Cowan's analysis of human short-term memory (STM) and attention in terms of processing limits in the range of 4 items (or “chunks”) is discussed from the point of view of cognitive neuroscience. Although, Cowan already provides many important theoretical insights, we need to learn more about how to build further bridges between cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.
From the 1980s onward income inequality increased in many advanced countries. It is very difficult to account for the rise in income inequality using the standard labour supply/demand explanation. Fiscal redistribution has become less effective in compensating increasing inequalities since the 1990s. Some of the basic features of redistribution can be explained through the optimal tax framework developed by J.A. Mirrlees in 1971. This Element surveys some of the earlier results in linear and nonlinear taxation and produces some new numerical (...) results. Given the key role of capital income in the overall income inequality it also considers the optimal taxation of capital income. It examines empirically the relationship between the extent of redistribution and the components of the Mirrlees framework. The redistributive role of factors such as publicly provided private goods, public employment, endogenous wages in the overlapping generations model and income uncertainty are analysed. (shrink)
This article elaborates on Christopher Norris's claim that certain aspects of Derrida's work are amenable to formalisation in modal-logical terms. Norris contends that any adequate analysis of the logic behind Derrida's work must provide an account of the notions of possibility, necessity, and necessary possibility, particularly as they are related to Derrida's notion of iterability. This article examines the further hypothesis that Derrida's understanding of modality, according to which possibilities must be accounted for even if they are never realised, might (...) even better be described in terms of possible worlds. In possible-worlds semantics, the conceptual meaning of a statement is constituted by the set of alternative contexts in which that statement is true. This article argues, however, that possible-worlds semantics would be unthinkable without the experience that one referent can be substituted for another. The possibility of this experience is best described in Derridean terms. Read through Derrida's thought of the trace, the properly semantic substitutions may come to be seen as dependent on the substitution of the thing for itself; on what Derrida calls ‘the substitution of the unique for the unique’. (shrink)
This article introduces comparative process tracing as a two-step methodological approach that combines theory, chronology, and comparison. For each studied case, the processes leading “from A to B” are reconstructed and analyzed in terms of ideal-type social mechanisms and then compared by making use of the identified mechanisms and ideal-type periodization. Central elements of CPT are path dependence, critical junctures and focal points, social mechanisms, context, periodization, and counterfactual analysis. The CPT approach is described, discussed, and compared with more formal (...) and deterministic forms of process tracing, which are found to be less fruitful for systematic comparison. (shrink)
We discuss the relationships between positional rules (such as plurality and approval voting as well as the Borda count), Dodgson’s, Kemeny’s and Litvak’s methods of reaching consensus. The discrepancies between methods are seen as results of different intuitive conceptions of consensus goal states and ways of measuring distances therefrom. Saari’s geometric methodology is resorted to in the analysis of the consensus reaching methods.
Public communication is secure if a hostile third-party cannot decode the messages exchanged by the communicating parties. In Nash equilibrium, communication by computationally unbounded players cannot be secure. We assume complexity averse players, and show that a simple, secure, and costless communication protocol becomes available as the marginal complexity cost tends to zero.
