This is an evaluation study of a pilot multicomponent program with animal-assisted therapy for socially withdrawn youth with or without mental health problems in Hong Kong. There were fifty-six participants. Decreased level of social anxiety, and increased levels of perceived employability and self-esteem across two withdrawn groups were observed. When comparing those who did and did not receive the AAT component, however, AAT did not seem to have additional impacts on outcomes. The qualitative data collected through interviews with ten participants (...) reflected that the AAT component was attractive because the nonhuman animals made them feel respected and loved. This pilot study showed that a multicomponent program with a case management model correlated with increased levels of self-esteem and perceived employability, and a decreased level of social interaction anxiety. In addition, using nonhuman animals in a social service setting appears to be a good strategy to engage difficult-to-engage young people. (shrink)
Ethical issues related to comparative effectiveness research, or research that compares existing standards of care, have recently received considerable attention. In this paper we focus on how Ethics Review Committees should evaluate the risks of comparative effectiveness research. We discuss what has been a prominent focus in the debate about comparative effectiveness research, namely that it is justified when “nothing is known” about the comparative effectiveness of the available alternatives. We argue that this focus may be misleading. Rather, we should (...) focus on the fact that some experts believe that the evidence points in favor of one intervention, whereas other experts believe that the evidence favors the alternative. We will then introduce a case that illustrates this point, and based on that, discuss how ERCs should deal with such cases of expert disagreement. We argue that ERCs have a duty to assess the range of expert opinions and based on that assessment arrive at a risk judgment about the study under consideration. We also argue that assessment of expert disagreement is important for the assignment of risk level to a clinical trial: what is the basis for expert opinions, how strong is the evidence appealed to by various experts, and how can clinical trial monitoring affect the possible increased risk of clinical trial participation. (shrink)
This study replicates and extends previous work by Oppenheimer and Wiesner [1990, Sex discrimination: Who is hired and do employment equity statements make a difference? Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, Personnel and Human Resources Division], and examined the effects of minority qualifications on hiring decisions, the effects of employment equity directives when minority candidates are less qualified and the effects of different types and strengths of employment equity directives on hiring decisions. The (...) results indicate that when employment equity is in place, people are increasingly more likely to hire underrepresented group members, to the extent that they are more qualified. Men appear to be treated in a positively biased manner, and are more likely to be hired when they are less qualified. Women are less likely to be hired when they are under-qualified, and in the absence of employment equity directives or when there is a suggestion that women are underrepresented. Moreover, when employment equity directives are strengthened, there appears to be a subtle backlash for women but not for men. (shrink)
By analyzing a gedanken experiment designed to measure the distance l between two spatially separated points, we find that this distance cannot be measured with uncertainty less than (ll 2 P) 1/3 , considerably larger than the Planck scale lP (or the string scale in string theories), the conventional-wisdom uncertainty in distance measurements. This limitation to space-time measurements is interpreted as resulting from quantum fluctuations of space-time itself. Thus, at very short distance scales, space-time is “foamy.” This intrinsic foaminess of (...) space-time provides another source of noise in the interferometers. The LIGO/VIRGO and LISA generations of gravity-wave interferometers, through future refinements, are expected to reach displacement noise levels low enough to test our proposed degree of foaminess in the structure of space-time. (shrink)
Ng and singer derive the principle of utility from the fact of finite sensibility and another principle, weak majority preference: "for a community of n individuals choosing between two possibilities, x and y, if no individual prefers y to x, and at least n/2 individuals prefer x to y, then x increases social welfare and is preferable." this derivation is regarded as incorrect in a comment. this reply explains why the derivation is valid and shows that the comment is based (...) on confusing a general social ordering with a utilitarian one. (shrink)
