33,465 research outputs found

    Recognition-induced forgetting does not operate over objects lacking semantic information

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    Recognition-induced forgetting is a forgetting phenomenon in which memory for initially learned stimuli is negatively impacted by the recognition of categorically related stimuli. While this forgetting effect has been found to operate over categories of everyday objects (e.g., vases, chairs), objects of expertise, and episodic memory, the role of semantic information has yet to be fully explored. Here we seek to understand whether semantic information is the critical category-grouping cue behind recognition-induced forgetting in order to establish a model for its underlying mechanism. To this end, letters are utilized in the present study because they feature an automatic category grouping (e.g., A’s of different fonts belong to a group) and little to no semantic information (e.g. there is no semantic information that belongs to all A’s). If semantic information is critical to category groupings in recognition-induced forgetting, then categories comprised of letters will be immune to recognition-induced forgetting. Indeed, we found that recognition-induced forgetting did not operate over letters, suggesting that semantic information plays a critical role in categories that are susceptible to recognition-induced forgetting.No embargoAcademic Major: Psycholog

    Message Deleted? Resolving Physician-Patient E-mail through Contract Law

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    This article examines the impact of e-mail on the physician-patient relationship, and how contract law can resolve the uncertainties incumbent in this nascent form of communication. Significantly, courts have yet to indicate when the physician-patient relationship begins by e-mail, or to what extent e-mail affects the duties of the relationship. Instead of waiting for judicial guidance, physicians and patients can employ specialized contracts to clarify the role that e-mail plays in their relationship. As a result, more physicians and patients will regard e-mail correspondence as a valuable means of communication, and a tool for improving the quality of health care as well

    Dietary Supplement Labeling: Cognitive Biases, Market Manipulation & Consumer Choice

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    There exists increasing concern that the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA) has proven ineffective. Much of the concern regards the disparity in legislative treatment between dietary supplements, foods, and pharmaceutical drugs. Namely, while pharmaceutical drugs must undergo years of costly pre-market testing, most supplements, like foods, can immediately enter the market, and only after repeated instances of adverse reactions can the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remove them. Such a framework appears to belie both consumer expectations and marketing strategies, as supplements tend to be most perceived for their apparent medicinal qualities. This philosophy of waiting for a foreseeable harm also strikes many as unnecessary, inefficient, and immoral. On the other hand, most supplements have proven safe and either benign or reasonably effective. Moreover, before policy-makers mandate extensive pre-market testing of all supplements, consider the likely effect on production: a certain percentage of supplement makers will find the economics of production too costly and will thus leave the market. Granted, foreign markets for supplements might still provide the requisite incentives for production, but a more costly entrance fee into the U.S. market would clearly deter some level of production and convince a number of makers to leave the market altogether. Equally troubling, companies which choose to remain in the market would presumably pass on a portion of the increased costs to consumers, who often bear the costs of heightened regulation. Consequently, many beneficial supplements would be priced out of the reach of consumers who either have become users of those products or could become users. The issue then is one of nuance. Rather than sweeping regulatory intervention, perhaps more carefully-tailored alterations would prove most desirable. This philosophy appears desirable given informational deficiencies among dietary supplement consumers, particularly those with exploitable cognitive biases. Promisingly, such deficiencies may be ameliorated through low-cost measures that promote enhanced communication of product characteristics. For these reasons, this Article proposes a refined approach to dietary supplement labeling that would legally distinguish them on the basis of potential risk and anticipated benefit. Indeed, the existing legal construct of the phrase dietary supplements is both curious and overly simplistic. It includes minerals, vitamins, herbs, botanical extracts, and amino acids - items that are not only functionally different, but which present radically different risks and benefits. Along those lines, the very consumers of supplements should be more carefully distinguished. How might such a revised communicatory model work without precipitating material price increases or deterring beneficial production? One method would entail more carefully-contemplated labeling requirements. Such requirements should enhance consumer risk-assessment and reward reputable supplement manufacturers. To accomplish these goals, labels should reveal potential interactions with pharmaceutical drugs and other supplements, warnings of over-usage, predictable distinctions between health claims and structure/function claims, and a recommended intake range based on age and gender, among other personal characteristics. Of similar benefit would be assured ingredient content, as well as greater coordination between the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in regulating false or misleading supplement claims. Importantly, because such labeling requirements would impose only minimal cost increases to manufacturers

    Staying or going? Chirality decides!

