Category Archives: rkqfvtsedits

Dishonesty gets easier on the brain the more you do it

first_imgPinterest Email Share on Facebook Cast your mind back over the past week. How many times were you tempted to act dishonestly? Perhaps you were given too much change at the pub and deliberated whether to tell the barman. Maybe you thought of lying about your weekend plans in order to avoid an awkward dinner party. Dishonesty is a common temptation.We face such moral dilemmas all the time. They aren’t opportunities to act with egregious dishonesty. Rather, these are the prosaic choices that shape much of our daily lives. Since the temptation for dishonesty is always there, we have to continually make decisions about how moral we want our behaviour to be. And part of what guides these decisions is how unpleasant being dishonest makes us feel.I recently conducted a study at University College London with Tali Sharot, Dan Ariely and Stephanie C Lazzaro about the temptation to be dishonest. We investigated whether having opportunities to act dishonestly on a repeated basis could affect our readiness to choose dishonesty over and above honesty. The idea is that if someone initially decides to act dishonestly, they will feel bad about it, and so can only bring themselves to be dishonest by a small amount. The next time they act dishonestly, even though it still feels bad, it doesn’t feel as bad. As a result, one could be dishonest to a greater extent before reaching a point where they feel bad enough to stop. Sharecenter_img LinkedIn Share on Twitter Understanding why requires connecting two important ideas. The first relates to the role that emotional arousal plays in moral decision-making. The second concerns a feature of how the brain operates when contexts are repeated, known as neural adaptation.Some moral dilemmas provoke emotional reactions that restrict our willingness to act disreputably, and are accompanied by bodily responses like increased heart rate and perspiration. When this happens, our willingness to act disreputably is reduced. For example, in a study by the psychologists Stanley Schachter and Bibb Latané in 1964, students were given the opportunity to cheat in an exam but beforehand half of them were given beta blockers, a pill which lowers physiological reactions. The remaining students were given a placebo. The students that had their arousal levels pharmacologically reduced cheated more on the exam compared to those given a placebo. So there is a physiological reaction against taking the less-than-virtuous path. But when this reaction is absent, that path becomes more tempting.The second idea is neural adaptation. When entering a restaurant, you notice the wonderful smells of the freshly made food. But after a while, you become less sensitive to these aromas and soon stop noticing them. This is an example of neural adaptation: the brain becomes less sensitive to stimuli after repeated exposure, which keeps our attention from being sapped by aspects of the environment that don’t really need it. In the restaurant, after you’ve got used to the aromas, you can focus on more important things: conversation, what to order, and so on.These two ideas – the role of arousal on our willingness to cheat, and neural adaptation – are connected because the brain does not just adapt to things such as sounds and smells. The brain also adapts to emotions. For example, when presented with aversive pictures (eg, threatening faces) or receiving something unpleasant (eg, an electric shock), the brain will initially generate strong responses in regions associated with emotional processing. But when these experiences are repeated over time, the emotional responses diminish.In our study, we went one step further. Might the brain also adapt to behaviour of our own making that we find aversive? In other words, if we engage in behaviour we feel bad about over and over again, does our emotional response to this behaviour adapt? If so, then we’ve got a prediction: since we know that emotional responses can constrain our willingness to be dishonest, if these responses decrease through adaptation, dishonesty ought to increase as a result.To test this, we needed to run an experiment that did two things. We needed a task that encouraged individuals to be dishonest on a repeated basis. And we needed to gauge how individuals’ emotional arousal levels changed as opportunities to be dishonest repeated themselves.We had participants lie in an fMRI scanner and send messages to a second person, who sat outside the scanner, by entering keyboard responses. Participants were instructed that their responses would be relayed via connected computers. In some stages of the task, participants had repeated opportunities to make their messages dishonest in order to earn additional money. Importantly, they could be as dishonest as they wanted to – it was entirely up to them and could vary from message to message. This allowed us to see if the messages were equally dishonest, or if there was a change in people’s willingness to be dishonest over time. Meanwhile, the fMRI data allowed us to examine how emotional arousal levels changed as dishonest messages were sent. We did this by examining the amygdalae, two almond-like regions embedded deep within the brain that respond to negative emotions such as fear and threat.To begin with, participants were often only a little dishonest, though these small trespasses were accompanied by strong responses in the emotion-processing network. But over time, the participants seemed to get used to it, adapting to the adverse feeling that came with sending dishonest messages. They ceased having strong emotional responses. And eventually, the door flew open: they could be much more dishonest than at the beginning, but with increasingly limited emotional sensitivity. Dishonesty began to feel not so bad.This study might suggest a pessimistic view of humanity, with everyone gradually becoming emotionally null to bad behaviour, more corrupt and more egotistical. But that’s not the only way to see these results. One positive message to take away is that emotion plays a crucial role in constraining dishonesty. Perhaps that means a solution to dishonesty is available: strong emotional responses in situations where dishonesty is a temptation could be reinstated so as to reduce one’s susceptibility to it. In fact, a recent study achieved this by having a group of participants believe that their hearts were pounding quickly when they faced the temptation to be dishonest. This group cheated less than an alternative group of participants who were made to believe that their heartbeats were calm and steady.There have also been a number of behavioural interventions proposed to curb unethical behaviour. These include using cues that emphasise morality and encouraging self-engagement. We don’t currently know the underlying neural mechanisms that can account for the positive behavioural changes these interventions drive. But an intriguing possibility is that they operate in part by shifting up our emotional reaction to situations in which dishonesty is an option, in turn helping us to resist the temptation to which we have become less resistant over time.By Neil GarrettThis article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.last_img read more

