The consensus is that both ecological and social factors are essential dimensions of conservation research and practice. However, much of the literature on multiple disciplinary collaboration focuses on the difficulties of undertaking it. This review of the challenges of conducting multiple disciplinary collaboration offers a framework for thinking about the diversity and complexity of this endeavor. We focused on conceptual challenges, of which 5 main categories emerged: methodological challenges, value judgments, theories of knowledge, disciplinary prejudices, and interdisciplinary communication. The major problems identified in these areas have proved remarkably persistent in the literature surveyed (c.1960-2012). Reasons for these failures to learn from past experience include the pressure to produce positive outcomes and gloss over disagreements, the ephemeral nature of many such projects and resulting lack of institutional memory, and the apparent complexity and incoherence of the endeavor. We suggest that multiple disciplinary collaboration requires conceptual integration among carefully selected multiple disciplinary team members united in investigating a shared problem or question. We outline a 9-point sequence of steps for setting up a successful multiple disciplinary project. This encompasses points on recruitment, involving stakeholders, developing research questions, negotiating power dynamics and hidden values and conceptual differences, explaining and choosing appropriate methods, developing a shared language, facilitating on-going communications, and discussing data integration and project outcomes. Although numerous solutions to the challenges of multiple disciplinary research have been proposed, lessons learned are often lost when projects end or experienced individuals move on. We urge multiple disciplinary teams to capture the challenges recognized, and solutions proposed, by their researchers while projects are in process. A database of well-documented case studies would showcase theories and methods from a variety of disciplines and their interactions, enable better comparative study and evaluation, and provide a useful resource for developing future projects and training multiple disciplinary researchers.
We report a qualitative study of accounts of interpreted consultations in UK primary care. The study sought to explore how three Habermasian tensions between (a) system and lifeworld, (b) communicative and strategic action, and (c) interpersonal and macropolitical spheres played out in the triadic consultation between clinician, interpreter and patient. In a total of 69 individual interviews and two focus groups, we collected narratives from service users (through interpreters or bilingual researchers), interpreters and doctors and other staff in general practice. We recorded, transcribed and analysed these, taking the story as the main unit of analysis. Our data suggest that the preconditions for communicative action are rarely met in the interpreted consultation. The interpreter's presence makes a dyadic interaction into a triad, adding considerable complexity to the social situation and generating operational and technical challenges. Lack of trust, intense pressure of time, mismatch of agendas (biomedical versus lifeworld), firm expectations of a specific outcome (e.g. referral, prescription) and profound power imbalances all promote strategic action (i.e. speech that seeks consciously or unconsciously to manipulate an outcome) rather than communicative action (i.e. sincere efforts to achieve understanding, and reach consensus) by all parties. In consultations interpreted by family members (an option traditionally seen as 'second best' by policy makers), the social situation is very different. Family members are generally trusted, share the lifeworld agenda, and shift the power balance in the patient's favour. The interpreter occupies multiple social roles, including translator, interpersonal mediator, system mediator, educator, advocate, and link worker. The essence of professionalism in interpreting is shifting judiciously between these potentially conflicting roles. We discuss the implications of our findings for communication with limited English speakers in healthcare consultations and for realizing contemporary policy goals such as concordance, shared decision-making, empowerment, and choice.
Stress, anxiety and depression are relatively common problems among university students. This study examined whether an online psychological intervention aiming at enhancing the wellbeing of university students could be an effective and practical alternative for meeting the needs of a university population. University students (N = 68; 85% female; 19-32 years old) were randomly assigned to either a guided seven-week online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (iACT) intervention or a waiting list control condition (WLC). A between-groups pre-post (iACT vs WLC) design with 12-month follow-up for the iACT participants was conducted. The intervention participants were offered two face-to-face meetings, completed online exercises during a five-week period, and received personal weekly written feedback via the website from their randomly assigned, trained student coaches. Waitlist participants were offered the intervention program soon after the post measurements. Results in this small efficacy trial showed that the iACT participants had significantly higher gains in wellbeing (between group, d = 0.46), life satisfaction (d = 0.65), and mindfulness skills (d = 0.49). In addition, iACT participants' self-reported stress (d = 0.54) and symptoms of depression (d = 0.69) were significantly reduced compared to the participants in the control group. These benefits were maintained over a 12-month follow-up period (within iACT group, d = 0.65-0.69, for primary measures). The results suggest that an online-based, coach-guided ACT program with blended face-to-face and online sessions could be an effective and well-accepted alternative for enhancing the wellbeing of university students.
This study was designed to examine whether a school-wide antibullying program, effective in reducing incidents of bullying, can also reduce the harm associated with victimization. Specifically, we test whether baseline victimization moderates the KiVa program intervention effects on school perceptions, depression, and self-esteem.
