The standard treatment of conditional probability leaves conditional probability undefined when the conditioning proposition has zero probability. Nonetheless, some find the option of extending the scope of conditional probability to include zero-probability conditions attractive or even compelling. This article reviews some of the pitfalls associated with this move, and concludes that, for the most part, probabilities conditional on zero-probability propositions are more trouble than they are worth.
Health research increasingly relies on organized collections of health data and biological samples. There are many types of sample and data collections that are used for health research, though these are collected for many purposes, not all of which are health-related. These collections exist under different jurisdictional and regulatory arrangements and include: 1) Population biobanks, cohort studies, and genome databases 2) Clinical and public health data 3) Direct-to-consumer genetic testing 4) Social media 5) Fitness trackers, health apps, and biometric data (...) sensors Population biobanks, cohort studies, and genome databases Clinical and public health data Direct-to-consumer genetic testing Social media Fitness trackers, health apps, and biometric data sensors Ethical, legal, and social challenges of such collections are well recognized, but there has been limited attention to the broader societal implications of the existence of these collections. Although health research conducted using these collections is broadly recognized as beneficent, secondary uses of these data and samples may be controversial. We examine both documented and hypothetical scenarios of secondary uses of health data and samples. In particular, we focus on the use of health data for purposes of: Forensic investigations Civil lawsuits Identification of victims of mass casualty events Denial of entry for border security and immigration Making health resource rationing decisions Facilitating human rights abuses in autocratic regimes Forensic investigations Civil lawsuits Identification of victims of mass casualty events Denial of entry for border security and immigration Making health resource rationing decisions Facilitating human rights abuses in autocratic regimes Current safeguards relating to the use of health data and samples include research ethics oversight and privacy laws. These safeguards have a strong focus on informed consent and anonymization, which are aimed at the protection of the individual research subject. They are not intended to address broader societal implications of health data and sample collections. As such, existing arrangements are insufficient to protect against subversion of health databases for non-sanctioned secondary uses, or to provide guidance for reasonable but controversial secondary uses. We are concerned that existing debate in the scholarly literature and beyond has not sufficiently recognized the secondary data uses we outline in this paper. Our main purpose, therefore, is to raise awareness of the potential for unforeseen and unintended consequences, in particular negative consequences, of the increased availability and development of health data collections for research, by providing a comprehensive review of documented and hypothetical non-health research uses of such data. (shrink)
Inattentional blindness studies have shown that an unexpected object may go unnoticed if it does not share the property specified in the task instructions. Our aim was to demonstrate that observers develop an attentional set for a property not specified in the task instructions if it allows easier performance of the primary task. Three experiments were conducted using a dynamic selective-looking paradigm. Stimuli comprised four black squares and four white diamonds, so that shape and colour varied together. Task instructions specified (...) shape but observers developed an attentional set for colour, because we made the black–white discrimination easier than the square–diamond discrimination. None of the observers instructed to count bounces by squares reported an unexpected white square, whereas two-thirds of observers instructed to count bounces by diamonds did report the white square. When attentional set departs from task instructions, you may fail to see what you were told to look for. (shrink)
"Data mining is not an invasion of privacy because access to data is only by machines, not by people": this is the argument that is investigated here. The current importance of this problem is developed in a case study of data mining in the USA for counterterrorism and other surveillance purposes. After a clarification of the relevant nature of privacy, it is argued that access by machines cannot warrant the access to further information, since the analysis will have to be (...) made either by humans or by machines that understand. It concludes that the current data mining violates the right to privacy and should be subject to the standard legal constraints for access to private information by people. (shrink)
Advances in head mounted displays (HMDs) have increased the interest in cinematic virtual reality as an art form. However, the freedom of a viewer in 360 video presents challenges in ensuring that audiences do not inadvertently miss important events and locations. We examined whether the high level of immersion provided by HMDs encourages participants to synchronize their attention during viewing. Sixty-four participants watched the 360° documentary Clouds Over Sidra (VRSEworks, 2015) using either an HMD or via a flat screen tablet (...) display. We used intersubject correlation (ISC) analysis to measure attentional synchrony over the course of the video and to examine whether spatial and temporal factors led to different amounts of correlation both within and between groups. We found significantly greater ISC for the HMD compared to the tablet group. This effect was greatest for scenes with a unidirectional focus and at the start of scenes. We discuss our results in terms of the visual properties and the motor affordances of HMDs versus tablets. Our results show the value of HMDs in increasing attentional synchrony and may provide producers of 360° content insight in how to encourage or discourage synchronization of viewing direction. (shrink)
