Rumination, professional identity and transforming psychiatric care

Rumination, professional identity and transforming psychiatric care

What makes someone a really good reader? How does dwelling on positive or negative events affect our mood that day? How does our relationship with consequences affect smoking cessation? How does children's understanding of numbers actually develop? Among other things, we can get answers to these questions from the recent publications of PPK researchers.


  • The relationship between cognitive functioning and emotion regulation
  • Examining the impact of perceived psychological distances of quitting and continuing tobacco smoking on antismoking intention
  • Associations between daily affective experiences, trait and daily rumination on negative and positive affect
  • A new description of the development of children's number understanding
  • What makes an excellent reader?
  • Relationships between career socialization and professional identity
  • The transformation of psychiatric care in the XX. century

The relationship between cognitive functioning and emotion regulation

Associations between impaired cognitive control and maladaptive emotion regulation have been extensively studied between individuals. However, it remains unclear if this relationship holds within individuals. In this study, we tested the assumption that momentary within-person fluctuation in cognitive control (working memory updating and response inhibition) is associated with emotional reactivity in everyday life. We conducted an experience sampling study (eight two-hourly prompts daily) where participants repeatedly performed short 2-back and Go/no-go tasks in daily life. We assessed negative and positive affective states, and unpleasantness of a recent event to capture emotional reactivity. We analyzed two overlapping samples: a Go/no-go and a 2-back dataset (N = 161/158). Our results showed that better momentary working memory updating was associated with decreased negative affect if the recent event was on average unpleasant for the given individual. However, better-than-average working memory updating in interaction with higher event-unpleasantness predicted higher negative affect levels (i.e., higher negative emotional reactivity). These findings may challenge the account of better cognitive control being universally related to adaptive emotion regulation. Although it is unlikely that emotional reactivity boosts working memory, future studies should establish the direction of causality.

Rónai, L., Hann, F., Kéri, S., Ettinger, U., & Polner, B. (2024). Emotions under control? Better cognitive control is associated with reduced negative emotionality but increased negative emotional reactivity within individuals. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 173, 104462.

Examining the impact of perceived psychological distances of quitting and continuing tobacco smoking on antismoking intention

To date, little research has been conducted to understand the role of psychological distances on smoking behaviour. Construal Level Theory posits that individuals mentally construe events, objects, or ideas based on their perceived distance in terms of spatial, temporal, social, and hypothetical dimensions, influencing their judgments and decision-making processes. The aim of the current study was to provide a comprehensive exploration of psychological distances of costs and benefits of tobacco smoking and antismoking intention and (2) to examine whether smoking can be attributed to rational behaviour based on the psychological distance weighted balance of perceived costs and benefits of quitting and continuing smoking. Mediation models delineating the relationships among temporal and hypothetical psychological distances, personal relevance and antismoking intention were tested on cross-sectional survey data of 1486 smokers (880 men, Mage = 39.9 years, SD = 13.36). Psychological distances were shown to be important factors in the cognitive evaluation process of smoking behaviour. Perceived temporal distance to smoking continuation/cessation was related to personal importance and hypothetical psychological distances, which were associated with anti-smoking intention. Furthermore, antismoking intention was related to the psychological distance-weighted gain-cost balance of quitting and continuing smoking. The current findings enhance our knowledge of the cognitive evaluation of the outcomes of smoking, indicating that the choice of not quitting smoking may be partially based on a biased rational decision-making process.

File, D., Bőthe, B. & Demetrovics, Z. Examining the impact of perceived psychological distances of quitting and continuing tobacco smoking on antismoking intention: a cross-sectional study. Sci Rep 13, 22993 (2023).

Associations between daily affective experiences, trait and daily rumination on negative and positive affect

Rumination, i.e. dwelling on the causes and consequences of events, is closely related to the current mood. Dwelling on negative events or moods maintains a bad mood, while ruminating on positive moods (thinking about how good we feel and how much we can achieve) helps maintain positive moods. In our diary research with university students, the participants reported on their daily mood for 10 days and how much they chewed that day. We found that mood or depression on any given day was closely related to how much we chewed that day, regardless of how much we normally chew. In other words, even if we don't normally tend to chew, whether we do so on a given day is closely related to our current mood. Furthermore, daily negative mood was more closely related to rumination on negative events than to lack of rumination on positive events, suggesting that reducing rumination on negative events is more important to our well-being than increasing rumination on positive events - although both can be useful.

Kovács, L. N., Kocsel, N., Tóth, Z., Smahajcsik‐Szabó, T., Karsai, S., & Kökönyei, G. (2023). Associations between daily affective experiences, trait and daily rumination on negative and positive affect: A diary study. Journal of Personality, jopy.12897.

