Tag Archives: Science Daily

Nationwide Children’s Hospital study: Suicide attempts by self-poisoning have more than doubled in teens, young adults

5 May

People of all ages may have feelings of profound sadness, loss, and depression. There is no one on earth, despite what the ads attempt to portray, who lives a perfect life. Every life has flaws and blemishes; it is just that some cope better than others. For every person who lives to a ripe old age, during the course of that life they may encounter all types of loss from loss of a loved one through death, divorce or desertion, loss of job, financial reverses, illness, dealing with A-holes and twits, plagues, pestilence, and whatever curse can be thrown at a person. The key is that they lived THROUGH whatever challenges they faced AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME. Woody Allen said something like “90% of life is simply showing up.” Let moi add a corollary, one of the prime elements of a happy life is to realize that whatever moment you are now in, it will not last forever and that includes moments of great challenge. A person does not have to be religious to appreciate the story of Job. The end of the story is that Job is restored. He had to endure much before the final victory, though.

Science Daily reported in Suicide attempt a stronger predictor of completed suicide than previously thought:

While a prior history of suicide attempt is one of the strongest predictors of completed suicide, a Mayo Clinic study finds it is more lethal than previously known.
Researchers find that suicide risk was nearly 60 percent higher than previously reported when based on a population-based cohort focusing on individuals making first lifetime attempts and including those whose first attempts were fatal. This risk was dramatically higher for attempts using firearms. The population sample was identified through the Rochester Epidemiology Project.
“We hoped to address the shortcomings of earlier studies by including two groups previously overlooked by other studies,” says J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., a psychiatrist on Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus and the lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. “Our study enrolled individuals whose first-ever suicide attempt presented to medical attention. Not only did we include those who survived this initial attempt, but we also included those who died on their first attempt and ended up on the coroner’s slab rather than in the emergency room. These are large groups that have been routinely ignored in calculation of risk.” Since suicide is one of the 10 most common causes of death in the U.S., it is a major public health concern. The study found that nearly 60 percent of people who attempted suicide died on their first attempt…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160912161259.h

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Reputation takes a long time to burnish and nurture. It can be destroyed by a smear or an ill-thought-out act in a nanosecond.

“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”
Socrates
“Your reputation is in the hands of others. That’s what the reputation is. You can’t control that. The only thing you can control is your character.”
Wayne W. Dyer
In an attempt to control online reputation, many schools are now helping their students clean their online presentation. Why? Because people like to gossip and most of us have been young and stupid or old and ill-advised.
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
Eleanor Roosevelt
“Isn’t it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?”
Sean Covey, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens

A study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital indicated that the sadness of many young people is often expressed in self-poisoning attempts.

Science Daily reported in Suicide attempts by self-poisoning have more than doubled in teens, young adults:

A new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Center found rates of suicide attempts by self-poisoning among adolescents have more than doubled in the last decade in the U.S., and more than tripled for girls and young women.

The study, published online today in the Journal of Pediatrics, evaluated the incidence and outcomes from intentional suspected-suicide self-poisoning in children and young adults ages 10 to 24 years old from 2000-18. In the 19-year time period of the study, there were more than 1.6 million intentional suspected-suicide self-poisoning cases in youth and young adults reported to U.S. poison centers. More than 71% (1.1 million) of those were female.
“The severity of outcomes in adolescents has also increased, especially in 10- to 15-year-olds,” said Henry Spiller, MS, D.ABAT, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and co-author of the study. “In youth overall, from 2010-2018 there was a 141% increase in attempts by self-poisoning reported to U.S. poison centers, which is concerning.”
Previous research has shown that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24 years, and that while males die by suicide more frequently than females, females attempt suicide more than males. Self-poisoning is the most common way that someone attempts suicide and third most common method of suicide in adolescents, with higher rates in females.
“Suicide in children under 12 years of age is still rare, but suicidal thoughts and attempts in this younger age group do occur, as these data show,” said John Ackerman, PhD, clinical psychologist and suicide prevention coordinator for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and co-author of the study. “While certainly unsettling, it’s important that parents and individuals who care for youth don’t panic at these findings, but rather equip themselves with the tools to start important conversations and engage in prevention strategies, such as safe storage of medications and reducing access to lethal means. There are many resources and crisis supports available around the clock to aid in the prevention of suicide, and suicide prevention needs to start early.”
According to the Big Lots Behavioral Health experts at Nationwide Children’s, parents should check in regularly with their children, ask them directly how they are doing and if they have ever had thoughts about ending their life. These direct questions are even more critical if warning signs of suicide are observed…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190502075817.htm

Citation:

Suicide attempts by self-poisoning have more than doubled in teens, young adults
Date: May 2, 2019
Source: Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Summary:
A new study found rates of suicide attempts by self-poisoning among adolescents have more than doubled in the last decade in the United States, and more than tripled for girls and young women.
Journal Reference:
Henry A. Spiller, John P. Ackerman, Natalie E. Spiller, Marcel J. Casavant. Sex- and Age-specific Increases in Suicide Attempts by Self-Poisoning in the United States among Youth and Young Adults from 2000 to 2018. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2019.02.045

Here is the press release from Nationwide Children’s Hospital:

Suicide Attempts by Self-Poisoning Have More Than Doubled in Teens, Young Adults
May 1, 2019
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – A new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Center found rates of suicide attempts by self-poisoning among adolescents have more than doubled in the last decade in the U.S., and more than tripled for girls and young women.
The study, published online today in The Journal of Pediatrics, evaluated the incidence and outcomes from intentional suspected-suicide self-poisoning in children and young adults ages 10 to 24 years old from 2000-18. In the 19-year time period of the study, there were more than 1.6 million intentional suspected-suicide self-poisoning cases in youth and young adults reported to U.S. poison centers. More than 71% (1.1 million) of those were female.
“The severity of outcomes in adolescents has also increased, especially in 10- to 15-year-olds,” said Henry Spiller, MS, D.ABAT, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and co-author of the study. “In youth overall, from 2010-2018 there was a 141% increase in attempts by self-poisoning reported to U.S. poison centers, which is concerning.”
Previous research has shown that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24 years, and that while males die by suicide more frequently than females, females attempt suicide more than males. Self-poisoning is the most common way that someone attempts suicide and third most common method of suicide in adolescents, with higher rates in females.
“Suicide in children under 12 years of age is still rare, but suicidal thoughts and attempts in this younger age group do occur, as these data show,” said John Ackerman, PhD, clinical psychologist and suicide prevention coordinator for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and co-author of the study. “While certainly unsettling, it’s important that parents and individuals who care for youth don’t panic at these findings, but rather equip themselves with the tools to start important conversations and engage in prevention strategies, such as safe storage of medications and reducing access to lethal means. There are many resources and crisis supports available around the clock to aid in the prevention of suicide, and suicide prevention needs to start early.”
According to the Big Lots Behavioral Health experts at Nationwide Children’s, parents should check in regularly with their children, ask them directly how they are doing and if they have ever had thoughts about ending their life. These direct questions are even more critical if warning signs of suicide are observed.
“There is no need to wait until there is a major crisis to talk about a plan to manage emotional distress. Actually, a good time to talk directly about suicide or mental health is when things are going well,” said Ackerman, whose suicide prevention team provides comprehensive programming to more than 120 central and southeast Ohio schools and delivers suicide prevention training to community organizations that serve youth. “A helpful starting point for any parent to increase the dialogue is OnOurSleeves.org, which has resources about beginning this important conversation as a family. The American Association of Suicidology and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also have many resources.”
Data for this study were collected by the National Poison Data System (NPDS) from January 2000 to November 2018.
If you or your child need immediate help due to having suicidal thoughts, go to your local emergency room immediately, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or you can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. If you believe an overdose has occurred, call the national Poison Help hotline 1-800-222-1222.
About On Our Sleeves
Because kids don’t wear their thoughts on their sleeves, we don’t know what they might be going through. That’s why Nationwide Children’s Hospital launched On Our Sleeves to build a community of support for children living with mental illness through advocacy, education and fundraising for much-needed research. For more information about children’s mental health and to help break the silence and stigma around mental illness, visit OnOurSleeves.org.
About The Central Ohio Poison Center
The Central Ohio Poison Center provides state-of-the-art poison prevention, assessment and treatment to residents in 64 of Ohio’s 88 counties. The center services are available to the public, medical professionals, industry, and human service agencies. The Poison Center handles more than 42,000 poison exposure calls annually, and confidential, free emergency poisoning treatment advice is available 24/7. To learn more about the Poison Center, visit http://www.bepoisonsmart.org.

If you are thinking of suicide or you know someone who is thinking about suicide, GET HELP, NOW!!!! The Suicide Prevention Resource Center http://www.sprc.org/basics/roles-suicide-prevention has some excellent advice about suicide prevention http://www.sprc.org/basics/roles-suicide-prevention

Resources:

Suicide Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/youth_suicide.html

Teen Suicide Overview
http://www.teensuicidestatistics.com/

Teen’s Health’s Suicide
http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/feeling_sad/suicide.html

American Academy of Adolescent Psychiatry http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Teen_Suicide_10.aspx

Suicide Prevention Resource Center
http://www.sprc.org/basics/roles-suicide-prevention

Teen Depression
http://helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen.htm

Jared Story.Com
http://www.jaredstory.com/teen_epidemic.html

CNN Report about suicide http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/10/20/lia.latina.suicides/index.html

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
http://www.afsp.org This group is dedicated to advancing the knowledge of suicide and the ability to prevent it.

