Ongoing research

Na této stránce naleznete seznam výzkumů, které v našem ústavu právě probíhají. Do některých se můžete jako dobrovolníci zapojit vy sami nebo se svými dětmi. Zapojení může mít různou podobu, většinou se jedná o návštěvu na našem pracovišti v Praze nebo v Brně, která může být honorována drobným finančním obnosem. V jiných případech se jedná o vyplnění dotazníku na webu nebo na papíře.
Aktuálně se můžete zúčastnit těchto výzkumů:

    Raná komunikace
    Porozumění jazyku u dvouletých a čtyřletých dětí


Early communication: Physiological correlates of sharing emotions with others during the first year of life

Investigator: Gabriela Marková

The aim of this research is to examine the earliest aspect of infant communicative abilities, namely sharing of emotions with others. A theoretical controversy exists between authors who argue that infant behaviours during communicative interactions are simply responses to adults’ social signals, and others who suggest that infants are actively involved in communicative exchanges which allow them to regard others as participating with them in the sharing of relevant experience. To shed light on this controversy, the proposed research seeks to reveal physiological correlates of emotion sharing that accompany maternal and infant behaviours, in a sample of typically-developing as well as premature infants. Moreover, emotion sharing will be examined as a function of maternal affect attunement. Thus, the proposed research will combine behavioural and physiological measures to clarify the meaning of early communication.


Comprehension of grammar and lexicon in toddlers: agreement, word order, information structure and their relationships with lexicon

Investigator: Filip Smolík

An important component of language development is the development of the grammatical knowledge. Research in this area is important to understand the psychological mechanisms of language acquisition. The present project will examine several aspects of language development in Czech, focusing on the interaction between agreement, word order and information structure. The project includes three studies, one of them longitudinal. All studies use the on-line intermodal preferential looking paradigm as wellas methods for assessing children's vocabulary. In the first study, the comprehension of sentential agreement will be studied in 3- and 5-year-olds. The second study will examine the sensitivity of 3- and 5-year-old children to the distribution of new and old information, i.\,e. the information structure. The experiments in the study will test the comprehension of sentences in which the word order will or will not fit the context introducing one argument as given.

project's www


The role of emotional intelligence in coping

Investigator: František Baumgartner

The project is aimed to study of relations between emotional intelligence and coping with stressful situations. It is supposed, that emotional intelligence can positively influence the coping with stress and it leads to more adequate choices of coping routines. However, in empirical research these questions were investigated only in a little amount. We try to contribute to solution of these problems by accomplishment of research in developmental perspective, from adolescence to adulthood. The research includes some samples: a) sample of adolescents (comparison between persons with health handicap and persons without health handicap), b) sample of emerging adults (university students), c) sample of adults (from health service - physicians, nurses). Emotional intelligence is characterized in different manner in literature, so the attention is devoted to comparison of approaches.


Bullying and mobbing in tertiary education: Qualitative methodology as a research and intervention tool

Investigator: Kateřina Zábrodská

The project will examine uses of qualitative methodology (discourse analysis and collective biography) in research and intervention into bullying and mobbing in tertiary education. The project is conceptually embedded in critical discursive psychology, which assumes interdependence between violence and normative discourses and practices. The project will primarily employ qualitative methodology. To investigate the occurrence and types of bullying and mobbing, it will employ quantitative methodology. The project's principal objective is to extend current knowledge of bullying and mobbing by employing innovative theoretical and methodological approaches. The project will design techniques of uses of qualitative methodology in research and intervention into bullying and mobbing applicable to a variety of social contexts.


Perception and Memory Changes during Long-term Isolation

Investigator: Radovan Šikl 

The Institute for Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the ESA (European Space Agency) is organizing in the years 2008-2011 the project Mars-500 simulating the conditions of an interplanetary space flight. In this project a group of six volunteers will spend 520 days in an isolated environment, which will simulate a space flight to Mars. In this project we plan to investigate the changes in cognitive functioning especially in perception and memory. The experiment offers a unique chance to study the cognitive performance under the conditions of long-term isolation. We expect to get data about the stability of cognitive functions in extreme situations, which can be used in future in planning real space missions.


