Research activities – Psychology Faculty
Scientific Disciplinary Sector M-PED/04, M-PED/03, M-PSI/01, M-PSI/05
Prof. Maria Amata Garito
Dr. Alessandro Caforio– Researcher
Dr. Michalakis Pilavakis – Researcher
Dr. Luciano di Mele – Researcher
The study and research on the recent developments of the virtual learning communities and on the Web 2.0 tools consists in a survey on the emerging dynamics in the learning community including the students of the Psychology Faculty and in a survey on the technologies used for collaborating and for sharing knowledge. Survey on learning styles and the impact of the new Web-based technologies. The Web 2.0 tools such as WIKIs, Twitter micro-blogging, FlickR photo, LinkedIn discussions, Video sharing, DELICIOUS social bookmarking, Social Tagging, RSS are of particular interest. Another focus is on technological innovations such as scalable multimedia contents based on the features of the different use devices, the spreading of the geo-localized services, the adoption of mobile devices and the spreading of social tagging. Research on this field represents an essential premise to facilitate the study of the distributed, de-centralized and constructive nature of learning and knowledge acquisitions processes.
Research in this field is strictly linked to research questions such as: which is the impact of emerging technologies on the Web and that of Social Media on customized learning processes and on knowledge acquisition processes? The study of the processes of the collective construction of meanings and the discovery of patterns in knowledge acquisition represent one of the main elements for innovating UNINETTUNO distance learning psycho-pedagogic models.
A further research field concerns media education, that is the pedagogical modes of media education in formal as well as in informal environments. Media Education studies both the methodologies through which media are object of education as well as media general development policies in education paying particular attention on citizenship, intercultural dialogue, children protection, digital story-telling, educational technologies.
Scientific-Disciplinary Sectors M-PED/04, M-PED/03, M-PSI/01, M-PSI/05
Prof. Bagnara Sebastiano
Dr. Caforio Alessandro
In collaboration with TELECOM’s research centre new communication tools aimed at promoting horizontal and collaborative forms of learning will be developed. Issues of collaboration are related the study and analysis of new interaction modes, identification of hardware and software tools, evolution and prototype development of new experimental applications of social reading. These tools will be tested and validated through empirical studies that will directly involved the students of the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO. The research work promoted in this field will useful for a systematic study as well as for the development of cognitive and relational abilities needed in the learning process. For further information see the cooperation agreement on digital didactics and on collaborative learning modes.
Scientific-Disciplinary Sector MPSI/05, MPSI/01, MPED/04, SPS/04
Prof. Cristiano Castelfranchi
Researcher: Dr. Francesca D'Errico
This research area aims at deepening the role of socio-cognitive processes as it regards the real and virtual dynamics of political participation.
In recent years, with the more and more massive spreading of new media, beside the traditional ones, we are witnessing a rapid change in participative and decisional processes in the political and democracy arena. These developments, beside having a strong impact on inclusion dynamics of more and more specific sectors of active citizenship can play a significant role also in policies of power administration and in the processes of negotiation of social and urban conflicts.
The innovation persasiveness of the new media such as forms of social participation, from the one hand, have the effect of amplifying and promoting online participative processes but, on the other hand, to increase the escalation of degenerative processes including various forms of discredit going from flamming to cyber-bulling.
In order to understand the cognitive and socio-emotional aspects at the basis of collaborative and “constructive” as well as aggressive communication, these research works deepen the psychosocial side of the analysis of constructs such as engagement, trust in participation and in political institutions (Castelfranchi, 2010; 2013) and social representation of policy related to new as well as to traditional media.
In this respect the analysis of the features of the media used (press, television, social networks, virtual community, blogs, websites) and taking into account the various kinds of interactions between political institutions and citizens are central (as audience or follower, vertical or horizontal). The research questions focus on the contents and analysis of multimodal (verbal and body) communication developed by traditional and digital media, beside their functions and effects on the various level of participation (D'Errico et al., 2014).
A further development opens upon a psycho-pedagogic perspective in the purpose of experimenting new forms of participation and “ethical” awareness aimed at self-confident use of online and face-to-face communication.
