of Mentalization in Children’s Dyadic Interactions with Unfamiliar Peers

Authors: Green E., Labahn C., Henderson H., (2021)


Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to accurately infer the beliefs, desires, intentions, and emotions of others (1,2)

Mentalization is the process of reasoning about the meaning behind others' emotional displays and actions ( Dziobek et al., 2006)

- Over mentalization: Over interpretation of available information, with over extended consideration of how situation affects emotion/thought processes
- Under mentalization: Inadequate interpretation of available information, with no consideration of how situation affects emotion/thought processes

Benefits of advanced ToM (Cutting & Dunn,2002):

- Greater sensitivity to the thoughts and feelings of others

- Improved ability to get along with others, make friends, or explain individual perspective

Risks of advanced ToM:

- Children with more advanced ToM are more sensitive to teacher criticism (Cutting & Dunn, 2002)

- Adults with social anxiety tend towards over mentalization (Washburn et al., 2016)

In social settings:

- More experience in social settings is associated with better ToM ( Carpendale & Lewis, 2004)

- Children with more advanced ToM tend to show more withdrawn temperaments in social settings (Moore et al, 2011)


Prolonged Mutual Engagement in Mother-Toddler Play Interactions

Authors: von Suchodoletz, A., Strouf, K., Altaf, S., Kärtner, J., (2021)

Play is an integral part of child development as it "requires the integration of cognitive, social, emotional, and motivational abilities” (Valentino et al., 2006, p.  474; Cohen, 2006). During the early childhood years, parent-child interactions provide an important context for children’s play (Cohen, 2006; Tamis-LeMonda, Shannon, Cabrera, & Lamb, 2004; Valentino et al., 2011). Parents take a critical role in structuring and guiding play activities. Specifically, mothers are  considered to be stage managers behind the play interaction where they are constantly engaged with their toddlers (Pierce 2000).

The present study focuses on prolonged play interactions between mothers and toddlers. We define an interaction as a discrete sequential event during play. Within these dyadic interactions, the present study concentrates on periods of mutual engagement. Conceptualized as both verbal and nonverbal “active participation” (Vandermaas-Peeler et al., 2003), as well as the “active sharing of an object or event” (Nelson et al., 2008, p.2), mutual engagement is the result of one partner responding to the other’s behavior during play.

The purpose of this study was to investigate:

- the likelihood of response patterns leading to periods of prolonged mutual engagement and whether there are differences between responders (mother or 
  child) and play contexts.
- child temperament in relation to the likelihood of prolonged mutual engagement that follows a response pattern.

Poster presentation at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.


Observed Social Competence in At-Risk Children: Associations with Informant Reports and Maternal Childhood Characteristics

Authors: Baptiste, A. D., Stack, D. M., Paré-Ruel, M.-P., Dickson, D. J., Serbin, L. A., (2021)

Approximately 566,000 Canadian children live in poverty (Statistics Canada, 2020).
- Poverty is associated with higher levels of internalizing and externalizing problems in children (Hosokawa & Katsura, 2017).
- Children may be better equipped to cope with it if they are socially competent (Hosokawa & 
Katsura, 2017).

Social competence is the ability to successfully interact with individuals 
through the use of a set of desirable social skills (Rose-Krasnor, 1997).
- The context in which these social behaviours take place influences the desirability of the
 behaviour (Warnes, Sheridan, Geske, & Warnes, 2005).

Poster presentation at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.


Parenting Behavior Moderates the Association of Socioeconomic Risk and Infant Emotion

Authors: Parra, S., Huffhines, L., Coe, J., Seifer, R., Parade, S., (2021)

Over 16 million children in the United States are living in poverty (Children’s Defense Fund, 2012). Economic hardship is one of the most consistent predictors of adverse child outcomes (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2000), and children with greater socioeconomic risk are more vulnerable to behavioral and emotional problems. Although, much of this research has been conducted with older children, less is known about the impact of socioeconomic risk on infant emotional development, and the work in this domain has typically utilized questionnaire assessments of infant emotion. Furthermore, supportive caregiving relationships are thought to play a critical role in buffering children from socioeconomic risk, yet there is little research that explicitly tests this hypothesis. Therefore, we drew upon a longitudinal observational study of families living in poverty to test research questions aimed at understanding if 1) socioeconomic risk is associated with infant emotion dysregulation, and 2) if parenting behavior moderates this potential association.

295 mother-infant dyads participated in this study. Mothers were recruited from Women, Infants, and Children clinics in the prenatal period, and assessments occurred prenatally and at 6 and 12 months postpartum. Mothers were racially and ethnically diverse (40% Hispanic, 42% White, 19% Black, 7% biracial, 32% other races). Families were living in poverty. 60% had less than or equal to a high school diploma, 65% were unemployed in pregnancy, and 44% were single parents. Of infants, 53% were female.

To assess socioeconomic risk, we created a composite variable including maternal education, maternal unemployment status, and single parenthood derived from a demographic questionnaire. At 12 months postpartum, mother-infant dyads were observed during a 7-minute free play interaction and a 4-minute challenge task designed to elicit infant frustration (attractive toy in a locked box). Videotapes of the free play task were coded for maternal behavior using the Parent-Caregiver Involvement Scales (Farran et al., 1986) to assess the overall quality of observed parenting. Videotapes of the frustration task were coded for infant emotion dysregulation using procedures adapted from existing coding systems (Leerkes & Wong, 2012). Partial correlations controlling for infant age tested simple associations of socioeconomic risk and observed infant emotion dysregulation. Hierarchical multiple regression tested observed parenting behavior as a moderator of the association of socioeconomic risk and infant emotion dysregulation.

Socioeconomic risk was positively associated with infant emotion dysregulation (r = .28, p < .05). However, there was a significant interaction of socioeconomic risk and parenting behavior in the prediction of emotion dysregulation (B = -0.06, p < .05). As illustrated in Figure 1, socioeconomic risk was only associated with infant emotion dysregulation when the quality of observed parenting was low. When the quality of observed parenting was high, socioeconomic risk was not associated with observed parenting.

Results suggest that interventions to support parenting among families living in poverty have the potential to enhance infant emotional development. Our utilization of observational assessments of parenting and infant emotion dysregulation builds upon prior work that typically utilizes questionnaires. Additional applied and methodological implications will be discussed.

Poster presentation at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.


Characterizing Mother-Infant Physiological Synchrony During Everyday Home Activities

Authors: Micheletti, M., Dominguez, A., Kaur, K., Andres, L., Johnson, M., de Barbaro, K., (2021)

The present study aims to fill a gap in the current literature by investigating the presence and predictors of mother-infant physiological synchrony during everyday home activities.

Mother-infant synchrony, characterized by adaptive and reciprocal behaviors that promote mutually rewarding interaction, is a well-established
 foundation for child cognitive, self-regulatory, and social-emotional development (Feldman, 2007). Despite a large body of work identifying mother-infant  physiological synchrony during structured face-to-face interactions, relatively fewer studies have been conducted in the home using state-of-the-art  physiological measures to evaluate mother-infant synchrony during daily activities (Leclère et al., 2014).

While physiological synchrony is a dynamic and emergent process (Delaherche et al., 2012; Sameroff, 2009), its presence may also vary 
systematically across different activities that afford different opportunities for engagement.

Poster Presentation at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.


Continuity and Stability of Parenting of Infants by Women at Risk for Perinatal Depression

Authors: Goodman S. H., Bakeman R., Milgramm A. (2021)

The present study aimed to enhance understanding of continuity and stability of positive parenting of infants, across age and different settings in women with a history of depression who are at elevated risk for postpartum depression.

Mothers (N = 103) with a history of major depression and their infants were observed during 5-min play and feeding interactions when their infants were 3, 6, and 12 months of age. Summary scores representing mothers’ positive parenting were computed separately for each age and context based on ratings of five parenting behaviors. Mothers’ depressive symptom levels were assessed at each infant age.

Continuity (consistency of level) and stability (consistency of rank order) were assessed across age and context at both the group and individual level. Across-age analyses revealed continuity in the play context and discontinuity in the feeding context, albeit only at the group level, as well as weak to moderate stability. Across-context analyses revealed higher positive parenting scores in play than feeding at all time points as well as weak to moderate stability. Variations in positive parenting across age and context were independent of mothers’ postpartum depressive symptom levels.

Findings based on normative samples may not generalize to women with a history of depression, who may benefit from interventions aimed at enhancing their positive parenting over the course of infancy, regardless of postpartum depressive symptom level. Results also underscore the importance of assessing parenting at multiple age points and across varying contexts.

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Turning Change Resistance into Readiness: How Change Agents' Communication Shapes Recipient Reactions

Authors: Endrejat, P.C., Klonek, F., Müller-Frommeyer, L., & Kauffeld, S. (2020)

As employees’ support for an organizational change is critical for its success, change agents require guidelines on how to initiate change recipients’ endorsement. Accordingly, there is a need for an evidence-based understanding of which communication behaviors drive positive versus negative change reactions, as well as about the psychological mechanisms that explain effective communication. To advance our knowledge about successful change communication, we tested how autonomy-supportive communication, autonomy-restrictive communication, and reflective listening are associated with change recipients’ reactions. Building on Self-Determination Theory, we also tested the mediating mechanism of the satisfaction of recipients’ psychological needs between change agents’ actions and change recipients’ reactions. In three studies, we explored how change agents can use their communication to enhance recipients’ change readiness, as manifested in increased energy-saving intentions. In Study 1, we separately examined the effect of each communication behavior on change readiness. We coded dyadic change conversations for autonomy-supportive (vs. autonomy-restrictive) communication and reflective listening. Results showed that autonomy-restrictive communication negatively impacted recipients’ change readiness. Study 2 used an online experiment to distinguish between the effect of change agents’ autonomy-supportive and -restrictive communication. We found an indirect effect of change agents’ communication behaviors on recipients’ change readiness via psychological need fulfillment. In Study 3, we investigated how change agents “in the field” responded to recipients’ expressed resistance. Findings indicated that change agents use more autonomy-restrictive than -supportive communication, suggesting that their communication typically undermines rather than facilitates recipients’ change readiness.

Reactions to change; Resistance to change; Change readiness; Change management; Energy-saving; Self-determination theory; Motivational interviewing


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Follower behavior renders leader behavior endogenous: The simultaneity problem, estimation challenges, and solutions

Authors: Güntner, A.V., Klonek, F.E., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Kauffeld, S. (2020)

Traditionally, leadership research has focused on unidirectional questions in which leader attributes are considered to determine follower outcomes. However, many phenomena between leaders (x) and followers (y) involve a simultaneous influence process in which x affects y, and y also affects x (i.e., simultaneity). Unfortunately, this simultaneity bias creates endogeneity and is often not properly addressed in the extant leadership literature. In three studies, we demonstrate the challenges of simultaneity bias and present two methodological solutions that can help to correct problems of simultaneity bias. We focus on simultaneity that occurs between follower resistance and leader control. We mathematically demonstrate the simultaneity bias using a simulated dataset and show how this bias can be statistically solved using an instrumental variable estimation approach. Furthermore, we present how the simultaneity bias can be resolved using an experimental design. We discuss how our approach advances theory and methods for leadership research.

Followership, Simultaneity, Instrumental variable estimation, Follower resistance

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Effects of internal state on infant learning and memory

Authors: Seehagen, S., Szkotnicki, N., Sommer K., La Rocca, L., Schneider, S., Konrad, C. (2020)

Given the profound reliance on matching external cues, infant memorymight be highly susceptible to variations in internal state.

Poster Presentation at Virtual ICIS, 2020.


Neural responses to touch in naturalistic mother-infant interactions

Authors: Nguyen, T., Hoehl, S. (2020)

Can we identify neural responses to various forms of social touch in infants using naturalistic interactions? 

Poster Presentation at Virtual ICIS, 2020.


Neural and behavioral correlates of ostensive cues in naturalistic mother-infant interactions

Authors: Michel, C., Matthes, D., Hoehl, S. (2020)

To date, it remains unclear if the promoting effect of social cues also occurs during natural parent-child interactions, which specific aspects of an interaction account for it and what is its neural foundation.

Poster Presentation at Virtual ICIS, 2020.


Get the Crowd Going: Eliciting and Maintaining Change Readiness Through Solution-Focused Communication

Authors: Endrejat, P. C., Meinecke, A. L., & Kauffeld, S. (2019)

Involving organizational members in the planning and implementation of change processes is essential for creating the momentum for lasting change. Therefore, participatory group interventions are a fundamental pillar of organization development. Yet, we know little about the behavioural dynamics that characterize successful group interventions. To address this shortcoming, we analysed 787 minutes (N = 5507 coded statements) of real-time recordings between change agents and recipients. Using lag sequential analysis, we tested which verbal behaviours by change agents elicited recipients’ change readiness, operationalized as their verbatim responses. Furthermore, we explored emerging motivational contagion processes among recipients themselves. Data were collected from two independent samples. Participants took part in a workshop either aimed to reduce their tendency to procrastinate (Study 1) or to enhance their energy-saving behaviour (Study 2). The change agent’s solution-focused as opposed to problem-focused communication stimulated change readiness in both studies. Moreover, recipients’ change statements triggered subsequent change statements by other recipients, providing initial evidence for motivational contagion processes in groups. Finally, compared to a lecture-based intervention, only the energy-saving workshop led to a significant increase in the target behaviour one month after the intervention. Recipients’ change readiness at the end of the workshop was linked to this increase.

MAD statement

We offer empirically-based communication guidelines to change agents who wish to ignite and promote change readiness in groups. Relying on fine-grained interaction coding, we show how a solution-focused communication style triggers change-facilitating communication patterns. Next to a focus on the microdynamics unfolding between change agent and recipients, we introduce the concept of motivational contagion for change. That is, the expression of change readiness by one participant increases the likelihood that another participant also voices change readiness. From an intervention perspective, our findings show that participatory interventions tend to be more effective than lecture-based interventions to initiate lasting behaviour change.

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Coach's Expressed Positive Behaviour Linked to Client's Interest to Change: An Analysis of Distinct Coaching Phases

Authors: Will, T., Schulte, E.M. & Kauffeld, S. (2019)

As coaching research has demonstrated, coach behaviour could influence the client. Hence, knowledge about ‘how’ a coach can influence the client during a coaching session, and more specifically, during distinct phases of coaching, is lacking. We attempt to fill this research gap (1) by considering active coach ingredients: coaches’ expressed empathy and appreciative behaviour summarized as positive supportive behaviour, and (2) by taking single coaching phases (contact, exploration, operationalisation, conclusion phase) into account. Therefore, we analysed 52 videotaped coaching sessions by using the interactional tool act4consulting. First, to examine if a coach behaves differently in each phase, we analysed expressed positive supportive coach behaviour. Second, we analysed if the coach behaviour was significantly linked to client’s interest to change. Third, we assumed that coach’s expressed positive supportive behaviour is more positively linked to the client’s interest to change in the exploration and in the operationalisation phase. Results yielded that coach behaviour differs significantly across all phases, and that expressed positive supportive coach behaviour in the contact, operationalisation, and conclusion phases was linked to the client’s interest in change. A variance in the coach’s behaviour on client’s interest to change in the single phases could not be found.

Coaching phases; Supportive coach behaviour; Expressed empathy; Expressed appreciation; Interest to change


Synchrony, Co-Eating and Communication During Complementary Feeding in Early Infancy

Authors: Costantini C., Akehurst L., Reddy V. and Fasulo A. (2018)

The transition from milk to complementary food is a crucial but difficult process, requiring considerable adult sensitivity. We know little about the relationship between maternal feeding behaviors and infant willingness to eat at the onset of complementary feeding (CF), and we know even less about how these patterns might vary across cultures. Thirty-seven dyads (15 from the UK and 22 from Italy) took part in a longitudinal study, during which mealtimes were video-recorded 1 week after the onset of CF (Time 1) and at 7 months of infant age (Time 2). The first five minutes of mealtimes were coded for maternal feeding behaviors, for infant willingness to eat, and for synchrony in feeding. Maternal vocal communications (MVCs) and attention-directing acts (ADAs) during the whole mealtime were also coded. Infant willingness to eat was significantly related to synchrony and co-eating, suggesting the importance of sensitivity and empathy during feeding as in other parent–infant interactions. The frequency of maternal ADAs varied between nationalities and, contrary to current advice, did not relate negatively to infant willingness to eat. These patterns and variations suggest the need to consider CF as a contextually variable and sensitive foundation for feeding relationships.

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Teacher questions and student responses in case-based learning: outcomes of a video study in medical education

Authors: Gartmeier, M., Pfurtscheller, T., Hapfelmeier, A., Grünewald, M., Häusler, J., Seidel, T., Berberat, PO. (2019) 

Case-based learning (CBL) is a highly interactive instructional format widely used in medical education. One goal of CBL is to integrate basic biomedical knowledge and its application to concrete patient cases and their clinical management. In this context, we focus the role of teacher questions as triggers for reproductive vs. elaborative student responses. Specifically, our research questions concern the kinds of questions posed by clinical teachers, the kinds of responses given by students, the prediction of student responses based upon teacher questions, and the differences between the two medical disciplines in focus of our study, internal medicine and surgery.


We analyse 19 videotaped seminars (nine internal medicine, ten surgery) taught by clinicians and attended by advanced medical students. Multiple raters performed a low-inference rating process using a theorybased categorical scheme with satisfactory interrater-reliability.


We found that medical teachers mostly posed initial (instead of follow-up) questions and that their questions were more often closed (instead of open). Also, more reasoning (than reproductive) questions were posed. A high rate of student non-response was observed while elaborative and reproductive student responses had a similar prevalence. In the prediction context, follow-up reasoning questions were associated with low nonresponse and many elaborative answers. In contrast, the highest student non-response rate followed open reproduction questions and initial reasoning questions. Most reproductive statements by students were made following closed reproduction questions.


These results deepen our understanding of interactive, questions-driven medical teaching and provide an empirical basis for clinical teachers to use questions in didactically fruitful ways.