A\VE – Suicide Awareness\Voices of Education
http://www.save.org SA\VE offers information on suicide prevention. Call (800) SUICIDE

About.Com’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

Psych Central’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

Psychiatric News’ Study Helps Pinpoint Children With Depression
http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=106034

Family Doctor’s What Is Depression?
http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/depression.html

WebMD’s Depression In Children
http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-children

Healthline’s Is Your Child Depressed?
http://www.healthline.com/hlvideo-5min/how-to-help-your-child-through-depression-517095449

Medicine.Net’s Depression In Children http://www.onhealth.com/depression_in_children/article.htm

On Our Sleeves                                                        https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/giving/on-our-sleeves/for-professionals

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

NYU Langone Health / NYU School of Medicine study: Artificial intelligence can diagnose PTSD by analyzing voices

23 Apr

Live Science described AI in What Is Artificial Intelligence?:

One of the standard textbooks in the field, by University of California computer scientists Stuart Russell and Google’s director of research, Peter Norvig, puts artificial intelligence in to four broad categories:
The differences between them can be subtle, notes Ernest Davis, a professor of computer science at New York University. AlphaGo, the computer program that beat a world champion at Go, acts rationally when it plays the game (it plays to win). But it doesn’t necessarily think the way a human being does, though it engages in some of the same pattern-recognition tasks. Similarly, a machine that acts like a human doesn’t necessarily bear much resemblance to people in the way it processes information.
• machines that think like humans,
• machines that act like humans,
• machines that think rationally,
• machines that act rationally.
Even IBM’s Watson, which acted somewhat like a human when playing Jeopardy, wasn’t using anything like the rational processes humans use.
Tough tasks
Davis says he uses another definition, centered on what one wants a computer to do. “There are a number of cognitive tasks that people do easily — often, indeed, with no conscious thought at all — but that are extremely hard to program on computers. Archetypal examples are vision and natural language understanding. Artificial intelligence, as I define it, is the study of getting computers to carry out these tasks,” he said….
Computer vision has made a lot of strides in the past decade — cameras can now recognize faces Other tasks, though, are proving tougher. For example, Davis and NYU psychology professor Gary Marcus wrote in the Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery of “common sense” tasks that computers find very difficult. A robot serving drinks, for example, can be programmed to recognize a request for one, and even to manipulate a glass and pour one. But if a fly lands in the glass the computer still has a tough time deciding whether to pour the drink in and serve it (or not).
Common sense
The issue is that much of “common sense” is very hard to model. Computer scientists have taken several approaches to get around that problem. IBM’s Watson, for instance, was able to do so well on Jeopardy! because it had a huge database of knowledge to work with and a few rules to string words together to make questions and answers. Watson, though, would have a difficult time with a simple open-ended conversation.
Beyond tasks, though, is the issue of learning. Machines can learn, said Kathleen McKeown, a professor of computer science at Columbia University. “Machine learning is a kind of AI,” she said.
Some machine learning works in a way similar to the way people do it, she noted. Google Translate, for example, uses a large corpus of text in a given language to translate to another language, a statistical process that doesn’t involve looking for the “meaning” of words. Humans, she said, do something similar, in that we learn languages by seeing lots of examples.
That said, Google Translate doesn’t always get it right, precisely because it doesn’t seek meaning and can sometimes be fooled by synonyms or differing connotations….
The upshot is AIs that can handle certain tasks well exist, as do AIs that look almost human because they have a large trove of data to work with. Computer scientists have been less successful coming up with an AI that can think the way we expect a human being to, or to act like a human in more than very limited situations…. https://www.livescience.com/55089-artificial-intelligence.html

NYU scientists used AI to diagnose PTSD which is short for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The National Institute of Mental Health defined PTSD:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Overview
PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.
Signs and Symptoms
Not every traumatized person develops ongoing (chronic) or even short-term (acute) PTSD. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some experiences, like the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, can also cause PTSD. Symptoms usually begin early, within 3 months of the traumatic incident, but sometimes they begin years afterward. Symptoms must last more than a month and be severe enough to interfere with relationships or work to be considered PTSD. The course of the illness varies. Some people recover within 6 months, while others have symptoms that last much longer. In some people, the condition becomes chronic.
A doctor who has experience helping people with mental illnesses, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can diagnose PTSD.
To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have all of the following for at least 1 month:
• At least one re-experiencing symptom
• At least one avoidance symptom
• At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
• At least two cognition and mood symptoms
Re-experiencing symptoms include:
• Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
• Bad dreams
• Frightening thoughts
Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. The symptoms can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing symptoms.
Avoidance symptoms include:
• Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience
• Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.
Arousal and reactivity symptoms include:
• Being easily startled
• Feeling tense or “on edge”
• Having difficulty sleeping
• Having angry outbursts
Arousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic events. These symptoms can make the person feel stressed and angry. They may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
Cognition and mood symptoms include:
• Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
• Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
• Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
• Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
Cognition and mood symptoms can begin or worsen after the traumatic event, but are not due to injury or substance use. These symptoms can make the person feel alienated or detached from friends or family members.
It is natural to have some of these symptoms after a dangerous event. Sometimes people have very serious symptoms that go away after a few weeks. This is called acute stress disorder, or ASD. When the symptoms last more than a month, seriously affect one’s ability to function, and are not due to substance use, medical illness, or anything except the event itself, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD don’t show any symptoms for weeks or months. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders….
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml

See, Recognizing PTSD Early Warning Signs, Matthew Tull, PhD https://www.verywellmind.com/recognizing-ptsd-early-warning-signs-2797569

Science Daily reported in Artificial intelligence can diagnose PTSD by analyzing voices:

A specially designed computer program can help diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans by analyzing their voices, a new study finds.
Published online April 22 in the journal Depression and Anxiety, the study found that an artificial intelligence tool can distinguish — with 89 percent accuracy — between the voices of those with or without PTSD.
“Our findings suggest that speech-based characteristics can be used to diagnose this disease, and with further refinement and validation, may be employed in the clinic in the near future,” says senior study author Charles R. Marmar, MD, the Lucius N. Littauer Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.
More than 70 percent of adults worldwide experience a traumatic event at some point in their lives, with up to 12 percent of people in some struggling countries suffering from PTSD. Those with the condition experience strong, persistent distress when reminded of a triggering event.
The study authors say that a PTSD diagnosis is most often determined by clinical interview or a self-report assessment, both inherently prone to biases. This has led to efforts to develop objective, measurable, physical markers of PTSD progression, much like laboratory values for medical conditions, but progress has been slow.
Learning How to Learn
In the current study, the research team used a statistical/machine learning technique, called random forests, that has the ability to “learn” how to classify individuals based on examples. Such AI programs build “decision” rules and mathematical models that enable decision-making with increasing accuracy as the amount of training data grows.
The researchers first recorded standard, hours-long diagnostic interviews, called Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, or CAPS, of 53 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with military-service-related PTSD, as well as those of 78 veterans without the disease. The recordings were then fed into voice software from SRI International — the institute that also invented Siri — to yield a total of 40,526 speech-based features captured in short spurts of talk, which the team’s AI program sifted through for patterns.
The random forest program linked patterns of specific voice features with PTSD, including less clear speech and a lifeless, metallic tone, both of which had long been reported anecdotally as helpful in diagnosis. While the current study did not explore the disease mechanisms behind PTSD, the theory is that traumatic events change brain circuits that process emotion and muscle tone, which affects a person’s voice.
Moving forward, the research team plans to train the AI voice tool with more data, further validate it on an independent sample, and apply for government approval to use the tool clinically.
“Speech is an attractive candidate for use in an automated diagnostic system, perhaps as part of a future PTSD smartphone app, because it can be measured cheaply, remotely, and non-intrusively,” says lead author Adam Brown, PhD, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.
“The speech analysis technology used in the current study on PTSD detection falls into the range of capabilities included in our speech analytics platform called SenSay Analytics™,” says Dimitra Vergyri, director of SRI International’s Speech Technology and Research (STAR) Laboratory. “The software analyzes words — in combination with frequency, rhythm, tone, and articulatory characteristics of speech — to infer the state of the speaker, including emotion, sentiment, cognition, health, mental health and communication quality. The technology has been involved in a series of industry applications visible in startups like Oto, Ambit and Decoded Health.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190422082232.htm

Citation:

Artificial intelligence can diagnose PTSD by analyzing voices
Study tests potential telemedicine approach
Date: April 22, 2019
Source: NYU Langone Health / NYU School of Medicine
Summary:
A specially designed computer program can help to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans by analyzing their voices.

