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2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Maryam Bin Meshar ◽  
Ryan Mayer Stolier ◽  
Jonathan B. Freeman

When seeing a face, people form judgments of perceptually ambiguous social categories (PASCs), e.g., gays, gun-owners, or alcoholics. Previous research has assumed that PASC judgments arise from the statistical learning of facial features in social encounters. We propose, instead, that perceivers associate facial features with traits (e.g., extroverted) and then infer PASC membership via learned stereotype associations with those traits. Across 3 studies, we show that when any PASC is more stereotypically associated with a trait (e.g., alcoholics=extroverted), perceivers are more likely to infer PASC membership from faces conveying that trait (Study 1). Further, we demonstrate that individual differences in trait-PASC stereotypes predict face-based judgments of PASC membership (Study 2) and have a causal role in these judgments (Study 3). Together, our findings imply that people can form any number of PASC judgments from facial appearance alone by drawing on their learned social-conceptual associations.


Author(s):  
Jan Fuhse

Social structures can be fruitfully studied as networks of social relationships. These should not be conceptualized, and examined, as stable, acultural patterns of ties. Building on relational sociology around Harrison White, the book examines the interplay of social networks and meaning. Social relationships consist of dynamic bundles of expectations about the behavior between particular actors. These expectations come out of the process of communication, and they make for the regularity and predictability of communication, reducing its inherent uncertainty. Like all social structures, relationships and networks are made of expectations that guide social processes, but that continuously change as the result of these processes. Building on Niklas Luhmann, the events in networks can fruitfully be conceptualized as communication, the processing of meaning between actors (rather than emanating from them). Communication draws on a variety of cultural forms to define and negotiate the relationships between actors: relationship frames like “love” and “friendship” prescribe the kinds of interaction appropriate for types of tie; social categories like ethnicity and gender guide the interaction within and between categories of actors; and collective and corporate actors form on the basis of cultural models like “company,” “bureaucracy,” “street gang,” or “social movement.” Such cultural models are diffused in systems of education and in the mass media, but they also institutionalize in communication, with existing patterns of interaction and relationships serving as models for others. Social groups are semi-institutionalized social patterns, with a strong social boundary separating their members from the social environment.


Author(s):  
Valerie Finke ◽  
David Baracchi ◽  
Martin Giurfa ◽  
Ricarda Scheiner ◽  
Aurore Avarguès-Weber

Individuals differing in their cognitive abilities and foraging strategies may confer a valuable benefit to their social groups as variability may help responding flexibly in scenarios with different resource availability. Individual learning proficiency may either be absolute or vary with the complexity or the nature of the problem considered. Determining if learning abilities correlate between tasks of different complexity or between sensory modalities has a high interest for research on brain modularity and task-dependent specialisation of neural circuits. The honeybee Apis mellifera constitutes an attractive model to address this question due to its capacity to successfully learn a large range of tasks in various sensory domains. Here we studied whether the performance of individual bees in a simple visual discrimination task (a discrimination between two visual shapes) is stable over time and correlates with their capacity to solve either a higher-order visual task (a conceptual discrimination based on spatial relations between objects) or an elemental olfactory task (a discrimination between two odorants). We found that individual learning proficiency within a given task was maintained over time and that some individuals performed consistently better than others within the visual modality, thus showing consistent aptitude across visual tasks of different complexity. By contrast, performance in the elemental visual-learning task did not predict performance in the equivalent elemental olfactory task. Overall, our results suggest the existence of cognitive specialisation within the hive, which may contribute to ecological social success.


Author(s):  
Petra Bárd

Abstract Hate crimes poison societies by threatening individual rights, human dignity and equality. They effect private lives, or even victims’ life and limb. Due to their ripple effect, they terrify whole communities, reinforce tensions between social groups, ultimately jeopardising peaceful coexistence. No society is immune from the signs of hatred, but whether they get tamed or whether prejudices are deepened, depends on the social measures that are applied vis-à-vis the phenomenon. The state’s reaction creates norms and will informs society about the current acceptable standards. European expectations help forming these. Standards developed by the European Court of Human Rights include the obligations to ensure that hate against social groups as a motivation is considered an aggravating circumstance or leads to penalty enhancement. States must also ensure that national investigation authorities show special vigilance to explore and unmask the bias motives behind hate crimes. Such European expectations still leave a wide room of manoeuvre to respond to hate crimes efficiently and dissuasively. But irrespectively of the national codification method, for legal provisions to reach the desired outcome, certain social preconditions must be met. For hate crime laws or provisions to work, states must reach a certain level of maturity from the viewpoint of democracy, fundamental rights in general and the rule of law, where guaranteeing judicial independence is an absolute minimum.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Veronica Johansson ◽  
Jörgen Stenlund

PurposeRepresentations of time are commonly used to construct narratives in visualisations of data. However, since time is a value-laden concept, and no representation can provide a full, objective account of “temporal reality”, they are also biased and political: reproducing and reinforcing certain views and values at the expense of alternative ones. This conceptual paper aims to explore expressions of temporal bias and politics in data visualisation, along with possibly mitigating user approaches and design strategies.Design/methodology/approachThis study presents a theoretical framework rooted in a sociotechnical view of representations as biased and political, combined with perspectives from critical literacy, radical literacy and critical design. The framework provides a basis for discussion of various types and effects of temporal bias in visualisation. Empirical examples from previous research and public resources illustrate the arguments.FindingsFour types of political effects of temporal bias in visualisations are presented, expressed as limitation of view, disregard of variation, oppression of social groups and misrepresentation of topic and suggest that appropriate critical and radical literacy approaches require users and designers to critique, contextualise, counter and cross beyond expressions of the same. Supporting critical design strategies involve the inclusion of multiple datasets and representations; broad access to flexible tools; and inclusive participation of marginalised groups.Originality/valueThe paper draws attention to a vital, yet little researched problem of temporal representation in visualisations of data. It offers a pioneering bridging of critical literacy, radical literacy and critical design and emphasises mutual rather than contradictory interests of the empirical sciences and humanities.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Author(s):  
Robin I. M. Dunbar ◽  
Susanne Shultz

