Background. There is no generally accepted psychological understanding of how a doctor’s representation of risk and uncertainty affects professional medical decision-making. The concept of a Unified Intellectual and Personal Potential can serve as a framework to explain its multiple and multilevel regulation. Our objective was to research the connections between medics’ perceptions of risk and related personal factors.
Design. Medical doctors were compared to different control groups to identify their personal and motivational characteristics in three studies.
Study 1 assessed the motivational profile of doctors (using Edwards Personal Preference Schedule) in connection with their risk-readiness and rationality (measured by the Personal Factors of Decision-making questionnaire, also known as LFR) in a sample of 33 doctors, as compared to 35 paramedics and 33 detectives.
Study 2 compared 125 medical students and 182 non-medical students to 65 doctors as to the levels of their risk perception (measured by Implicit Theories of Risk questionnaire, the LFR, and their direct self-esteem of riskiness ), tolerance for uncertainty (measured by Budner's questionnaire), and rating on the Big-Five personality traits (TIPI).
Study 3 presented two new methods of risk perception assessment and investigated the connection between personality traits, risk reduction strategies, and cognitive representations of risk in 66 doctors, as compared to 44 realtors.
Results. Study 1 found differences between the doctors’, paramedics’, and investigators’ motivational profiles. The doctors’ motivations were not associated with conscious self-regulation. In Study 2, risk-readiness was positively related to tolerance for uncertainty (TU) and the self-esteem of riskiness. The latter was significantly lower in doctors compared to the student groups and had different relationships with personality variables. In Study 3, doctors differed from realtors not only in their traits (i.e.,being less willing to take risks), but also in their choices and greater integration of their risk representations.
Conclusions. The three studies demonstrated the multilevel processes behind the willingness to take risks and risk acceptance, as well as the relationship between the multilevel personality traits and doctors’ assessments of medical risks and their preferences in risky decision-making.
1. The “self-esteem of riskiness” refers to an individual’s self-esteem in light of their willingness to take risks. This formulation will be used throughout this article, as to constantly elaborate its meaning would be too unwieldy.
Keywords: decision-making (DM); risk representation; risk-readiness; implicit theories (IT); Implicit Theories of Risk (ITR); self-esteem of riskiness; tolerance for uncertainty (TU); Big Five
Background. The higher education system today requires students to be able to conduct independent academic work outside the educational system. Some data has been developed on the general educational skills of students; however, the available works are most often devoted to the skills of students in the humanities, yet in technical fields such as engineering, scientific knowledge becomes outdated much faster, which is associated with the global digitalization of society.
Objective. To assess the Diagnosis of Basic Learning Skills Task Battery (Metodika diagnostiki osnovnykh uchebnykh umenii) as modified for engineering students.
Design. The study was conducted in several stages. First, we created six sets of tasks for assessment of basic learning skills, based on the subject matter of engineering disciplines for students at three educational stages (first-year students, fourth-year students and second-year master students). Next, engineering students at different educational stages at Moscow Technological University (N = 135) took part in testing of the proposed task battery. They were also administered the Diagnosis of Supplementary Learning Skills Inventory by Ilyasov (questions for self-assessment), and a survey of academic performance and socio-demographic variables. Skills of memorization and consolidation of knowledge were not assessed in the current study.
Results. Confirmatory factor analysis allowed us to establish high convergent validity of the task battery (p = 0.001). Internal consistency of the separate scales of the battery was acceptable (Cronbach’s aranged from 0.692 to 0.839). Тhere were significant positive connections between the modified task battery for diagnosis of basic learning skills and the battery for diagnosis of supplementary learning skills, academic performance, and educational stages.
Conclusion. The results demonstrate that the modified battery is a valid and reliable tool for measuring basic learning skills.
Keywords: educational psychology, learning skills, engineering students, task battery, convergent validity
Background. The COVID-19 outbreak and the measures taken to curb it have changed people’s lives and affected their psychological well-being. Many studies have shown that hardiness has reduced the adverse effects of stressors, but this has not been researched in the Russian COVID-19 situation yet.
Objective. To assess the role of hardiness and meaningfulness as resources to cope with stress and minimize its effects on psychological well-being.
Design. The study was conducted March 24–May 15, 2020 on a sample of 949 people (76.7% women), aged 18–66 years (M = 30.55, Me = 27, SD = 11.03). The data was divided into four time-periods, cut off by the dates of significant decisions by the Russian authorities concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. The questionnaires were: Beck Anxiety and Depression Inventories, Symptom Check-list-90-R, Noetic Orientations Test, and Personal Views Survey-III.
Results. Welch’s ANOVA showed significant differences between the time-periods in meaningfulness, hardiness, anxiety, depression, and the General Symptomatic Index (GSI) (W = 4.899, p< 0.01; W = 3.173,p < 0.05; W = 8.096,p < 0.01; W = 3.244,p < 0.022; and W = 4.899,p < 0.01, respectively). General linear models for anxiety, depression, and GSI showed that biological sex, chronic diseases, self-assessed fears, and hardiness contributed to all of them. In all three models, hardiness had the most significant impact. Anxiety was also influenced by the time factor, both in itself and in its interaction with hardiness levels. With less hardiness, more anxiety occurred over time.
Conclusion. Hardiness was shown to be a personal adaptive resource in stressful situations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: hardiness, meaningfulness, anxiety, depression, pandemic, COVID-19