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Author(s):  
Kathy R. Vander Werff ◽  
Christopher E. Niemczak ◽  
Kenneth Morse

Purpose Background noise has been categorized as energetic masking due to spectrotemporal overlap of the target and masker on the auditory periphery or informational masking due to cognitive-level interference from relevant content such as speech. The effects of masking on cortical and sensory auditory processing can be objectively studied with the cortical auditory evoked potential (CAEP). However, whether effects on neural response morphology are due to energetic spectrotemporal differences or informational content is not fully understood. The current multi-experiment series was designed to assess the effects of speech versus nonspeech maskers on the neural encoding of speech information in the central auditory system, specifically in terms of the effects of speech babble noise maskers varying by talker number. Method CAEPs were recorded from normal-hearing young adults in response to speech syllables in the presence of energetic maskers (white or speech-shaped noise) and varying amounts of informational maskers (speech babble maskers). The primary manipulation of informational masking was the number of talkers in speech babble, and results on CAEPs were compared to those of nonspeech maskers with different temporal and spectral characteristics. Results Even when nonspeech noise maskers were spectrally shaped and temporally modulated to speech babble maskers, notable changes in the typical morphology of the CAEP in response to speech stimuli were identified in the presence of primarily energetic maskers and speech babble maskers with varying numbers of talkers. Conclusions While differences in CAEP outcomes did not reach significance by number of talkers, neural components were significantly affected by speech babble maskers compared to nonspeech maskers. These results suggest an informational masking influence on neural encoding of speech information at the sensory cortical level of auditory processing, even without active participation on the part of the listener.


2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (17) ◽  
pp. 9581
Author(s):  
Svetlana Ratner ◽  
Konstantin Gomonov ◽  
Svetlana Revinova ◽  
Inna Lazanyuk

Ecolabeling can complement more conventional policy instruments such as taxes and subsidies to stimulate more sustainable development of the economy. However, in practice, ecolabels may not always comply with legal requirements in terms of reliability, accuracy and clarity, and sometimes deliberately mislead the consumer. In Russia and many other developing countries, the problem of inaccurate information on the environmental properties of goods and services is still not recognized. The only regulatory document that currently defines the basic principles for developing and using environmental labels and declarations is the national versions of international standards ISO 14020/14021/14024/14025-Environmental Labels Package. This paper contributes to the literature in two main dimensions. It assesses the degree of prevalence of ecolabeling in the Russian market of everyday goods and the reliability and informational content of frequently used labels (supply-side research). Second, it estimates the consumers’ awareness and reaction to ecolabeled products (demand-side research). The most obvious finding to emerge from this study is that low consumer awareness keeps the level of greenwashing low, but at the same time does not stimulate eco-innovations. We suggest developing smartphone applications that allow buyers to check the compliance of ecolabels on a product with ISO standards directly during the shopping process. We propose to use this approach as a cost-effective and straightforward way to simultaneously raise consumer awareness of ecolabeling and reduce the likelihood of greenwashing.


Author(s):  
Karsten Müller

AbstractBased on German business cycle forecast reports covering 10 German institutions for the period 1993–2017, the paper analyses the information content of German forecasters’ narratives for German business cycle forecasts. The paper applies textual analysis to convert qualitative text data into quantitative sentiment indices. First, a sentiment analysis utilizes dictionary methods and text regression methods, using recursive estimation. Next, the paper analyses the different characteristics of sentiments. In a third step, sentiment indices are used to test the efficiency of numerical forecasts. Using 12-month-ahead fixed horizon forecasts, fixed-effects panel regression results suggest some informational content of sentiment indices for growth and inflation forecasts. Finally, a forecasting exercise analyses the predictive power of sentiment indices for GDP growth and inflation. The results suggest weak evidence, at best, for in-sample and out-of-sample predictive power of the sentiment indices.


2021 ◽  
pp. 009365022110321
Author(s):  
Christian Burgers ◽  
Britta C. Brugman

Satirical news blends entertainment with information and opinion. Satire can thus impact various audience responses, such as positive and negative affect, learning, and persuasion. However, the presence and size of these communicative effects have been debated. We conducted a three-level random-effects meta-analysis on the impact of satirical news ( k = 70, Ntotal = 22,969). We compared satirical news to two reference categories: (1) control messages with no or irrelevant information, and (2) regular news with similar informational content. Results demonstrate that satirical (vs. regular) news increased positive affective responses and message discounting. By contrast, satire increased learning compared to control messages, but not compared to regular news. We find limited evidence for a positive main effect of satire on persuasion. However, we find different moderating effects, indicating that persuasion effects are stronger for Republicans (vs. other voters), student (vs. general-population) samples, TV satire (vs. online and print satire), and for satire targeting social actors.


