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In another article in this issue, Black et al. discuss their preferred approach to estimating Supreme Court justices’ Big Five personality traits from written text and provide several critiques of the approach of Hall et al. In this rejoinder, we show that Black et al.’s critiques are substantially without merit, their preferred approach suffers from many of the same drawbacks that they project onto our approach, their specific method of implementing their preferred approach runs afoul of many contemporary social scientific norms, our use of concurrences to estimate personality traits is far more justifiable than they suggest (especially in contrast to their use of lower court opinions), and their substantive critiques reflect a potential misunderstanding of the nature of conscientiousness. Nonetheless, we also acknowledge their broader point regarding the state-of-the-art textual analysis methodology vis-à-vis the estimation of personality traits, and we provide some constructive suggestions for the path forward.
High courts are widely believed to influence the criminal justice system, yet judicial impact varies widely across political and institutional contexts. Here, we seek to identify the factors that constrain judicial influence on state incarceration rates. We find that the preferences of justices on state courts of last resort and the US Supreme Court influence incarceration; however, high-court impact is conditional on two factors. Judicial influence is stronger in states with divided partisan governments and occurs more quickly in states that lack intermediate appellate courts. Our findings suggest that legislative gridlock and institutional thickness significantly constrain judicial impact.
The legal brief is a primary vehicle by which lawyers seek to persuade appellate judges. Despite wide acceptance that briefs are important, empirical scholarship has yet to establish their influence on the Supreme Court or fully explore justices’ preferences regarding them. We argue that emotional language conveys a lack of credibility to justices and thereby diminishes the party’s likelihood of garnering justices’ votes. The data concur. Using an automated textual analysis program, we find that parties who employ less emotional language in their briefs are more likely to win a justice’s vote, a result that holds even after controlling for other features correlated with success, such as case quality. These findings suggest that advocates seeking to influence judges can enhance their credibility and attract justices’ votes by employing measured, objective language.
Models of behavior on the US Supreme Court almost universally assume that justices’ behavior depends, at least in part, on the characteristics of individual justices. However, few prior studies have attempted to assess these characteristics beyond ideological preferences. In contrast, we apply recent advances in machine learning to develop and validate measures of the Big Five personality traits for Supreme Court justices serving during the 1946 through 2015 terms based on the language in their written opinions. We then conduct an empirical application to demonstrate the importance of these Supreme Court Individual Personality Estimates and discuss their proper use.
There are numerous examples of translational science innovations addressing challenges in the translational process, accelerating progress along the translational spectrum, and generating solutions relevant to a wide range of human health needs. Examining these successes through an education lens can identify core principles and effective practices that lead to successful translational outcomes. The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) is identifying and teaching these core principles and practices to a broad audience via online courses in translational science which teach from case studies of NCATS-led or supported research initiatives. In this paper, we share our approach to the design of these courses and offer a detailed description of our initial course, which focused on a preclinical drug discovery and development project spanning academic and government settings. Course participants were from a variety of career stages and institutions. Participants rated the course high in overall value to them and in providing a unique window into the translational science process. We share our model for course development as well as initial findings from the course evaluation with the goal of continuing to stimulate development of novel education activities teaching foundational principles in translational science to a broad audience.
New occurrences of flask-shaped and envelope-bearing microfossils, including the predominantly Cambrian taxon Granomarginata, are reported from new localities, as well as from earlier in time (Ediacaran) than previously known. The stratigraphic range of Granomarginata extends into the Cambrian System, where it had a cosmopolitan distribution. This newly reported Ediacaran record includes areas from Norway (Baltica), Newfoundland (Avalonia) and Namibia (adjacent to the Kalahari Craton), and puts the oldest global occurrence of Granomarginata in the Indreelva Member (< 563 Ma) of the Stáhpogieddi Formation on the Digermulen Peninsula, Arctic Norway. Although Granomarginata is rare within the assemblage, these new occurrences together with previously reported occurrences from India and Poland, suggest a potentially widespread palaeogeographic distribution of Granomarginata through the middle–late Ediacaran interval. A new flask-shaped microfossil Lagoenaforma collaris gen. et sp. nov. is also reported in horizons containing Granomarginata from the Stáhpogieddi Formation in Norway and the Dabis Formation in Namibia, and flask-shaped fossils are also found in the Gibbett Hill Formation in Newfoundland. The Granomarginata–Lagoenaforma association, in addition to a low-diversity organic-walled microfossil assemblage, occurs in the strata postdating the Shuram carbon isotope excursion, and may eventually be of use in terminal Ediacaran biostratigraphy. These older occurrences of Granomarginata add to a growing record of body fossil taxa spanning the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary.
