PAR’s Concussion Apps are for Parents, Coaches, Trainers, and More!

CONC_APPYouth concussions are a hot topic in the news, especially in light of recent developments in a class-action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

To help athletes, parents, coaches, trainers, and more, PAR offers two concussion apps. The Concussion Recognition & Response™ (CRR) app helps coaches and parents recognize whether an individual is exhibiting and/or reporting signs of a concussion. In fewer than 5 minutes, a parent or coach can complete a checklist of signs and symptoms to help determine whether to seek medical attention. The app allows users to record pertinent information regarding the child with a suspected concussion, allowing them to easily share that information with health-care providers. Post-injury, it guides parents through follow-up treatment.

The CRR app was developed by concussion experts Gerard A. Gioia and Jason Mihalik and has received accolades from former NFL quarterback Steve Young.

“As a former NFL player, national spokesperson for the Positive Coaching Alliance, and someone who has personally experienced the significant effects of a concussion, I believe every parent of a young athlete and coaches should be fully aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion in a young athlete,” Young said. “This app should be a necessary part of every comprehensive youth concussion management and awareness program.”

The Concussion Assessment & Response™: Sport Version (CARE) app is a tool for athletic trainers, team physicians, and other qualified health care professionals to assess the likelihood of a concussion and respond quickly and appropriately.

The CRR app is available free of charge. The CARE app costs just $4.99. Both apps are available for download through the Apple® App StoreSM and Google Play for use on your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod® Touch, Android™ device, or tablet!

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High-Intensity Running as a Vehicle of Escape

Here’s more reason to stick with your New Year’s resolution to exercise more: Increased cognitive performance is associated with exercise. According to Karen Postal, an instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School, exercise has a positive effect on the brain, allowing people to think clearly and solve problems. However, not everyone wants to think about serious issues while exercising; instead, they want to escape their problems for a while. Postal states the best way to accomplish this is through high-intensity workouts: “When you have high exertion—meaning you are running flat-out in a race—you’re not going to be able to solve problems or think as well as when you are engaged in moderate exercise.” Dr. Miriam Nokia seems to agree, stating that high-intensity interval training is more stressful than moderate running.

Daydreaming is often seen as a negative trait, the opposite of being efficient and completing important tasks. However, Jerome L. Singer coined a term called positive constructive daydreaming, which refers to daydreaming that plays a constructive role in our lives. According to his research, daydreaming, imagination, and fantasy are essential to a healthy mental state. He attributes daydreaming to enhanced social skills, relief from boredom, and increased pleasure. Josie Glausiusz stated in an article in Psychology Today, “In one of those scientific switchbacks, daydreaming now appears to be a vital function of the psyche—a cauldron of creativity and an arena for rehearsing social skills. It may even be the backbone of our consciousness. Maybe what we all need is more time to let our minds meander.”

Runner Melissa Dahl admits to increasing her running intensity to allow time for her mind to meander. And according to statistics at Running USA, other runners are also showing a preference for fast running as opposed to moderate running. Some runners run because they need exercise, some run because they want to experience the euphoria called runner’s high, and others run to get away from it all. So those who want to let their minds roam free have only to strap on a pair of shoes and fly like the wind.

What kind of runner are you? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave your comments below.

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PAR Pays It Forward

PAR has announced the recipient of its third-annual program to benefit worthy charities.

“PAR has been incredibly fortunate as a company,” stated R. Bob Smith III, PhD, Chairman and CEO. “Rather than sending our Customers an end-of-year gift, a few years ago, we decided to make a charitable contribution on behalf of our Customers to organizations chosen by those we serve. This is the third year we have done so, each year selecting a new charity to honor.”

In November, PAR mailed an end-of-year communication to select Customers, thanking them for their business and asking them to choose their favorite organization from a list as a way to acknowledge the important work they do throughout the year. Most PAR Customers are involved in psychological assessment, educational assessment, or mental health work. Now that results have been tallied, PAR is proud to announce that on behalf of its Customers, a $5,000 donation will be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

“We are so inspired by the work our Customers do, and NAMI inspires them,” said Smith. “It is an honor to be able to pay it forward.”

