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Everyone faces uncertainty on a daily basis. Two kinds of probability expressions, verbal and numerical, have been used to characterize the uncertainty that we face. Because our cognitive concept of living things differs from that of non-living things, and distinguishing cognitive concepts might have linguistic markers, we designed four studies to test whether people use different probability expressions when faced with animate or inanimate uncertainty. We found that verbal probability is the preferred way to express animate uncertainty, whereas numerical probability is the preferred way to express inanimate uncertainty. The “verbal-animate” and “numerical-inanimate” associations were robust enough to persist when tested with forced-choice response patterns regardless of the information (e.g., equally likely outcomes, frequencies, or personal beliefs) used to construct probabilities of events. When the response pattern was changed to free-responses, the associations were evident unless the subjects were asked to write their own probability predictions for vague uncertainty. Given that the world around us consists of both animate (i.e., living) and inanimate (i.e., non-living) things, “verbal-animate” and “numerical-inanimate” associations may play a major role in risk communication and may otherwise be useful for practitioners and consultants.
People tend to prefer smaller and sooner (SS) rewards over larger and later (LL) ones even when the latter are much larger. Previous research have identified several ways to enhance people’s patience. Adding to this literature, the current paper demonstrates that introduction of upfront losses as well as gains to both SS and LL rewards can decrease people’s impatience. This effect is incompatible with both the normative exponential and descriptive hyperbolic discounting models, which agree on the additive assumption and the independence assumption. We also exculde the integration explanation which assumes subjects integrate upfront money with final rewards and make a decision with bottom line at the end. We consider several possible explanations, including the salience hypothesis, which states that introducing upfront money makes the money dimension more salient than not and thus increases the attractiveness of LL options.
According to the positive time-discounting assumption of intertemporal decision-making, people prefer to undergo negative events in the future rather than in the present. However, negative discounting has been identified in the intertemporal choice and loss domains, which refers to people’s preference to experience negative events earlier rather than later. Studies have validated and supported the "anticipated dread" as an explanation for negative discounting. This study again explored the effect of anticipated dread on intertemporal choice using content analysis; that is, having participants identify anticipated dread among reasons for negative discounting. This study also validated the effect of anticipated dread on negative discounting by manipulating anticipated dread. This study adds empirical and direct evidence for the role of anticipated dread in negative discounting.
Intertemporal choices involve tradeoffs between outcomes that occur at different times. Most of the research has used pure gains tasks and the discount rates yielding from those tasks to explain and predict real-world behaviors and consequences. However, real decisions are often more complex and involve mixed outcomes (e.g., sooner-gain and later-loss or sooner-loss and later-gain). No study has used mixed gain-loss intertemporal tradeoff tasks to explain and predict real-world behaviors and consequences, and studies involving such tasks are also scarce. Considering that tasks involving a combination of gains and losses may yield different discount rates and that existing pure gains tasks do not explain or predict real-world outcomes well, this study conducted two experiments to compare the discount rates of mixed gain-loss intertemporal tradeoffs with those of pure gains or pure losses (Experiment 1) and to examine whether these tasks predicted different real-world behaviors and consequences (Experiment 2). Experiment 1 suggests that the discount rate ordering of the four tasks was, from highest to lowest, pure gains, sooner-loss and later-gain, pure losses, and sooner-gain and later-loss. Experiment 2 indicates that the evidence supporting the claim that the discount rates of the four tasks were related to different real-world behaviors and consequences was insufficient.
In “The value of nothing: asymmetric attention to opportunity costs drives intertemporal decision making” Read, Olivola and Hardisty (2017) proposed an asymmetric subjective opportunity cost (ASOC) effect to explain and predict why impatience can be detected in intertemporal choice. This work deserves to be replicated and extended for its novel and potentially important findings. The present study aimed to examine the reliability and robustness of the evidence presented by Read et al. by conducting precise replications of their key findings in Study 1. The ASOC effect (Read, et al., 2017) was important for expanding its application and reported to be typically stronger when baseline larger-but-later option (LL) and smaller-but-sooner option (SS) preferences were closer to 50% in the authors’ original condition. Therefore, the present study also aimed to replicate and test the ASOC effect when baseline LL preferences were higher or lower than those in the original condition. We intended to set two additional conditions wherein either LL or SS is more obviously favored (i.e., baseline LL preferences were higher or lower than those in the original condition) by respectively applying the common difference effect (Kirby & Herrnstein, 1995) and the unit effect (Burson, Larrick & Lynch Jr., 2009; Pandelaere, Briers & Lembregts, 2011). Having successfully generated two more obviously favored conditions, the ASOC effect was replicated and confirmed under the original condition and one additional condition wherein SS was more obviously favored. However, the ASOC effect was not detected under the other additional condition wherein LL was more obviously favored. The implications of these findings were discussed.
Recently, Scholten and Read (2014) found new violations of dominance in intertemporal choice. Although adding a small receipt before a delayed payment or adding a small delayed receipt after an immediate receipt makes the prospect objectively better, it decreases the preference for that prospect (better is worse). Conversely, although adding a small payment before a delayed receipt or adding a small delayed payment after an immediate payment makes the prospect objectively worse, it increases the preference for that prospect (worse is better). Scholten and Read explained these violations in terms of a preference for improvement. However, to produce violations such as these, we find that the temporal sequences need not be constructed as Scholten and Read suggested. In this study, adding a small receipt before a dated receipt (thus constructed as improving) or adding a receipt after a dated payment (thus constructed as improving) decreases preferences for those prospects. Conversely, adding a small payment after a dated receipt (thus constructed as deteriorating) or adding a small payment before a delayed payment (thus constructed as deteriorating) increases preferences for those prospects.
