In a series of 5 experiments in 2000 and 2001, several hundred students at two different universities with three different professors and six different teaching assistants took a semester long course on causal and statistical reasoning in either traditional lecture/recitation or online/recitation format. In this paper we compare the pre-post test gains of these students, we identify features of the online experience that were helpful and features that were not, and we identify student learning strategies that were effective and those (...) that were not. Students who entirely replaced going to lecture with doing online modules did as well and usually better than those who went to lecture. Simple strategies like incorporating frequent interactive comprehension checks into the online material proved effective, but online students attended face-to-face recitations less often than lecture students and suffered because of it. Supporting the idea that small, interactive recitations are more effective than large, passive lectures, recitation attendance was three times as important as lecture attendance for predicting pre-test to post-test gains. For the online student, embracing the online environment as opposed to trying to convert it into a traditional print-based one was an important strategy, but simple diligence in attempting “voluntary” exercises was by far the most important factor in student success. (shrink)
Horton and Gerrig outlined a memory-based processing model of conversational common ground that provided a description of how speakers could both strategically and automatically gain access to information about others through domain-general memory processes acting over ordinary memory traces. In this article, we revisit this account, reviewing empirical findings that address aspects of this memory-based model. In doing so, we also take the opportunity to clarify what we believe this approach implies about the cognitive psychology of common ground, and (...) just as important, what it does not imply. We also highlight related areas of research demonstrating how general cognitive processes can constrain access to relevant knowledge in ways that shape both language production and comprehension. (shrink)
We explore why people feel the socially improper emotions of schadenfreude and gluckschmerz. One explanation follows from sentiment relations. Prior dislike leads to both schadenfreude and gluckschmerz. A second explanation relates to concerns over justice. Deserved misfortune is pleasing and undeserved good fortune is displeasing. A third explanation concerns appraisal of the good or bad fortunes of others as creating either benefit or harm for the self or in-group. Especially in competitive situations and when envy is present, gain is pleasing (...) and loss is displeasing. Both emotions have important implications for understanding human relations at the individual and group levels. (shrink)
Many existing biomedical vocabulary standards rest on incomplete, inconsistent or confused accounts of basic terms pertaining to diseases, diagnoses, and clinical phenotypes. Here we outline what we believe to be a logically and biologically coherent framework for the representation of such entities and of the relations between them. We defend a view of disease as involving in every case some physical basis within the organism that bears a disposition toward the execution of pathological processes. We present our view in the (...) form of a list of terms and definitions designed to provide a consistent starting point for the representation of both disease and diagnosis in information systems in the future. (shrink)
Cross-situational learning is a mechanism for learning the meaning of words across multiple exposures, despite exposure-by-exposure uncertainty as to the word's true meaning. We present experimental evidence showing that humans learn words effectively using cross-situational learning, even at high levels of referential uncertainty. Both overall success rates and the time taken to learn words are affected by the degree of referential uncertainty, with greater referential uncertainty leading to less reliable, slower learning. Words are also learned less successfully and more slowly (...) if they are presented interleaved with occurrences of other words, although this effect is relatively weak. We present additional analyses of participants’ trial-by-trial behavior showing that participants make use of various cross-situational learning strategies, depending on the difficulty of the word-learning task. When referential uncertainty is low, participants generally apply a rigorous eliminative approach to cross-situational learning. When referential uncertainty is high, or exposures to different words are interleaved, participants apply a frequentist approximation to this eliminative approach. We further suggest that these two ways of exploiting cross-situational information reside on a continuum of learning strategies, underpinned by a single simple associative learning mechanism. (shrink)
It is one sign of the lack of understanding of the value of the humanities, to educational research and inquiry as well as to our world more widely, that such justifications of them as are offered frequently take a crudely instrumental form. The humanities are welcomed insofar as they are beneficial to the economy, for example, or play a therapeutic role in people's physical or mental well-being. In higher education in the UK, they are marginalized for similar reasons, on the (...) grounds that they neither appeal to the lucrative overseas student market nor constitute a significant source of grant income from research councils, industry, or other funding sources. While their place in educational research is still defended in many quarters, the increasing demand that research should have “impact” can leave the humanities appearing ineffectual. Furthermore, the very idea of research is widely taken to mandate empiricist and “scientific” approaches. Although there are no easy solutions to this state of things, RichardSmith argues in this essay that those of us who value the humanities in and for themselves might adopt two approaches in particular: to pursue vigilant criticism of the rampant instrumentalism and scientism of our time, and to emphasize the importance of that distinctive feature of humane inquiry: interpretation. (shrink)
Traditional epistemology is often said to have reached an impasse, and recent interest in virtue epistemology supposedly marks a turn away from philosophers’ traditional focus on problems of knowledge and truth. Yet that focus re-emerges, especially among ‘reliabilist’ virtue epistemologists. I argue for a more ‘responsibilist’ approach and for the importance of some of the quieter and gentler epistemic virtues, by contrast with the tough-minded ones that are currently popular in education. In particular I make a case for what I (...) here call ‘unknowing’: a positive state that is not the same as ignorance. I acknowledge the mystical connotations of the term, and suggest that there is a strong interest in unknowing in writers such as Plato, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. In their style of philosophising they also address the paradox of being knowing about unknowingness itself. (shrink)