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    A Vote Cast; A Vote Counted: Quantifying Voting Rights through Proportional Representation in Congressional Elections

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    The current winner-take-all or first-past-the-post system of voting promotes an inefficient market where votes are often wasted. In this system, representatives are selected from a single district in which the candidate with the plurality of votes gains victory. Candidates who appear non-generic can rarely, if ever, expect to receive the most votes in this system. This phenomenon is especially apparent when African-Americans and other minority groups seek elected office. In part because white voters constitute at least a plurality of voters in every state except Hawaii, minorities in the forty-nine other states have had historically little success in gaining election to the United States Senate. As a consequence, the only real opportunity for minorities to gain access to federal elected office remains limited to the United States House of Representatives. The flaws of the winner-take-all-system and single member district are readily apparent. First, significant blocs of voters are consistently denied the right to elect a truly preferred candidate, because such candidates can almost never expect to receive the most votes. Consequently, many potential candidates are deterred from running because the prospect for victory is so slim. As a result, large numbers of voters are often forced to select the candidate they believe has the greatest chance of winning, rather than their preferred candidate. In addition, many voters in a winner-take-all system are represented by persons they did not support. For instance, in 1994, while Democratic candidates for Iowa\u27s five seats in the United States House of Representatives received 42% of the total votes cast in Iowa, none of Iowa\u27s five congressional seats was won by a Democrat. Similarly, in 1992, Republican congressional candidates garnered 48% of the two-party statewide vote in North Carolina, but won only four of twelve seats. Thus, many losing votes may be considered wasted. Wasted votes may also include those cast for the victorious candidate: any vote cast in addition to the number needed for victory might as well have never been cast. Thus, in landslide races, where the prospect of wasting one\u27s vote is high, the incentive to vote seems almost non-existent. Since over 75 percent of congressional races in any given election tend to be landslide races, many eligible voters do not vote. This Article considers an alternative system of voting: proportional representation, of which there are two basic forms, List System and Choice Voting/Single Transferable Vote. In the list system, a voter simply selects one party and its slate of candidates. Thereafter, the seats are allocated on the basis of the share of votes each party earned. For instance, in the Iowa congressional example discussed above, instead of receiving zero congressional seats with 42% of the statewide vote, the state Democratic Party would have earned two seats out of the available five. Often, with the list system, a minimum share of votes (such as 5%) is required for a party to earn representation. Alternatively, in a choice voting system, a voter simply ranks candidates in order of preference (first choice, second choice, etc.). Once a voter\u27s first choice is elected or eliminated, the voter\u27s excess votes are transferred to subsequent preferred candidates until all the seats are filled. In either arrangement, proportional representation would diminish wasted votes, provide greater opportunities for minority groups to gain access to legislative positions, and offer greater incentive for eligible voters to vote. Though proportional representation risks the election of fringe groups (such as hate groups), a minimum bar of 5% to 7% would likely neutralize that possibility. All told, proportional representation appears to be an intriguing alternative to our present winner-take-all voting system

    Race, Gender, Sexuality, Ability, Identity and Cycling, Blog 8

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    Student blog posts from the Great VCU Bike Race Book

    Community Design for Healthy Eating: How Land Use and Transportation Solutions Can Help

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    Examines how the built environment -- land use and lack of grocery stores, poor transportation systems, and sprawling development -- limits access to healthy foods in low-income, inner-city neighborhoods. Profiles efforts to improve food access
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