Explores the impact of expert witnessing on the integrity of forensic scientific information. Complaints on the behavior of expert witnesses; Factors stimulating the susceptibility of experts to abandon their scientific integrity; Implications of the reliance of expert witnesses on ethics codes.
“Clinical ethics consultants” have been practicing in the United States for about 50 years. Most of the earliest consultants—the “pioneers”—were “outsiders” when they first appeared at patients' bedsides and in the clinic. However, if they were outsiders initially, they acclimated to the clinical setting and became “insiders” very quickly. Moreover, there was some tension between traditional academics and those doing applied ethics about whether there was sufficient “critical distance” for appropriate reflection about the complex medical ethics dilemmas of the day (...) if one were involved in the decision making. Again, the pioneers deflected concerns by identifying and instituting safeguards to assure professional objectivity in clinical ethics consultation services. One might suggest that in moving inside and establishing normative practices, the pioneer clinical ethics consultants anticipated adoption of their routines and professionalization of the field. (shrink)
As clinical ethics consultants move toward professionalization, the process of certifying individual consultants or accrediting programs will be discussed and debated. With certification, some entity must be established or ordained to oversee the standards and procedures. If the process evolves like other professions, it seems plausible that it will eventually include a written examination to evaluate the core knowledge competencies that individual practitioners should possess to meet peer practice standards. The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities has published core knowledge (...) competencies for many years that are accepted by experts as the prevailing standard. Probably any written examination will be based upon the ASBH core knowledge competencies. However, much remains to be done before any examination may be offered. In particular, it seems likely that a recognized examining board must create and validate examination questions and structure the examination so as to establish meaningful, defensible parameters after dealing with such challenging questions as: Should the certifying examination be multiple choice or short-answer essay? How should the test be graded? What should the pass rate be? How may the examination be best administered? To advance the field of health care ethics consultation, thought leaders should start to focus on the written examination possibilities, to date unaddressed carefully in the literature. Examination models—both objective and written—must be explored as a viable strategy about how the field of health care ethics consultations can grow toward professionalization. (shrink)
Can we legitimately speak of ethicsexperts? Recent literature in philosophy and medical ethics addresses this important question but does not offer a satisfactory answer. Part of the problem is the absence of an examination of what it means to be an expert in general. I therefore begin by reviewing my analysis of expertise which appeared earlier in this journal. We speak of two kinds of experts: persons whose expertise is in virtue of what theyknow (epistemic expertise), or what theydo (performative (...) expertise). Applying this analysis to the domain of ethics, I argue that we may speak of ethical expertise in three epistemic senses: a) expertise indescriptive ethics, b) expertise inmetaethics, c) expertise innormative ethics, and in a performative sense: d) expertise inliving a good life. I conclude with a brief description of some social roles of ethics experts. (shrink)
I present a general theory for the initial domestication of plants and animals that is based on niche construction theory and incorporates several behavioral ecological concepts, including central-place provisioning, resource catchment, resource ownership and defensibility, and traditional ecological knowledge. This theory provides an alternative to, and replacement for, current explanations, including diet breadth models of optimal foraging theory, that are based on an outmoded concept of asymmetrical adaptation and that attempt to explain domestication as an adaptive response to resource imbalance (...) resulting from either environmental decline or human population growth. The small-scale human societies that first domesticated plants and animals share a number of basic interrelated attributes that when considered as an integrated and coherent set of behaviors provide the context for explaining initial domestication not as an adaptive response to an adverse environmental shift or to human population growth or packing but rather as the result of deliberate human enhancement of resource-rich environments in situations where evidence of resource imbalance is absent. (shrink)
Studies of childhood abuse and neglect haveimportant lessons for considerations of natureand nurture. While each child has uniquegenetic potentials, both human and animalstudies point to important needs that everychild has, and severe long-term consequencesfor brain function if those needs are not met. The effects of the childhood environment,favorable or unfavorable, interact with all theprocesses of neurodevelopment (neurogenesis,migration, differentiation, apoptosis,arborization, synaptogenesis, synapticsculpting, and myelination). The time coursesof all these neural processes are reviewed herealong with statements of core principles forboth genetic and (...) environmental influences onall of these processes. Evidence is presentedthat development of synaptic pathways tends tobe a ``use it or lose it'' proposition.Abuse studies from the author's laboratory,studies of children in orphanages who lackedemotional contact, and a large number of animaldeprivation and enrichment studies point to theneed for children and young nonhuman mammals tohave both stable emotional attachments with andtouch from primary adult caregivers, andspontaneous interactions with peers. If theseconnections are lacking, brain development bothof caring behavior and cognitive capacities isdamaged in a lasting fashion.These effects of experience on the brainimply that effects of modern technology can bepositive but need to be monitored. Whiletechnology has raised opportunities forchildren to become economically secure andliterate, more recent inadvertent impacts oftechnology have spawned declines in extendedfamilies, family meals, and spontaneous peerinteractions. The latter changes have deprivedmany children of experiences that promotepositive growth of the cognitive and caringpotentials of their developing brains. (shrink)
Experts play an important role in society, but there has been little investigation about the nature of expertise. I argue that there are two kinds of experts: those whose expertise is a function of what theyknow (epistemic expertise), or what theydo (performative expertise). Epistemic expertise is the capacity to provide strong justifications for a range of propositions in a domain, while performative expertise is the capacity to perform a skill well according to the rules and virtues of a practice. Both (...) epistemic and performative experts may legitimately disagree with one another, and the two senses are conceptually and logically distinct. (shrink)