Speech‐based markers for posttraumatic stress disorder in US veterans
First published: 22 April 2019
https://doi.org/10.1002/da.22890
Preliminary findings from this study were presented at the 16th annual conference of the International Speech Communication Association, Dresden, Germany, September 6–10, 2015.
Charles R. Marmar
Corresponding Author
E-mail address: Charles.Marmar@nyulangone.org
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8427-5607
Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center for the Study of Post‐Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury, New York, New York
Marmar and Brown should be have considered joint first authors.
Correspondence Charles R. Marmar, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, 1 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016. Email: Charles.Marmar@nyulangone.org
Background
The diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is usually based on clinical interviews or self‐report measures. Both approaches are subject to under‐ and over‐reporting of symptoms. An objective test is lacking. We have developed a classifier of PTSD based on objective speech‐marker features that discriminate PTSD cases from controls.
Methods
Speech samples were obtained from warzone‐exposed veterans, 52 cases with PTSD and 77 controls, assessed with the Clinician‐Administered PTSD Scale. Individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) were excluded. Audio recordings of clinical interviews were used to obtain 40,526 speech features which were input to a random forest (RF) algorithm.
Results
The selected RF used 18 speech features and the receiver operating characteristic curve had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.954. At a probability of PTSD cut point of 0.423, Youden’s index was 0.787, and overall correct classification rate was 89.1%. The probability of PTSD was higher for markers that indicated slower, more monotonous speech, less change in tonality, and less activation. Depression symptoms, alcohol use disorder, and TBI did not meet statistical tests to be considered confounders.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that a speech‐based algorithm can objectively differentiate PTSD cases from controls. The RF classifier had a high AUC. Further validation in an independent sample and appraisal of the classifier to identify those with MDD only compared with those with PTSD comorbid with MDD is required.

Here is the press release from NYU:

NEWS RELEASE 22-APR-2019
Artificial intelligence can diagnose PTSD by analyzing voices
Study tests potential telemedicine approach
NYU LANGONE HEALTH / NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
VIDEO: NYU School of Medicine researchers say artificial intelligence could be used to diagnose PTSD by analyzing voices. view more
Credit: NYU School of Medicine
A specially designed computer program can help diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans by analyzing their voices, a new study finds.
Published online April 22 in the journal Depression and Anxiety, the study found that an artificial intelligence tool can distinguish – with 89 percent accuracy – between the voices of those with or without PTSD.
“Our findings suggest that speech-based characteristics can be used to diagnose this disease, and with further refinement and validation, may be employed in the clinic in the near future,” says senior study author Charles R. Marmar, MD, the Lucius N. Littauer Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.
More than 70 percent of adults worldwide experience a traumatic event at some point in their lives, with up to 12 percent of people in some struggling countries suffering from PTSD. Those with the condition experience strong, persistent distress when reminded of a triggering event.
The study authors say that a PTSD diagnosis is most often determined by clinical interview or a self-report assessment, both inherently prone to biases. This has led to efforts to develop objective, measurable, physical markers of PTSD progression, much like laboratory values for medical conditions, but progress has been slow.
Learning How to Learn
In the current study, the research team used a statistical/machine learning technique, called random forests, that has the ability to “learn” how to classify individuals based on examples. Such AI programs build “decision” rules and mathematical models that enable decision-making with increasing accuracy as the amount of training data grows.
The researchers first recorded standard, hours-long diagnostic interviews, called Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, or CAPS, of 53 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with military-service-related PTSD, as well as those of 78 veterans without the disease. The recordings were then fed into voice software from SRI International – the institute that also invented Siri – to yield a total of 40,526 speech-based features captured in short spurts of talk, which the team’s AI program sifted through for patterns.
The random forest program linked patterns of specific voice features with PTSD, including less clear speech and a lifeless, metallic tone, both of which had long been reported anecdotally as helpful in diagnosis. While the current study did not explore the disease mechanisms behind PTSD, the theory is that traumatic events change brain circuits that process emotion and muscle tone, which affects a person’s voice.
Moving forward, the research team plans to train the AI voice tool with more data, further validate it on an independent sample, and apply for government approval to use the tool clinically.
“Speech is an attractive candidate for use in an automated diagnostic system, perhaps as part of a future PTSD smartphone app, because it can be measured cheaply, remotely, and non-intrusively,” says lead author Adam Brown, PhD, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.
“The speech analysis technology used in the current study on PTSD detection falls into the range of capabilities included in our speech analytics platform called SenSay Analytics™,” says Dimitra Vergyri, director of SRI International’s Speech Technology and Research (STAR) Laboratory. “The software analyzes words – in combination with frequency, rhythm, tone, and articulatory characteristics of speech – to infer the state of the speaker, including emotion, sentiment, cognition, health, mental health and communication quality. The technology has been involved in a series of industry applications visible in startups like Oto, Ambit and Decoded Health.”
###
Along with Marmar and Brown, authors of the study from the Department of Psychiatry were Meng Qian, Eugene Laska, Carole Siegel, Meng Li, and Duna Abu-Amara. Study authors from SRI International were Andreas Tsiartas, Dimitra Vergyri, Colleen Richey, Jennifer Smith, and Bruce Knoth. Brown is also an associate professor of psychology at the New School for Social Research.
The study was supported by the U.S. Army Medical Research & Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) and Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) grant W81XWH- ll-C-0004, as well as by the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation.
Media Inquiries:
Jim Mandler
(212) 404-3500
jim.mandler@nyulangone.org
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Resources:

Artificial Intelligence Will Redesign Healthcare                     https://medicalfuturist.com/artificial-intelligence-will-redesign-healthcare

9 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Affecting the Medical Field https://www.healthcentral.com/slideshow/8-ways-artificial-intelligence-is-affecting-the-medical-field#slide=2

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Northwestern University study: Poverty leaves a mark on our genes

7 Apr

For a really good discussion of the effects of poverty on children, read the American Psychological Association (APA), Effects of Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness on Children and Youth:

What are the effects of child poverty?
• Psychological research has demonstrated that living in poverty has a wide range of negative effects on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our nation’s children.
• Poverty impacts children within their various contexts at home, in school, and in their neighborhoods and communities.
• Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and underresourced schools which adversely impact our nation’s children.
• Poorer children and teens are also at greater risk for several negative outcomes such as poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socioemotional problems, physical health problems, and developmental delays.
• These effects are compounded by the barriers children and their families encounter when trying to access physical and mental health care.
• Economists estimate that child poverty costs the U.S. $500 billion a year in lost productivity in the work force and spending on health care and the criminal justice system.
Poverty and academic achievement
• Poverty has a particularly adverse effect on the academic outcomes of children, especially during early childhood.
• Chronic stress associated with living in poverty has been shown to adversely affect children’s concentration and memory which may impact their ability to learn.
• School drop out rates are significantly higher for teens residing in poorer communities. In 2007, the dropout rate of students living in low-income families was about 10 times greater than the rate of their peers from high-income families (8.8% vs. 0.9%).
• The academic achievement gap for poorer youth is particularly pronounced for low-income African American and Hispanic children compared with their more affluent White peers.
• Underresourced schools in poorer communities struggle to meet the learning needs of their students and aid them in fulfilling their potential.
• Inadequate education contributes to the cycle of poverty by making it more difficult for low-income children to lift themselves and future generations out of poverty. http://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx

See, While Black folk are immobilized and stuck on Ferguson, Asian ‘star’ tutors advance Asian achievement https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/tag/poverty-and-education/

Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. See Dr. Wilda on poverty https://drwilda.com/tag/poverty/ and https://drwilda.com/tag/poverty/page/2/

Science Daily reported in Poverty leaves a mark on our genes:

A new Northwestern University study challenges prevailing understandings of genes as immutable features of biology that are fixed at conception.
Previous research has shown that socioeconomic status (SES) is a powerful determinant of human health and disease, and social inequality is a ubiquitous stressor for human populations globally. Lower educational attainment and/or income predict increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, many cancers and infectious diseases, for example. Furthermore, lower SES is associated with physiological processes that contribute to the development of disease, including chronic inflammation, insulin resistance and cortisol dysregulation.
In this study, researchers found evidence that poverty can become embedded across wide swaths of the genome. They discovered that lower socioeconomic status is associated with levels of DNA methylation (DNAm) — a key epigenetic mark that has the potential to shape gene expression — at more than 2,500 sites, across more than 1,500 genes.
In other words, poverty leaves a mark on nearly 10 percent of the genes in the genome.
Lead author Thomas McDade said this is significant for two reasons.
“First, we have known for a long time that SES is a powerful determinant of health, but the underlying mechanisms through which our bodies ‘remember’ the experiences of poverty are not known,” said McDade, professor of anthropology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and director of the Laboratory for Human Biology Research.
“Our findings suggest that DNA methylation may play an important role, and the wide scope of the associations between SES and DNAm is consistent with the wide range of biological systems and health outcomes we know to be shaped by SES.”
Secondly, said McDade, also a faculty fellow at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research, experiences over the course of development become embodied in the genome, to literally shape its structure and function.
“There is no nature vs. nurture,” he adds.
McDade said he was surprised to find so many associations between socioeconomic status and DNA methylation, across such a large number of genes.
“This pattern highlights a potential mechanism through which poverty can have a lasting impact on a wide range of physiological systems and processes,” he said.
Follow-up studies will be needed to determine the health consequences of differential methylation at the sites the researchers identified, but many of the genes are associated with processes related to immune responses to infection, skeletal development and development of the nervous system…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190404135433.htm

Citation:

