Publications by authors named "Morten Moshagen"

38 Publications

Structural differences in life satisfaction in a U.S. adult sample across age.

J Pers 2021 Jun 5. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Department of Psychology, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.

Objective: Many studies investigating age-related mean differences in life satisfaction disregard potential differences in the structure of the life satisfaction construct. Because developmental tasks at different life stages vary and thus the salience of specific life domains (e.g., health, finances, relationships, etc.) might differ, life satisfaction might differ between age groups in its underlying structure and meaning.

Method: To address this issue, we investigated the covariance structure of life satisfaction as measured by the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) and the domains of health satisfaction and financial satisfaction with local structural equation modeling. We analyzed data from 8341 U.S. citizens between the ages of 30 and 97 who participated in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Furthermore, we explored the association of respondents' health and financial status with life satisfaction.

Results: Both the SWLS and domain items were found to be invariant across age. The health and financial status accounted for small proportions of variance in overall life satisfaction and the respective domain satisfactions significantly at all ages.

Conclusion: The current analysis indicates that across the adult age range, general life satisfaction is qualitatively the same, and health and financial satisfaction are equally integrated into overall life satisfaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12654DOI Listing
June 2021

Themes of the dark core of personality.

Psychol Assess 2021 Jun 29;33(6):511-525. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Institute of Psychology and Education.

Enduring patterns of socially aversive behavior are ascribed to stable personality disorders (such as narcissistic or antisocial tendencies) in clinical psychology or to so called "dark" traits in personality psychology. As recently shown, the substantial overlap among the latter constructs is attributable to a single underlying disposition, called the (D). Whereas evidence supports the conceptualization of D as the core of aversive traits, the structure of the specific factors of D received less empirical attention so far. To this end, this study further scrutinizes the internal structure of D with items stemming from 12 different aversive traits assessed in three large and heterogeneous samples (total N > 160,000). Specifically, we (a) explored the bifactor structure of D using a modified "bass-ackwards" approach, (b) cross-validated the identified factor solutions via confirmatory factor analyses, and (c) examined the empirical relation of D and the specific factors to five criterion measures. Results indicate that a bifactor structure modeling D along with five specific factors-or themes-labeled Callousness, Deceitfulness, Narcissistic Entitlement, Sadism, and Vindictiveness, best describes the internal structure of D. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pas0001006DOI Listing
June 2021

Bayesian Estimation of Single-Test Reliability Coefficients.

Multivariate Behav Res 2021 Mar 24:1-30. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Psychological Methods, University of Amsterdam.

Popular measures of reliability for a single-test administration include coefficient , coefficient , the greatest lower bound (glb), and coefficient . First, we show how these measures can be easily estimated within a Bayesian framework. Specifically, the posterior distribution for these measures can be obtained through Gibbs sampling - for coefficients , , and the glb one can sample the covariance matrix from an inverse Wishart distribution; for coefficient one samples the conditional posterior distributions from a single-factor CFA-model. Simulations show that - under relatively uninformative priors - the 95% Bayesian credible intervals are highly similar to the 95% frequentist bootstrap confidence intervals. In addition, the posterior distribution can be used to address practically relevant questions, such as "what is the probability that the reliability of this test is between .70 and .90?", or, "how likely is it that the reliability of this test is higher than .80?" In general, the use of a posterior distribution highlights the inherent uncertainty with respect to the estimation of reliability measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00273171.2021.1891855DOI Listing
March 2021

Disentangling the effects of culture and language on measurement noninvariance in cross-cultural research: The culture, comprehension, and translation bias (CCT) procedure.

Psychol Assess 2021 May 18;33(5):375-384. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Institute of Psychology and Education.

Comparability of measurement across different cultural groups is an essential prerequisite for any cross-cultural assessment. However, cross-cultural measurement invariance is rarely achieved and detecting the source of noninvariance is often challenging. In particular, when different language versions of a measure are administered to different cultural groups, noninvariance on certain items may originate either from translation inconsistencies (translation bias) or from actual differences between cultural groups (culture bias). If, on the other hand, a measure is administered in a common language version (e.g., English), item noninvariance may also result from comprehension issues of nonnative speakers (comprehension bias). Here, we outline a procedure suitable for dissociating these sources of item noninvariance, termed the . The CCT procedure is based on a between-subjects design comparing samples from two different cultures who complete a measure in either the same or a different language version. We demonstrate in a simulation study and illustrate in an empirical example with actual cross-cultural data how performing multiple pairwise comparisons across (a) groups differing in culture but not in language, (b) groups differing in language but not in culture, and (c) groups differing in both culture and language allows to pinpoint the source of item noninvariance with high specificity. The CCT procedure thus provides a valuable tool for improving cross-cultural assessment through directing the process of item translation and cultural adaptation. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pas0000989DOI Listing
May 2021

Effectiveness of a Guided Internet- and Mobile-Based Intervention for Patients with Chronic Back Pain and Depression (WARD-BP): A Multicenter, Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial.

