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

Concept: Relative effectiveness factor


Vaccine injections can cause acute pain and distress in infants, which can contribute to dissatisfaction with the vaccination experience and vaccine hesitancy. We sought to compare the effectiveness of additive pain interventions administered consistently during vaccine injections in the first year of life.

Concepts: Relative effectiveness factor


To describe the epidemiology of self-defense gun use (SDGU) and the relative effectiveness of SDGU in preventing injury and property loss.

Concepts: Relative effectiveness factor, National Crime Victimization Survey


At the college level, the effectiveness of active-learning interventions is typically measured at the broadest scales: the achievement or retention of all students in a course. Coarse-grained measures like these cannot inform instructors about an intervention’s relative effectiveness for the different student populations in their classrooms or about the proximate factors responsible for the observed changes in student achievement. In this study, we disaggregate student data by racial/ethnic groups and first-generation status to identify whether a particular intervention-increased course structure-works better for particular populations of students. We also explore possible factors that may mediate the observed changes in student achievement. We found that a “moderate-structure” intervention increased course performance for all student populations, but worked disproportionately well for black students-halving the black-white achievement gap-and first-generation students-closing the achievement gap with continuing-generation students. We also found that students consistently reported completing the assigned readings more frequently, spending more time studying for class, and feeling an increased sense of community in the moderate-structure course. These changes imply that increased course structure improves student achievement at least partially through increasing student use of distributed learning and creating a more interdependent classroom community.

Concepts: Better, Education, Intervention, Student, Classroom, Relative effectiveness factor, Scales, Hood


Prior theory suggests that reputation spreading (e.g., gossip) and punishment are two key mechanisms to promote cooperation in groups, but no behavioral research has yet examined their relative effectiveness and efficiency in promoting and maintaining cooperation. To examine these issues, we observed participants interacting in a four-round public goods game (PGG) with or without gossip and punishment options, and a subsequent two-round trust game (TG). We manipulated gossip as the option to send notes about other group members to these members' future partners, and punishment as the option to assign deduction points to reduce other group members' outcomes with a fee-to-fine ratio of 1:3. Findings revealed that in the four-round PGG, the option to gossip increased both cooperation and individual earnings, whereas the option to punish had no overall effect on cooperation (but a positive effect on cooperation in the last two rounds of the PGG) and significantly decreased individual earnings. Importantly, the initial option to gossip made people more trusting and trustworthy in the subsequent TG when gossip was no longer possible, compared to the no-gossip condition. Thus, we provide some initial evidence that gossip may be more effective and efficient than punishment to promote and maintain cooperation.

Concepts: Game theory, Effect, Effectiveness, Sociology, Efficacy, Punishment, Trustworthiness, Relative effectiveness factor


Global markets for agricultural products, timber, and minerals are critically important drivers of deforestation. The supply chains driving land use change may also provide opportunities to halt deforestation. Market campaigns, moratoria, and certification schemes have been promoted as powerful tools to achieve conservation goals. Despite their promise, there have been few opportunities to rigorously quantify the ability of these nonstate, market-driven (NSMD) governance regimes to deliver conservation outcomes. This study analyzes the impacts of three NSMD governance systems that sought to end the conversion of natural forests to plantations in Chile at the start of the 21st century. Using a multilevel, panel dataset of land use changes in Chile, we identify the impact of participation within each of the governance regimes by implementing a series of matched difference-in-differences analyses. Taking advantage of the mosaic of different NSMD regimes adopted in Chile, we explore the relative effectiveness of different policies. NSMD governance regimes reduced deforestation on participating properties by 2-23%. The NSMD governance regimes we studied included collaborative and confrontational strategies between environmental and industry stakeholders. We find that the more collaborative governance systems studied achieved better environmental performance than more confrontational approaches. Whereas many government conservation programs have targeted regions with little likelihood of conversion, we demonstrate that NSMD governance has the potential to alter behavior on high-deforestation properties.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Agriculture, Forest, TheStart, 21st century, The Conversion, Relative effectiveness factor, Governance


Hunting with wire snares is rife within many tropical forest systems, and constitutes one of the severest threats to a wide range of vertebrate taxa. As for all threats, reliable monitoring of snaring levels is critical for assessing the relative effectiveness of management interventions. However, snares pose a particular challenge in terms of tracking spatial or temporal trends in their prevalence because they are extremely difficult to detect, and are typically spread across large, inaccessible areas. As with cryptic animal targets, any approach used to monitor snaring levels must address the issue of imperfect detection, but no standard method exists to do so. We carried out a field experiment in Keo Seima Wildlife Reserve in eastern Cambodia with the following objectives: (1) To estimate the detection probably of wire snares within a tropical forest context, and to investigate how detectability might be affected by habitat type, snare type, or observer. (2) To trial two sets of sampling protocols feasible to implement in a range of challenging field conditions. (3) To conduct a preliminary assessment of two potential analytical approaches to dealing with the resulting snare encounter data. We found that although different observers had no discernible effect on detection probability, detectability did vary between habitat type and snare type. We contend that simple repeated counts carried out at multiple sites and analyzed using binomial mixture models could represent a practical yet robust solution to the problem of monitoring snaring levels both inside and outside of protected areas. This experiment represents an important first step in developing improved methods of threat monitoring, and such methods are greatly needed in southeast Asia, as well as in as many other regions.

Concepts: Southeast Asia, Effect, Forest, Detection theory, Experiment, Estimation, Observer, Relative effectiveness factor


Over 1.6 million adolescents in the United States meet criteria for substance use disorders (SUDs). While there are promising treatments for SUDs, adolescents respond to these treatments differentially in part based on the setting in which treatments are delivered. One way to address such individualized response to treatment is through the development of adaptive interventions (AIs): sequences of decision rules for altering treatment based on an individual’s needs. This protocol describes a project with the overarching goal of beginning the development of AIs that provide recommendations for altering the setting of an adolescent’s substance use treatment. This project has three discrete aims: (1) explore the views of various stakeholders (parents, providers, policymakers, and researchers) on deciding the setting of substance use treatment for an adolescent based on individualized need, (2) generate hypotheses concerning candidate AIs, and (3) compare the relative effectiveness among candidate AIs and non-adaptive interventions commonly used in everyday practice.

Concepts: Scientific method, United States, Adolescence, Setting, The Adolescents, Need, Relative effectiveness factor


Yaws is an infectious, debilitating and disfiguring disease of poverty that mainly affects children in rural communities in tropical areas. In Cameroon, mass-treatment campaigns carried out in the 1950s reduced yaws to such low levels that it was presumed the disease was eradicated. In 2010, an epidemiological study in Bankim Health District detected 29 cases of yaws. Five different means of detecting yaws in clinical and community settings were initiated in Bankim over the following five years.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Disease, Infectious disease, Poverty, Following, Community, Relative effectiveness factor


To investigate the relative effectiveness of different prompts for people with dementia during multistep tasks in the home, to inform prompting technology design.

Concepts: Technology, Exploratory research, Relative effectiveness factor


To date, scholarly discourse over the Amethyst Initiative has primarily debated the relative effectiveness of the 21 year-old Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA). Unfortunately, this discourse has failed to account for the Amethyst Initiative’s central tenet/mission: facilitating responsible drinking among college students. This investigation seeks to help fill this gap by quantitatively determining whether a random sample of underage (n = 158) and legal (n = 298) drinkers differed with regard to their alcohol-related behaviors, responsible drinking behaviors, and responsible drinking beliefs.

Concepts: University, Randomness, Drinking culture, Drink, Relative effectiveness factor, Legal drinking age, Juvenile law, Amethyst Initiative