We welcome Ballantyne & Schaefer’s discussion of the issues concerning consent and use of health data for research. In response to their acknowledgement of the need for public debate and discussion, we provide evidence from our own public consultation on this topic.
An important debate in the reasoning literature concerns the extent to which inference processes are domain-free or domain-specific. Typically, evidence in support of the domain-specific position comprises the facilitation observed when abstract reasoning tasks are set in realistic context. Three experiments are reported here in which the sources of facilitation were investigated for contextualised versions of Raven's Progressive Matrices (Richardson, 1991) and non-verbal analogies from the AH4 test (Richardson & Webster, 1996). Experiment 1 confirmed that the facilitation observed for the (...) contextualised matrices was in part due to extraneous aspects of commentaries originally intended to activate domainspecific processes. Experiments 2 and 3 indicated that the remainder of the facilitation for the matrices, and all of the facilitation for the analogies, could be explained by visual salience: Converting the item elements into realistic objects had enabled them and their transitions to be identified more easily. Hence, performance at simplified abstract items was as good as, or better than, at contextualised items. It is concluded that facilitation effects cannot be interpreted as showing that domain-specific processes constitute a self-contained system separate from domain-free processes. In turn, this means that domain-free processes cannot be dismissed as being unimportant for reasoning. (shrink)
Much of the literature on clinical ethical conflict has been specific to a specialty area or a particular patient group, as well as to a single profession. This study identifies themes of hospital nurses’ and physicians’ clinical ethical conflicts that cut across the spectrum of clinical specialty areas, and compares the themes identified by nurses with those identified by physicians. We interviewed 34 clinical nurses, 10 nurse managers and 31 physicians working at four different Canadian hospitals as part of a (...) larger study on clinical ethics committees and nurses’ and physicians’ use of these committees. We describe nine themes of clinical ethical conflict that were common to both hospital nurses and physicians, and three themes that were specific to physicians. Following this, we suggest reasons for differences in nurses’ and physicians’ ethical conflicts and discuss implications for practice and research. (shrink)
We report two Experiments to compare counterfactual thoughts about how an outcome could have been different and causal explanations about why the outcome occurred. Experiment 1 showed that people generate counterfactual thoughts more often about controllable than uncontrollable events, whereas they generate causal explanations more often about unexpected than expected events. Counterfactual thoughts focus on specific factors, whereas causal explanations focus on both general and specific factors. Experiment 2 showed that in their spontaneous counterfactual thoughts, people focus on normal events (...) just as often as exceptional events, unlike in directed counterfactual thoughts. The findings are consistent with the suggestion that counterfactual thoughts tend to focus on how a specific unwanted outcome could have been prevented, whereas causal explanations tend to provide more general causal information that enables future understanding, prediction, and intervention in a wide range of situations. (shrink)
A multiple-case study of four hospital ethics committees in Canada was conducted and data collected included interviews with key informants, observation of committee meetings and ethics-related hospital documents, such as policies and committee minutes. We compared the hospital committees in terms of their structure, functioning and perceptions of key informants and found variation in the dimensions of empowerment, organizational culture of ethics, breadth of ethics mandate, achievements, dynamism, and expertise.
Food images are useful stimuli for the study of cognitive processes as well as eating behavior. To enhance rigor and reproducibility in task-based research, it is advantageous to have stimulus sets that are publicly available and well characterized. Food Folio by Columbia Center for Eating Disorders is a publicly available set of 138 images of Western food items. The set was developed for the study of eating disorders, particularly for use in tasks that capture eating behavior characteristic of these illnesses. (...) It contains foods that are typically eaten, as well as those typically avoided, by individuals with eating disorders. Each image has now been rated across 17 different attributes by a large general United States population sample via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Ratings included subjective attributes as well as estimates of nutrient content. Each participant rated a subset of stimulus set food items on all 17 dimensions. Additional description of the image set is provided in terms of physical image information and accurate nutritional information. Correlations between subjective ratings were calculated and an exploratory factor analysis and exploratory cluster analysis completed. Outcomes of the factor analysis suggested foods may be described along three latent factors of healthiness, tastiness, and umami taste; the cluster analysis highlighted five distinct clusters of foods varying on these same dimensions. Descriptive outcomes indicated that the stimulus set includes a range of foods that vary along multiple dimensions and thus is likely to be useful in addressing various research questions surrounding eating behavior and cognition in healthy populations, as well as in those with eating disorders. The provision of comprehensive descriptive information allows for stimulus selection that is optimized for a given research question and promotes strong inference. (shrink)
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