The issues of polytomous IRT models in the field of psychology of personality and its implementation in the CATO software framework

Investigator: Martin Jelínek

The functionality and effectiveness of computerized adaptive testing based on Item Response Theory-IRT is well documented both in foreign and local scientific literature in the field of dichotomously scored items. But psychodiagnostic apparatus widely uses also methods consisting polytomous items due to their benefits such as higher reliability, greater variability of responses etc. Our aim is to evaluate various polytomous IRT models with respect to their usability in personality testing. The main focus will be aimed on the most frequently used personality questionnaires. The best models will be implemented into the CATO software for creating and administering adaptive tests which was originally developed in the Institute of Psychology ASCR. At this moment, CATO is able to operate with dichotomously scored items so far. By addition of polytomous models CATO will become a versatile instrument for computerized adaptive testing eligible for practitioners as well as for research purposes in the field of the most up-to-date psychometric trends.

Analysis of stories evoked by Thematic Apperception Test: quantitative and qualitative approaches

Investigator: Tomáš Urbánek

In the project we base on findings from our previous original research works and we focus our attention on further investigating of the research and diagnostic possibilities of the various types of the text analysis. The theoretical framework is narrative and semiotic perspective. The source of the textual data will be the stories evoked by the Thematic Apperception Test. Besides the traditional techniques of story analysis related with the diagnostic determination of the instrument we will also apply positioning concept, content analysis and narrative analysis. The goal of the project is comparison of various methods of text analysis based on different theoretical positions using the same empirical material.


Psychological diagnostics from the point of view of the personal construct theory

Investigator: Miroslav Filip

This project follows notions of G.A. Kelly's psychology of personal constructs (PCP). PCP interprets human action as being dependent on individual ways of creating meanings of elements in the world. The meaning creation is described as a formation of personal constructs, elementary units of experience, which in turn form personal construct systems. There are several variables or diagnostic axes describing structural properties of construct systems that are supposed to be determinants of human action (namely loosening-tightening, constriction-dilation, integration-fragmentation, differentiation-monolithic structure). For example, a loosely organized construct system may be linked with creativity or with schizophrenic thinking. Classical research testing hypotheses between structures of construct systems and human action uses various grid techniques. In this project the PCP diagnostic axes are measured by an alternative method called Revised Semantic Selection Test (TSVrev), which has been developed last several years including development of software BARBORKA for its application. Various indexes derived from the test measuring the diagnostic axes are (in)validated in empirical studies. Currently the most promising findings are related to the axe loosening-tightening that varies considerably across selected clinical samples according to PCP hypotheses.


Dynamics of resilience and its resources in crewmembers during extended spaceflight simulation

Investigator: Iva Šolcová, Iva Stuchlíková a Iva Poláčková

Extended spaceflight represents a potent psychosocial stressor. However, as the crew selection criteria have been sharpened over the years of experience, the manifest effects of stressful condition are rather subtle. Moreover, with the advent of on-orbit space stations, missions became longer, and crews became more multinational and heterogeneous in terms of gender, cultural background, and professional training.
All these newly emerging circumstances represent a new challenge for scientists to seek the ways to unburden the stay in isolation and confinement for future crews. One way to get some answers to the questions addressed is a simulation of the extended spaceflight condition. Current project Mars-520, which will be conducted in Moscow is the longest simulation of spaceflight ever realised. The project represents great opportunity for Czech scientist to participate on this effort with a project devoted to dynamics of resilience of the crewmembers and its resources in dynamics of individual motivational structure and emotion expression and regulation.


Psychological Effects of the Economic Recession: Implications for stress and coping

World-wide project designed and coordinated by Esther Greenglass

Investigator: Iva Šolcová, Alena Slezáčková a Oliva Řehulková

The purpose of this research is to investigate the psychological factors associated with reactions to the recent economic recession which has been a major societal concern in many countries The effects of the current economic situation are widespread, with many more individuals feeling stress and anxious because of changes in their economic situation, reduced income, and the fear of soon losing their jobs. The ability to deal with stressors effectively is particularly important in these difficult times, in order to avoid negative psychological and physical outcomes. Given that the economic threat is ubiquitous and that its effects can be widespread and long-lasting, it is important to study it systematically. There are three main goals of this research. First, we seek to establish relationships between factors associated with the economic downturn, such as financial debt, job loss, threat of job loss, for example, and psychological reactions including burnout, depression, anxiety, and other psychosocial outcomes.
Secondly, our research addresses the extent to which there are moderators of this relationship such as social support or coping, personal resources that may alleviate some of the symptoms of distress associated with uncertainty and anxiety in these difficult economic times.
And, thirdly, by planning to use the same survey in several different countries, we will be able to test the generalizability of our findings.


