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A NEO for use in career settings? Now available!

PAR is pleased to announce the PARiConnect release of the NEO™ Five-Factor Inventory-3: Four-Factor Version (NEO™-FFI-3:4FV) and the NEO™ Personality Inventory-3: Four-Factor Version (NEO™-PI-3:4FV). The NEO-FFI-3:4FV and the NEO-PI-3:4FV provide information on four personality domains: Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Both measures are designed for use in employment and counseling settings involving activities such as career counseling, career development, and employee training where these four domains are the main focus. Items, normative data, and scoring are taken from the E, O, A, and C factors of the NEO-PI-3 or NEO-FFI-3.

 

The NEO-PI-3:4FV and NEO-FFI-3:4FV are available for administration and scoring only on PARiConnect. A self-report form (Form S) and a form for rating others (Form R) are available.

 

Learn more about this new addition to the NEO family of products today!

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How to help someone grieving during the holidays

For many of us, the holidays are a joyful time to celebrate together with family and friends. Yet for those who have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be an especially difficult time. What are the best ways to support someone who is grieving during the holidays?

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), a nonprofit organization that advocates for improved end-of-life care, offers some guidance to help those who don’t know what to say or do for a grieving friend or family member. The NHPCO’s hospice professionals offer these suggestions:

  1. Be supportive of the way the person chooses to handle the holidays. Some may wish to follow traditions; others may choose to avoid customs of the past and do something new. It’s okay to do things differently.
  2. Offer to help the person with decorating or holiday baking. Both tasks can be overwhelming for someone who is grieving.
  3. Offer to help with holiday shopping. Share catalogs or online shopping sites that may be helpful.
  4. Invite the person to join you or your family during the holidays. You might invite them to join you for a religious service or at a holiday meal where they are a guest.
  5. Ask the person if he or she is interested in volunteering with you during the holidays. Doing something for someone else, such as helping at a soup kitchen or working with children, may help your loved one feel better about the holidays.
  6. Never tell someone that he or she should be “over it.” Instead, give the person hope that, eventually, he or she will enjoy the holidays again.
  7. Be willing to listen. Active listening from friends and family is an important step to helping some cope with grief and heal.
  8. Remind the person you are thinking of him or her and the loved one who died. Cards, phone calls, and visits are great ways to stay in touch.

For more information about NHPCO and their resources on grief, loss, and hospice care, visit www.nhpco.org.

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Music and memory: Study suggests significant new links

The link between musical expertise and linguistic working memory has been well established in the literature. However, new research from the University of Texas at Arlington suggests that musicians may have additional memory advantages, including enhanced visual/pictorial memory and better long-term memory.

In their study, lead author Heekyeong Park, assistant professor of psychology at UT Arlington, and graduate student James Schaeffer measured the electrical activity of neurons in the brains of both musicians and non-musicians using electroencephalography (EEG) technology, noting differences in frontal and parietal lobe responses.

“Musically trained people are known to process linguistic materials a split second faster than those without training, and previous research also has shown musicians have advantages in working memory,” said Park in a recent statement. “What we wanted to know is whether there are differences between pictorial and verbal tasks and whether any advantages extend to long-term memory.”

Study participants included 14 musicians, who had been playing classical music for 15 years or more, as well as 15 non-musicians. To test working memory, participants were shown both pictorial and verbal items and then asked to identify them among a group of similar foils. At the end of the session, long-term memory was tested by asking participants to identify test items they had already encountered versus completely new items.

On the working memory tasks, the musicians outperformed non-musicians in EEG-measured neural responses. In terms of long-term memory, however, musicians performed better in memory for pictorial (nonverbal) items only. Although the study does not establish the reason for this improvement in pictorial memory, the authors speculate that learning to read music may enhance an individual’s ability to process visual cues.

Dr. Park hopes to test more musicians soon to strengthen her findings. “Our work is adding evidence that music training is a good way to improve cognitive abilities,” she says. “If proven, those advantages could represent an intervention option to explore for people with cognitive challenges.”

The researchers presented their initial results last month at Neuroscience 2014, the international meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in Washington, D.C. To learn more about Dr. Park’s work, visit her Web page on the UT Arlington Web site.

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The AAB Screening Form is Now Available on the PAR Training Portal

Want to learn more about the Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™)Screening Form? PAR’s Training Portal now offers a  free course on this new product. Whether you have already purchased the AAB Screening Form and want to learn more about this instrument or are looking for more information to help make your purchase decision, this training course will give you a quick overview of the product, explain what makes it unique, and give you insight into how it was developed.

To access the Training Portal, use your parinc.com username and password to log in. Don’t have a free account? Register now. Training courses are also available on the Vocabulary Assessment Scales™ (VAS™), the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™), and the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™). Training on the AAB Comprehensive Form will be available shortly, with more presentations coming in 2015.

 

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Researchers identify genetic mutation linked to suicide risk

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered a chemical alteration in a single human gene that is linked to the risk of a suicide attempt. According to study leader Zachary Kaminsky, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the JHU School of Medicine, the results of this study could be a first step in developing a simple blood test that will help doctors predict suicide risk.

Described in The American Journal of Psychiatry, the study suggests that chemical changes in a gene involved in the function of the brain’s response to stress hormones plays a significant role in suicide risk. These changes can turn a normal reaction to everyday stress into suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

“Suicide is a major preventable public health problem, but we have been stymied in our prevention efforts because we have no consistent way to predict those who are at increased risk of killing themselves,” explains Kaminsky in a press release from Hopkins Medicine. “With a test like ours, we may be able to stem suicide rates by identifying those people and intervening early enough to head off a catastrophe.”

