Back again for the second blog post on my summer research internship at Imperial!You can find my first post here :)
Future Imagery Scale (FIS)
As usual, I’ve been “testing” participants for the self-harm component of the study that I am working on. However, on top of testing, I have also been analysing some data for the Future Imagery Scale (FIS) that is part of our investigation into the influence of mental imagery on dysregulated behaviours.
The FIS measures how people use mental imagery to think about experiences that might happen in the future, specifically focusing on positive and negative aspects of these scenarios. Current research has found a positive association between motivation for self-harm and the generation of positive emotions from mental imagery. This association was strengthened for participants who imagine self-harming before the act itself, suggesting that mental imagery can facilitate approach behaviour towards self-harm. Our study is exploring whether episodic future simulation (imaging future scenarios) can be used as an intervention to counteract motivation for dysregulated behaviours. The FIS is a new scale that we designed for this purpose and needs to be validated before the results can be interpreted.
I am using principal component analysis (a type of factor analysis) to verify that the questions included in our scale reflect the two intended underlying dimensions (positive and negative) and detect any other latent variables that can also be extracted from the scale which we didn’t initially account for. Preliminary analyses show that (thankfully) most of the variables load onto the two factors we were hoping for and possibly also other factors such as negative social experiences caused by others. I am meeting with my supervisor this week to finish the analysis and discuss the write-up for my results :)
BABCP Annual Conference
Besides my research, I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at the British Association for Behaviour and Cognitive Psychotherapies’ 50th Annual Conference. In exchange for some minimal stewarding, I got to attend the keynotes and symposiums for free and was even part of a workshop on Augmented Depression Therapy (ADepT), a novel treatment being developed for depression which focuses on the patient’s wellbeing. It was a really interesting experience (I’ve included a photo of me and all the volunteers at the conference above)!