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Giorgio Bertini

Giorgio Bertini's Public Library

about 15 hours ago

The main proposition of this paper is that science communication necessarily involves and includes cultural orientations. There is a substantial body of work showing that cultural differences in values and epistemological frameworks are paralleled with cultural differences reflected in artifacts and public representations. One dimension of cultural difference is the psychological distance between humans and the rest of nature. Another is perspective taking and attention to context and relationships. As an example of distance, most (Western) images of ecosystems do not include human beings, and European American discourse tends to position human beings as being apart from nature. Native American discourse, in contrast, tends to describe humans beings as a part of nature. We trace the correspondences between cultural properties of media, focusing on children’s books, and cultural differences in biological cognition. Finally, implications for both science communication and science education are outlined.

about 15 hours ago

The hypothesized role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is rich in dreams, in the formation of new associations, has remained anecdotal. We examined the role of REM on creative problem solving, with the Remote Associates Test (RAT). Using a nap paradigm, we manipulated various conditions of prior exposure to elements of a creative problem. Compared with quiet rest and non-REM sleep, REM enhanced the formation of associative networks and the integration of unassociated information. Furthermore, these REM sleep benefits were not the result of an improved memory for the primed items. This study shows that compared with quiet rest and non-REM sleep, REM enhances the integration of unassociated information for creative problem solving, a process, we hypothesize, that is facilitated by cholinergic and noradrenergic neuromodulation during REM sleep.

about 16 hours ago

To be rational is to be able to reason. Thirty years ago psychologists believed that human reasoning depended on formal rules of inference akin to those of a logical calculus. This hypothesis ran into difficulties, which led to an alternative view: reasoning depends on envisaging the possibilities consistent with the starting point—a perception of the world, a set of assertions, a memory, or some mixture of them. We construct mental models of each distinct possibility and derive a conclusion from them. The theory predicts systematic errors in our reasoning, and the evidence corroborates this prediction. Yet, our ability to use counter examples to refute invalid inferences provides a foundation for rationality. On this account, reasoning is a simulation of the world fleshed out with our knowledge, not a formal rearrangement of the logical skeletons of sentences.

about 16 hours ago

Memory illusions and distortions have long been of interest to psychology researchers studying memory, but neuropsychologists and neuroscientists have paid relatively little attention to them. This article attempts to lay the foundation for a cognitive neuroscience analysis of memory illusions and distortions by reviewing relevant evidence from a patient with a right frontal lobe lesion, patients with amnesia produced by damage to the medial temporal lobes, normal aging, and healthy young volunteers studied with functional neuroimaging techniques. Particular attention is paid to the contrasting roles of prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe structures in accurate and illusory remembering. Converging evidence suggests that the study of illusory memories can provide a useful tool for delineating the brain processes and systems involved in constructive aspects of remembering.

Feb 10, 16

Now, with the advent of personal assistants like Siri and Google Now that aim to serve up information before you even know you need it, you don’t even need to type the questions. Just say the words and you’ll have your answer. But with so much information easily available, does it make us smarter? Compared to the generations before who had to adapt to the Internet, how are those who grew up using the Internet — the so-called “Google generation” — different? Heick had intended for his students to take a moment to think, figure out what type of information they needed, how to evaluate the data and how to reconcile conflicting viewpoints. He did not intend for them to immediately Google the question, word by word — eliminating the process of critical thinking.

Feb 10, 16

Teachers, both in and beyond teacher education programmes, are continual learners. As society itself evolves, new settings and the challenges they provide require new learning. Teachers must continually adapt to new developments that affect their work, including alterations to qualification systems, new relationships with welfare professionals, and new technologies which are reconfiguring relationships with pupils. Cultural-Historical Perspectives on Teacher Education and Development is an international volume which clarifies the purpose of initial (pre-service) teacher education and continuing professional development, and the role of universities and higher education personnel in these processes. An edited collection of chapters by leading researchers from the UK, the US and Europe, it gains coherence from its theoretical orientation and substantive focus on teacher learning. This book:

demonstrates the contribution of sociocultural and cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) towards our understandings of teacher learning
offers a strong exemplification of a research focus on teachers as learners in specific sociocultural settings
shows what teachers learn, how they learn and where they learn, using specific research examples, in the context of broader interests in the development of professional practice and professional education.

