EnglishDeutsch

Highlights of the Research Results

Please find below a list of selected research results from all Centers of the Institute since 2011.

Emotional Cities

Titel:

Emotional Cities

Center: 
History of Emotions
Abstract: 

Emotional Cities offers an innovative account of the history of cities in the second half of the nineteenth century. Analyzing debates about emotions and urban change, it questions the assumed dissimilarity of the history of European and Middle Eastern cities during this period. The author shows that between 1860 and 1910, contemporaries in both Berlin and Cairo began to negotiate the transformation of the urban realm in terms of emotions. Looking at the ways in which a variety of urban dwellers, from psychologists to bar maids, framed recent changes in terms of their effect on love, honor, or disgust, the book reveals striking parallels between the histories of the two cities. By combining urban history and the history of emotions, Prestel proposes a new perspective on the emergence of different, yet comparable cities at the end of the nineteenth century.

Lint to publisher:
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/emotional-cities-9780198797562?c...

Prestel, J. B. (2017). Emotional Cities: Debates on Urban Change in Berlin and Cairo, 1860-1910. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0-19-879756-2

Die Politik der Demütigung

Titel:

Die Politik der Demütigung

Cover Die Politik der Demütigung
© S. Fischer
Center: 
History of Emotions
Abstract: 

Humiliation practices are common, for example, in parenting and education, on the internet, in penal law, and in politics. Thus, after 1944, many French women accused of liaising with Germans were degraded by having their hair shorn in public.
Die Politik der Demütigung investigates humiliation as an instrument of power in public settings over the past 250 years, demonstrating that modernity never relinquished the pillory but simply reinvented it. It is no longer the state that shames and humiliates but society.

Link to publisher:
http://www.fischerverlage.de/buch/die_politik_der_demuetigung/9783103972221

Frevert, U. (2017). Die Politik der Demütigung: Schauplätze von Macht und Ohnmacht. Frankfurt: S. Fischer. ISBN: 978-3-10-397222-1

Hippocampal maturity promotes memory distinctiveness in childhood and adolescence Lifespan Psychology

Titel:

Hippocampal maturity promotes memory distinctiveness in childhood and adolescence Lifespan Psychology

Cover Keresztes
© PNAS
Center: 
Lifespan Psychology
Abstract: 

Adaptive learning systems need to meet two complementary and partially conflicting goals: detecting regularities in the world versus remembering specific events. The hippocampus (HC) keeps a fine balance between computations that extract commonalities of incoming information (i.e., pattern completion) and computations that enable encoding of highly similar events into unique representations (i.e., pattern separation). Histological evidence from young rhesus monkeys suggests that HC development is characterized by the differential development of intrahippocampal subfields and associated networks. However, due to challenges in the in vivo investigation of such developmental organization, the ontogenetic timing of HC subfield maturation remains controversial. Delineating its course is important, as it directly influences the fine balance between pattern separation and pattern completion operations and, thus, developmental changes in learning and memory. Here, we relate in vivo, high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging data of HC subfields to behavioral memory performance in children aged 6–14 y and in young adults. We identify a multivariate profile of age-related differences in intrahippocampal structures and show that HC maturity as captured by this pattern is associated with age differences in the differential encoding of unique memory representations.

Significance
Children tend to extract schematic knowledge at the expense of learning and recollecting specific events. Our findings allow us to speculate that the heterogeneous development of subregions within the hippocampus—a brain region crucial for laying down novel memories—contributes to this developmental lag in memory. Specifically, we used in vivo high-resolution structural MRI and memory tests in a large sample of children aged 6–14 years and young adults to characterize hippocampal development. We show that hippocampal maturity as expressed in the multivariate pattern of age-related differences in hippocampal subregions is specifically related to the ability to lay down highly specific memories.