We present a new methodology that uses professional forecasts to estimate the effects of fiscal policy. We use short-term forecasts to better identify exogenous shocks to government spending by controlling for anticipatory information already in the public domain. We use longer-term forecasts to net out expectations from the future path of other variables, which improves accuracy and efficiency by focusing on more precise measures of the impact of shocks. We show that this improves the statistical fit relative to both local projection methods and vector autoregression-based analyses that do not control for the entire future path of expectations.
Psychological attachment to political parties can bias people’s attitudes, beliefs, and group evaluations. Studies from psychology suggest that self-affirmation theory may ameliorate this problem in the domain of politics on a variety of outcome measures. We report a series of studies conducted by separate research teams that examine whether a self-affirmation intervention affects a variety of outcomes, including political or policy attitudes, factual beliefs, conspiracy beliefs, affective polarization, and evaluations of news sources. The different research teams use a variety of self-affirmation interventions, research designs, and outcomes. Despite these differences, the research teams consistently find that self-affirmation treatments have little effect. These findings suggest considerable caution is warranted for researchers who wish to apply the self-affirmation framework to studies that investigate political attitudes and beliefs. By presenting the “null results” of separate research teams, we hope to spark a discussion about whether and how the self-affirmation paradigm should be applied to political topics.
Large translational research initiatives can strengthen efficiencies and support science with enhanced impact when practical conceptual models guide their design, implementation, and evaluation. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program brings together data from 72 ongoing maternal–child cohort studies – involving more than 50,000 children and over 1200 investigators – to conduct transdisciplinary solution-oriented research that addresses how early environmental exposures influence child health. ECHO uses a multi-team system approach to consortium-wide data collection and analysis to generate original research that informs programs, policies, and practices to enhance children’s health. Here, we share two conceptual models informed by ECHO’s experiences and the Science of Team Science. The first conceptual model illuminates a system of teams and associated tasks that support collaboration toward shared scientific goals. The second conceptual model provides a framework for designing evaluations for continuous quality improvement of manuscript writing teams. Together, the two conceptual models offer guidance for the design, implementation, and evaluation of translational and transdisciplinary multi-team research initiatives.
Background: Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are a key target to improve antibiotic use in the outpatient setting. The Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship provide a framework for improving antibiotic use, but data on safety and effectiveness of interventions to improve antibiotic use are limited. We report the impact of Core Elements implementation within Veterans’ Healthcare Administration clinics on antibiotic prescribing and patient outcomes. Methods: The intervention targeting treatment of uncomplicated ARIs (sinusitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, and viral upper respiratory infections [URIs]) in emergency department and primary care settings was initiated within 10 sites between September 2017 and January 2018. The intervention was developed using the Core Elements and included local site champions, audit-and-feedback with peer comparison, and academic detailing. We evaluated the following outcomes: per-visit antibiotic prescribing rates overall and by diagnosis; appropriateness of treatment; 30-day ARI revisits; 30-day infectious complications (eg,, pneumonia,); 30-day adverse medication effects; 90-day Clostridium difficile infection (CDI); and 30-day hospitalizations. Multilevel logistic regression was used to calculate rate ratios (RR) with 95% CI for each outcome in the postintervention period (12 months) compared to the preintervention period (39–42 months). Results: There were 14,020 uncomplicated ARI visits before the intervention and 4,866 uncomplicated ARI visits after the intervention. The proportions of uncomplicated ARI visits with antibiotics prescribed were 59.17% before the intervention versus 44.34% after the intervention. A trend in reduced antibiotic prescribing for ARIs throughout the entire (before and after) observation period was evident (0.92; 95% CI, 0.90–0.94); however, a significant reduction in antibiotic prescribing after the intervention was identified (0.74; 95% CI, 0.59–0.93). Per-visit antibiotic prescribing rates decreased significantly for bronchitis and URI (0.54; 95% CI, 0.44–0.65), pharyngitis (0.76; 95% CI, 0.67–0.86), and sinusitis (0.92; 95% CI, 0.85–1.0). Appropriate therapy for pharyngitis increased (1.43; 95% CI, 1.21–1.68), but appropriate therapy for sinusitis remained unchanged (0.92; 95% CI, 0.85–1.0) after the intervention. Complications associated with antibiotic undertreatment were not different after the intervention: ARI-related revisit rates (1.01; 95% CI, 0.98–1.05) and infectious complications (1.01; 95% CI, 0.79–1.28). A potential benefit of improved antibiotic use included a reduction in visits for adverse medication effects (0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.94). Furthermore, 90-day CDI events were too sparse to model: preintervention incidence was 0.08% and postintervention incidence was 0.06%. Additionally, 30-day hospitalizations were significantly lower in the postintervention period (0.79; 95% CI, 0.72–0.87). Conclusions: Implementation of the Core Elements was safe and effective and was associated with reduced antibiotic prescribing rates for uncomplicated ARIs, improvements in diagnosis-specific appropriate therapy, visits for adverse antibiotic effects, and 30-day hospitalization rates. No adverse events were noted in ARI-related revisit rates or infectious complications. CDI rates were low and unchanged.
