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

Concept: Perspective


(1) is children’s irony appreciation and processing related to their empathy skills? and (2) is children’s processing of a speaker’s ironic meaning best explained by a modular or interactive theory? Participants were thirty-one 8- and 9-year-olds children. We used a variant of the visual world paradigm to assess children’s processing of ironic and literal evaluative remarks; in this paradigm children’s cognition is revealed through their actions and eye gaze. Results in this paradigm showed that children’s irony appreciation and processing were correlated with their empathy development, suggesting that empathy or emotional perspective taking may be important for development of irony comprehension. Further, children’s processing of irony was consistent with an interactive framework, in which children consider ironic meanings in the earliest moments, as speech unfolds. These results provide important new insights about development of this complex aspect of emotion recognition.

Concepts: Psychology, Assessment, Linguistics, Empathy, Emotion, Perspective, Meaning, Irony


BACKGROUND: Dieting has historically been the main behavioural treatment paradigm for overweight/obesity, although a non-dieting paradigm has more recently emerged based on the criticisms of the original dieting approach. There is a dearth of research contrasting why these approaches are adopted. To address this, we conducted a qualitative investigation into the determinants of dieting and non-dieting approaches based on the perspectives and experiences of overweight/obese Australian adults. METHODS: Grounded theory was used inductively to generate a model of themes contrasting the determinants of dieting and non-dieting approaches based on the perspectives of 21 overweight/obese adults. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews to elicit in-depth individual experiences and perspectives. RESULTS: Several categories emerged which distinguished between the adoption of a dieting or non-dieting approach. These categories included the focus of each approach (weight/image or lifestyle/health behaviours); internal or external attributions about dieting failure; attitudes towards established diets, and personal autonomy. Personal autonomy was also influenced by another category; the perceived knowledge and self-efficacy about each approach, with adults more likely to choose an approach they knew more about and were confident in implementing. The time perspective of change (short or long-term) and the perceived identity of the person (fat/dieter or healthy person) also emerged as determinants of dieting or non-dieting approaches respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The model of determinants elicited from this study assists in understanding why dieting and non-dieting approaches are adopted, from the perspectives and experiences of overweight/obese adults. Understanding this decision-making process can assist clinicians and public health researchers to design and tailor dieting and non-dieting interventions to population subgroups that have preferences and characteristics suitable for each approach.

Concepts: Psychology, Focus group, Cognition, Qualitative research, Knowledge, Grounded theory, Perspective, Self-determination


Abstract. The Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) includes communitywide treatment in areas with ≥ 25% prevalence of schistosomiasis along the shores of Lake Victoria using community health workers (CHWs). The CHWs are key drivers in community-owned mass drug administration (MDA) intervention programs. We explored their experiences and perceptions after initial MDA participation. Unstructured open-ended group discussions were conducted after completion of MDA activities. Narratives were obtained from CHWs using a digital audio recorder during the group discussion, transcribed verbatim and translated into English where applicable. Thematic decomposition of data was done using ATLAS.t.i. software. From the perspective of the CHWs, factors influencing MDA compliance included drug side effects, food supply stability, and conspiracy theories about the “real” purpose of treatment. The interest of CHWs to serve as community drug distributors stemmed from both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Feedback from CHWs can promote more effective MDA in rural Kenyan communities.

Concepts: Health care, Motivation, Community, Kenya, Digital audio, Perspective, Lake Victoria, Conspiracy theory


Blockchain is a decentralized transaction and data management technology developed first for Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The interest in Blockchain technology has been increasing since the idea was coined in 2008. The reason for the interest in Blockchain is its central attributes that provide security, anonymity and data integrity without any third party organization in control of the transactions, and therefore it creates interesting research areas, especially from the perspective of technical challenges and limitations. In this research, we have conducted a systematic mapping study with the goal of collecting all relevant research on Blockchain technology. Our objective is to understand the current research topics, challenges and future directions regarding Blockchain technology from the technical perspective. We have extracted 41 primary papers from scientific databases. The results show that focus in over 80% of the papers is on Bitcoin system and less than 20% deals with other Blockchain applications including e.g. smart contracts and licensing. The majority of research is focusing on revealing and improving limitations of Blockchain from privacy and security perspectives, but many of the proposed solutions lack concrete evaluation on their effectiveness. Many other Blockchain scalability related challenges including throughput and latency have been left unstudied. On the basis of this study, recommendations on future research directions are provided for researchers.