Psychother Psychosom 2021 15;90(4):255-268. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Introduction: There is neither strong evidence on effective treatments for patients with chronic back pain (CBP) and depressive disorder nor sufficiently available mental health care offers.

Objective: The aim is to assess the effectiveness of internet- and mobile-based interventions (IMI) as a scalable approach for treating depression in a routine care setting.

Methods: This is an observer-masked, multicenter, pragmatic randomized controlled trial with a randomization ratio of 1:1.Patients with CBP and diagnosed depressive disorder (mild to moderate severity) were recruited from 82 orthopedic rehabilitation clinics across Germany. The intervention group (IG) received a guided depression IMI tailored to CBP next to treatment-as-usual (TAU; including medication), while the control group (CG) received TAU. The primary outcome was observer-masked clinician-rated Hamilton depression severity (9-week follow-up). The secondary outcomes were: further depression outcomes, pain-related outcomes, health-related quality of life, and work capacity. Biostatistician blinded analyses using regression models were conducted by intention-to-treat and per protocol analysis.

Results: Between October 2015 and July 2017, we randomly assigned 210 participants (IG, n = 105; CG, n = 105), mostly with only a mild pain intensity but substantial pain disability. No statistically significant difference in depression severity between IG and CG was observed at the 9-week follow-up (β = -0.19, 95% CI -0.43 to 0.05). Explorative secondary depression (4/9) and pain-related (4/6) outcomes were in part significant (p < 0.05). Health-related quality of life was significantly higher in the IG. No differences were found in work capacity.

Conclusion: The results indicate that an IMI for patients with CBP and depression in a routine care setting has limited impact on depression. Benefits in pain and health-related outcomes suggest that an IMI might still be a useful measure to improve routine care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000511881DOI Listing
December 2020

StudiCare mindfulness-study protocol of a randomized controlled trial evaluating an internet- and mobile-based intervention for college students with no and "on demand" guidance.

Trials 2020 Nov 26;21(1):975. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute for Psychology and Education, Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 47, 89081, Ulm, Germany.

Background: College is an exciting but also challenging time with an increased risk for mental health issues. Only a minority of the college students concerned get professional help, a problem that might be improvable by internet- and mobile-based interventions (IMIs). However, adherence of IMIs is a concern. While guidance might be a solution, it is resource-intensive, derailing potential implementation on population level. The first aim of this trial is to evaluate the efficacy of the IMI StudiCare Mindfulness (StudiCare-M) for college students with "on demand" and no guidance. The second aim is to examine potential moderators and mediators, contributing to the questions of "how" and "for whom" such interventions work.

Methods: In this three-armed randomized controlled trial, both an unguided and "guidance on demand" (GoD) condition of StudiCare-M are compared to a waitlist control group. StudiCare-M is based on principles of acceptance and commitment therapy and stress management and consists of 7 modules plus two booster sessions. Participants in the GoD condition may ask their e-coach for support whenever needed. A total of 387 college students with moderate to low mindfulness are recruited at 15+ cooperating universities in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland via circular emails. Assessments take place before as well as 1, 2, and 6 months after randomization. The primary outcome is mindfulness. Secondary outcomes include stress, depression, anxiety, interoception, presenteeism, wellbeing, intervention satisfaction, adherence, and potential side effects. Among examined moderators and mediators are sociodemographic variables, pre-treatment symptomatology, treatment expectancy, self-efficacy, cognitive fusion, emotion regulation, and alexithymia. All data will be analyzed according to intention-to-treat (ITT) principles.

Discussion: Providing effective interventions to help college students become more resilient can make a valuable contribution to the health and functionality of future society. If effective under the condition of minimal or no guidance, StudiCare-M offers a low-threshold potentially resource-efficient possibility to enhance college student mental health on a population level. Moderation- and mediation analyses will deliver further insights for optimization of target groups and intervention content.

Trial Registration: WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform via the German Clinical Studies Trial Register DRKS00014774 . Registered on 18 May 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13063-020-04868-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7691111PMC
November 2020

General rather than specific: Cognitive deficits in suppressing task irrelevant stimuli are associated with buying-shopping disorder.