Scientific-Disciplinary Sectors MPSI/05, MPSI/01, MPED/03, SPS/04; MPSI06
Prof. Rosaria Conte
Dr. Francesca D'Errico – researcher
Within this area the role of some psychological and social dimensions within individual and decision-making processes is analyzed. The ultimate objective is that of promoting awareness, e-regulation, sense of individual and social responsibility and ethical behaviors in the current technological and social contexts which are characterized by rules, codes and reference models that are getting more and more complex and unstable.
In particular, through the use of qualitative-quantitative studies in real and virtual contexts and simulation of different computational models, these research aim at understanding the psychosocial behavior of individuals and groups in some “ethically” critical situations; for example, in cases of dilemma in which it is required to participate in an individual and/or collective decision-making process.
On the basis of the previous studies some key dimensions of this process that can promote or not choices or behaviors in favor of social and community interests, such as values, moral and social beliefs, roles and sense of responsibility as well as processes leading to unaccountability as it regards the adoption of behaviors that are not in line with one’s own moral principles and standards are studied. In addition, taking into account the current scenarios of social interaction, in the study of this issue the analysis of the interplay between social and individual characteristics that can increase or reduces personal and collective responsibility in decision-making as well as the role of the new media, of social mining and of simulations in facilitating or not ethical or moral choices will be key to this analysis. The study of intra-individual and interpersonal dynamics in the new social relations environments is at the basis of the design of educational, organizational and social interventions aimed at developing awareness about the complexity of decision-making processes and enhancing a sense of individual and social responsibility for the benefit of the current and future generations.
Within this research area the role of some psychological and social dimensions in the individual and collective decision-making processes is analyzed. The ultimate aim is that of promoting awareness, e-regulation, individual and social sense of responsibility and ethical behaviors in the current technological and social contexts that are characterized by more and more complex and unstable reference rules, codes and models.
More specifically, by using qualitative-quantitative studies in real and virtual contexts and the simulation of different computational models, these research works aim at understanding the psycho-social functioning of individuals and groups in some “ethically” critical situations, for example in cases of dilemma in which the participation in an individual and/or collective decision-making process is required.
Building on previous studies some key dimensions of the analysis of this process which can foster or not choices and behaviors in favor of social and community interests, such as values, moral and social beliefs, adoption of role and sense of responsibility as well as processes of de-responsibilization as regards the adoption of behaviors that are not in line with one’s own moral principles and standards are deepened.
In addition, considering the current scenarios of social interaction, in the study of this issue there will be a special focus not only on the analysis of the interactions between social and individual features that can increase or reduce personal and collective responsibility in decision-making processes, but also the role of the new media, of social mining and simulations in facilitating or not ethical and/or moral choices.
Thr study of intra-personal and inter-personal dynamics in the new relational environments is at the basis of the design of educational, organizational and social intervention aimed at raising awareness about the complexity of decision-making processes and enhance the sense of individual and social responsibility for the benefit of the present and future generations.
S.S.D M-PSI/06, M-PSI/05. M-PSI/01
Prof. Pedon Arrigo
Dr. Mariangela Cersosimo – researcher
The objective of the research works that were developed in this research-intervention area was that of understanding individual, situational and behavioral factors that can put at risk the quality of the work and the wellbeing of workers in different organizations, paying particular attention to social and health-related working environments. The focus of this research work was aimed at theoretical and empirical deepening of the psychosocial process leading to undesired outcomes, such as burn-out, depression, non-ethical behaviors, health problems as well at a correct application of protocols, rules and ethical codes in stressing and conflict situations. The ultimate purpose of these research activities is that of supplying a robust knowledge basis on which to design psychosocial interventions aimed at reducing risk factors and at promoting protection factors assuring individuals and organizations’ wellbeing.
In this research-intervention area technologies are used firstly to evaluate assessment psychosocial indicators (i.e. online questionnaires, simulations) in conflict and stressing situations. More specifically, we realized a face-to-face and a distance assessment system in cooperation with experts in different organizational areas and with some TELECOM working students of the psychology faculty. Technologies were uses also to create virtual educational environments (i.e. thematic discussions in forums) in which the students can exchange views and reflect on the conditions that can put the health of workers and the functioning of an entire organization at risk.