A new description of the development of children's number understanding

Initial acquisition of the first symbolic numbers is measured with the Give a Number (GaN) task. According to the classic method, it is assumed that children who know only 1, 2, 3, or 4 in the GaN task, (termed separately one-, two-, three-, and four-knowers, or collectively subset-knowers) have only a limited conceptual understanding of numbers. On the other hand, it is assumed that children who know larger numbers understand the fundamental properties of numbers (termed cardinality-principle-knowers), even if they do not know all the numbers as measured with the GaN task, that are in their counting list (e.g., five- or six-knowers). We argue that this practice may not be wellestablished. To validate this categorization method, here, the performances of groups with different GaN performances were measured separately in a symbolic comparison task. It was found that similar to one to four-knowers, five-, six-, and so forth, knowers can compare only the numbers that they know in the GaN task. We conclude that five-, six-, and so forth, knowers are subset-knowers because their conceptual understanding of numbers is fundamentally limited. We argue that knowledge of the cardinality principle should be identified with stricter criteria compared to the current practice in the literature.

Krajcsi, A., & Reynvoet, B. (2024). Miscategorized subset‐knowers: Five‐ and six‐knowers can compare only the numbers they know. Developmental Science, 27(1), e13430.

What makes an excellent reader?

Reading is one of our most important cultural skills; in the absence of advanced reading skills, navigating society faces serious difficulties. While there has been a lot of research on poor reading skills, little is known about what makes really good readers. The study presented sought the answer to how the memory profile of readers who are much better than average differs from that of children whose reading skills correspond to their age. The results show that the advantage of really good readers can be seen in their spatial memory, which is really interesting, because in typical reading development, reading depends less and less on this part of memory. Based on this, we can conclude that the children's spatial memory is important from the point of view of reading skills.

Kemény, F., Aranyi, G., Pachner, O., P. Remete, E., & Laskay-Horváth, C. (2024). What makes an excellent reader? Short-term memory contrasts between two groups of children. Frontiers in Education, 8, 1325177

Relationships between career socialization and professional identity

In society and the labour market, we have different positions and statuses, and we have to perform the tasks that go with those roles. According to traditional role theory in social psychology, "a role is a specific mode of response, an indoctrinated, habitual, automatic and mostly unconscious chain of behaviour that takes place in the context of typical social attitudes, emotions and self-identifications." (Buda, 1965 quoted in Csepeli, 2001, 102-103) The elements of behaviour required to occupy a status or position are determined by the roles that the occupant of the status must perform. These roles are associated with attitudes, values and behavioural patterns (Hidy, 2001). In the case of occupations and professions where the roles and tasks can be clearly described (doctor, teacher, architect), the set of roles required can be more easily formulated. In many cases, however, the positions (occupations) on the labour market today require a more varied set of roles from the individual, and it is more difficult to clarify the roles, since these occupations do not have rigid position descriptions, but are rather loosely defined and highly variable (Goffman, 1978). One such occupation is that of community organiser, where it is possible to function successfully in a wide range of fields, even with different attitudes and strengths. Identity formation in careers with such a complex set of roles is therefore difficult, even though a strong professional identity is an important prerequisite for success in any profession.

Hegyi-Halmos, N. (2023). Career Socialisation and Professional Identity. Opus et Educatio, 10(3).

The transformation of psychiatric care in the XX. century

The work of Attila Dobai presents the basic lines of the architecture of the total institution through the outline of the history of medicine in the 20th century and the institutionalization of psychiatry. The domestic healthcare system rests on two pillars: on the one hand, professional traditions are passed on through school-creating individuals, and on the other hand, the structure regulated by law creates a framework for the safety of the care system. In the 19th century, there was a strong history of psychiatric institutional development, where the primary role was that of total institutions. In the second half of the 20th century, and especially with the emergence of group rights (so-called third-generation rights), the role of large mental hospitals was reevaluated, where the emphasis was primarily on conservative treatment. The need for community psychiatric services has also appeared in more and more places in Western countries. In our country, the process of "deinstitutionalization" can be interpreted more like deinstitutionalization, since spaces providing community care that would ensure safe and inclusive care have not been established on a wider scale. EU legal harmonization would require a significant transformation of the policy decisions of the health and social care system, which is still pending 16 years after the closure of the OPNI.

Dobai A. M. (2023). A totális pszichiátriai intézmény mint társadalmi produktum arcélei a XX. században. De iurisprudentia et iure publico 14(4) 17-37.