The aim of the present study is to investigate the existing controversially debated relationship between religion and spirituality and coping with an illness. Specifically, the study analyzes religion and spirituality as coping mechanisms with cancer, since for cancer patients in particular little is known about religion and spirituality as a coping mechanism, in addition to the very diverse results published so far in the field. The study’s goal is to understand whether religion or spirituality can be viewed as a positive coping mechanism for cancer patients and whether this relationship depends on a patient’s specific characteristics (e.g. age, education) or on the illness characteristics (e.g. cancer type, illness stage). The applied research methodology is a systematic meta-analysis, a research method that was evaluated as the most appropriate to ensure that the current research problem is clearly defined and set within the established context. Four main findings emerged from this research. First, spirituality highly correlates with augmented quality of life and with reduced emotional distress. Second, the meaning component of spirituality showed stronger correlations with higher quality of life and reduced emotional distress in comparison to the faith one. Third, general religiousness showed weak to non significant correlations with quality of life and emotional distress. Fourth, negative religious coping showed significant relations with augmented emotional distress and reduced quality of life while positive religious coping showed non-significant relationship with the mentioned above dependent variables. The results suggest that spirituality as a coping mechanism with cancer is a strong positive coping mechanism. Specifically, constructing a meaning from the illness experience seems to have a powerful connection with a better psycho-social well being among cancer patients. At the same time, religion has both positive and negative implication for psycho-social well-being of cancer patients, depending upon the type of religion as mentioned above. Last, illness and socio-demographic variables did not show a consistent pattern of moderation for the effect sizes of the different dependent-independent variables combination, suggesting that when it comes to religion and spirituality, situational factors and specific religious and non religious functions, beliefs and practices need to be taken into account.
The Simulation of Action Strategies of Different Personalities in Perspective of the Interaction between Emotions, Motivations, and Cognition (An Experimental Study in the Field of Cognitive Psychology and Artificial Intelligence) Inaugural-Dissertation in der Fakultät Pädagogik, Philosophie und Psychologie der Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg submitted by Ayman Elkady Abstract 1. Introduction: This research investigates the relationship between the theoretical basis of PSI-theory by Dietrich Dörner and the actual performance of subjects in the Island-game (a well-structured problem in an uncertain environment). The study compares the behavior of human subjects and the PSI simulation. The main results show that the PSI agent is not only able to simulate the different strategies of the experimental subjects, but also able to simulate single cases of personality. 2. Participants: A sample of 40 subjects participated in the experiment. The sample of participants was divided into two groups (group A and group B). Each group consisted of twenty participants. While "group A" played an island-game whos resources could be renewed, group B played the non-renewable resources version. 3. Materials: Island game, a computer simulation of a robot, called James, - endowed with several needs (e.g. for energy, for water), was used. The "island" contains numerous locations with different objects that can be manipulated in various ways. Manipulations of the objects can have effects on the robot (e.g. water can be drunk and the need for food is satisfied). Subjects have to control the robot and satisfy his existential needs. Moreover, they have to collect energy-rich-lumps of rock called 'Nucleotides'. 4. Experimental Design and Procedure: At the beginning of the experiment, participants were informed that they took part in a problem-solving experiment. Before beginning the first session, standard instructions for the task were given using Power Point presentation that explained the basic rules of the game and the tasks, namely, to keep the robot alive (e.g. to find enough water and food for the robot) and to collect so-called "Nucleotides". During these periods and all experimental conditions, subjects were allowed to think and speak freely. 5. Results of the experiment: The experiment show that there are no differences between the results of the participants of group A and the results of the participants of group B with respect to the eight dependent variables and the fact that the participants had played the game using different strategies. Therefore, we can assume that in this case the type of environment, whether poor or rich, does not play an important role. Most important is the way (the strategy) the available resources are managed by the actors. We have found these playing strategies: The Nucleotides-First-Strategy: Nucleotides are considered as a main motive and the existential needs of the robot are ignored. Survival-strategy: Existential needs of the robot are considered as a main motive and nucleotides are ignored. The Balance-Between-Motives-Strategy: Some participants made a balance between motives. In other words, some participants were capable of achieving both tasks (saving the robot from breakdowns and collecting nucleotides) by considering all goals of existential needs together with nucleotides. Stereotype-strategy: All goals of the different motives are included and are accompanied by a low selection threshold. 6. Simulation: We proposed that the PSI-program (and of course the theory behind the program) had motives, emotions and cognitive processes similar to those which human participants had in the experiment. Therefore, we set PSI-parameters in way that could simulate and produce the same strategies the subjects used in the experiment. The program was run with varying chance values within the specific range of all parameters. Simulation time had been varied because we discovered that the subjects had different playing-speeds. 7. Results of the simulation: The PSI model can produce the same strategies that the subjects had used during playing the Island game. There are highly significant correlations between PSI's behavioral parameters and the subjects' means for all parameter sets. Moreover, qualitative analyses of the two single cases indicated that PSI can also simulate single case strategies.