Case-based learning , Teacher questions , Teaching methods , Video study , Student elaboration


Outdoor Fitness Equipment Usage Behaviors in Natural Settings

Authors: Hsueh-wen Chow* and Dai-Rong Wu, Graduate Institute of Physical Education, Health & Leisure Studies, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan;

*Correspondence:; Tel.: +886-62757575 (ext. 81806)

Received: 8 November 2018; Accepted: 25 January 2019; Published: 30 January 2019

Abstract: Outdoor fitness equipment (OFE) areas have become a popular form of built environment infrastructure in public open spaces as a means to improve public health through increased physical activity. However, the benefits of using OFE are not consistent, and several OFE accidents have been reported. In this study, we videotaped how OFE users operate OFE in parks and selected four types of popular OFE (the waist twister, air walker, ski machine, and waist/back massager) for video content analysis. Furthermore, we established coding schemes and compared results with the instructions provided by OFE manufacturers. The results revealed various usage behaviors for the same OFE types. In addition, we observed that a significant portion of user behaviors did not follow manufacturers’ instructions, which might pose potential risks or actually cause injuries. Children are especially prone to act improperly. This study provides empirical evidence indicating the existence of potential safety risks due to inappropriate usage behaviors that might lead to accidents and injuries while using OFE. This study provides crucial information that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of OFE and to develop future park or open space initiatives.


Contact Is in the Eye of the Beholder: The Eye Contact Illusion

Authors: Shane L. Rogers*, Oliver Guidetti, Craig P. Speelman, Melissa Longmuir
Psychology Department, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

Ruben Phillips
Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

*Corresponding Author: Shane L. Rogers, Psychology Department, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia. Email:

Received: April 01, 2018; Accepted: January 09, 2019; Article first published online: February 4, 2019

In a simple experiment, we demonstrate that you don’t need to mindfully look at the eyes of your audience to be perceived as making eye contact during face-to-face conversation. Simply gazing somewhere around the face/head area will suffice. Or to borrow a term from Mareschal and colleagues, direct gaze will suffice. For those readers who experience anxiety when gazing specifically at another person’s eyes, or when being gazed at, we expect this is welcome news.
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Understanding Positivity Within Dynamic team Interactions: A Statistical Discourse Analysis

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Chiu, M. M., Lei, Z., & Kauffeld, S. (2017)

Positivity has been heralded for its individual benefits. However, how positivity dynamically unfolds within the temporal flow of team interactions remains unclear. This is an important oversight, as positivity can be key to team problem solving and performance. In this study, we examine how team micro-processes affect the likelihood of positivity occurring within dynamic team interactions. In doing so, we build on and expand previous work on individual positivity and integrate theory on temporal team processes, interaction rituals, and team problem solving. We analyze 43,139 utterances during the meetings of 43 problem-solving teams in two organizations. First, we find that the observed overall frequency of positivity behavior in a team is positively related to managerial ratings of team performance. Second, using statistical discourse analysis, we show that solution-focused behavior and previous positivity within the team interaction process increase the likelihood of subsequent positivity expressions, whereas positivity is less likely after problem-focused behavior. Dynamic speaker switches moderate these effects, such that interaction instances involving more speakers increase the facilitating effects of solutions and earlier positivity for subsequent positivity within team interactions. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of micro-level team positivity and its performance benefits.


Dynamic positivity; Team processes; Team interaction; Team problem solving; Dynamic multilevel modeling


Appraisal Participation and Perceived Voice in Annual Appraisal Interviews: Uncovering Contextual Factors

Authors: Meinecke, A. L., Klonek, F. E., & Kauffeld, S. (2017)

Appraisal interviews (AIs) are one of the most commonly used human resource practices in organizations. However, they are often criticized for comprising conflicting purposes. In this study, we focus on contextual factors of the appraisal process. Specifically, we propose that AIs follow a two-phase model of performance evaluation and development planning. These two phases trigger different levels of employee appraisal participation which, in turn, affects employees’ perception of voice. In a sample of 48 audiotaped AIs, we coded employees’ objective appraisal participation throughout the entire interview session and linked it to subsequent ratings of perceived voice. Results showed that interviews were highly leader-centered and mainly concentrated on performance evaluation. Employees’ appraisal participation was significantly lower during performance evaluation than during development planning. Appraisal participation during development planning, but not during performance evaluation, was related to subsequent ratings of perceived voice. In addition, this relationship was moderated by supervisor trust.

Leadership; Performance appraisal interview; Appraisal participation; Perceived voice; Social context

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What Happens During Annual Appraisal Interviews? How Leader-Follower Interactions Unfold and Impact Interview Outcomes

Authors: Meinecke, A. L., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., & Kauffeld, S. (2017)

Despite a wealth of research on antecedents and outcomes of annual appraisal interviews, the ingredients that make for a successful communication process within the interview itself remain unclear. This study takes a communication approach to highlight leader-follower dynamics in annual appraisal interviews. We integrate relational leadership theory and recent findings on leader-follower interactions to argue (a) how supervisors' task- and relation-oriented statements can elicit employee involvement during the interview process and (b) how these communication patterns affect both supervisors' and employees' perceptions of the interview. Moreover, we explore (c) how supervisor behavior is contingent upon employee contributions to the appraisal interview. We audiotaped 48 actual annual appraisal interviews between supervisors and their employees. Adopting a multimethod approach, we used quantitative interaction coding (N = 32,791 behavioral events) as well as qualitative open-axial coding to explore communication patterns among supervisors and their employees. Lag sequential analysis revealed that supervisors' relation-oriented statements triggered active employee contributions and vice versa. These relation-activation patterns were linked to higher interview success ratings by both supervisors and employees. Moreover, our qualitative findings highlight employee disagreement as a crucial form of active employee contributions during appraisal interviews. We distinguish what employees disagreed about, how the disagreement was enacted, and how supervisors responded to it. Overall employee disagreement was negatively related to ratings of supervisor support. We discuss theoretical implications for performance appraisal and leadership theory and derive practical recommendations for promoting employee involvement during appraisal interviews.
(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

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Modeling Temporal Interaction Dynamics in Organizational Settings

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Allen, J.A. (2017)

Most workplace phenomena take place in dynamic social settings and emerge over time, and scholars have repeatedly called for more research into the temporal dynamics of organizational behavior. One reason for this persistent research gap could be that organizational scholars are not aware of the methodological advances that are available today for modeling temporal interactions and detecting behavioral patterns that emerge over time. To facilitate such awareness, this Methods Corner contribution provides a hands-on tutorial for capturing and quantifying temporal behavioral patterns and for leveraging rich interaction data in organizational settings. We provide an overview of different approaches and methodologies for examining temporal interaction patterns, along with detailed information about the type of data that needs to be gathered in order to apply each method as well as the analytical steps (and available software options) involved in each method. Specifically, we discuss and illustrate lag sequential analysis, pattern analysis, statistical discourse analysis, and visualization methods for identifying temporal patterns in interaction data. We also provide key takeaways for integrating these methods more firmly in the field of organizational research and for moving interaction analytical research forward.


A Dynamic Systems Approach to Emotion Co-Regulation in Father-Child Dyads
when Children have Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Yuqing Guo 1, Dana Rose Garfin 2, Agnes Ly 3, Wendy Goldberg 2 (2017)
1 University of California Irvine, Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, 2 Department of Psychology and Social Behavior
3 University of Delaware, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Introduction: Emotion regulation abilities facilitate the development of emotional functioning and long-term adaptive skills (Gross, 1998, 2007). Emotional dysregulation, while not a core deficit of ASD, is frequently observed among children with ASD and contributes to problems in social interaction.

Objective: To compare micro-level positive and negative emotion coregulation processes in father-child dyads for children with ASD and neurotypical (NT) children.


Emotion Coregulation in Mother-Child Dyads: A Dynamic Systems Analysis of Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Yuqing Guo, Dana Rose Garfin, Agnes Ly, Wendy A. Goldberg (2017)

Few studies have investigated patterns of emotion coregulation in families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or contrasted the ways in which their emotion coregulation patterns differ from families of typically developing (TD) children. To address this gap, we used a dynamic systems approach to compare flexible structure and emotional content of coregulation between mothers and children (3– 7 years) with ASD (n = 47) and TD children (n = 26).
Mother-child play interactions in the home were videotaped and emotion-engagement states were coded in micro-level 5-s intervals based on behavioral and affective expressions.
Analyses indicated that mother-child dyads in the ASD group spent more time than dyads in the TD group in mismatched emotion-engagement states (e.g., child negative/mother positive), and children with ASD spent more time than TD children engaged exclusively with objects. Mother-child dyads in the TD group stayed longer in mutual positive engagement states. Compared to dyads in the TD group, mother-child dyads in the ASD group exhibited greater flexibility (i.e., a wider range of emotional-engagement states, more frequent changes in states, and less time in each state). These findings suggest that mothers and their children with ASD do not sustain dyadic positive engagement patterns in a low-stress environment.
Findings confirmed the preference of children with ASD for objects over social partners, even when they are at home with their mothers, and elucidated a challenging mother-child interactional style. Results have implications for mother-child interventions aimed at regulating negative emotional states and sustaining positive ones in families raising children with ASD.

Download the complete study papers here...


Auditory Joint Engagement: Autism Affects How Toddlers Share Sounds During Parent-Child Interactions

Authors: Lauren B. Adamson, Roger Bakeman, Katharine Suma, & Diana L. Robins form Georgiy State University (2017)

This study provides an unprecedented view of how toddlers react to and share speech, music, and environmental sounds.


Extending Models of Sensitive Parenting of Infants to Women at Risk for Perinatal Depression

Authors: Sherryl H. Goodman, Roger Bakeman, Meaghan McCallum, Matthew H. Rouse & Stephanie F. Thompson (2017)

Recognizing that not all mothers at risk for depression engage in insensitive parenting, this study examined predictors of individual differences in sensitive parenting of infants by mothers with histories of depression, who are at elevated risk for depression during the perinatal period.


Group Interactions and time: Using Sequential Analysis to Study Group Dynamics in Project Meetings

Authors: Klonek, F. E., Quera, V., Burba, M. & Kauffeld, S. (2016)

Video-recorded observations of group interactions present a unique challenge for group researchers. This article presents methodological advice on how to perform sequential analysis when collecting observational timed-event data of group discussions. Sequential analyses is a statistical method that examines dynamic behavioral sequences in group interactions. To exemplify the method, the authors present data from 1 industry project team that was video-taped during 24 consecutive meetings. Meeting behaviors were coded into different categories (e.g., procedural and action-oriented communication). They compared sequential behavioral patterns in meetings from the first and second half of the project and provided guidelines on the topic of interrater reliability and reported a detailed psychometric analysis of the observational instrument. Overall, the authors showed that positive procedural communication can inhibit dysfunctional communication patterns in group meetings. Their results also show that communication patterns of negative action-orientation only appeared in the second half of the project. This study extends previous group research on microsequential patterns with respect to larger scale macrotemporal group dynamics. Overall, they provided practical suggestions for researchers who aim to run observational research and aim to look for sequential dynamics in video-recorded team interactions.
(PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

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Career Counseling Meets Motivational Interviewing: A Sequential Analysis of Dynamic Counselor–Client Interactions

Authors: Klonek, F. E., Wunderlich, E., Spurk, D. & Kauffeld, S. (2016)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-centered communication style with the aim to resolve client ambivalence within a change-related counseling. Its potential benefit for career counseling has been discussed by several scholars but no empirical research has investigated MI in this context so far. The current study used process measures from MI to investigate dynamic interactions within a career counseling intervention. Overall, we analyzed two videotaped sessions of 14 unique counselor–client dyads. Verbal behavior of counselors and clients were coded with two observational coding schemes from MI (one for counselors and one for clients, respectively). Behavior profiles of counselors were compared with benchmarks of good MI. Furthermore, client verbal ambivalence was compared between sessions. Finally, we conducted lag sequential analyses to analyze temporal dynamics between counselor behavior and immediate client verbal responses across N = 6883 behavioral events. Our results showed, first, behavior profiles of career counselors did significantly differ from recommended counseling benchmarks of good MI practice. Second, as assumed on the basis of past studies, client ambivalence decreased across sessions. Third, MI consistent counselor behaviors showed a positive sequential association with client positive career talk, whereas MI inconsistent counselor behaviors showed the reverse pattern. Our results suggest that counseling behaviors recommended from MI are facilitating career interventions. We discuss how trainings in MI could amend career counseling interventions and provide ethical implications when integrating MI into career counseling programs.


Career counseling; Motivational interviewing; Observational methods; MITI; Sequential analysis

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You Think you are an Empathic Coach? Maybe you Should Think Again. The Difference Between Perceptions of Empathy vs. Empathic Behaviour After a Person-Centred Coaching Training

Authors: Will, T., Gessnitzer, S. & Kauffeld, S. (2016)

While empathy in effective coaching is widely accepted, it is yet under researched. Following the call for process research, we assessed 19 coaching dyads regarding their processes with a multi-method research design. We (1) assessed the perception of coaches’ expressed (cognitive) empathy by questionnaires, observed and analysed the communication (interaction analysis) of (2) coaches’ empathic statements (paraphrasing and addressing counterpart's feelings) and (3) the clients’ reaction to these kinds of empathic behaviour. Results show that coaches and clients perceptions of coaches’ expressed (cognitive) empathy differ. Hence, we focused on the client as recipient and analysed the influence of the coach's empathic statements on the client. Only coaches’ empathic paraphrasing led to a higher client rating of the coaches’ empathy. Sequential analysis showed the immediate positive reaction from the client on coaches’ empathic behaviour of paraphrasing and addressing counterpart's feelings. Findings regarding perceived empathy are discussed, and future lines of research are delineated.

Expressed empathy, Cognitive empathy, Coaching, Coach–client Interaction, Lag sequential analysis

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Using Observational Research Methods to Study Voice and Silence in Organizations

Authors: Meinecke, A. L., Klonek, F. E., & Kauffeld, S. (2016)

The current article offers a behaviour-based perspective on employee voice and silence in organizations. Specifically, we outline two observational approaches to study the dynamics of voice and silence in real time: coding of voice behaviour using a behavioural instrument, and behavioural rating scales. In an exemplary study, we sampled repeated measurements of voice and silence behaviour based on videotaped supervisor–subordinate interactions during annual appraisal interviews. Both approaches provided insights into temporal processes of silence and voice. At the conversational event level, behavioural coding revealed significant sequential patterns between supervisor behaviour and subordinate voice. Findings showed that supervisors’ listening behaviour played a central role in stimulating subordinate voice at the event level of conversational conduct, whereas discussing the subordinates’ past performing, sharing knowledge and procedural statements had the opposite effect and were significantly less likely 
to initiate subordinate voice. Finally, our results indicated better reliabilities for voice in contrast to silence when observer ratings were used. We discuss strengths and limitations of both approaches and outline how they complement traditional survey measures. Moreover, we provide recommendations for steering more effective appraisal interviews. 


Observational research methods; performance appraisal interviews; problem-solving; silence; voice

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Joint Engagement in Sibling Interactions Including a Child with ASD: Intensive Frame-by-Frame Analysis

Authors: Yonat Rum 1; Ditza A. Zachor 1, 2; Esther Dromi 1 1 Tel-Aviv University, 2 The Autism Center, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center

Sibling interactions provide an opportunity for children with ASD to participate in reciprocal play and communication activities and to practice initiating and maintaining their JE abilities. The current results offer implications for social intervention programs at home as well as in inclusive educational frameworks for children with ASD (Chan & Lock, 2016).


Interaction among siblings that one of them has ASD - parameters for examination

Authors:  Yonat Rum, Professor Esther Dromi Tel Aviv University (2016)

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined as a communicative-social disorder (APA, 2013). In the past, children with ASD were described as deliberately avoiding social interaction and as lacking any social abilities (Kanner, 1943). Contemporary research has shown that these children do possess social abilities, and that these depend both on the social partner with whom they are interacting as well as the context of interaction. For example, Kimhi & Bauminger-Zviely (2012) found better social skills with a partner defined as ‘a friend’ rather than with a ‘non-friend’ partner. Better skills were also found when this friend was a child with typical development (TD) as compared to a friend who also had ASD (Bauminger-Zvieli, 2013). Children with ASD were found to have more reciprocal conversations when talking with other children as opposed to when talking with adults (Nadig et al., 2010). These findings accentuate the significant impact social partners have on the ability of a child with ASD to execute social skills.
Sibling relationships are often the longest and most significant relationships in a lifetime, with the potential to deeply influence personality, social and cognitive skills (Boer, Dunn, & Dunn, 2013; Gass, Jenkins, & Dunn, 2007; Noller, 2005). Research on the development of TD young children's social skills highlights the significant role of sibling interaction as one of the most enhancing contexts for acquiring communicative and social skills (Brody, 2004; Dunn, 1992). Considering the fact that communicative-social impairments are fundamental in ASD, the paucity of research on these children's interaction with their siblings is striking.
Very few studies have looked at sibling interaction where one child has ASD and compared it to interaction between siblings who were both TD, or where one had a disability other than ASD (Kaminsky & Dewey, 2001; Knott, Lewis, & Williams, 1995; 2007). In such studies researchers concluded that dyads containing a participant with ASD were inferior to both other groups in terms of the intensity, complexity, and reciprocity of their social interaction, and also contained less rivalry between siblings (Knott et al., 1995, 2007). Relationships between siblings in the experimental group were characterized by less intimacy and fewer prosocial behaviors than in the relationships of two TD siblings or sibling dyads containing a child with Down syndrome (Kaminsky & Dewey, 2001). However, it is difficult to learn about the unique contribution of the sibling relationship to the social skills of a child with ASD when using such comparison groups. Such methodology highlights the deficits in the siblings’ dyadic interaction–attributed to the disabilities of the child with ASD–instead of highlighting abilities. In our study we utilize a different methodological approach. Rather than compare groups on the basis of averaged data, our aim was to examine in detail the characteristics of sibling interactions, while identifying variables that require direct attention and measuring those variables in great detail.
This poster presents the parameters we used in order to examine sibling interactions in an inter-subject design. The set of parameters we present, as well as the description of the procedures we used while analyzing data with INTERACT software, aims to narrow the gap in the literature regarding sibling interactions in a family with a child with ASD.

Read and see more on the poster, presented on the 52nd Conference of the Israeli Speech, Hearing and Language Association (ISHLA).