This chapter argues that the success of Trump’s candidacy in the 2016 Republican primary was due in part to its value as barbed comedic entertainment, generated through gesture. The chapter builds on semiotician Mikhael Bakhtin’s notion of the “grotesque body” to examine the ways that Trump’s unconventional communicative style, particularly his use of gesture to critique the political system and caricature his opponents, brought momentum to his campaign by creating spectacle. By reducing a target perceived as an opponent to an essentialized action of the body, Trump’s bodily parodies deliver the message that he rejects progressive social expectations regarding how minority groups should be represented. Five highly mediatized caricatures are analyzed in detail: the Wrist-Flailing Reporter, the Food-Shoveling Governor, the Choking Ex-Politician, the Border-Crossing Mexican, and the Swooning Democratic Nominee. In each of these gestural enactments, Trump displays his antagonism to political correctness by embodying discourses of disability, class, race, immigration, and gender, thus encouraging a new sociopolitical order that discourages empathy toward the vulnerable.
Drawing on a 2010 analysis of the reform and costs of adult social care commissioned by Downing Street and the UK Department of Health, this paper sets out projected future costs under different reform scenarios, reviews what happened in practice from 2010-19, explores the impact of the growing gap between need and funding, and explores the relationship between future spending and economic growth. In the process, it identifies a ‘lost decade’ in which policy makers failed to act on the warnings which they received in 2010, draws attention to the disproportionate impact of cuts on older people (compared to services for people of working age) and calls for urgent action before the current system becomes unsustainable.
A Nutrition Society member-led meeting was held on 9 January 2020 at The University of Surrey, UK. Sixty people registered for the event, and all were invited to participate, either through chairing a session, presenting a ‘3 min lightning talk’ or by presenting a poster. The meeting consisted of an introduction to the topic by Dr Barbara Fielding, with presentations from eight invited speakers. There were also eight lightning talks and a poster session. The meeting aimed to highlight recent research that has used stable isotope tracer techniques to understand human metabolism. Such studies have irrefutably shaped our current understanding of metabolism and yet remain a mystery to many. The meeting aimed to de-mystify their use in nutrition research.
In this study, we have examined ceramic matrix composites with silicon carbide fibers in a melt-infiltrated silicon carbide matrix (SiC/SiC). We subjected samples to tensile loads while collecting micro X-ray computed tomography images. The results showed the expected crack slowing mechanisms and lower resistance to crack propagation where the fibers ran parallel and perpendicular to the applied load respectively. Cracking was shown to initiate not only from the surface but also from silicon inclusions. Post heat-treated samples showed longer fiber pull-out than the pristine samples, which was incompatible with previously proposed mechanisms. Evidence for oxidation was identified and new mechanisms based on oxidation or an oxidation assisted boron nitride phase transformation was therefore proposed to explain the long pull-out. The role of oxidation emphasizes the necessity of applying oxidation resistant coatings on SiC/SiC.
Outcome analyses in large administrative databases are ideal for rare diseases such as Becker and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Unfortunately, Becker and Duchenne do not yet have specific International Classification of Disease-9/-10 codes. We hypothesised that an algorithm could accurately identify these patients within administrative data and improve assessment of cardiovascular morbidity.
Hospital discharges (n=13,189) for patients with muscular dystrophy classified by International Classification of Disease-9 code: 359.1 were identified from the Pediatric Health Information System database. An identification algorithm was created and then validated at three institutions. Multi-variable generalised linear mixed-effects models were used to estimate the associations of length of stay, hospitalisation cost, and 14-day readmission with age, encounter severity, and respiratory disease accounting for clustering within the hospital.
The identification algorithm improved identification of patients with Becker and Duchenne from 55% (code 359.1 alone) to 77%. On bi-variate analysis, left ventricular dysfunction and arrhythmia were associated with increased cost of hospitalisation, length of stay, and mortality (p<0.001). After adjustment, Becker and Duchenne patients with left ventricular dysfunction and arrhythmia had increased length of stay with rate ratio 1.4 and 1.2 (p<0.001 and p=0.004) and increased cost of hospitalization with rate ratio 1.4 and 1.4 (both p<0.001).
Our algorithm accurately identifies patients with Becker and Duchenne and can be used for future analysis of administrative data. Our analysis demonstrates the significant effects of cardiovascular disease on length of stay and hospitalisation cost in patients with Becker and Duchenne. Better recognition of the contribution of cardiovascular disease during hospitalisation with earlier more intensive evaluation and therapy may help improve outcomes in this patient population.