Feb 10, 16

This paper explores the potential of cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), to provide new insights into community service-learning (CSL) in higher education. While CSL literature acknowledges the influences of John Dewey and Paolo Freire, discussion of the potential contribution of cultural-historical activity theory, rooted in the work of psychologist Lev Vygotsky, is noticeably absent. This paper addresses this gap by examining four assumptions associated with activity theory: the rejection of a theory/practice divide, the development of knowledge as a social collaborative activity, the focus on contradictions in and across activity systems, and the interventionist approach aimed at transformation.

The preceding discussion asserts that CHAT provides useful theoretical tools for thinking about CSL in terms of activity systems. Engeström’s work, in particular, directs our attention to the intersecting activity systems involving students, instructors, and community partners in higher education and not-for-profit organizations. The four key assumptions of CHAT discussed above are consistent with the goals of CSL and help to reinforce it as a critical and reflexive pedagogy.

Feb 10, 16

In the past crisis sensemaking activities have primarily been controlled by professional emergency responders and the media. Social media, however, has the potential to see a shift towards more grassroots and ad hoc citizen engagement. This paper sets out our vision and our progress in implementation of a new online platform called ‘Majority Report’, which aims to empower citizen sensemaking activities around crisis events. The concept is to facilitate citizen volunteers to draw together a range of digital media (photographs, Tweets, videos, etc.) to present stories of crisis events, and thus demarcate arguments about different understandings in terms of the temporal ordering of event narrative components and their relations to each other. Through collaborative usages of the platform, accounts may be improved by others, and variants may be presented and compared to challenge existing assumptions and beliefs.

Feb 09, 16

Entrepreneurship has long been acknowledged as a major force for economic development, however, only recently has the important role social entrepreneurship plays in contributing toward both economic and social wellbeing been recognized. Nevertheless, there is still no singular established definition on social entrepreneurship has been agreed upon. Many scholars believed that social entrepreneurship is exclusively for non-profit organizations that solely focus on social missions, however, the limited view of social entrepreneurship is argued and discussed in this paper. Thus this paper reviews the meaning of social entrepreneurship from various authors and extends the scope of social entrepreneurship from the limited and exclusive understanding towards a lateral and extended view, which includes hybrid organization that has both financial and social goals.

Feb 09, 16

This paper looks at how ideas, constructs, methods and insights coming out of systems thinking and the sciences of complex systems can be applied to the study of social entrepreneurship. At present, there is no one general theoretical perspective that seeks to define social entrepreneurship in complex systems terms nor to explain how such a perspective can contribute to the generation of positive social outcomes. To remedy this, we propose ways that complexity theory can be used to develop a useful, and we hope, more practical theory. In particular, we explore how complexity ideas might be used to develop a robust theory of social entrepreneurial dynamics from the interrelated theoretical lenses offered in the complexity science approaches of social network theory, the study of emergence in self-organizing systems, complex adaptive systems theory, and nonlinear dynamical systems theory. After describing various possibilities, some hopeful thoughts on the future of the field are offered, particularly a call for initiating evolving partnerships among complexity scientists and social entrepreneurial practitioners and theorists.

Feb 09, 16

This ground-breaking volume explores social entrepreneurship from the perspective of complexity science and systems thinking. Case studies, models, simulations, and theoretical papers advance both theory and practice, providing an innovative and comprehensive look at these dynamic topics. Written by complexity theorists, international development practitioners, and experts in a variety of other disciplines, this must-have book is mandatory reading for everyone interested in this newly developing field.

The greatest contribution from complexity science is the theoretical link it makes between sustainability and the dynamics of open systems in disequilibrium. Amidst a burgeoning literature of social entrepreneurship this volume is the very first to make this link explicit, and in so doing offers a leading-edge perspective on every aspect of social entrepreneurship. Each of the chapters generates new insights and frameworks for researchers, practitioners and policy makers.