Coding Interactions in Motivational Interviewing with Computer-Software: What are the Advantages for Process Researchers? 

Authors: Klonek, F. E., Quera, V. & Kauffeld, S. (2015)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based behavior change intervention. The interactional change processes that make MI effective have been increasingly studied using observational coding schemes. We introduce an implementation of a software-supported MI coding scheme-the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity code (MITI)-and discuss advantages for process researchers. Furthermore, we compared reliability of the software version with prior results of the paper version. A sample of 14 double-coded dyadic interactions showed good to excellent interrater reliabilities. We selected a second sample of 22 sessions to obtain convergent validity results of the software version: substantial correlations were obtained between the software instrument and the Rating Scales for the Assessment of Empathic Communication. Finally, we demonstrate how the software version can be used to test whether single code frequencies obtained by using intervals shorter than 20 min (i.e., 5 or 10 min) are accurate estimates of the respective code frequencies for the entire session (i.e., behavior slicing). Our results revealed that coding only a 10-min interval provides accurate estimates of the entire session. Our study demonstrates that the software implementation of the MITI is a reliable and valid instrument. We discuss advantages of the software version for process research in MI.

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How Transformational Leadership Works During team Interactions

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Meinecke, A. L., Rowold, J. & Kauffeld, S. (2015)

Transformational leadership is generally considered helpful for team functioning. However, the social dynamics underlying the benefits of transformational leadership remain elusive to date. To understand how and why transformational leadership can foster team functioning, this study focuses on leader–follower communication dynamics during team interactions. From the perspective of leadership as social problem solving, we argue that transformational leadership is linked to functional team problem-solving processes because transformational leaders use solution-focused communication (mediator model). In a sample of 30 videotaped problem-solving team meetings from two organizations, we coded transformational leadership style and the verbal behavioral interactions of leaders and team members over the course of their entire meetings (30,128 behavioral units in total). Multilevel results showed that transformational leadership was positively linked to functional problem-solving communication by team members. This positive relationship was mediated by leaders' solution-focused communication. Moreover, at the micro-level of conversational dynamics within the meeting process, lag sequential analysis revealed that leaders' ideas and solutions triggered subsequent solution statements by team members and inhibited counterproductive communication by team members, such as running off topic, criticizing, or complaining. We discuss theoretical and methodological implications for conceptualizing dynamic leader–follower processes as well as managerial implications for leading effective meetings in organizations.

Transformational leadership
; Leader–follower communication; Team interaction processes; Meetings; Lag sequential analysis

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Providing engineers with OARS and EARS:Effects of a skills-based vocational training in Motivational Interviewing for engineers in higher education

Authors: Florian E. Klonek, Simone Kauffeld (2015)

The curriculum of technical professions and engineering education often is heavily focussed on technical knowledge (Darling and Dannels, 2003). More recently, scholars have argued that oral communication skills are increasingly important for engineers (Ford and Teare, 2006; Seat et al., 2001). The rational for this argument is that communication skills are important for personal and professional development (Morreale and Pearson, 2008; Morreale et al., 2000), are rated among the most requested skills by employers (The Cline, 2005; McEwen, 1997), and can facilitate career success (Morreale and Pearson, 2008). As engineers spend about 50 percent of their day communicating with others (Vest et al., 1996) it is even more important for them to communicate effectively. However, it appears to be challenging to teach communication skills effectively to engineers (Dannels et al., 2003; Ford and Teare, 2006). Given the importance of communication skills in the area of engineering (Darling and Dannels, 2003) and higher education (Morreale and Pearson, 2008), the evaluation of communication training in this domain is worth studying.
The present study sets out to evaluate how professional development in Motivational Interviewing (MI) – a person-centered and directive communication method – has measurable impact on engineers’ communication skills. Overall, this study contributes the following. First, we will outline the basic features of MI. We will give definitions and examples of central verbal skills in MI and show how these can be assessed by using an observation-based scientific approach. Second, we will show how skills covered in MI are valuable within the work environments of engineers. Finally, we will illustrate how to use an observational instrument as a quality assurance measure in higher education. For this, we present results from a training study that we carried out in a university of technology.


Using Motivational Interviewing to reduce threats in conversations about environmental behavior

Authors: Florian E. Klonek, Amelie v. Güntner, Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, Simone Kauffeld (2015)

Human behavior contributes to a waste of environmental resources and our society is looking for ways to reduce this problem. However, humans may perceive feedback about their environmental behavior as threatening. According to self-determination theory(SDT), threats decrease intrinsic motivation for behavior change. According to self-affirmation theory (SAT), threats can harm individuals’ self-integrity. Therefore, individuals should show self-defensive biases, e.g., in terms of presenting counter - arguments when presented withe nvironmental behavior change. The current study examines how change recipients respond to threats from change agents in interactions about environmental behavior change. Moreover, we investigate how Motivational Interviewing (MI) — an intervention aimed at increasing intrinsic motivation — can reduce threats at both the social and cognitive level. We videotaped 68 dyadic interactions with change agents who either did or did not use MI (controlgroup). We coded agents verbal threats and recipients’ verbal expressions of motivation. Recipients also rated agents’ level of confrontation and empathy (i.e., cognitivereactions). As hypothesized, threats were significantly lower when change agents used MI. Perceived confrontations converged with observable social behavior of change agents in both groups. Moreover, behavioral threats showed a negative association with change recipients’ expressed motivation (i.e., reasonstochange). Contrary to our expectations, we found no relation between change agents’ verbal threats and change recipients’ verbally expressed self-defenses (i.e., sustain talk). Our results imply that MI reduces the adverse impact of threats in conversations about environmental behavior change on both the social and cognitive level. We discuss theoretical implications of our study in the context of SAT and SDT and suggest practical implications for environmental change agents in organizations.


How young children view mathematical representations: a study using eye-tracking technology

Authors: Bolden, D., Barmby, P., Raine, S., Gardner, M. (2015)

It has been shown that mathematical representations can aid children’s understanding of mathematical concepts but that children can sometimes have difficulty in interpreting them correctly. New advances in eye-tracking technology can help in this respect because it allows data to be gathered concerning children’s focus of attention and so indicate on what aspects of the representations they are focussing. However, recent eye-tracking technology has not been used to any great degree in investigating the way children view and interpret mathematical representations.   Purpose: This research explored the use of new advances in eye-tracking technology in investigating how young children view and interpret mathematical representations of multiplication.   Sample: Nine Year 5 children (four boys, five girls, aged 9–10 years of age) from a local primary (elementary) school in the North-East of England were asked to complete the test during school time. The children represented a range of attainment levels across the mathematical domain (three higher-, three middle- and three lowerattaining children) and were selected accordingly by their class teacher. We recognise that this study was only based on a small sample of children, however, this number still allowed us to make meaningful comparisons in particular between the different types of representations presented.  

Design and methods
The study consisted of each child looking at 18 static slides, one after the other, with each slide presenting a symbolic and a picture representation of multiplication problems. The data that was captured by the eye tracker and recorded was then analysed quantitatively (e.g. time on each slide, time on each area of interest specified within the software) and qualitatively (video recordings of each child’s gaze trajectory during each representation was carried out, thereby allowing a categorisation of the different approaches adopted) using MangoldVision software.  

The study showed that (a) the particular form of the number line representation used in this study was less successful than the other picture representations used (equal groups, array) in promoting multiplicative thinking in children, and (b) the success of children to think multiplicatively with the ‘groups’ and the array representation was related to their general mathematics attainment levels.  

These findings have implications for teacher practice in that teachers need to be clear about the possible drawbacks of particular representations. Even in using more successful representations, for lower-attaining children, the progression in their understanding of the representation needs to be taken into account by the teacher. The study also highlighted that the eye-tracking technology does have some limitations but is useful in investigating young children’s focus of attention whilst undertaking a mathematics assessment task.

A Dynamic Systems Approach to Mother-Child Emotion Co-Regulation in Relation to Adaptive Functioning in Children with ASD

Authors: Yuqing Guo, Monica Garcia, Silvia Gutierrez, Sun Kim, Shannon Merrell, Christina Garibay, Paola Martinez, Soraya Davia, Valentina Valentovich, Wendy Goldberg (2015)

Parents play an important role in the development of emotion regulation capabilities, but little is known about emotion regulation between parents and young children with ASD.


Coaches and Clients in Action: A Sequential Analysis of Interpersonal Coach and Client Behavior

Authors: Ianiro, P.M., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. & Kauffeld, S. (2014)

Despite calls for studying interaction processes in coaching, little is known about the link between coach-client interactions and coaching success. In particular, interpersonal behavior in coaching remains unexplored, although it is considered highly relevant to social relationships and interaction outcomes. This study takes first steps to adress this gap. The study examines the dynamics of coaches' and clients' interpersonal behavior based on the two basic dimensions affiliation and dominance. Furthermore, the link between emergent interpersonal behavior patterns and coaching outcomes is investigated. To this end, a total of 11,095 behavioral acts nested in 30 coach-client dyads were videotaped and analyzed. Sequential analysis showed that reciprocal friendliness patterns were positively linked to working alliance. Coaches' dominant-friendly interaction behavior particularly activated clients, in terms of showing dominance during the coaching interaction process. Clients' dominance was linked to their overall goal attainment. The results highlight the importance of interpersonal behavior for coaching success. Specifically, the findings suggest that dominance interaction patterns are context- and relation-specific, offering an explanation for contradicting empirical studies on interpersonal dominance. For coaches, the study implies that high awareness for interpersonal signals can help establish a positive atmosphere and activate clients' dominance. This empirical study uses behavior observation and interaction analysis to understand the interpersonal dynamics during coaching sessions.

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How fun are your meetings? Investigating the relationship between humor patterns in team interactions and team performance

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Allen, J.A. (2014)

Research on humor in organizations has rarely considered the social context in which humor occurs. One such social setting that most of us experience on a daily basis concerns the team context. Building on recent theorizing about the humor–performance link in teams, this study seeks to increase our understanding of the function and effects of humor in team interaction settings. We examined behavioral patterns of humor and laughter in real teams by videotaping and coding humor and laughter during 54 regular organizational team meetings. Performance ratings were obtained immediately following the team meetings as well as at a later time point from the teams’ supervisors. At the behavioral unit level within the team interaction process, lag sequential analysis identified humor and laughter patterns occurring above chance (e.g., a joke followed by laughter, followed by another joke). Moreover, humor patterns triggered positive socioemotional communication, procedural structure, and new solutions. At the team level, humor patterns (but not humor or laughter alone) positively related to team performance, both immediately and 2 years later. Team-level job insecurity climate was identified as a boundary condition: In low job insecurity climate conditions, humor patterns were positively related to performance, whereas in high job insecurity climate conditions, humor patterns did not relate to team performance. The role of job insecurity as a boundary condition persisted at both time points. These findings underscore the importance of studying team interactions for understanding the role of humor in organizations and considering team-level boundary conditions over time.

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Assessing Motivational Interviewing 2.0: An illustration of software-supported coding schemes

Authors: Klonek, F., Kauffeld, S. (2014)

Scholars in Motivational Interviewing (MI) have developed several coding schemes to assess treatment adherence, client language, and sequential dynamics. Traditionally, these coding schemes have been administered with paper and pencil. The presentation introduces implementations of software-supported MI coding schemes and discusses how software-implementation facilitates coding work, while still capturing the sequential timed-event data of the dyadic interaction. Furthermore, it is presented how coding instruments can be economized by means of a thin behavior slicing procedure. Data originated from a study with MI trained interviewers who discussed sustainable use of environmental resources as a target behavior with their respective clients. First, it is presented how branchedchain coding can be used to familiarize inexperienced observers with the MI Skill Code. Second, it is calculated two observer agreement measures of fourteen double-coded sessions for the MI Treatment Integrity Code (MITI): Time-unit kappa and Intraclass correlation. Third, the researchers extracted thin behavior slices (ten minutes) and compared their MITI code statistics with the entire session. Results show that Kappa indices are more conservative reliability estimates than Intraclass correlations. Furthermore, thin behavior slicing revealed that only 10-minutes can provide accurate estimates for MITI verbal behavior codes. The researchers discuss costs and benefits of software-supported coding schemes.   Presentation at the ICMI International Conference on Motivational Interviewing, Amsterdam, June 16-18, 2014.



The Dynamics of Resistance to Change: A Sequential Analysis of Change Agents in Action

Authors: Klonek, F., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Kauffeld, S. (2014)

Despite consensus that successful change management depends on how change is communicated to employees, the dynamic communication process between change agents and recipients remains largely unexplored. We discuss how change language can capture recipients’ resistance to and readiness for change, in terms of change versus sustain talk, and adopt a coding instrument from clinical psychology (Motivational Interviewing Skill Code, MISC). We explore whether autonomy-restrictive change agent behaviors may contribute to resistance to change. In a preliminary study, we demonstrate the applicability of the MISC for studying ambivalence in change-related interactions. Next, in a quantitative study of 28 dyadic interactions from a student sample, we examine how change agent behaviors elicit recipients’ resistance during the interaction flow, using lag sequential analysis. Our findings show that autonomy-restrictive agent behaviors evoke sustain talk. Recipients’ sustain talk in turn evokes autonomy-restrictive agent behavior. We discuss implications for conceptualizing resistance to change as a dynamically emerging conversational construct and point out practical implications for change agents.

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Watching how they are talking - Analyzing verbal behavior in two non-residential building projects to save energy by means of user participation

Authors: Klonek, F., Kauffeld, S., Plesser, S. & Görtgens, A. (2014)

When organizations implement energy saving measures, building users are not always ready for the organisational change process (By, 2007). While user motivation is crucial for facilitating the change process, resistance to change inhibits well-intended measures. Many organizations use participatory interventions in order to increase participation and motivation of building users (Kauran, 2013; Griesel, 2004). We propose a behavioral approach to measure motivation and resistance to change in terms of the observable verbal behavior: While “change talk” expresses the willingness to adopt behavioral changes, “sustain talk” expresses resistance and signals that any efforts to promote behavior change are worthless. Our approach focuses on the dynamic interactions between change agents and building users. Therefore, we apply interaction analysis – a scientific procedure that allows investigating communication exchange on an utterance-by-utterance level (Mangold, 2010). We show that this method is particularly useful to understand how to increase users’ participation and user motivation within energy saving projects.   

Poster presented at the BEHAVE Conference, Oxford, September 2014


Manual Distractions of Ambulance Drivers: Light-and-siren vs. Non-light-and-siren Travel

Authors: Grundgeiger, T., Scharf, M., Grundgeiger, J., Scheuchenpflug, R. (2014)

Emergency medical services personnel are involved in more transportation accidents and have higher fatality rates than do other professions, and traveling with light-and-siren is particularly risky. One factor that might contribute to transportation accidents is driver distraction. We investigated what kind of manual secondary tasks – distractions that require the driver to take at least one hand off the steering wheel – ambulance drivers face and compared the relative frequency and proportion of time spent in manual operations not related to driving for light-and-siren travel vs. non-light-and-siren travel. The results indicate that ambulance drivers face more manual distractions when traveling with light-and-siren than non-light-and-siren. In particular, operating the light-and-siren system is causing most of the manual distractions. We discuss the results and potential implication for practice.

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Toothbrushing and flossing behaviour in young adults - a video observation

Authors: Winterfeld, T., Schlueter, N., Harnacke, D., Illig, J., Margraf-Stiksrud, J., Deinzer, R., Ganss, C. (2014)

Objectives: Video observation studies of habitual oral hygiene from the 1970s revealed a striking neglect of brushing oral surfaces and unsystematic brushing patterns with frequent movements between areas. These findings were not systematically followed up; furthermore, nothing is known about whether subjects are able to floss sufficiently. Therefore, the aim of this video study was to analyse the performance of habitual toothbrushing and flossing. Methods: A random sample of 101 18-year-olds was included. Toothbrush and floss were provided; habitual brushing/flossing was videotaped in a standardised setting and analysed with the video coding software INTERACT. Parameters of interest were toothbrushing duration, type of brushing strokes, brushing patterns, flossed interproximal spaces and flossing technique. Results: The mean brushing duration was 156.0 ± 71.1 s; duration differed only slightly between the upper and lower jaw as well as between the right, left and anterior areas. However, oral surfaces were brushed distinctly shorter than vestibular surfaces (27.1 ± 27.8 s versus 72.1 ± 31.8 s; p ≤ 0.001). Participants brushed different areas of the mouth with different types of strokes, predominantly with horizontal and circular strokes. Brushing movements frequently alternated between areas (45.1 ± 22.4) not randomly but accumulated within a jaw with a tendency to move from the right to the left. Half of the participants flossed, but only one performed sufficiently. Conclusions: There was a significant neglect of brushing oral surfaces and insufficient use of floss. Brushing patterns were similar to those observed in the 1970s. Clinical relevance: Understanding habitual oral hygiene behaviour is essential for improving oral hygiene instruction strategies.

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Positioning of term infants during delivery room routine handling - analysis of videos

Authors: Konstantelos, D., Gurth, H., Bergert, R., Ifflaender, S. & Rüdiger, M. (2014)

Delivery room management (DR) of the newly born infant should be performed according to international guidelines, but no recommendations are available for an infant’s position immediately after birth. The present study was performed to answer the following questions: 1. How often is DR-management performed in term infants in side position? 2. Is routine DR-management possible in side position? 3. Is there any benefit of side position with respect to agitation or vital parameters?


Cross-sectional study of video-recorded DR-management in term newborns delivered by C-section in 2012. Videos were analysed for infant’s position, administered interventions, vital parameters and agitation.


187 videos were analysed. The Main Position (defined as position spent more than 70% of the time) was “supine” in 91, “side” in 63 and “not determinable” in 33 infants. “Supine” infants received significantly (p < 0.001) more often stimulation (12.5% of the total time) than “side” infants (3.9% of time). There were no differences between both groups with regard to suctioning; CPAP was exclusively (98%) administered in supine position. Newborns on side were less agitated than those on supine. There was a trend towards a better oxygenation in “side” positioned infants (p = 0.055) and significantly (p = 0.04) higher saturation values in “left-sided” infants than “right-sided” infants at 8th minute. “Side” positioned infants reached oxygen saturation values >90% earlier than “supine” positioned infants (p = 0.16).

