Grants

ON-JOB. Increasing job seekers' employability through a new online delivered comprehensive intervention

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  • Funding Institution: CNCS – UEFISCDI, Human Resources Programme
  • Total Amount: 249976 lei (55550 EUR)
  • Period: 2018-2020
  • Principal Investigator: Andrei Rusu
  • Description: The existing job search intervention programs were developed in the absence of a comprehensive framework (an integration of the most important mechanisms associated with employment success). But recent scholarly efforts produced such a self-regulatory taxonomy by systematically analyzing the job search literature. Moreover, the state of the art in understanding the job search behavior is focused mainly on conscious processes, but the need of integrating automatic mechanisms is starting to be acknowledged. Hence, the main goal of the present project is to offer a comprehensive framework of mechanisms for job search interventions and also to develop a program based on this taxonomy.
    Facing unemployment is not an easy task since its prevalence is extremely asymmetric across societies. This makes hard to reach all those who are in most need for a vocational intervention. However, a promising solution for this problem comes from the area of internet delivered psychological interventions which in the past fifteen years successfully proliferated. Hence, the final goal of the project is to test the effectiveness of the comprehensive intervention for facilitating job search success via internet.

  • EXP.A-B.TRAF. Expanding upon the attitude - behavior paradigm in traffic context: Could we alter everyday life driving behavior?

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    • Funding Institution: CNCS – UEFISCDI, Human Resources Programme
    • Total Amount: 250000 lei (55555 EUR)
    • Period: 2018-2020
    • Principal Investigator: Paul Sârbescu
    • Description: Although there are many problematic behaviors on the road, such as alcohol-impaired driving, running red lights and illegal overtaking, speeding is considered (by many traffic organizations) to be the “main killer” on the road. Research that examined the factors influencing individual speeding behavior pointed out that attitude towards speeding is among the most significant ones. While many studies focused on the relation between explicit driving attitudes and driving behavior, a systematic review on the topic is missing. Therefore, a good starting point for this research project (Objective 1) would be to analyze the relation between speeding attitudes and speeding behavior using a meta-analytic approach.
      Self-report instruments are often employed in studies concerning driving behavior (including speeding). Self-reports may suffer from inaccuracies of recall (in the case of behavior) or reporting (in the case of behavior, attitudes and beliefs). Therefore, more “objective” measures of driving behavior are typically regarded as a valuable addition to the research arsenal. Recently, several researchers argued for the usage of smartphones for collecting behavioral data. By accessing several phone sensors, we are able to collect data on several aspects, such as social interactions, daily activities and mobility patterns. Thus, the second objective of this research grant is to verify the appropriateness of using a GPS smartphone application for measuring speeding behavior.
      So far, we can find attempts at using EC for reducing implicit attitudes towards alcohol and alcohol consumption, smoking cessation or implicit attitudes towards speeding. The third objective of this research grant is to verify the efficacy of an evaluative conditioning paradigm in reducing speeding behavior.

    • Exploring the automatic underpinnings of driving behavior

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      • Funding Institution: CNCS – UEFISCDI, Human Resources Programme
      • Total Amount: 549965 lei (124989 EUR)
      • Period: 2015-2017
      • Principal Investigator: Paul Sârbescu
      • Description: Self-report instruments are often employed in studies concerning driving behavior, and until fairly recently they have been regarded as the only way of measuring attitudes. Self-report may suffer from inaccuracies, as reporting may be distorted by several response biases, including socially desirable responding, acquiescence, extreme and moderacy responding, and negative affectivity bias. Of these, socially desirable responding has arguably been of most concern in the context of driving behavior research. Thus, more “objective” measures of driving behavior are typically regarded as a valuable addition to the research arsenal. Therefore, implicit measures for driving behavior or at least for attitudes towards driving behavior (taken into account their clear predictive potential for subsequent behavior) appear also as a more reliable alternative. So far, research on the usage of implicit measures for dangerous driving is extremely scarce. Thus, our first major objective is to develop implicit measures for attitudes towards speeding (based on the Affect Misattribution Procedure) and towards aggressive driving (based on both the Implicit Association Test and the Affect Misattribution Procedure). Our second major goal for the present grant is to test the efficacy of several evaluative conditioning paradigms in altering implicit attitudes towards speeding and aggressive driving, transforming them in less appealing behaviors.

