129 research outputs found

    Analytical reasoning task reveals limits of social learning in networks

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    Social learning -by observing and copying others- is a highly successful cultural mechanism for adaptation, outperforming individual information acquisition and experience. Here, we investigate social learning in the context of the uniquely human capacity for reflective, analytical reasoning. A hallmark of the human mind is our ability to engage analytical reasoning, and suppress false associative intuitions. Through a set of lab-based network experiments, we find that social learning fails to propagate this cognitive strategy. When people make false intuitive conclusions, and are exposed to the analytic output of their peers, they recognize and adopt this correct output. But they fail to engage analytical reasoning in similar subsequent tasks. Thus, humans exhibit an 'unreflective copying bias,' which limits their social learning to the output, rather than the process, of their peers' reasoning -even when doing so requires minimal effort and no technical skill. In contrast to much recent work on observation-based social learning, which emphasizes the propagation of successful behavior through copying, our findings identify a limit on the power of social networks in situations that require analytical reasoning

    Polarized citizen preferences for the ethical allocation of scarce medical resources in 20 countries.

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    This is the final version. Available from SAGE Publications via the DOI in this record.鈥疍ata Availability Statement: Data and code are open and available at https://github.com/ bencebago/ventilators.Objective. When medical resources are scarce, clinicians must make difficult triage decisions. When these decisions affect public trust and morale, as was the case during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts will benefit from knowing which triage metrics have citizen support. Design. We conducted an online survey in 20 countries, comparing support for 5 common metrics (prognosis, age, quality of life, past and future contribution as a health care worker) to a benchmark consisting of support for 2 no-triage mechanisms (first-come-first-served and random allocation). Results. We surveyed nationally representative samples of 1000 citizens in each of Brazil, France, Japan, and the United States and also self-selected samples from 20 countries (total N = 7599) obtained through a citizen science website (the Moral Machine). We computed the support for each metric by comparing its usability to the usability of the 2 no-triage mechanisms. We further analyzed the polarizing nature of each metric by considering its usability among participants who had a preference for no triage. In all countries, preferences were polarized, with the 2 largest groups preferring either no triage or extensive triage using all metrics. Prognosis was the least controversial metric. There was little support for giving priority to healthcare workers. Conclusions. It will be difficult to define triage guidelines that elicit public trust and approval. Given the importance of prognosis in triage protocols, it is reassuring that it is the least controversial metric. Experts will need to prepare strong arguments for other metrics if they wish to preserve public trust and morale during health crises. Highlights: We collected citizen preferences regarding triage decisions about scarce medical resources from 20 countries.We find that citizen preferences are universally polarized.Citizens either prefer no triage (random allocation or first-come-first served) or extensive triage using all common triage metrics, with "prognosis" being the least controversial.Experts will need to prepare strong arguments to preserve or elicit public trust in triage decisions

    Slippery slope arguments imply opposition to change

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    Slippery slope arguments (SSAs) of the form if A, then C describe an initial proposal (A) and a predicted, undesirable consequence of this proposal (C) (e.g., 鈥淚f cannabis is ever legalized, then eventually cocaine will be legalized, too鈥). Despite SSAs being a common rhetorical device, there has been surprisingly little empirical research into their subjective evaluation and perception. Here, we present evidence that SSAs are interpreted as a form of consequentialist argument, inviting inferences about the speaker鈥檚 (or writer鈥檚) attitudes. Study 1 confirmed the common intuition that a SSA is perceived to be an argument against the initial proposal (A), whereas Study 2 showed that the subjective strength of this inference relates to the subjective undesirability of the predicted consequences (C). Because arguments are rarely made out of context, in Studies 3 and 4 we examined how one important contextual factor, the speaker鈥檚 known beliefs, influences the perceived coherence, strength, and persuasiveness of a SSA. Using an unobtrusive dependent variable (eye movements during reading), in Study 3 we showed that readers are sensitive to the internal coherence between a speaker鈥檚 beliefs and the implied meaning of the argument. Finally, Study 4 revealed that this degree of internal coherence influences the perceived strength and persuasiveness of the argument. Together, these data indicate that SSAs are treated as a form of negative consequentialist argument. People infer that the speaker of a SSA opposes the initial proposal; therefore, SSAs are only perceived to be persuasive and conversationally relevant when the speaker鈥檚 attitudes match this inference

    Changing the culture of assessment: the dominance of the summative assessment paradigm

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    Background Despite growing evidence of the benefits of including assessment for learning strategies within programmes of assessment, practical implementation of these approaches is often problematical. Organisational culture change is often hindered by personal and collective beliefs which encourage adherence to the existing organisational paradigm. We aimed to explore how these beliefs influenced proposals to redesign a summative assessment culture in order to improve students鈥 use of assessment-related feedback. Methods Using the principles of participatory design, a mixed group comprising medical students, clinical teachers and senior faculty members was challenged to develop radical solutions to improve the use of post-assessment feedback. Follow-up interviews were conducted with individual members of the group to explore their personal beliefs about the proposed redesign. Data were analysed using a socio-cultural lens. Results Proposed changes were dominated by a shared belief in the primacy of the summative assessment paradigm, which prevented radical redesign solutions from being accepted by group members. Participants鈥 prior assessment experiences strongly influenced proposals for change. As participants had largely only experienced a summative assessment culture, they found it difficult to conceptualise radical change in the assessment culture. Although all group members participated, students were less successful at persuading the group to adopt their ideas. Faculty members and clinical teachers often used indirect techniques to close down discussions. The strength of individual beliefs became more apparent in the follow-up interviews. Conclusions Na茂ve epistemologies and prior personal experiences were influential in the assessment redesign but were usually not expressed explicitly in a group setting, perhaps because of cultural conventions of politeness. In order to successfully implement a change in assessment culture, firmly-held intuitive beliefs about summative assessment will need to be clearly understood as a first step

    Sociotechnical Systems and Ethics in the Large

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    Advances in AI techniques and computing platforms have triggered a lively and expanding discourse on ethical decision-making by autonomous agents. Much recent work in AI concentrates on the challenges of moral decision making from a decision-theoretic perspective, and especially the representation of various ethical dilemmas. Such approaches may be useful but in general are not productive because moral decision making is as context-driven as other forms of decision making, if not more. In contrast, we consider ethics not from the standpoint of an individual agent but of the wider sociotechnical systems (STS) in which the agent operates. Our contribution in this paper is the conception of ethical STS founded on governance that takes into account stakeholder values, normative constraints on agents, and outcomes (states of the STS) that obtain due to actions taken by agents. An important element of our conception is accountability, which is necessary for adequate consideration of outcomes that prima facie appear ethical or unethical. Focusing on STSs avoids the difficult problems of ethics as the norms of the STS give an operational basis for agent decision making