One of the gaps in the current international marketing literature is in the area of consumer ethics. Using a sample drawn from Japanese consumers, this study investigates these individuals' reported ethical ideology and their perception of a number of different ethical situations in the realm of consumer behavior. Comparisons are then made across several demographic characteristics. The results reveal differences which provide theoretical support for expanded research in the area of cross-cultural/cross-national consumer ethics and highlight the need for managers to (...) consider possible differences in the ethical behavior of consumers when entering a new international market. In addition, this study extends current knowledge in international marketing ethics by utilizing a research design and survey instruments similar to previous studies on consumer ethics. (shrink)
This article begins with four situations, the first three of which are common to many businesspeople and persons in the United States today and the fourth, unfortunately, is growing: Setting the minimum level at which workers are paid; going bankrupt to avoid paying for credit card purchases, claiming a questionable deduction in calculating one's federal income tax liability, and violating the law in every state by a major U.S. corporation.These cases support the idea that positive law is the operative ethic (...) for persons in a commercial setting. Reasons advanced for this phenomenon are ethical ambiguity, lack of personal responsibility, increasing technicality of contemporary society, and the fact that the law is now seen as the most that is expected of businesspersons. In arriving at the paper's conclusions, positive law theory is discussed. Data are presented to explain why these illustrations are not mere anecdotal examples but represent broad contemporary occurrences in the U.S. (shrink)
One of the most influential studies in all expertise research is de Groot’s (1946) study of chess players, which suggested that pattern recognition, rather than search, was the key determinant of expertise. Many changes have occurred in the chess world since de Groot’s study, leading some authors to argue that the cognitive mechanisms underlying expertise have also changed. We decided to replicate de Groot’s study to empirically test these claims and to examine whether the trends in the data have changed (...) over time. Six Grandmasters, five International Masters, six Experts, and five Class A players completed the think-aloud procedure for two chess positions. Findings indicate that Grandmasters and International Masters search more quickly than Experts and Class A players, and that both groups today search substantially faster than players in previous studies. The findings, however, support de Groot’s overall conclusions and are consistent with predictions made by pattern recognition models. (shrink)
The Basics. Life is like whac-a-mole -- Ethics : the art of doing the right thing -- The five principles ; Bringing the principles to life. "BFF!" Part 1 : Trash talk, promises, and cookies that, um, don't taste so good -- Winning on and off the field -- Meetups, hookups, and breakups -- Self-defense : bullies, pushers, and critics -- Getting tangled in the World Wide Web -- "Gotcha!" : spoiling, cheating, and taking advantage of another's mistake -- "BFF!" (...) Part 2 : Messing up, fessing up, and forgiving your friends -- Minimum wage, minimum work? -- Good neighbors : being fair to classmates, business owners, and people you hardly know -- All about you : working too hard, dealing with grief, and listening to your conscience -- Is it cheating if I don't get caught? -- How to get a good night's sleep. (shrink)
We examined the dilemmas posed by the involvement of expert witnesses in court cases and the institutional constraints on the ethics of expert testimony. The causes for the incorporation of bad science into legal decisions, potential solutions to this dilemma, and the limitations of these solutions are considered. We concluded that law, science, and experts must respond to the problems posed by expert witnessing.
In the two-envelope problem, a reasoner is offered two envelopes, one containing exactly twice the money in the other. After observing the amount in one envelope, it can be traded for the unseen contents of the other. It appears that it should not matter whether the envelope is traded, but recent mathematical analyses have shown that gains could be made if trading was a probabilistic function of amount observed. As a problem with a purely probabilistic solution, it provides a potentially (...) interesting way to test people's consistency with probabilistic models. Three experiments did this by varying the size of both the observed and maximum amounts, and their possible distribution. The results showed that trading decisions were affected by where the observed amount in the opened envelope fell in the distribution, though its size did not always do so. This suggests that participants’ trade decisions could be affected by the perceived probabilities of different observed amounts, which is consistent with the pro.. (shrink)
The matter of salary levels and professional advancement is much discussed and debated today in business and academe. This paper examines the matter of salary determinants for law professors in colleges of management in the U.S. with an emphasis on examining how gender might affect professorial salary and rank. By focusing on one discipline in today''s academe and in a college having great student demand (management) coupled with a professed commitment to women''s rights and by holding constant variables relevant to (...) salary and rank, this study, addresses the matter of whether gender is a factor in determination of academic rank and salary. This study used correlation and path analysis in arriving at our conclusions. Our sample size meets statistically acceptable parameters. Our results corroborate earlier research which finds significant pay differences between women and men, but they show that at least for the sample of legal studies professors in this study, these pay differences are attributable to the number of years spent in academe. If women have only recently enjoyed opportunities for careers in this discipline, they do not have as much seniority, on average as men. Consequently, if universities pay salaries at least partly according to seniority, women''s salaries are likely to be lower than men''s salaries, as our study indicates. At the same time, however, even after controlling for seniority and other factors that might affect rank, there are still significantly fewer women in the higher ranks. These results point to the operation of a glass ceiling which restricts promotional opportunities for women in other fields. (shrink)
The principles for universal reading models proposed by Frost correspond to developmental theories, in which neurocognitive constraints and cultural experiences shape development. We question his contention that Hebrew word identification is fundamentally about roots, excluding verbal and nominal word-pattern morphemes; and we propose that readers use all information available in stimuli, adjusting for volume and usefulness.