Keresztes, A., Bender, A. R., Bodammer, N. C., Lindenberger, U., Shing, Y. L., & Werkle-Bergner, M. (2017). Hippocampal maturity promotes memory distinctiveness in childhood and adolescence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114, 9212–9217. doi:10.1073/pnas.171065411

See also press release: Memory for Details Matures Gradually

Zornpolitik

Titel:

Zornpolitik

Cover Zornpolitik
© SV
Center: 
History of Emotions
Abstract: 

It thus combines a historical analysis with a critical perspective on contemporary developments. http://www.suhrkamp.de/buecher/zornpolitik-uffa_jensen_12720.html

Jensen, U. (2017). Zornpolitik. Suhrkamp Verlag (edition suhrkamp 2720). ISBN: 978-3-518-12720-9

Subsistence styles shape human social learning strategies

Titel:

Subsistence styles shape human social learning strategies

Cover nature human behaviour
© nature human behaviour
Center: 
Adaptive Rationality
Abstract: 

Social learning is a fundamental element of human cognition. Learning from others facilitates the transmission of information that helps individuals and groups rapidly adjust to new environments and underlies adaptive cultural evolution. While basic human propensities for social learning are traditionally assumed to be species-universal recent empirical studies show that they vary between individuals and populations. Yet the causes of this variation remain poorly understood. Here we show that interdependence in everyday social and economic activities can strongly amplify social learning. Using an experimental decision-making task, we examine individual versus social learning in three recently diverged populations of a single-ethnicity group, whose subsistence styles require varying degrees of interdependence. Interdependent pastoralists and urban dwellers have markedly higher propensities for social learning than independent horticulturalists, who predominantly rely on individual payoff information. These results indicate that everyday social and economic practices can mould human social learning strategies and they highlight the flexibility of human cognition to change with local ecology. Our study further suggests that shifts in subsistence styles—which can occur when humans inhabit new habitats or cultural niches—can alter reliance on social learning and may therefore impact the ability of human societies to adapt to novel circumstances.

Glowacki, L., & Molleman, L. (2017). Subsistence styles shape human social learning strategies. Nature Human Behavour, 1:0098. doi:10.1038/s41562-017-0098

Special Issue Feeling Communities

Titel:

Special Issue Feeling Communities

Cover The Indian Economic and Social History Review
© IESH
Center: 
History of Emotions
Abstract: 

This special issue investigates the role emotions played and play in the creation of feeling communities in South Asia. The topics range from the central role, which appeals to compassion had in the creation of the Muslim community in the 19th century (Margrit Pernau), the contributions of novels to the mobilization of feelings and people in the 20th century (Christina Oesterheld), the way emotions were evoked through their performance in poetic gatherings and in sermons (Carla Petievich, Max Stille), the contribution of Telugu films played in mass mobilization through anger and compassion (Imke Rajamani) and finally the emotional world views of young men in Pakistan with jihadi affiliations (Amélie Blom).

Pernau, M. (Guest ed.). (2017). "Feeling communities [Special issue]". Indian Economic and Social History Review, 54(1).

How the twain can meet: Prospect theory and models of heuristics in risky choice

Titel:

How the twain can meet: Prospect theory and models of heuristics in risky choice

Artikel in Cognitive Psychology
© Cognitive Psychology
Center: 
Adaptive Rationality
Abstract: 

Two influential approaches to modeling choice between risky options are algebraic models (which focus on predicting the overt decisions) and models of heuristics (which are also concerned with capturing the underlying cognitive process). Because they rest on fundamentally different assumptions and algorithms, the two approaches are usually treated as antithetical, or even incommensurable. Drawing on cumulative prospect theory (CPT; Tversky & Kahneman, 1992) as the currently most influential instance of a descriptive algebraic model, the authors demonstrate how the two modeling traditions can be linked.

CPT’s algebraic functions characterize choices in terms of psychophysical (diminishing sensitivity to probabilities and outcomes) as well as psychological (risk aversion and loss aversion) constructs. Models of heuristics characterize choices as rooted in simple informationprocessing principles such as lexicographic and limited search. In computer simulations, the researchers estimated CPT’s parameters for choices produced by various heuristics. The resulting CPT parameter profiles portray each of the choice-generating heuristics in psychologically meaningful ways—capturing, for instance, differences in how the heuristics process probability information. Furthermore, CPT parameters can reflect a key property of many heuristics, lexicographic search, and track the environment-dependent behavior of heuristics. Finally, the authors show, both in an empirical and a model recovery study, how CPT parameter profiles can be used to detect the operation of heuristics. Pachur et.al. also address the limits of CPT’s ability to capture choices produced by heuristics. Our results highlight an untapped potential of CPT as a measurement tool to characterize the information processing underlying risky choice.