Poverty leaves a mark on our genes
Study’s findings challenge understandings of genes as fixed features of our biology
Date: April 4, 2019
Source: Northwestern University
Summary:
In this study, researchers found evidence that poverty can become embedded across wide swaths of the genome. They discovered that lower socioeconomic status is associated with levels of DNA methylation (DNAm) — a key epigenetic mark that has the potential to shape gene expression — at more than 2,500 sites, across more than 1,500 genes.
Journal Reference:
Thomas W. McDade, Calen P. Ryan, Meaghan J. Jones, Morgan K. Hoke, Judith Borja, Gregory E. Miller, Christopher W. Kuzawa, Michael S. Kobor. Genome‐wide analysis of DNA methylation in relation to socioeconomic status during development and early adulthood. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2019; 169 (1): 3 DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23800

Here is the press release from Northwestern University:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 4-APR-2019
Poverty leaves a mark on our genes
Study’s findings challenge understandings of genes as fixed features of our biology
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
SHARE
PRINT E-MAIL
EVANSTON, Ill. — A new Northwestern University study challenges prevailing understandings of genes as immutable features of biology that are fixed at conception.
Previous research has shown that socioeconomic status (SES) is a powerful determinant of human health and disease, and social inequality is a ubiquitous stressor for human populations globally. Lower educational attainment and/or income predict increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, many cancers and infectious diseases, for example. Furthermore, lower SES is associated with physiological processes that contribute to the development of disease, including chronic inflammation, insulin resistance and cortisol dysregulation.
In this study, researchers found evidence that poverty can become embedded across wide swaths of the genome. They discovered that lower socioeconomic status is associated with levels of DNA methylation (DNAm) — a key epigenetic mark that has the potential to shape gene expression — at more than 2,500 sites, across more than 1,500 genes.
In other words, poverty leaves a mark on nearly 10 percent of the genes in the genome.
Lead author Thomas McDade said this is significant for two reasons.
“First, we have known for a long time that SES is a powerful determinant of health, but the underlying mechanisms through which our bodies ‘remember’ the experiences of poverty are not known,” said McDade, professor of anthropology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and director of the Laboratory for Human Biology Research.
“Our findings suggest that DNA methylation may play an important role, and the wide scope of the associations between SES and DNAm is consistent with the wide range of biological systems and health outcomes we know to be shaped by SES.”
Secondly, said McDade, also a faculty fellow at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research, experiences over the course of development become embodied in the genome, to literally shape its structure and function.
“There is no nature vs. nurture,” he adds.
McDade said he was surprised to find so many associations between socioeconomic status and DNA methylation, across such a large number of genes.
“This pattern highlights a potential mechanism through which poverty can have a lasting impact on a wide range of physiological systems and processes,” he said.
Follow-up studies will be needed to determine the health consequences of differential methylation at the sites the researchers identified, but many of the genes are associated with processes related to immune responses to infection, skeletal development and development of the nervous system.
“These are the areas we’ll be focusing on to determine if DNA methylation is indeed an important mechanism through which socioeconomic status can leave a lasting molecular imprint on the body, with implications for health later in life,” McDade said.
###
“Genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation in relation to socioeconomic status during development and early adulthood” published recently in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
In addition to McDade, co-authors include Calen P. Ryan, Northwestern; Meaghan J. Jones, University of British Columbia; Morgan K. Hoke, University of Pennsylvania; Judith Borja, University of San Carlos; Gregory E. Miller and Christopher W. Kuzawa of Northwestern; and Michael S. Kobor, University of British Columbia.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

One person does not speaks for a group, but members of a group can often provide useful insight about the group.

Here is Arthur Hu’s take on INTRODUCTION TO BASIC ASIAN VALUES:

One of the most central features of a culture are its values. Values are the standards by which one may judge the difference between good and bad, and the right and wrong things to do. Though some values are universally shared among all cultures, it is the contrast and differences in values of different cultures that can account for the interactions and perceptions that occur between different cultures.
Traditional values are a common thread among individuals in a culture. Stereotyping comes about because of common behavior patterns that are based on common values, and distortion and misperception can come about as a result of misunderstandings of those values. Stereotyping can also be dangerous because people are individuals with their own values which may vary a great deal from the traditional ideal. Values can vary quite a bit depending upon one’s generation, class, education, origin, among other factors. For example, there is considerable difference in what might be called “traditional” and “modern” American values.
Although each distinct Asian culture actually has its own set of values, they all share a common core, which is probably best documented in the Japanese and Chinese traditions, and by philosophers such as Confucius, whose writings had considerable influence throughout Asia. In the Asian American experience, these values interact with what might be called simply “western” or “Caucasian” values, but if one contrasts the values of America with those of Europe, it can be seen that these are really “Modern American” values that provide the best contrasts.
Asian values are very much inter-related. They all support the view of the individual as being a part of a much larger group or family, and place great importance on the well-being of the group, even at the expense of the individual. American values, on the other hand emphasize the importance of the well-being of the individual, and stresses independence and individual initiative. Although it may seem that values such as education, family, and hard work are shared between cultures, these values manifest themselves quite differently in the two cultures…..’’
http://www.asianweek.com/2012/04/28/introduction-to-basic-asian-values/

See, While Black folk are immobilized and stuck on Ferguson, Asian ‘star’ tutors advance Asian achievement https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/tag/poverty-and-education/

Moi wrote in 3rd world America: The link between poverty and education:

The Huffington Post article, Poor Students With Poorly Educated Parents More Disadvantaged In U.S. Than Other Countries about the effect of income inequality:
Intuitively, a child’s academic performance is likely higher if he or she has highly educated parents, and lower if the child has less educated parents. A new report confirms that’s true, but reveals that American children of poorly educated parents do a lot worse than their counterparts in other countries.
Income mobility just within the U.S. has significantly declined since the mid-90s, according to a report this month by the Boston Federal Reserve. In recent years, families were more likely to stay within their income class than before — the rich are staying rich, and the poor and middle-class are struggling to move up the economic ladder.
But the Pew Economic Mobility Project takes it a step further by asking the question, “Does America promote mobility as well as other nations?” Researchers in 10 countries took to analyzing socioeconomic advantage as a function of parental education.
Researchers found that a child’s economic and educational status is more affected by parental education than in any other country studied.
Using a basic metric, researchers studied performance gaps on vocabulary tests among five-year-olds with highly educated parents, moderately educated parents and poorly educated parents. Among the English-speaking countries studied, the American gap between children with highly educated parents and poorly educated parents was the widest, while the Canadian gap proved to be the most narrow. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/18/poor-students-with-poorly_n_1101728.html?ref=email_share

The is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education, there is what works to produce academic achievement in each population of students.

What moi observes from Asian culture is that success does not occur in a vacuum and that students from all walks of life can benefit from the individual intervention to prevent failure. The question must be asked, who is responsible for MY or YOUR life choices? Let’s get real, certain Asian cultures kick the collective butts of the rest of Americans. Why? It’s not rocket science. These cultures embrace success traits of hard work, respect for education, strong families, and a reverence for success and successful people. Contrast the culture of success with the norms of hip-hop and rap oppositional culture.

See, Hip-hop’s Dangerous Values
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1107107/posts and Hip-Hop and rap represent destructive life choices: How low can this genre sink? https://drwilda.com/2013/05/01/hip-hop-and-rap-represent-destructive-life-choices-how-low-can-this-genre-sink/

Resources:

Culture of Success                                          http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/culture-success

How Do Asian Students Get to the Top of the Class?
http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/teaching-values/481-parenting-students-to-the-top.gs

Related:

Is there a model minority?
https://drwilda.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Rice University study: Digital device overload linked to obesity risk

3 Apr

Lisa Simonson wrote in the Livestrong article, What Are Good & Bad Healthy Lifestyle Choices?

Everyone makes both good and bad lifestyle choices. You may make the choices you do because of learned habits, stress, exhaustion and even timeliness. To live a healthy lifestyle you need to have a nutrient-rich diet, moderate exercise each week, get enough rest and avoid products that can lead to unhealthy habits…. https://www.livestrong.com/article/381713-what-are-good-bad-healthy-lifestyle-choices/

See, Why Digital Overload Is Now Central to the Human Condition https://singularityhub.com/2016/01/15/why-grappling-with-digital-overload-is-now-part-of-the-human-condition/#sm.0001du9uyrj9zefstyx14vmmdlhp8

Science Daily reported in Digital device overload linked to obesity risk:

If your attention gets diverted in different directions by smartphones and other digital devices, take note: Media multitasking has now been linked to obesity.
New research from Rice University indicates that mindless switching between digital devices is associated with increased susceptibility to food temptations and lack of self-control, which may result in weight gain.
“Increased exposure to phones, tablets and other portable devices has been one of the most significant changes to our environments in the past few decades, and this occurred during a period in which obesity rates also climbed in many places,” said Richard Lopez, a postdoctoral research fellow at Rice and the study’s lead author. “So, we wanted to conduct this research to determine whether links exists between obesity and abuse of digital devices — as captured by people’s tendency to engage in media multitasking.”
An upcoming print edition of Brain Imaging and Behavior will report on the study, entitled “Media multitasking is associated with higher risk for obesity and increased responsiveness to rewarding food stimuli.”
The research was conducted in two parts. In the first study, 132 participants between the ages of 18 and 23 completed a questionnaire assessing their levels of media multitasking and distractibility. This was done using a newly developed, 18-item Media Multitasking-Revised (MMT-R) scale. The MMT-R scale measures proactive behaviors of compulsive or inappropriate phone use (like feeling the urge to check your phone for messages while you’re talking to someone else) as well as more passive behaviors (like media-related distractions that interfere with your work).
The researchers found that higher MMT-R scores were associated with higher body mass index (BMI) and greater percentage of body fat, suggesting a possible link.
In follow-up research, 72 participants from the prior study underwent an fMRI scan, during which the researchers measured brain activity while people were shown a series of images. Mixed in with a variety of unrelated photos were pictures of appetizing but fattening foods.
When media multitaskers saw pictures of food, researchers observed increased activity in the part of the brain dealing with food temptation. These same study participants, who also had higher BMIs and more body fat, were also more likely to spend time around campus cafeterias.
Overall, Lopez said these findings, although preliminary, suggest there are indeed links between media multitasking, risk for obesity, brain-based measures for self-control and exposure to real-world food cues…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190402164520.htm

