Browsing by Subject "Social learning"

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  • Hakkarainen, Viola T; Anderson, Christopher B.; Eriksson, Max; van Riper, Carena J.; Horcea-Milcu, Andra-Ioana; Raymond, C.M (2020)
    This study identifies and analyses the underlying assumptions of experts involved in the first author meeting (FAM) of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)'s Values Assessment, and how they shape understandings of the multiple values of nature. We draw from survey data collected from 94 experts attending the FAM. Respondents self-report the tendencies and aims they bring to the assessment (i.e. motivation), the type and amount of evidence they require for knowledge to be valid (i.e. confirmation) and their epistemic worldviews (i.e. objectivity). Four clusters emerged that correspond to Pragmatist, Post-Positivist, Constructivist and Transformative epistemic worldviews. This result clarifies how different knowledge claims are represented in science-policy processes. Despite the proportionately higher number of social scientists in the Values Assessment, compared with previous IPBES assessments, we still found that fewer experts have Constructivist or Transformative worldviews than Pragmatist or Post-Positivist outlooks, an imbalance that may influence the types of values and valuation perspectives emphasised in the assessment. We also detected a tension regarding what constitutes valid knowledge between Post-Positivists, who emphasised high levels of agreement, and Pragmatists and Constructivists, who did not necessarily consider agreement crucial. Conversely, Post-Positivists did not align with relational values and were more diverse in their views regarding definitions of multiple values of nature compared to other clusters. Pragmatists emphasized relational values, while Constructivists tended to consider all value types (including relational values) as important. We discuss the implications of our findings for future design and delivery of IPBES processes and interdisciplinary research.
  • Eriksson, Max; van Riper, Carena J.; Leitschuh, Ben; Bentley Brymer, Amanda; Rawluk, Andrea; Raymond, Christopher M.; Kenter, Jasper O. (2019)
    The role of social learning in deliberative processes is an emerging area of research in sustainability science. Functioning as a link between the individual and the collective, social learning has been envisioned as a process that can empower and give voice to a diverse set of stakeholder viewpoints, contribute to more adaptive and resilient management decisions and foster broader societal transformations. However, despite its widespread use in the context of participatory management of natural resources, the empirical properties of social learning remain understudied. This paper evaluates the role of social interaction and social capital in achieving transformative learning in discussions about social values. We employ a longitudinal design involving three consecutive surveys of 25 participants of an expert workshop focused on social values, as well as approximately 12 hours of transcribed audio and video recordings of participant interactions. Our mixed methods approach demonstrates the potential of using changes in social networks and definitions of social values that emerge from qualitative coding as indicators of social learning. We find that individuals with a weaker conceptual understanding of social values are more likely to change their definitions of the concept after deliberation. Though slight, these changes display a shift towards definitions more firmly held by other group members.
  • Hämäläinen, Liisa; Rowland, Hannah M.; Mappes, Johanna; Thorogood, Rose (2019)
    Video playback provides a promising method to study social interactions, and the number of video playback experiments has been growing in recent years. Using videos has advantages over live individuals as it increases the repeatability of demonstrations, and enables researchers to manipulate the features of the presented stimulus. How observers respond to video playback might, however, differ among species, and the efficacy of video playback should be validated by investigating if individuals' responses to videos are comparable to their responses to live demonstrators. Here, we use a novel foraging task to compare blue tits' (Cyanistes caeruleus) responses to social information from a live conspecific vs video playback. Birds first received social information about the location of food, and were then presented with a three-choice foraging task where they could search for food from locations marked with different symbols (cross, square, plain white). Two control groups saw only a foraging tray with similar symbols but no information about the location of food. We predicted that socially educated birds would prefer the same location where a demonstrator had foraged, but we found no evidence that birds copied a demonstrator's choice, regardless of how social information was presented. Social information, however, had an influence on blue tits' foraging choices, as socially educated birds seemed to form a stronger preference for a square symbol (against two other options, cross and plain white) than the control birds. Our results suggest that blue tits respond to video playback of a conspecific similarly as to a live bird, but how they use this social information in their foraging decisions, remains unclear.
  • Pöyhönen, Samuli (2017)
    When should a scientific community be cognitively diverse? This article presents a model for studying how the heterogeneity of learning heuristics used by scientist agents affects the epistemic efficiency of a scientific community. By extending the epistemic landscapes modeling approach introduced by Weisberg and Muldoon, the article casts light on the micro-mechanisms mediating cognitive diversity, coordination, and problem-solving efficiency. The results suggest that social learning and cognitive diversity produce epistemic benefits only when the epistemic community is faced with problems of sufficient difficulty.