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Several studies have found that virtual exchange (VE) has a positive impact on intercultural effectiveness (IE) development. However, few VE studies have measured and unpacked perceived learning gains from VE in this area using data from multiple VEs and mixed-methods approaches. In this study, we explored the impact of VE on perceived IE development among pre-service teachers in two exchanges. Using k-means cluster analysis of reported gains in IE, we identified three groups of students who reported high-medium-low IE gains. Cluster analysis informed our qualitative analysis of students’ reflections on VE. Having analysed data from 486 diary entries at four successive time measurements, we identified three factors critical to students’ perceived IE development: students’ ability to overcome challenges during VE, level of engagement with their partners, and engagement with cultural difference. These findings shed light on what experiences in VE influence participants’ perceptions of their intercultural learning. The study provides recommendations for the design of online collaborative learning programmes, such as VE, that might help address students’ diverse needs.
Consider a worker with a nosy boss who continually offers suggestions and advice. Such a meddlesome supervisor creates a problem for the worker, since he or she may not want to insult the supervisor by ignoring his advice, his or her raise may depend on pleasing him, yet he or she may know that such advice is foolish and would only decrease firm profits if followed. The question we ask in this chapter is, does such a meddlesome relationship between worker and boss interfere with the learning abilities of the worker? We find the answer is a resounding no. In fact, subjects in our laboratory experiment who have what we have called meddlesome bosses advising them actually learn better than those with bosses whose advice can be ignored and fare much better than those subjects with no laboratory bosses at all.
Digital Livestock Technologies (DLTs) can assist farmer decision-making and promise benefits to animal health and welfare. However, the extent to which they can help improve animal welfare is unclear. This study explores how DLTs may impact farm management and animal welfare by promoting learning, using the concept of boundary objects. Boundary objects may be interpreted differently by different social worlds but are robust enough to share a common identity across them. They facilitate communication around a common issue, allowing stakeholders to collaborate and co-learn. The type of learning generated may impact management and welfare differently. For example, it may help improve existing strategies (single-loop learning), or initiate reflection on how these strategies were framed initially (double-loop learning). This study focuses on two case studies, during which two DLTs were developed and tested on farms. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders involved in the case studies (n = 31), and the results of a separate survey were used to complement our findings. Findings support the important potential of DLTs to help enhance animal welfare, although the impacts vary between technologies. In both case studies, DLTs facilitated discussions between stakeholders, and whilst both promoted improved management strategies, one also promoted deeper reflection on the importance of animal emotional well-being and on providing opportunities for positive animal welfare. If DLTs are to make significant improvements to animal welfare, greater priority should be given to DLTs that promote a greater understanding of the dimensions of animal welfare and a reframing of values and beliefs with respect to the importance of animals’ well-being.
We set out an alternative, “top down”, approach to agent-based modeling. We develop an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to navigate the governance cycle using what we can think of as computational game theory. AI models have had formidable success in solving games like Chess, Go, and especially a bluffing game like Poker, suggesting they also have the potential to attack difficult political games. Addressing a simplified version of the government formation process as a noncooperative game, the AI algorithm deploys Monte Carlo Counterfactual Regret (MCCFR). During in massively repeated self-play, it samples paths though the vast game tree to relentlessly learn near optimal strategies.
This study examined the effects of enriching the environment on the learning abilities of growing pigs. Eighty-four pigs were housed in either barren or enriched environments from birth to 14 weeks. The barren environments were defined as intensive housing and the enriched environments incorporated extra space, including areas which contained peat and straw in a rack. The learning abilities of pigs from both environments were tested at 15-17 weeks using an operant task which involved pigs learning to push a panel for a reward and a maze test which involved spatial learning. Pigs from enriched environments learned both the operant task and the maze task more rapidly than their counterparts from barren environments. These results suggest that the cognitive development of pigs may be impaired in intensive housing systems.