PLoS One 2020 4;15(8):e0237093. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Psychological Research Methods, Department of Psychology, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.

Objective: To investigate associations between buying-shopping disorder (BSD) propensity and the performance in the Stroop Matching Task. This task measures stimulus interference, one specific component of behavioral impulsivity, using neutral (i.e. not buying related) stimuli. Deficits thus mirror a general rather than a specific deficit to resist task-irrelevant stimuli.

Method: 222 participants completed the Stroop Matching Task, the Pathological Buying Screener, and various questionnaires assessing clinical background variables as well as trait-impulsivity.

Results: Correlation analyses showed that BSD propensity was associated with poorer performance in the Stroop Matching Task. Multiple regression analyses controlling for related disorders and trait-impulsivity indicated that BSD was the only significant predictor.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that BSD propensity is associated with deficits in the stimulus interference component of behavioral impulsivity, mirroring a general cognitive deficit. Since no other disorder significantly predicted the performance in the Stroop Matching Task, this deficit seems to be unique for BSD.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0237093PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7402500PMC
October 2020

The dark core of personality and socially aversive psychopathology.

J Pers 2021 04 22;89(2):216-227. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Objective: Although dark traits as studied in mainstream personality research and socially aversive psychopathology as studied in abnormal psychology intend to account for the same classes of behavior, their degree of conceptual and, consequently, empirical correspondence has remained limited at best. We aim to overcome this divide by demonstrating clear convergence between the common core of all dark traits (the Dark Factor of Personality, D) and the four prominent instances of socially aversive psychopathology: narcissistic, antisocial, paranoid, and borderline tendencies.

Method: In a large-scale, eight-month longitudinal study we assessed D, basic personality (the six HEXACO dimensions), and narcissistic, antisocial, paranoid, and borderline tendencies at time 1 (N = 2,329) and the latter aversive tendencies again at time 2 (N = 668) using different inventories.

Results: D predicted all instances of socially aversive psychopathology cross-sectionally and longitudinally, with a large effect size on average, beyond the six HEXACO dimensions and even beyond the very same instances (measured through a different inventory).

Conclusions: Bridging mainstream personality and abnormal psychology, the findings reveal strong, theory-consistent correspondence between dark traits and socially aversive psychopathology once dark traits are viewed through the lens of their common core, D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12577DOI Listing
April 2021

The Nomological Net of the HEXACO Model of Personality: A Large-Scale Meta-Analytic Investigation.

Perspect Psychol Sci 2020 05 23;15(3):723-760. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University.

Based on lexical studies, the HEXACO (honesty-humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience) model of personality has been proposed as a model of basic personality structure that summarizes individual differences in six broad trait dimensions. Although research across various fields relies on the HEXACO model increasingly, a comprehensive investigation of the nomological net of the HEXACO dimensions is missing entirely. Thus, it remains unclear whether each HEXACO dimension accounts for individual variation across theoretically relevant outcome criteria. We close this gap through a large-scale meta-analytic investigation, testing whether each HEXACO dimension is uniquely linked to one broad and theoretically relevant outcome domain. Results from 426 individual meta-analyses, 436 independent samples, and 3,893 effect-size estimates corroborate this unique mapping. Specifically, honesty-humility maps onto the outcome domain of exploitation, emotionality onto insecurity, extraversion onto sociality, agreeableness versus anger onto obstruction, conscientiousness onto duty, and openness to experience onto exploration. Overall, the current investigation provides a comprehensive empirical test of the (breadth of) content captured by the HEXACO dimensions and allows for a broad specification of the nomological net of the HEXACO model overall.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691619895036DOI Listing
May 2020

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of guided Internet- and mobile-based CBT for adolescents and young adults with chronic somatic conditions and comorbid depression and anxiety symptoms (youthCOACH): study protocol for a multicentre randomized controlled trial.

Trials 2020 Mar 12;21(1):253. Epub 2020 Mar 12.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Faculty of Engineering, Computer Science and Psychology, Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 47, 89081, Ulm, Germany.

Background: Adolescents and young adults (AYA) with chronic somatic conditions have an increased risk of comorbid depression and anxiety symptoms. Internet- and mobile-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) might be one possibility to extend the access to evidence-based treatments. Studies suggest that guided iCBT can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in AYA. However, little is known about the effectiveness of iCBT for AYA with chronic somatic conditions and comorbid symptoms of anxiety and/or depression in routine care. Evidence on the (cost-)effectiveness of iCBT is essential for its implementation in health care.