We present an ontology of pain and of other pain-related phenomena, building on the definition of pain provided by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). Our strategy is to identify an evolutionarily basic canonical pain phenomenon, involving unpleasant sensory and emotional experience based causally in localized tissue damage that is concordant with that experience. We then show how different variant cases of this canonical pain phenomenon can be distinguished, including pain that is elevated relative to peripheral trauma, (...) pain that is caused neuropathically (thus with no necessary peripheral stimulus), and pain reports arising through deception either of self or of others. We describe how our approach can answer some of the objections raised against the IASP definition, and sketch how it can be used to support more sophisticated discrimination of different types of pain resulting in improved data analysis that can help in advancing pain research. (shrink)
Proponents of philosophy for children generally see themselves as heirs to the ‘Socratic’ tradition. They often claim too that children's aptitude for play leads them naturally to play with abstract, philosophical ideas. However in Plato's dialogues we find in the mouth of ‘Socrates’ many warnings against philosophising with the young. Those dialogues also question whether philosophy should be playful in any straightforward way, casting the distinction between play and seriousness as unstable. It seems we cannot think of Plato as representing (...) how to engage in dialectic, nor as prescribing a method for doing so. The irreducible textuality of the dialogues defeats any attempt to read them in this way. This is not to criticise the practice of philosophy for children: only to note the ambivalence and instability of the philosophical heritage that it wants to claim. (shrink)
In this essay, RichardSmith observes that being a parent, like so much else in our late‐modern world, is required to become ever more efficient and effective, and is increasingly monitored by the agencies of the state, often with good reason given the many recorded instances of child abuse and cruelty. However, Smith goes on to argue, this begins to cast being a parent as a matter of “parenting,” a technological deployment of skills and techniques, with the (...) loss of older, more spontaneous and intuitive relations between parents and children. Smith examines this phenomenon further through a discussion of how it is captured to some extent in Hannah Arendt's notion of “natality” and how it is illuminated by Charles Dickens in his classic novel, Dombey and Son. (shrink)
A distinctive theory of punishment plays a central role in Smith's moral and legal theory. According to this theory, we regard the punishment of a crime as deserved only to the extent that an impartial spectator would go along with the actual or supposed resentment of the victim. The first part of this paper argues that Smith's theory deserves serious consideration and relates it to other theories such as utilitarianism and more orthodox forms of retributivism. The second part (...) considers the objection that, because Smith's theory implies that punishment is justified only when there is some person or persons who is the victim of the crime, it cannot explain the many cases where punishment is imposed purely for the public good. It is argued that Smith's theory could be extended to cover such cases. The third part defends Smith's theory against the objection that, because it relies on our natural feelings, it cannot provide an adequate moral justification of punishment. (shrink)
The language of self‐belief, including terms like shyness and diffidence, is complex and puzzling. The idea of self‐esteem in particular, which has been given fresh currency by recent interest in ‘personalised learning’, continues to create problems. I argue first that we need a ‘thicker’ and more subtle moral psychology of self‐belief; and, secondly, that there is a radical instability in the ideas and concepts in this area, an instability to which justice needs to be done. I suggest that aspects of (...) deconstruction are helpful here, and offer a deconstructive reading of Kipling's poem, If—, in order to illustrate the power of literature and a certain kind of philosophy to destabilise and resist closure. (shrink)
This article maps the components of telephone tutorial conferences used for distance learning in higher education. Using conversation analysis we identified four common sequences of TTCs as `calling in'; `agenda-setting'; `tutorial proper'; and `closing down'. Patterns of student participation look similar to those in face-to-face tutorials and the degree of interaction during `calling-in' and agenda setting does not foretell student participation in the `tutorial proper'. Student participation was related to differences in `communicative formats' adopted by tutors and students for different (...) purposes. These findings have helped us reflect on our communicative practices as university teachers and indicate that TTCs are functionally comparable with face-to-face tutorials in higher education settings. (shrink)
This article presents an initial analysis of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, a variety of ‘modern postural yoga’. The article theorizes the embodied experience of a¯sana, drawing on ethnographic research with Western practitioners in India and Australia and on the author’s own practice. Building on phenomenological and cultural theories of embodiment, it is suggested that the experience of yoga practitioners has particular somatic foundations, and that this somatic basis helps explain the cross-cultural effectiveness of yoga.
Schools have changed in many ways, largely for the better, since the first edition of this book appeared: the young people in them are generally treated with far more respect than was the case a quarter of a century ago.
Education in the west has become a very knowing business in which students are encouraged to cultivate self-awareness and meta-cognitive skills in pursuit of a kind of perfection. The result is the evasion of contingency and of the consciousness of human finitude. The neo-liberalism that makes education a market good exacerbates this. These tendencies can be interpreted as a dimension of scepticism. This is to be dissolved partly by acknowledging that we are obscure to ourselves. Such an acknowledgement is fostered (...) by the mythic dimension of experience, which also recommends a degree of humility to the citizens of democratic states. (shrink)