This study has its basis in recent findings by our own and other laboratories and proposes a type of rewarded operant learning that seeks the detection of discriminatory cues as a cognitive enrichment in intensive husbandry systems. This type of cognitive enrichment has the ability to activate the intrinsically-rewarding mesolimbic brain axis when an animal acquires successful strategies to cope with environmental demands. It provides animals with the opportunity to develop positive affects through control of their environment and the anticipation of consummatory reward. If true animal welfare is considered more than simply the absence of stress and harm, provoking better affective conditions may be a suitable way of increasing the well-being of intensively-housed animals. Recent research with elaborated operant learning equipment, under experimental and quasi-commercial conditions, revealed better health, reduced boredom and less maladaptive behaviour as potentially practical advantages. A number of the issues regarding the transfer of this suggested form of cognitive enrichment to large scale, commercial farming are discussed.
Repeated decision making is subject to changes over time such as decreases in decision time and information use and increases in decision accuracy. We show that a traditional strategy selection view of decision making cannot account for these temporal dynamics without relaxing main assumptions about what defines a decision strategy. As an alternative view we suggest that temporal dynamics in decision making are driven by attentional and perceptual processes and that this view has been expressed in the information reduction hypothesis. We test the information reduction hypothesis by integrating it in a broader framework of top down and bottom up processes and derive the predictions that repeated decisions increase top down control of attention capture which in turn leads to a reduction in bottom up attention capture. To test our hypotheses we conducted a repeated discrete choice experiment with three different information presentation formats. We thereby operationalized top down and bottom up control as the effect of individual utility levels and presentation formats on attention capture on a trial-by-trial basis. The experiment revealed an increase in top down control of eye movements over time and that decision makers learn to attend to high utility stimuli and ignore low utility stimuli. We furthermore find that the influence of presentation format on attention capture reduces over time indicating diminishing bottom up control.
Affective forecasting skills have important implications for decision making. However, recent research suggests that immune neglect—the tendency to overlook coping strategies that reduce future distress—may lead to affective forecasting problems. Prior evidence for immune neglect has been indirect. More direct evidence and a deeper understanding of immune neglect are vital to informing the design of future decision-support interventions. In the current study, young adults (N = 325) supplied predicted, actual, and recollected reactions to an emotionally-evocative interpersonal event, Valentine’s Day. Based on participants’ qualitative descriptions of the holiday, a team of raters reliably coded the effectiveness of their coping strategies. Supporting the immune neglect hypothesis, participants overlooked the powerful role of coping strategies when predicting their emotional reactions. Immune neglect was present not only for those experiencing the holiday negatively (non-daters) but also for those experiencing it positively (daters), suggesting that the bias may be more robust than originally theorized. Immune neglect was greater for immediate emotional reactions than more enduring reactions. Further, immune neglect was conspicuously absent from recollected emotional reactions. Implications for decision-support interventions are discussed.
Previous research demonstrates overestimation of rare events in judgment tasks, and underweighting of rare events in decisions from experience. The current paper presents three laboratory experiments and a field study that explore this pattern. The results suggest that the overestimation and underweighting pattern can emerge in parallel. Part of the difference between the two tendencies can be explained as a product of a contingent recency effect: Although the estimations reflect negative recency, choice behavior reflects positive recency. A similar pattern is observed in the field study: Immediately following an aversive rare-event (i.e., a suicide bombing) people believe the risk decreases (negative recency) but at the same time exhibit more cautious behavior (positive recency). The rest of the difference is consistent with two well established mechanisms: judgment error and the use of small samples in choice. Implications for the two-stage choice model are discussed.
When people learn to make decisions from experience, a reasonable intuition is that additional relevant information should improve their performance. In contrast, we find that additional information about foregone rewards (i.e., what could have gained at each point by making a different choice) severely hinders participants’ ability to repeatedly make choices that maximize long-term gains. We conclude that foregone reward information accentuates the local superiority of short-term options (e.g., consumption) and consequently biases choice away from productive long-term options (e.g., exercise). These conclusions are consistent with a standard reinforcement-learning mechanism that processes information about experienced and forgone rewards. In contrast to related contributions using delay-of-gratification paradigms, we do not posit separate top-down and emotion-driven systems to explain performance. We find that individual and group data are well characterized by a single reinforcement-learning mechanism that combines information about experienced and foregone rewards.
