English summaries

English summaries (01/2014)

Laura Lahtela, Anna-Maria Rajala, Katja Kokko, Eija Räikkönen & Taru Feldt

Regrets and their associations with ego integrity and well-being in midlife

In the present study, we investigated what kind of regrets middle-aged people have and how regrets are associated with their well-being (psychological well-being and life satisfaction) and ego integrity. The investigated 50-year-old participants (111 men, 110 women) were drawn from the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Social Development and Personality. Half of the participants (53.8 %) reported regretting something in their life. Regrets were classified into six content categories: 1) studies and education (21.7 % of those reporting regrets mentioned this regret), 2) work and career (20.9 %), 3) family and parenting (19.1 %), 4) relationship and marriage (16.5 %), 5) lifestyle and personal characteristics (13.0 %) and 6) living and finances (8.7 %). The participants who had no regrets reported more ego integrity and life satisfaction than the participants who had regrets. On the other hand, those participants who had regrets related to studies and education as well as to lifestyle and personal characteristics reported the least ego integrity. In addition, those participants with regrets related to studies and education were the most unsatisfied with their lives.

Keywords: regret, midlife, ego integrity, life satisfaction, psychological well-being

Jussi Valtonen

Investigating normal cognition with only one patient: The rationale of single-patient studies in cognitive neuropsychology

Cognitive neuropsychology uses data from brain-damaged individuals to inform theories of normal cognition. Within cognitive neuropsychology, single-patient studies constitute an important methodological approach which some argue provides the only method that allows drawing valid inferences about the structure of cognitive systems from the analysis of impaired performance. Despite its inherent strengths, the experimental neuropsychological case study method is rarely used in Finland in scientific research of cognition. Moreover, the approach is often erroneously associated with clinical, descriptive or qualitative research methods. The relative advantages and limitations of case studies in cognitive neuropsychology are discussed. Important areas of research are reviewed, and the rationale for drawing generalizable inferences about normal cognition from single patients with cognitive deficits is presented. It is suggested that adopting the single-patient approach more widely in Finland would prove beneficial for the scientific investigation of normal cognition.

Keywords: cognitive neuropsychology, case studies, cognition, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, methodology, brain damage, object recognition, faces

Salla Berg, Minna Poutanen, Tuire Kangas, Kaisa Peltomaa, Marit Korkman, Pekka Lahti-Nuuttila & Laura Hokkanen

Naming skills as predictors of reading and spelling

This longitudinal study examined how three separate naming skills (picture naming, naming speed and letter naming) predict second-grade reading and spelling abilities among children with naming deficits and typically developing children. The second research question concerned the effect of having deficits only in picture naming or naming speed in comparison to having deficits in both. Regression analyses showed that picture naming predicts later reading comprehension as well as reading speed and accuracy. As expected, naming speed predicted reading speed. Letter naming was a predictor of spelling in Grade 2. A general linear model indicated that deficits in both picture naming and naming speed are linked to more extensive difficulties in later reading ability than a deficit in only one of them. The study provides support for the benefits of evaluating various naming skills, especially picture naming, in neuropsychological assessments at preschool age.

Keywords: picture naming, naming speed, letter naming, reading, spelling

Vesa Talvitie

Knowledge formation, inter-professional competition and the logic of invention – What is it to be “scientific” in psychological practice?

There is notable tension between psychological practice and scientific and humanistic research of psychology as advanced at universities. It is assumed that psychological practice is scientific, but what this would mean in reality is hardly ever examined. The author approaches these questions from the perspectives of the sociology of professions, evidence-based methods, abduction and experts’ thought processes, the philosophy of science and social epistemology. The practicing psychologist is seen as a so-called design scientist, and what psychologists do in their practice is approached in terms of the logic of invention in scientific research.

The strong tension between academic and applied psychology may lead to hostility among practicing psychologists toward academic psychology. In order to avoid this failure in their primary task, departments of psychology at least have to acknowledge the significance of applied psychology courses.

Keywords: knowledge formation, profession, psychology, psychologist, expertise, design science, evidence-based practice, abduction