Attention shifts and eye movements in Multiple Object Tracking in healthy adults

Investigator: Jiří Lukavský

The aim of the project is to develop a model how humans shift their gaze while tracking several moving objects. The project uses Multiple Object Tracking (MOT) paradigm, in which subject tracks several moving objects on the screen and ignores distractors. The projects consists of 3 arts. In the first part the eye movements during MOT will be recorded, and a model explaining the gaze positions will be formulated. The gaze-object and interobject distances will be taken into account. In the second part, the training effect/contextual cueing in MOT will be investigated. It will be tested how the eye movement behavior changes and how stable the training effect is. In the third part trans-saccadic changes will be used in MOT trials to test, which changes are detected and which are kept unattended, i.e. which objects where attended. Multiple Object Tracking is an interesting task, resembling other tasks people do in their everyday life. The deeper understanding of this task can improve the psychological  assessment of attention deficits and help to develop new cognitive training techniques.


Acting with the Inner Partner in Individual, Group and Cultural Contexts

Investigator: Vladimír Chrz

The goal of this project is to exploit the research potential of Acting with the Inner Partner, a discipline developed by Professor Ivan Vyskočil. The basic research question is: How is Acting with the Inner Partner shaped by individual, group and/or cultural dynamics? Three levels of interpretation and their respective contexts will be worked with in concert: 1. Individual context; 2. Group context; 3. Cultural context. Various forms of dialogical interaction can be understood as means of self-shaping in the context of individual, group and cultural dynamics. This will be observed in the experimental situation of Acting with the Inner Partner (as taught at KATaP, DAMU), whose students will serve as research subjects. A wide range of research methods will be employed including extrospection (direct observation, video documentation) and introspection (written reflections, questionnaires).


Intergroup attitudes and Intergroup contact in five Central European countries

Investigator: Martina Hřebíčková

The aim of the proposed project is to determine the interplay between intergroup contact and intergroup attitudes in the border regions of the Czech Republic and four neighboring countries (Austria, Germany, Poland and Slovakia).  Intergroup contact encompasses encounters between members of different social groups - e.g. different nations. Intergroup attitudes are conceptualized as comprising three distinct components: cognitive, affective and behavioral. The cognitive component of intergroup attitudes, national stereotypes, will be determined on scales of characteristics included in the five-factor personality model. The affective component will be measured with a feeling thermometer that assesses emotional relations to members of relevant outgroups. The behavioral component will be extrapolated from a qualitative analysis of open statements where participants described their experience with outgroup members.


Studying optimal development longitudinally: potential of Prague and Brno studies on life-span development

Investigator: Marek Blatný

The project aims for exploring the paths to successful development using empirical data of the longitudinal studies following individuals since 1961 (Brno) and 1956 (Prague). We consider the state of present well-being as the manifestation of successfully mastered development. The variables expressing different aspects of well-being (life satisfaction, sense of coherence, life meaningfulness) have been monitored over long term within the studies, and further constructs will be included withinthe stage in preparation. We will concentrate on resilience, human strengths and the strategies of selection, optimization and compensation in P. Baltes' conception. Along with the main focus of the project, the research on longitudinal stability of personality will be continued. The newly included as well as replicated methods during this phase of the research will at the same time be used as predicators of personal development of participants in further follow-up.


Relationship between physical and visual space in different experimental settings

Investigator: Michal Šimeček

The geometry of visual space has been considered as curved space since the middle 50-es of the last century. Still the experimental findings are not consistent. The curvature of visual space varies according to the position of the observer, among different observers and it also depends on contextual factors, on the actual task settings and on the form of responses. The purpose of this study is to explore more closely selected properties of visual space in various experimental task settings by using metric form of responses as well as the ordinal one and by using drawing reconstruction. The research also aims to verify existence of asymmetrical geometry of visual space in two radial directions and to explore the mutual relationship among different spatial descriptors.


Psychosocial needs and quality of life of healthy siblings of pediatric cancer patients

Co-investigator: Marek Blatný

The proposed project links to current study Quality of life in children surviving cancer: A developmental approach (GAČR, 406/07/1384, principal investigator Tomáš Kepák, M.D., Clinic of pediatric oncology). The aims of this project are: 1) To describe the quality of life of siblings of pediatric cancer patients. 2) To identify the main factors and mechanisms affecting their psychosocial status and development. 3) To identify those, who are at greater risk of developing psychological problems. 4) To develop a psycho-educational intervention, which would: a) provide children with the proper information about the illness according to the child's age, dispel the myths; b) help increase communication in the family; c) help siblings to reveal and deal with intense feelings; d) teach children coping skills; e) help them to increase self-esteem. The program that will be for this reasons adapted uses art-therapy.