      • Applications of the theories of self-control in reducing occupational burnout

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        • Funding Institution: CNCS – UEFISCDI, Human Resources Programme
        • Total Amount: 549892 lei (123889 EUR)
        • Period: 2015-2017
        • Principal Investigator: Laurenţiu P. Maricuţoiu
        • Description: Occupational burnout is a problem with serious consequences and few solutions. Because interventions aimed at reducing burnout are not effective, the objective of the present research grant is to develop new types of interventions. Because the job can demand high levels of self-control (e.g. not to be distracted by irrelevant activities), the employee will invest attentional resources to maintain focus on the important activities. Once these attentional resources are depleted, the employee experiences burnout. We suggest that self-control improvement can be an effective method to reduce occupational burnout, and intend to develop methods for self-control enhancement. There are two main novelties in the present proposal: the focus on self-control enhancement for reducing burnout, and the introduction of dual process models of behavior in occupational psychology. Using evaluative conditioning techniques that showed promissing results in health behavior research, we intend to increase the level of self-control of our participants.

        • Causal mechanisms for attitudes formation and attitudes change based on evaluative conditioning

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          • Funding Institution: CNCS – UEFISCDI, IDEI Programme
          • Total Amount: 1083329lei (251937 EUR)
          • Period: 2013-2015
          • Principal Investigator: Keith Payne
          • Description: The present project aims at investigating the causal mechanisms responsible for the evaluative conditioning effects. To achieve this goal, we proposed two objectives: to investigate the causal mechanisms that explain attitude formation through evaluative conditioning, and to investigate the causal mechanisms responsible for attitude change. To reach these objectives, we will conduct experimental studies that will evaluate the importance or mediator variables such as contingency awareness, or the moderating effect of variables such as the conditional stimuli valence.

          • Investigation of strategies for enhancing predictive validity in personality assessment

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            • Funding Institution: CNCS – UEFISCDI, Human Resources Programme
            • Total Amount: 287760 lei (66921 EUR)
            • Period: 2013-2015
            • Principal Investigator: Laurenţiu P. Maricuţoiu
            • Description: The present project starts from the observation that the indices of predictive validity have very low values (up to .35) in the case of personality assessment. Therefore, the project aims at analysing three methods used for improvement of predictive validity in personality research: traitness, self-schemata and measures of implicit association (IATs). The first objective of this project is to review previous literature on improvement of predictive validity using methods specific to meta-analysis. The second objective of this project is to analyze the independence or the common variance of these three methods, using a multi-method multi-matrix approach.

            • Changing implicit cognitions: an evidence-based approach

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              • Funding Institution: CNCS – UEFISCDI, Human Resources Programme
              • Total Amount: 687500 Lei (156250 EUR)
              • Project number: PN-II-RU-TE-2011-3-0230
              • Period: 2012-2014
              • Principal Investigator: Florin Alin Sava
              • Description: Empirical data collected in laboratory setting suggests that implicit cognitions can be changed by using repetitive (associative) techniques such as mere exposure, evaluative conditioning (EC) or attentional retraining. In this grant we aim to focus on the efficacy of EC procedure to alter implicit attitudes within an evidence-based framework. In order to achieve this, we will first employ a meta-analysis of experimental studies to address the issue of the efficacy of EC and other implicit interventions to alter implicit cognitions / behaviors, as well as to identify the most relevant moderators that can optimize the effect. Then, we will conduct two parallel randomized trials to establish the incremental efficacy of EC-based intervention within two applied context: (a) health – a smoking cessation program; (b) work – increasing job-seeking self-efficacy program.

              • Implicit measures of personality

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                • Funding Institution: CNCS Ideas Programmee
                • Total Amount: 500000 Lei (113636 EUR)
                • Period: 2008-2011
                • Principal Investigator: Florin Alin Sava
                • Description: The classical methods of assessing personality have proven a series of shortcomings: the social desirability of the answers and the exclusive focus on the consciousness aspects of the psychic are the most important ones. In this grant we assessed the degree to which the new generation of implicit measures could eliminate some of the above-mentioned shortcomings. We have focused on three independent techniques: the Implicit Association Test – IAT, the Conditional Reasoning – CR, and the Semantic Misattribution Procedure – SMP, the later one being an original contribution of the team, based on innovation derived from Affect Misattribution Procedure – AMP.
                  The obtained results partially support the viability of implicit measures to predict behaviors. Unlike data presented in the literature, we have found little (no support) for the predictive validity of IAT and CR. On the other hand, we have found repeated (replicated) support for the SMP technique, showing that the SMP possesses a moderate validity to predict behaviors and it is less affected by social desirability tendencies in comparison to their corresponding explicit measures. Yet, the dynamic between SMP and explicit measures to predict behaviors was very inconsistent from one study to another (patterns of additive, interactive, non-additive, and non-interactive effects being found across the studies).