It is well-known that different social choice procedures often result in different choice sets. The article focuses on how often this is likely to happen in impartial cultures. The focus is on Borda count, plurality method, max-min method and Copeland's procedure. The probabilities of Condorcet violations of the Borda count and plurality method are also reported. Although blatantly false as a descriptive hypothesis, the impartial culture assumption can be given an interpretation which makes the results obtained in impartial cultures particularly (...) significant, viz. the probabilities of deviations in choice sets indicate how far apart are the intuitions underlying various choice procedures. -/- . (shrink)
The difficulty of making social choices seems to take on two forms: one that is related to both preferences and the method used in aggregating them and one which is related to the preferences only. In the former type the difficulty has to do with the discrepancies of outcomes resulting from various preference aggregation methods and the computation of winners in elections. Some approaches and results which take their motivation from the computability theory are discussed. The latter ‘institution-free’ type of (...) difficulty pertains to solution theory of the voting games. We discuss the relationships between various solution concepts, e.g. uncovered set, Banks set, Copeland winners. Finally rough sets are utilized in an effort to measure the difficulty of making social choices. (shrink)
The facts to be proven in a lawsuit can be more or less probable. But the recognition of the relevant facts may require discretion or evaluative operations; moreover, a just and equitable interpretation of a contract may depend on what the contracting parties knew about the intentions of each other. Can, e.g., negligence be more or less probable? Can Ought be proven? There is, however, a structural similarity between legal interpretation and the evalution of evidence and not only an intertwinement (...) between the so-called questions of fact and the questions of law. A number of situations is briefly analysed: the interpretation of contracts, the interest of the child, the basic concepts of the law of torts and the criminal intent. (shrink)
Why do we tell our life stories? What is the point of studying narratives? What is the truth of narratives? How are narratives collected and studied by researchers? In this book the voices of teachers, education researchers, student teachers and philosophers join to form a polyphonic voice that attempts to answer these questions. They shed light on the obscure world of narrative research. This book contains both theoretical articles and empirical examples of narrative research. The theoretical articles introduce and develop (...) the basic concepts of narrative research and focus attention on its philosophical foundations. The empirical articles apply the narrative approach in a multi-dimensional way and provide a clear illustration of narrative research in action. The narrative data consists of teachers' stories about teacher education and school practice. (shrink)
Intermediate labour markets provide fixed-term work opportunities and coaching for people in disadvantaged positions in labour markets. We study 46 sequences from six audio-recorded recruitment interviews for an ILM job targetted at people who have been unemployed for a prolonged period. Using an ethnomethodological approach to identity, membership categorisation analysis and conversation analysis, we study how interviewers and candidates construct and negotiate who is fit for the ILM job. We present interactional moves through which the participants jointly construct the ‘fit (...) for the ILM job’ category and treat the candidate’s membership in it as a positive matter. Further, we demonstrate how the candidates are put in an interactionally difficult position in the interview as there are contradictory and ambiguous expectations about the ideal candidate. We discuss the results in relation to the interactional and institutional logics of a recruitment interview and suggest that enhancing the transparency might reinforce ethics of recruitment in ILMs. (shrink)
This study sets out to examine Finnish and Russian children?s representations of intellectual competence as contextualised in the hierarchies of abilities, age and gender. Finnish and Russian pupils, aged 11?12?years, were asked to draw pictures of an intelligent person and an ordinary person. It was found that gender appearance of intelligent men and women was less heterosexual than that of ordinary men and women. In Russian pictures, the intelligent characters, especially women, were widely separated from the ordinary ones in terms (...) of cognitive-mental features. In Finnish depictions, the differentiation between the intelligent and ordinary characters, especially women, was not so categorical and was primarily based on status. It appears that Russian children are apt to relate their representations of intellectual ability to the institutionalised systems of cognitive competence, education and science, whereas Finnish children associate intelligence to social success as well. Further, cultural and gender-related hierarchies of age seemed to reflect in the children?s images. (shrink)
This longitudinal study set out to examine, in the light of the parents’ education and gender and the child’s gender, the changes that occurred in the course of five years in parents’ satisfaction with the functioning of their child’s school. Academically and vocationally educated mothers and fathers were asked to indicate their satisfaction with different aspects of their child’s school at the end of the first, third and fifth school year. It was found that the level of parental satisfaction was (...) fairly high at the start, and despite a decreasing trend, it remained high; parental satisfaction was widely shared, and the number of dissatisfied parents remained small and stable. The academic parents displayed more satisfaction with their child’s school success and the fairness of the treatment than the vocational parents did. The results are discussed in terms of educational policy. (shrink)