DR-management is feasible in the side position in term infants. Side position seems to be associated with reduced agitation and improved oxygenation. However, it remains unclear whether this represents a causal relationship or an association. The study supports the need for a randomized controlled trial.

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Suctioning habits in the delivery room and the influence on postnatal adaptation - a video analysis

Authors: Konstantelos, D., Ifflaender, S., Dinger, J., Rüdiger, M. (2014)

The aim was to determine how often infants are suctioned during delivery and how often it affects the neonate.  

Methods Single-center analysis of video-recorded delivery room management after c-section from January 2012 until April 2013. Time point, duration, and frequency of suctioning in term and preterm newborns were analyzed along with vital parameters (heart rate HR and saturation values).  

Results Three hundred forty-six videos were analyzed with the software Mangold INTERACT. Twenty-three percent of term and 66% of preterm newborns were suctioned. Newborns were suctioned up to 14 times; total duration spent for suctioning was between 2 and 154 s. Suctioning before face mask application occurred in 31% of the suctioned newborns requiring respiratory support. No severe bradycardia (<60 bpm) was noticed. Suctioning did not have an effect on HR and saturation in preterm infants but was associated with significantly higher HR in term infants requiring respiratory support. Term infants who did not require respiratory support showed significantly higher saturation values at 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 min if they were not suctioned.  

Conclusions Suctioning of newborns in the delivery room does not adhere to recommendations of international guidelines. However, previously described side effects of suctioning could not be confirmed.

Journal of Perinatal Medicine. ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: 10.1515/jpm-2014-0188. October 2014

Learning from their own actions: the unique effect of producing actions on infants' action understanding

Authors: Gerson, S., Woodward, A. (2014)

Prior research suggests that infants' action production affects their action understanding, but little is known about the aspects of motor experience that render these effects. In Study 1, the relative contributions of self-produced (n = 30) and observational (n = 30) action experience on 3-month-old infants' action understanding was assessed using a visual habituation paradigm. In Study 2, generalization of training to a new context was examined (n = 30). Results revealed a unique effect of active over observational experience. Furthermore, findings suggest that benefits of trained actions do not generalize broadly, at least following brief training.

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Comparison of Emotion Co-Regulation between Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Families of Typically Developing Children

Authors: Goldberg, W., Guo, Y., Gutierrez, S., Merrell, S., House, S., Fraher, T., Tsai, S., Kim, S., Garcia, M., Garibay, C., Martinez, P. Davia, S. (2014)

Poster presented at UROP, University of California, Irvine, May 2014


Do maternal interactive behaviors correlate with developmental outcomes and mastery motivation in toddlers with and without motor delay?

Authors: Wang, P., Morgan, G.A., Hwang, A., Chen, L., Liao, H. (2014)


Background: Maternal interactive behaviors theoretically affect developmental outcomes and mastery motivation in young children. However, these associations are inconsistent in the literature.

Objective: The purposes of this study were: (1) to examine the differences in maternal behaviors between toddlers with motor delay (MD) and those with typical development (TD), (2) to investigate the correlation of maternal behaviors and developmental quotients (DQs) in toddlers with MD and TD, and (3) to examine the correlation of maternal behaviors and mastery motivation in toddlers with MD and TD.

Design: This was a sex- and mental age–matched case-control study.

Methods: Twenty-two mother-child dyads of toddlers with MD (ages 23–47 months) and 22 dyads of sex- and mental age–matched toddlers with TD (ages 15–29 months) were recruited. Maternal scores from the Nursing Child Assessment Teaching Scale, 2 indicators of motivation (persistence and mastery pleasure) from individualized mastery tasks and the Dimensions of Mastery Questionnaire, and DQs from the Comprehensive Developmental Inventory for Infants and Children were assessed.

Results: Mothers of children in the MD group showed significantly lower cognitive growth fostering scores than mothers of children in the TD group. Maternal total scores were significantly correlated with whole DQs in both groups. In the MD group, maternal total scores correlated significantly with DMQ mastery pleasure but not with mastery task motivation.

Limitations: The study design makes it impossible to know the causal relationships between maternal behaviors and children's DQs and motivation.

Conclusions: Mothers of toddlers with MD exhibited less adequate interactive behaviors than mothers of toddlers with TD. Because higher-quality maternal behaviors correlated with higher DQs in the MD group, clinicians should encourage parents to participate in early intervention programs and model high-quality parenting behavior to enhance parents' and children's outcomes.

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The joint role of trained, untrained, and observed actions at the origins of goal recognition

Authors: Gerson, S.A., Woodward, A.L. (2014)

Recent findings across a variety of domains reveal the benefits of self-produced experience on object exploration, object knowledge, attention, and action perception. The influence of active experience may be particularly important in infancy, when motor development is undergoing great changes. Despite the importance of self-produced experience, we know that infants and young children are eventually able to gain knowledge through purely observational experience. In the current work, three-month-old infants were given experience with object-directed actions in one of three forms and their recognition of the goal of grasping actions was then assessed in a habituation paradigm. All infants were given the chance to manually interact with the toys without assistance (a difficult task for most three-month-olds). Two of the three groups were then given additional experience with object-directed actions, either through active training (in which Velcro mittens helped infants act more efficiently) or observational training. Findings support the conclusion that self-produced experience is uniquely informative for action perception and suggest that individual differences in spontaneous motor activity may interact with observational experience to inform action perception early in life.

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From Interactions to Conversations: The Development of Joint Engagement During Early Childhood

Authors: Adamson, L.B., Bakeman, R., Deckner, D.F., Nelson, P.B. (2014)

This research traces the development of symbol-infused joint engagement during mother–child interactions into the preschool years. Forty-nine children, who had been previously observed as toddlers (L. B. Adamson, R. Bakeman, & D. F. Deckner, ), were systematically observed during interactions with their mothers at ages 3½, 4½, and 5½ during activities related to the past and future, internal states, and graphic systems. Although the amount of symbol-infused joint engagement reached a ceiling by 3½, its focus continued to become more complex and its form more balanced. Individual differences in children's symbol-infused joint engagement were stable across 4 years. These findings highlight both how joint engagement is transformed as conversational skills develop and how it remains rooted in earlier interactions and supported by caregiver's actions.

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A Sequential Analysis of Procedural Communication in Organizational Meetings: How Teams Facilitate their Meetings

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Allen, J. A. & Kauffeld, S. (2013)

How do teams facilitate their own meetings? Unmanaged (or free) social interaction often leads to poor decision-making, unnecessary conformity, social loafing, and ineffective communication processes, practices, and products. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential benefits of procedural communication in team meetings. The role of procedural communication, defined as verbal behaviors that structure group discussion to facilitate goal accomplishment, was examined in 59 team meetings from 19 organizations. Meeting behaviors were videotaped and coded. Lag sequential analysis revealed that procedural meeting behaviors are sustained by supporting statements within the team interaction process. They promote proactive communication (e.g., who will do what and when) and significantly inhibit dysfunctional meeting behaviors (e.g., losing the train of thought, criticizing others, and complaining). These patterns were found both at lag1 and lag2. Furthermore, the more evenly distributed procedural meeting behaviors were across team members, the more team members were satisfied with their discussion processes and outcomes. For practice, these findings suggest that managers should encourage procedural communication to enhance meeting effectiveness, and team members should share the responsibility of procedurally facilitating their meetings.


Interaction Analysis; Lag Sequential Analysis; Meeting Effectiveness; Facilitation

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Age, Forgiveness, and Meeting Behavior: A Multilevel Study

Authors: Schulte, E. M., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., & Kauffeld, S. (2013)

This paper aims to examine the effects of age on counteractive team meeting behaviors (e.g. complaining). Forgiveness is included as a potential buffer against these behaviors. A multilevel model is developed to test individual and team level age effects.

A total of 313 employees nested in 54 teams completed a forgiveness questionnaire and were videotaped during regular team meetings.

Multilevel modeling revealed that both individual age and average team age predicted counteractive team meeting behavior. Team level age diversity was linked to decreased counteractive behavior. Forgiveness moderated the negative link between individual age (but not team average age) and counteractive behavior.

Research limitations/implications
This is the first study examining age effects in the context of counteractive meeting behavior. Although the authors' findings need to be substantiated in further research, they show that older team members engage in significantly more counteractive communication – forgiveness can help alleviate this effect.

Practical implications
Teams with older team members should be sensitized to avoid counteractive behavior. Moreover, team composition should target high age diversity. Managerial interventions should also aim to facilitate forgiveness in the work environment, especially among older team members.

Research on dysfunctional team meeting behavior is sparse, and the role of age effects has not been examined in this context. The authors identify a significant link between age and counteractive meeting behavior. This multilevel model shows differential effects of individual age, team average age, and age diversity on counteractive communication. Furthermore, a buffer against these dysfunctional behaviors is identified: forgiveness.

Age, Diversity, Teams, Forgiveness, Meetings, Multilevel modeling

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Meetings as Networks: Applying Social Network Analysis to Team Interaction

Authors: Nils Christian Sauer & Simone Kauffeld (2013)

In recent decades, social network researchers have focused on analyzing networks of formal relationships (e.g., friendships). However, this work has yet to be applied to distributions of participation in small groups. This article provides an application of social network analysis to small group interaction and illustrates the approach through the analysis of 54 team meetings in two medium-sized German companies from the electrical and automotive supply industries (N = 332). Within a group interaction process, individual actions affect subsequent behavior, and their interactions shape a network when group members respond to previous actions. Their responses can be understood as network ties. We describe how to calculate centralization for all forms of small group interactions, and contribute to network research by providing insights into the interaction structure of team meetings. Multilevel analyses show that a group-level measure of centralization has a significant negative effect on team performance, whereas individual participation has no such effect. Implications for future research on interaction data via social network analysis are discussed.

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Driving and Hindering Forces in Group Discussions: Analyzing Change and Sustain Talk in a Software Engineering Project

Authors: Paulsen, H., Klonek, F.E., Meinecke, A., Schneider, K., Liskin, O. & Kauffeld, S.

Poster presented at the INTER.COM Symposium, Braunschweig, 2013.


Act4leadership: Introducing a new coding scheme for analyzing leader-follower-interactions

Authors: Meinecke, A.L., Wachsmuth, D. & Kauffeld, S.

Poster presented at the INTER.COM Symposium, Braunschweig, 2013.


Methodological Considerations for Investigating the Microdynamics of Social Interaction Development

Authors: de Barbaro, K., Forster, D., Johnson, C.M. & Deak, G.O. (2013)

Infants are biologically prepared to learn complex behaviors by interacting in dynamic, responsive social environments. Although the importance of interactive social experiences has long been recognized, current methods for studying complex multimodal interactions are lagging. This paper outlines a systems approach for characterizing fine-grained temporal dynamics of developing social interaction. We provide best practices for capturing, coding, and analyzing interaction activity on multiple-temporal scales, from fractions of seconds (e.g. gaze shifts), to minutes (e.g. coordinated play episodes), to weeks or months (e.g. developmental change). IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, 5(3), 258-270

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Dynamic synchronous gestures assist word learning in low functioning ASD Children

Authors: Rader, N., Zukow-Goldring, P., Miller, S. (2013)

Using eye-tracking technology, we looked at the effect of a speaker's gestures on word learning in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children 5-8 years old and typically developing children (TD) 2-6 years old. When the speaker statically held an object as it was named, the ASD children performed similarly to two-year-old children. However, with a dynamic gesture, the ASD children performed as well as children 4-6 years old. These results suggest that ASD children can benefit from the stimulus-driven attention provided by the dynamic gesture.
The test children (ASD and TD) viewed a video showing a speaker introducing two novel objects using either a static or dynamic show gesture. After the speaker introduced the two objects using nonce words, word learning was assessed. A Mangold Eye Tracking System was used to collect eye gaze data. The measurement used was a ratio consisting of correct looks over total looks during a test of word learning. Therefore, a higher ratio represents attention to the correct object then the word is spoken.
With a dynamic show gesture, the ASD children's word learning was as good as that of the oldest typically developing children, while it was similar to the youngest age group for the static gesture condition. These results suggest that word learning for ASD children could be aided by use of show gestures in a way that is true for much younger children. It may be the case that the motion in the show gesture produces stimulus-driven attention that assists the ASD children in attending at the critical time when they view the object and hear its word.
Poster download (presented at SRCD 2013)


Development of a Culturally Sensitive Research Methodology in Early Communication and Language Development

Authors: Frank, B., Polzin, C., Semkiwa, J. & Lüdtke, U.

Poster presented at the 5th East African Conference on Communication Disability, Mombasa, Kenya, September 2013


Prenatal programming of emotion regulation: Neonatal reactivity as a differential susceptibility factor moderating the outcome of prenatal cortisol levels

Authors: Bolten, M., Nast, I., Skrundz, M., Stadler, C., Hellhammer, D., Meinlschmidt, G. (2013)

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation during pregnancy is linked to dysfunctional behavioral outcomes in the offspring. According to Belsky's differential susceptibility hypothesis, individuals vary regarding their developmental plasticity. Translating the differential susceptibility hypothesis to the field of fetal programming, we hypothesize that infants' temperament, as the constitutionally based reactivity to stimulation, moderates prenatal environmental effects on postnatal emotion regulation.

Maternal HPA axis activity and stress-reactivity during pregnancy was estimated, by measuring cortisol concentrations in saliva, collected at 0, 30, 45 and 60 min after awakening and in blood, collected during a laboratory stress test (Trier Social Stress Test), respectively. Newborns reactivity to stimulation was evaluated between postnatal day 10 and 14 using the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scale. Infant's self-quieting-activities, as an indicator of emotion regulation, were evaluated at the age of six months during the still face paradigm.

Maternal cortisol reactivity to stress during pregnancy was associated with infant's emotion regulation at the age of six months. Whereas cortisol levels after awakening in mid and late pregnancy were not associated with emotion regulation. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that in interaction with neonatal reactivity, both, prenatal maternal HPA activity as well as prenatal maternal HPA reactivity to stress predicted emotion regulation. The findings indicate that newborns' reactivity to stimulation is moderating the association between prenatal exposure to maternal glucocorticoids and emotion regulation in infancy. Data suggests that temperamental characteristics of the newborn are a relevant differential susceptibility factor with regard to prenatal effects on emotion regulation.

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From Action to Interaction: Infant Object Exploration and Mothers' Contigent Responsiveness

Authors: Tamis-LeMonda, C.S., Kuchirko, Y., Tafuro, L. (2013)

We examined maternal contingent responsiveness to infant object exploration in 190 mother-infant pairs from diverse cultural communities. Dyads were video-recorded during book-sharing and play when infants were 14 mo. Researchers coded the temporal onsets and offsets of infant and mother object exploration and mothers' referential (e.g., “That's a bead”) and regulatory (e.g., “Stop it”) language. The times when infant or mother were neither exploring objects nor communicating were classified as “off task.” Sequential analysis was used to examine whether certain maternal behaviors were more (or less) likely to follow infant object exploration relative to chance, to one another, and to times when infants were off task. Mothers were more likely to explore objects and use referential language in response to infant object exploration than to use regulatory language or be off task, and maternal behaviors were reduced in the context of infants being off task. Additionally, mothers coordinated their object exploration with referential language specifically; thus, mothers' responses to infants were didactic and multimodal. Infant object exploration elicits reciprocal object exploration and informative verbal input from mothers, illustrating the active role infants play in their social experiences.

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Physiological regulation in infants of women with a mood disorder: examining associations with maternal symptoms and stress

Authors: Johnson, K.C., Brennan, P.A., Stowe, Z.N., Leibenluft, E. & Newport, D.J. (2013)

The offspring of mothers with mood disorders may evidence increased behavioral problems as early as preschool; however, no study to date has examined psychophysiological characteristics during infancy, particularly among offspring of mothers diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Elucidating psychobiological mechanisms of risk early in development is critical to inform prevention and early intervention efforts.

This study compared physiological and behavioral responsivity in 6-month-old infants (N = 329) of mothers with lifetime histories of bipolar disorder (BD, n = 44), major depressive disorder (MDD, n = 244), or no history of Axis I disorders (CTL, n = 41). Infant respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was measured in a laboratory stressor paradigm. Measures of infant affect and behavior during mother–infant interaction, current maternal depressive symptoms, and exposure to stressful life events were examined with respect to diagnostic group and RSA.

Groups did not differ in baseline RSA or infant affect measures. However, during the stressor task, infants of mothers with BD evidenced increases in RSA, while infants of MDD and CTL mothers evidenced decreases in RSA. Though levels of postnatal stress and current levels of maternal depressive symptoms differed among groups, neither of these factors predicted infant psychophysiological responses.

At 6 months of age, infants of mothers with BD show differences in psychophysiological regulation. These differences cannot be accounted for by perinatal outcome, current maternal depressive symptoms, or exposure to stressful life events, and thus may reflect endophenotypic markers of psychopathological risk.

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Individualized Behavioral Assessments and Maternal Ratings of Mastery Motivation in Mental Age-Matched Toddlers with and without Motor Delay

Authors: Wang, Pei-Jung, Morgan, George A., Hwang, Ai-Wen und Liao, Hua-Fang (2013)

Mastery motivation is a precursor of future developmental outcomes. Evidence about whether toddlers with motor delay have lower mastery motivation is inconclusive.

The purpose of his study was to examine differences between mental age-matched toddlers with and without motor delay on various mastery motivation indicators. A mental age- and sex-matched case-control study was performed. Twenty-two children with motor delay, aged 23 to 47 months, and 22 childen who were developing typically, aged 15 to 29 months, were recruited. Persistence and mastery pleasure were measured with behavioral tasks that were moderately challenging for each child and with maternal ratings using the Dimensions of Mastery Questionnaire (DMQ). The DMQ was rated by each child's mother based on her perception of her child's motivation. Two types of structured tasks (a puzzle and a cause-effect toy selected to be moderately challenging for each child) were administered in a laboratory setting and recorded on videos. Paired t tests or Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to examine group differences in persistence and mastery pleasure.

Children with motor delay were rated lower on DMQ persistence than the typically developing group, but they did not show significantly lower persistence on the structured tasks. There were no significant differences in mastery pleasure between the two groups on either measure. Toddlers with motor delay did not show longer persistence and pleasure when given tasks that were moderately challenging; however, their mothers tended to view them as having lower motivation. Clinicans and parents should provide appropriately challenging tasks to increase children's success and motivation.