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Experts urge better antimicrobial resistance messaging

first_imgA new report suggests clinicians, public health professionals, and journalists need to rethink the way they talk about antimicrobial resistance to increase public understanding and engagement and promote action by policy makers.The report, released today by UK-based philanthropy organization the Wellcome Trust, concludes that while antibiotic resistance has gained political traction in recent years, few concrete steps have been taken, in part because the public is not championing the issue and forcing governments to act. And one of the reasons for the lack of public engagement is that stakeholders haven’t effectively communicated the dangers of antimicrobial resistance in a way that makes sense or conveys the urgency of the problem.”The public do not see the true scale and severity of antimicrobial resistance, and therefore it is not an issue the public is calling for political action on,” the authors of the report write.The problems? Too much technical jargon, too many ways of describing the impact of antibiotic resistance, disjointed media coverage, and a social media conversation that’s dominated by technical experts. The messengers, the report concludes, need to reframe how the public views antimicrobial resistance by adopting a more universal, concise, and coherent approach that emphasizes the immediacy of the problem.Low understanding, widespread misconceptionsThe report, which is based on interviews with stakeholders, analysis of social media, and focus groups held in seven countries (United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Japan, India, Thailand, and Kenya), found that the terminology used by experts and the media significantly contributes to low understanding of antimicrobial resistance. Multiple terms are used, and they are often used interchangeably. Some, like antimicrobial resistance, are seen as too technical and do not resonate. On the other hand, the public doesn’t always connect the term “superbug” with drug resistance.As a result, people don’t always recognize that all these terms refer to one issue. In addition, many remain confused on what “resistance” even refers to, leading some people to believe that individuals, rather than bacteria, have developed resistance to antibiotics.Similarly, the multiple frames used to convey the potential impact of antimicrobial resistance complicate what is already a complex issue. Some media messages promote the idea that we are nearing an antibiotic “apocalypse” that will affect the entire planet; others emphasize the impact on vulnerable populations. Some public campaigns urge people not to use antibiotics irrationally, while others advocate against the overuse of antibiotics in food-animal production. In addition, there have been various predictions on how antimicrobial resistance will affect mortality, the economy, and the environment.These messages aren’t wrong, the authors of the report argue—just too numerous. And multiple messages using different terminologies are leaving many people confused and unsure how the problem affects them.”The net result is that the public are likely to hear or see a range of different framings of antimicrobial resistance and its impact from different sources—such as the media, public health authorities and healthcare professionals,” they write. “In this context, it is not surprising that there is low understanding of the issue and widespread misconceptions, with people often not knowing what antimicrobial resistance is or believing that people rather than microbes build up resistance.”The report also found that media coverage is often dominated by stories about specific outbreaks of drug-resistant infections, which makes it difficult for the public to see these stories as all part of one issue. For example, people might not connect stories about Candida auris with stories about drug-resistant gonorrhea or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. And on social media, the overall conversation on antimicrobial resistance is low compared to an issue like climate change and is dominated by specialists with whom non-experts might be unlikely to engage.Five principles for better communicationTo address these issues, Wellcome Trust recommends five principles to improve communication about antimicrobial resistance. The first is that antimicrobial resistance