Citation:

Digital device overload linked to obesity risk
Date: April 2, 2019
Source: Rice University
Summary:
If your attention gets diverted in different directions by smartphones and other digital devices, take note: Media multitasking has now been linked to obesity.
Journal Reference:
Richard B. Lopez, Todd F. Heatherton, Dylan D. Wagner. Media multitasking is associated with higher risk for obesity and increased responsiveness to rewarding food stimuli. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 2019; DOI: 10.1007/s11682-019-00056-0

Here is the press release from Rice University:

Digital device overload linked to obesity risk
AMY MCCAIG
– APRIL 1, 2019POSTED IN: FEATURED STORIES
If your attention gets diverted in different directions by smartphones and other digital devices, take note: Media multitasking has now been linked to obesity.
Long Description
New research from Rice University indicates that mindless switching between digital devices is associated with increased susceptibility to food temptations and lack of self-control, which may result in weight gain.
“Increased exposure to phones, tablets and other portable devices has been one of the most significant changes to our environments in the past few decades, and this occurred during a period in which obesity rates also climbed in many places,” said Richard Lopez, a postdoctoral research fellow at Rice and the study’s lead author. “So, we wanted to conduct this research to determine whether links exists between obesity and abuse of digital devices — as captured by people’s tendency to engage in media multitasking.”
An upcoming print edition of Brain Imaging and Behavior will report on the study, entitled “Media multitasking is associated with higher risk for obesity and increased responsiveness to rewarding food stimuli.”
The research was conducted in two parts. In the first study, 132 participants between the ages of 18 and 23 completed a questionnaire assessing their levels of media multitasking and distractibility. This was done using a newly developed, 18-item Media Multitasking-Revised (MMT-R) scale. The MMT-R scale measures proactive behaviors of compulsive or inappropriate phone use (like feeling the urge to check your phone for messages while you’re talking to someone else) as well as more passive behaviors (like media-related distractions that interfere with your work).
The researchers found that higher MMT-R scores were associated with higher body mass index (BMI) and greater percentage of body fat, suggesting a possible link.
In follow-up research, 72 participants from the prior study underwent an fMRI scan, during which the researchers measured brain activity while people were shown a series of images. Mixed in with a variety of unrelated photos were pictures of appetizing but fattening foods.
When media multitaskers saw pictures of food, researchers observed increased activity in the part of the brain dealing with food temptation. These same study participants, who also had higher BMIs and more body fat, were also more likely to spend time around campus cafeterias.
Overall, Lopez said these findings, although preliminary, suggest there are indeed links between media multitasking, risk for obesity, brain-based measures for self-control and exposure to real-world food cues.
“Such links are important to establish, given rising obesity rates and the prevalence of multimedia use in much of the modern world,” he said of the findings.
Lopez and his fellow researchers hope the study will raise awareness of the issue and promote future work on the topic.
The study was co-authored by Todd Heatherton of Dartmouth College and Dylan Wagner of Ohio State University.
TAGS: Psychological Sciences, Social Sciences
About Amy McCaig
Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University’s Office of Public Affairs.

Well duh, it appears that lifestyle choice has a great deal to do with good food choices.

Patti Neighmond reported in the NPR story, It Takes More Than A Produce Aisle To Refresh A Food Desert:

In inner cities and poor rural areas across the country, public health advocates have been working hard to turn around food deserts — neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce, and greasy fast food abounds. In many cases, they’re converting dingy, cramped corner markets into lighter, brighter venues that offer fresh fruits and vegetables. In some cases, they’re building brand new stores.
“The presumption is, if you build a store, people are going to come,” says Stephen Matthews, professor in the departments of sociology, anthropology and demography at Penn State University. To check that notion, he and colleagues from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine recently surveyed residents of one low-income community in Philadelphia before and after the opening of a glistening new supermarket brimming with fresh produce.
What they’re finding, Matthews says, is a bit surprising: “We don’t find any difference at all. … We see no effect of the store on fruit and vegetable consumption.”
Now, to be fair, the time was short. The store was only open for six months before residents were surveyed. Matthews says most residents knew that the store was there and that it offered healthy food. But only 26 percent said it was their regular “go to” market. And, as might be expected, those who lived close to the store shopped there most regularly.
Matthews says the findings dovetail with other work, and simply point to the obvious: Lots more intervention is needed to change behavior. For one thing, we’re all used to routine, and many of us will just keep shopping where we’ve been shopping, even if a newer, more convenient and bountiful store moves in.
But more than that, he says, many people, particularly in low-income food deserts, just aren’t used to buying or preparing healthy meals — they haven’t had the opportunity, until now.
Alex Ortega, a public health researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, agrees that providing access to nutritious food is only the first step.
“The next part of the intervention is to create demand,” he says, “so the community wants to come to the store and buy healthy fruits and vegetables and go home and prepare those foods in a healthy way, without lots of fat, salt or sugar.”
Ortega directs a UCLA project that converts corner stores into hubs of healthy fare in low-income neighborhoods of East Los Angeles. He and colleagues work with community leaders and local high school students to help create that demand for nutritious food. Posters and signs promoting fresh fruits and vegetables hang in corner stores, such as the Euclid Market in Boyle Heights, and at bus stops. There are nutrition education classes in local schools, and cooking classes in the stores themselves….
The jury’s still out on whether these conversions of corner stores are actually changing people’s diets and health. The evidence is still being collected. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/10/273046077/takes-more-than-a-produce-aisle-to-refresh-a-food-desert

In other words, much of the obesity problem is due to personal life style choices and the question is whether government can or should regulate those choices.

Personal Responsibility:

There is only one person responsible for your life and the vocation you have chosen. That person is the one you see in the mirror in the morning when you wake up. Don’t blame God, your boss, your parents, your former teachers, your coach, your co-workers or your dog. You and only you are responsible for your work life and what you have achieved. The sooner you accept this notion, the sooner you will begin to make changes that lead to a happier and more productive life and career. http://www.corethemes.com/coreconcepts/

It’s all about ME unless I have to take responsibility for ME. The same brilliant minds who think the government can substitute for family have fostered a single parenthood rate of 70% in the African-American community and about 50% for the population as a whole. Given the child abuse and foster care numbers, this plan hasn’t worked well. Sometimes folks have to be responsible for their choices.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART ©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Lancaster University study: April Fools hoax stories could offer clues to help identify ‘fake news’

30 Mar

The Guardian article, What is fake news? How to spot it and what you can do to stop it described fake news:

Surely it’s easy to tell fake news from real news
Actually, no.
A recent study carried out by Stanford’s Graduate School of Education assessed more than 7,800 responses from middle school, high school and college students in 12 US states on their ability to assess information sources.
Advertisement
Researchers were “shocked” by students’ “stunning and dismaying consistency” to evaluate information at even as basic a level as distinguishing advertisements from articles.
If you think you, an adult with an internet connection, are better placed than a middle school student to assess sources, this collection of comments on “literally unbelievable” humour stories is humbling.
It’s not that readers are stupid, or even necessarily credulous: it’s that the news format is easy to imitate and some true stories are outlandish enough to beggar belief.
Where do these stories come from?
In its purest form, fake news is completely made up, manipulated to resemble credible journalism and attract maximum attention and, with it, advertising revenue. Examples include: “Transgender tampon now on the market”, “Pope Francis at White House: ‘Koran and Holy Bible are the same’”, “U2’s Bono rescued during terror attack, issues sick message to victims”.
Hosted on websites that often followed design conventions of online news media, with anodyne titles such as “Civic Tribune” and “Life Event Web” to give the semblance of legitimacy, the stories are geared to travel on social media.
With clicks come profit: a man running a string of fake news sites from Los Angeles told National Public Radio that he made as much as US$30,000 a month from advertising that rewards high traffic. More than 100 pro-Trump fake news websites were being run by teenagers in one town in Macedonia…
So, how do you tell what is fake news?
Soon, Facebook will flag stories of questionable legitimacy with an alert that says “Disputed by 3rd party fact-checkers”. There are three Google Chrome plugins and one just released by Slate that do similar as you browse the web.
Melissa Zimdars, an associate professor of communication and media at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, compiled this list of websites that either purposely publish false information or are otherwise entirely unreliable, broken down by category – and published a helpful list of tips for analysing news sources.
But Facebook’s approach has shortcomings and no list can ever be complete. You can’t go wrong by prioritising outlets known to be legitimate, and reading a lot of them. If it is published on the Guardian – just for example – it may well not be news, but it won’t be fake news. (Sorry, Breitbart.)
If you’re not sure if a site is legitimate, look for any red flags in its domain name, such as “.com.co”, and its About Us section. Google the sources of any quotes or figures given in the story – most fake news don’t have either, a warning sign in itself.
If the first you’ve heard of a particular event is from a website you’ve never heard of, there may be a reason. Be sceptical of stories about Trump, Clinton, the Pope, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber, and particularly of stories about any of them pledging allegiance to Isis.
Rest assured, if Bieber does pledge allegiance to Isis, mainstream media will cover it…. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/dec/18/what-is-fake-news-pizzagate

