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How do cognitive biases relevant to foreign policy decision making aggregate in groups? Many tendencies identified in the behavioral decision-making literature—such as reactive devaluation, the intentionality bias, and risk seeking in the domain of losses—have been linked to hawkishness in foreign policy choices, potentially increasing the risk of conflict, but how these “hawkish biases” operate in the small-group contexts in which foreign policy decisions are often made is unknown. We field three large-scale group experiments to test how these biases aggregate in groups. We find that groups are just as susceptible as individuals to these canonical biases, with neither hierarchical nor horizontal group decision-making structures significantly attenuating the magnitude of bias. Moreover, diverse groups perform similarly to more homogeneous ones, exhibiting similar degrees of bias and marginally increased risk of dissension. These results suggest that at least with these types of biases, the “aggregation problem” may be less problematic for psychological theories in international relations than some critics have argued. This has important implications for understanding foreign policy decision making, the role of group processes, and the behavioral revolution in international relations.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has again focussed attention on the failings of the Australian aged care system. Residential aged care in Australia has become increasingly market-driven since the major reforms of 1997. The aims of increased marketisation include providing residents with greater choice, higher quality services, and increasing providers’ efficiency and innovation. However, marketisation is not meeting these aims, predominantly due to asymmetries of knowledge and power between residents and aged care providers. These asymmetries arise from inadequate provision of information, geographic disparities, urgency for care as needs arise acutely, and issues surrounding safety, including cultural safety. We propose a human rights framework, supported by responsive regulation, to overcome the failings of the current system and deliver an improved aged care system which is fit for purpose.
A classical result for the simple symmetric random walk with 2n steps is that the number of steps above the origin, the time of the last visit to the origin, and the time of the maximum height all have exactly the same distribution and converge when scaled to the arcsine law. Motivated by applications in genomics, we study the distributions of these statistics for the non-Markovian random walk generated from the ascents and descents of a uniform random permutation and a Mallows(q) permutation and show that they have the same asymptotic distributions as for the simple random walk. We also give an unexpected conjecture, along with numerical evidence and a partial proof in special cases, for the result that the number of steps above the origin by step 2n for the uniform permutation generated walk has exactly the same discrete arcsine distribution as for the simple random walk, even though the other statistics for these walks have very different laws. We also give explicit error bounds to the limit theorems using Stein’s method for the arcsine distribution, as well as functional central limit theorems and a strong embedding of the Mallows(q) permutation which is of independent interest.
Little is known regarding how the risk of suicide in refugees relates to their host country. Specifically, to what extent inter-country differences in structural factors between the host countries may explain the association between refugee status and subsequent suicide is lacking in previous literature. We aimed to investigate (1) the risk of suicide in refugees resident in Sweden and Norway, in general, and according to their sex, age, region/country of birth and duration of residence, compared with the risk of suicide in the respective majority host population; (2) if factors related to socio-demographics, labour market marginalisation (LMM) and healthcare use might explain the risk of suicide in refugees differently in host countries.
Using a nested case-control design, each case who died by suicide between the age of 18 and 64 years during 1998 and 2018 (17 572 and 9443 cases in Sweden and Norway, respectively) was matched with up to 20 controls from the general population, by sex and age. Multivariate-adjusted conditional logistic regression models yielding adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were used to test the association between refugee status and suicide. Separate models were controlled for factors related to socio-demographics, previous LMM and healthcare use. Analyses were also stratified by sex and age groups, by refugees' region/country of birth and duration of residence in the host country.
The aORs for suicide in refugees in Sweden and Norway were 0.5 (95% CI 0.5–0.6) and 0.3 (95% CI 0.3–0.4), compared with the Swedish-born and Norwegian-born individuals, respectively. Stratification by region/country of birth showed similar statistically significant lower odds for most refugee groups in both host countries except for refugees from Eritrea (aOR 1.0, 95% CI 0.7–1.6) in Sweden. The risk of suicide did not vary much across refugee groups by their duration of residence, sex and age except for younger refugees aged 18–24 who did not have a statistically significant relative difference in suicide risk than their respective host country peers. Factors related to socio-demographics, LMM and healthcare use had only a marginal influence on the studied associations in both countries.
Refugees in Sweden and Norway had almost similar suicide mortality advantages compared with the Swedish-born and Norwegian-born population, respectively. These findings may suggest that resiliency and culture/religion-bound attitudes towards suicidal behaviour in refugees could be more influential for their suicide risk after resettlement than other post-migration environmental and structural factors in the host country.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is effective for most patients with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) but a substantial proportion fails to remit. Experimental and clinical research suggests that enhancing CBT using imagery-based techniques could improve outcomes. It was hypothesized that imagery-enhanced CBT (IE-CBT) would be superior to verbally-based CBT (VB-CBT) on pre-registered outcomes.
A randomized controlled trial of IE-CBT v. VB-CBT for social anxiety was completed in a community mental health clinic setting. Participants were randomized to IE (n = 53) or VB (n = 54) CBT, with 1-month (primary end point) and 6-month follow-up assessments. Participants completed 12, 2-hour, weekly sessions of IE-CBT or VB-CBT plus 1-month follow-up.