In this essay I attempt to unpack Andy Kaufman in his many manifestations, ultimately arguing that traditional notions of comedy cannot help us get at the root of what is going on here. Through a discussion and criticism of the theories of comedy presented by Christopher Fry, Susanne Langer, Walter Kerr, and Maurice Charney, I suggest how Andy's comedy employs a rejection of the modernist conceits of a fixed identity, a denotative language, a progressive history, and a separation (...) of temporality from Being. Ultimately focusing on the way in which Freud's theory of comedy gets deconstructed when we read it through the lens of Andy’s work, I take apart specific jokes and comedic “moments” in Andy's work and show how the Freudian framework cannot support such an aesthetic. What is, in fact, most challenging in Andy's work as a comedian is not merely the way in which his own identity is up for grabs but the way in which he forces the audience to have its identity as an audience called into question, the way in which a Baudrillardean simulacrum stands in for a missing punchline while we, his fans, wait for something that is never coming. And yet we, his fans, laugh. Sometimes uncomfortably, but always more authentically. (shrink)
This article presents a critical reevaluation of the thesis—closely associated with H. L. A. Hart, and central to the views of most recent legal philosophers—that the idea of state coercion is not logically essential to the definition of law. The author argues that even laws governing contracts must ultimately be understood as “commands of the sovereign, backed by force.” This follows in part from recognition that the “sovereign,” defined rigorously, at the highest level of abstraction, is that person or entity (...) identified by reference to game theory and the philosophical idea of “convention” as the source of signals with which the subject population has become effectively locked, as a group, into conformity. (shrink)
An intricate, long, and occasionally heated debate surrounds Boltzmann’s H-theorem (1872) and his combinatorial interpretation of the second law (1877). After almost a century of devoted and knowledgeable scholarship, there is still no agreement as to whether Boltzmann changed his view of the second law after Loschmidt’s 1876 reversibility argument or whether he had already been holding a probabilistic conception for some years at that point. In this paper, I argue that there was no abrupt statistical turn. In the first (...) part, I discuss the development of Boltzmann’s research from 1868 to the formulation of the H-theorem. This reconstruction shows that Boltzmann adopted a pluralistic strategy based on the interplay between a kinetic and a combinatorial approach. Moreover, it shows that the extensive use of asymptotic conditions allowed Boltzmann to bracket the problem of exceptions. In the second part I suggest that both Loschmidt’s challenge and Boltzmann’s response to it did not concern the H-theorem. The close relation between the theorem and the reversibility argument is a consequence of later investigations on the subject. (shrink)
Bear Suppression Inventory (WBSI), was I'ound to correlate with n>casurcs of obsessional thinking and depressive and anxious al'lect, t pridic( signs Â«I' clinical Â«hscssion ainong individuals prone (oward Â«hÂ»cÂ»Â»iÂ«n >I (hi>>king, (Â« predict depression tive (h (Â», and to predict I''iilurc Â«I' electrÂ«dermal responses to habituate amÂ«ng pci>pic having emotional thoughts. The WBSI was inversely correlated with repression as assessed by the Repression-Sensitization Scale, and so tapÂ» a trait that iÂ» itc unlike rcprcÂ»siÂ«n:is traditiÂ«n;illy cÂ«nccivcd.
This paper draws on the economics of ethical compliance model to examine the association between ethical reasoning, perceived risk of detection, perceived levels of penalties and Chinese auditors'' ethical behavior in an audit conflict situation. Using 53 Chinese auditors from Shenzen as subjects, and a survey questionnaire, this study found that there is a significant negative association between ethical reasoning and the likelihood of unethical behavior and that this negative association is weaker for auditors who perceive higher risks of detection.
This article traces Kurt H. Wolff’s involvement with Italy, from his first sojourn in the 1930s as a German Jewish intellectual in exile to the end of his life. Wolff developed profound ties with the country that hosted him, and that he was forced to abandon once racial laws were introduced there on the eve of World War II. Nonetheless, throughout his life he regarded Italy as an elective homeland of sorts. Wolff’s Italian experience is revisited through a detailed examination (...) of the places where he resided, his activities as a student, teacher, and scholar, and the many individuals with whom he associated, many of whom became his lifelong friends and collaborators. The documentary evidence collected here includes unpublished conversations with some of Wolff’s Italian connections and serves for a consideration of how his ties to Italy had an impact on the development of his sociological and esthetic theories. (shrink)
The use of forward models is well established in cognitive and computational neuroscience. We compare and contrast two recent, but interestingly divergent, accounts of the place of forward models in the human cognitive architecture. On the Auxiliary Forward Model account, forward models are special-purpose prediction mechanisms implemented by additional circuitry distinct from core mechanisms of perception and action. On the Integral Forward Model account, forward models lie at the heart of all forms of perception and action. We compare these neighbouring (...) but importantly different visions and consider their implications for the cognitive sciences. We end by asking what kinds of empirical research might offer evidence favouring one or the other of these approaches. (shrink)