Kieran Egan states that imagination "is a concept that has come down to us with a history of suspicion and mistrust" (2007, p. 4). Like experience and the emotions, the imagination is frequently thought to be an obstacle to reason. While reason is conceived of as an abstract, objective and rule-governed method of delivering absolute truths, the imagination is considered "unconstrained, arbitrary, and fanciful," as well as "particular, subjective, and idiosyncratic" (Jo 2002, p. 39). This negative view of the imagination (...) can be traced back at least as far as Plato, and it is still evident in contemporary educational ideas and practices. Dominant approaches to schooling emphasize the accumulation of facts and the .. (shrink)
Obtaining informed consent is a cornerstone of biomedical research, yet participants comprehension of presented information is often low. The most effective interventions to improve understanding rates have not been identified.
Objectives: The mental health legislation of most developed countries includes either a dangerousness criterion or an obligatory dangerousness criterion (ODC). A dangerousness criterion holds that mentally ill people may be given treatment without consent if they are deemed to be a risk to themselves or others. An ODC holds that mentally ill people may be given treatment without consent only if they are deemed to be a risk to themselves or others. This paper argues that the dangerousness criterion is unnecessary, (...) unethical and, in the case of the ODC, potentially harmful to mentally ill people and to the rest of the community. Methods: We examine the history of the dangerousness criterion, and provide reasoned argument and empirical evidence in support of our position. Results: Dangerousness criteria are not required to balance the perceived loss of autonomy arising from mental health legislation. Dangerousness criteria unfairly discriminate against the mentally ill, as they represent an unreasonable barrier to treatment without consent, and they spread the burden of risk that any mentally ill person might become violent across large numbers of mentally ill people who will never become violent. Mental health legislation that includes an ODC is associated with a longer duration of untreated psychosis, and probably contributes to a poorer prognosis and an increase risk of suicide and violence in patients in their first episode of psychosis. Conclusions: Dangerousness criteria should be removed from mental health legislation and be replaced by criteria that focus on a patient’s capacity to refuse treatment. (shrink)
Recent scholarship (Goodwin & Darley, 2008) on the meta-ethical debate between objectivism and relativism has found people to be mixed: they are objectivists about some issues, but relativists about others. The studies discussed here sought to explore this further. Study 1 explored whether giving people the ability to identify moral issues for themselves would reveal them to be more globally objectivist. Study 2 explored people's meta-ethical commitments more deeply, asking them to provide verbal explanations for their judgments. This revealed that (...) while people think they are relativists, this may not always be the case. The explanations people gave were sometimes rated by outside (blind) coders as being objective, even when given a relativist response. Nonetheless, people remained meta-ethical pluralists. Why this might be is discussed. (shrink)
To understand public discourse in the United States on genetic causation of behavioral disorders, we analyzed media representations of genetic research on addiction published between 1990 and 2010. We conclude first that the media simplistically represent biological bases of addiction and willpower as being mutually exclusive: behaviors are either genetically determined, or they are a choice. Second, most articles provide only cursory or no treatment of the environmental contribution. A media focus on genetics directs attention away from environmental factors. Rhetorically, (...) media neglect the complexity underlying the etiology the addiction and direct focus back toward individual causation and responsibility. (shrink)
ABSTRACT There is limited guidance about whether and how to provide psychological assessment results to research participants. This paper considers several ethical challenges associated with offering individual research results in psychological assessment research. Additionally, the process used to return individual results within a study examining neurodevelopmental effects of anesthesia exposure in children and adolescents is described. Almost all participants requested to know if results were concerning; however, only around a third of those with concerning findings sought additional feedback. Ongoing research (...) and guidance are necessary to establish evidence-based practices and manage challenges that may emerge when disclosing such results. (shrink)
The new field of experimental philosophy has emerged as the methods of psychological science have been brought to bear on traditional philosophical issues. Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy will be the place to go to see outstanding new work in the field. It will feature papers by philosophers, papers by psychologists, and papers co-authored by people in both disciplines. The series heralds the emergence of a truly interdisciplinary field in which people from different disciplines are working together to address a (...) shared set of questions. The inaugural volume is roughly structured into four sections. The first three papers focus on recent developments in moral psychology, a topic that has seen lively debate and a great deal of progress over the last decade. The second section highlights three contributions that bring new methods to moral psychology: formal modeling and special populations. The third section brings together four papers that adopt an experimental philosophy approach to novel topics, including intuitive dualism, generics, joint action, and happiness. And the last two papers provide critical and historical context to the development of experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Categorical perception (CP) refers to how similar things look different depending on whether they are classified as the same category. Many studies demonstrate that adult humans show CP for human emotional faces. It is widely debated whether the effect can be accounted for solely by perceptual differences (structural differences among emotional faces) or whether additional perceiver-based conceptual knowledge is required. In this review, I discuss the phenomenon of CP and key studies showing CP for emotional faces. I then discuss a (...) new model of emotion which highlights how perceptual and conceptual knowledge interact to explain how people see discrete emotions in others’ faces. In doing so, I discuss how language (emotion words included in the paradigm) contribute to CP. (shrink)
This paper synthesizes a wide range of literature from sociolinguistics and cognitive psychology, to argue for a central role for the “word” as a vehicle of language variation and change. Three crucially interlinked strands of research are reviewed—the role of context in associative learning, the word-level storage of phonetic and contextual detail, and the phonetic consequences of skewed distributions of words across different contexts. I argue that the human capacity for associative learning, combined with attention to fine-phonetic detail at the (...) level of the word, plays a significant role in predicting a range of subtle but systematically robust observed socioindexical patterns in speech production and perception. (shrink)
When everyone can be a publisher, what distinguishes the journalist? This article considers contemporary challenges to institutional roles in a digital media environment and then turns to three broad journalistic normative values - authenticity, accountability, and autonomy - that affect the credibility of journalists and the content they provide. A set of questions that can help citizens determine the trustworthiness of information available to them emerges from the discussion.