Intention to treat analyses showed very large within-treatment effect sizes on the social interaction anxiety at all time points (ds = 2.09–2.62), with no between-treatment differences on this outcome or clinician-rated severity [1-month OR = 1.45 (0.45, 4.62), p = 0.53; 6-month OR = 1.31 (0.42, 4.08), p = 0.65], SAD remission (1-month: IE = 61.04%, VB = 55.09%, p = 0.59); 6-month: IE = 58.73%, VB = 61.89%, p = 0.77), or secondary outcomes. Three adverse events were noted (substance abuse, n = 1 in IE-CBT; temporary increase in suicide risk, n = 1 in each condition, with one being withdrawn at 1-month follow-up).
Group IE-CBT and VB-CBT were safe and there were no significant differences in outcomes. Both treatments were associated with very large within-group effect sizes and the majority of patients remitted following treatment.
Over the past 15 years, there has been substantial growth in web-based psychological interventions. We summarize evidence regarding the efficacy of web-based self-directed psychological interventions on depressive, anxiety and distress symptoms in people living with a chronic health condition.
We searched Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE databases and Cochrane Database from 1990 to 1 May 2019. English language papers of randomized controlled trials (usual care or waitlist control) of web-based psychological interventions with a primary or secondary aim to reduce anxiety, depression or distress in adults with a chronic health condition were eligible. Results were assessed using narrative synthases and random-effects meta-analyses.
In total 70 eligible studies across 17 health conditions [most commonly: cancer (k = 20), chronic pain (k = 9), arthritis (k = 6) and multiple sclerosis (k = 5), diabetes (k = 4), fibromyalgia (k = 4)] were identified. Interventions were based on CBT principles in 46 (66%) studies and 42 (60%) included a facilitator. When combining all chronic health conditions, web-based interventions were more efficacious than control conditions in reducing symptoms of depression g = 0.30 (95% CI 0.22–0.39), anxiety g = 0.19 (95% CI 0.12–0.27), and distress g = 0.36 (95% CI 0.23–0.49).
Evidence regarding effectiveness for specific chronic health conditions was inconsistent. While self-guided online psychological interventions may help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and distress in people with chronic health conditions in general, it is unclear if these interventions are effective for specific health conditions. More high-quality evidence is needed before definite conclusions can be made.
Patients with schizophrenia suffer from a broad range of cognitive disturbances. The impact in terms of functional outcome is significant. There are also several reports of disturbed autonomic regulation in the disease. The present study examined cognitive function as well as psychophysiological parameters in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls.
Twenty-five patients and 14 controls were investigated with electrodermal activity (EDA), an oral niacin skin flush test and a comprehensive neurocognitive test program including the Wechsler battery (WAIS-R), Fingertapping Test, Trail Making Test, Verbal Fluency, Benton Visual Retention Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test.
The patients generally had inferior test results compared to controls. Further analysis revealed that the EDA non-responding patient group explained this variation with significant lower test results than controls. On executive tests, EDA non-responders also performed significantly worse than EDA responding patients. The small group of niacin non-responding patients exhibited an even lower overall test performance. Delayed niacin flush also correlated inversely with psychomotor function and IQ in the patients.
The findings support the hypothesis of a neurodevelopment disturbance affecting both autonomic function and higher cortical function in schizophrenia.
Young women with personality disorders (PD) are common in psychiatric inpatient care. The clinical impression is that there is a considerably increased incidence the last decade.
Objectives and aim
To show changes in frequency and extent of inpatient care for PD, and the relation to suicide.
All admissions for inpatient care given a primary diagnosis of PD in compulsory or voluntary care years 1990 to 2010 were extracted from the National Patient Register. Subsequently, data from the Cause of Death Register were extracted and linked for the same time period.
There were more than 60,000 admissions for PD in Sweden 1990–2010. During the last ten years there was a doubling of the number of yearly admissions for young women in the ages 18 to 24 years, and inpatient care hospitalization for PD are currently six times more common for women than for men in this age group. The same is true for compulsory care. Every fifth woman in this age group who had committed suicide had been treated for PD within the last five year period prior to the suicide.
The incidence of inpatient care in young women with PD did show a sharp rise during the last decade. There was a corresponding increase in suicide with a diagnosis of PD. Guidelines for treatment and care exist but more knowledge and action plans directed both to health care and the society are urgently needed.
There is a shortage of psychiatrists worldwide. Within Europe, psychiatric trainees can move between countries, which increases the problem in some countries and alleviates it in others. However, little is known about the reasons psychiatric trainees move to another country.
Survey of psychiatric trainees in 33 European countries, exploring how frequently psychiatric trainees have migrated or want to migrate, their reasons to stay and leave the country, and the countries where they come from and where they move to. A 61-item self-report questionnaire was developed, covering questions about their demographics, experiences of short-term mobility (from 3 months up to 1 year), experiences of long-term migration (of more than 1 year) and their attitudes towards migration.
