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Title: Causal Learning with Interrupted Time Series
Interrupted time series analysis (ITSA) is a statistical procedure that evaluates whether an intervention causes a change in the intercept and/or slope of the time series. However, very little research has accessed causal learning in interrupted time series situations. We systematically investigated whether people are able to learn causal influences from a process akin to ITSA, and compared four different presentation formats of stimuli. We found that participants’ judgments agreed with ITSA in cases in which the pre-intervention slope is zero or in the same direction as the changes in intercept or slope. How- ever, participants had considerable difficulty controlling for pre-intervention slope when it is in the opposite direction of the changes in intercept or slope. The presentation formats didn’t affect judgments in most cases, but did in one. We discuss these results in terms of two potential heuristics that people might use aside from a process akin to ITSA.
Authors:
;
Editors:
Fitch, T; Lamm, C; Leder, H; Tessmar, K
Award ID(s):
1651330
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10237621
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
ISSN:
1069-7977
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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Our central hypothesis was that laypeople’s appropriate use of scientific information would be moderated both by external situational conditions (e.g., quality of the scientific information itself, a decision aid designed to convey clearly the “gist” of the information) and individual differences among people (e.g., scientific reasoning skills, cognitive reflection tendencies, numeracy, need for cognition, attitudes toward and trust in science). Identifying factors that promote jurors’ appropriate understanding of and reliance on scientific information will contribute to general theories of reasoning based on scientific evidence, while also providing an evidence-based framework for improving the courts’ use of scientific information. All hypotheses were preregistered on the Open Science Framework. Method Participants completed six questionnaires (counterbalanced): Need for Cognition Scale (NCS; 18 items), Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT; 7 items), Abbreviated Numeracy Scale (ABS; 6 items), Scientific Reasoning Scale (SRS; 11 items), Trust in Science (TIS; 29 items), and Attitudes towards Science (ATS; 7 items). Participants then viewed a video depicting a civil trial in which the defendant sought damages from the plaintiff for injuries caused by a fall. The defendant (bar patron) alleged that the plaintiff (bartender) pushed him, causing him to fall and hit his head on the hard floor. Participants were informed at the outset that the defendant was liable; therefore, their task was to determine if the plaintiff should be compensated. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 experimental conditions: 2 (quality of scientific evidence: high vs. low) x 3 (safeguard to improve calibration: gist information, no-gist information [control], jury instructions). An expert witness (neuroscientist) hired by the court testified regarding the scientific strength of fMRI data (high [90 to 10 signal-to-noise ratio] vs. low [50 to 50 signal-to-noise ratio]) and gist or no-gist information both verbally (i.e., fairly high/about average) and visually (i.e., a graph). After viewing the video, participants were asked if they would like to award damages. If they indicated yes, they were asked to enter a dollar amount. Participants then completed the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-Modified Short Form (PANAS-MSF; 16 items), expert Witness Credibility Scale (WCS; 20 items), Witness Credibility and Influence on damages for each witness, manipulation check questions, Understanding Scientific Testimony (UST; 10 items), and 3 additional measures were collected, but are beyond the scope of the current investigation. Finally, participants completed demographic questions, including questions about their scientific background and experience. The study was completed via Qualtrics, with participation from students (online vs. in-lab), MTurkers, and non-student community members. After removing those who failed attention check questions, 469 participants remained (243 men, 224 women, 2 did not specify gender) from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds (70.2% White, non-Hispanic). Results and Discussion There were three primary outcomes: quality of the scientific evidence, expert credibility (WCS), and damages. During initial analyses, each dependent variable was submitted to a separate 3 Gist Safeguard (safeguard, no safeguard, judge instructions) x 2 Scientific Quality (high, low) Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Consistent with hypotheses, there was a significant main effect of scientific quality on strength of evidence, F(1, 463)=5.099, p=.024; participants who viewed the high quality evidence rated the scientific evidence significantly higher (M= 7.44) than those who viewed the low quality evidence (M=7.06). There were no significant main effects or interactions for witness credibility, indicating that the expert that provided scientific testimony was seen as equally