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Twelve-month "social revolution" emerges from mother-infant sensory-motor coordination: A longitudinal investigation

Authors: de Barbaro, K., Johnson, C., Deak, G.O. (2013)

Previous accounts of the development of triadic attention identify a ‘‘curious’’ shift around nine to twelve months. We introduce a novel approach inspired by distributed and embodied cognition frameworks. In a longitudinal study of five mother-infant dyads, videos of home play interactions were recorded over the infants’ first year. We scrutinized the real-time organization of mother-infant sensorimotor activity, including the targets of hands, gaze, and mouth, as the dyad members attended to one another and
to toys. We identified a pervasive developmental pattern: At four months, infants converged all sensory modalities on objects introduced by the mother. From six to twelve months, infants showed increasing decoupling of hands and eyes and increasingly elaborate sequences in multi -object play. Concurrently, dyads engaged in increasingly elaborate social exchanges (e.g., turn-taking) as mothers adapted to infants’ sensorimotor skills. We therefore theorize that triadic attention emerges not as a novel form of social cognition but as a continuous product of sensorimotor development, scaffolded by parents’ expanding social actions.


Meetings Matter: Effects of work Group Communication on Organizational Success

Authors: Kauffeld, S., & Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (2012)

This study follows the idea that the key to understanding team meeting effectiveness lies in uncovering the microlevel interaction processes throughout the meeting. Ninety-two regular team meetings were videotaped. Interaction data were coded and evaluated with the act4teams coding scheme and INTERACT software. Team and organizational success variables were gathered via questionnaires and telephone interviews. The results support the central function of interaction processes as posited in the traditional input-process-output model. Teams that showed more functional interaction, such as problem-solving interaction and action planning, were significantly more satisfied with their meetings. Better meetings were associated with higher team productivity. Moreover, constructive meeting interaction processes were related to organizational success 2.5 years after the meeting. Dysfunctional communication, such as criticizing others or complaining, showed significant negative relationships with these outcomes. These negative effects were even more pronounced than the positive effects of functional team meeting interaction. The results suggest that team meeting processes shape both team and organizational outcomes. The critical meeting behaviors identified here provide hints for group researchers and practitioners alike who aim to improve meeting success. 

Work groups; Meetings; Interaction analysis; Group processes; Team success

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Sustainability Goes Change Talk: Can Motivational Interviewing Be Used to Increase Pro-Environmental behavior? 

Authors: Klonek, F. & Kauffeld, S. (2012)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an interviewing style that has been used extensively in the field of addiction as a treatment intervention for clients that are either resistant to or ambivalent about change [11]. Since its origins in the field of addiction treatment, the use of MI has also been extended to health psychology, clinical psychology [6] and to a minor extent also coaching psychology [13]. This study explores the feasibility and efficacy of motivational interviewing in the field of ecological psychology. Specifically, we compared the effects of an MI with those of a Non-MI control interview on client change and sustain talk language about pro-environmental behavior. Interviewers in the intervention condition were trained in MI to talk with participants about their ecological behavior and to increase pro-environmental behavior. Seventy-one interviews were videotaped, and data was analyzed using a combination of two behavioral coding schemes: the German version of the motivational interviewing treatment integrity [5] and the motivational skill code for client language [10]. Results on client change talk show that clients in the MI condition uttered significantly more reasons for change and ability to change. It is suggested that MI may offer a method to increase pro-environmental behavior by means of increasing client change language.

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Early Dialogs between Mother and Infant. A Study on the Situation of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants in the Process of Early Education

Authors: Horsch, Ursula

From the very first day of life parents are in close contact with their infant. They introduce as well other people as the world to their newborn in a mutually dialogical way. Proceeding hand in hand they pass on basic dialogical competences which are responsible for the development of Early Education.

The research project Dialogic Development of Infants (Horsch et al. since 2004) addresses the broad dialogic development of parents and infants within the first 18 months of life. Our objective is to describe these preverbal dialogs and their relevance for processes of education. The following presented research project is realized in Germany, but we just start at SEKOMU with this study. So we are able to take the pictures out of the SEKOMU project.

Particular emphasis will be placed on these dialogic elements: vocalisation of the infants, dialogic echo and greeting behaviour of the parents and motherese/fatherese. The empirical date is derived from a longitudinal study within the first 18 months of the infant´s life. The data is collected monthly by video recording in a natural setting. Computerized analyses (interact) are used for the evaluation of the data to study the correlations among the dialogic elements.

The significant correlations of infants with normal hearing are compared with the data of the deaf or hard of hearing infants and are discussed in relation to aspects of Bildung.


Do I need, am I able to... and do I even want to change? Which potential does Motivational Interviewing offer for organizations

Authors: Klonek, F.E., Kauffeld, S. (2012)

Organizational, team or individual change projects are highly dependent upon the motivation of the affected employees. Motivational Interviewing (MI) offers a promising method to initiate and accompany change management projects. Evidence from clinical psychology shows that MI stimulates change by evoking change talk and reducing sustain talk - two psycholinguistic constructs. In this paper, we want to discuss - based on the existing research and an expert workshop - benefits and possible applications of MI for organizations. By means of three examples from interaction analysis, we can show how coaches, facilitators and executives can implement principles of MI. Finally, we introduce two German versions of MI observation methods that help to objectively assess motivational interaction processes. Preliminary data shows that there is still a lack of motivational techniques within the observed interaction processes.   

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When is the "chemistry" right in Coaching? Publication with Coach - Client Relationship

Authors: Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld, Dipl. Psych. Patrizia Ianiro, Dipl. Psych. Carsten Schermuly (2012)

There is growing evidence that coaching is effective. However, little is known about the process variables critical for coaching success. Friendliness, openness and empathy are important. However, they do not necessarily lead to a sustainable and trusting relationship between coach and client.

A recent publication by Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld, Patrizia Ianiro and Carsten Schermuly examines the contribution of the behavioral dimensions “affiliation” and “dominance” for a positive coaching relationship and coaching success. Affiliation includes the friendliness. Dominance is the sovereign, self-confident attitude that the client expects of the coach. The client wants to be led by the coaching process, which is also required by the coach. But how dominant should the coach be?

For the study, coaching sessions were evaluated by video analysis with the Mangold INTERACT Software. The analysis shows that coach and client do not differ much from each other concerning affiliation dimensions – both show a similar kind.

There were major differences in dominance behavior. The study concludes that coaching will be particularly successful when coach and client show a similar dominance behavior. Although the client wants to be led, he is also aware of his own essential contribution in the success of the coaching. He would like to be acknowledged at “eye-level” with the coach. This contributes to the fact that the relationship is perceived by the client as being particularly constructive and successful.

Link to article in the Journal "Coaching"

Study with Mangold INTERACT: User-Related Energy Saving Potential

Authors: Dipl. Psych. Florian Klonek, Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld

Reduce Energy Demand - without extensive investments 
Large investments are not always necessary in saving energy, especially in large service companies (e.g. Hospitals and Universities). Up to 20% of the energy can be saved during daily work through energy-saving behavior as well as through technical and organizational operations. "Re-Co - Smart Energy Saving" is an EU-funded pilot project involving partners in 8 countries that examines these savings.   

The Human Factor 
The motivation of potential users in the implementation of energy saving is a key factor. One part of the Re-Co project is the development of a communication concept which involves users to work together on behavioral change measures. The goal is to create awareness of an "energy efficient" working day - through long-term changes in behavior. The desired side effect: to increase the understanding of energy saving measures and apply this knowledge to their everyday lives.   

Communication and Motivation 
Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld and Dipl. Psych. Florian Klonek from the Institute of Psychology at the Technical University of Braunschweig show in a recent study how users can reach goals and be motivated with energy-saving. With the help from the Mangold INTERACT Software the communication patterns between Re-Co consultants and users are presented and interpreted. Based on different scenarios, the study shows how strongly the projects depend on the micro-verbal communication level. The study also provides valuable information, such as valuable information for energy consultants and how to productively communicate with customers and users.   

Link to article "Listen and repeat - but listen carefully!"

Multiple research articles on comparative differential and personality psychology

Authors: Jana Uher

Multiple research articles on comparative differential and personality psychology. Research into primate personality and social relationships.

Link to "Primate Personality Net"

Speaking Up Is Related to Better Team Performance in Simulated Anesthesia Inductions: An Observational Study

Authors: Michaela Kolbe, Michael J. Burtscher, Johannes Wacker, Bastian Grande, Renata Nohynkova, Tanja Manser, Donat R. Spahn, Gudela Grote (2012)

Thegoal in this study was to test the relationship between speaking up—i.e., questioning, correcting, or clarifying a current procedure—and technical team performance in anesthesia. 
Hypothesis 1: team members’ higher levels of speaking up are related to higher levels of technical team performance. 
Hypothesis 2: team members will react to speaking up by either clarifying their procedure or initiating a procedural change. 
Hypothesis 3: higher levels of speaking up during an earlier phase of teamwork will be related to higher levels of speaking up during a later phase. 
This report was previously presented, in part, at the fourth International Workshop: Behavioural Science Applied to Surgery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; sixth Annual SIOP Conference, Chicago, IL; and 10th International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making, Orlando, FL. Parts of the raw data were also used for an analysis of interactions of team mental models and monitoring behaviors.

Link to "Anesthesia & Analgesia" journal

Gaze Patterns to a Speaker's Face in Typically Developing and ASD Children

Authors: Elician Celine Wartman, Nancy Riccardi, Nancy Rader (2012)

To study attention to a speaker in typically developing (TD) children and children with autism (ASD), we tested TD children in three age groups and one group of ASD children. The younger TD children and the ASD children spent less time looking at the speaker than the older TD children. ASD children also spent less time looking at the eyes than the mouth compared to age-similar TD children. These results reveal differences between age-similar TD children and in children with ASD in selective attention to a speaker’s face. The ASD looking pattern was most like that of TD toddlers. Poster Presentation at EPA, Pittsburg, USA, 2012


Fetal Exposure to Synthetic Oxytocin and Relationship with Prefeeding (PF) Cues Within One Hour Postbirth

Authors: Aleeca Bell, Kristin Rankin, Rosemary White-Traut (2012)

We introduce a new coding schema of prefeeding (PF) cues to explore whether fetal exposure to synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin) during labor is associated with the infant’s level of prefeeding organization shortly after birth.

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


"Follow my lead": What follows after one child's initiative in preschooler triads in a cooperative task?

Authors: Paula Döge, Heidi Keller (2012)

Peer interactions play an important role in children‘s everyday life in institutional daycare. Sustaining social interactions requires skills as attending to the interaction partner(s), mastering turn-taking and prosocial behavior (Fabes, Martin & Hanish, 2011). If cooperation is needed to master a task, these skills become even more important.
Peer triads represent a complex setting of interactional possibilities of all three children (Ishikawa & Hay, 2006). Initiatives constitute starting points to analyze how social interaction is negotiated in a cooperative task. By suggesting how to proceed one child offers opportunities for social practices. The other children’s reactions to the initiative are indicative for the involvement and social structure.
We therefore ask:
(1) To what extent and how are initiatives responded to by the other group members?
(2) Are there differences between boy and girl groups?
(3) What behavioral interaction sequence follows each initiative?

Poster Presentation at ISSBD Biennial Meeting, Edmonton, Canada, 2012


Rationality or Resonance? Eight-month-olds Copy Outcomes Rather Than Actions

Authors: Rebecca G. Sperotto, Elma Hilbrink, Elena Sakkalou, Kate Ellis-Davies, Merideth Gattis (2012)

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


Infants' Attention Patterns to People and Objects: Longitudinal Relations to Cortisol and a-Amylase

Authors: Corrine J. Zavala, Kaya de Barbaro, Andrea Chiba, Srikrishna Khandrika, Gedeon O. Deák (2012)

The current study aims to relate past animal and adult research on physiologically mediated vigilance to patters of infant attention. Infants at 6, 7 and 12 month performed a gaze- and point-cue following task in a controlled laboratory environment.

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


The Context of Early Helping Behavior

Authors: Audun Dahl, Rachel K. Schuck, C. Jennifer Hung, Alison Hsieh, Joseph J. Campos (2012)

Past research tell us little about young children't experiences with helping. The current studies represent two investigations of the context of helping behavior in everyday life during the second year.

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


Domain Differences in Early Prohibitive Interactions

Authors: Audun Dahl, Joseph J. Campos, Elliot Turiel (2012)

Are domain differences in social interactions present already in the beginning of the second year, after the onset of walking? Are domain differences limited to verbal justifications provided in response to transgressions, or are such differences also evident in other aspects of prohibitive interactions?

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


Successful Potsdam early intensive home-training for parents of autistic children - Comparison of training and control waiting group

Authors: Helmut Ott, Claire Molnar, Renate Frost, Juliane Höpfner, Asimwe Paehl

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) benefit from a behavior therapeutical early support in combination with an intensive parental home-training (20h/week for 12 month).


Verbal Interaction Sequences and Group Mood: Exploring the Role of Team Planning Communication

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Meyers, R. A., Kauffeld, S., Neininger, A., & Henschel, A. (2011)

Employing the framework of emotional contagion, this study investigated the link between group interaction sequences (specifically complaining and interest-in-change messages) and group mood. Fifty-two work group discussions from two German industrial enterprises were coded with the act4teams category system (e.g., Lehmann-Willenbrock & Kauffeld). Lag sequential analysis revealed complaining as well as interest-in-change cycles in the discussion flow. A two-dimension (arousal and pleasure) rating instrument was developed to assess group mood. Results showed that complaining cycles were linked to a passive group mood, and interest-in-change cycles were correlated with an active group mood. Neither complaining nor interest-in-change cycles were correlated with the pleasure dimension. We discuss theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of our findings as well as prospects for future research on interaction cycles and group mood.

Group mood, complaining, interest-in-change, planning communication, lag sequential analysis

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Task and Relationship Conflict at work: Development and Construct Validation of a German Version of Jehn’s Intragroup Conflict scale

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Grohmann, A., & Kauffeld, S. (2011)

The distinction between task and relationship conflict is well established. Based on Jehn’s (1995) intragroup conflict scale, we developed an economic six-item questionnaire for assessing relationship and task conflict in work groups. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed on data from a convenience sample (N = 247), and confirmed the original two-factor solution. The stability of the obtained two-factor solution was supported by confirmatory factor analysis in a longitudinal design with a second sample (N = 431) from the industrial sector. In line with previous research, the two types of conflict were intercorrelated. Moreover, the two subscales showed differential longitudinal effects on team outcomes. Task conflict was beneficial for performance in nonroutine tasks (but not in routine tasks). Relationship conflict had a negative impact on team viability and coworker trust. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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Micro-analysis of infant looking in a naturalistic social setting: Insights from biologically based models of attention

Authors: de Barbaro, K., Chiba, A., Deak, G.O. (2011)

A current theory of attention posits that several micro-indices of attentional vigilance are dependent on activation of the locus coeruleus, a brainstem nucleus that regulates cortical norepinephrine activity (Aston-Jones et al., 1999). This theory may account for many findings in the infant literature, while highlighting important new areas for research and theory on infant attention. We examined the visual behaviors of n = 16 infants (6–7 months) while they attended to multiple spatially distributed
targets in a naturalistic environment. We coded four measures of attentional vigilance, adapted from studies of norepinergic modulation of animal attention: rate of fixations, duration of fixations, latency to reorientation, and target ‘hits’. These measures showed a high degree of coherence in individual infants, in parallel with findings from animal studies. Results also suggest that less vigilant infants showed greater habituation to the trial structure and more attentiveness to less salient stimuli during periods of high attentional competition. This pattern of results is predicted by the Aston-Jones model of attention, but could not be explained by the standard information processing model.


Looking Away from the Speaker's Mouth: A Developmental Shift from Infancy to Preschool

Authors: Nancy Rader, Patricial Zukow-Goldring, Elizabeth Stuprich, Michelle Rhoades (2011)

Our research examined where infants and children focus their attention when viewing a speaker. We hypothesized that infants would spend more time looking at the speaker’s mouth than the eyes, while preschool children would spend more time looking at the speaker’s eyes than the mouth. Using eye tracking technology, we measured gaze duration to the eyes and mouth of the speaker. The results supported our hypothesis.

Poster Presentation at SRCD, Montreal, Canada, 2011


The Stability of Infant Preferences for Socially Based Attention: Observational, Experimental and Longitudinal Analysis

Authors: Kate Ellis-Davies, Elena Sakkalou, Nia Fowler, Elma Hilbrink, Merideth Gattis (2011)

The current study aims to explre the stability of social preferences across time and context using mother-infant interactions, experimental tasks and parental reports.
39 mothers were recruited during the last trimester of pregnancy for the First Steps Longitudinal Study. All participants were singletons and born at term.

Poster Presentation at SRCD Biennial Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2011


Children's coping strategies and stress regulation during the transition from home to child care

Authors: Tina Eckstein, Lieselotte Ahnert, Gregor Kappler (2011)

For some years, students of behavioral development have acknowledged early childhood as a period during which the main coping strategies in life develop in order to regulate negative emotions. Whilst experimental research in laboratories shows whether and how, young children cope with evoked frustrations or irritations, much less is known about how children deal with significant situations that occur naturally in their daily lives. The present study therefore aims to investigate how children cope when they are taken into child care, wondering whether specific behavioral patterns could be identified that aid children in their struggle to cope with the new environment and how these coping strategies influence the physiological stress regulation as reflected in diurnal cortisol patterns.

Poster Presentation at SRCD Biennial Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2011


Assessing Joint Engagement in Toddlers: Observations and Ratings Compared

Authors: Roger Bakeman, Lauren B. Adamson, P. Brooke Nelson, Nevena Dimitrova (2011)

Systematic Observation Takes Time:
Observation of children's social behavior - asking trained and reliable observers to assign behavioral codes to event or time intervals - is a common measurement strategy among behavioral scientists.