A first impression matters, in particular when encounters are brief as in most doctor-patient interactions. In this study, we investigate how physicians’ body postures impact patients’ first impressions of them and extend previous research by exploring posture effects on the perception of all roles of a physician – not just single aspects such as scholarly expertise or empathy. In an online survey, 167 participants ranked photographs of 4 physicians in 4 postures. The results show that male physicians were rated more (...) positively when assuming open rather than closed postures with respect to all professional physician roles. Female physicians in open postures were rated similarly positive for items related to medical competence, but they tended to be rated less favorably with respect to social skills. These findings extend what is known about the effects of physicians’ body postures on the first impressions patients form to judge physicians’ medical versus social competencies. We discuss practical implications and the need for more research on interaction effects of body postures and physician gender on first impressions. (shrink)
Developing residents’ communication skills has been a goal of residency training programmes since the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education codified it as a core competency. In this article, a case that features problematic communication between a generalist and specialist physician is drawn upon, and it is suggested how their communication might become open and effective through a practice of reason exchange. This is a practice of giving reasons, listening to reasons given by others, evaluating reasons and deciding which particulars (...) of situations constitute reasons to act and reasons how to act. Drawing on recent literature in teaching communication to radiology residents, it is proposed that practices of reason exchange are part of the skill set generally referred to as “negotiation skills” that should be cultivated in all residents. Particularly, in cases in which generalist and specialist physicians disagree about the reasons to do something, not do something or do something this way or that way, how well physicians are trained to practice reason exchange depends on whether they can communicate effectively and negotiate disagreement collegially. (shrink)
Background: By organizing and activating our passions with both hormones and experiences, the heart and mind of sexual behavior, sexual motivation, and sexual preference is the brain, the organ of learning. Despite decades of progress, this incontrovertible truth is somehow lost in the far-too-often biologically deterministic interpretation of genetic, hormonal, and anatomical scientific research into the biological origins of sexual motivation. Simplistic and polarized arguments are used in the media by both sides of the seemingly endless debate over sexual orientation, (...) equality, and human rights with such catch phrases as ‘‘born gay’’ contrasted against attempts of ‘‘reparative therapy’’ or ‘‘pray the gay away’’. Though long abandoned in practically every other area of psychology, this remnant of the nature-nurture controversy remains despite its generally acknowledged insufficiency in explaining any adult aspect of the human condition within the scientific community. Methods: This theoretical review article identifies three factors: 1) good intentions with regard to the argument from immutability; 2) false dichotomies limiting intellectual progress by oversimplification of theory and thus hypothesis, and most dangerously, interpretation and; 3) Tradition: a historical separation of the disciplines of biology and psychology, which, to this day, interferes with the effective translation of well-conducted science into good public understanding and policy. Results: Studies clearly demonstrate that progress toward sexual-orientation equality is being made, if slowly, despite the apparent irrelevance of the ‘‘born gay’’ argument from immutability. Evidence is further provided supporting the inadequacy of polarized, dichotic theories of sexual development, particularly those pitting ‘‘blank slate learning’’ against a fated, deterministic biological perspective. Results of this review suggest that an emerging interactionist perspective will promote both better scientific progress and better public understanding, hopefully contributing to progress toward nondiscriminatory public policy. Conclusion: Accepting that the brain is a highly plastic, modularly dimorphic, developmentally biased organ of learning, one which is organized and activated by both hormones and experiences across the lifespan, is essential for doing ‘‘good science’’ well. Interactionist theories of psychosexual development provide an empirically sound, strong, yet modifiable foundation for testable hypotheses exploring biologically biased sexual learning. Keywords: Brain; conditioning; controversy; dichotomy; differentiation; discrimination; equality; sex; sexual; orientation; learning; learned sexuality; born gay; hedonic evaluation; immutability; imprinting; incentive motivation; interactionism; predispositions; theory; therapy (Published: 15 March 2012) Citation: Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2012, 2 : 17334 - DOI: 10.3402/snp.v2i0.17334. (shrink)
Rolls defines emotion as innate reward and punishment. This could not explain our results showing that people learn faster in a negative mood. We argue that what people know about their world affects their emotional state. Negative emotion signals a failure to predict negative reward and hence prompts learning to resolve the ignorance. Thus what you don't know affects how you feel.