To study intertemporal choices, researchers typically instruct subjects to choose between smaller and sooner (SS) and larger and later (LL) rewards (e.g., gaining CNY 210 in a week vs. gaining CNY 250 in five weeks). People generally tend to discount steeply and prefer SS to LL rewards in such situations. Jiang, Hu and Zhu (2014) recently showed that adding upfront losses or gains to both SS and LL rewards can reduce people’s discounting, and they provided several possible accounts for this effect, including the salience account and the time scale hypothesis. In the current paper, based on the upfront money effect found in Jiang et al. (2014), we further showed that the effect of discounting decreasing could be extended to adding dated-money between SS and LL rewards and after LL rewards. The results helped us exclude both the time scale hypothesis and another possible explanation: preference for improvement. We hypothesized that all the current findings (recorded in this paper and in Jiang et al.) could be accommodated well using the salience account.
To assess the role of dietary creatine on myofibre characteristics and protein synthesis in muscle, we fed grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus, initial body weight: 88·47 ± 1·44 g) creatine-supplemented diets (1·84, 5·91, 8·48 and 15·44 g/kg diet) for 8 weeks. Creatine supplementation did not affect growth performance, but significantly increased creatine contents in muscle and liver. At 8·48 g/kg, creatine decreased the activities of alanine transaminase and aspartate aminotransferase in serum and improved hardness and chewiness of muscle due to shorter myofibre mean diameter, higher myofibre density and the frequencies of the diameters of classes I and III and collagen content, longer sarcomere length and upregulated mRNA levels of slow myosin heavy chains. Creatine supplementation upregulated the mRNA expressions of myogenic regulatory factors. The 8·48 g/kg creatine-supplemented diet significantly increased the contents of protein, total amino acids (AA), essential AA and free flavour AAs in muscle, the protein levels of insulin-like growth factor I, myogenic differentiation antigen and PPAR-γ coactlvator-1α in muscle and stimulated the phosphorylation of target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway in muscle. In summary, 8·48 mg/kg creatine improved fish health and skeletal muscle growth and increased hardness and protein synthesis in muscle of grass carp by affecting myofibre characteristics and the TOR signalling pathway. A second-order regression model revealed that the optimal dietary creatine supplementation of grass carp ranges between 8·48 and 12·04 g/kg.
For 2D elastic-plastic flows with the hypo-elastic constitutive model and von Mises’ yielding condition, the non-conservative character of the hypo-elastic constitutive model and the von Mises’ yielding condition make the construction of the solution to the Riemann problem a challenging task. In this paper, we first analyze the wave structure of the Riemann problem and develop accordingly a Four-Rarefaction wave approximate Riemann Solver with Elastic waves (FRRSE). In the construction of FRRSE one needs to use an iterative method. A direct iteration procedure for four variables is complex and computationally expensive. In order to simplify the solution procedure we develop an iteration based on two nested iterations upon two variables, and our iteration method is simple in implementation and efficient. Based on FRRSE as a building block, we propose a 2nd-order cell-centered Lagrangian numerical scheme. Numerical results with smooth solutions show that the scheme is of second-order accuracy. Moreover, a number of numerical experiments with shock and rarefaction waves demonstrate the scheme is essentially non-oscillatory and appears to be convergent. For shock waves the present scheme has comparable accuracy to that of the scheme developed by Maire et al., while it is more accurate in resolving rarefaction waves.
A novel allergy biosensor is designed and fabricated by using thin film bulk acoustic resonator (TFBAR) devices with shear mode ZnO piezoelectric thin films. To fabricate TFBAR devices, the off-axis RF magnetron sputtering method for the growth of piezoelectric ZnO piezoelectric thin films is adopted. The influences of the relative distance and sputtering parameters are investigated. In this report, the piezoelectric ZnO thin films with tilting angle are set by controlling the deposition parameters. The properties of the shear mode ZnO thin films are investigated by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The frequency response is measured using an HP8720 network analyzer with a CASCADE probe station. The resonance frequency of the shear mode is 796.75 MHz. The sensitivity of the shear mode is calculated to be 462.5 kHz·cm2/ng.
The crystallization kinetics and phase developments of PbO–BaO–SrO–Nb2O5–B2O3–SiO2-based glass-ceramics was investigated. Lead strontium barium niobate, (Pb,Sr,Ba)Nb2O6, with a tetragonal tungsten-bronze structure formed as the major crystalline phase, which showed evidence of both surface and bulk crystallization. The results of the present study showed significant evidence of a change in crystallization mechanism between the as-heated surface and the interior of glass-ceramics. This effect could be attributed to a volatilization of PbO taken place readily on the surface region of sample during heating. The grain size of the bulk-nucleated (Pb,Sr,Ba)Nb2O6 crystals was substantially smaller than that of surface-nucleated crystals. This result facilitated meeting the capacitors as high energy density application due to the ultrafine grains (<60 nm) obtained. The dielectric constant increased from 27 for the as-quenched glass to 200 for a highly crystallized glass-ceramic, which was attributed to a significant volume fraction of (Pb, Sr, Ba) Nb2 O6 phase.
This paper introduces the average-ion concept into the Debet–Huckle model, and obtains the average-ion Debet model to calculate the Debet length and energy level shift of the average ion. The place of the ion-sphere model in screened hydrogens theory is taken by the average-ion Debet model, and the electron densities of shock-generated, non-ideal argon plasmas for high-density and low-temperature at a few EA electron-volts are calculated. The results of the calculation are compared with the results of the ion-sphere model.
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