Social and Behavioural

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The Multi-theory Model of Health Behavior Change: Understanding Meditation, or ‘Dhyana’ | Professor Manoj Sharma

The Multi-theory Model of Health Behavior Change: Understanding Meditation, or ‘Dhyana’ | Professor Manoj Sharma

Meditation is the regular, purposeful practice of becoming aware of one’s bodily sensations, thoughts, or other points of focus. Professor Manoj Sharma, a global health promotion leader and Chair of the Social and Behavioral Health department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, wished to test whether a health behavioral model that he developed could explain why adults begin and maintain a meditation practice. While this multi-theory model – or ‘MTM’ – has been applied to many health-related behaviors, two domains are core to the model: initiation of a health behavior and sustenance of this behavior.

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Professor Kieran Kilcawley | Using Flavour Chemistry to Identify Biomarkers Behind the Sensory Perception of Irish Grass-fed Beef and Lamb

Professor Kieran Kilcawley | Using Flavour Chemistry to Identify Biomarkers Behind the Sensory Perception of Irish Grass-fed Beef and Lamb

For many consumers, the origin of the food they buy is of great importance. For instance, Irish beef and lamb is often seen as superior quality meat, as the animals are typically reared outdoors on a diet of predominately fresh grass. However, are Irish beef and lamb actually any different to meats produced elsewhere, from animals reared indoors in less sustainable production systems? Professor Kieran Kilcawley and his team at the Teagasc Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, in conjunction with University College Dublin, are investigating the ‘flavour chemistry’ of beef and lamb. Their aim is to determine whether there are fundamental differences in the chemical properties of meat due to the animal’s diet and origin.

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Dr William Durkan | Exploring How the Geography of Voter Turnout Impacts Election Results

Dr William Durkan | Exploring How the Geography of Voter Turnout Impacts Election Results

Voter turnout plays a key role in the functioning of democracies. If only a minority of citizens vote, the elected government might not accurately represent the views of the population. In contrast, when voter turnout is high, a country’s government has a strong mandate to make decisions on its citizens’ behalf. The geographical distributions of voters and voter turnout also significantly affect the outcome of elections. Dr William Durkan of Maynooth University in Ireland recently explored the changing geographies of voter turnout in US presidential elections from 2012 to 2020, using the state of Michigan as a case study.

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Sarah Leighton | Can Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Help Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Sarah Leighton | Can Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Help Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Psychiatric assistance dogs trained to help with mental health symptoms have become increasingly popular as a complementary intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sarah Leighton and her colleagues from Purdue University and the University of Arizona in the USA are exploring the effectiveness of psychiatric assistance dog partnerships for military veterans with PTSD.

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Do European Citizens Accept EU and National Policies Equally?

Do European Citizens Accept EU and National Policies Equally?

Following the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, a related economic emergency known as the Euro Crisis spread throughout Europe. To counter this crisis, the EU imposed a series of austerity measures in the worst-hit countries, which fuelled outrage across Europe. However, it is unclear whether citizens were more outraged about these policies because they had been implemented by EU institutions rather than national governments. Professor Sonia Alonso and Professor Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca recently set out to understand whether the willingness of citizens to accept unpopular policies varies depending on whether they were introduced by their national governments or by EU institutions.

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