Objectives And Methods: This multicentre two-armed randomized controlled trial (RCT) aims to evaluate the (cost-) effectiveness of guided iCBT (youthCOACH) in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) compared to enhanced treatment as usual (TAU+) in AYA aged 12-21 years with one of three chronic somatic conditions (type 1 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, or juvenile idiopathic arthritis). AYA with one of the chronic somatic conditions and elevated symptoms of anxiety or depression (Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9] and/or Generalized Anxiety Disorder [GAD-7] Screener score ≥ 7) will be eligible for inclusion. We will recruit 212 patients (2 × n = 106) in routine care through three German patient registries. Assessments will take place at baseline and at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months post-randomization. The primary outcome will be combined depression and anxiety symptom severity as measured with the PHQ Anxiety and Depression Scale. Secondary outcomes will include health-related quality of life, coping strategies, self-efficacy, stress-related personal growth, social support, behavioural activation, adjustment and trauma-related symptoms, automatic thoughts, intervention satisfaction, working alliance, and Internet usage. The cost-effectiveness will be determined, and potential moderators and mediators of intervention effects will be explored.

Discussion: iCBT might implicate novel ways to increase the access to evidence-based interventions in this specific population. The distinct focus on effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of youthCOACH in patients with chronic somatic conditions, as well as intervention safety, will most likely provide important new insights in the field of paediatric e-mental health. A particular strength of the present study is its implementation directly into routine collaborative health care. As such, this study will provide important insights for health care policy and stakeholders and indicate how iCBT can be integrated into existing health care systems.

Trial Registration: German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS), DRKS00017161. Registered on 17 September 2019.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13063-019-4041-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7069009PMC
March 2020

Age, gender, personality, ideological attitudes and individual differences in a person's news spectrum: how many and who might be prone to "filter bubbles" and "echo chambers" online?

Heliyon 2020 Jan 17;6(1):e03214. Epub 2020 Jan 17.

Molecular Psychology, Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University, Ulm, 89081, Germany.

Potential effects of demographics, personality, and ideological attitudes on the number of news sources consumed should be investigated. The number of news sources consumed, in turn, was seen as inverse proxy for the susceptibility to be caught in "filter bubbles" and/or "echo chambers" (online), which are hotly discussed topics also in politics. A sample of 1,681 ( = 557 males) participants provided data on demographics, the Big Five as well as Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) alongside the number of different news sources consumed and current voting preferences. Results showed that age (positively), gender (higher in males), Openness (positively), and RWA (negatively) predicted the number of different news sources consumed. The group of participants consuming news exclusively offline showed highest scores in Conscientiousness and lowest scores in Neuroticism compared to the "news feeds only" and the "news feeds and online" groups. However, less than 5% of the participants exclusively consumed news via news feeds of social networking sites. Participants who stated that they would not vote reported the lowest number of different news sources consumed. These findings reveal first insights into predisposing factors for the susceptibility to be caught in "filter bubbles" and/or "echo chamber" online and how this might be associated with voting preferences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03214DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7002846PMC
January 2020

Testing Interactions in Multinomial Processing Tree Models.

Front Psychol 2019 1;10:2364. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

Department of Psychology, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.

Multinomial processing tree (MPT) models allow testing hypotheses on latent psychological processes that underlie human behavior. However, past applications of this model class have mainly been restricted to the analysis of main effects. In this paper, we adopt the interaction concept as defined in log-linear models and show why it is appropriate for MPT models. We then explain how to implement and test ordinal and disordinal two-way interaction hypotheses in MPT models. We also show how our method generalizes to higher-order interactions involving three or more factors. An empirical example from source memory and aging demonstrates the applicability of this method and allows for directly testing the associative deficit theory that age differences are larger in associative (e.g., source) memory as opposed to item memory. Throughout the paper, we explain how most analytic steps can be easily implemented in the freely available software multiTree.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02364DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6837999PMC
November 2019

Measuring the dark core of personality.

Psychol Assess 2020 Feb 14;32(2):182-196. Epub 2019 Oct 14.

Cognitive Psychology Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau.