Poster Presentation at SRCD Biennial Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2011


Educational moments in the early parent-child-dialog - Early Childhood Educational-research on the basis of INTERACT analysis

Authors: Ursula Horsch (2011)

Our goal is to conduct comparative educational-research with children with and without disabilities. The research projects Babywatching – infant research (1999-2003), dialogical development in infants (Horsch et al. 2004-2008) as well as the research project early childhood Bildung in hearing impaired children that began in 2008 (Horsch et al. 2008-2011) pursue the questions of early childhood education for the first time within a framework of extensive international studies. They study the connection between the development of relationship and dialog within early parent-child-interactions and the therein possible early educational processes in the age range of zero to two years. We have used the listening age as a basis for children with hearing loss. Therefore the age limit is elevated by up to two years (Horsch, Scheele, Roth, Schulze, Fürst 2009).


Learning from mother's face

Authors: Margarete I. Bolten, Silvia Schneider (2011)

An experimental examination of the transgenerational transmission of anxiety.


The Downside of Communication: Complaining Circles in Group Discussions

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., & Kauffeld, S. (2010)

In book S. Schuman (Ed.), The handbook for working with difficult groups: How they are difficult, why they are difficult, what you can do (pp. 33-54).
San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Wiley

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Relations between Early Regulatory Disorders and Maternal Play Strategies

Authors: Helene Gudi (2010)

Self-regulation, a complex construct, has been defined as the infants' growing capacities to calm on their own, tolerate frustrations, adapt to transitions, initate and cease activities according to situational demands, modulate their state of arousal, and regulate their emotions and behaviors.


An Augmented Toy and Social Interaction in Children with Autism

Authors: Steve Hinske, William Farr and Nicola Yuill (2010)

An Augmented Knights Castle (AKC) play set was adapted so that children with autism can configure programmable elements. This is compared with a non-configurable AKC and when the AKC set is switched-off. When the system is configurable, and when it is switched on, less solitary play and more cooperative play occur. Digital toys, and their configurability are key factors in design for children with autism allowing greater individual control and more socially oriented behaviour. We suggest that tangibles provide a safety net for encouraging social interaction as they allow for a broad range of interaction styles.


Sympathy Through Affective Perspective Taking and Its Relation to Prosocial Behavior in Toddlers

Authors: Amrisha Vaish, Malinda Carpenter, Michael Tomasello (2009)

In most research on the early ontogeny of sympathy, young children are presented with an overtly distressed person and their responses are observed. In the current study, the authors asked whether young children could also sympathize with a person to whom something negative had happened but who was expressing no emotion at all. They showed 18- and 25-month-olds an adult either harming another adult by destroying or taking away her possessions (harm condition) or else doing something similar that did not harm her (neutral condition). The “victim” expressed no emotions in either condition. Nevertheless, in the harm as compared with the neutral condition, children showed more concern and subsequent prosocial behavior toward the victim. Moreover, children’s concerned looks during the harmful event were positively correlated with their subsequent prosocial behavior. Very young children can sympathize with a victim even in the absence of overt emotional signals, possibly by some form of affective perspective taking.

Link to Publication at APA - American Psychological Association

A micro-analytic evaluation of parents watching a nondiagnostic ultrasound-based video of their fetus at mid-gestation

Authors: Stadlmayr W., Boukydis C., Bichsel S. (2009)

How pregnant women in difficult psycho-social circumstances experience foetal ultra-sound exams has been used for counselling1. Few studies have addressed the parental interaction, i.e. the couples’ behaviour while watching their fetus during US examinations.


A Study on Designer’s Mental Process of Information Categorization in the Early Stages of Design

Authors: Jieun Kim, Carole Bouchard, Jean-Francois Omhover, Ameziane Aoussat, Laurence Moscardini, Aline Chevalier, Charles Tijus, Francois Buron (2009)

Paper at ISADR (International Association of Societies of Design Research) 2009, Seoul, Korea
This research explores how designers mentally categorize design information during early sketching in the early stages of design. With the purpose of identifying various types of mental information and related cognitive operations, the empirical study has been conducted with 8 experienced product designers through the concurrent verbalization. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the results is also presented.


Dialogue and Education in the Preverbal Period - A Study on the Situation of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants in the Early Educational Process

Authors: Ursula Horsch (2008)

From the very first day of life parents are in close contact with their child. They introduce as well other people as the world to their newborn in a mutually dialogical way. Proceeding hand in hand they pass on basic dialogical competences. The research project Dialogic Development of Infants (Horsch et al. 2004 – 2007) addresses the broad dialogic development of parents and infants within the first 18 months of life. Our objective is to describe these preverbal dialogs.

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Partners in Dialogue - A Single Case Study Referring to the Development of Spoken and Sign Language of a Child with CHARGE Syndrome

Authors: Ursula Horsch, Andrea Scheele (2008)

The increasing possibilities of medical care effects rare syndromes as reasons for severe disabilities. One of these rare syndromes is CHARGE Syndrome with aprevalence of 1:12 000. In Germany there is no research referring this syndrome.In the following, selected results of a twelve months long single casestudy referring dialogical development between a father and his 2.5 years old son with CHARGE Syndrome are presented. The focus is especially on the development of spoken and sign language within the dialogue between the two partners.

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Do as I do: 7-month-old infants selectively reproduce others' goal

Authors: J. Kiley Hamlin, Elizabeth V. Hallinan, Amanda L. Woodward (2008)

In this study, they tested whether 7-month-old infants would selectively imitate the goal-relevant aspects of an observed action. Infants saw an experimenter perform an action on one of two small toys and then were given the opportunity to act on the toys. Infants viewed actions that were either goal-directed or goal-ambiguous, and that represented either completed or uncompleted goals. Infants reproduced the goal of the experimenter only in those cases where the action was goal-directed, in both the complete and incomplete goal conditions. These results provide the first evidence that infants as young as 7 months of age selectively imitate actions based on their goal-directedness, and that they are able to analyze the goals of even uncompleted actions. Even during the first year of life, infants' sensitivity to goal-directed action is expressed not only in their responses in visual habituation procedures, but also in their overt actions.


Dialogic Development of Infants Turns as basic patterns of the dialogue in the parent-infant-dyad

Authors: Research Project Horsch et al. (2007)

Abstract: From the very first day of life parents are in close contact with their child and introduce both - other people and the world to their newborn in a mutually dialogic way.


Maternal bond and mother-child interaction in severe postpartum psychiatric disorders: Is there a link?

Authors: P. Trautmann-Villalba, Ch. Hornstein, E. Hohm, E. Rave, S. Wortmann-Fleischer, M. Schwarz (2006)

Mothers in the puerperium are vulnerable to a wide spectrum of postpartum psychiatric disorders. One of the central psychological processes of the puerperium is the development of an emotional relationship with the baby. The bond on the infant as well as the interaction with the baby are two aspects of the mother-infant relationship that can be disturbed by mothers with postpartum psychiatric disorders.


Father-infant interaction patterns as precursors of children's later externalizing behavior problems

Authors: P. Trautmann-Villalba, M. Gschwendt, M. H. Schmidt, M. Laucht (2006)

This study examined the extend to which fathers' and infants' interaction behavior were related to children's externalizing behavior problems at age 8 and 11 years.


Short Communication - Adult gaze influences infant attention and object processing: implications for cognitive neuroscience

Authors:  Vincent M. Reid, Tricia Striano (2005)

Infants follow others’ gaze toward external objects from early in ontogeny, but whether they use others’ gaze in processing information about objects remains unknown. In Experiment 1, 4-month-old infants viewed a video presentation of an adult gazing toward one of two objects. When presented with the same objects alone a second time, infants looked reliably less at the object to which the adult had directly gazed (cued object). This suggests that the uncued object was perceived as more novel than the object previously cued by the adult’s gaze. In Experiment 2, adult gaze was not directed towards any object. In this control experiment, infants looked at both objects equally in the test phase. These findings show that adult eye gaze biases infant visual attention and information processing. Implications of the paradigm for cognitive neuroscience are presented and the results are discussed in terms of neural structures and change over ontogeny.

Link to Publication at Infancy Research Website

Unwilling Versus Unable - Infants’ Understanding of Intentional Action

Authors: Tanya Behne, Malinda Carpenter, Josep Call and Michael Tomasello (2005)

Infants experienced a female adult handing them toys. Sometimes, however, the transaction failed, either because the adult was in various ways unwilling to give the toy (e.g., she teased the child with it or played with it herself) or else because she was unable to give it (e.g., she accidentally dropped it). Infants at 9, 12, and 18 months of age reacted with more impatience (e.g., reaching, looking away) when the adult was unwilling to give them the toy than when she was simply unable to give it. Six-month-olds, in contrast, showed no evidence of this differentiation. Because infants’ behavioral responses were appropriately adapted to different kinds of intentional actions, and because the adult’s actions sometimes produced results that did not match her goal (when having accidents or failed attempts), these findings provide especially rich evidence that infants first begin to understand goal-directed action at around 9 months of age.


Context dependent gender role self-concept activation

Authors: Ursula Athenstaedt (2004)

Abstract: The research investigated changes of gender role self-concept (GRS) in dependence of situational aspects and, additionally, its relevance for communication behavior. GRS is defined as the amount of self-ascribed attributes and behaviors that are assumed to be more typical for men or women...


ADHD Symptoms, Inhibitory Control and Parenting among Mothers of Children with and without ADHD 

Authors: Iris Shilo and Anat Zaidman-Zait

Parenting is one of the complex tasks of adulthood which requires cognitive, emotional, and behavioral endeavor. Belsky’s process model identifies three domains of determinants of parental functioning: parents’ personal psychological resources, contextual sources of stress and support, and child’s characteristics.

Recently there has been an increased research on parental cognitive and affective functioning as determinants of parenting behaviors. Parental ADHD symptoms are related to a broad range of parenting difficulties. In the context of high hereditary of ADHD, it is probable that among parents with elevated symptoms of ADHD, parenting challenges stem from the presence of ADHD symptoms in their children.

Inhibitory control is critical to parents’ controlled response to their child’s misbehaviors, to hold back from intervening or hovering, and suppress interference in order to maintain child focus. Inhibitory control is one of the ADHD-related core deficits. Hence, it might be an important capacity in linking parental ADHD and parenting impairments.

In addition, the difficulties in inhibitory control that might make it difficult for parents to remain calm and consistent in their approaches to child behavior, would be even more pronounce in the context of parenting a child with ADHD.

Human Computer Interaction and Human Factors

Student’s Perspective and Teachers’ Metacognition: Applications of Eye-Tracking in Education and Scientific Research in Schools

Authors: da Silva Soares R. Jr., Lukasova K., Carthery-Goulart M. T., Sato J. R. (2021)

This Perspective article discusses the possible contributions of eye-tracking (ET) to the field of Educational Neuroscience based on an application of this tool at schools. We thought to explore the teachers’ view of ET videos recorded while students solved mathematical problems. More than 90% of the teachers could predict with great accuracy whether the students had answered the questions correctly or not based solely on the information provided by the ET videos. Almost all participants tried to translate the students’ thoughts to understand the strategy used by the children. Our results highlight the relevance of qualitative analysis to identify the gaze strategies used by students. We propose that ET allows teachers to gain critical feedback about students’ behavior during problem-solving. Most previous studies tend to emphasize the benefits of ET applications to explore learners’ cognition. Our findings point that this system can also be useful to investigate teachers’ cognition by providing metacognitive experiences.

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E-learning and use of video as a suitable medium (Využívání videa jako vhodného média)

Authors: Eger Ludvík, Egerová Dana, Fakulta ekonomická Universitní 8, Plzen

Video was in the textbooks of e-learning considered as marginal medium for e-learning still in the beginning of the new millennium. In the same time video conferences and virtual classrooms (later webinars) were considered as innovations.
With the development of ICT and start of phenomenons like YouTube or Vimeo the situation has been changing and video is demanded part of e-learning. Video has become an effective medium in e-learning and it is also from strategic point of view suitable to efficiently implement it in to the courses in combination with other elements. Video can for example initiate discussion, call the students to analytical thinking, be viewed repeatedly (also in smaller parts), have emotional charge and contain further information resources such as web pages, pictures, and schemes. After all there is no need to discuss general ability of stimulation with visual materials.

The paper presents pilot research of video in e-learning with help of eye tracker and it brings important questions to the experts' discussion.


The Visual Appeal of Destination Web Pages - An Exploratory Eye Tracking Study on Generation Y

Authors: Gustavo Barbosa Rosa, University of São Paolo, Petr Janecek and Jan Tluchor, University of West Bohemia

Innovation Management and Education Excellence Vision 2020:
From Regional Development Sustainability to Global Economic Growth

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have dramatically changed the provision of tourism destination information. That is the reason it is becoming critical for destination and businesses in the tourism industry to have a strong online presence. In order to achieve this goal, the proper use of online channels is crucial. The goal becomes more difficult when considering different behavior of web page users regarding their age cohort. The article focuses on Generation Y web page users and their evaluation of selected official town destinations' web pages. (5 main tourisms attractions in Central Europe). The focus is on visual appeal of the websites.

With help of a mix of qualitative research approaches, including an eye tracking study followed by questionnaires, the authors evaluate those web pages from different points of view and try to compare the results. The authors also found several conclusions for positioning of various visual contents of the web page ...

The study was published on the 27th International Business Information Management Association Conference 2016 in Milano, Italy.


How Developers Use API Documentation: An Observation Study

Authors: Meng, M., Steinhardt, S.M., Schubert, A. (2019) 

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) play a crucial role in modern software engineering. However, learning to use a new API often is a challenge for developers. In order to support the learning process effectively, we need to understand how developers use documentation when starting to work with a new API. We report an exploratory study that observed developers while they solved programming tasks involving a simple API. The results reveal differences regarding developer activities and documentation usage that a successful design strategy for API documentation needs to accommodate. Several guidelines to optimize API documentation are discussed.


Optimizing API Documentation: Some Guidelines and Effects

Authors: Meng, M., Steinhardt, S.M., Schubert, A. (2020)

The growing importance of APIs creates a need to support developers with effective documentation. Prior research has generated important findings regarding information needs of developers and expectations they form towards API documentation. Several guidelines have been proposed on the basis of these findings, but evidence is lacking whether such guidelines actually lead to better documentation.This paper contributes the results of an empirical test that compared the performance of two groups of developers working on a set of pre-defined tasks with an API they were unfamiliar with. One group had access to documentation which was optimized following guidelines for API documentation design proposed in the literature whereas the other group used non-optimized documentation. Results show that developers working with optimized documentation made fewer errors on the test tasks and were faster in planning and executing the tasks. We conclude that the guidelines used in our study do have the intended effect and effectively support initial interactions with an API.


Eye movement analysis of reading from computer displays, eReaders and printed books

Authors: Daniela Zambarbieri, Elena Carniglia

To compare eye movements during silent reading of three eBooks and a printed book. The three different eReading tools were a desktop PC, iPad tablet and Kindle eReader.

Video-oculographic technology was used for recording eye movements.
In the case of reading from the computer display the recordings were made by a video camera placed below the computer screen, whereas for reading from the iPad tablet, eReader and printed book the recording system was worn by the subject and had two cameras: one for recording the movement of the eyes and the other for recording the scene in front of the subject.

Data analysis provided quantitative information in terms of number of fixations, their duration, and the direction of the movement, the latter to distinguish between fixations and regressions. Mean fixation duration was different only in reading from the computer display, and was similar for the Tablet, eReader and printed book. The percentage of regressions with respect to the total amount of fixations was comparable for eReading tools and the printed book.


The analysis of eye movements during reading an eBook from different eReading tools suggests that subjects’ reading behaviour is similar to reading from a printed book.
The study was published in The Journal of the College of Optometrists - Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics, 2012.


Apply Web-based Analytic Tool and Eye Tracking to Study the Consumer Preference of DSLR Cameras

Authors: Jih-Syongh Lin, Shih-Yen Huang

Consumer’s preferences and purchase motivation of products often lie in the purchasing behaviors generated by the synthetic evaluation of form features, color, function, and price of products. If an enterprise can bring these criteria under control, they can grasp the opportunities in the market place. In this study, the product form, brand, and prices of five DSLR digital cameras of Nikon, Lumix, Pentax, Sony, and Olympus were investigated from the image evaluation and eye tracking. The web-based 2-dimensional analytical tool was used to present information on three layers. Layer A provided information of product form and brand name; Layer B for product form, brand name, and product price for the evaluation of purchase intention (X axis) and product form attraction (Y axis). On Layer C, Nikon J1 image samples of five color series were presented for the evaluation of attraction and purchase intention. The study results revealed that, among five Japanese brands of digital cameras, LUMIX GF3 is most preferred and serves as the major competitive product, with a product price of US$630. Through the visual focus of eye-tracking, the lens, curvatured handle bar, the curve part and shuttle button above the lens as well as the flexible flash of LUMIX GF3 are the parts that attract the consumer’s eyes. From the verbal descriptions, it is found that consumers emphasize the functions of 3D support lens, continuous focusing in shooting video, iA intelligent scene mode, and all manual control support. In the color preference of Nikon J1, the red and white colors are most preferred while pink is least favored. These findings can serve as references for designers and marketing personnel in new product design and development. The study was published in the International Journal of Business Research and Management. Vol. (4), Issue (4), 2013.


Driving behavior pattern analysis for elderly people

Authors: Guan-Lun Chen, Jia-Yuarn Guo, Chia-Tso Huang

The study aims at evaluating factors associated with driving patterns and self-reported driving difficulty, with particular attention to vision and cognitive impairment. This study uses cross-sectional data from 10 elderly participants (65 years old or older) and 10 young participants along with simulation program, and comparison is by putting on mobile eye tractor. Neurocognitive tests, driving simulation, and road tests provide complementary sources of evidence to evaluate driver safety. No single test is sufficient to determine who should drive and who should not. Finally, we compare the concentration ability and reaction ability between elderly and young participants.


Casestudy: Portable lab - know-how in a briefcase / MyBOOM relies on Mangold technology

Authors: Thorsten Voß

Why Westphalian Internet service provider MyBOOM relies on Mangold technology.


