The GuLF Long-term Follow-up Study (GuLF STUDY) is investigating potential adverse health effects of workers involved in the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill response and cleanup (OSRC). Over 93% of the 160 000 personal air measurements taken on OSRC workers were below the limit of detection (LOD), as reported by the analytic labs. At this high level of censoring, our ability to develop exposure estimates was limited. The primary objective here was to reduce the number of measurements below the labs’ reported LODs to reflect the analytic methods’ true LODs, thereby facilitating the use of a relatively unbiased and precise Bayesian method to develop exposure estimates for study exposure groups (EGs). The estimates informed a job-exposure matrix to characterize exposure of study participants. A second objective was to develop descriptive statistics for relevant EGs that did not meet the Bayesian criteria of sample size ≥5 and censoring ≤80% to achieve the aforementioned level of bias and precision. One of the analytic labs recalculated the measurements using the analytic method’s LOD; the second lab provided raw analytical data, allowing us to recalculate the data values that fell between the originally reported LOD and the analytical method’s LOD. We developed rulesmore »
Higher reactivity to stress exposure is associated with an increased tendency to appraise ambiguous stimuli as negative. However, it remains unknown whether tendencies to use emotion regulation strategies—such as cognitive reappraisal, which involves altering the meaning or relevance of affective stimuli—can shape individual differences regarding how stress affects perceptions of ambiguity. Here, we examined whether increased reappraisal use is one factor that can determine whether stress exposure induces increased negativity bias. In Study 1, healthy participants (
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Exposure Assessment Techniques Applied to the Highly Censored Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill Personal Measurements
“I don’t feel safe sitting in my own yard”: Chicago resident experiences with urban rats during a COVID-19 stay-at-home orderAbstract Background Encounters with rats in urban areas increase risk of human exposure to rat-associated zoonotic pathogens and act as a stressor associated with psychological distress. The frequency and nature of human-rat encounters may be altered by social distancing policies to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, restaurant closures may reduce food availability for rats and promote rat activity in nearby residential areas, thus increasing public health risks during a period of public health crisis. In this study, we aimed to identify factors associated with increased perceived exposure to rats during a stay-at-home order, describe residents’ encounters with rats relevant to their health and well-being, and identify factors associated with increased use of rodent control. Methods Urban residents in Chicago, a large city with growing concerns about rats and health disparities, completed an online questionnaire including fixed response and open-ended questions during the spring 2020 stay-at-home order. Analyses included ordinal multivariate regression, spatial analysis, and thematic analysis for open-ended responses. Results Overall, 21% of respondents ( n = 835) reported an increase in rat sightings around their homes during the stay-at-home order and increased rat sightings was positively associated with proximity to restaurants, low-rise apartment buildings, and rat feces in themore »
Emotion regulation can be characterized by different activities that attempt to alter an emotional response, whether behavioral, physiological or neurological. The two most widely adopted strategies, cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression are explored in this study, specifically in the context of disgust. Study participants (N = 21) experienced disgust via video exposure, and were instructed to either regulate their emotions or express them freely. If regulating, they were required to either cognitively reappraise or suppress their emotional experiences while viewing the videos. Video recordings of the participants' faces were taken during the experiment and electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyography (EMG), and galvanic skin response (GSR) readings were also collected for further analysis. We compared the participants behavioral (facial musculature movements) and physiological (GSR and heart rate) responses as they aimed to alter their emotional responses and computationally determined that when responding to disgust stimuli, the signals recorded during suppression and free expression were very similar, whereas those recorded during cognitive reappraisal were significantly different. Thus, in the context of this study, from a signal analysis perspective, we conclude that emotion regulation via cognitive reappraisal significantly alters participants' physiological responses to disgust, unlike regulation via suppression.
Ambiguous stimuli are useful for assessing emotional bias. For example, surprised faces could convey a positive or negative meaning, and the degree to which an individual interprets these expressions as positive or negative represents their “valence bias.” Currently, the most well-validated ambiguous stimuli for assessing valence bias include nonverbal signals (faces and scenes), overlooking an inherent ambiguity in verbal signals. This study identified 32 words with dual-valence ambiguity (i.e., relatively high intersubject variability in valence ratings and relatively slow response times) and length-matched clearly valenced words (16 positive, 16 negative). Preregistered analyses demonstrated that the words-based valence bias correlated with the bias for faces, r s (213) = .27, p < .001, and scenes, r s (204) = .46, p < .001. That is, the same people who interpret ambiguous faces/scenes as positive also interpret ambiguous words as positive. These findings provide a novel tool for measuring valence bias and greater generalizability, resulting in a more robust measure of this bias.
Do negative feelings in general trigger addictive behavior, or do specific emotions play a stronger role? Testing these alternative accounts of emotion and decision making, we drew on the Appraisal Tendency Framework to predict that sadness, specifically, rather than negative mood, generally, would 1) increase craving, impatience, and actual addictive substance use and 2) do so through mechanisms selectively heightened by sadness. Using a nationally representative, longitudinal survey, study 1 (
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