The Dark Factor of Personality (D) is the basic disposition that gives rise to specific personality traits related to antagonistic, malevolent, or socially aversive behavior, thereby representing the common core of dark personality traits. Whereas existing evidence clearly supports the conceptualization and utility of D, the assessment of D was possible only indirectly and with extensive effort, so far. Applying rational item selection techniques to seven large and highly heterogeneous samples (total N > 165,000), we herein identified sets of items (comprising 70, 35, and 16 items, respectively) that allow for a psychometrically sound and more concise assessment of D. Results indicate that all identified item sets are characterized by high internal consistencies and high retest-reliabilities, clearly map on a single factor in line with the definition of D, and exhibit substantial associations to various relevant criteria, including actual behavior. In particular, the item sets showed substantial associations with behavioral measures of individual utility maximization disregarding, accepting, or malevolently provoking disutility for others and were also related to various justifying beliefs, thereby mirroring the defining features of D. In sum, the identified item sets allow for a concise, reliable, and valid assessment of D. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pas0000778DOI Listing
February 2020

How to determine the number of factors to retain in exploratory factor analysis: A comparison of extraction methods under realistic conditions.

Psychol Methods 2019 Aug 21;24(4):468-491. Epub 2019 Jan 21.

Institute of Psychology and Education.

Exploratory factor analyses are commonly used to determine the underlying factors of multiple observed variables. Many criteria have been suggested to determine how many factors should be retained. In this study, we present an extensive Monte Carlo simulation to investigate the performance of extraction criteria under varying sample sizes, numbers of indicators per factor, loading magnitudes, underlying multivariate distributions of observed variables, as well as how the performance of the extraction criteria are influenced by the presence of cross-loadings and minor factors for unidimensional, orthogonal, and correlated factor models. We compared several variants of traditional parallel analysis (PA), the Kaiser-Guttman Criterion, and sequential χ2 model tests (SMT) with 4 recently suggested methods: revised PA, comparison data (CD), the Hull method, and the Empirical Kaiser Criterion (EKC). No single extraction criterion performed best for every factor model. In unidimensional and orthogonal models, traditional PA, EKC, and Hull consistently displayed high hit rates even in small samples. Models with correlated factors were more challenging, where CD and SMT outperformed other methods, especially for shorter scales. Whereas the presence of cross-loadings generally increased accuracy, non-normality had virtually no effect on most criteria. We suggest researchers use a combination of SMT and either Hull, the EKC, or traditional PA, because the number of factors was almost always correctly retrieved if those methods converged. When the results of this combination rule are inconclusive, traditional PA, CD, and the EKC performed comparatively well. However, disagreement also suggests that factors will be harder to detect, increasing sample size requirements to N ≥ 500. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/met0000200DOI Listing
August 2019

True virtue, self-presentation, or both?: A behavioral test of impression management and overclaiming.

Psychol Assess 2019 Feb 8;31(2):181-191. Epub 2018 Oct 8.

Institute of Psychology and Education.

Measures of self-favoring response biases such as impression management (IM) scales or the overclaiming technique (OCT) have been developed to detect distorted self-reports. However, the validity of these approaches has been questioned. In the present study ( = 461), we further examined both IM (assessed by the respective subscale of the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding [BIDR]) and the OCT as measures of self-favoring response biases and their associations with honesty-humility. Specifically, we tested the 2 competing accounts of IM as a measure of true virtues or a measure of overly positive self-presentation against each other. Using 2 behavioral paradigms, we corroborated recent findings that higher IM scores are associated with higher trait honesty as well as with more honest behavior. At the same time, individuals with high IM scores also presented themselves overly favorably, as IM accounted for discrepancies between hypothetical and actual (incentivized) behavior in a dictator game. Thereby, the present results provide direct evidence for the notion that the IM subscale of the BIDR confounds trait honesty with response bias and thus measures both. In contrast, overclaiming was unrelated to trait honesty, all observed behaviors, and self-presentation, indicating that the OCT is not a valid measure of self-favoring response bias. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pas0000657DOI Listing
February 2019

Pathological buying symptoms are associated with distortions in judging elapsed time.

J Behav Addict 2018 Sep 21;7(3):752-759. Epub 2018 Sep 21.

2 Research Methods, Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University , Ulm, Germany.

Background And Aims: Pathological buying (PB) is often assumed to be related to deficits in impulse control. Distortions in judging elapsed time are one component of behavioral impulsivity. This study was set out to examine the hypothesis that PB propensity is associated with distorted time perception, such that time is perceived to pass more slowly.

Methods: The study is based on a convenience sample of 78 adults. Symptom severity of PB and related problems/disorders (substance use, borderline, depression, mania, and obsessive-compulsive disorder) as well as four dimensions of trait impulsivity were assessed. A time-production task was employed that required participants to produce prespecified time intervals ranging from 1 to 60 s.