See, “Fake News,” Lies and Propaganda: How to Sort Fact from Fiction https://guides.lib.umich.edu/fakenews and What Is Fake News? https://www.prageru.com/video/what-is-fake-news/

Science Daily reported in April Fools hoax stories could offer clues to help identify ‘fake news’:

Studying April Fools hoax news stories could offer clues to spotting ‘fake news’ articles, new research reveals.
Academic experts in Natural Language Processing from Lancaster University who are interested in deception have compared the language used within written April Fools hoaxes and fake news stories.
They have discovered that there are similarities in the written structure of humorous April Fools hoaxes — the spoof articles published by media outlets every April 1st — and malicious fake news stories.
The researchers have compiled a novel dataset, or corpus, of more than 500 April Fools articles sourced from more than 370 websites and written over 14 years.
“April Fools hoaxes are very useful because they provide us with a verifiable body of deceptive texts that give us an opportunity to find out about the linguistic techniques used when an author writes something fictitious disguised as a factual account,” said Edward Dearden from Lancaster University, and lead-author of the research. “By looking at the language used in April Fools and comparing them with fake news stories we can get a better picture of the kinds of language used by authors of disinformation.”
A comparison of April Fools hoax texts against genuine news articles written in the same period — but not published on April 1st — revealed stylistic differences.
Researchers focused on specific features within the texts, such as the amount of details used, vagueness, formality of writing style and complexity of language.
They then compared the April Fools stories with a ‘fake news’ dataset, previously compiled by a different team of researchers.
Although not all of the features found in April Fools hoaxes were found to be useful for detecting fake news, there were a number of similar characteristics found across both.
They found April Fools hoaxes and fake news articles tend to contain less complex language, an easier reading difficulty, and longer sentences than genuine news.
Important details for news stories, such as names, places, dates and times, were found to be used less frequently within April Fools hoaxes and fake news. However, proper nouns, such as the names of prominent politicians ‘Trump’ or ‘Hillary’, are more abundant in fake news than in genuine news articles or April Fools, which have significantly fewer…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190329130206.htm

Citation:

April Fools hoax stories could offer clues to help identify ‘fake news’
Date: March 29, 2019
Source: Lancaster University
Summary:
Academic experts in natural language processing who are interested in deception have compared the language used within written April Fools hoaxes and fake news stories. They have discovered that there are similarities in the written structure of humorous April Fools hoaxes — the spoof articles published by media outlets every April 1 — and malicious fake news stories.

Here is the press release from Lancaster University:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 29-MAR-2019
April Fools hoax stories could offer clues to help identify ‘fake news’
LANCASTER UNIVERSITY
SHARE
PRINT E-MAIL
Studying April Fools hoax news stories could offer clues to spotting ‘fake news’ articles, new research reveals.
Academic experts in Natural Language Processing from Lancaster University who are interested in deception have compared the language used within written April Fools hoaxes and fake news stories.
They have discovered that there are similarities in the written structure of humorous April Fools hoaxes – the spoof articles published by media outlets every April 1st – and malicious fake news stories.
The researchers have compiled a novel dataset, or corpus, of more than 500 April Fools articles sourced from more than 370 websites and written over 14 years.
“April Fools hoaxes are very useful because they provide us with a verifiable body of deceptive texts that give us an opportunity to find out about the linguistic techniques used when an author writes something fictitious disguised as a factual account,” said Edward Dearden from Lancaster University, and lead-author of the research. “By looking at the language used in April Fools and comparing them with fake news stories we can get a better picture of the kinds of language used by authors of disinformation.”
A comparison of April Fools hoax texts against genuine news articles written in the same period – but not published on April 1st – revealed stylistic differences.
Researchers focused on specific features within the texts, such as the amount of details used, vagueness, formality of writing style and complexity of language.
They then compared the April Fools stories with a ‘fake news’ dataset, previously compiled by a different team of researchers.
Although not all of the features found in April Fools hoaxes were found to be useful for detecting fake news, there were a number of similar characteristics found across both.
They found April Fools hoaxes and fake news articles tend to contain less complex language, an easier reading difficulty, and longer sentences than genuine news.
Important details for news stories, such as names, places, dates and times, were found to be used less frequently within April Fools hoaxes and fake news. However, proper nouns, such as the names of prominent politicians ‘Trump’ or ‘Hillary’, are more abundant in fake news than in genuine news articles or April Fools, which have significantly fewer.
First person pronouns, such as ‘we’, are also a prominent feature for both April Fools and fake news. This goes against traditional thinking in deception detection, which suggests liars use fewer first person pronouns.
The researchers found that April fools hoax stories, when compared to genuine news:
• Are generally shorter in length
• Use more unique words
• Use longer sentences
• Are easier to read
• Refer to vague events in the future
• Contain more references to the present
• Are less interested in past events
• Contain fewer proper nouns
• Use more first person pronouns
Fake news stories, when compared to genuine news:
• Are shorter in length
• Are easier to read
• Use simplistic language
• Contain fewer punctuation marks
• Contain more proper nouns
• Are generally less formal – use more first names such as ‘Hillary’ and contain more profanity and spelling mistakes
• Contain very few dates
• Use more first person pronouns
The researchers also created a machine learning ‘classifier’ to identify if articles are April Fools hoaxes, fake news or genuine news stories. The classifier achieved a 75 per cent accuracy at identifying April Fools articles and 72 per cent for identifying fake news stories. When the classifier was trained on April Fools hoaxes and set the task of identifying fake news it recorded an accuracy of more than 65 per cent.
Dr Alistair Baron, co-author of the paper, said: “Looking at details and complexities within a text are crucial when trying to determine if an article is a hoax. Although there are many differences, our results suggest that April Fools and fake news articles share some similar features, mostly involving structural complexity.
“Our findings suggest that there are certain features in common between different forms of disinformation and exploring these similarities may provide important insights for future research into deceptive news stories.”
The research has been outlined in the paper ‘Fool’s Errand: Looking at April Fools Hoaxes as Disinformation through the Lens of Deception and Humour’, which will be presented at the 20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics and Intelligent Text Processing, to be held in La Rochelle in April.
###
The paper’s authors are Edward Dearden and Alistair Baron of Lancaster University. Edward Dearden’s PhD studies have been supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

The University of West Florida has a great guide to avoiding fake news.

In Fake News the University of West Florida discussed fake news:

Fact-Checking: The Facts
#1: Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate
• Use criteria to evaluate a source. In Libraries, we often use the CRAAP Test* to evaluate websites, and these criteria are useful for evaluating news as well. These criteria are:
o Currency: is the information current? Many times on Facebook, you will click on a story and notice that the date was from a few months or years ago, but your “friends” are acting outraged as if it is happening in the moment.
o Relevance: is the information important to your research needs? This criterion perhaps applies most if you are out seeking information, rather than just stumbling across it. Does the information relate to your question and at the appropriate-level (elementary/advanced)? Have you looked at a variety of sources before selecting this one?
o Authority: who is the author/publisher/sponsor of the news? Do they have authority on the subject? Do they have an agenda?
o Accuracy: Is the information supported by evidence? Does the author cite credible sources? Is the information verifiable in other places?
o Purpose: What is the purpose of this news? To outrage? To call to action? To inform? To sell? This can give you clues about bias.
So, finally, is your news source CRAAP? More on Fact-Checking:
#2: Google It!
If you found out something via social media, you should take 5 seconds and just Google it! More often than not, a Google search will show:
• If other reputable news sites are reporting on the same thing
• If a fact-check website has already debunked the claim
• If only biased news organizations are reporting the claim — in this case, it may require more digging.
I would say that most of the time, 5 seconds is all you need before you hit the angry, the like, the love, or – WORSE! – the share button!
#3: Get News from News Sources
One of the easiest ways to avoid the trap of fake news to begin with may seem obvious:
Go directly to credible news websites for your news.
Relying on Facebook to see what is “trending” or what is being shared across your newsfeed means you have to verify every single meme or news article you come across. Why not rely on news apps on your phone that go to news websites for that?
• Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse is an international news agency headquartered in Paris, France.
• Associated Press
An independent, non-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City.
• Reuters
The world’s largest international multimedia news agency.
**Keep in mind that even some reputable news sites have biases and may tell the facts in different ways.**
• British Broadcasting Company
• National Public Radio
• New York Times
• Wall Street Journal
• The Washington Post
• All Sides
All Sides says that its mission is to: “expose bias and provide multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.”