S.S.D M-PSI/06 M-PSI/07, M-PSI/08
Prof. Ammaniti Massimo
Dr. Luca Cerniglia
A research-intervention activity in various fields of developmental psychopathology at child level as, for instance, in the area of child nutrition disturbs and in other clinical situations is conducted. Developmental disharmonies and children’s emotional-adaptive behavior is considered and studied in conjunction with parent psychopathological risk from an inter-subjectivity and attachment perspective. In particular, attention is paid to mother’s depression as risk factor in the construction of an adaptive link between mother and child in association with father’s symptomatic situations such as anxiety or hostility. An experimentation of research-intervention protocols based on methodologies of data collection and clinical interviews made on online platform and through videoconferencing systems according to indications given by the World Health Organization (WHO) that suggested to implement and realize “e-health” and “m-health” procedures is being carried on. These research strands are deepened in cooperation with national and international institutions and services such as, for example, Rome’s Pediatric Hospitals, the Nutrition Center directed by Prof. Chatoor at the University of Washington (USA) and Reading-Oxford University (United Kingdom) where Prof. Murray works.
The research work on trauma is conducted in cooperation with the Italian association “Caritas” and it allows to further study issues related to PTSD as a clinical situation developing further to potentially traumatic events, such as children and adults’ forced migrations.
The risk area in adolescence is treated in the frame work of an observatory on young people in collaboration with a Roman trauma hospital and a work group including also Prof. Carbone. In 2011-2014 year these research works produced several scientific publications appeared in peer-reviewed international journals having an impact-factor and were included also in the Scopus database. In addition, a research work, based on the a face-to-face and online data collection on risk and risk protection factors from psychopathological risk in adulthood and its side-effects as it regards academic performance is underway. For this area international publications are being prepared.<
In addition, a Psychological Counseling Service, both face-to-face and at distance, which includes also data collection on psychopathological risks.
The Counseling and Psychological Service Center will be aimed at collecting research data and at implementing intervention strategies even thanks the use of the new technologies (online data collection and by implementing special procedures and computer-based platforms to be integrated to UNINETTUNO’s portal). It will also offer a support to all those who may find themselves facing situation of emotional distress linked to personal and/or relational difficulties and/or stressing and traumatic events that may jeopardize the quality of their personal and familiar life as well as their study paths.
Even in this case the aim of this Center is to experiment and assess the effectiveness of “remote” procedures allowing distance contacts between consultants and users. The Counseling and Psychological Service Center will be targeted to the students of the Psychology Faculty as well as to the students of other Faculties and also to external users who request it also based on conventions with healthcare and research centers.
Internet Addiction Center
UNINETTUNO suggests to implement a research line aimed at enhancing its competences in the use of the Web which, by now, starts since the first years of life and which has become a widespread social fact. If, from one hand, the Internet fosters the advancement of research, knowledge and socialization of knowledge, at the same time, there are risks that can involve those who use it. This is the reason why UNINETTUNO is going to set up a center supporting people to safely navigate it carrying on a prevention activity through information and awareness raising at social, school and family level assured by psychologists (and engineering as regards the information literacy diffusion) in order to help to make an informed and selective use of the opportunities offered by the Web. At the same time, since there are significant risks while using the Web, the Center will specifically deal with the tracking and support of the people who faced problems or difficulties in using the Web. For instance, you can come across games and bets on the Web having serious effects, the use and spread of pornographic or sex materials (used for commercial as well as for blackmailing purposes) as well as various forms of abuse and stalking up to forms of Internet addiction that can interfere with the daily life of people and with the sleep-wake cycles. These situations affect different age ranges, but they can be more troublesome in adolescence when the use of the Web can be particularly involving. To this end a team of psychologists coordinated by Prof. Ammaniti will receive the requests of parents, teachers and/or concerned people who found themselves in these situations. The requests can be made on the phone, personally or thanks to the Center and there will be counseling session to help people to overcome these problems and make a more reasonable use of the Web.