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The Psychological Effects of Reality TV

The genre known as reality TV became popular in the early 2000s; however, it actually began in 1948 with Candid Camera. The Dating Game followed in 1965, That’s Incredible in 1980, and Cops in 1989. The 2000s gave us action reality shows like Survivor, Fear Factor, and The Amazing Race, and dating shows like The Bachelor and Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire. Talent competition shows later emerged, with shows like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. Finally, an abundance of celebrity reality shows began, featuring people like Donald Trump, Tyra Banks, and the Kardashians.

Psychologists Steven Reiss and James Wiltz conducted a study called “Why People Watch Reality TV.” They asked 239 adults to rate how much they watched and enjoyed reality shows. They also had participants rate themselves on 16 basic motivations, which influence what people pay attention to and what they choose to do. However, basic motivations must continually be satisfied: once a person has eaten, hunger re-emerges; a person who enjoys arguing might pick a fight after a few days of no conflict. This theory suggests that people continually watch reality shows that satisfy their most important needs. The study also revealed status as a primary motivation for watching reality TV. Reiss and Wiltz concluded, “The more status-oriented people are, the more likely they are to view reality television and report pleasure and enjoyment.”

People watch reality shows for many reasons. Some are merely interested in the topic of the show; others enjoy getting a peek behind the scenes of a celebrity’s life. Reality shows answer questions such as: What is it like to participate in daring escapades? What is it like to win cash? What’s required to keep your home decluttered? How do you plan a wedding? What is it like to sing or dance in front of millions? Reality TV is also a way to escape the problems of life or fantasize about being famous. After all, the people on these shows often seem like normal, down to earth people. If they can be in the spotlight, if they can be rich, maybe someday we can be as well.

Although watching reality TV can be highly entertaining, an article on NPR.org cautions that watching such shows can impact real-life behavior. The constant intake of drama and negativity might not be healthy for viewers. Psychologist Bryan Gibson concluded that watching shows with high aggression can make people more aggressive in their real lives. This may be a good reason to avoid or at least limit watching shows with high levels of negative drama and violence.

What do you think about the effects of reality TV? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave your comments below.

 

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The Best Customer Service in the Test Publishing Industry…
Seriously.

You may know that PAR prides itself on providing the best Customer Service in the industry, but you may not know that this goes far beyond simply providing support when ordering! PAR’s Customer Support team prides themselves on going above and beyond. Every now and then, however, they truly outdo themselves. Here are a few examples of just how incredible our Customer Support team can be—and how seriously they take Customer satisfaction! Here are two recent stories from our Customer Support team.

Baby on board

Earlier this fall, a Customer called in with a question. During the conversation, she mentioned she was extremely pregnant. The Customer Support Specialist who took the call included a PAR bodysuit for the baby in the Customer’s package!

Brazil and beyond

At a recent convention, a Customer from Brazil came to the booth, hoping to take a copy of the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children kit home with him. Because the Customer was concerned with the customs process and the cost of shipping to Brazil, the PAR representative was able to call the order in to our office and have the kit sent overnight to the hotel where the conference was being held. The Customer was able to pick up the kit and take it home with him to Brazil!

Have you experienced our top-notch Customer Service yourself? Share your story with us in the comments.

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New! RAIT-NV helps evaluate intelligence in individuals with limited English-language skills

raitnv_fullFrom the author of the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test (RAIT), the RAIT-Nonverbal (RAIT-NV) can help you quickly evaluate nonverbal, or fluid, intelligence. Ideal for administration with individuals with limited or no language skills, the RAIT-NV reduces confounds found in other nonverbal intelligence measures.

The RAIT-NV:

  • Can be administered individually or in group format. May be used in human resource and related industrial settings, schools, juvenile and adult justice systems, and clinical practices, especially where nonverbal reasoning skills are a premium.
  • Is designed to provide continuity across wide age span.
  • Was examined rigorously to be free of gender and ethnic bias, reducing gender and ethnicity as confounds, particularly important for use with English as a Second Language (ESL) students and adults.