All Sides displays the same news stories from multiple news outlets (along with their rating of their conservative or liberal bias). This is a great way to learn how the same story is reported differently in different outlets.
#4: Distinguish Opinion from Fact
Even news websites and programs have spaces or shows dedicated to people’s opinions of news stories. In newspapers, these sections may be called:
• Editorials
• Letters to the Editor
• Op-Eds
• Opinion
Opinion shows many times now dominate cable news sources. You may agree with the opinions presented, or they may contextualize the facts for you in a way that makes sense. However, realize they are presenting the facts in a way that meets their agenda and think for yourself: How might “the other side” present these same facts?
Examples of opinion shows on news channels are:
• The O’Reilly Factor
• Hardball with Chris Matthews
• Fox & Friends
• The Rachel Maddow Show
• Anderson Cooper 360
#5: Watch out for red flags!
• Does the link end with .co instead of .com?
• Are there small disclaimers, something that says “satire”?
• When you click on a story in social media, is it a story that is outdated? Why is it being circulated now?
• Is it posted by so-and-so? …We all have that one friend on social media. https://libguides.uwf.edu/c.php?g=609513&p=4274530

The most important tool to combating fake news is Critical Thinking.

The Foundation for Critical Thinking defines critical thinking:

Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness….
Why Critical Thinking?
The Problem
Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.
A Definition
Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem – in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and
imposing intellectual standards upon them.
The Result
A well cultivated critical thinker:
• raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;
• gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;
• thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
• communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism…. http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766

The mind is like a muscle, it must be exercised.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Association for Psychological Research study: Trigger warnings do little to reduce people’s distress, research shows

24 Mar

The Urban Dictionary defined trigger warning:

Trigger Warning
A phrase posted at the beginning of various posts, articles, or blogs. Its purpose is to warn weak minded people who are easily offended that they might find what is being posted offensive in some way due to its content, causing them to overreact or otherwise start acting like a dipshit. Popular on reddit SRS or other places that social justice warriors like to hang out.

Trigger warnings are unnecessary 100% of the time due to the fact that people who are easily offended have no business randomly browsing the internet anyways. As a result of the phrases irrelevance, most opinions that start out with this phrase tend to be simplistic and dull since they were made by people ridiculous enough to think that the internet is supposed to cater to people who can’t take a joke.
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Trigger%20warning

An Atlantic article described the effect of trigger warnings.

Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt wrote in the Atlantic article, The Coddling of the American Mind:

There’s a saying common in education circles: Don’t teach students what to think; teach them how to think. The idea goes back at least as far as Socrates. Today, what we call the Socratic method is a way of teaching that fosters critical thinking, in part by encouraging students to question their own unexamined beliefs, as well as the received wisdom of those around them. Such questioning sometimes leads to discomfort, and even to anger, on the way to understanding.
But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way. It prepares them poorly for professional life, which often demands intellectual engagement with people and ideas one might find uncongenial or wrong. The harm may be more immediate, too. A campus culture devoted to policing speech and punishing speakers is likely to engender patterns of thought that are surprisingly similar to those long identified by cognitive behavioral therapists as causes of depression and anxiety. The new protectiveness may be teaching students to think pathologically….
But if you want to help her return to normalcy, you should take your cues from Ivan Pavlov and guide her through a process known as exposure therapy. You might start by asking the woman to merely look at an elevator from a distance—standing in a building lobby, perhaps—until her apprehension begins to subside. If nothing bad happens while she’s standing in the lobby—if the fear is not “reinforced”—then she will begin to learn a new association: elevators are not dangerous. (This reduction in fear during exposure is called habituation.) Then, on subsequent days, you might ask her to get closer, and on later days to push the call button, and eventually to step in and go up one floor. This is how the amygdala can get rewired again to associate a previously feared situation with safety or normalcy….
Attempts to shield students from words, ideas, and people that might cause them emotional discomfort are bad for the students. They are bad for the workplace, which will be mired in unending litigation if student expectations of safety are carried forward. And they are bad for American democracy, which is already paralyzed by worsening partisanship. When the ideas, values, and speech of the other side are seen not just as wrong but as willfully aggressive toward innocent victims, it is hard to imagine the kind of mutual respect, negotiation, and compromise that are needed to make politics a positive-sum game.
Rather than trying to protect students from words and ideas that they will inevitably encounter, colleges should do all they can to equip students to thrive in a world full of words and ideas that they cannot control. One of the great truths taught by Buddhism (and Stoicism, Hinduism, and many other traditions) is that you can never achieve happiness by making the world conform to your desires. But you can master your desires and habits of thought. This, of course, is the goal of cognitive behavioral therapy. With this in mind, here are some steps that might help reverse the tide of bad thinking on campus.
Universities themselves should try to raise consciousness about the need to balance freedom of speech with the need to make all students feel welcome. Talking openly about such conflicting but important values is just the sort of challenging exercise that any diverse but tolerant community must learn to do. Restrictive speech codes should be abandoned.
Universities should also officially and strongly discourage trigger warnings. They should endorse the American Association of University Professors’ report on these warnings, which notes, “The presumption that students need to be protected rather than challenged in a classroom is at once infantilizing and anti-intellectual.” Professors should be free to use trigger warnings if they choose to do so, but by explicitly discouraging the practice, universities would help fortify the faculty against student requests for such warnings.
Finally, universities should rethink the skills and values they most want to impart to their incoming students. At present, many freshman-orientation programs try to raise student sensitivity to a nearly impossible level. Teaching students to avoid giving unintentional offense is a worthy goal, especially when the students come from many different cultural backgrounds. But students should also be taught how to live in a world full of potential offenses. Why not teach incoming students how to practice cognitive behavioral therapy? Given high and rising rates of mental illness, this simple step would be among the most humane and supportive things a university could do…. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

A study questioned the effectiveness of trigger warnings.

Science Daily reported in Trigger warnings do little to reduce people’s distress, research shows:

Trigger warnings that alert people to potentially sensitive content are increasingly popular, especially on college campuses, but research suggests that they have minimal impact on how people actually respond to content. The findings are published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“We, like many others, were hearing new stories week upon week about trigger warnings being asked for or introduced at universities around the world,” says psychology researcher Mevagh Sanson of The University of Waikato, first author on the research. “Our findings suggest that these warnings, though well intended, are not helpful.”
Trigger warnings may be increasingly prevalent, but there has been almost no research actually examining their effects.
It’s possible that they function the way they’re meant to, helping people to manage their emotional responses and reduce their symptoms of distress. But it’s also possible trigger warnings could have the opposite effect, influencing people’s expectations and experiences in ways that exacerbate their distress….
To resolve the question, the researchers conducted a series of six experiments with a total of 1,394 participants.
Some participants — a combination of college students and online participants — read a message about the content they were about to see, for example: “TRIGGER WARNING: The following video may contain graphic footage of a fatal car crash. You might find this content disturbing.” Others did not read a warning. All participants were then exposed to the content.
Afterward, the participants reported various symptoms of distress — their negative emotional state, and the degree to which they experienced intrusive thoughts and tried to avoid thinking about the content.
The results across all six experiments were consistent: Trigger warnings had little effect on participants’ distress. That is, participants responded to the content similarly, regardless of whether they saw a trigger warning.
The format of the content also did not make a difference: Trigger warnings had little impact regardless of whether participants read a story or watched a video clip.
Could it be that trigger warnings are specifically effective for those people who have previously experienced traumatic events? The data suggested the answer is no: There was little difference between groups. In other words, individuals with a personal history of trauma who received a trigger warning reported similar levels of distress as did those who did not receive a warning.
The researchers note that it remains to be seen whether these results would apply to individuals who have a specific clinical diagnosis such as anxiety, depression, or posttraumatic stress disorder. However, these findings indicate that trigger warnings are unlikely to have the meaningful impact they’re typically assumed to have.
“These results suggest a trigger warning is neither meaningfully helpful nor harmful,” says Sanson. “Of course, that doesn’t mean trigger warnings are benign. We need to consider the idea that their repeated use encourages people to avoid negative material, and we already know that avoidance helps to maintain disorders such as PTSD. Trigger warnings might also communicate to people that they’re fragile, and coax them interpret ordinary emotional responses as extraordinary signals of danger….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190319142312.htm

Citation:

Trigger warnings do little to reduce people’s distress, research shows
Date: March 19, 2019
Source: Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Trigger warnings that alert people to potentially sensitive content are increasingly popular, especially on college campuses, but research suggests that they have minimal impact on how people actually respond to content.
Journal Reference:
Mevagh Sanson, Deryn Strange, Maryanne Garry. Trigger Warnings Are Trivially Helpful at Reducing Negative Affect, Intrusive Thoughts, and Avoidance. Clinical Psychological Science, 2019; 216770261982701 DOI: 10.1177/2167702619827018

Here is the press release from Association for Psychological Research:

