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The role of the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) as a wildlife host has complicated the management of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle. Badger ranging behaviour has previously been found to be altered by culling of badgers and has been suggested to increase the transmission of bTB either among badgers or between badgers and cattle. In 2014, a five-year bTB intervention research project in a 100 km2 area in Northern Ireland was initiated involving selective removal of dual path platform (DPP) VetTB (immunoassay) test positive badgers and vaccination followed by release of DPP test negative badgers (‘Test and Vaccinate or Remove’). Home range sizes, based on position data obtained from global positioning system collared badgers, were compared between the first year of the project, where no DPP test positive badgers were removed, and follow-up years 2–4 when DPP test positive badgers were removed. A total of 105 individual badgers were followed over 21 200 collar tracking nights. Using multivariable analyses, neither annual nor monthly home ranges differed significantly in size between years, suggesting they were not significantly altered by the bTB intervention that was applied in the study area.
Adults who were born preterm are at increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in later life. Infants born late preterm are the majority of preterm births; however, the effect of late preterm on risk of cardiovascular disease is unclear. The objective of this study was to assess whether vascular health and cardiac autonomic control differ in a group of late preterm newborn infants compared to a group of term-born infants.
A total of 35 healthy late preterm newborn infants, with normal growth (34–36 completed weeks’ gestation) and 139 term-born infants (37–42 weeks’ gestation) were compared in this study. Aortic wall thickening, assessed as aortic intima–media thickness (IMT) by high-resolution ultrasound, and cardiac autonomic control, assessed by heart rate variability, were measured during the first week of life. Postnatal age of full-term and late preterm infants at the time of the study was 5 days (standard deviation [SD] 5) and 4 days (SD 3), respectively.
Infants born late preterm show reduced aortic IMT (574 μm [SD 51] vs. 612 μm [SD 73]) and reduced heart rate variability [log total power 622.3 (606.5) ms2 vs. 1180. 6 (1114.3) ms2], compared to term infants. These associations remained even after adjustment for sex and birth weight.
Infants born late preterm show selective differences in markers of cardiovascular risk, with potentially beneficial differences in aortic wall thickness in contrast to potentially detrimental differences in autonomic control, when compared with term-born control infants. These findings provide pathophysiologic evidence to support an increased risk of hypertension and sudden cardiac death in individuals born late preterm.
The second chapter of this volume focusses on crowds, both conceptually and historically. The study of crowd influence has waxed and waned over the years and has seen a resurgence of interest in topics such as identity-based social movements, street action and social media. The chapter traces this line of inquiry to the mass psychology of LeBon and Tarde, who conceived of crowds as a powerful social force that compromises Rationality and Civilisation and leads to a 'mass society' dominated by charismatic leaders. Tarde’s laws of imitation extended this inquiry of physical crowds in public spaces to that of distributed public opinion of news readers with a shared focus of attention. These notions have corollaries with contemporary theories of agenda setting, collective attention cycles, crowd sourcing and intelligence, memes and viral beliefs, stock market bubbles and social media dynamics. Much of theory of crowds oscillates between positive and negative moral assessments. The chapter concludes by considering the role of social identification in the dynamics of crowds which distributes human cognition among individual actors and determines the relationship with the leader.
Chapter 10 offers a theoretical integration of the various social influence modalities discussed in previous chapters. It starts by examining the historical evolution of common sense in processes of intersubjectivity and inter-objectivity; social influences are the mechanisms that regulate the normalisation, assimilation and accommodation of new ideas and practices. The chapter elaborates the cyclone model of social influence that integrates these three mechanisms in a dynamic and underdetermined process of social change. The chapter summarises the key tenets of the various modalities of social influence in a Periodic Table of Social Influence. The Periodic Table identifies modalities and their properties in the modes of intersubjective and inter-objective interaction, namely face-to-face, mass mediation and designed artefacts. This Periodic Table of Social Influence will support and catalyse further empirical scholarship and investigations concerning social influence that remain highly pertinent in current society.
The final chapter of this volume provides several points of further theoretical elaborations, which, important for our overall argument, would have unduly cluttered the various chapters. It starts by considering how challenges to common sense arise from various types of dissent or deviance including children, homecomers, newcomers, strangers, foreigners, robots or aliens. It proceeds to discuss why and how object-relations and 'inter-objectivity' thought, noted by various scholars, have not received sufficient attention in psychological scholarship and certainly not in relation to influence by artefacts. The chapter lays out the theoretical foundations for such a broadening of scope. The chapter then proceeds to discuss the historically curious dominance of dual-process models over single-process alternatives. The excursions conclude by revisiting the debates concerning the authority of science in Milgram's obedience studies in light of a broader understanding of autonomy, tyranny, argumentation, legality and violence.
