We accept Sunstein's claim that people often use moral heuristics to make judgments and decisions. However, in situations that include a risk of betrayal, we disagree with Sunstein about when the relevant moral heuristic may be said to “misfire.” We suggest that the moral heuristic people apply to avoid the possibility of safety-product betrayal may be reasonable.
I agree with Gibbs that the message of the base rate literature reads differently depending on which null hypothesis is used to frame the issue. But I argue that the normative null hypothesis, H0: “People use base rates in a Bayesian manner,” is no longer appropriate. I also challenge Adler's distinction between unused and ignored base rates, and criticize Goodie's reluctance to shift research attention to the field. Macchi's arguments about textual ambiguities in traditional base rate problems suggest that empirical (...) testing is needed to tease apart the effects of problem clarification and problem framing. Macdonald's, Fletcher's and Snow's skepticism about the value of Bayesian methods in real world judgment tasks is treated as a challenge for the next generation of empirical base rate studies. (shrink)
Jonathan Rosenbaum _Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons_ Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004 ISBN 0-8018-7840-3 hb xxi + 445 pp. _Movie Mutations: The Changing Face of World Cinephilia_ Edited by Jonathan Rosenbaum and Adrian Martin London: British Film Institute, 2003 ISBN 0851709834 hb; 0851709842 pb 224 pp. Jonathan Rosenbaum _Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Limit What Films We Can See_ London: Wallflower Press, 2002 ISBN 1-903364-23-X pb 192 pp.
Manipulations that draw attention to extensional or set-based considerations are neither sufficient nor necessary for enhanced use of base rates in intuitive judgments. Frequency formats are only one part of the puzzle of base-rate use and neglect. The conditions under which these and other manipulations promote base-rate use may be more parsimoniously organized under the broader notion of case-based judgment.
Many everyday life situations require two or more individuals to execute actions together. Assessing brain activation during naturalistic tasks to uncover relevant processes underlying such real-life joint action situations has remained a methodological challenge. In the present study, we introduce a novel joint action paradigm that enables the assessment of brain activation during real-life joint action tasks using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We monitored brain activation of participants who coordinated complex actions with a partner sitting opposite them. Participants performed table-setting (...) tasks, either alone (solo action) or in cooperation with a partner (joint action), or they observed the partner performing the task (action observation). Comparing joint action and solo action revealed stronger activation (higher [oxy-Hb]-concentration) during joint action in a number of areas. Among these were areas in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) that additionally showed an overlap of activation during action observation and solo action. Areas with such a close link between action observation and action execution have been associated with action simulation processes. The magnitude of activation in these IPL areas also varied according to joint action type and its respective demand on action simulation. The results validate fNIRS as an imaging technique for exploring the functional correlates of interindividual action coordination in real-life settings and suggest that coordinating actions in real-life situations requires simulating the actions of the partner. (shrink)
During the mid-18th century, when electricity was coming into its own, natural philosophers began to entertain the possibility that electricity is the mysterious nerve force. Their attention was first drawn to several species of strongly electric fish, namely torpedoes, a type of African catfish, and a South American "eels." This was because their effects felt like those of discharging Leyden jars and could be transmitted along known conductors of electricity. Moreover, their actions could not be adequately explained by popular mechanical (...) theories. Many of the early documents supportive of the hypothesis of animal electricity were associated with the Dutch colonies in South America. This article presents and examines those documents, and shows how Dutch scientists on both sides of the Atlantic conducted experiments and communicated with each other in the 1750s and 1760s. It reveals the important roles played by inquisitive physicians and lovers of nature in South America, and by natural philosophers and collectors of exotic specimens in the Netherlands—learned men who began to make a credible case for animal electricity in some exciting places at a pivotal moment in time. (shrink)
This commentary is in agreement with the thrust of Koehler's target article. The issue I deal with is whether a Bayesian framework represents an adequate general normative framework for deciding the rationality of lay judgments, even when it can be unambiguously applied.