The notorious bat-and-ball problem has long been used to demonstrate that people are easily biased by their intuitions. In this paper we test the robustness of biased responding by examining how it is affected by repeated problem presentation. Participants solved 50 standard and control versions of the bat-and-ball problem. To examine the nature of a potential learning effect we adopted a two-response paradigm in which participants have to give a first hunch and can afterwards take the time to deliberate and change their answer. Results showed that both people’s first hunches and the responses they gave after deliberation predominantly remained biased from start to finish. But in the rare cases in which participants did learn to correct themselves, they immediately managed to apply the solution strategy and gave a correct hunch on the subsequent problems. We discuss critical methodological and theoretical implications.
Choice tests may aid determining whether qualitative dietary restriction improves the welfare of feed-restricted broiler breeder chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus). However, hunger-stress may reduce competency to choose by impairing learning. The effect of chronic feed restriction on the ability of broiler breeders to learn a hunger-relevant discrimination task was investigated using a Y-maze paradigm. The task was to associate black and white arms with large and small quantities of feed. Birds were reared to three growth curves by means of severe (n = 12), moderate (n = 12) or very mild feed restriction (n = 12). Learning the task and selecting the larger food option allowed birds to increase their feed intake. Time taken to traverse the Y-maze was also measured. Birds from all treatment groups traversed the Y-maze more quickly over time, indicating that they had learnt that running down the Y-maze arms was associated with a rewarding outcome (food). However, feed restriction significantly reduced their ability to associate the black and white cues with differences in food quantity. Consequently, average pay-offs in terms of daily feed increments disproportionately accrued to the less feed-restricted treatment groups. It is concluded that feed restriction affected the performance of broiler breeders in this task, perhaps by narrowing their attention such that they ignore potentially hunger-relevant contextual cues. However, low overall group success rates demonstrate that this task was difficult to learn even for less severely feed-restricted birds. Therefore, Y-maze choice tests may not be the most appropriate method for determining hungry broiler breeder dietary preferences.
Husbandry training and environmental enrichment are both important advancements associated with current behavioural welfare practices. Additionally, the use of training procedures has been proposed as a form of enrichment, with the implication that training can produce beneficial behavioural welfare results. This paper examines the concept of training as enrichment through three distinct ways training procedures could enrich: (i) training facilitates enrichment usage; (ii) training modifies interactions, conspecific or otherwise; and (iii) training expands behavioural repertoires. Within each category, the paper focuses on past research that provides empirical support for training functioning as enrichment, as well as related areas of research that provide additional evidence. Previous studies support the claim that training is enriching, with additional research necessary to better understand how prevalent and under what conditions training procedures function as enrichment. Future training research should examine these potential enrichment effects, including methodology that allows for comparisons to traditional enrichment, the use of welfare diversity/variability indices, and the effects of learning on trainers and trainees alike.
Easy-to-use software and apps have made video creation achievable and affordable for many library and information professionals. While there are parallels between delivering library training in-person and via a pre-recorded video, video creation does present additional challenges as well as exciting opportunities. This paper, by Charlie Brampton, uses Clark and Mayer's model of cognitive processing as a framework, and explores how video watching can lead to extraneous, essential and generative processing. These three concepts are explored individually, and practical advice is given about controlling each type of processing. The related topic of video accessibility is discussed, from both a legal and a practical perspective.
This Element introduces a biological approach to cognition, which highlights the significance of allostatic regulation and the navigation of challenges and opportunities. It argues that cognition is best understood as a juggling act, which reflects numerous ongoing attempts to minimize disruptions while prioritizing the sources of information that are necessary to satisfy social and biological needs; and it provides a characterization of the architectural constraints, neurotransmitters, and affective states that shape visual perception, as well as the regulatory capacities that sustain flexible patterns of thought and behavior.
