Comparing datasets, that is, sets of numbers in context, is a critical skill in higher order cognition. Although much is known about how people compare single numbers, little is known about how number sets are represented and compared. We investigated how subjects compared datasets that varied in their statistical properties, including ratio of means, coefficient of variation, and number of observations, by measuring eye fixations, accuracy, and confidence when assessing differences between number sets. Results indicated that participants implicitly create and (...) compare approximate summary values that include information about mean and variance, with no evidence of explicit calculation. Accuracy and confidence increased, while the number of fixations decreased as sets became more distinct , demonstrating that the statistical properties of datasets were highly related to comparisons. The discussion includes a model proposing how reasoners summarize and compare datasets within the architecture for approximate number representation. (shrink)
GAUTHIER'S IMPRESSIVE ACCOUNT RESTS ON A SUSTAINED ATTEMPT\nTO RECONSTRUCT HOBBES' THOUGHT FROM MAN AS A\nSELF-MAINTAINING ENGINE TO AN AUTHOR WHO BINDS HIMSELF TO\nAN AGENT (SOVEREIGN), SANCTIONED BY A NONTERMINABLE\nCOVENANT. TO THIS END HE EMPLOYS THE DEVICE OF\nDISTINGUISHING BETWEEN FORMAL AND MATERIAL DEFINITIONS IN\nHOBBES' MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. THE VALIDITY OF\nTHIS PROCEDURE IS CALLED INTO QUESTION BY INSISTING THAT\nHOBBES' CONCLUSION CANNOT BE DISSOCIATED FROM HIS\nINSTITUTIONAL ACCOUNT OF THE ARTS OF PEACE.
In a recent issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics, Svoboda and Van Howe commented on the 2012 change in the American Academy of Pediatrics policy on newborn male circumcision, in which the AAP stated that benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks. Svoboda and Van Howe disagree with the AAP conclusions. We show here that their arguments against male circumcision are based on a poor understanding of epidemiology, erroneous interpretation of the evidence, selective citation of the literature, statistical manipulation (...) of data, and circular reasoning. In reality, the scientific evidence indicates that male circumcision, especially when performed in the newborn period, is an ethically and medically sound low-risk preventive health procedure conferring a lifetime of benefits to health and well-being. Policies in support of parent-approved elective newborn circumcision should be embraced by the medical, scientific and wider communities. (shrink)
Morris, Brian The dust has not settled on this year's disastrous Census, yet already there are calls to amend the question on Religious Affiliation. While the latest change brought Australia into line with most Western countries - by placing 'No Religion' as first option - elements of the 'not-quite-religious' community feel bitterly aggrieved.
We argue that number principles may be learnable instead of innate, by suggesting that children acquire probabilistically true number concepts rather than algorithms. We also suggest that non-propositional representational formats (e.g., mental models) may implicitly provide information that supports the induction of numerical principles. Given probabilistically true number concepts, the problem of the acquisition of mathematical principles is eliminated.