credible regardless of scientific quality or gist safeguard. Finally, for damages, consistent with hypotheses, there was a marginally significant interaction between Gist Safeguard and Scientific Quality, F(2, 273)=2.916, p=.056. However, post hoc t-tests revealed significantly higher damages were awarded for low (M=11.50) versus high (M=10.51) scientific quality evidence F(1, 273)=3.955, p=.048 in the no gist with judge instructions safeguard condition, which was contrary to hypotheses. The data suggest that the judge instructions alone are reversing the pattern, though nonsignificant, those who received the no gist without judge instructions safeguard awarded higher damages in the high (M=11.34) versus low (M=10.84) scientific quality evidence conditions F(1, 273)=1.059, p=.30. Together, these provide promising initial results indicating that participants were able to effectively differentiate between high and low scientific quality of evidence, though inappropriately utilized the scientific evidence through their inability to discern expert credibility and apply damages, resulting in poor calibration. These results will provide the basis for more sophisticated analyses including higher order interactions with individual differences (e.g., need for cognition) as well as tests of mediation using path analyses. [References omitted but available by request] Learning Objective: Participants will be able to determine whether providing jurors with gist information would assist in their ability to award damages in a civil trial.« less
  3. Abstract: Jury notetaking can be controversial despite evidence suggesting benefits for recall and understanding. Research on note taking has historically focused on the deliberation process. Yet, little research explores the notes themselves. We developed a 10-item coding guide to explore what jurors take notes on (e.g., simple vs. complex evidence) and how they take notes (e.g., gist vs. specific representation). In general, jurors made gist representations of simple and complex information in their notes. This finding is consistent with Fuzzy Trace Theory (Reyna & Brainerd, 1995) and suggests notes may serve as a general memory aid, rather than verbatim representation.more »Summary: The practice of jury notetaking in the courtroom is often contested. Some states allow it (e.g., Nebraska: State v. Kipf, 1990), while others forbid it (e.g., Louisiana: La. Code of Crim. Proc., Art. 793). Some argue notes may serve as a memory aid, increase juror confidence during deliberation, and help jurors engage in the trial (Hannaford & Munsterman, 2001; Heuer & Penrod, 1988, 1994). Others argue notetaking may distract jurors from listening to evidence, that juror notes may be given undue weight, and that those who took notes may dictate the deliberation process (Dann, Hans, & Kaye, 2005). While research has evaluated the efficacy of juror notes on evidence comprehension, little work has explored the specific content of juror notes. In a similar project on which we build, Dann, Hans, and Kaye (2005) found jurors took on average 270 words of notes each with 85% including references to jury instructions in their notes. In the present study we use a content analysis approach to examine how jurors take notes about simple and complex evidence. We were particularly interested in how jurors captured gist and specific (verbatim) information in their notes as they have different implications for information recall during deliberation. According to Fuzzy Trace Theory (Reyna & Brainerd, 1995), people extract “gist” or qualitative meaning from information, and also exact, verbatim representations. Although both are important for helping people make well-informed judgments, gist-based understandings are purported to be even more important than verbatim understanding (Reyna, 2008; Reyna & Brainer, 2007). As such, it could be useful to examine how laypeople represent information in their notes during deliberation of evidence. Methods Prior to watching a 45-minute mock bank robbery trial, jurors were given a pen and notepad and instructed they were permitted to take notes. The evidence included testimony from the defendant, witnesses, and expert witnesses from prosecution and defense. Expert testimony described complex mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) evidence. The present analysis consists of pilot data representing 2,733 lines of notes from 52 randomly-selected jurors across 41 mock juries. Our final sample for presentation at AP-LS will consist of all 391 juror notes in our dataset. Based on previous research exploring jury note taking as well as our specific interest in gist vs. specific encoding of information, we developed a coding guide to quantify juror note-taking behaviors. Four researchers independently coded a subset of notes. Coders achieved acceptable interrater reliability [(Cronbach’s Alpha = .80-.92) on all variables across 20% of cases]. Prior to AP-LS, we will link juror notes with how they discuss scientific and non-scientific evidence during jury deliberation. Coding Note length. Before coding for content, coders counted lines of text. Each notepad line with at minimum one complete word was coded as a line of text. Gist information vs. Specific information. Any line referencing evidence was coded as gist or specific. We coded gist information as