should be framed as a problem that undermines modern medicine—a cross-cutting threat that isn’t just one of several important health issues, but one that could return society to a time when common infections kill and routine surgeries can no longer be performed.Among messages tested with the focus groups, the authors write, “The core idea of treatable infections and injuries killing once again was compelling. This concept helped people understand the need for action on this issue.”The second principle is that the fundamentals of antimicrobial resistance should be explained succinctly, using non-technical terms. The public should understand that bacteria, not individuals, develop resistance, and that human overuse of antibiotics is playing a part in accelerating the problem. While an optimal name for antimicrobial resistance did not emerge from the focus groups, the authors recommend using the term “drug-resistant infections,” noting that “infection” indicates a concrete health threat.The third principle is to emphasize that drug-resistant infections are a universal issue that affects everyone, not just certain populations. Making antimicrobial resistance a personal issue, the report argues, increases the sense of personal jeopardy and enhances the idea that it needs to be addressed. Personal stories of people affected by drug-resistant infections should be highlighted.Principle four is that communicators should focus on the here and now, rather than on projections of what will happen in the next 20 to 30 years, which can lull people into thinking that immediate action isn’t necessary. “We need to make it clear that antimicrobial resistance is currently having a significant impact—and that this impact will become increasingly severe (if action is not taken),” the authors write.The fifth principle urges stakeholders to frame the problem as solvable and include clear, specific calls to action, which will be different depending on the audience.”Positioning the problem as solvable encourages engagement with the issue and gives cause for optimism,” the report concludes. “This prevents antimicrobial resistance from appearing to be an intractable problem—which can often lead to people disengaging or dismissing an issue.”Crafting a better messageHelen Boucher, MD, director of the Tufts Center for Integrated Management of Antibiotic Resistance and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, acknowledges that while it is challenging issue to explain to the public, stakeholders haven’t done a great job of communicating the immediacy and severity of antimicrobial resistance.”I think it’s fair to say that we haven’t done as good a job as we should have of crafting the message,” Boucher said.She also agrees that emphasizing that the crisis is here—rather than off in the future—and that it compromises medical care as we know it are strategies that will connect with the public.”We’ve reached the point now where we’re having to deny care to people that we otherwise would not, because they have infections that we can’t control,” she said. “And that’s a message that I think resonates with people. I’ve personally seen that message get through to people in very difficult situations.”On the issue of universality, Boucher said one the messages she now tries to emphasize when speaking about antimicrobial resistance is that, in 2019, we all know somebody, love somebody, or are related to somebody who’s been affected by a drug-resistant infection. “It’s everybody’s problem,” she said.Boucher added that she believes the message on antimicrobial resistance should be pitched to young people, in much the same way recycling campaigns have been aimed at school children, and that education has to continue all along the educational continuum to increase the public’s understanding.In a foreword the report, Wellcome Trust Director Jeremy Farrar, MD, PhD, says he’s committed to applying the findings to his own communication about antimicrobial resistance.”I wish the facts simply spoke for themselves, but the evidence is clear—they don’t,” Farrar writes. “As a community, we have to carefully choose the words we use to explain and advocate on this vital issue or risk it being put on the list of issues too hard to understand or solve.”See also:Oct 29 Wellcome Trust reportlast_img read more

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Agribusiness participant Diandra Rowe takes Abbey Garden Farm to CWA

