Phil 7.26.17

7:00 – 8:00 Research

  • A quick thought about the overlapping of spatial and conceptual ‘space’ concepts. Dug up the studies that showed how physical warmth can cause social ‘warmth’ and some of the underlying neural structures
    • Experiencing Physical Warmth Promotes Interpersonal Warmth
      • “Warmth” is the most powerful personality trait in social judgment, and attachment theorists have stressed the importance of warm physical contact with caregivers during infancy for healthy relationships in adulthood. Intriguingly, recent research in humans points to the involvement of the insula in the processing of both physical temperature and interpersonal warmth (trust) information. Accordingly, we hypothesized that experiences of physical warmth (or coldness) would increase feelings of interpersonal warmth (or coldness), without the person’s awareness of this influence. In study 1, participants who briefly held a cup of hot (versus iced) coffee judged a target person as having a “warmer” personality (generous, caring); in study 2, participants holding a hot (versus cold) therapeutic pad were more likely to choose a gift for a friend instead of for themselves.
    • Shared neural mechanisms underlying social warmth and physical warmth.
      • Many of people’s closest bonds grow out of socially warm exchanges and the warm feelings associated with being socially connected. Indeed, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying thermoregulation may be shared by those that regulate social warmth, the experience of feeling connected to other people. To test this possibility, we placed participants in a functional MRI scanner and asked them to (a) read socially warm and neutral messages from friends and family and (b) hold warm and neutral-temperature objects (a warm pack and a ball, respectively). Findings showed an overlap between physical and social warmth: Participants felt warmer after reading the positive (compared with neutral) messages and more connected after holding the warm pack (compared with the ball). In addition, neural activity during social warmth overlapped with neural activity during physical warmth in the ventral striatum and middle insula, but neural activity did not overlap during another pleasant task (soft touch). Together, these results suggest that a common neural mechanism underlies physical and social warmth.
  • Looked more closely at the NSF grants. I think the mapping fits the following:
  • Information Integration and Informatics (III)
    • Technological advances have resulted in accelerating increases in size, diversity, and complexity of data in virtually all aspects of human endeavor. Our ability to gather data of all types greatly outstrips our cognitive capacity to use it,while scientific, technical, and societal advances are increasingly dependent on new insights, theories, and tools to exploit data effectively for timely delivery of relevant and accurate information and for knowledge discovery. The Information Integration and Informatics (III) program supports research to realize the full transformative potential of data, information, and knowledge in this increasingly digital and interconnected world.
    • III-funded projects may address data of unprecedented scale, complexity, and rate of acquisition, as well as issues of heterogeneity and complexity with innovative approaches and deep insights. Projects may support the diverse functionalities and processing needs for data, information, and knowledge from disparate and uncoordinated sources,or cope with the changing landscape of computing platforms at scales ranging from small mobile devices to potentially global-scale cloud and networked computing resources. Successful proposals should demonstrate effectiveness in dimensions such as scalability, interactivity, or scientific, technological, or societal impact.
    • III-funded projects should address contemporary applications of societal importance through advances in information integration and informatics. Projects may deal with one or more facets of the full knowledge life-cycle, including creation, acquisition, selection, storage, display, and preservation, use, and re-use of data, information, and knowledge for decision-making and action. Ultimately, the deep scientific insights and advanced technologies resulting from III-funded projects will transform the functions and uses of data, information, and knowledge in society.
    • More information on topics of interest to the III program is available at:
  • More C&C
    • …certain aspects of a situation that bear no relationship to one another, such as the dimensions of a room and the decisions taken in it, that is, aspects deemed to be ancillary and which apparently should not be significant, may in reality be determining factors. In other words, what one considers to be a factor of the world external to social relationships has indeed an action within them. [p 130]
      • Design matters in all kinds of ways, and can affect the outcome and quality of the result. Consider polling – focus group, personal home interview, phone, online. What kind of bias do these modalities introduce? There was more detail on p 131 as well
    • In the case where different opinions can be freely expressed, discussion allows each individual better to defend his own viewpoint and to become more involved in the activity of the group. Thus we expected that the consensus would stress the dominant tendency among its members – in short, be polarized. On the other hand, when the participants placed a distance between one another and paid attention to the manner in which they arrived at a decision, their attention was concentrated upon positional differences. The discussion of the latter could not involve them greatly. Moreover, they had no means of justifying or forcibly making their position prevail, and thus were thrown back on resolving their differences by a compromise. This is indeed what we observed. Consequently attention to rules of procedure, which direct discussion towards information regarding the responses, leads towards a decision of ‘the just mean’. Discussion directed towards content produces the opposite effect. [ p 136]
      • This makes me a little nervous about using Pro Publica congressional data, since the law is very process oriented. Still, the body does seem to be polarizing, and potentially in different ways. Republicans are moving to the right and also disrupting process. Democrats appear to be moving less and have been more focused on ‘standard procedure’. Something to consider is if this is a function of being the opposition party of the party in power. The incentive when in power is to do things, which may require more compromise, as opposed to being the opposition party, which is almost by definition, uncompromising.
    • Imposing time limits on discussions also leads to compromise, while having open-ended discussions tend to polarize. The time constraint acts as a limiter of possible options? [p 136-137]
    • …groups that had to deal with information according to a set method, following directions, took compromise decisions. By contrast, with groups who could deal with the information without being subject to any constraints, the decisions were more extreme than the individual decisions. In principle we have here a confirmation of what we had always supposed to be the case: a normalized form of participation, which involves individuals less, leads to a moderate decision[p 138]

8:30 – 4:30 BRI

  • Finished stories
  • Built and uploaded MDS, NLP, Geocoder and GeoIngest
  • Had a variety of problems getting GeoIngest tests to behave. I need to come up to speed on Spring, I think. At least if this is going to be a regular thing.

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