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Riva G.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Riva G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Banos R.M.,University of Valencia | Banos R.M.,CIBER ISCIII | And 6 more authors.
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking | Year: 2012

It is generally assumed that technology assists individuals in improving the quality of their lives. However, the impact of new technologies and media on well-being and positive functioning is still somewhat controversial. In this paper, we contend that the quality of experience should become the guiding principle in the design and development of new technologies, as well as a primary metric for the evaluation of their applications. The emerging discipline of Positive Psychology provides a useful framework to address this challenge. Positive Psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning and flourishing. Instead of drawing on a "disease model" of human behavior, it focuses on factors that enable individuals and communities to thrive and build the best in life. In this paper, we propose the "Positive Technology" approach-the scientific and applied approach to the use of technology for improving the quality of our personal experience through its structuring, augmentation, and/or replacement-as a way of framing a suitable object of study in the field of cyberpsychology and human-computer interaction. Specifically, we suggest that it is possible to use technology to influence three specific features of our experience-affective quality, engagement/actualization, and connectedness-that serve to promote adaptive behaviors and positive functioning. In this framework, positive technologies are classified according to their effects on a specific feature of personal experience. Moreover, for each level, we have identified critical variables that can be manipulated to guide the design and development of positive technologies. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2012.


News Article | December 20, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New Rochelle, NY, December 20, 2016--A new study shows that regular use of social networking such as Facebook can negatively affect your emotional well-being and satisfaction with life. But you don't have to quit Facebook altogether; simply changing your social networking behavior and taking an occasional break from Facebook may lift your spirits, according to the study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until January 18, 2017. In the article "The Facebook Experiment: Quitting Facebook Leads to Higher Levels of Well-Being," Morten Tromholt, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, describes an experiment in which he gave more than 1,000 participants a pretest and then randomly assigned them to one of two conditions: continue using Facebook as usual; or stop using Facebook for a week. He reports on the negative effects of Facebook use on overall well-being, based on life satisfaction and emotions. After one week without Facebook, the treatment group showed statistically significant improvement in well-being, with gains varying depending on the amount of time they previously spent on Facebook and whether or not they were passive users and tended to envy others on Facebook. "Confirming previous research, this study found that 'lurking' on Facebook may cause negative emotions. However, on the bright side, as previous studies have shown, actively connecting with close friends, whether in real life or on Facebook, may actually increase one's sense of well-being," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options and in print that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue may be viewed on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Games for Health Journal, Telemedicine and e-Health, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.


News Article | November 28, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New Rochelle, NY, November 28, 2016--While frequency and duration of online social networking may have a negative effect on mental health outcomes such as depression, a new systematic review suggests that the relationship between online social networking and depression is more complex. In fact, not only may how a person uses sites such as Facebook and Twitter be more important factors, but for some people, social networking may serve as a resource for managing depression, thereby contributing to more positive outcomes, according to a review published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until December 30, 2016. (http://online. ) David Baker and Guillermo Perez Algorta, Lancaster University, U.K., coauthors of the article entitled "The Relationship Between Online Social Networking and Depression: A Systematic Review of Quantitative Studies," conclude that multiple psychological, social, behavioral, and individual factors may all impact this complex relationship. Online social networking can have both a positive and a negative effect on a person's well-being, and the frequency, quality, and purpose of the experience will all factor into the outcome. "As mental health professionals, it is imperative that we ask our patients about social support systems (whether online or in real life) as part of a routine clinical intake," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium. "Distinguishing between positive and negative online behavior, and understanding what relieves and what exacerbates one's depression, can be elucidated by use of a thorough intake and clinical history." Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options and in print that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue may be viewed on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website. (http://www. ) Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Games for Health Journal, Telemedicine and e-Health, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website. (http://www. )


News Article | November 14, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New Rochelle, NY, November 14, 2016--Use of the instant messaging service WeChat, developed in China and used globally, may enhance peoples' feelings of overall satisfaction with life if they use it for fun and to pursue their interests. WeChat use will not necessarily bring happiness or unhappiness, though--that depends on how you use it, according to a study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until December 16, 2016. The study entitled "Does the Use of WeChat Lead to Subjective Well-Being?: The Effect of Use Intensity and Motivations" was conducted by Zhengbao Wen, Hangzhou Normal University, Yinghua Ye, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, and Xiaowei Geng, Ludong University, Yantai, China. The researchers examined the motivations for and intensity of WeChat use by university students as they related to the users' emotional experience and feelings of well-being. "According to its parent company Tencent, as of the second quarter of 2016, WeChat reported over 806 million active monthly users, a 34% rise from the same period in 2015," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium. "With its multifaceted functionalities, research into the psychological impacts of this lifestyle app are only just beginning to be understood." Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options and in print that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue may be viewed on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Games for Health Journal, Telemedicine and e-Health, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.


Wiederhold B.K.,Virtual Reality Medical Institute | Wiederhold B.K.,The Virtual Reality Medical Center | Riva G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Riva G.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2013

The European Commission identified active and healthy ageing as a societal challenge common to all European countries, and an area which presents considerable potential for Europe to lead the world in providing innovative responses to this challenge (http://ec.europa.eu/active-healthy-ageing). To tackle the challenge of an ageing population, the European Commission launched the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Active and Healthy Ageing. What can cyberpsychology offer to this process? After presenting the main features of cyberpsychology, this paper identifies in patient engagement and positive technologies the key assets that will allow the technological innovations constantly being developed to provide greater help and care in enabling elderly people to live more normal, happier, fulfilling lives. © 2013 Interactive Media Institute and IOS Press.


