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Flexibility in self-regulatory behaviors has proved to be an important quality for adjusting to stressful life events and requires individuals to have a diverse repertoire of emotion regulation abilities. However, the most commonly used emotion regulation questionnaires assess frequency of behavior rather than ability, with little evidence linking these measures to observable capacity to enact a behavior. The aim of the current investigation was to develop and validate a Flexible Regulation of Emotional Expression (FREE) Scale that measures a person's ability to enhance and suppress displayed emotion across an array of hypothetical contexts. In Studies 1 and 2, a series of confirmatory factor analyses revealed that the FREE Scale consists of 4 first-order factors divided by regulation and emotional valence type that can contribute to 2 higher order factors: expressive enhancement ability and suppression ability. In Study 1, we also compared the FREE Scale to other commonly used emotion regulation measures, which revealed that suppression ability is conceptually distinct from suppression frequency. In Study 3, we compared the FREE Scale with a composite of traditional frequency-based indices of expressive regulation to predict performance in a previously validated emotional modulation paradigm. Participants' enhancement and suppression ability scores on the FREE Scale predicted their corresponding performance on the laboratory task, even when controlling for baseline expressiveness. These studies suggest that the FREE Scale is a valid and flexible measure of expressive regulation ability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
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Engineering play is a new perspective on preschool education that views constructive play as an engineering design process that parallels the way engineers think and work when they develop engineered solutions to human problems (Bairaktarova, Evangelou, Bagiati, & Brophy, 2011). Early research from this perspective supports its use in framing play as a key learning context. However, no research to date has examined associations between engineering play and other factors linked with early school success, such as executive function, mathematical ability, and spatial ability. Additionally, more research is needed to further validate a new engineering play observational measure. This study had two main goals: (1) to gather early validity data on the engineering play measure as a potentially useful instrument for documenting the occurrence of children's engineering play behaviors in educational contexts, such as block play. This was done by testing the factor structure of the engineering play behaviors in this sample and their association with preschoolers' planning, a key aspect of the engineering design process; (2) to explore associations between preschoolers' engineering play and executive function, mathematical ability, and spatial ability. Participants included 110 preschoolers (62 girls; 48 boys; M = 58.47 months) from 10 classrooms in the Midwest United States coded for their frequency of engagement in each of the nine engineering play behaviors. A confirmatory factor analysis resulted in one engineering play factor including six of the engineering play behaviors. A series of marginal regression models revealed that the engineering play factor was significantly and positively associated with the spatial horizontal rotation transformation. However, engineering play was not significantly related to planning ability, executive function, informal mathematical abilities, or other spatial transformation skills. Follow-up analyses revealed significant positive
The inability to vocally match a pitch can be caused by poor pitch perception or by poor vocal-motor control. Although previous studies have tried to examine the relationship between pitch perception and vocal production, they have failed to control for the timbre of the target to be matched. In the present study, we compare pitch-matching accuracy with an unfamiliar instrument (the slider) and with the voice, designed such that the slider plays back recordings of the participant's own voice. We also measured pitch accuracy in singing a familiar melody ("Happy Birthday") to assess the relationship between single-pitch-matching tasks and melodic singing. Our results showed that participants (all nonmusicians) were significantly better at matching recordings of their own voices with the slider than with their voice, indicating that vocal-motor control is an important limiting factor on singing ability. We also found significant correlations between the ability to sing a melody in tune and vocal pitch matching, but not pitch matching on the slider. Better melodic singers also tended to have higher quality voices (as measured by acoustic variables). These results provide important evidence about the role of vocal-motor control in poor singing ability and demonstrate that single-pitch-matching tasks can be useful in measuring general singing abilities.