Cultural historical research has deliberately challenged “historical realism,” the view that history is comprised entirely of observable actions that actually occurred, and instead has emphasized the historical significance of thoughts, emotions, and representations; it has also focused on the invisible, the momentary, and the perishable. These latter elements introduce the notion of the possible in history. This article examines the ways in which cultural history has approached the notion of the possible, as well as the methodological and theoretical implications of (...) this approach. Its chief claim is that the idea of possibility is fundamental for the concept of culture and ineliminable from its historical study.The question of possibility is present in multiple ways in the study of history; it is important to distinguish among different levels of possibility. The possible may mean, for instance, what it is possible for historians to know about the past, or the possibilities open to historical agents themselves, or, indeed, the possibilities they perceived themselves as having even if these seem impossible from the point of view of the historian. The article starts with the first aspect and moves on toward the possibilities that existed in the past world either in fact or in the minds of those in the past.The article argues that the study of past cultures always entails the mapping of past possibilities. The first strand of the essay builds on the metaphor of the black hole and intends to solve one of the central problems faced by cultural historians, namely, how to access the horizon of the people of the past, their experience of their own time, especially when the sources remain silent. The second, more speculative strand builds on the notion of plenitude and is designed to open up avenues for further discussion about the concept of culture in particular. (shrink)
In the course of their child?s school years, a group of parents were asked to assess their child?s mathematical competence and indicate whether they endorsed the gender stereotype pertaining to it. Once the child had entered upper primary school, the consistent stereotypic parents tended to rate their boys? mathematical competence higher than the parents of girls did. Additionally, the parents whose attitude turned into an anti?stereotypical one perceived their girls? mathematical competencies as higher than those of the boys, which was (...) related to their perception that the boys? competencies were getting worse while the girls? competencies were getting better. (shrink)
This paper examines the contribution of parents? education and children?s gender on parental expectations of their children?s future education and the role of parental perceptions of their child?s competencies in the formation of their expectations. A group of university and vocationally educated parents (N = 418) were asked to estimate the probability of their child entering gymnasium (high school) or vocational education and assess the child?s competencies, first in preschool, and then at the end of the third school year. It (...) was found that the education and gender?bound differences in the parental expectations were established before the child entered school, and by the end of the third school year the relationships between expectations and competence assessments strengthened and were more uniform among the parents. The findings suggested that the parental assessments of their child?s abilities can be regarded as a potentially important social?psychological process through which social differences are transformed into the individualized interpretations of the child?s educational prospects. (shrink)
Though not categorically opposed to the idea, Finnish parents tended to resist rather than endorse the view of parents as tax payers who can make demands for the efficacy of schooling and expected teacher performance. However, parents with vocational training tended to resist this view less than parents from higher educational groups. Additionally, dissatisfaction with a child?s primary schooling and support for a selective educational policy were both associated with a tendency to view this role in a relatively positive light.
During the past 40 years, the Philosophy for Children movement has developed a dialogical framework for education that has inspired people both inside and outside academia. This article concentrates on analysing the historical development in general and then taking a more rigorous look at the recent discourse of the movement. The analysis proceeds by examining the changes between the so-called first and second generation, which suggests that Philosophy for Children is adapting to a postmodern world by challenging the humanistic ideas (...) of first-generation authors. A new understanding of childhood is presented by second-generation authors as giving possibilities for the subject to emerge in truly philosophical encounters. This article tries to show some of the possibilities and limits of such an understanding by considering the views in the light of general educational theorisations concerning pedagogical action. The continental tradition of European educational discourse, especially in the German-speaking regions, has stressed a necessity for asymmetry in the educational relationship. This line of thought is in conflict with the idea of a symmetrical, communal emergent system, which seems to be at the heart of second-generation understanding of educational philosophical dialoguing. The concluding argument states that in education we are always confronted with questions about purpose and aims, which have a special character in relation to pure philosophy /dialogue, although the philosophical/dialogical dimension is necessary for the emergence of unique subjectivity. (shrink)
This book deals with 18 voting procedures used or proposed for use in elections resulting in the choice of a single winner. These procedures are evaluated in terms of their ability to avoid paradoxical outcomes. Together with a companion volume by the same authors, Monotonicity Failures Afflicting Procedures for Electing a Single Candidate, published by Springer in 2017, this book aims at giving a comprehensive overview of the most important advantages and disadvantages of procedures thereby assisting decision makers in the (...) choice of a voting procedure that would best suit their purposes. (shrink)
This book deals with 20 voting procedures used or proposed for use in elections resulting in the choice of a single winner. These procedures are evaluated in terms of their ability to avoid five important paradoxes in a restricted domain, viz., when a Condorcet winner exists and is elected in the initial profile. Together with the two companion volumes by the same authors, published by Springer in 2017 and 2018, this book aims at giving a comprehensive overview of the most (...) important advantages and disadvantages of voting procedures thereby assisting decision makers in the choice of a voting procedure that would best suit their purposes. (shrink)