The US Navy utilizes numerous resources to encourage smoking cessation. Despite these efforts, cigarette smoking among service members remains high. Electronic cigarettes (EC) have provided an additional cessation resource. Little is known regarding the utilization efficacy of these cessation resources in the US Navy.
This study sought to explore the utilization and efficacy of ECs and other smoking cessation resources.
An anonymous cross-sectional survey was conducted at a military clinic from 2015 to 2016. Participants were active duty in the US Navy and reported demographics, smoking behaviors, and utilization of cessation resources.
Of the 977 participants in the study, 14.9% were current and 39.4% were former smokers. Most current smokers (83.6%) previously attempted cessation, smoked an average of 2–5 cigarettes per day (34.7%), and smoked every day of the month (26.4%). The number of daily cigarettes smoked and number of days cigarettes were smoked per month was not significantly different between cigarette-only smokers and EC dual users (p = 0.92, p = 0.75, respectively). Resources used by current and former smokers include: ‘cold turkey’ (44.6%, 57.1%, respectively), ECs (22.3%, 24.7%), nicotine patch (8.3%, 1.3%), medicine (6.6%, 3.9%), nicotine gum (5.8%, 10.4%), and quit programs (2.5%, 2.6).
Current and former cigarette smokers utilized similar resources to quit smoking. Electronic cigarettes are being used for cessation but do not significantly reduce the number of cigarettes smoked on a daily or monthly basis. Future studies may benefit from exploring the use of cessation resources and ECs within the military as a whole.
Explaining the behavior of US Supreme Court justices requires an understanding of the justices’ goals. That is, in order to understand what justices do, we must understand what justices want, and what justices want depends on who the justices are. I start from the premise that judges are real people, not legalistic automatons or single-minded ideologues. As such, they are motivated by multiple goals. That is, when justices make decisions, they care about more than one objective, and they make decisions with those multiple objectives in mind. Moreover, because judges are people, they are motivated by many of the same goals that motivate most people in their personal and professional lives.
For example, consider a group of college students enrolled in a typical academic course. What do the students want? Most students probably want to succeed in the course, although different students may have different ideas of what success means – some students may want an “A”; others may be content to pass. But they have other desires as well. Most students would prefer to learn interesting material rather than study a dull topic. Some students hope to impress the professor and earn a letter of recommendation. Others may enjoy interacting with their classmates in discussions and group projects. Some may even want to meet new friends through the class. And, of course, every student probably wants to limit the amount of time and energy they devote to the course so they can work on other courses, participate in extracurricular activities, and enjoy leisure time. In short, college students pursue multiple goals; therefore, any time students make decisions, multiple motivations influence their choices. When selecting a partner for a class project, a student might consider their potential partner's intelligence, scheduling availability, or even sense of humor because each of these qualities may help the student achieve various goals, such as academic success, convenience, or enjoyment.
The same principle applies to Supreme Court justices. Of course, given the Court's elite and exclusive status, the justices likely share more similarities than students in a random college class.
In 1954, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, ruling that racially segregated schools are unconstitutional. In the decision's wake, Southern states and localities initiated a variety of policies designed to avoid desegregation without openly defying the Court's ruling. One of the most popular methods of resisting desegregation was the adoption of a pupil placement plan, which granted local officials “practically unreviewable discretion” to assign individual students to local schools. These laws authorized school administrators to place students in specific schools based on a wide variety of racially neutral criteria, such as residence, psychological fitness, scholastic aptitude, health, and moral standards. Because placement plans allowed so many factors to be considered in student assignment, it was nearly impossible to prove that a specific student's assignment to a specific school was racially motivated. And, because the plans purported to utilize individual treatment, it was extremely difficult to bring a class-action suit challenging these laws.
When the parents of African American students in Sumter City, South Carolina, did bring a suit challenging a pupil placement plan, the South Carolina legislature erected an additional legal hurdle designed to impede their case. After a trial court initially denied relief to the parents in 1956, the legislature passed a new law prescribing additional administrative remedies for such lawsuits. Consequently, when the parents appealed their case to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Hood v. Board of Trustees, the federal court denied the appeal on the grounds that they had not yet exhausted their options under state law. Dissatisfied with the Fourth Circuit's ruling, the parents filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the US Supreme Court. They argued that, rather than offering a potential remedy, the new South Carolina law was actually a transparent device with which the state hoped to evade judicial oversight and enforcement of the Brown decision.
The Fourth Circuit's ruling in Hood was well-grounded in the law: Petitioners must generally exhaust their options in state court before appealing to a federal court for relief.