first_img Sep 25, 2018 Sep 30, 2018 Caribbean Week of Agriculture Launched in Barbados Today Diandra Rowe Assistant Managing Director Abbey Garden Farm  Coconut industry a main topic at Caribbean Week of… Oct 15, 2018 Oct 1, 2018 Where are the women?The experiences of women in agriculture and their limited numbers in the sector were highlighted on Tuesday at the ICT and Innovation in Agriculture segment of the 12th Regional Agricultural Planners’ Forum, prompting one delegate to ask “where are the women?” The question from the floor arose during the presentation…October 2, 2019In “Agriculture”CWA 2016 to get a ‘Taste of Eden’Kamarsha Sylvester is the proprietor of Taste of Eden, an agro-processing business that sells teabags (various flavours), green seasoning and dried seasoning. ‘Taste of Eden’ will be one of ten youth entrepreneurial businesses that will be on display at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture being held in the Cayman Islands 24-28 October, 2016.…October 22, 2016In “Cayman Islands”Cacoa St. Lucie to satisfy your chocolate craving at CWA 2016  Cacoa Sainte Lucie is an organic chocolate making agri-business that will be on display at Caribbean Week of Agriculture  in the Cayman Islands, 24-28 October, 2016. Cacoa Sainte Lucie is a small batch bean to bar chocolate operation, that has a line of five organic chocolate bars permeated with local island…October 23, 2016In “Associate Member States”Share this on WhatsApp Abbey Garden Farm is a Jamaica greenhouse  farm from that will be on display at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture being held in the Cayman Islands 24-28 October 2016.  Crops grown include lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, kale, cabbage, cucumbers, cantaloupe, strawberries, arugula, parsley, cilantro and basil. Vegetables are grown using Hydroponics, Bag culture, Ebb & Flow (table top) and Nutrient Film Technique (pipes). The business was started by Jervis Rowe in 1990 as an open field vegetable operation. Fisheries Ministers approve climate change protocol for CRFM… Barbados launches Caribbean Week Of Agriculture on Monday You may be interested in… Diandra Rowe, Jervis’ daughter, is the Assistant Managing Director at Abbey Garden Farm. She is a graduate of the University of Technology Jamaica with a Bsc. in Hotel and Resort Management. She worked in the sales industry before taking a leap of faith to go home and help run the family business. She said it was a very fulfilling experience and that she had no plans to change her career path anytime soon. According to Diandra, the farm is defined by the quality and consistency of the produce. “At Abbey Garden Farm, we aim to produce products that attract the highest price in the market place. We employ science, technology with much emphasis on automation,” she said. She attributes the business’ success to consistently providing quality produce. According to this agri-business advocate, success in this field is attained by hiring and retaining the right people and providing the necessary resources for employees to master their tasks. It is also achieved by maintaining strong mutually beneficial relationships with clients. In relation to her participation in training workshops hosted by the Caribbean Community, Diandra said that it afforded her the opportunity to meet and connect with other young agribusiness owners who had shared valuable experiences and information with her which sometimes could be applied to similar situations with which she was faced. “It has also allowed me to interact with experts within in the field who have also shared ways in which I can improve my agribusiness. The business has also gained some exposure through my participation in the various activities . At CWA, expect to find fresh produce or pictures of the produce grown on Abbey Garden Farm  and a few of the systems and technology they utilise. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… last_img read more

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Hunter secures £715m Crest Nicholson takeover

first_imgHunter’s Castle Bidco consortium has agreed to pay 620p a share in cash for the housebuilder, which it first began to pursue late last year.The 620p a share offer represents an 18.5% premium to Crest Nicholson’s closing share price over the six month period to 9 November, the day the company first announced it had received a possible approach. The deal is expected to complete on 3 May.Commenting on the acquisition, John Matthews, chairman of Crest Nicholson, said: ‘The board believes that this deal with Castle Bidco delivers fair value to shareholders. The board believes that Castle Bidco’s support will help Crest Nicholson take further advantage of the significant opportunities for the future growth of its regeneration, mixed use and traditional house building businesses.’last_img read more

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Will new West Midlands devolution plan really be engine for growth?

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Sheriff Credits Use Of Masks For Low COVID Infection Rates

