388 research outputs found

    Harm, authority and generalizability: further experiments on the moral/conventional distinction

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    Certain researchers in the field of moral psychology, following Turiel (1983), argue that children and adults in different cultures make a distinction between moral and conventional transgressions. One interpretation of the theory holds that moral transgressions elicit a signature moral response pattern while conventional transgressions elicit a signature conventional response pattern (e.g., Kelly et al. 2007). Four dimensions distinguish the moral response pattern from the conventional response pattern (e.g., Nichols 2004). 1. HARM/JUSTICE/RIGHTS – Subjects justify the wrongness of moral transgressions by stating that they involve a victim that is harmed, whose rights have been violated or who has been subject to an injustice. Conventional transgressions do not involve a victim that is harmed, whose rights have been violated or who has been subject to an injustice. 2. AUTHORITY – Subjects judge moral transgressions as wrong independent of structures of authority while the wrongness of conventional transgressions can be changed by an authority. 3. GENERALIZABILITY – Subjects judge moral transgressions as generalizably wrong, i.e., independent of time and place, while conventional transgressions’ wrongness depends on time and place. 4. SERIOUSNESS – Subjects judge moral transgressions as more seriously wrong than conventional transgressions. Others have criticized this view for a diversity of reasons. Relevant for our purposes is that, first, there appear to be cultural differences in what constitutes a moral transgression (e.g., Haidt et al. 1993) and second, it is unclear what the exact hypotheses are, surrounding this supposed moral/conventional distinction (e.g., Stich et al. 2009). I will present planned and ongoing experimental research that investigates two specific problems we encountered in the moral-conventional literature. First of all, we cannot draw reliable conclusions from previous work about the generalizability of the wrongness of different kinds of transgressions. In previous experiments, differences in time and place are often but not always confounded with a variety of other differences. For example, Huebner et al. (2010) ask participants if the depicted act would be OK for someone who lived elsewhere where everyone else did this. Moreover, when varying time and/or place, participants are likely to assume that other things differ as well. In our study, we vary time and/or place in a variety of scenarios in order to investigate what assumptions participants make when confronted with the generalizability question. Second, it is an open question as to what extent any transgression will universally elicit one of the two signature response patterns. In our study, we make use of existing differences in participants’ value hierarchy to test this. For one and the same scenario, we compare the response of participants for whom authority is an important value with the results of participants for whom authority is not an important value, in order to see if there are differences in the two groups’ response patterns. References: Haidt J., Koller S. & Dias M. 1993. Affect, culture and morality, or is it wrong to eat your dog? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 65:613-628. Huebner B., Lee, J.L. & Hauser, M.D. 2010. The Moral-Conventional Distinction in Mature Moral Competence. Journal of Cognition and Culture 10: 1-26. Kelly D., Stich S., Haley K.J., Eng S.J. & Fessler D.M.T. 2007. Harm, Affect, and the Moral/Conventional Distinction. Mind & Language 22:117-131. Nichols S. 2004. Sentimental Rules: on the Natural Foundations of Moral Judgment. Oxford University Press. Stich S., Fessler, D.M.T. & Kelly D. 2009. On the Morality of Harm: A response to Sousa, Holbrook and Piazza. Cognition 113:93-97. Turiel E. 1983. The Development of Social Knowledge. Morality & Convention. Cambridge University Press

    Misconstruals Miss the Mark: A Reply to El Guindi and Read

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    Federalism in the Second Republic\u27s Third Century

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    I advance three propositions: (1) that the absence of amendment has not in the past, and need not in the future, stand as a barrier to startling redistribution of governmental powers; (2) that many of the circumstances which can be identified as historical precursors of such power shifts stalk current institutional arrangements at both the state and national levels and underpin the vague feeling that government just does not seem to work; and (3) that there is a new dimension to the debate which must be acknowledged if we are to profit from the experience we have already launched

    Assets at risk:menstrual cycle variation in the envisioned formidability of a potential sexual assailant reveals a component of threat assessment