Feb 09, 16

The role of innovation and entrepreneurship is increasingly getting policy attention in emerging countries. A growing body of literature is deriving its inspiration from the work of Joseph Schumpeter. His seminal 1911 book, The Theory of Economic Development, outlined a general framework for understanding the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in economic transformation. Despite Schumpeter’s influence on economic policies in industrialized countries, there has been little application of his work in emerging countries. On surface, the failure to apply Schumpeter’s ideas to emerging countries appears to be an intellectual oversight. To the contrary, this paper argues that the application of Schumpeter’s ideas to emerging countries was debated through the 1950s, but early architects of development studies deemed it to be irrelevant. The core of the rejection was an epistemological clash between Schumpeter’s systems approach to economic transformation and that of his critics who adhered to a more static, linear, and incremental view of economic change. Thus, Schumpeter’s central themes of innovation and entrepreneurship focused on endogenous transformation and evolution of economies, while his critics, who focused on the importance of central planning, relied on equilibrium models reflected in the role of bureaucracies as economic sources of stability.

Feb 09, 16

With foreword by Kenneth J. Gergen and Mary M. Gergen. Creative research methods can help to answer complex contemporary questions, which are hard to answer using traditional methods alone. Creative methods can also be more ethical, helping researchers to address social injustice. This accessible book is the first to identify and examine the four areas of creative research methods: arts-based research, research using technology, mixed-method research and transformative research frameworks. Written in a practical and jargon-free style, with over 100 boxed examples, it offers numerous examples of creative methods in practice, from the social sciences, arts, and humanities around the world. Spanning the gulf between academia and practice, this useful book will inform and inspire researchers by showing readers why, when, and how to use creative methods in their research.

Feb 09, 16

If this book provided a set of rules to be learned and applied, writing a thesis might seem pleasingly easy. But, because writing a thesis is seldom easy, the book instead offers a more complex mapping of the process. The purpose is to raise awareness of the critical choices involved in research and thesis writing for both masters and doctorates. Running as a leitmotif throughout is the notion that no conceptual construct can be complete unto itself. Concepts can only be defined in terms of their dynamic relations with other constructs. It is in this context that the three broad methodological categories informing discussion in the book – exegetic, empirical, and qualitative – were adopted for didactic purposes only: at no time are they considered autonomies. Therefore, not only can they be compared in multiple ways, their shared continuities are often as significant as their differences. Nonetheless, as in the case of different disciplines, differing methodological positions have different textual outcomes. Writing a masters’ or doctoral thesis is not only an inherently idiosyncratic exercise, it is also epistemic and, in the current intellectual climate, rhetorical. The malleability of the disciplinary and methodological vocabularies used in academic rhetorics reflects the manner in which not only words but also styles of writing evolve to suit particular purposes. For this reason, the style of writing and the words used in a thesis will need to be interrogated with the same informed intensity applied to all other aspects of the research undertaking. Only then, with the drawing of a more complex cognitive map, will a definition incrementally develop of what – in terms of a researcher’s own needs – constitutes sound academic discourse.

Feb 09, 16

To maximise the value of your research, you need to communicate it to others. There are many ways to do so: examples include applications and bids, conference presentations, gray literature, journal papers, media (old and new), public talks, and teaching. This book provides fresh, creative, ways of making the most of these and other opportunities. It provides 53 practical suggestions, each based on ideas tried and tested by the contributors. Key terms:communication; impact; presenting; publication; public engagement; research; social media; writing.

Feb 08, 16

The high levels of intelligence seen in humans, other primates, certain cetaceans and birds remain a major puzzle for evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and psychologists. It has long been held that social interactions provide the selection pressures necessary for the evolution of advanced cognitive abilities (the ‘social intelligence hypothesis’), and in recent years decision-making in the context of cooperative social interactions has been conjectured to be of particular importance. Here we use an artificial neural network model to show that selection for efficient decision-making in cooperative dilemmas can give rise to selection pressures for greater cognitive abilities, and that intelligent strategies can themselves select for greater intelligence, leading to a Machiavellian arms race. Our results provide mechanistic support for the social intelligence hypothesis, highlight the potential importance of cooperative behaviour in the evolution of intelligence and may help us to explain the distribution of cooperation with intelligence across taxa.