 

Learn more about the RAIT-NV today!

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Now available!
The Iowa Gambling Task, Version 2!

igt2_fullThe Iowa Gambling Task™, Version 2 (IGT™2) is a computerized assessment that assists in the evaluation of decision making. The IGT2 is ideal for assessing patients who exhibit poor decision-making skills in the presence of otherwise normal or unaffected intelligence because of head injury or insult or any other condition thought to impact the function of the prefrontal cortex.

This updated edition features a downward age extension that makes the IGT2 usable throughout the life span, from ages 8 to 79 years.

The IGT2 is:

  • Administered on a computer. The program generates a Score Report and T-score and raw score profiles as soon as the examinee has completed the task. Two export formats are available.
  • Customized to your needs. Optional settings can be customized to your needs, including number of trials, intertrial intervals, type of currency, and starting amount of money.
  • Interpreted immediately. Normative scores are produced automatically, allowing the examiner to compare scores to those of a demographically corrected or U.S. Census-matched sample.

Now featuring extended normative data!

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Five Things to Know About the TOGRA

TOGRAYou may know that the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™) is a speeded measure of reasoning ability and problem-solving skills. Here are five things you may not know.

  1. The TOGRA is fast—it requires only 16 minutes to administer and 2-3 minutes to score.
  2. The TOGRA gives you flexibility. It can be administered by paper and pencil or via PARiConnect, our online assessment platform; in addition, it can be administered to individuals or groups.
  3. The TOGRA includes two equivalent alternate forms, enabling you to retest and monitor progress without worrying about practice effects.
  4. The TOGRA yields a General Reasoning Index (GRI), a highly reliable score that reflects overall measurement of the general factor of reasoning and problem-solving skill.
  5. The TOGRA offers you support, with training available 24/7 on the PAR Training Portal and a Fast Guide that helps you start administering assessments right away.

Learn more about the TOGRA!

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The Psychology of the Nonvoter

You may think that the only people who were stressed out about the election were those who voted. However, according to new research, people who didn’t vote face a unique form of stress. According to Fast Company’s Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan, many people vote for an unexpressed reason: they are afraid others will judge them if they don’t.

People proudly display their “I voted” stickers as a subliminal implication that they “did the right thing” by exercising their civic responsibility. According to this study, many people feel pressured to lie about whether they voted. Those who didn’t vote may fear being asked whether they voted and may fear the reaction of their peers when they admit they didn’t. Additionally, a Harvard study indicates people may vote to avoid lying or to avoid feeling left out.

What do you think? Have you experienced or witnessed voting-related stress?

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Five Things to Know About DBR Connect

DBR Connect is an online direct behavior rating tool that helps educators, school psychologists, and school-based intervention teams assess at-risk students, rate student behavior and track success, and monitor student behavior over time. It can help identify problem behaviors and triggers and determine response to intervention (RTI) effectiveness in minutes.

Here are five things you should know about DBR Connect:

DBR Connect is easy – built-in sliders allow for simple, straightforward administration, and teachers or other professionals can assess student behavior online in about one minute per student.

DBR Connect is comprehensive—research has shown that the three core behavioral constructs in DBR Connect (Academically Engaged, Disruptive, and Respectful) are the most indicative of student success in the classroom.

DBR Connect is effective—according to the National Center on Intensive Intervention, DBR Connect is one of only two behavioral progress monitoring tools proven to be sensitive to student change.

DBR Connect is convenient—the online system completely eliminates paperwork and filing, although forms can be printed and data added to the system later, if desired. At the end of an observation period, a click of a button is all it takes to review data and generate reports.

DBR Connect is reliable—the system offers the strengths of both traditional rating scales and systematic direct observation.  This means teachers can not only identify specific behaviors in real time—and perhaps at the same time every day, such as in homeroom or during bell work—but they can also rate those behaviors.

Learn more about DBR Connect today!

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Creating Connections. Changing Lives.