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    Abstract Situations of potential agonistic conflict demand rapid and effective deci-sion-making. The process of threat assessment includes assessments of relative fighting capacity, assessments of the likelihood of attack, and assessments of the extent to which one′s assets are at risk. The dimensions of physical size and strength appear to serve as key parameters in a cognitive representation summarizing multiple constituents of threat assessment. Here, we examine the thesis that this same representation summa-rizes asset risk. The fitness costs of sexual assault are in part a function of conception risk, as pregnancy due to assault compromises female choice and imperils existing and subsequent male investment. Prior research indicates that women′s attitudes and behaviors vary systematically across the menstrual cycle in a manner that would have reduced the likelihood of sexual assault during periods of greatest fertility in ancestral women. If the envisioned size and strength of a potential antagonist is used to represent asset risk, and if the threat that sexual assault poses to a woman′s reproductive assets is in part a product of her fertility, then the conceptualized size and strength of a potential sexual assailant should be a function of conception risk. We find support for thi

    Baseband Detection of Bistatic Electron Spin Signals in Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy (MRFM)

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    In single spin Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy (MRFM), the objective is to detect the presence of an electron (or nuclear) spin in a sample volume by measuring spin-induced attonewton forces using a micromachined cantilever. In the OSCAR method of single spin MRFM, the spins are manipulated by an external rf field to produce small periodic deviations in the resonant frequency of the cantilever. These deviations can be detected by frequency demodulation followed by conventional amplitude or energy detection. In this paper, we present an alternative to these detection methods, based on optimal detection theory and Gibbs sampling. On the basis of simulations, we show that our detector outperforms the conventional amplitude and energy detectors for realistic MRFM operating conditions. For example, to achieve a 10% false alarm rate and an 80% correct detection rate our detector has an 8 dB SNR advantage as compared with the conventional amplitude or energy detectors. Furthermore, at these detection rates it comes within 4 dB of the omniscient matched-filter lower bound.Comment: 8 pages, 9 figures, revision of paper contains correction to a typo on the first page (introduction section

    Edge-Preserving Tomographic Reconstruction With Nonlocal Regularization

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    We propose a new objective function for the image reconstruction problem, where the image is comprised of piecewise smooth regions separated by sharp boundaries. We use alternating minimization to minimize our objective function. We use the level set technique to minimize with regard to the boundary. The advantage of this new approach is shown through the bias/variance analysis of a hot spot.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/85990/1/Fessler151.pd

    Three-dimensional Non-local Edge-preserving Regularization for PET Transmission Reconstruction

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    Tomographic image reconstruction using statistical methods can provide more accurate system modeling, statistical models, and physical constraints than the conventional filtered backprojection (FBP) method. Because of the ill-posedness of the reconstruction problem, a roughness penalty is often imposed on the solution. To avoid smoothing of edges, which are important image attributes, various edge-preserving regularization schemes have been proposed. Most of these schemes rely on information from a local neighborhood to determine the presence of edges. In this paper, we propose an objective function that incorporates non-local boundary information into the 3-D regularization method. We use an alternating minimization algorithm with deterministic annealing to minimize the proposed objective function to jointly estimate region boundary surfaces and object pixel values. We apply variational techniques implemented using level sets to update the boundary estimates; then, using the most recent boundary information, we minimize a space-variant quadratic objective function to update the image estimate. We present three-dimensional reconstructions from real PET transmission data.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/85902/1/Fessler164.pd

    Mean and Variance of Photon Counting with Deadtime

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    The statistics of photon counting by systems affected by deadtime are potentially important for statistical image reconstruction methods. We present a new way of analyzing the moments of the counting process for a counter system affected by various models of deadtime related to PET and SPECT imaging. We derive simple and exact expressions for the first and second moments of the number of recorded events under various models. From our mean expression for a SPECT deadtime model, we derive a simple estimator for the actual intensity of the underlying Poisson process; simulations show that our estimator is unbiased even for extremely high count rates.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/85820/1/Fessler158.pd
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