Trigger Warnings Do Little to Reduce People’s Distress, Research Shows
TAGS:
• CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
• CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
• COGNITIVE PROCESSES
• EMOTION
• TEACHING
• TRAUMA
• WELL-BEING
Trigger warnings that alert people to potentially sensitive content are increasingly popular, especially on college campuses, but research suggests that they have minimal impact on how people actually respond to content. The findings are published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“We, like many others, were hearing new stories week upon week about trigger warnings being asked for or introduced at universities around the world,” says psychology researcher Mevagh Sanson of The University of Waikato, first author on the research. “Our findings suggest that these warnings, though well intended, are not helpful.”
Trigger warnings may be increasingly prevalent, but there has been almost no research actually examining their effects.
It’s possible that they function the way they’re meant to, helping people to manage their emotional responses and reduce their symptoms of distress. But it’s also possible trigger warnings could have the opposite effect, influencing people’s expectations and experiences in ways that exacerbate their distress.
“We thought it was important to figure out how effective these warnings are,” says Sanson. “This is the first piece of empirical work directly examining if they have their intended effects.”
To resolve the question, the researchers conducted a series of six experiments with a total of 1,394 participants.
Some participants – a combination of college students and online participants – read a message about the content they were about to see, for example: “TRIGGER WARNING: The following video may contain graphic footage of a fatal car crash. You might find this content disturbing.” Others did not read a warning. All participants were then exposed to the content.
Afterward, the participants reported various symptoms of distress—their negative emotional state, and the degree to which they experienced intrusive thoughts and tried to avoid thinking about the content.
The results across all six experiments were consistent: Trigger warnings had little effect on participants’ distress. That is, participants responded to the content similarly, regardless of whether they saw a trigger warning.
The format of the content also did not make a difference: Trigger warnings had little impact regardless of whether participants read a story or watched a video clip.
Could it be that trigger warnings are specifically effective for those people who have previously experienced traumatic events? The data suggested the answer is no: There was little difference between groups. In other words, individuals with a personal history of trauma who received a trigger warning reported similar levels of distress as did those who did not receive a warning.
The researchers note that it remains to be seen whether these results would apply to individuals who have a specific clinical diagnosis such as anxiety, depression, or posttraumatic stress disorder. However, these findings indicate that trigger warnings are unlikely to have the meaningful impact they’re typically assumed to have.
“These results suggest a trigger warning is neither meaningfully helpful nor harmful,” says Sanson. “Of course, that doesn’t mean trigger warnings are benign. We need to consider the idea that their repeated use encourages people to avoid negative material, and we already know that avoidance helps to maintain disorders such as PTSD. Trigger warnings might also communicate to people that they’re fragile, and coax them to interpret ordinary emotional responses as extraordinary signals of danger.”
M. Sanson was supported by Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Waikato, and Fulbright New Zealand.
________________________________________
News > Latest Research News > Trigger Warnings Do Little to Reduce People’s Distress, Research Shows
Published March 19, 2019

The First Amendment and Free Speech are vital ingredients to the preservation of the CONSTITUTION.

Iain Murray wrote in The Importance of Free Speech to Human Progress: From Principia Mathematica to Charlie Hebdo:

It is exactly that goal — to help us determine what actually is, rather than what is simply asserted — that free speech and free inquiry make possible. As an institution of liberty, free speech must be defended wherever it is attacked. (My colleague Hans Bader has written elsewhere about letting down our guard.) Those who seek to suppress free speech want to keep mankind mired in poverty and ignorance, subject to their own whims and beliefs. They cannot be allowed to succeed. https://fee.org/articles/the-importance-of-free-speech-to-human-progress/

 

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Where information leads to Hope. ©

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                                                              https://drwilda.com/

University of York study: Trials testing new educational methods in schools ‘often fail to produce useful evidence’

21 Mar

More and more, individuals with gravitas are opining about the American education system for reasons ranging from national security to economic competitiveness. Regarding  the Condoleezza Rice and Joel Klein report about American Education, moi wrote:

The Council on Foreign Relations issued the report, U.S. Education Reform and National Security. The chairs for the report are Joel I. Klein, News Corporation and Condoleezza Rice, Stanford University. Moi opined about the state of education in U.S. education failure: Running out of excuses https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/u-s-education-failure-running-out-of-excuses/ Education tends to be populated by idealists and dreamers who are true believers and who think of what is possible. Otherwise, why would one look at children in second grade and think one of those children could win the Nobel Prize or be president? Maybe, that is why education as a discipline is so prone to fads and the constant quest for the “Holy Grail” or the next, next magic bullet. There is no one answer, there is what works for a particular population of kids. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/condoleezza-rice-and-joel-klein-report-about-american-education/

Citation:

U.S. Education Reform and National Security
Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press
Release Date March 2012
Price $15.00
108 pages
ISBN 978-0-87609-520-1
Task Force Report No. 68

Related:

Joy Resmovits of Huffington Post,Schools Report: Failing To Prepare Students Hurts National Security, Prosperity http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/schools-report-condoleezza-rice-joel-klein_n_1365144.html

Moi often says education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process.

Science Daily reported in Trials testing new educational methods in schools ‘often fail to produce useful evidence’:

Educational trials aimed at boosting academic achievement in schools are often uninformative, new research suggests.
The new study, published in the journal Educational Researcher, found that 40% of large-scale randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the UK and the US failed to produce any evidence as to whether an educational intervention helped to boost academic attainment or not.
The researchers evaluated 141 trials involving more than one million students, which tested schemes ranging from whether providing free school breakfasts raises grades in Maths and English, to whether playing chess improves numeracy skills.
The trials, which were carried out by the charitable organisation the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in the UK and the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) in the US, are expensive — with costs often exceeding £500,000.
The authors of the study argue that more research is urgently needed to understand why RCTs in education are so often uninformative.
Lead author of the research, Dr Hugues Lortie-Forgues, from the Department of Education at the University of York, UK, said: “Just like in medicine, trials of educational interventions are an important way to allow policy makers and teachers to make informed decisions about how to improve education. However, many of these trials are currently not fulfilling their main aim of demonstrating which interventions are effective and which are not….”
In recent years there have been a growing number of RCTs conducted in education. For example, in the UK, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has commissioned more than 191 trials since 2012.
The researchers cite possible reasons why current trials may be ineffective, including:
• The interventions being tested may not be suitable for trial in the first place.
• Interventions may not be being correctly implemented during trials — for example due to inadequate training of teachers in the methods being tested.
• The trials themselves may be poorly designed
The authors suggest a series of changes that could make the trials more informative, including higher-standards when considering which new initiatives are trialled…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190315110913.htm

Citation:

Trials testing new educational methods in schools ‘often fail to produce useful evidence’
Educational trials aimed at boosting academic achievement in schools are often uninformative
Date: March 15, 2019
Source: University of York
Summary:
The new study found that 40% of large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the UK and the US failed to produce any evidence as to whether an educational intervention helped to boost academic attainment or not.

Journal Reference:
Hugues Lortie-Forgues, Matthew Inglis. Rigorous Large-Scale Educational RCTs Are Often Uninformative: Should We Be Concerned? Educational Researcher, 2019; 0013189X1983285 DOI: 10.3102/0013189X19832850

Here is the press release from the University of York:

Trials testing new educational methods in schools often fail to produce useful evidence, say researchers
Posted on 15 March 2019
Educational trials aimed at boosting academic achievement in schools are often uninformative, new research suggests.
The new study, published in the journal Educational Researcher, found that 40% of large-scale randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the UK and the US failed to produce any evidence as to whether an educational intervention helped to boost academic attainment or not.
The researchers evaluated 141 trials involving more than one million students, which tested schemes ranging from whether providing free school breakfasts raises grades in Maths and English, to whether playing chess improves numeracy skills.
The trials, which were carried out by the charitable organisation the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in the UK and the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) in the US, are expensive – with costs often exceeding £500,000.
Informed decisions
The authors of the study argue that more research is urgently needed to understand why RCTs in education are so often uninformative.
Lead author of the research, Dr Hugues Lortie-Forgues, from the Department of Education at the University of York, UK, said: “Just like in medicine, trials of educational interventions are an important way to allow policy makers and teachers to make informed decisions about how to improve education. However, many of these trials are currently not fulfilling their main aim of demonstrating which interventions are effective and which are not.”
“Further research to investigate the reasons for this should be a priority. These organisations are trying to achieve something positive and reform is urgently needed to help them to do so.”
Higher standards
In recent years there have been a growing number of RCTs conducted in education. For example, in the UK, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has commissioned more than 191 trials since 2012.
The researchers cite possible reasons why current trials may be ineffective, including:
The interventions being tested may not be suitable for trial in the first place.
Interventions may not be being correctly implemented during trials – for example due to inadequate training of teachers in the methods being tested.
The trials themselves may be poorly designed
The authors suggest a series of changes that could make the trials more informative, including higher-standards when considering which new initiatives are trialled. https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2019/research/trials-testing-new-educational-methods/

In Paul E. Peterson will piss you off, you might want to listen, moi said:
Moi has been saying for decades that the optimum situation for raising children is a two-parent family for a variety of reasons. This two-parent family is an economic unit with the prospect of two incomes and a division of labor for the chores necessary to maintain the family structure. Parents also need a degree of maturity to raise children, after all, you and your child should not be raising each other. Moi said this in Hard truths: The failure of the family:
This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of Katrina, the real genocide is self-inflicted. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/hard-truths-the-failure-of-the-family/ It is interesting that the ruling elites do not want to touch the issue of unwed births with a ten thousand foot pole. After all, that would violate some one’s right to _____. Let moi fill in the blank, the right to be stupid, probably live in poverty, and not be able to give your child the advantages that a more prepared parent can give a child because to tell you to your face that you are an idiot for not using birth control is not P.C.
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/paul-e-peterson-will-piss-you-off-you-might-want-to-listen/

Where information leads to Hope. ©

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                                                                                           https://drwilda.com/