Journal Articles

Beyond stereotypes of adolescent risk taking: Placing the adolescent brain in developmental context

Recent neuroscience models of adolescent brain development attribute the morbidity and mortality of this period to structural and functional imbalances between more fully developed limbic regions that subserve reward and emotion as opposed to those that enable cognitive control. We challenge this interpretation of adolescent development by distinguishing risk-taking that peaks during adolescence (sensation seeking and impulsive action) from risk taking that declines monotonically from childhood to adulthood (impulsive choice and other decisions under known risk).
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Does a Scientific Breakthrough Increase Confidence in Science? News of a Zika Vaccine and Trust in Science

How can public support for science be encouraged? In early August 2016, a Zika vaccine entered its first human trial. Extensive media coverage followed. Using repeated cross-sectional surveys, we observed that, following this media coverage, survey respondents reported greater attention to Zika news and an increased trust in science as providing solutions to problems.
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The role of language in expressing the life sciences in a polarized age

This Perspective is based on the keynote plenary lecture delivered at the Annual Conference of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences (APLS), held on October 23, 2015, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In these comments, I adopt a rhetorical perspective in order to consider the role of language in clarifying or confusing the public and public debates on a number of consequential polarized topics in the life sciences. My analysis is predicated on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s notion that “language itself does, as it were, think for us.” 1 Literary critic Kenneth Burke advanced the same concept in humorous fashion when he suggested that a toast I was slated to deliver in his honor state simply, “Language can do our thinking for us but language cannot do our drinking for us.”
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Processing the papal encyclical through perceptual filters: Pope Francis, identity-protective cognition, and climate change concern

Based on analysis of panel data collected before and after the encyclical’s release, this article finds that political ideology moderated views of papal credibility on climate change for those participants who were aware of the encyclical. Importantly, papal credibility mediated the conditional relationships between encyclical awareness and acceptance of the Pope’s messages on climate change. The authors conclude by discussing how the results provide insight into cognitive processing of new information about controversial issues.
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Transparency In Authors’ Contributions And Responsibilities To Promote Integrity In Scientific Publication

In keeping with the growing movement in scientific publishing toward transparency in data and methods, we argue that the names of authors accompanying journal articles should provide insight into who is responsible for which contributions, a process should exist to confirm that the list is complete, clearly articulated standards should establish whether and when the contributions of an individual justify authorship credit, and those involved in the generation of scientific knowledge should follow these best practices.
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Effects of Pictorial Warning Labels for Cigarettes and Quit-Efficacy on Emotional Responses, Smoking Satisfaction, and Cigarette Consumption

This article presents the results of a clinical trial testing the impact on smoking during and after a 28-day period of naturalistic exposure to pictorial versus text-only warnings. The authors conclude that pictorial warning labels proposed by FDA create unfavorable emotional reactions to smoking that predict reduced cigarette use compared to text alone, with even smokers low in self-efficacy exhibiting some reduction. Predictions that low self-efficacy smokers will respond unfavorably to warnings were not supported.
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