Volume 25, Issue 2 (summer 2023)                   Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2023, 25(2): 30-43 | Back to browse issues page

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Hosseininik S S, Rasoly S Y, Sadeghi M, Salmabadi M. The effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy in social cognition and psychological capital. Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2023; 25 (2) :30-43
URL: http://icssjournal.ir/article-1-1532-en.html
1- Assistant Professor, Psychology Education and Counseling Department, Farhangian University, Tehran, Iran
2- Assistant Professor of Psychometrics, Department of Cognitive Psychology, Higher Education Institute of Cognitive Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3- Psychology Education and Counseling Department, Farhangian University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (862 Views)
Education is a significant social and educational foundation for any country, with the role of school principals being crucial in the advancement of social systems. Schools serve as hubs of feedback that echo throughout the entire social structure. Consequently, when principals effectively execute their roles, it can lead to overall societal reform (2). Managers require a variety of traits to enhance their decision-making and relationship-building capabilities. One such vital attribute is social knowledge (5). This concept encompasses a broad spectrum of behaviors aimed at comprehending the emotions, mental states, and psychological processes inherent in social interactions. It includes areas like emotion processing, social understanding, and the theory of mind (6). Social cognition is also self-knowledge, knowing other people (inferring their mental states from their tone, facial and body expressions, empathy, understanding the meaning of their behavior and social signs), social adaptation, and applying rules and knowledge related to social affairs in order to interact with each other. It includes the type of self and the management of one's emotions in interpersonal relationships (7). On the other hand, having psychological capital enables people to cope better with stressful situations,  be less stressed, to have high strength against problems,  have a clear view of themselves, and be less affected by daily events (10). Psychological capital is defined as a person's understanding of himself, having a goal to reach a position, and being stable in the face of problems (11). Therefore, the presence of interventions that help improve school principals' cognitive status can play an essential role in their personal and professional lives. One of these interventions that has recently attracted the attention of researchers is the treatment based on acceptance and commitment, which is one of the new psychological treatments. It is considered that integrating the interventions of acceptance and commitment, and mindfulness helps people achieve a lively, purposeful, and meaningful life (17). This therapeutic approach is a model based on scientific principles for enriching and empowering human life, which helps humans to achieve satisfaction in facing the challenges of life (18). The lack of emotional, psychological, and social skills and abilities makes managers vulnerable in the face of issues and problems and exposes them to all kinds of mental, social, and behavioral disorders.
On the other hand, professional development, promotion, and empowerment of school principals to improve their social awareness and psychological capital is an inevitable necessity. In addition, the results of this research can help experts, officials, and educational planners design appropriate and coherent programs to improve development and empowerment. The administrators of the country's schools should help perform these programs. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the aim of determining the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy in the social cognition and psychological capital of managers. Additionally, this study aims to seek to answer the question of whether the therapy of acceptance and commitment is effective in the social cognition and psychological capital of managers.
The present study was  semi-experimental with a pre-test-post-test design with a control group and a follow-up phase. The research population included all principals of schools in Yasuj in the academic year 2021-2022. From the target population, thirty eligible people were selected by the available sampling method. They were placed in two experimental (15 people) and control groups (15 people) and were evaluated by Nejati et al.'s social cognition scale (2017) and Loutans et al.'s psychological capital (2007). Then, the experimental group participated in acceptance and commitment-based therapy during eight sessions of 90-minutes, two sessions a week, but the control group did not receive any training during this time. SPSS version 22 software and analysis of variance test with repeated measurements were used for data analysis.
The results revealed that the scores of social cognition and psychological capital in the experimental group increased significantly in the post-test phase. Accordingly, these effects remained significant in the follow-up phase (P<0.001). Therefore, the results showed that acceptance and commitment therapy had a significant effect on improving school principals’ social cognition and psychological capital.
Based on the obtained results,  acceptance and commitment-based therapy can be considered as a suitable method to increase school administrators’ and staff’s social recognition and psychological capital. Therefore, it is recommended that therapists and clinical psychologists use the treatment method based on acceptance and commitment along with other methods to improve psychological characteristics, specifically improving the social cognition and psychological capital of clients. The results of the research can help specialists, officials, and educational planners of the country in designing suitable and coherent programs to improve the development and empowerment of school principals’ psychological state (social cognition and psychological capital).
Ethical considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines
The present study is the result of an independent research work, and the ethical considerations of the research included obtaining informed consent, stating the principle of confidentiality, confidentiality of personal information, freedom of the subjects to participate in the research, and informing them of the results of the research.
Authors' contributions
The first author was responsible for the initial writing of the article, the second author participated in the implementation of the intervention and data collection, the third author participated in data entry in the software, and the fourth author participated as the responsible author and in the role of a statistical analyst.
The authors carried out the present study at  personal expense.
The authors would like to express our gratitude to all the principals of schools in the five districts of Yasuj who have helped implement this research.
Conflict of interest
There is no conflict of interest among the authors.
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Type of Study: Research |
Received: 2023/03/11 | Accepted: 2023/06/21 | Published: 2023/09/20

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