SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Core issues in ethics

212

Humans show a natural tendency to discount bad news while incorporating good news into beliefs (the “good news-bad news effect”), an effect that may help explain seemingly irrational risk taking. Understanding how this bias develops with age is important because adolescents are prone to engage in risky behavior; thus, educating them about danger is crucial. We reveal a striking valence-dependent asymmetry in how belief updating develops with age. In the ages tested (9-26 y), younger age was associated with inaccurate updating of beliefs in response to undesirable information regarding vulnerability. In contrast, the ability to update beliefs accurately in response to desirable information remained relatively stable with age. This asymmetry was mediated by adequate computational use of positive but not negative estimation errors to alter beliefs. The results are important for understanding how belief formation develops and might help explain why adolescents do not respond adequately to warnings.

Concepts: Psychology, Human, Critical thinking, Epistemology, Risk, Religion, Core issues in ethics, Philosophical terminology

63

The provision of access to clinical trial results that include patient-level data is generating much debate. A growing chorus of transparency advocates is pushing for open access to these data, making a case on the basis of respect for patients' altruism, the need to safeguard public health, and distrust in the integrity and completeness of published trial information.(1) We at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have been actively engaged in this debate, and the EMA has recently published a draft of a policy that would make patient-level data in its possession publicly accessible. The principle of privacy protection will inform . . .

Concepts: Health care, Pharmacology, Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Pharmaceutical industry, Virtue, Food and Drug Administration, Core issues in ethics

56

Persecutory delusions may be unfounded threat beliefs maintained by safety-seeking behaviours that prevent disconfirmatory evidence being successfully processed. Use of virtual reality could facilitate new learning.

Concepts: Belief, Schizophrenia, Delusion, Delusional disorder, Paranoia, Virtual reality, Core issues in ethics, Persecutory delusions

28

Some studies have shown a direct relationship between nutritional status and survival in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients. Body wasting, defined as a percentage of the ideal body weight for age, has been shown to be an independent predictor of mortality in CF. With respect to height only two studies were performed and these studies suggested that stunting is an important determinant of survival but both did not adjust statistical analysis for confounding variables. We aimed at determining the association between stunting and risk of mortality in CF patients.

Concepts: Statistics, Obesity, Actuarial science, Mass, Cystic fibrosis, Confounding, Analysis of variance, Core issues in ethics

22

Whether individual behavior in social settings correlates with behavior when individuals are alone is a fundamental question in collective behavior. However, evidence for whether behavior correlates across asocial and social settings is mixed, and no study has linked observed trends with underlying mechanisms. Consistent differences between individuals in boldness, which describes willingness to accept reward over risk, are likely to be under strong selection pressure. By testing three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in a risky foraging task alone and repeatedly in shoals, we demonstrate that the expression of boldness in groups is context-specific. Whereas personality is repeatable in a low-risk behavior (leaving a refuge), the collectively made consensus decision to then cross the arena outweighs leadership by bolder individuals, explaining the suppression of personality in this context. However, despite this social coordination, bolder individuals were still more likely to feed. Habituation and satiation over repeated trials degrade the effect of personality on leaving the refuge and also whether crossing the arena is a collective decision. The suppression of personality in groups suggests that individual risk-taking tendency may rarely represent actual risk in social settings, with implications for the evolution and ecology of personality variation.

Concepts: Decision making, Risk, Decision theory, Risk management, Uncertainty, Core issues in ethics, Three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteiformes

11

High dietary protein diets are widely used to manage overweight and obesity. However, there is a lack of consensus about their long-term efficacy and safety. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of long-term high-protein consumption on body weight changes and death outcomes in subjects at high cardiovascular risk.

Concepts: Nutrition, Death, Obesity, Physical exercise, Diet, Malnutrition, Body shape, Core issues in ethics

10

This study examined the effectiveness of two types of verbal appeals (external and internal motivators) and expected punishment in 372 children’s (4- to 8-year-olds) truth-telling behavior about a transgression. External appeals to tell the truth emphasized social approval by stating that the experimenter would be happy if the children told the truth. Internal appeals to tell the truth emphasized internal standards of behavior by stating that the children would be happy with themselves if they told the truth. Results indicate that with age children are more likely to lie and maintain their lie during follow-up questioning. Overall, children in the External Appeal conditions told the truth significantly more compared with children in the No Appeal conditions. Children who heard internal appeals with no expected punishment were significantly less likely to lie compared with children who heard internal appeals when there was expected punishment. The results have important implications regarding the impact of socialization on children’s honesty and promoting children’s veracity in applied situations where children’s honesty is critical.

Concepts: Sociology, Motivation, Appeal, Fact, Core issues in ethics, Psychological manipulation, Cannonball

9

The number of dementia patients requesting euthanasia in the Netherlands has increased over the past five years. The issue is highly controversial. In this contribution we discuss some of the main arguments: the nature of suffering, the voluntariness of the request and the role of the physician. We argue that society has a duty to care for patients who suffer from dementia and to make their lives as good and comfortable as possible. We also argue that it can be morally acceptable for those who do not want to continue their life with dementia to choose to die. The choice can be based on good reasons.

Concepts: Medicine, Morality, Suffering, Suicide, Society, Core issues in ethics, Argumentation theory, Rhine

8

Medical schools are increasingly called to include social responsibility in their mandates. As such, they are focusing their attention on the social determinants of health (SDOH) as key drivers in the health of the patients and communities they serve. However, underlying this emphasis on SDOH is the assumption that teaching medical students about SDOH will lead future physicians to take action to help achieve health equity. There is little evidence to support this belief. In many ways, the current approach to SDOH within medical education positions the SDOH as “facts to be known” rather than as “conditions to be challenged and changed.” Educators talk about poverty but not oppression, race but not racism, sex but not sexism, and homosexuality but not homophobia. The current approach to SDOH may constrain or even incapacitate the ability of medical education to achieve the very goals it lauds, and in fact perpetuate inequity. In this article, the authors explore how “critical consciousness” and a recentering of the SDOH around justice and inequity can be used to deepen our collective understanding of power, privilege, and the inequities embedded in social relationships in order to foster an active commitment to social justice among medical trainees. Rather than calling for minor curricular modifications, the authors argue that major structural and cultural transformations within medical education need to occur to make educational institutions truly socially responsible.

Concepts: Medicine, Education, Sociology, Physician, Medical school, School, Core issues in ethics, Social responsibility

8

Cryolipolysis is a nonsurgical technique for localized fat reduction. With the increased risk of complications from more invasive methods such as liposuction, cryolipolysis presents a promising method for nonsurgical body contouring. This study presents a systematic review of the available clinical data, with an emphasis on the efficacy, methods, safety, and complications of cryolipolysis.

Concepts: Medicine, Epistemology, Randomized controlled trial, Electrochemistry, Effectiveness, Linguistics, Clinical data acquisition, Core issues in ethics