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Concept: Convention


The aim of this study is to compare lengthening over an intramedullary nail to the conventional Ilizarov method with regard to percentage length increase, external fixation index, consolidation index and incidence of complications. This is a prospective randomized controlled study. Thirty-one limbs in 28 patients were included in the study; 15 were lengthened over an intramedullary nail, and 16 limbs were lengthened conventionally. The mean duration of external fixation in the lengthening over nail group was 52.2 days compared to 180.4 days in the conventional group. There was higher incidence of complications in the conventional method group. In comparison with conventional Ilizarov lengthening, lengthening over an intramedullary nail offers a shorter period of external fixation and fewer complications overall, but there is a high incidence of deep intramedullary infection which is serious.

Concepts: Comparison, Clinical trial, Population genetics, Convention


Social norms are an important element in explaining how humans achieve very high levels of cooperative activity. It is widely observed that, when norms can be enforced by peer punishment, groups are able to resolve social dilemmas in prosocial, cooperative ways. Here we show that punishment can also encourage participation in destructive behaviours that are harmful to group welfare, and that this phenomenon is mediated by a social norm. In a variation of a public goods game, in which the return to investment is negative for both group and individual, we find that the opportunity to punish led to higher levels of contribution, thereby harming collective payoffs. A second experiment confirmed that, independently of whether punishment is available, a majority of subjects regard the efficient behaviour of non-contribution as socially inappropriate. The results show that simply providing a punishment opportunity does not guarantee that punishment will be used for socially beneficial ends, because the social norms that influence punishment behaviour may themselves be destructive.Punishment by peers can enforce social norms, such as contributing to a public good. Here, Abbink and colleagues show that individuals will enforce norms even when contributions reduce the net benefit of the group, resulting in the maintenance of wasteful contributions.

Concepts: Sociology, Heteronormativity, Convention, Norm, Mores


Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of “women and children first” (WCF) gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew members give priority to passengers. We analyze a database of 18 maritime disasters spanning three centuries, covering the fate of over 15,000 individuals of more than 30 nationalities. Our results provide a unique picture of maritime disasters. Women have a distinct survival disadvantage compared with men. Captains and crew survive at a significantly higher rate than passengers. We also find that: the captain has the power to enforce normative behavior; there seems to be no association between duration of a disaster and the impact of social norms; women fare no better when they constitute a small share of the ship’s complement; the length of the voyage before the disaster appears to have no impact on women’s relative survival rate; the sex gap in survival rates has declined since World War I; and women have a larger disadvantage in British shipwrecks. Taken together, our findings show that human behavior in life-and-death situations is best captured by the expression “every man for himself.”

Concepts: Sociology, Heteronormativity, Survival rate, Convention, Relative survival, Norm


Indirect reciprocity, besides providing a convenient framework to address the evolution of moral systems, offers a simple and plausible explanation for the prevalence of cooperation among unrelated individuals. By helping someone, an individual may increase her/his reputation, which may change the pre-disposition of others to help her/him in the future. This, however, depends on what is reckoned as a good or a bad action, i.e., on the adopted social norm responsible for raising or damaging a reputation. In particular, it remains an open question which social norms are able to foster cooperation in small-scale societies, while enduring the wide plethora of stochastic affects inherent to finite populations. Here we address this problem by studying the stochastic dynamics of cooperation under distinct social norms, showing that the leading norms capable of promoting cooperation depend on the community size. However, only a single norm systematically leads to the highest cooperative standards in small communities. That simple norm dictates that only whoever cooperates with good individuals, and defects against bad ones, deserves a good reputation, a pattern that proves robust to errors, mutations and variations in the intensity of selection.

Concepts: Sociology, Heteronormativity, Convention, Norm


The Cyberball paradigm was used to examine the hypothesis that children use high-fidelity imitation as a reinclusion behavior in response to being ostracized by in-group members. Children (N = 176; 5- to 6-year-olds) were either included or excluded by in- or out-group members and then shown a video of an in-group or an out-group member enacting a social convention. Participants who were excluded by their in-group engaged in higher-fidelity imitation than those who were included by their in-group. Children who were included by an out-group and those who were excluded by an out-group showed no difference in imitative fidelity. Children ostracized by in-group members also displayed increased anxiety relative to children ostracized by out-group members. The data are consistent with the proposal that high-fidelity imitation functions as reinclusion behavior in the context of in-group ostracism.