Author(s):  
Vagner Antônio Marques ◽  
Lanna Nogueira Pereira ◽  
Idamo Favalessa de Aquino ◽  
Viviane da Costa Freitag

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of the adoption of Brazilian Accounting Standard - Auditing Technique 701 (NBC TA 701, in its Portuguese initialism) over the readability of audit reports. The study fills a gap in the literature by obtaining empirical evidence regarding the effect of NBC TA 701 on the readability and comprehensibility of audit reports. The study is important for verifying whether the disclosure of key audit matters (KAMs) improves the ease of reading and understanding audit reports after the adoption of NBC TA 701. Unlike in the previous literature, it was observed that the effect of KAMs has a non-linear, U-shaped relationship, which suggests additional benefits to readability based on a certain quantity of key matters reported. The data from a sample of 240 listed companies on the B3 S.A. -Brasil,Bolsa,Balcão (B3), in the period from 2013 to 2018, were assessed using content analysis, descriptive statistics, difference of means tests, and panel data correlation and regression analyses. The results showed that the adoption of NBC TA 701 significantly affected the Flesch readability index (FRI) of the independent audit reports. They also confirmed that the quantity of KAMs reported increases the FRI in a non-linear way, and that the types of key matters affect readability differently according to their complexity. The results provide evidence that the new audit report improves the level of readability in a non-linear way, thus contributing to the informational content of the audit report used by the various users for decision making.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Qingxia Wang ◽  
Robert Faff ◽  
Min Zhu

PurposeMore studies have investigated the relation between option measures and stock returns during scheduled corporate events. This study adds to the literature and investigates the informational role of options concerning stock returns following unscheduled corporate news events. The authors focus on individual analysts' recommendation changes rather than consensus revisions, as the recommendation consensus might discard a large amount of potentially valuable information in the aggregation process.Design/methodology/approachBased on the econometric model, the authors follow Bakshi et al. (2003) to construct the model-free option implied measures. The authors further decompose the implied option variance into upside and downside components. In such a way, the different informational roles of call and put options can be distinguished. A variety of regression analyses are conducted to examine the predictive power of option implied measures, and the ordered probit model is used to test the tipping hypothesis of analyst recommendations.FindingsThis study’s results show that the option market impounds the “valuable” firm-specific news; thus, the pre-event option market is strongly related to stock returns around recommendations even though recommendation changes are largely “unscheduled”. At the same time, these results suggest that upside (good) and downside (bad) implied volatilities contain distinctive information on subsequent stock returns.Originality/valueThis study provides new evidence that an increase in upside (downside) volatility around analyst recommendation changes would increase the probability that analysts upgrade (downgrade) the stock. The findings provide implications for investors and risk managers in making investment decisions.


2021 ◽  
pp. 1-15
Author(s):  
Jordana S. Wynn ◽  
Zhong-Xu Liu ◽  
Jennifer D. Ryan

Abstract Mounting evidence linking gaze reinstatement—the recapitulation of encoding-related gaze patterns during retrieval—to behavioral measures of memory suggests that eye movements play an important role in mnemonic processing. Yet, the nature of the gaze scanpath, including its informational content and neural correlates, has remained in question. In this study, we examined eye movement and neural data from a recognition memory task to further elucidate the behavioral and neural bases of functional gaze reinstatement. Consistent with previous work, gaze reinstatement during retrieval of freely viewed scene images was greater than chance and predictive of recognition memory performance. Gaze reinstatement was also associated with viewing of informationally salient image regions at encoding, suggesting that scanpaths may encode and contain high-level scene content. At the brain level, gaze reinstatement was predicted by encoding-related activity in the occipital pole and BG, neural regions associated with visual processing and oculomotor control. Finally, cross-voxel brain pattern similarity analysis revealed overlapping subsequent memory and subsequent gaze reinstatement modulation effects in the parahippocampal place area and hippocampus, in addition to the occipital pole and BG. Together, these findings suggest that encoding-related activity in brain regions associated with scene processing, oculomotor control, and memory supports the formation, and subsequent recapitulation, of functional scanpaths. More broadly, these findings lend support to scanpath theory's assertion that eye movements both encode, and are themselves embedded in, mnemonic representations.


2021 ◽  
Vol 0 (0) ◽  
Author(s):  
Christian Glocker ◽  
Werner Hölzl

Abstract We present an uncertainty measure that is based on a business survey in which uncertainty is captured directly by a qualitative question on subjective uncertainty regarding expectations. Uncertainty perceptions display persistence at the firm level and changes are associated with past business assessments and expectations. While our uncertainty measure correlates with commonly used alternatives, it is superior in forecasting and suggests a larger role of uncertainty shocks for aggregate fluctuations. Its informational content is highest when considering smaller firms or firms with a low growth rate. Our results confirm the feasibility of constructing uncertainty measures from business survey questions that elicit information on uncertainty of respondents directly.


2021 ◽  
Vol 1 (7) ◽  
pp. 349-354
Author(s):  
Maca Caran Andrejić ◽  
Roksana Toma

The content conveyed by the entertainment media is a diverse one, including images with emotional and aggressive content with different effects on adolescents᾽ behaviour. The stage of adolescence and youth within the life span is a stage of knowledge accumulation. Through this paper we intended to explore the informational content of media consumed by adolescents in the investigated group, the daily time allocated to media consumption and their level of empathy. More than 100 adolescents from Serbia completed a self-report questionnaire. The conclusions highlighted an increased consumption and no criteria for filtering the entertainment media. Finally, we propose some research and intervention recommendations for directing the online activities of adolescents in relation with the time spent online but also to the content of the materials covered.


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