information that did not contain any specific details but summarized the meaning of the evidence (e.g., “bad, not many people excluded”). Specific information was coded as such if it contained a verbatim descriptive (e.g.,“<1 of people could be excluded”). We further coded whether this information was related to non-scientific evidence or related to the scientific DNA evidence. Mentions of DNA Evidence vs. Other Evidence. We were specifically interested in whether jurors mentioned the DNA evidence and how they captured complex evidence. When DNA evidence was mention we coded the content of the DNA reference. Mentions of the characteristics of mtDNA vs nDNA, the DNA match process or who could be excluded, heteroplasmy, references to database size, and other references were coded. Reliability. When referencing DNA evidence, we were interested in whether jurors mentioned the evidence reliability. Any specific mention of reliability of DNA evidence was noted (e.g., “MT DNA is not as powerful, more prone to error”). Expert Qualification. Finally, we were interested in whether jurors noted an expert’s qualifications. All references were coded (e.g., “Forensic analyst”). Results On average, jurors took 53 lines of notes (range: 3-137 lines). Most (83%) mentioned jury instructions before moving on to case specific information. The majority of references to evidence were gist references (54%) focusing on non-scientific evidence and scientific expert testimony equally (50%). When jurors encoded information using specific references (46%), they referenced non-scientific evidence and expert testimony equally as well (50%). Thirty-three percent of lines were devoted to expert testimony with every juror including at least one line. References to the DNA evidence were usually focused on who could be excluded from the FBIs database (43%), followed by references to differences between mtDNA vs nDNA (30%), and mentions of the size of the database (11%). Less frequently, references to DNA evidence focused on heteroplasmy (5%). Of those references that did not fit into a coding category (11%), most focused on the DNA extraction process, general information about DNA, and the uniqueness of DNA. We further coded references to DNA reliability (15%) as well as references to specific statistical information (14%). Finally, 40% of jurors made reference to an expert’s qualifications. Conclusion Jury note content analysis can reveal important information about how jurors capture trial information (e.g., gist vs verbatim), what evidence they consider important, and what they consider relevant and irrelevant. In our case, it appeared jurors largely created gist representations of information that focused equally on non-scientific evidence and scientific expert testimony. This finding suggests note taking may serve not only to represent information verbatim, but also and perhaps mostly as a general memory aid summarizing the meaning of evidence. Further, jurors’ references to evidence tended to be equally focused on the non-scientific evidence and the scientifically complex DNA evidence. This observation suggests jurors may attend just as much to non-scientific evidence as they to do complex scientific evidence in cases involving complicated evidence – an observation that might inform future work on understanding how jurors interpret evidence in cases with complex information. Learning objective: Participants will be able to describe emerging evidence about how jurors take notes during trial.« less
  4. Abstract Expert testimony varies in scientific quality and jurors have a difficult time evaluating evidence quality (McAuliff et al., 2009). In the current study, we apply Fuzzy Trace Theory principles, examining whether visual and gist aids help jurors calibrate to the strength of scientific evidence. Additionally we were interested in the role of jurors’ individual differences in scientific reasoning skills in their understanding of case evidence. Contrary to our preregistered hypotheses, there was no effect of evidence condition or gist aid on evidence understanding. However, individual differences between jurors’ numeracy skills predicted evidence understanding. Summary Poor-quality expert evidence is sometimesmore »admitted into court (Smithburn, 2004). Jurors’ calibration to evidence strength varies widely and is not robustly understood. For instance, previous research has established jurors lack understanding of the role of control groups, confounds, and sample sizes in scientific research (McAuliff, Kovera, & Nunez, 2009; Mill, Gray, & Mandel, 1994). Still others have found that jurors can distinguish weak from strong evidence when the evidence is presented alone, yet not when simultaneously presented with case details (Smith, Bull, & Holliday, 2011). This research highlights the need to present evidence to jurors in a way they can understand. Fuzzy Trace Theory purports that people encode information in exact, verbatim representations and through “gist” representations, which represent summary of meaning (Reyna & Brainerd, 1995). It is possible that the presenting complex scientific evidence to people with verbatim content or appealing to the gist, or bottom-line meaning of the information may influence juror understanding of that evidence. Application of Fuzzy Trace Theory in the medical field has shown that gist representations are beneficial for helping laypeople better understand risk and benefits of medical treatment (Brust-Renck, Reyna, Wilhelms, & Lazar, 2016). Yet, little research has applied Fuzzy Trace Theory to information comprehension and application within the context of a jury (c.f. Reyna et. al., 2015). Additionally, it is likely that jurors’ individual characteristics, such as scientific reasoning abilities and cognitive tendencies, influence their ability to understand and apply complex scientific information (Coutinho, 2006). Methods The purpose of this study was to examine how jurors calibrate to the strength of scientific information, and whether individual difference variables and gist aids inspired by Fuzzy Trace Theory help jurors better understand complicated science of differing quality. 