A blood test that accurately predicts suicide risk would be good news for the U.S. military, which has experienced an alarming increase in the number of suicides among veterans over the past few years, particularly males under the age of 30.

“What we envision, potentially, is using this test in psychiatric emergency rooms. For example, it could dictate closeness of monitoring and treatment options, and drive potentially more fast acting treatment in someone who is really high risk,” said Kaminsky in an interview with The Huffington Post.

To read the abstract or to download the full article, visit the American Journal of Psychiatry Web site.

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New! PAR Offers Online Training Courses!

We are proud to announce the release of PAR’s free Training Portal. The Training Portal is a versatile resource: it’s a great way to get acquainted with a product before purchasing or to learn more about an assessment tool you already use. Each online training session provides an overview of a specific instrument, a description of how it was developed, an explanation of how it’s scored, sample items, and normative and clinical data. Designed with your valuable time in mind, each interactive video lasts approximately 20-60 minutes.

Training is currently available on the Vocabulary Assessment Scales™ (VAS™), the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™), and the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™). Trainings on the Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™) Screening Form and the AAB Comprehensive Form will be available shortly, with more presentations to be added in 2015.

To access the Training Portal, use your parinc.com username and password to log in. Don’t have a free account? Register now.

 

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Now Available—an Updated PAR Assessment Toolkit!

TOOLKITThe PAR Assessment Toolkit provides shortcuts to the tools you use on a daily basis—now streamlined with more functionality, a more modern look and feel, and improved features. As always, the PAR Assessment Toolkit is free.

  • Browse products by construct using the PAR Product Finder™.
  • Link directly to your PARiConnect account to review reports; add, remove, and edit client information; and make client notes.
  • Convert scores for the BRIEF®, BRIEF®-SR, BRIEF®-A, BRIEF®-P, MMSE®-2™, MMSE®, NEO™-PI-3, PAI®, PSI™-4, PSI™-4-SF, RAIT™, TOGRA™, and VAS—for free!
  • Read about the latest psychology news and watch PAR videos.
  • Stay informed about where PAR will exhibit and the various informative Webinars we offer.
  • Link to our Twitter, LinkedIn®, and Facebook pages and to Google Scholar™.

Your favorite features from the prior version are still included. If you already have the PAR Assessment Toolkit on your device, it will update automatically. To download the app, visit Google Play or the App Store.

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There’s More to Bruce Bracken

invisibleBruce A. Bracken, PhD is a respected psychologist and the author of numerous psychological tests, but did you know he is also a fiction writer? His second novel, Invisible, was published earlier this year.

Dr. Bracken’s novel explores the world of those who go through life largely unnoticed—those who feel invisible. Sometimes their invisibility is intentional, for example, among introverts who avoid attention and shun the limelight. More often, however, it is a not a choice, but rather an unwelcome reality for an underclass that includes panhandlers, the homeless, and the disfigured.

Invisible was recently named Book of the Month by the College of William & Mary, where Dr. Bracken is Professor of School Psychology and Counselor Education. Click here to see him discuss the idea behind his book.

Dr. Bracken is also the author of the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test™ (UNIT™), the Clinical Assessment of Behavior™ (CAB™), the Clinical Assessment of Depression™ (CAD™), the Clinical Assessment of Interpersonal Relationships™ (CAIR™), and the Clinical Assessment of Attention Deficit–Adult™ (CAT-A™) and Clinical Assessment of Attention Deficit–Child™ (CAT-C™).

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Introducing… The Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™)

We are proud to present the AAB to you. With a Screening Form and a Comprehensive Form, the ability to choose paper or digital stimuli, and a price that will easily fit your budget, the AAB gives you exactly what you need to confidently evaluate achievement.

The AAB Comprehensive Form is a complete assessment of an individual’s academic skills, useful for eligibility decisions or intervention planning.

The AAB Screening Form is designed to assess basic academic skills, ideal for initial assessment or reevaluation.

  • No product-specific certification or intensive preparation is necessary for administration.
  • Scoring can be done by hand or through PARiConnect, our encrypted online testing platform.
  • Developed using academic standards set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of English, Common Core, and Reading First.

Order today to take advantage of special introductory pricing—just $475 for the Comprehensive Kit and $180 for the AAB Screening Kit.

Want to learn more about the AAB? Watch this video.

 

 

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PAR Author Richard Rogers Honored with UNT Eminent Faculty Award

The University of North Texas (UNT) has awarded Richard Rogers, PhD, ABPP, with the UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award for his work concerning Miranda rights and their use.

The award is given annually to a member of the UNT faculty who has made an outstanding scholarly contribution and whose work has greatly inspired the university and community. It is one of the highest honors given by UNT.

Dr. Rogers’ research into Miranda warnings and defendants’ understanding of their rights has prompted the American Bar Association to call for more simple and straightforward Miranda language for juveniles.

Dr. Rogers is the author of the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms, 2nd Ed. (SIRS-2), the Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial™–Revised (ECST™-R), the Rogers Criminal Responsibility Assessment Scales (R-CRAS), and the Standardized Assessment of Miranda Abilities™ (SAMA™).

PAR would like to extend our congratulations on this honor to Dr. Rogers.

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