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Research we’re reading – March 2017

Research we’re reading is a regular series written by Taylor & Francis employees, taking a look at recent articles that have caught our attention and got us thinking.

This is the first instalment – keep an eye out for more posts coming soon…

Cat Cetnik, Content Executive

Role models revisited: youth, novelty, and the impact of female candidates by Christina Wolbrecht & David E. Campbell

Published in Politics, Groups, and Identities

“Around International Women’s Day on 8 March, I was particularly interested in browsing the latest research in women and gender studies. This particular article published in Politics, Groups, and Identities caught my eye due to its topical focus on female political candidates, and specifically whether women in politics serve as effective role models for young women.

The research focuses on the possible impact of female candidates for major offices – U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and governor. Wolbrecht and Campbell find that younger women, those aged 18–29, become significantly more likely to discuss politics when they experience a viable and new female political candidate. ‘Female candidates who already hold office do not change the behavior of young women. But where the presence of female candidates is unprecedented (at least recently), younger women become more engaged when a woman runs a viable campaign for a major office currently held by a man.’ There is no comparable effect for those 65 and over, however.

Wolbrecht and Campbell conclude that as female role models become more commonplace in the political sphere, the role model effect may become a norm rather than a novelty.”

Emma Cianchi, Communications Executive

Reverse engineering the human: artificial intelligence and acting theory by Donna Soto-Morettini

Published in Connection Science

“As someone who’s involved in amateur dramatics, this article drew my attention with the connection between acting and artificial intelligence (AI). With limited knowledge of AI, these are not two areas I would personally connect with each other, so it was fascinating to discover their similar approaches to understanding and reproducing human behavior. Soto-Morettini suggests not only that acting theory can aid AI research, but that AI research can also teach something to actors. How much AI research will impact my amateur performances I don’t know, but I look forward to seeing closer connections between these areas in the future. I hope that over time the dialogue between AI and acting theory leads to a fuller understanding of human behavior and the relationship between environmental and cognitive influences on how we act.”

Tess Deakin, Content Coordinator

Who Is Caring for the Caregiver? The Role of Cybercoping for Dementia Caregivers by Jae-Seon Jeong, Young Kim, and Myoung-Gi Chon

Published in Health Communication

“As a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society, I was drawn to this article on dementia caregivers. A lot of the work that I do with the Society is focused towards these amazing people and raising awareness of the services and advice on offer. This article highlights the benefits of caregivers sourcing information online and communicating in forums. Jeong, Kim and Chon suggest that regular online communication behaviors can contribute significantly to “relieving caregivers’ negative emotions and physical symptoms of patients”. Now, from reading this research, I will be able to suggest these activities as coping methods for caregivers and point them towards the relevant research. I look forward to seeing how this area of research develops.”

Sayjal Mistry, Press & Media Relations Coordinator

Music Use in Exercise: A Questionnaire Study by Rachel Hallett and Alexandra Lamont

Published in Media Psychology

“Having gone a little gym-crazy this year, this paper caught my eye. For me, a good, fast-paced playlist is a necessity when exercising. Whether I’m running a few miles on the treadmill, or struggling through my final set of squats, I need upbeat music to keep me motivated and push me to work harder. According to the paper, women are “more likely…to synchronise to the beat”, which is certainly true for me. Hallett and Lamont suggest that music “…can increase motivation and positive affect among exercisers”, which I agree with. The study finds that women’s exercise music is “…evenly spread across Intense and Rebellious, Upbeat and Conventional, and Rhythmic and Energetic styles”. I agree with this as my playlist will differ depending on the type of exercise I’m doing. This study confirms that I’m not alone when it comes to needing a good pair of headphones and upbeat tunes during any gruelling gym session.”