In the USA, the linkages between the housing market, the credit market, and the real sector have been striking in the past decades. To explain these linkages, I develop a small-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model in which agents update non-rational beliefs about future house price growth, in accord with recent survey data evidence. Both standard productivity shocks and shocks in the credit sector generate endogenously persistent booms in house prices. Long-lasting excess volatility in house prices, in turn, affects the financial sector and propagates to the real sector. This amplification and propagation mechanism improves the ability of the model to explain empirical puzzles in the US housing market and to explain the macro-financial linkages during 1985−2019. The learning model can also replicate the predictability of forecast errors evidenced in recent survey data.
This chapter develops the economics theory of demonstration projects and then investigates the role of one demonstration project – the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design – at lowering information barriers for the adoption of innovative energy and environmental technologies. The KBISD demonstration project allows us to observe the formation of a network around a demonstration project and how attitudes and behaviors relating to environmental technologies permeate and disseminate throughout the network. This section presents results from an industry-wide survey as well as several dozen semi-structured interviews related to the KBISD. The interviews reveal motivations, challenges, innovations, costs, and risks associated with participation in a demonstration project, as well as key differences between this living building approach and design–bid–build approaches often employed in traditional buildings. It finds that, while working on the building was not affiliated with increased levels of technology familiarity prior to building construction, being affiliated with the US Green Building Council is highly correlated with increased knowledge of emergent technologies. This points to professional knowledge networks as having a key role in disseminating information regarding emergent technologies.
None of us can really remember anything about our lives before the age of two years. How much of what makes us what we are has been set by that time? We challenge the widely-accepted idea that what we are is ‘determined’ by inherited genes and we start to explore how interaction with parents/carers establishes our behaviour. We use examples drawn from fiction and the real world to explore how the brain learns from the conditions in early life. We explain why this adaptability underpins development of our senses, our behaviour and our self-control. This introduces control as one of the themes of the book – how much we are in control of our bodies and how control develops based on environmental cues. We question what effect today’s exposure to digital media may have on the developing brain, and explore new ideas about the development of defence mechanisms, from immunity to the gut microbiome. Through the quote from JM Barrie, author of ‘Peter Pan’: ‘You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end’, we ask whether age two is the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning of development.
Spirituality is a deeply personal universal human experience, and people with intellectual disability may miss out on the expression of this vital part of their identity, which is a fundamental human right. An understanding of people with intellectual disability as creative communicators has been gained through action research, but spirituality is still a poorly understood aspect of their lives, giving rise to unmet needs. Outdated practices and beliefs about the origins of disability have led to a culture of exclusion or, at best, tokenism. Around the world, reports are still emerging of marginalization, discrimination and even abuse because of negative spiritual attribution or views about cognitive abilities and consequent economic worth. Faith communities and secular care providers need to incorporate new learning about the importance of spirituality for mental health into mainstream planning of care with the involvement of people with intellectual disabilities who communicate creatively as co-producers.
A life filled with learning is advisable. Tasks involving some degree of cognitive complexity is desirable, but there is no reason to believe that certain forms of learning are better than others. What is critical is that the activity needs to be consistent and persistent. Involvement of cognitive activity at work is important and jobs that involve high stress, passive participation, and lack of complexity are associated with higher levels of cognitive impairment in later life. There is also no reason to believe that mental activities must be limited to the early years of life. People are able to learn at all ages and participation in learning is valuable for the brain throughout life. The concept of diversity refers as well to learning and mental activities. It is good to learn new things! Participation in cognitive activities throughout the lifespan both at home and at work and avoiding multi-tasking can help build cognitive reserve capacity. Cognitive activities directly impair disease processes. Being cognitively active and paying attention to the world helps to protect the brain from free radicals and toxins. Cognitive activities also assists in the management of stress.