A large body of cognitive research has shown that people intuitively and effortlessly reason about the biological world in complex and systematic ways. We addressed two questions about the nature of intuitive biological reasoning: How does intuitive biological thinking change during adolescence and early adulthood? How does increasing biology education influence intuitive biological thinking? To do so, we developed a battery of measures to systematically test three components of intuitive biological thought: anthropocentric thinking, teleological thinking and essentialist thinking, and tested 8th graders and university students (both biology majors, and non-biology majors). Results reveal clear evidence of persistent intuitive reasoning among all populations studied, consistent but surprisingly small differences between 8th graders and college students on measures of intuitive biological thought, and consistent but again surprisingly small influence of increasing biology education on intuitive biological reasoning. Results speak to the persistence of intuitive reasoning, the importance of taking intuitive knowledge into account in science classrooms, and the necessity of interdisciplinary research to advance biology education. Further studies are necessary to investigate how cultural context and continued acquisition of expertise impact intuitive biology thinking.
Humans naturally and effortlessly use a set of cognitive tools to reason about biological entities and phenomena. Two such tools, essentialist thinking and teleological thinking, appear to be early developmental cognitive defaults, used extensively in childhood and under limited circumstances in adulthood, but prone to reemerge under time pressure or cognitive load. We examine the nature of another such tool: anthropocentric thinking. In four experiments, we examined patterns of property attribution to a wide range of living and non-living objects, manipulating time pressure, response type, and property (either novel or familiar) in a total of 471 participants. Results showed no tendency toward increased similarity-based attribution patterns indicative of anthropocentric thinking under time pressure. However, anthropocentric thinking was consistently observed for unfamiliar properties. These findings suggest that anthropocentric thinking is not a developmentally persistent cognitive default, but rather a cognitive strategy deliberately employed in situations of uncertainty.
Stakeholder-developed interventions are needed to support pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) communication and decision-making. Few publications delineate methods and outcomes of stakeholder engagement in research. We describe the process and impact of stakeholder engagement on developing a PICU communication and decision-making support intervention. We also describe the resultant intervention. Stakeholders included parents of PICU patients, healthcare team members (HTMs), and research experts. Through a year-long iterative process, we involved 96 stakeholders in 25 meetings and 26 focus groups or interviews. Stakeholders adapted an adult navigator model by identifying core intervention elements and then determining how to operationalize those core elements in pediatrics. The stakeholder input led to PICU-specific refinements, such as supporting transitions after PICU discharge and including ancillary tools. The resultant intervention includes navigator involvement with parents and HTMs and navigator-guided use of ancillary tools. Subsequent research will test the feasibility and efficacy of our intervention.
BackgroundThe harmful effects of marijuana on health and in particular cardiovascular health are understudied. To develop such knowledge, an efficient method of developing an informative cohort of marijuana users and non-users is needed.MethodsWe identified patients with a diagnosis of coronary artery disease using ICD-9 codes who were seen in the San Francisco VA in 2015. We imported these patients’ medical record notes into an informatics platform that facilitated text searches. We categorized patients into those with evidence of marijuana use in the past 12 months and patients with no such evidence, using the following text strings: “marijuana”, “mjx”, and “cannabis”. We randomly selected 51 users and 51 non-users based on this preliminary classification, and sent a recruitment letter to 97 of these patients who had contact information available. Patients were interviewed on marijuana use and domains related to cardiovascular health. Data on marijuana use collected from the medical record was compared to data collected as part of the interview.ResultsThe interview completion rate was 71%. Among the 35 patients identified by text strings as having used marijuana in the previous year, 15 had used marijuana in the past 30 days (positive predictive value = 42.9%). The probability of use in the past month increased from 8.8% to 42.9% in people who have these keywords in their medical record compared to those who did not have these terms in their medical record.ConclusionMethods that combine text search strategies for participant recruitment with health interviews provide an efficient approach to developing prospective cohorts that can be used to study the health effects of marijuana.
In the FCs studied, we found that DM is a nonlinear process. We also found that several SDM elements that could provide information about parents' perspectives and needs did not always occur, identifying areas for process improvement.
Background: Social workers (SWs) and chaplains are trained to support families facing challenges associated with critical illness and potential end-of-life issues. Little is known about how parents view SW/chaplain involvement in care for critically ill children with cancer. Methods: We studied parent perceptions of SW/chaplain involvement in care for pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients with cancer or who had a hematopoietic cell transplant. English- and Spanish-speaking parents completed surveys within 7 days of PICU admission and at discharge. Some parents participated in an optional interview. Results: Twenty-four parents of 18 patients completed both surveys, and six parents were interviewed. Of the survey respondents, 66.7% and 75% interacted with SWs or chaplains, respectively. Most parents described SW/chaplain interactions as helpful (81.3% and 72.2%, respectively), but few reported their help with decision making (18.8% and 12.4%, respectively). Parents described SW/chaplain roles related to emotional, spiritual, instrumental, and holistic support. Few parents expressed awareness about SW/chaplain interactions with other healthcare team members. Conclusions: Future work is needed to determine SWs’/chaplains’ contributions to and impact on parental decision making, improve parent awareness about SW/chaplain roles and engagement with the healthcare team, and understand why some PICU parents do not interact with SWs/chaplains.
Background: Those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have lower overall functioning than healthy controls. However, this population is not homogenous, and those with PTSD have a wide range of functional outcomes. To our knowledge, only one other study has evaluated the predictors of better functioning within patients with PTSD.
Methods:We examined 254 veterans with likely PTSD, using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale to assess PTSD symptom severity, and the SF-36 and single-item question to assess aspects of current functioning and quality of life.Results: In fully adjusted models (controlling for age, gender, and PTSD score, and including all significant psychosocial predictors of the outcome of interest), greater sleep quality (p = .03), lower C-reactive protein (p < .01), and lower erythrocyte sedimentation rate (p = 0.04) were associated with greater physical functioning; lower depression (p < .01) and greater perceived social support (p = .05) were associated with greater social functioning; lower depression (p = .02) was associated with greater occupational functioning; and greater combat exposure (p = .04), greater optimism (p < .01) and greater perceived social support (p = .05) were associated with greater quality of life.Conclusions: These findings highlight the differential impact of psychosocial predictors on multiple functional outcomes. As such, they provide important information for clinicians about aspects of veterans' lives that can be targeted during the treatment to improve specific types of functioning.
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