Concepts: Scientific method, Science, Research, The Current, Perspective, Data management, Database transaction, Transaction processing


Advances in biological engineering are likely to have substantial impacts on global society. To explore these potential impacts we ran a horizon scanning exercise to capture a range of perspectives on the opportunities and risks presented by biological engineering. We first identified 70 potential issues, and then used an iterative process to prioritise 20 issues that we considered to be emerging, to have potential global impact, and to be relatively unknown outside the field of biological engineering. The issues identified may be of interest to researchers, businesses and policy makers in sectors such as health, energy, agriculture and the environment.

Concepts: Energy, Environment, Ecology, Natural environment, Policy, Globalization, Perspective, Range


Here we are again. Less than a year ago, an editorial in the Journal by Kassirer reexamined the massive public health problem of gun violence in the United States,(1) and a Perspective article by Sacks, born of a personal tragedy, lamented the defunding of research on firearm-injury prevention.(2) Kassirer called for electing “lawmakers at all levels of government with the courage to defy gun lobbyists,” so that essential regulatory changes can finally be enacted - as physicians, public health experts, and others have been recommending for decades. But in early December, the day after a young couple turned up at . . .

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Public health, Health, Perspective


Experiences affect mood, which in turn affects subsequent experiences. Recent studies suggest two specific principles. First, mood depends on how recent reward outcomes differ from expectations. Second, mood biases the way we perceive outcomes (e.g., rewards), and this bias affects learning about those outcomes. We propose that this two-way interaction serves to mitigate inefficiencies in the application of reinforcement learning to real-world problems. Specifically, we propose that mood represents the overall momentum of recent outcomes, and its biasing influence on the perception of outcomes ‘corrects’ learning to account for environmental dependencies. We describe potential dysfunctions of this adaptive mechanism that might contribute to the symptoms of mood disorders.

Concepts: Psychology, Reward system, Perspective


Extreme sports are traditionally explored from a risk-taking perspective which often assumes that participants do not experience fear. In this article we explore participants' experience of fear associated with participation in extreme sports. An interpretive phenomenological method was used with 15 participants. Four themes emerged: experience of fear, relationship to fear, management of fear, and fear and self-transformation. Participants' experience of extreme sports was revealed in terms of intense fear but this fear was integrated and experienced as a potentially meaningful and constructive event in their lives. The findings have implications for understanding fear as a potentially transformative process.

Concepts: Experience, Knowledge, Perspective, Extreme sport, X Games, Aggressive inline skating


We elevate our constructions to a special status in our minds. This ‘IKEA’ effect leads us to believe that our creations are more valuable than items that are identical, but constructed by another. This series of studies utilises a developmental perspective to explore why this bias exists. Study 1 elucidates the ontogeny of the IKEA effect, demonstrating an emerging bias at age 5, corresponding with key developmental milestones in self-concept formation. Study 2 assesses the role of effort, revealing that the IKEA effect is not moderated by the amount of effort invested in the task in 5-to-6-year olds. Finally, Study 3 examines whether feelings of ownership moderate the IKEA effect, finding that ownership alone cannot explain why children value their creations more. Altogether, results from this study series are incompatible with existing theories of the IKEA bias. Instead, we propose a new framework to examine biases in decision making. Perhaps the IKEA effect reflects a link between our creations and our self-concept, emerging at age 5, leading us to value them more positively than others' creations.

Concepts: Scientific method, Critical thinking, Risk, Ontology, Typography, Perspective, Bias, IKEA


OBJECTIVE: Breaking bad news (BBN) is a significant source of stress for doctors. In this study we qualitatively explored doctors' perceptions of their BBN experiences, to identify the range of appraisal and coping processes associated with this task. METHODS: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 28 junior and senior doctors. RESULTS: Doctors recalled physical and emotional stress symptoms during the BBN task, although they tended not to describe it as a ‘stressful’ experience. Senior doctors appeared to engage in more problem-focused and meaning-focused coping strategies than junior doctors, and this may have been due to their greater experience and control over patient selection and work structures. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insight into the range of different coping responses experienced by doctors in relation to the task of breaking bad medical news. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The results reinforce and refine the imperative for further training to address the impact of BBN from the doctor’s perspective if performance of this critical task is to be improved.

Concepts: Psychology, Physician, Experience, Perspective, Doctor, Richard Lazarus, Breaking Bad