When the Fingers do the Talking: A Study of Group Participation with Varying Constrains to a Tabletop Interface

Authors: Paul Marshall, Eva Hornecker, Richard Morris, Nick Sheep Dalton and Yvonne Rogers

A user study is presented that investigates how different configurations of input can influence equity of participation around a tabletop interface. Groups of three worked on a design task requiring negotiation in four interface conditions that varied the number (all members can act or only one) and type (touch versus mice) of input. Our findings show that a multi-touch surface increases physical interaction equity and perceptions of dominance, but does not affect levels of verbal participation. Dominant people still continue to talk the most, while quiet ones remain quiet. Qualitative analyses further revealed how other factors can affect how participants contribute to the task. The findings are discussed in terms of how the design of the physicaltechnological set-up can affect the desired form of collaboration.


Behavioural Analysis of the Tower Controller Activity

Authors: Ella Pinska and Marc Bourgois

In this paper we report on an initial study concerning the importance of direct observation for control tower activity. The results confirm that looking outside of the window is the most frequent and longest activity of the tower controller, occuoying him for roughly 30-40% of the time. Two other significant activities were scanning radar image and strips. The change of attention between these three information sources is frequent but not in a defined order.


Virtual cognitive model for Miyazawa Kenji based on speech and facial images recognition

Authors: Hamido Fujita, Jun Hakura and Masaki Kurematsu

In this paper we a representing a virtual interactive model based on cognitive model of Miyazawa Kenji. We created a computer model based on cognitive thinking of Kenji literature on story telling. The user can interact in real time with Virtual Kenji. The facial gestures been collected and analyzed through Motion capture system consists of six camera. These six cameras set to collect all emotional facial gestures of people who read and practice an recorded assigned Kenji manuscripts for experiment. Each person has 50 markers of 5 mm size attached to all parts of the face (lips, mouth, eyebrow, moustache, eyelash, forehead). The emotional linkage between these facials parts and cognitive emotion been analyzed and recorded. We have proposed a database; called as Facial recognition database based on FACS model, Also we have correspondingly, speech synthesis part that would analyze the emotional part of human speech. These synthesized two parts are been re-constructed on hologram that represents the cognitively the character of Kenji virtual model who has a face with gestures harmonize with a speech and facial images generated by the system. Also, the system interacts with the human user based on collected observed response on human user and inference by the system in real time.


Labeling of Gestures in SmartKom − Concept of the Coding System

Authors: Silke Steininger

The SmartKom project is concerned with the development of an intelligent computer−user interface that allows a user to communicate almost naturally with an adaptive and self−explanatory dialogue system. Among other things the system will be able to analyze the gestural input of the user. To train a gesture analyzer, data is required, preferably realistic data. One of the tasks of our institute in the project is the collection and annotation of such data. Since the machine does not yet exist the data collection is done with help of so called Wizard of Oz−experiments: The system is simulated by humans (the "wizards") and the subjects are made believe that they interact with an existing machine. We record the subjects (video and audio) as they solve short tasks. The recordings are labeled off−line with respect to the gestures that the subjects used.


Evaluating Software Support for Video Data Capture and Analysis in Collaborative Design Studies

Authors: Linda Candy, Zafer Bilda, Mary Lou Maher and John S. Gero

In order to understand the implications of introducing new digital tools into design practice, research into how designers work collaboratively using both traditional and digital media is being undertaken. For that purpose it is necessary to gather large quantities of empirical data and this poses problems as to how to manage and analyse that data effectively. This paper describes the evaluation of a software system for capturing and analysing video data in the context of collaborative design studies. These studies will generate large amounts of data and support for its management and analysis is vital to the successful completion of the work. In order to find a match to our specific requirements, we conducted a survey from which the software application, INTERACT was identified. A study of its use and suitability was carried out in conditions as near as possible to the intended research. We found that INTERACT met our requirements and provided significant efficiency gains for the analysis of the data.


Comparing Collaborative Design Behavior in Remote Sketching and 3D Virtual Worlds

Authors: Mary Lou Maher, Zafer Bilda and David Marchant

The aim of this study is to compare two architects’ collaborative design behaviour while using a shared whiteboard application in one design session and a 3D virtual world in a second design session. Our preliminary analysis shows that designers spend more time discussing design ideas while sketching and more time creating the design model and inspecting spatial relationships while in a 3D virtual world.


Example using the MangoldVision Eye Tracker in Augmented Reality Based E-Commerce Platform

Authors: Min-Chai Hsieh and Hao-Chiang Lin

This Taiwanese presentation shows an example of using the MangoldVision Eye Tracker in studies on an augmented reality based e-commerce platform.


Studies on Visual Illusion Figures using the MangoldVision Eye Tracker

Authors: Mei-Chi Chen and Hao-Chiang Lin

This Taiwanese presentation shows an application of the MangoldVision Eye Tracker in psychological studies on Visual Illusion Figures.

Behavior Research Methods

Discover the Invisible Through Tool-Supported Scientific Observation

Authors: Pascal Mangold (2018)

A Best Practice Guide to Video-Supported Behavior Observation

Observation appears to be a simple skill. It is assumed to be something everyone does every day since early childhood, and thus, it seems to be an easy and well-trained skill. However, observation of behavior with a scientific outcome is far from easy. It requires a well-thought-out method based on scientific knowledge and hypothesis. It further requires appropriate software tools to create reliable data and new findings with significant validity in a reasonable time. The significant difference between everyday observation and scientific observation and the enormous chances specific software tools can create in this field are discussed in this document.


KappaAcc: A program for assessing the adequacy of kappa 

Authors: Roger Bakeman

Categorical cutpoints used to assess the adequacy of various statistics—like small, medium, and large for correlation coefficients of .10, .30, and .50 (Cohen, Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.)—are as useful as they are arbitrary, but not all statistics are suitable candidates for categorical cutpoints. One such is kappa, a statistic that gauges inter-observer agreement corrected for chance (Cohen Educational and Psychological Measurement, 20(1), 37–46, Cohen, Educational and Psychological Measurement 20:37–46, 1960). Depending on circumstances, a specific value of kappa may be judged adequate in one case but not in another. Thus, no one value of kappa can be regarded as universally acceptable and the question for investigators should be, are observers accurate enough, not is kappa big enough. A principled way to assess whether a specific value of kappa is adequate is to estimate observer accuracy—how accurate would simulated observers need to be to have generated a specific value of kappa obtained by actual observers, given specific circumstances. Estimating observer accuracy based on a kappa table the user provides is what KappaAcc, the program described here, does.

Bakeman, R. (2022). KappaAcc: A program for assessing the adequacy of kappa. Behavior Research Methods.


Proceeding studies on behavior - not only a challenge for professional tools

Authors: Pascal Mangold

The following insights are based on my company’s long term empirical experience as system developer in the field of behavioral research. The paper discusses several aspects of data collection and analysis in day to day studies on behavior. It points out the necessity of using specialized software tools in behavioral research. It shows why video recordings are very beneficial for analysis and not only for documentation purpose. It discusses the advantages of using structured coding schemas instead of taking notes only. Finally the possibilities of the INTERACT software tool environment are sketched.


Practice Based Research: A Guide

Authors: Linda Candy

Abstract: Practice-based Research is an original investigation undertaken in order to gain new knowledge partly by means of practice and the outcomes of that practice. In a doctoral thesis, claims of originality and contribution to knowledge may be demonstrated through creative outcomes in the form of designs, music, digital media, performances and exhibitions. Whilst the significance and context of the claims are described in words, a full understanding can only be obtained with direct reference to the outcomes.

Studies on Animals

Rearing of female calves and young cattle in agricultural enterprises Part III Normal behaviour of calves in motherless, intensive rearing

Authors: Schuldt A., and Dinse R. (2023)

The studies on the behaviour of female German Holstein calves in intensive off-cow breeding were carried out in an agricultural enterprise in Mecklen-burg-Vorpommern. The calves were kept in hutches with a run to the end of week 4 at the latest. The calves were moved from week 3 to subsequent group housing in a pen with a litter-covered lying area and concrete running area. The maximum age difference within a group was 4 weeks. The calves were reared with a maximum daily allowance of 12 L CMR-feed up to day 49 and weaned on day 106. Over the entire feeding period, CMR powder (50% skim milk fraction) was used at a concentration of 160 g/L water. Hay and dry total mixed ration (TMR) were used as supplementary feed provided fresh daily ad libitum in racks and troughs with TMR gradually replacing the dry TMR during weaning. The calf pen was fitted with elements to investigate which activity options were preferred by the animals. A tyre freely hanging on a rope with a ball (ball), a cattle brush for calves (brush) and board with four chains (chains) were in-stalled in the pen. It was also investigated whether the calves accepted dum-my teats. The behaviour of the calves was recorded continuously over 24 hours with video cameras from the day they moved into the barn to the day they moved out. In total, data from 13 calves in five rounds over 212 days with 4,569.5 hours of video recordings were coded with the Interact program from Mangold and statistically processed and analysed by week of life (week 3–7 and week 8–15) or day of life (day 50 to 105) with Interact and Excel 2019 MSO from Microsoft (Version 2207). The analysis of behaviour with maximum allowance (12 L CMR-feed per animal up to day 49, n = 9 calves) was carried out for the functional areas rest, food and water-intake, social behaviour (calf–calf contacts), and ‘other activi-ties’, which include exploratory, play, locomotion and elimination behaviours. Exploration (licking of objects) and play were coded, while locomotion (stand-ing without activity, slow and fast running, jumping, galloping) and elimination were calculated from the difference in the duration of the activities and the behaviour coded in this phase and summarised as locomotion behaviour. The use of toys, visits without CMR-feed-intake and sucking activities (cross-sucking, sucking on dummy teats) were assessed separately. From the studies, an ethogram for calves in off-cow rearing can be derived: Circadian rhythm Calves develop a distinct circadian rhythm that underlies almost all behav-iours. The behaviour at night, that is, from 12 midnight to about 6:00 a.m., alternates between long resting phases with brief wake phases for defecation and urination as well as the intake of CMR-feed, supplementary feed and/or water. During the day, from 6:00 a.m. to 12 midnight, the calves alternate between active and resting phases, which are considerably shorter than over-night. Resting behaviour The calves seek out protected places to rest. After a brief interruption, they often lay down in the same place where they had stood up. Young calves rest daily for 14 to 18 hours for an average of 30 to 45 minutes during the day and for 60 to 180 minutes at night. In the mornings and evenings the resting times are somewhat shorter than over midday. Feeding behaviour The sucking behaviour at the dispensing station corresponds to the natural sucking at a cow in terms of the posture, bunting and tail movements as well as the mean number of four to five meals per day. The individual meals last on average four to six minutes with a rising trend. Visits to the dispensing station without milk intake occur briefly up to day 49 and last less than one minute on average. In the week when the calves are adjusting to the free feed-intake, up to four of these blind visits per animal and day are tolerable, thereafter a daily average of one to three up to weaning. In the weaning phase slightly longer blind visits in an increasing number can be considered normal if they do not significantly exceed a daily average of 10 per animal. Up to the end of week 7, calves frequently ingest supplementary feed over the course of the day with only a short eating duration. The number increases to about 20 meals per day and the duration to about three minutes per meal. The calves drink water from the start for about one minute and the frequency and duration increase with the intake of supplementary feed. Individual animals have a distinct sucking need that cannot be satisfied through the feed-intake even with the highest CMR-feed-allowances. If these are isolated cases, cross-sucking of another calf can be tolerated. Sucking calves from a maternal sucking family should be excluded from breeding, however. Dummy teats are accepted by the calves but cannot prevent cross-sucking and are used less than a moveable toy. Social behaviour Calves smell and lick each other, play together and rest closely with one an-other. Hierarchical disputes are not observed before weaning. There were no signs in the behaviour of the young calves that indicate that the calves are stressed by the absence of the mother–child relationship. Locomotion and play behaviour Calves run, jump and gallop around, often together and encouraging each other. Intense activities are often observed in the evening hours. Playful headbutting starts as early as week 2. Calves prefer to use moveable objects that they can make swing as toys. These toys are licked, sucked or sniffed, often by several calves at the same time. Locomotion and play behaviour can be summarised as ‘other behav-iours’ to evaluate the well-being of calves. The daily average of the percent-age of the active time spent on these behaviours should be at least 80% up to weaning. When weaning, the percentage decreases because of the increas-ing intake of supplementary feed but should not be less than 60% of the ac-tivities. Weaning Moderate weaning is recommended from the perspective of animal behav-iour so that the animals rest for long periods, only make few unrewarded visits to the dispensing station and are ensured of having a high supplementary feed-intake upon weaning. Because the maximum milk replacer allowance must be provided up to day 49, this results in a recommended weaning age of at least 105 days.

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Usage of outdoor runs and defaecation behaviour of fattening pigs

Authors: Höne U., Krause E. T., Bussemas R., Traulsen I., Schrader L. (2023)

Access to an outdoor run improves the housing conditions of fattening pigs by an enlarged space allowance, access to different climatic conditions and environmental stimulation. One central conflicting issue regarding outdoor runs is the emission of harmful gases such as ammonia resulting from faeces and urine. However, by establishing appropriate functional areas in fattening pens, the area soiled by faeces and urine can potentially be reduced. Here, we investigated the usage of an outdoor run and the frequencies and locations of defaecation behaviour of fattening pigs kept in groups of ten in eight pens. Usage of the outdoor run was registered by scan sampling at the group level in three observation periods (pigs at 16, 19, and 22 weeks of age). Furthermore, in each pen, two focal pigs were individually marked and continuously observed for 24 h in each observation period to record defaecation behaviour. At the group level, the fattening pigs used the outdoor run mainly during the daytime between 06:00 h and 20:00 h. A total of 99.4% of defaecation events occurred in the outdoor run, most often in the corner next to the wall of the barn. On average, 11.08 ( ± SD 3.06) defaecation events per pig per day were recorded, whereby the time of day significantly affected the relative frequencies of defaecation behaviour (GLMER, X12 = 4.11, P < 0.043). Fattening pigs defaecated more often during the daytime than during the nighttime. The number of daily defaecations decreased with age. In pens as used in our study, fattening pigs perform nearly all defaecations in the outdoor run and within a small area. This may enable technical possibilities to reduce ammonia emissions in pig pens with outdoor runs, such as regular cleaning of dunging areas by an automatic floor scraper.

Organic pig farming; Fattening pigs; Outdoor runs; Elimination areas; Defaecation behaviour

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Lateralization and Performance Asymmetries in the Termite Fishing of Wild
Chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo


The nearly universal right hand preference manifested by human populations is one of the most pronounced manifestations of population-level lateralization. Morphological and archeological evidence indicate that this behavioral specialization may have emerged among our hominin ancestors. Whether population-level behavioral asymmetries are evident in non-human animals remains a topic of considerable scientific debate, with the most consistent evidence of population-level trends emerging from studies of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). However, previous studies of population-level lateralization in wild apes have relied upon data sets pooled across populations to reach adequate sample sizes. Our aim was to test for population-level handedness within a single wild chimpanzee population, and also to determine if performance asymmetries were associated with handedness. To address these questions, we coded handedness and duration of fishing probe insertions from remote video footage of chimpanzee visitation to termite nests (totaling 119 hr) in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo. Similar to reports from other populations, chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle showed robust individual hand preferences for termite fishing. There were 46 righthanded, 39 left-handed, and 4 ambiguously-handed individuals. Though we did not detect an overall significant population-level handedness (t(88)¼0.83, n.s.) in this study, males showed a greater right hand preference than females. Further, we found that average dipping latencies were significantly faster for right- compared to left-handed chimpanzees. Possible explanations and evolutionary implications of taxa- and task-specific patterns of population-level laterality are discussed.
Am. J. Primatol. 78:1190–1200, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


The ontogeny of termite gathering among chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo

Authors: Musgrave, S., Lonsdorf, E., Morgan, D., and Sanz, C. (2020)

Acquiring tool‐assisted foraging skills can potentially improve dietary quality and increase fitness for wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). In contrast to chimpanzees in East and West Africa, chimpanzees in the Congo Basin use tool sets and brush‐tipped fishing probes to gather termites. We investigated the ontogeny of these tool skills in chimpanzees of the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo, and compared it to that for chimpanzees at Gombe, Tanzania. We assessed whether chimpanzees acquired simple tool behaviors and single tool use before more complex actions and sequential use of multiple tool types. 

Materials and Methods

Using a longitudinal approach, we scored remote video footage to document the acquisition of termite‐gathering critical elements for 25 immature chimpanzees at Goualougo.


All chimpanzees termite fished by 2.9 years but did not manufacture brush‐tipped probes until an average of 4.3 years. Acquisition of sequential tool use extended into juvenility and adolescence. While we did not detect significant sex differences, most critical elements except tool manufacture were acquired slightly earlier by females.


These findings contrast with Gombe, where chimpanzees learn to both use and make fishing probes between ages 1.5–3.5 and acquire the complete task by age 5.5. Differences between sites could reflect tool material selectivity and design complexity, the challenge of sequential tool behaviors, and strength requirements of puncturing subterranean termite nests at Goualougo. These results illustrate how task complexity may influence the timing and sequence of skill acquisition, improving models of the ontogeny of tool behavior among early hominins who likely used complex, perishable technologies.

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Effects of sounds of different quality on the behaviour and heart beat parameters of goats

Authors: Johns, J., Patt, A., Hillmann, E. (2015)

In alpine regions, bells are used to relocate free-ranging grazers like cows and goats. Considering that goats have a well-developed hearing capacity, sounds (e.g. a chime of a bell) mayact as stressors depending on their characteristics. The aim of this study was to test whethera non-uniform sound (chime of a bell) varying in amplitude and frequency and a uniform sound (sinusoidal tone) with continuously increasing amplitude and constant frequency lead to stress responses in terms of behaviour and heart beat. Twenty-nine goats were tested individually in a test arena in two sessions, each lasting five consecutive days with one trial per day. A day before the first trial, reference values were collected without playback. During the following five trials, playbacks were conducted. Differences in behaviour and heart beat parameters between test and reference values were analysed by using generalised linear mixed-effects models. During the first trial, the relative feeding duration was decreased and the relative alertness duration was increased during both stimuli, but more when goats were exposed to the non-uniform than the uniform sound. For both stimuli, the relative feeding duration increased (trial × stimulus: P = 0.05) and the relative alertness duration decreased (trial × stimulus: P = 0.004) from the first to the fifth trial but returned to the levels of the reference values sooner when goats were exposed to the uniform than the non-uniform sound. Cardiac activity was not affected by the stimuli. Altogether, the chime of a bell led to higher behavioural arousal than the uniform sinusoidal tone, indicating a potential of the chime to being more aversive to goats than a uniform sound. With repeated exposure to the stimuli, goats habituated to both stimuli, but habituation was faster to the sinusoidal sound than to the chime of a bell. Free-ranging goats in alpine regions usually are equipped with bells 24 h a day during the summer season. Thus, the question arises whether the long-term exposure to the chime of a bell might have negative effects on animal welfare.