Mammal social groups vary considerably in size from single individuals to very large herds. In some taxa, these groups are extremely stable, with at least some individuals being members of the same group throughout their lives; in other taxa, groups are unstable, with membership changing by the day. We argue that this variability in grouping patterns reflects a tradeoff between group size as a solution to environmental demands and the costs created by stress-induced infertility (creating an infertility trap). These costs are so steep that, all else equal, they will limit group size in mammals to ∼15 individuals. A species will only be able to live in larger groups if it evolves strategies that mitigate these costs. We suggest that mammals have opted for one of two solutions. One option (fission-fusion herding) is low cost but high risk; the other (bonded social groups) is risk-averse, but costly in terms of cognitive requirements.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Roel Smeets

Fiction has a major social impact, not least because it co-shapes the image that society has of various social groups. Drawing on a collection of 170 contemporary Dutch-language novels, Character Constellations presents a range of data-driven, statistical models to study depictions of characters in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, sexuality, and other identity categories. Incorporating the tools of network analysis, each chapter highlights an aspect of fictional social networks that affects the representation of social groups: their centrality, their communities, and their conflicts. While reading individual novels in light of emerging statistical patterns, combining the formal methods of social network analysis with the interpretive tools of narratology, this study shows how central societal themes such as (in)equality and emancipation, integration and segregation, and social mobility and class struggle are foregrounded, replicated, or distorted in the Dutch novel. Showcasing what character-based critiques of literary representation gain by integrating data-driven methods into the practice of critical close reading, Character Constellations contributes to societal debates on cultural representation and identity and the role fiction and art have in those debates.


2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (20) ◽  
pp. 11390
Author(s):  
Diogo Rato ◽  
Rui Prada

Current architectures for social agents are designed around some specific units of social behavior that address particular challenges, such as modeling beliefs and motivations, establishing social relationships, or understanding group memberships. Although their performance might be adequate for controlled environments, deploying these agents in the wild is difficult. Moreover, the increasing demand for autonomous agents capable of living alongside humans calls for the design of more robust social agents that can cope with diverse social situations. We believe that to design such agents, their sociality and cognition should be conceived as one. This includes creating mechanisms for constructing social reality as an interpretation of the physical world with social meanings and selective deployment of cognitive resources adequate to the situation. We identify several design principles that should be considered while designing agent architectures for socio-cognitive systems. Taking these remarks into account, we propose a socio-cognitive agent model based on the concept of cognitive social frames that allow the adaptation of an agent’s cognition based on its interpretation of its surroundings, its social context. Our approach supports an agent’s reasoning about other social actors and its relationship with them. Cognitive social frames can be built around social groups, and form the basis for social group dynamics mechanisms and construct of social identity.


Energies ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 14 (20) ◽  
pp. 6718
Author(s):  
Ágnes Győri ◽  
Ákos Huszár ◽  
Karolina Balogh

Goal 7 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in 2015, sets out universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, but even in developed countries, this is still difficult to achieve. European comparative studies show that in Mediterranean and Central European countries, including Hungary, access to adequate energy remains a serious problem for certain social groups. The aim of the study is to examine the inequalities in access to and consumption of energy in Hungary. We pay special attention to presenting changes over time and examine what changes have taken place in household energy consumption since the years before the global economic crisis. We also explore the major socio-economic and building-related factors that increase the risk of possible energy vulnerability. For our analysis, we draw on data from a large sample survey conducted in 2007, 2013 and 2018 on a representative probability sample. Our results showed on the one hand the fundamental role of different combinations of energy sources used by households in the intensity of energy consumption, and on the other hand that besides the characteristics of the property concerned, the energy use and behaviour patterns of households are determined by the socio-demographic characteristics of the household as well.


2021 ◽  
Vol 4 (3) ◽  
pp. 36-43
Author(s):  
N. V. Prokazina

In the conditions of self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a significant reduction in the number of physical contacts, interaction in an online format through numerous social networks and platforms has become the main communication tool for citizens. It is they who provide the conditions for solidarity, dialogue and partnership. A serious change has affected the sphere of interaction between the population and the authorities: information and communication technologies, due to an increase in the number of citizens with a basic and primary level of education, have become the main help in the processes of building a dialogue between the authorities and the population.The purpose of this study is to analyse digital literacy, which is a key indicator that allows you to adequately assess the situation of interaction between the authorities and the population in the context of a pandemic and determine the directions for the development of dialogue. The main effects of such interaction are: increased activity due to the accessibility and ease of contacting the authorities; increased involvement of citizens in solving urgent problems of the local community and specific territories; increased trust as a result of active conscious joint activity of the population and authorities. Digital literacy has largely helped to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic, and the associated circumstances of the new reality. Citizens have the opportunity to receive services, submit appeals, applications, complaints to various authorities and other authorities in electronic format. Tools that ensure the involvement of public participation in management processes in a digital environment (as infrastructure components) have been created and are actively developing, and the presence of a basic level of digital competence of citizens allows you to include a large part of the population in these processes. One of the urgent tasks today is the further development of digital literacy, including the expansion of social groups of the population (socio-demographic, professional) that have an increased level of it.


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