This article contributes to research on the regulation of technological risks in the form of a case study of the Baltic Sea ferry traffic. The analysis suggests that the social systemic features of an industry heavily influence the relationship between technological failures and risk regulation. The study augments recent work on how regulations affect the handling of technological risks and how failures influence regulatory arrangements. These issues have already been studied in the context of aviation, auto, chemical, nuclear power, and (...) railway industries, but not in shipping. As an extension to previous literature, the authors also explore how different regulatory organizations in this industry act in relation to risks and how they influence each other in risk regulation activities. The study highlights the indirect relationships between technological failures and risk regulation arrangements. It also underlines the influence of the involved actors on the regulatory responses to technological failures. (shrink)
ONKALO, the world’s first repository for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel, is being constructed in Eurajoki, Finland. We study how the constructor of this facility portrays it to the local community in order to influence lay understanding of the disposal risk, build trust, and gain public approval for the construction project. The study is based on a framing analysis of the newsletters published by the constructor of the facility in 2000-2014. The results suggest that the nuclear industry has (...) developed increasing understanding of the social and communal aspects of public resistance to nuclear power. To create trust and to increase acceptance locally the industry is socially constructing a nuclear community around the repository. The gap between the nuclear experts and the local residents is narrowed and the repository is portrayed as being a shared project within the local community advancing the common interests of the industry and the residents. This may represent a new trend in pronuclear storytelling. (shrink)
We investigate what drives responsible investment of European pension funds. Pension funds are institutional investors who assure the income of part of the population for a long period of time. Increasingly, stakeholders hold pension funds accountable for the non-financial consequences of their investments and many funds have engaged in responsible investing. However, it appears that there is a wide difference between pension funds in this respect. We investigate what determines pension funds’ responsible investments on the basis of a survey of (...) more than 250 pension funds in 15 European countries in 2010. We use multinomial logistic regression and find that especially legal origin of the country, ownership of the pension fund and fund size-related variables are to be associated with pension funds′ responsible investment. For fund size, we establish a curvilinear relationship; especially the smallest and largest pension funds in the sample tend to engage with responsible investing. (shrink)
Utría National Park is a remote biodiversity hotspot in Colombia. It encompasses ancestral territories of the Embera indigenous peoples and borders territories of Afro-descendant communities in El Valle. We explore environmental value conflicts regarding the use of the park, describing them as a Wicked Problem that has no clear solution. Juxtaposing how the territory is perceived by different communities, we employ Faber et al.'s heuristic of the three tele of living nature to search for deficiency in the third telos, service, (...) which we take to be symptomatic of Wicked Problems. Based on field data encoded using the three-tele heuristic, concerning how the respective communities would like to use the park area, we identify deficiencies in the third telos and develop recommendations regarding how these might be addressed. (shrink)
This final section presents a literary excerpt and three personal reflections on the theme of Aboagora, as well as on the experience of taking part in Aboagora. It opens with a story written by Ruth Behar, dealing with her personal experience of mastering the English language. Professor Behar read this story as an artistic comment within a workshop entitled ‘Between Art and Research: Rethinking Professional Borderlands’, which dealt with the experiences of people who combine an academic professional career with artistic (...) work. The story is followed by a personal reflection by Bishop Björn Vikström, presented within the context of a session dealing with objectivity and the problem of combining academic research with personal engagement and activism. Finally, two of the organisers of the Aboagora conference, Professor Hannu Salmi and Dr Ruth Illman, reflect on the outcome of the event, evaluating the new insights and perspectives it has facilitated, as well as looking to the future and the potential of Aboagora to develop into a permanent forum for encounters between the arts and sciences. (shrink)
PurposeThe COVID-19 lockdown interrupted normal daily activities, which may have led to an increase in sedentary behavior. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the level of physical activity among Swiss office workers.MethodsOffice workers from two Swiss organizations, aged 18–65 years, were included. Baseline data from January 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic became effective in Switzerland were compared with follow-up data during the lockdown phase in April 2020. Levels of physical activity were (...) assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Paired sample t-tests or Wilcoxon signed-rank test were performed for statistical analysis.ResultsData from 76 participants were analyzed. Fifty-four participants were female. The mean age was 42.7 years at baseline. About 75% of the participants met the recommendations on minimal physical activity, both before the COVID-19 pandemic and during the lockdown. Weak statistical evidence for a decline in total physical activity in metabolic equivalent of task minutes per week was found, with no evidence for a decrease in the three types of activity: walking, moderate-intensity activity and vigorous-intensity activity. Across the three categories “high,” “moderate,” and “low” physical activity, 17% of the participants became less active during the lockdown while 29% became more active.ConclusionThe COVID-19 pandemic did not result in a reduction in total physical activity levels among a sample of Swiss office workers during the first weeks of lockdown. Improved work-life balance and working times may have contributed to this finding.Clinical Trial Registrationwww.ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04169646. Registered 15 November 2019 – Retrospectively registered, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04169646. (shrink)