Concepts: Childhood, Proposal, Member of Parliament, Convention, Ostracism


The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) stands to significantly reduce tobacco-related mortality by accelerating the introduction of evidence-based tobacco control measures. However, the extent to which States Parties have implemented the Convention varies considerably. Article 5.3 of the FCTC, is intended to insulate policy-making from the tobacco industry’s political influence, and aims to address barriers to strong implementation of the Convention associated with tobacco industry political activity. This paper quantitatively assesses implementation of Article 5.3’s Guidelines for Implementation, evaluates the strength of Parties' efforts to implement specific recommendations, and explores how different approaches to implementation expose the policy process to continuing industry influence.

Concepts: Evaluation, Tobacco, Policy, Implementation, World Health Organization, Convention, Political science, National Convention


Novel materials and devices in photonics have the potential to revolutionize optical information processing, beyond conventional binary-logic approaches. Laser systems offer a rich repertoire of useful dynamical behaviors, including the excitable dynamics also found in the time-resolved “spiking” of neurons. Spiking reconciles the expressiveness and efficiency of analog processing with the robustness and scalability of digital processing. We demonstrate a unified platform for spike processing with a graphene-coupled laser system. We show that this platform can simultaneously exhibit logic-level restoration, cascadability and input-output isolation-fundamental challenges in optical information processing. We also implement low-level spike-processing tasks that are critical for higher level processing: temporal pattern detection and stable recurrent memory. We study these properties in the context of a fiber laser system and also propose and simulate an analogous integrated device. The addition of graphene leads to a number of advantages which stem from its unique properties, including high absorption and fast carrier relaxation. These could lead to significant speed and efficiency improvements in unconventional laser processing devices, and ongoing research on graphene microfabrication promises compatibility with integrated laser platforms.

Concepts: Optical fiber, Laser, Device, Analogy, Convention, Photonics, Digital, Quantum optics


Relationships between mothers and their children are expected to be lifelong and rewarding for both members of the dyad. Because of the salience of these ties, they are likely to be disrupted only under conditions of extreme relational tension and dissatisfaction. In this work, the authors drew on theoretical arguments regarding societal norm violations and value similarity to examine the processes that lead to estrangement between mothers and adult children. To address this issue, they used quantitative and qualitative data on 2,013 mother-adult child dyads nested within 561 later life families, including 64 in which mothers reported being estranged from at least 1 of their children. Value dissimilarity was found to be a strong predictor of estrangement, whereas violation of serious societal norms was not. Qualitative data revealed that value dissimilarity created severe relational tension between mothers and adult children leading to estrangement.

Concepts: Sociology, Heteronormativity, Convention, Norm, Mores


Corruption poses one of the major societal challenges of our time. Considerable advances have been made in understanding corruption on a macro level, yet the psychological antecedents of corrupt behavior remain largely unknown. In order to explain why some people engage in corruption while others do not, we explored the impact of descriptive social norms on corrupt behavior by using a novel behavioral measure of corruption. We conducted three studies to test whether perceived descriptive norms of corruption (i.e. the belief about the prevalence of corruption in a specific context) influence corrupt behavior. The results indicated that descriptive norms highly correlate with corrupt behavior-both when measured before (Study 1) or after (Study 2) the behavioral measure of corruption. Finally, we adopted an experimental design to investigate the causal effect of descriptive norms on corruption (Study 3). Corrupt behavior in the corruption game significantly drops when participants receive short anti-corruption descriptive norm primes prior to the game. These findings indicate that perceived descriptive norms can impact corrupt behavior and, possibly, could offer an explanation for inter-personal and inter-cultural variation in corrupt behavior in the real world. We discuss implications of these findings and draw avenues for future research.

Concepts: Psychology, Understanding, Sociology, Heteronormativity, Convention, Norm


To 1) estimate the number of Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) providing tobacco dependence treatment in accordance with the recommendations of Article 14 and its guidelines; 2) assess association between provision and countries' income level; and 3) assess progress over time.

Concepts: Mathematics, World Health Organization, Convention, Household income in the United States, Grammatical number, Article, Tobacco control, World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control