Relying on a randomized control sample consisting of 7,010 fourth to sixth grade Finnish elementary school students, self-report data were examined using multilevel modeling across 39 intervention and 38 control schools over a 12-month period.
The KiVa program was particularly effective in facilitating perceptions of a caring school climate among students who were most victimized before the intervention, while program benefits on attitudes toward school did not vary by level of victimization. The intervention effects on depression and self-esteem were strongest only among the most victimized sixth graders.
The results suggest that antibullying programs designed to improve the school ecology can alleviate the plight of the victimized and underscore that harm reduction should be assessed by testing risk × intervention effects when evaluating effectiveness of such programs. (PsycINFO Database Record
Gasification is the thermochemical conversion of organic feedstocks mainly into combustible syngas (CO and H(2)) along with other constituents. It has been widely used to convert coal into gaseous energy carriers but only has been recently looked at as a process for producing energy from biomass. This study explores the potential of gasification for energy production and treatment of municipal solid waste (MSW). It relies on adapting the theory governing the chemistry and kinetics of the gasification process to the use of MSW as a feedstock to the process. It also relies on an equilibrium kinetics and thermodynamics solver tool (Gasify(®)) in the process of modeling gasification of MSW. The effect of process temperature variation on gasifying MSW was explored and the results were compared to incineration as an alternative to gasification of MSW. Also, the assessment was performed comparatively for gasification of MSW in the United Arab Emirates, USA, and Thailand, presenting a spectrum of socioeconomic settings with varying MSW compositions in order to explore the effect of MSW composition variance on the products of gasification. All in all, this study provides an insight into the potential of gasification for the treatment of MSW and as a waste to energy alternative to incineration.
Ibrahim-Verbaas, C. A.; Bressler, J.; Debette, S.; Schuur, M.; Smith, A. V.; Bis, J. C.; Davies, G.; Trompet, S.; Smith, J. A.; Wolf, C.; Chibnik, L. B.; Liu, Y.; Vitart, V.; Kirin, M.; Petrovic, K.; Polasek, O.; Zgaga, L.; Fawns-Ritchie, C.; Hoffmann, P.; Karjalainen, J.
To identify common variants contributing to normal variation in two specific domains of cognitive functioning, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of executive functioning and information processing speed in non-demented older adults from the CHARGE (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology) consortium. Neuropsychological testing was available for 5429-32 070 subjects of European ancestry aged 45 years or older, free of dementia and clinical stroke at the time of cognitive testing from 20 cohorts in the discovery phase. We analyzed performance on the Trail Making Test parts A and B, the Letter Digit Substitution Test (LDST), the Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST), semantic and phonemic fluency tests, and the Stroop Color and Word Test. Replication was sought in 1311-21860 subjects from 20 independent cohorts. A significant association was observed in the discovery cohorts for the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs17518584 (discovery P-value=3.12 × 10(-8)) and in the joint discovery and replication meta-analysis (P-value=3.28 × 10(-9) after adjustment for age, gender and education) in an intron of the gene cell adhesion molecule 2 (CADM2) for performance on the LDST/DSST. Rs17518584 is located about 170 kb upstream of the transcription start site of the major transcript for the CADM2 gene, but is within an intron of a variant transcript that includes an alternative first exon. The variant is associated with expression of CADM2 in the cingulate cortex (P-value=4 × 10(-4)). The protein encoded by CADM2 is involved in glutamate signaling (P-value=7.22 × 10(-15)), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transport (P-value=1.36 × 10(-11)) and neuron cell-cell adhesion (P-value=1.48 × 10(-13)). Our findings suggest that genetic variation in the CADM2 gene is associated with individual differences in information processing speed.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 14 April 2015; doi:10.1038/mp.2015.37.
Facial expressions of emotion involve a physical component of morphological changes in a face and an affective component conveying information about the expresser's internal feelings. It remains unresolved how much recognition and discrimination of expressions rely on the perception of morphological patterns or the processing of affective content. This review of research on the role of visual and emotional factors in expression recognition reached three major conclusions. First, behavioral, neurophysiological, and computational measures indicate that basic expressions are reliably recognized and discriminated from one another, albeit the effect may be inflated by the use of prototypical expression stimuli and forced-choice responses. Second, affective content along the dimensions of valence and arousal is extracted early from facial expressions, although this coarse affective representation contributes minimally to categorical recognition of specific expressions. Third, the physical configuration and visual saliency of facial features contribute significantly to expression recognition, with "emotionless" computational models being able to reproduce some of the basic phenomena demonstrated in human observers. We conclude that facial expression recognition, as it has been investigated in conventional laboratory tasks, depends to a greater extent on perceptual than affective information and mechanisms.