Behav. Sci.2014, 4(3), 278-300; doi:10.3390/bs4030278 - published 8 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: There has been a world-wide surge of interest in cycling over the last 10 years of which London has seen a continuous growth in cyclists and investment in infrastructure that has resulted in the introduction of the Barclays Cycle Superhighway and Barclays Cycling Hiring Scheme. Despite the investment in cycling infrastructure, there has been little understanding of cycling activity patterns in general and the effect of spatial configuration on cycling route choices. This research aims at measuring the impact of cycling infrastructure and spatial configuration on aggregate cyclist movement over two time periods. To do so, this paper presents a spatial-based cyclist movement statistical model that regress cyclist movement flows with measure of spatial configuration, safety and infrastructure and urban character attributes. Using Elephant and Castle, a Central London location, as a case study, the authors analyze cycling movement data sets from 2003 and 2012 to compare the change in cycling behaviour and the impact that the Cycling Superhighway 07, introduced in 2011, has had on cycling patterns. Findings confirm the growth of cycling in London with a 1000% increase in cyclists along some routes in comparison to a 10% increase in population at the same time. More importantly, results also suggest that higher cyclist movement were observed along routes with greater convenience and continuity—over and above route segregation from vehicular traffic. The relationship between spatial configuration and aggregate cyclists movement is consistent between 2003 and 2012 where spatial configuration have remained the same while changes were observed in both modal split and cycling infrastructure. This result is in line with previous research wherein aggregate higher cyclists movement are observed on major routes offering direct connections than less direct routes. From a spatial cognition perspective, this research enriches our understanding on how the external built environment as measured by the spatial configuration measure relates to aggregated cyclists movement overtime and in identifying key potential factors in influencing cyclist wayfinding. Further research is needed into validating the results and examining this relationship at an individual basis on route choice. These results help us better understand the trade off between cycling safety and cycling legibility which could help inform cycling route design in the future.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(3), 265-277; doi:10.3390/bs4030265 - published 6 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In psychiatry, the social zeitgeber theory argues that social life provides important social cues that entrain circadian rhythms. Disturbance of these social cues might lead do dis-entrainment of circadian rhythms and evoke somatic symptoms that increase the risk of mood disorders. In preventing and treating patients with bipolar disorders, the Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT) relies on the Social Rhythm Metric (SRM) to (re)establish patients’ social cues and an re-entrain circadian rhythms. Since the SRM quantifies social rhythms that are derived from a patient’s interaction with a social environment, this contribution (a) calculates the SRM of the social environment of a representative healthy population study (n = 1249), (b) evaluates the robustness of the SRM as a quantifier of social rhythms by matching the scores of the pilot study, revealing the near absence of variance across population characteristics and investigation months—circadian rhythms need to be entrained for every month and for everyone—and (c) examines its use in IPSRT by relating high SRM-scores to lower psychological distress (p = 0.004) and low SRM-scores to higher social and emotional dysfunction (p = 0.018).
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(3), 243-264; doi:10.3390/bs4030243 - published 6 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Creating useful treatment plans can help improve services to consumers of mental health services. As more evidence-based practices are implemented, deciding what treatment, at what time, for whom becomes an important factor in facilitating positive outcomes. Readiness for trauma-focused treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) such as Cognitive Processing Therapy or Prolonged Exposure Therapy may influence whether an individual can successfully complete either protocol. In addition, components of adjunctive therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or Dialectical Behavior Therapy may be useful in moving a particular patient toward readiness and successful completion of treatment. Psychological assessment adds valuable data to inform these types of treatment decisions. This paper describes the implementation of a psychological assessment clinic in a residential PTSD treatment setting. Barriers to implementation, use of the data, and Veterans’ reactions to the feedback provided to them are included.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(3), 226-242; doi:10.3390/bs4030226 - published 30 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Two groups of subjects were presented with two façade designs, one with the front façade of the existing Atlanta Public Library, an exercise in modern abstract plastic composition by the Bauhaus-trained architect Marcel Breuer, and the other with alteration that toned down its plasticity and enhanced simple relations of its parts like symmetry and repetition. The subjects were asked to recall and copy the façades. The results showed that while significantly more students recalled elements of the altered façade, the performance was equivocal for the façades for the copying task. However, the copying task showed the subjects making greater errors in reproducing elements and relations on the periphery, and those that reflect a reading of depth in the façades. We present an account of the experiment, making the case that the results show the influence of visual design of the façade on the way that an interested and involved viewer attends to it in the course of parsing and comprehending it. The broader implication of this point is to see the visual design of buildings not as simple means to increase its aesthetic value, but as a sophisticated means to lead the viewer to specific forms of imaginative engagement.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(3), 213-225; doi:10.3390/bs4030213 - published 25 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Once believed to be a human prerogative, the capacity to discriminate between quantities now has also been reported in several vertebrates. To date, only two studies investigated numerical abilities in horses (Equus caballus) but reported contrasting data. To assess whether horses can be trained to discriminate between quantities, I have set up a new experimental protocol using operant conditioning. One adult female was trained to discriminate between 1 and 4 (Test 1) in three different conditions: non-controlled continuous variables (numerical and continuous quantities that co-vary with number are simultaneously available), 50% controlled continuous variables (intermediate condition), and 100% controlled continuous variables (only numerical information available). The subject learned the discrimination in all conditions, showing the capacity to process numerical information. When presented with a higher numerical ratio (2 vs. 4, Test 2), the subject still discriminated between the quantities but its performance was statistically significant only in the non-controlled condition, suggesting that the subject used multiple cues in presence of a more difficult discrimination. On the whole, the results here reported encourage the use of this experimental protocol as a valid tool to investigate the capacity to process numerical and continuous quantities in horses in future research.
Behav. Sci.2014, 4(3), 202-212; doi:10.3390/bs4030202 - published 17 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A better understanding of when and why nudges (e.g., defaults, visibility or accessibility alterations) and other structural behavior-change measures work or fail can help avoid subsequent surprises such as unexpected political opposition. In this paper, we challenge the unilateral focus on structural interventions—which seemingly control people's behavioral decisions—as such a focus ignores the flipside—namely, attitudes or, as they are called in economics, preferences. We argue for a conceptual understanding of individual behavior that views personal attitudes and behavioral costs as its two separate compensatorily effective determinants. This classical understanding was reintroduced into attitude research as the Campbell paradigm. In the logic of the Campbell paradigm, a person's attitude becomes obvious in the face of the behavioral costs the person surmounts. Technically, individual attitudes reveal themselves in a set of cost-dependent transitively ordered performances. Behavioral costs in turn reflect the structural boundary conditions that are relevant as obstructive and/or supportive environmental forces that generically affect a specific behavior. So far, our research on people’s attitudes toward environmental protection has demonstrated that the Campbell paradigm—and thus its conceptual account of individual behavior—holds true for approximately 95% of the people in a given society.