Results: PB propensity was associated with the belief that time elapses more slowly, even when controlling for symptoms of related disorders and general trait impulsivity. Neither trait impulsivity nor symptoms of related disorders were predictive of distortions in judging elapsed time.

Discussion And Conclusion: These results suggest that PB propensity is related with non-specific, general deficits in judging elapsed time as a specific component of behavioral impulsivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/2006.7.2018.80DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6426374PMC
September 2018

The dark core of personality.

Psychol Rev 2018 10 12;125(5):656-688. Epub 2018 Jul 12.

Department of Psychology.

Many negatively connoted personality traits (often termed "dark traits") have been introduced to account for ethically, morally, and socially questionable behavior. Herein, we provide a unifying, comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding dark personality in terms of a general dispositional tendency of which dark traits arise as specific manifestations. That is, we theoretically specify the common core of dark traits, which we call the (). The fluid concept of D captures individual differences in the tendency to maximize one's individual utility-disregarding, accepting, or malevolently provoking disutility for others-accompanied by beliefs that serve as justifications. To critically test D, we unify and extend prior work methodologically and empirically by considering a large number of dark traits simultaneously, using statistical approaches tailored to capture both the common core and the unique content of dark traits, and testing the predictive validity of both D and the unique content of dark traits with respect to diverse criteria including fully consequential and incentive-compatible behavior. In a series of four studies ( > 2,500), we provide evidence in support of the theoretical conceptualization of D, show that dark traits can be understood as specific manifestations of D, demonstrate that D predicts a multitude of criteria in the realm of ethically, morally, and socially questionable behavior, and illustrate that D does not depend on any particular indicator variable included. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rev0000111DOI Listing
October 2018

Controlling for Response Bias in Self-Ratings of Personality: A Comparison of Impression Management Scales and the Overclaiming Technique.

J Pers Assess 2019 May-Jun;101(3):229-236. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

a Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University , Ulm , Germany.

Self-serving response distortions pose a threat to the validity of personality scales. A common approach to deal with this issue is to rely on impression management (IM) scales. More recently, the overclaiming technique (OCT) has been proposed as an alternative and arguably superior measure of such biases. In this study (N = 162), we tested these approaches in the context of self- and other-ratings using the HEXACO personality inventory. To the extent that the OCT and IM scales can be considered valid measures of response distortions, they are expected to account for inflated self-ratings in particular for those personality dimensions that are prone to socially desirable responding. However, the results show that neither the OCT nor IM account for overly favorable self-ratings. The validity of IM as a measure of response biases was further scrutinized by a substantial correlation with other-rated honesty-humility. As such, this study questions the use of both the OCT and IM to assess self-serving response distortions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2018.1451870DOI Listing
March 2020

Detecting nonadherence without loss in efficiency: A simple extension of the crosswise model.

Behav Res Methods 2018 10;50(5):1895-1905

Psychological Research Methods, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.

In surveys concerning sensitive behavior or attitudes, respondents often do not answer truthfully, because of social desirability bias. To elicit more honest responding, the randomized-response (RR) technique aims at increasing perceived and actual anonymity by prompting respondents to answer with a randomly modified and thus uninformative response. In the crosswise model, as a particularly promising variant of the RR, this is achieved by adding a second, nonsensitive question and by prompting respondents to answer both questions jointly. Despite increased privacy protection and empirically higher prevalence estimates of socially undesirable behaviors, evidence also suggests that some respondents might still not adhere to the instructions, in turn leading to questionable results. Herein we propose an extension of the crosswise model (ECWM) that makes it possible to detect several types of response biases with adequate power in realistic sample sizes. Importantly, the ECWM allows for testing the validity of the model's assumptions without any loss in statistical efficiency. Finally, we provide an empirical example supporting the usefulness of the ECWM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13428-017-0957-8DOI Listing
October 2018

From information processing to decisions: Formalizing and comparing psychologically plausible choice models.

Cogn Psychol 2017 08 8;96:26-40. Epub 2017 Jun 8.

Department of Psychology, Ulm University, Germany.