Feb 08, 16

Many research findings about animal play apply to children’s play, revealing structural and functional similarities with mammals in general and primates in particular. After an introduction to life-history theory, and before turning to humans, the author reviews research about the two mammals in which play has been studied the most extensively: laboratory rats and monkeys. He looks at the development of play, deprivation studies, gender segregation, and the functions of gender-differentiated forms of play. The gender segregation and sex differences in play parenting and rough-and-tumble play observed in many primates are also evident in children. Vigorous social-play benefits all children physically by developing strong bones and muscles, by promoting cardiovascular fitness, and by encouraging exercise habits that help prevent obesity. Unsupervised play also helps hone the skills of communication, perspective taking, and emotion regulation. For boys especially, rough-and-tumble play in early childhood provides a scaffold for learning emotion-regulation skills related to managing anger and aggression.

Feb 08, 16

Play has long been considered an enigmatic behavior that is hard to define, but having many putative functions difficult to confirm. This situation is changing quite rapidly in recent years. This introduction to a special issue on play provides some general background, historical and contemporary, on the recognition and phylogenetic aspects of play, along with a discussion on the adaptive functions of play and some recent research findings that might facilitate or extend future research.

In this short introduction I have tried to present a few selective comments on the fascinating phenomena of play. It is clear that play in a wide variety of species is being increasingly studied in detail by many laboratories. Although disparate phenomena at one level, I think it important that those working on social play keep up with the literature on other types of play and vice versa. Similarly, those working on play in children should know what is being done in primate play and those working with nonhuman primates should keep up with those working on carnivores, rodents, birds, and nontraditional species. Again, such interests need to be reciprocated. Play research, as an interdisciplinary field, benefits greatly from findings in many other fields and researchers need to keep abreast of these trends and accommodate new theoretical and methodological approaches that have, and will continue to, enrich our understanding.

Feb 08, 16

A sustainable society is one in which we choose positive behaviours that make us feel happier, more connected and more disposed to help others. Sharing is one such activity and it has the benefit that, as well as being a positive action that carries with it intrinsic appeal, it can also support a society that buys, consumes and wastes less as a by-product. This report, part of the work of the Sustainable Society Network, offers insights from three linked studies into sharing practices and concludes with design recommendations for different kinds of sustainability based on sharing. We look at three contexts: grass-roots initiatives within walking distance of a project researcher’s home; sharing activities undertaken by researchers’ Facebook ‘friends’; and what a range of digital service producers are making to support sharing across the internet. In this way, we are able to compare sharing in ordinary life, as it happens among committed volunteers in small organisations; for digitally-active individuals; and in the hands of digital entrepreneurs. We hold these contexts up to consideration against different understandings of sustainability to explore the impact of different kinds of design on factors such as social, environmental and economic viability and resourcefulness. So it seems an apt time to ask what kind of economy is being promoted by the sharing economy and how this tallies with what we found on the ground.

Feb 08, 16

The first book to identify and explore Creative Intelligence as a new form of cultural literacy and a method for driving innovation and sparking start-up capitalism. The world is quickly changing in ways we find hard to comprehend. Conventional methods of dealing with problems have become outmoded. To be successful, one can’t just be good; one must also be a creator, a maker, and a doer. In Creative Intelligence, innovation expert Bruce Nussbaum charts the making of a new literacy — Creative Intelligence, or CQ. From corporate CEOs trying to parse the confusing matrix of global business to K–12 teachers attempting to reach bored kids in classrooms, Nussbaum shows how CQ can become a powerful method for devising solutions and a practical antidote to uncertainty and complexity. Nussbaum investigates how people, organizations, and nations are learning to be more creative, and the ways in which those groups are enhancing their CQ. He offers five new creative competencies — Knowledge Mining, Framing, Playing, Making, and Pivoting — to help individuals and organizations learn to create routinely and well. Smart and eye-opening, Creative Intelligence helps boost creative capacity and inspires us to connect our creative output with a new type of economic system called Indie Capitalism, where creativity is the source of economic value; entrepreneurs drive growth; and social networks are the building blocks of the economy.

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