A total of 2281 psychiatric trainees in Europe participated in the survey, of which 72.0% have ‘ever’ considered to move to a different country in their future, 53.5% were considering it ‘now’, at the time of the survey, and 13.3% had already moved country. For these immigrant trainees, academic was the main reason they gave to move from their country of origin. For all trainees, the overall main reason for which they would leave was financial (34.4%), especially in those with lower (<500€) incomes (58.1%), whereas in those with higher (>2500€) incomes, personal reasons were paramount (44.5%).
A high number of psychiatric trainees considered moving to another country, and their motivation largely reflects the substantial salary differences. These findings suggest tackling financial conditions and academic opportunities.
Subclinical delusional ideas, including persecutory beliefs, in otherwise healthy individuals are heritable symptoms associated with increased risk for psychotic illness, possibly representing an expression of one end of a continuum of psychosis severity. The identification of variation in brain function associated with these symptoms may provide insights about the neurobiology of delusions in clinical psychosis.
A resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan was collected from 131 young adults with a wide range of severity of subclinical delusional beliefs, including persecutory ideas. Because of evidence for a key role of the amygdala in fear and paranoia, resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala was measured.
Connectivity between the amygdala and early visual cortical areas, including striate cortex (V1), was found to be significantly greater in participants with high (n = 43) v. low (n = 44) numbers of delusional beliefs, particularly in those who showed persistence of those beliefs. Similarly, across the full sample, the number of and distress associated with delusional beliefs were positively correlated with the strength of amygdala-visual cortex connectivity. Moreover, further analyses revealed that these effects were driven by those who endorsed persecutory beliefs.
These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that aberrant assignments of threat to sensory stimuli may lead to the downstream development of delusional ideas. Taken together with prior findings of disrupted sensory-limbic coupling in psychosis, these results suggest that altered amygdala-visual cortex connectivity could represent a marker of psychosis-related pathophysiology across a continuum of symptom severity.
We apply a deep convolutional neural network segmentation model to enable novel automated microstructure segmentation applications for complex microstructures typically evaluated manually and subjectively. We explore two microstructure segmentation tasks in an openly available ultrahigh carbon steel microstructure dataset: segmenting cementite particles in the spheroidized matrix, and segmenting larger fields of view featuring grain boundary carbide, spheroidized particle matrix, particle-free grain boundary denuded zone, and Widmanstätten cementite. We also demonstrate how to combine these data-driven microstructure segmentation models to obtain empirical cementite particle size and denuded zone width distributions from more complex micrographs containing multiple microconstituents. The full annotated dataset is available on materialsdata.nist.gov.
Mental imagery refers to the experience of perception in the absence of external sensory input. Deficits in the ability to generate mental imagery or to distinguish it from actual sensory perception are linked to neurocognitive conditions such as dementia and schizophrenia, respectively. However, the importance of mental imagery to psychiatry extends beyond neurocognitive impairment. Mental imagery has a stronger link to emotion than verbal-linguistic cognition, serving to maintain and amplify emotional states, with downstream impacts on motivation and behavior. As a result, anomalies in the occurrence of emotion-laden mental imagery has transdiagnostic significance for emotion, motivation, and behavioral dysfunction across mental disorders. This review aims to demonstrate the conceptual and clinical significance of mental imagery in psychiatry through examples of mood and anxiety disorders, self-harm and suicidality, and addiction. We contend that focusing on mental imagery assessment in research and clinical practice can increase our understanding of the cognitive basis of psychopathology in mental disorders, with the potential to drive the development of algorithms to aid treatment decision-making and inform transdiagnostic treatment innovation.
Taphonomic factors may significantly alter faunal assemblages at varying scales. An exceptional record of late Holocene (<4000 yr old) mammal faunas establishes a firm baseline to investigate the effects of scale on taphonomy. Our sample contains 73 sites within four contiguous states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, USA) that transect a strong modern and late Holocene environmental gradient, the prairie–forest ecotone. We performed detrended correspondence (DCA) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analyses. Both DCA and NMDS analyses of the data sets produced virtually the same results, and both failed to reveal the known ecological gradient within each state. However, both DCA and NMDS analyses of the unfiltered multistate data set across the entire gradient clearly reflect an environmental, rather than taphonomic, signal. DCA tended to provide better separation of some clusters than did NMDS in most of the analyses. We conclude that a robust mammal data set collected across a strong environmental gradient will document species turnover without the removal of taphonomic factors. In other words, taphonomy exhibits varying scale-dependent effects.
Involved fatherhood is crucial for the development of healthy, well-functioning families. In this chapter, we review empirical research from around the world on (a) the effects of involved fatherhood on the well-being of children, women, and families, (b) the predictors of and barriers to paternal involvement, and (c) how family-supportive public and employer-based policy can better support fathers so they can succeed both at the workplace and in their families. We conclude with suggestions for further research, public policy, and business practice.