Decision strategies explain how people integrate multiple sources of information to make probabilistic inferences. In the past decade, increasingly sophisticated methods have been developed to determine which strategy explains decision behavior best. We extend these efforts to test psychologically more plausible models (i.e., strategies), including a new, probabilistic version of the take-the-best (TTB) heuristic that implements a rank order of error probabilities based on sequential processing. Within a coherent statistical framework, deterministic and probabilistic versions of TTB and other strategies can directly be compared using model selection by minimum description length or the Bayes factor. In an experiment with inferences from given information, only three of 104 participants were best described by the psychologically plausible, probabilistic version of TTB. Similar as in previous studies, most participants were classified as users of weighted-additive, a strategy that integrates all available information and approximates rational decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cogpsych.2017.05.003DOI Listing
August 2017

On congruence and incongruence of measures of fit in structural equation modeling.

Psychol Methods 2018 Jun 16;23(2):318-336. Epub 2017 Mar 16.

Research Methods, Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University.

Guidelines to evaluate the fit of structural equation models can only offer meaningful insights to the extent that they apply equally to a wide range of situations. However, a number of previous studies found that statistical power to reject a misspecified model increases and descriptive fit-indices deteriorate when loadings are high, thereby inappropriately panelizing high reliability indicators. Based on both theoretical considerations and empirical simulation studies, we show that previous results only hold for a particular definition and a particular type of model error. At a constant degree of misspecification (as measured through the minimum of the fit-function), statistical power to reject a wrong model and noncentrality based fit-indices (such as the root-mean squared error of approximation; RMSEA) are independent of loading magnitude. If the degree of model error is controlled through the average residuals, higher loadings are associated with increased statistical power and a higher RMSEA when the measurement model is misspecified, but with decreased power and a lower RMSEA when the structural model is misspecified. In effect, inconsistencies among noncentrality and residual based fit-indices can provide information about possible sources of misfit that would be obscured when considering either measure in isolation. (PsycINFO Database Record
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/met0000122DOI Listing
June 2018

Effects of mood state on impulsivity in pathological buying.

Psychiatry Res 2016 Oct 4;244:351-6. Epub 2016 Aug 4.

University of Kassel, Germany.

Pathological buying is characterized by irrepressible buying behaviour and its negative consequences. A possible mechanism contributing to its development and maintenance is that buying episodes act as a maladaptive strategy to cope with negative emotions. Accordingly, pathological buying has been repeatedly associated with impulsivity, in particular with the tendency to experience strong reactions under negative affect. Relying on an experimental mood induction procedure, the present study tested in a sample of 100 individuals (a) whether individuals with pathological buying symptoms respond more impulsively in the Go/No-Go Task (as a measure of the behavioural inhibition aspect of impulsivity) and (b) whether this association is more pronounced in a negative mood. While controlling for comorbidities, the results show that pathological buying is associated with faster responses and a larger number of commission errors. Moreover, a significant interaction indicated that the association between pathological buying and performance the Go/No-Go Task was stronger in the negative mood condition. The present study thus shows that pathological buying is associated with deficits in the behavioural inhibition component of impulsivity. These deficits are most pronounced when mood is negative; in turn, this provides an explanation for the occurrence of excessive buying episodes following negative affect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.08.009DOI Listing
October 2016

The statistical analysis of cheating paradigms.

Behav Res Methods 2017 04;49(2):724-732

University of Koblenz-Landau, Landau, Germany.

One type of paradigm commonly used in studies on unethical behavior implements a lottery, relying on a randomization device to determine winnings while ensuring that the randomized outcome is only known to participants. Thereby, participants have the incentive and opportunity to cheat by anonymously claiming to have won. Data obtained in such a way are often analyzed using the observed "win" responses as a proxy for actual dishonesty. However, because the observed "win" response is contaminated by honest respondents who actually won, such an approach only allows for inferring dishonesty indirectly and leads to substantially underestimated effects. As a remedy, we outline approaches to estimate correlations between dishonesty and other variables, as well as to predict dishonesty in a modified logistic regression model. Using both simulated and empirical data, we demonstrate the superiority and relevance of the suggested methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13428-016-0729-xDOI Listing
April 2017

On Measuring the Sixth Basic Personality Dimension: A Comparison Between HEXACO Honesty-Humility and Big Six Honesty-Propriety.

Assessment 2017 Dec 17;24(8):1024-1036. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

4 University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany.

Recent developments in personality research led to the proposition of two alternative six-factor trait models, the HEXACO model and the Big Six model. However, given the lack of direct comparisons, it is unclear whether the HEXACO and Big Six factors are distinct or essentially equivalent, that is, whether corresponding inventories measure similar or distinct personality traits. Using Structural Equation Modeling (Study 1), we found substantial differences between the traits as measured via the HEXACO-60 and the 30-item Questionnaire Big Six (30QB6), particularly for Honesty-Humility and Honesty-Propriety (both model's critical difference to the Big Five approach). This distinction was further supported by Study 2, showing differential capabilities of the HEXACO-60 and the 30QB6 to account for several criteria representing the theoretical core of Honesty-Humility and/or Honesty-Propriety. Specifically, unlike the indicator of Honesty-Humility, the indicator of Honesty-Propriety showed low predictive power for some conceptually relevant criteria, suggesting a limited validity of the 30QB6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1073191116638411DOI Listing
December 2017

A predominance of self-identified Democrats is no evidence of a leftward bias.