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Does nest size matter to laying hens?

Authors: Ringgenberg, N., Fröhlich, E., Harlander-Matauschek, A., Würbel, H., Roth, B. (2014)

Laying hens in loose housing systems have access to group-nests which provide space for several hens at a time to lay their eggs. They are thus rather large and the trend in the industry is to further increase the size of these nests. Though practicality is important for the producer, group-nests should also cater to the egg-laying behaviour of hens to promote good welfare. One of the factors playing a role in the attractiveness of a nest is the amount of enclosure: hens prefer more enclosure when having a choice between different nest types. The aim of this study was to investigate if hens prefer smaller group-nests to lay their eggs given that they may seem more enclosed than larger nests.

The relative preference of groups of laying hens for two nest sizes – 0.43 m2 vs. 0.86 m2 – was tested in a free-access choice test. The experiment was conducted in two consecutive trials with 100 hens each. They were housed from 18 to 36 weeks of age in five groups of 20 animals and had access to two commercial group-nests differing in internal size only. We counted eggs daily as a measure of nest preference. At 28 and 36 weeks of age, videos were taken of the pens and inside the nests on one day during the first 5 h of lights-on. The nest videos were used to record the number of hens per nest and their behaviour with a 10 min scan sampling interval. The pen videos were observed continuously to count the total number of nest visits per nest and to calculate the duration of nest visits of five focal hens per pen.

We found a relative preference for the small nest as more eggs, fewer nest visits per egg and longer nest visit durations were recorded for that nest. In addition, more hens – including more sitting hens – were in the small nests during the main egg-laying period, while the number of standing hens did not differ. These observations indicate that even though both nests may have been explored to a similar extent, the hens preferred the small nest for egg-laying.

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Insect prey characteristics affecting regional variation in chimpanzee tool use

Authors: Sanz, C., Deblauwe, I., Tagg, N., Morgan, D. (2014)

It is an ongoing interdisciplinary pursuit to identify the factors shaping the emergence and maintenance of tool technology. Field studies of several primate taxa have shown that tool using behaviors vary within and between populations. While similarity in tools over spatial and temporal scales may be the product of socially learned skills, it may also reflect adoption of convergent strategies that are tailored to specific prey features. Much has been claimed about regional variation in chimpanzee tool use, with little attention to the ecological circumstances that may have shaped such differences. This study examines chimpanzee tool use in termite gathering to evaluate the extent to which the behavior of insect prey may dictate chimpanzee technology. More specifically, we conducted a systematic comparison of chimpanzee tool use and termite prey between the Goualougo Triangle in the Republic of Congo and the La Belgique research site in southeast Cameroon. Apes at both of these sites are known to use tool sets to gather several species of termites. We collected insect specimens and measured the characteristics of their nests. Associated chimpanzee tool assemblages were documented at both sites and video recordings were conducted in the Goualougo Triangle. Although Macrotermitinae assemblages were identical, we found differences in the tools used to gather these termites. Based on measurements of the chimpanzee tools and termite nests at each site, we concluded that some characteristics of chimpanzee tools were directly related to termite nest structure. While there is a certain degree of uniformity within approaches to particular tool tasks across the species range, some aspects of regional variation in hominoid technology are likely adaptations to subtle environmental differences between populations or groups. Such microecological differences between sites do not negate the possibility of cultural transmission, as social learning may be required to transmit specific behaviors among individuals.

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Investigation of distances covered by fattening pigs measured with VideoMotionTracker

Authors: Julia Brendle, Steffen Hoy

The investigation was carried out with altogether 144 pigs kept in groups of 6 or 12. Every pen was equipped with perforated floor. Water and the in-house compound feed with different elements depending on the fattening period were available ad libitum during the whole fattening period. At the beginning of each fattening period all pigs were weighed and the individual rank place was calculated based on 72 h continuous infrared video-recordings. At the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the fattening period the distances covered by focus animals during 24 h were measured using the VideoMotionTracker (VMT) software tool (Mangold). The VideoMotionTracker is a software solution to allow tracking animals on a video recording using the PC mouse or a touch-screen terminal to measure distances that were covered. This measurements on pigs resulted in highly significant differences between the covered distances at the different fattening stages (at the beginning: 582 m; in the middle: 391 m; at the end: 261 m on average). Fattening pigs kept in groups of 12 each covered longer distances during the fattening period compared with pigs kept in groups of 6 (459 m versus 333 m). The differences between the means were highly significant (p < 0.001). On average female pigs covered a longer distance than castrated male pigs (443 m versus 349 m). The factor rank position did not show any significant influence on the covered distance of each focus animal. Pigs with high rank positions on average covered 399 m whereas pigs with low rank positions covered with 393 m a marginally shorter distance. Furthermore the interaction between fattening period and rank position was examined but did not show any significance either. The influence of the factor pen within group size was highly significant (p < 0.001) and the parameters live weight and covered distances were negatively correlated.


Tool Use in Animals

Authors: C. Sanz, J. Call, C. Boesch

Capuchin Monkeys cracking nuts with stones or chimpanzees catching termites with sticks. These are examples of animals that use tools inventively – mostly to tap into food sources. The book, “Tool Use in Animals”, offers the interdisciplinary insight into the topic of tool use in animals, recently published by Cambridge Publishing House.   

The book examines the cognitive abilities and environmental factors that have shaped the tool development and tool use in animals. What makes this book extremely special: The animals were not observed in laboratory studies, but in the wild. Thus, the publication is a fascinating read and is not only aimed at scientific readership.   

“Tool Use in Animals” presents contributions from several leading authors from psychology, biology and anthropology. The editors are Dr. Crickette Sanz, anthropologist at Washington University, Dr. Josep Call, psychologist at Max-Planck-Institute and Professor Christophe Boesch, director of the Max-Planck-Instituts for Evolutionary Anthropology.   

Dr. Crickette Sanz is also a member of the Mangold Scientific Council and engaged in the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project which is dedicated to research and preservation of great apes in the Congo.

Contextualised behavioural measurements of personality differences obtained in behavioural tests and social observations in adult capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)

Authors: Jana Uher, Elsa Addessi, Elisabetta Visalberghi

We applied a new framework for behavioural research on personality differences in 26 adult tufted capuchin monkeys. Using the Behavioural Repertoire x Environmental Situations Approach, we generated systematically 20 non-lexical emic personality constructs that have high ecological validity for this species. For construct operationalisation, we obtained 146 contextualised behavioural measures repeatedly in 15 experimental situations and 2 group situations using computerised and video-assisted methods. A complete repetition after a 2–3-week break within a 60-day period yielded significant test–retest reliability from individual-oriented and variable-oriented viewpoints at different levels of aggregation. In accordance with well-established findings on cross-situational consistency, internal consistency was only moderate. This new and important finding highlights fundamental differences between behavioural approaches and judgment-based approaches to personality differences.

Link to "Journal of Research in Personality" >>>

Aping expressions: Chimpanzees produce distinct laugh types when responding to laughter of others

Authors: M. Davila Ross, B. Allcock, C. Thomas, K.A. Bard

Humans have the ability to replicate the emotional expressions of others even when they undergo different emotions. Such distinct responses of expressions, especially positive expressions, play a central role in everyday social communication of humans and may give the responding individuals important advantages in cooperation and communication.


A dual function of echolocation: bats use echolocation calls to identify familiar and unfamiliar individuals

Authors: Silke L. Voigt-Heucke, Michael Taborsky, Dina K.N. Dechmann

Bats use echolocation for orientation during foraging and navigation. However, it has been suggested that echolocation calls may also have a communicative function, for instance between roost members. In principle, this seems possible because echolocation calls are species specific and known to differ between the sexes, and between colonies and individuals for some species. We performed playback experiments with lesser bulldog bats, Noctilio albiventris, to which we presented calls of familiar/unfamiliar conspecifics, cohabitant/noncohabitant heterospecifics and ultrasonic white noise as a control. Bats reacted with a complex repertoire of social behaviours and the intensity of their response differed significantly between stimulus categories. Stronger reactions were shown towards echolocation calls of unfamiliar conspecifics than towards heterospecifics and white noise. To our knowledge, this is the first time that bats have been found to react to echolocation calls with a suite of social behaviours. Our results also provide the first experimental evidence for acoustical differentiation by bats between familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics, and of heterospecifics. Analysis of echolocation calls confirmed significant individual differences between echolocation calls. In addition, we found a nonsignificant trend towards group signatures in echolocation calls of N. albiventris. We suggest that echolocation calls used during orientation may also communicate species identity, group affiliation and individual identity. Our study highlights the communicative potential of sonar signals that have previously been categorized as cues in animal social systems.

Genetic Architecture of Tameness in a Rat Model of Animal Domestication

Authors: Frank W. Albert

Abstract of the main publication: A common feature of domestic animals is tameness—i.e., they tolerate and are unafraid of human presence and handling. To gain insight into the genetic basis of tameness and aggression, we studied an intercross between two lines of rats (Rattus norvegicus) selected over.60 generations for increased tameness and increased aggression against humans, respectively. We measured 45 traits, including tameness and aggression, anxiety-related traits, organ weights, and levels of serum components in .700 rats from an intercross population. Using 201 genetic markers, we identified two significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) for tameness. These loci overlap with QTL for adrenal gland weight and for anxiety-related traits and are part of a five-locus epistatic network influencing tameness. An additional QTL influences the occurrence of white coat spots, but shows no significant effect on tameness. The loci described here are important starting points for finding the genes that cause tameness in these rats and potentially in domestic animals in general.

Link to Genetics website >>>

Rapid facial mimicry in orangutan play

Authors: Marina Davila Ross, Susanne Menzler and Elke Zimmermann

Emotional contagion enables individuals to experience emotions of others. This important empathic phenomenon is closely linked to facial mimicry, where facial displays evoke the same facial expressions in social partners. In humans, facial mimicry can be voluntary or involuntary, whereby its latter mode can be processed as rapid as within or at 1 s. Thus far, studies have not provided evidence of rapid involuntary facial mimicry in animals.

This study assessed whether rapid involuntary facial mimicry is present in orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus; NZ25) for their open-mouth faces (OMFs) during everyday dyadic play. Results clearly indicated that orangutans rapidly mimicked OMFs of their playmates within or at 1 s. Our study revealed the first evidence on rapid involuntary facial mimicry in non-human mammals. This finding suggests that fundamental building blocks of positive emotional contagion and empathy that link to rapid involuntary facial mimicry in humans have homologues in non-human primates.


Responding to inequities: gorillas try to maintain their competitive advantage during play fights

Authors: Edwin Van Leeuwen, Elke Zimmermann and Marina Davila Ross

Abstract: Humans respond to unfair situations in various ways. Experimental research has revealed that non-human species also respond to unequal situations in the formof inequity aversions when they have the disadvantage. The current study focused on play fights in gorillas to explore for the first time, to our knowledge, if/how non-human species respond to inequities in natural social settings. Hitting causes a naturally occurring inequity among individuals and here it was specifically assessed how the hitters and their partners engaged in play chases that followed the hitting. The results of this work showed that the hitters significantly more often moved first to run away immediately after the encounter than their partners. These findings provide evidence that non-human species respond to inequities by trying to maintain their competitive advantages. We conclude that non-human primates, like humans, may show different responses to inequities and that they may modify them depending on if they have the advantage or the disadvantage.


Kin recognition in the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus)

Authors: Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover / Lab course: Experimental Behavioural Biology

Kin recognition is a prerequisite for kin selection. Kin selection has been theorized as a driving force behind the evolution of group-living in primates. vocal recognition of kin has been observed in haplorhine primates (Rendall, 2004) and in the diurnal, gregarious strepsirrhine, Lemur catta (Nunn, 2000). Much less research has been done on the vocalizations of the nocturnal, solitarily foraging strepsirrhines. Our study is the first to test for vocal recognition of kin in a nongregarious strepsirrhine. Mouse lemurs are small-boiled, nocturnal, solitarily foraging strepsirrhine primates that have dispersed social networks (Braune et al., 2008). We have testet whether M. murinus females respond differently to and whistles, an alarm call (Braune et al., 2008), and trills, advertisement calls, given by their father and by unrelated males.


Food preference in two mouse lemur species (Microcebus lehilahytsara & Microcebus murinus)

Authors: Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover / Lab course: Experimental Behavioural Biology

Two different species of mouse lemurs (Microcebus lehilahytsara and M. murinus) were tested for their food preferences. Four different food items were presented in a two paired choice test to find the most adequate reward for upcoming behavioural tests.


Acoustic cues of caller identity and affect intensity in communication calls of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri)

Authors: Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover / Lab course: Experimental Behavioural Biology

Comparative studies on the vocalisation of humans and animals have shown that structural and temporal variations in communication sounds serve several functions, such as to reliably transmit the affective state and individuality of the sender. These variations within a call type are named acoustic cues and are ghoutght to be important factors in the communication process of social living animals. In the present study, we have examined attention calls of tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) for acoustic cues conveying the affective state and/or individuality of the sender. Any general physiological activation of the nervous system in a tree shrew leads to defined changes in its behavioural patterns. When aroused, it raises its tail/ruffles its tail hair and sometimes utters attention calls (von Holst, 1977). Tree shrews utter these calls in their natural habitat, when they are confronted with new environmental stimuli (Emmons, 2000).


Personality in the behaviour of great apes - temporal stability, cross-situational consistency

Authors: Jana Uher, Jens B. Asendorpf and Josep Call

Using a multidisciplinary approach, the present study complements ethological behaviour measurements with basic theoretical concepts, methods and approaches of the personality psychological trait paradigm. Its adoptability and usefulness for animal studies is tested exemplarily on a sample of 20 zoo-housed great apes (five of each of the following species): bonobos, Pan paniscus; chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes verus; gorillas, Gorilla gorilla gorilla; and orang-utans, Pongo pygmaeus abelii. Data on 76 single trait-relevant behaviours were recorded in a series of 14 laboratory based situations and in two different group situations. Data collection was repeated completely after a break of two weeks within a 50-day period. All behaviour records were sufficiently reliable. Individual- and variable-oriented analyses showed high/substantial temporal stability on different levels of aggregation. Distinctive and stable individual situational and response profiles clarified the importance of situations and of multiple trait-relevant behaviours. The present study calls for a closer collaboration between personality psychologists and behavioural biologists to tap the full potential of animal personality research.


Personality assessment in the Great Apes: Comparing ecologically valid behavior measures, behavior ratings, and adjective ratings

Authors: Jana Uher and Jens B. Asendorpf

Three methods of personality assessment (behavior measures, behavior ratings, adjective ratings) were compared in 20 zoo-housed Great Apes: bonobos (Pan paniscus), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus abelii). To test a new bottom-up approach, the studied trait constructs were systematically generated from the species’ behavioral repertoires. The assessments were reliable, temporally stable, and showed substantial cross-method coherence. In most traits, behavior ratings mediated the relations between adjective ratings and behavior measures. Results suggest that high predictability of manifest behavior is best achieved by behavior ratings, not by adjectives. Empirical evidence for trait constructs beyond current personality models points to the necessity of broad and systematic approaches for valid inferences on a species’ personality structure.


Cooperative Activities in Young Children and Chimpanzees

Authors: Felix Warneken, Frances Chen and Michael Tomasello

Human children 18 – 24 months of age and 3 young chimpanzees interacted in 4 cooperative activities with a human adult partner. The human children successfully participated in cooperative problem-solving activities and social games, whereas the chimpanzees were uninterested in the social games. As an experimental manipulation, in each task the adult partner stopped participating at a specific point during the activity. All children produced at least one communicative attempt to reengage him, perhaps suggesting that they were trying to reinstate a shared goal. No chimpanzee ever made any communicative attempt to reengage the partner. These results are interpreted as evidence for a uniquely human form of cooperative activity involving shared intentionality that emerges in the second year of life.


Computer Supported Measurement of Distance Moved by Rabbits a day by Mangold Video Motion Tracker

Authors: Steffen Hoy, Justus Liebig University of Gießen

Because of several reasons it was necessary to develop and to test a new software solution to analyze the distance moved by farm animals in the field.


Teaching varies with task complexity in wild chimpanzees

Authors: Stephanie Musgravea, Elizabeth Lonsdorf, David Morgan, Madison Prestipino, Laura Bernstein-Kurtycze, Roger Mundry, and Crickette SanzEnter author(s)

Cumulative culture is a transformative force in human evolution, but the social underpinnings of this capacity are debated. Identi-fying social influences on how chimpanzees acquire tool tasks of differing complexity may help illuminate the evolutionary origins of technology in our own lineage. Humans routinely transfer tools to novices to scaffold their skill development. While tool transfers occur in wild chimpanzees and fulfill criteria for teaching, it is unknown whether this form of helping varies between populations and across tasks. Applying standardized methods, we compared tool transfers during termite gathering by chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo, and in Gombe, Tanzania. At Goualougo, chimpanzees use multiple, different tool types sequentially, choose specific raw materials, and perform modifications that improve tool efficiency, which could make it challenging for novices to manufac-ture suitable tools. Termite gathering at Gombe involves a single tool type, fishing probes, which can be manufactured from various materials. Multiple measures indicated population differences in tool-transfer behavior. The rate of transfers and probability of transfer upon request were significantly higher at Goualougo, while resistance to transfers was significantly higher at Gombe. Active transfers of tools in which possessors moved to facilitate possession change upon request occurred only at Goualougo, where they were the most common transfer type. At Gombe, tool requests were typically refused. We suggest that these population differences in tool-transfer behavior may relate to task complexity and that active helping plays an enhanced role in the cultural transmission of complextechnology in wild apes.