Pachur, T., Suter, R. S., & Hertwig, R. (2017). How the twain can meet: Prospect theory and models of heuristics in risky choice. Cognitive Psychology, 93, 44—73. doi:10.1016/j.cogpsych.2017.01.001

History of science and the emotions

Titel:

History of science and the emotions

Cover Osiris
© The University of Chicago Press Books
Center: 
History of Emotions
Abstract: 

What new insights become available for historians when “emotions” are included as an analytical category? This volume of Osiris explores the historical interrelationships between science and its cultures and cultures of emotions. It argues that a dialogue between the history of emotions and the history of science leads to a rethinking of our categories of analysis, our subjects, and our periodizations.
The ten case-studies in the volume explore these possibilities and interrelationships across North America and Europe, between the twelfth and the twentieth century, in a variety of scientific disciplines. They analyze how scientific communities approached and explained the functions of emotions; how the concomitant positioning of emotions in and/or between body-mind-intersubjectivity took place; how emotions infused practices and how practices generated emotions; and, ultimately, how new and emerging identities of and criteria for emotions created new knowledge, new technologies, and new subjectivities; and vice versa.

Dror, O. E., Hitzer, B., Laukötter, A., & León-Sanz, P. (Eds.). (2016). History of science and the emotions [Special issue]. Osiris, 31(1).

On the role of psychological heuristics in operational research; and a demonstration in military stability operations

Titel:

On the role of psychological heuristics in operational research; and a demonstration in military stability operations

 European Journal of Operational Research
© EJOR
Center: 
Adaptive Behavior and Cognition
Abstract: 

Psychological heuristics are formal models for making decisions that (i) rely on core psychological capacities (e.g., recognizing patterns or recalling information from memory), (ii) do not necessarily use all available information, and process the information they use by simple computations (e.g., ordinal comparisons or un- weighted sums), and (iii) are easy to understand, apply and explain. The contribution of this article is fourfold: First, the conceptual foundation of the psychological heuristics research program is provided, along with a discussion of its relationship to soft and hard OR. Second, empirical evidence and theoretical analyses are presented on the conditions under which psychological heuristics perform on par with or even better than more complex standard models in decision problems such as multi-attribute choice, classification, and forecasting, and in domains as varied as health, economics and management. Third, we demonstrate the application of the psychological heuristics approach to the problem of reducing civilian casualties in military stability operations. Finally, we discuss the role that psychological heuristics can play in OR theory and practice.

Keller, N., Katsikopoulos, K. V. (2016). On the role of psychological heuristics in operational research; and a demonstration in military stability operations. European Journal of Operational Research, 249, 1063—1073.

Boosting medical diagnostics by pooling independent judgments

Titel:

Boosting medical diagnostics by pooling independent judgments

Artikel in PNAS
© PNAS
Center: 
Adaptive Rationality
Abstract: 

Collective intelligence refers to the ability of groups to outperform individual decision makers when solving complex cognitive problems. Despite its potential to revolutionize decision making in a wide range of domains, including medical, economic, and political decision making, at present, little is known about the conditions underlying collective intelligence in real-world contexts. The team of researchers here focuses on two key areas of medical diagnostics, breast and skin cancer detection. Using a simulation study that draws on large real-world datasets, involving more than 140 doctors making more than 20,000 diagnoses, they investigate when combining the independent judgments of multiple doctors outperforms the best doctor in a group. It was found that similarity in diagnostic accuracy is a key condition for collective intelligence: Aggregating the independent judgments of doctors outperforms the best doctor in a group whenever the diagnostic accuracy of doctors is relatively similar, but not when doctors’ diagnostic accuracy differs too much. This intriguingly simple result is highly robust and holds across different group sizes, performance levels of the best doctor, and collective intelligence rules. The enabling role of similarity, in turn, is explained by its systematic effects on the number of correct and incorrect decisions of the best doctor that are overruled by the collective. By identifying a key factor underlying collective intelligence in two important real-world contexts, the findings pave the way for innovative and more effective approaches to complex real-world decision making, and to the scientific analyses of those approaches.

Kurvers, R. H. J. M., Herzog, S. M., Hertwig, R., Krause, J., Carney, P. A., Bogart, A., et al. (in press). Boosting medical diagnostics by pooling independent judgments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. doi:10.1073/pnas.1601827113