Graffigna G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Barello S.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Wiederhold B.K.,Virtual Reality Medical Institute | Wiederhold B.K.,The Virtual Reality Medical Center | And 3 more authors.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2013

Despite the fact that older adults are healthier than in the past, the current trend of an ageing population implies an increased risk and severity of chronic diseases. Low-resource healthcare systems face increased organizational healthcare costs, which is likely to result in an allocation of limited health resources. Healthcare organizations themselves must deal with patients' increasing need for a more active role in all the steps of the care & cure process. Technological advances may play a crucial role in sustaining people's health management in daily life, but only if it is 'ecologically' designed and well-attuned to people's health needs and expectations. Healthcare is more and more called to orient innovative research approaches that recognize the crucial role of a person's engagement in health and well-being. This will enable patients to reach a higher quality of life and achieve a general psychophysical well-being. Thus, positive technological innovation can sustain people's engagement in health and invoke community empowerment, as we shall discuss in this document. © 2013 Interactive Media Institute and IOS Press.


PubMed | Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Virtual Reality Medical Institute, ETH Zurich and The Virtual Reality Medical Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Alzheimer's & dementia (Amsterdam, Netherlands) | Year: 2016

Biomarker progressions explain higher variability in cognitive decline than baseline values alone. This study examines progressions of established biomarkers along with a novel marker in a longitudinal cognitive decline.A total of 215 subjects were used with a diagnosis of normal, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimers disease (AD) at baseline. We calculated standardized biomarker progression rates and used them as predictors of outcome within 5years.Early cognitive declines were more strongly explained by fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography, precuneus and medial temporal cortical thickness, and the complex instrumental activities of daily living (iADL) marker progressions. Using Cox proportional hazards model, we found that these progressions were a significant risk factor for conversion from both MCI to AD (adjusted hazard ratio 1.45; 95% confidence interval 1.20-1.93; P=1.2310(-5)) and cognitively normal to MCI (adjusted hazard ratio 1.76; 95% confidence interval 1.32-2.34; P=1.5510(-5)).Compared with standard biological biomarkers, complex functional iADL markers could also provide predictive information for cognitive decline during the presymptomatic stage. This has important implications for clinical trials focusing on prevention in asymptomatic individuals.


PubMed | Instituto Auxologico Italiano, Virtual Reality Medical Institute and The Virtual Reality Medical Center
Type: | Journal: Studies in health technology and informatics | Year: 2016

Creating a significant negative impact on both their quality of life and the quality of patient care with an evident economical burden for the healthcare system, there is a growing concern over physician burnout. The range of interventions and treatments that have been used to address this problem, however, appear quite fragmented and lack compelling efficacy. We describe the main factors known to contribute to the development of physician burnout as well as currently available treatments. Studies seem to indicate that both specialisation area as well as personality traits may contribute to the manifestation. The highest risk specialties appear to be critical care physicians, emergency physicians, oncologists and internal medicine physicians, while the highest risk personality attributes are high neuroticism, low agreeableness, introversion, and negative affectivity. In addition, being exceedingly enthusiastic about ones work and having high aspirations at work, with an idealistic approach, also serve as factors which contribute to increased risk of burnout, and in particular for those who are new to the occupation.


Wiederhold B.K.,Virtual Reality Medical Institute | Wiederhold M.D.,The Virtual Reality Medical Center
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking | Year: 2010

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex, multifaceted disorder encompassing behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and physiological factors. Although PTSD was only codified in 1980, there has been an increasing interest in this area of research. Unfortunately, relatively little attention has been given to the psychological treatment of motor vehicle accident survivors, which is remarkable because vehicular collisions are deemed the number one cause of PTSD. As the emotional consequences of vehicular collisions prevail, so does the need for more effective treatments. Randomized controlled clinical trials have identified exposure-based therapies as being the most efficacious for extinguishing fears. One type of exposure-based treatment, called virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET), provides a safe, controlled, and effective therapeutic alternative that is not dependent on real-life props, situations, or even a person's imagination capabilities. This modality, while relatively new, has been implemented successfully in the treatment of a variety of anxiety disorders and may offer a particularly beneficial and intermediary step for the treatment of collision-related PTSD. In particular, VRET combined with physiological monitoring and feedback provides a unique opportunity for individuals to objectively recognize both anxiety and relaxation; learn how to manage their anxiety during difficult, albeit simulated, driving conditions; and then transfer these skills onto real-life roadways. © 2010 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Wiederhold B.K.,Virtual Reality Medical Institute | Gao K.,The Virtual Reality Medical Center | Sulea C.,Virtual Reality Medical Institute | Wiederhold M.D.,The Virtual Reality Medical Center
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking | Year: 2014

We explored the use of virtual reality distraction techniques for use as adjunctive therapy to treat chronic pain. Virtual environments were specifically created to provide pleasant and engaging experiences where patients navigated on their own through rich and varied simulated worlds. Real-time physiological monitoring was used as a guide to determine the effectiveness and sustainability of this intervention. Human factors studies showed that virtual navigation is a safe and effective method for use with chronic pain patients. Chronic pain patients demonstrated significant relief in subjective ratings of pain that corresponded to objective measurements in peripheral, noninvasive physiological measures. © Copyright 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2014.

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