Behav Brain Sci 2015 ;38:e146

Research Methods,Institute of Psychology,University of Kassel,D-34127

The reasoning of Duarte et al. hinges on the basic premise that a positive ratio of Democrats versus Republicans implies a political bias. However, when placed in a global and historical context, it is evident that U.S. Democrats currently represent a moderate position on the political left-right spectrum. Thus, Duarte et al. provide no evidence of a leftward bias in the scientific community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X14001228DOI Listing
August 2016

Generating Correlated, Non-normally Distributed Data Using a Non-linear Structural Model.

Psychometrika 2015 Dec 10;80(4):920-37. Epub 2015 Jun 10.

Institute of Psychology, University of Kassel, Holländische Straße 36-38, 34127 , Kassel, Germany.

An approach to generate non-normality in multivariate data based on a structural model with normally distributed latent variables is presented. The key idea is to create non-normality in the manifest variables by applying non-linear linking functions to the latent part, the error part, or both. The algorithm corrects the covariance matrix for the applied function by approximating the deviance using an approximated normal variable. We show that the root mean square error (RMSE) for the covariance matrix converges to zero as sample size increases and closely approximates the RMSE as obtained when generating normally distributed variables. Our algorithm creates non-normality affecting every moment, is computationally undemanding, easy to apply, and particularly useful for simulation studies in structural equation modeling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11336-015-9468-7DOI Listing
December 2015

Erratum to: Generalized outcome-based strategy classification: Comparing deterministic and probabilistic choice models.

Psychon Bull Rev 2015 Feb;22(1):312

Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, Schloss Ehrenhof Ost, 68131, Mannheim, Germany,

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13423-014-0727-xDOI Listing
February 2015

Generalized outcome-based strategy classification: comparing deterministic and probabilistic choice models.

Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Dec;21(6):1431-43

Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, Schloss Ehrenhof Ost, 68131, Mannheim, Germany,

Model comparisons are a vital tool for disentangling which of several strategies a decision maker may have used--that is, which cognitive processes may have governed observable choice behavior. However, previous methodological approaches have been limited to models (i.e., decision strategies) with deterministic choice rules. As such, psychologically plausible choice models--such as evidence-accumulation and connectionist models--that entail probabilistic choice predictions could not be considered appropriately. To overcome this limitation, we propose a generalization of Bröder and Schiffer's (Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 19, 361-380, 2003) choice-based classification method, relying on (1) parametric order constraints in the multinomial processing tree framework to implement probabilistic models and (2) minimum description length for model comparison. The advantages of the generalized approach are demonstrated through recovery simulations and an experiment. In explaining previous methods and our generalization, we maintain a nontechnical focus--so as to provide a practical guide for comparing both deterministic and probabilistic choice models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13423-014-0643-0DOI Listing
December 2014

An experimental validation method for questioning techniques that assess sensitive issues.

Exp Psychol 2014 Jan;61(1):48-54

University of Mannheim, Germany

Studies addressing sensitive issues often yield distorted prevalence estimates due to socially desirable responding. Several techniques have been proposed to reduce this bias, including indirect questioning, psychophysiological lie detection, and bogus pipeline procedures. However, the increase in resources required by these techniques is warranted only if there is a substantial increase in validity as compared to direct questions. Convincing demonstration of superior validity necessitates the availability of a criterion reflecting the "true" prevalence of a sensitive attribute. Unfortunately, such criteria are notoriously difficult to obtain, which is why validation studies often proceed indirectly by simply comparing estimates obtained with different methods. Comparative validation studies, however, provide weak evidence only since the exact increase in validity (if any) remains unknown. To remedy this problem, we propose a simple method that allows for measuring the "true" prevalence of a sensitive behavior experimentally. The basic idea is to elicit normatively problematic behavior in a way that ensures conclusive knowledge of the prevalence rate of this behavior. This prevalence measure can then serve as an external validation criterion in a second step. An empirical demonstration of this method is provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/1618-3169/a000226DOI Listing
January 2014