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Two experts presented opposing opinions about the scientific evidence related to the mtDNA match estimate for the defendant’s identification. The quality and content of this mtDNA evidence differed based on the two conditions. The high quality evidence condition used a larger database than the low quality evidence to compare to the mtDNA sample and could exclude a larger percentage of people. In the decision aid condition, experts in the gist information group presented gist aid inspired visuals and examples to help explain the proportion of people that could not be excluded as a match. Those in the no gist information group were not given any aid to help them understand the mtDNA evidence presented. After viewing the trial, participants filled out a questionnaire on how well they understood the mtDNA evidence and their overall judgments of the case (e.g. verdict, witness credibility, scientific evidence strength). 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  5. Obeid, Iyad ; Picone, Joseph ; Selesnick, Ivan (Ed.)
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When our team first started, approximately 5% of slides failed the scanning process due to focal point errors. We have been able to reduce that to 1% through a variety of means: (1) best practices regarding daily and monthly recalibrations, (2) tweaking the software such as the tissue finder parameter settings, and (3) experience with how to clean and prep slides so they scan properly. Nevertheless, this is not a completely automated process, making it very difficult to reach our production targets. With a staff of three undergraduate workers spending a total of 30 hours per week, we find it difficult to scan more than 2,000 slides per week using a single scanner (400 slides per night x 5 nights per week). The main limitation in achieving this level of production is the lack of a completely automated scanning process, it takes a couple of hours to sort, clean and load slides. We have streamlined all other aspects of the workflow required to database the scanned slides so that there are no additional bottlenecks. To bridge the gap between hospital operations and research, we are using Aperio’s eSM software. Our goal is to provide pathologists access to high quality digital images of their patients’ slides. eSM is a secure website that holds the images with their metadata labels, patient report, and path to where the image is located on our file server. Although eSM includes significant infrastructure to import slides into the database using barcodes, TUH does not currently support barcode use. Therefore, we manage the data using a mixture of Python scripts and manual import functions available in eSM. The database and associated tools are based on proprietary formats developed by Aperio, making this another important point of community-wide discussion on how best to disseminate such information. Our near-term goal for the TUDP Corpus is to release 100,000 slides by December 2020. We hope to continue data collection over the next decade until we reach one million slides. We are creating two pilot corpora using the first 50,000 slides we have collected. The first corpus consists of 500 slides with a marker stain and another 500 without it. This set was designed to let people debug their basic deep learning processing flow on these high-resolution images. We discuss our preliminary experiments on this corpus and the challenges in processing these high-resolution images using deep learning in [3]. We are able to achieve a mean sensitivity of 99.0% for slides with pen marks, and 98.9% for slides without marks, using a multistage deep learning algorithm. While this dataset was very useful in initial debugging, we are in the midst of creating a new, more challenging pilot corpus using actual tissue samples annotated by experts. The task will be to detect ductal carcinoma (DCIS) or invasive breast cancer tissue. There will be approximately 1,000 images per class in this corpus. Based on the number of features annotated, we can train on a two class problem of DCIS or benign, or increase the difficulty by increasing the classes to include DCIS, benign, stroma, pink tissue, non-neoplastic etc. Those interested in the corpus or in participating in community-wide discussions should join our listserv, nedc_tuh_dpath@googlegroups.com, to be kept informed of the latest developments in this project. You can learn more from our project website: https://www.isip.piconepress.com/projects/nsf_dpath.« less