Chapter 7 deals with the most pressing and most prominent social influence in our time, persuasion. The modality of persuasion is oft considered as the epitome of social influence processes with a long past of rhetoric analysis, and a short history of experimental demonstration of effects arising from speaker, message or audience characteristics. The chapter starts by reviewing the moderator variables of persuasion initiated by the Yale Programme. This is followed by considering mainstream dual-process theories that investigated fast or slow, hot or cold cognitive processes resulting in successful persuasion. Following this mainstream overture, the chapter reviews studies of forced and non-forced compliance that precipitate conviction by cognitive dissonance. The chapter ends with reviewing lay epistemic theory and the unimodal of persuasion, making the case for argumentation processes that form attitudes and the appraisal of behavioural inclinations beyond the exercise of mere message tactics of a box of tricks. This leads us to consider the necessary insights into the common ground and the moral community of speaker and audience as a precondition of successful persuasion.
Chapter 3 reviews leadership as a modality of social influence. It starts by reviewing the personality approach to leadership that has predominated in psychological research over the years. This approach focusses on the identification of personality traits, such as charisma, performed in the crowd situation; a trait that successful leaders have acquired in an unclear way. This is juxtaposed by the situational approach to leadership; effective leadership is contingent on particular situations which variably call for different matching traits. Both theories are critiqued in light of normative models of leadership which account for the sticky resilience of dictatorships in various countries around the world even in the face of opportunities for instituting or restituting democracy. The chapter closes with the social identity approach to leadership and paternalism, arguing that effective leadership is contingent on the interplay between leaders and the consent of followers.
The opening chapter charts the way from initial concerns with unruly crowds to contemporary social movements. It locates various modalities of social influence within interactive processes and different modes of communication. Social influence must be analysed in relation to a shifting common sense in line with aspirations of individuals or groups. The chapter steps back from an 'empiricist' treatment of social influence that has predominated in the field, and clarifies three conditions of possibility. Firstly, social influence is non-violent. Social influence seeks to institute claims about the world 'rhetorically', without the violence that turns might into right. Secondly, a functioning public sphere, and less the systems of markets and kinship, is the natural place of social influence. This, however, requires a reciprocal orientation before actors can seek to further their own interests. Thirdly, individual differences of citizen competences condition the prevailing social influences in a society. The chapter concludes with an overview of the chapters on the various modalities of social influence that have been investigated to date.
Chapter 9 examines a second necessary extension of the analysis of social influence to a consideration of the effects of designed artefacts in social relations. The chapter starts with an elaboration of the notion of inter-objectivity: designed hardware permeates human social relations as infrastructure, tools, gadgets and instruments. How is different hardware used to implement modalities of social influence? Crowds have historically used barricades to enhance their power. People easily recognise the fait accompli, for example as a wall, installed in a collective effort of construction. Such installations provide boundaries and parameters of attitudes and behaviour afforded by design, but do so without prior consent. Legitimation is achieved post-hoc by cognitive dissonance in analogy to forced-compliance. Resistance to such faits accompli is introduced as a hitherto unrecognised modality of social influence. It functions to evaluate and to redesign hardware and systems in ways that correct the initial designs; resistance potentially innovates on the 'innovation'.
Chapter 6 considers the most controversial topics in the study of social influence, obedience to authority. The chapter reviews empirical findings concerning obedience in children. These demonstrate how children adopt a complex cognitive assessment of obedience in everyday life. This is countered by what are seemingly more rudimentary processes demonstrated by adults in one of psychology’s best known experiments: Milgram’s obedience demonstrations. The chapter goes on to examine the social identity account of obedience following a review of the Utrecht studies. The latter replicated Milgram’s installation in an ecologically more valid set-up using mediated expression of violence. The chapter concludes by arguing that the obedience response to authority is primarily 'natural' and necessary for human sociality; it enables communities to thrive by working towards the realisation of common goods through unquestioned acceptance of authority by consent. Only secondarily, obedience processes can morph into dysfunctional 'authoritarianism' that thwarts human potential.
Chapter 5 focusses on the social psychology of conformity, a classical topic of social influence. The chapter starts by reviewing a number of experiments that have demonstrated the human need for affiliation and belonging. This establishes the grounds for sociality that is a necessary precondition for human existence rather than a luxury add-on. It proceeds to review Asch’s classical conformity experiments, followed by Moscovici’s demonstrations of the conditions of minority influence. The chapter ends by considering conformity from a cultural psychology view, concluding that deviance and conformity are behavioural responses expressive of social representations, that is, sociocultural locale conditions. As such they are not explained by individual rational choice. The argument is made that conformity and dissident deviance function to maintain and to challenge the current common sense.