first_img Share Inmates helped create face masks, used early on inside Suffolk County jails. Independent/Courtesy of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s OfficeWhile the novel coronavirus spread rapidly in communities on Long Island, especially those densely populated, over the last two months, only one inmate contracted the virus in the two Suffolk County jails.Correctional facilities can be hotbeds for the spread of any virus, but the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office kept the COVID-19 inflection rate dramatically low. Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. believes that was because of the early use of face coverings inside the jail, frequent sanitation of the facilities, and social distancing practices enforced at the correctional facilities in Riverside and Yaphank.As of Tuesday, May 19, 21 correction officers out of 858 — less than 2 percent of the correctional staff — have contracted coronavirus. Also, four out of 252 deputies have been diagnosed. There are eight officers with active cases.Currently, there are no COVID-positive patients in the jails, where there is an average daily population of 515.Back on April 8, a 60-year-old inmate at the Riverside jail, who had been behind bars since August, came down with symptoms and and was diagnosed at a local hospital. The housing area he had been in was closed, and 23 other inmates who lived in that unit were moved to a separate isolation pod where monitored for symptoms for two weeks. Officers who had come into contact with that inmate — 18 in total — went into self-quarantine. The inmate has since made a full recovery.In addition to the one inmate who contracted the virus at the jail, one inmate entered the jail with the virus. According to a spokeswoman, this inmate told the staff he or she was positive, and the medical staff had it confirmed. The individual, who is still incarcerated, was put in quarantine, recovered, and has since tested negative.Toulon said it should serve as an example for the general public that COVID-19 can be controlled by following the advice of public health officials. He has been handing out masks in public and talking to people about the importance of wearing a mask.“I think if more people knew how we have controlled the spread of COVID-19 inside the jails by wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance from others, that people would understand that they do have some control if they take personal responsibility,” he said.Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon Jr., right, visited a grocery store and spoke to shoppers about how masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Independent/Courtesy of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s officeThe sheriff began planning for the possibility of the outbreak in February and his team was ready to implement health and safety protocols in early March, when the county saw its first COVID-19 case.Visitation was stopped and has not yet resumed. Attorneys may still see their clients, but with courts closed and teleconferencing available, attorney visits are way down.Anyone who enters the jail, whether they are attorneys or officers reporting to work, must wear face coverings and abide by social distancing rules. Signs were posted in English and Spanish for inmates about proper hand washing techniques and social distancing rules. Inmates were also each given two cloth masks, one to be worn while the other is washed, and some took part in a program to make masks.“The mixed messages have put too many people in danger, led to further spread of the virus, and has caused immeasurable damage to the economy,” he said. “I strongly advise people to adopt the practice of wearing a face mask or a simple face covering and staying a safe distance from others in public places. Our jails are proof that it works. We need to stop the spread so that we can move forward and get our economy up and running.”The sheriff’s office is working on a plan on how to resume normal activities at the jails. The sheriff reached out to his counterparts in Nassau County and Westchester to form a regional planning work group to discuss best practices and how to open up safely.taylor@indyeastend.comlast_img read more

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Exclusive: Fuel cells and H2 ‘game changing’ technologies

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

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APPEA Supports Review of NOPSEMA’s Activities (Australia)

first_imgMoves announced today by the Australian Federal Government to undertake a strategic assessment of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority’s (NOPSEMA) current environmental management processes have the real potential of leading to sensible reform that will remove excessive and duplicative regulation for the offshore oil and gas industry, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association said today.The aim of the strategic assessment is to determine whether the authority fulfills the objectives of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, therefore leading to a potential reduction in the duplication of regulation on the offshore industry. This is a welcome and timely move and comes just a week after the Federal Government announced plans to establish a framework for a “one stop shop” to streamline environmental approval processes.APPEA Acting Chief Executive Noel Mullen said: “This is exactly the sort of policy assessment needed if the petroleum industry is to be in a position to secure further investment amid growing competition from North America and East Africa.“Industry has long argued that duplicative requirements both within and between jurisdictions can be streamlined while maintaining the highest of environmental standards.“Industry supports strong environmental standards and a world-class safety regime.”“The assessment and the recently announced ‘one-stop shop’ have tremendous potential to lighten the weight of unnecessary regulation and allow for a greater focus on improving performance and competitiveness.”[mappress]Press Release, October 25, 2013last_img read more

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PSP delivers Singapore workboats

first_imgThe workboats, Njord Puffin and Njord Petrel, were loaded in Singapore on June 23, 2013. Each vessel weighed 45 tonnes and measured 12.7 m tall, was lifted into the deck of transportation vessel Thorco Serenity.Njord Offshore manages crew transfer vessels for the offshore energy industry, and according to its commercial director, Tom Mehew: “One of our major challenges with building our 21 m crew transfer vessels in Singapore has been their final delivery trip to Europe. PSP’s experience in the shipping of yachts and commercial vessels and their responsive and flexible approach has ultimately been essential in meeting these challenges.”Njord Puffin lashed to the deck of Thorco Serenitywww.psp-logistics.comwww.njordoffshore.comlast_img read more

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Road closures in Pooke Road, Rylands

first_imgThe City has annnounced a temporary road closure in Pooke Road, between Carrick and Ester Roads, Rylands, until Tuesday May 31. It forms part of the Cape Flats 3 Sewer Project. Signage will be displayed warning motorists of the construction in the area and redirecting drivers to alternative routes. Local residents will be accommodated.last_img

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