Browsing by Subject "decision-making"

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  • Guirado, Ramon; Perez-Rando, Marta; Ferragud, Antonio; Gutierrez-Castellanos, Nicolas; Umemori, Juzoh; Carceller, Hector; Nacher, Juan; Castillo-Gómez, Esther (2020)
    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been classically defined as the brain region responsible for higher cognitive functions, including the decision-making process. Ample information has been gathered during the last 40 years in an attempt to understand how it works. We now know extensively about the connectivity of this region and its relationship with neuromodulatory ascending projection areas, such as the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) or the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Both areas are well-known regulators of the reward-based decision-making process and hence likely to be involved in processes like evidence integration, impulsivity or addiction biology, but also in helping us to predict the valence of our future actions: i.e., what is “good” and what is “bad.” Here we propose a hypothesis of a critical period, during which the inputs of the mPFC compete for target innervation, establishing specific prefrontal network configurations in the adult brain. We discuss how these different prefrontal configurations are linked to brain diseases such as addiction or neuropsychiatric disorders, and especially how drug abuse and other events during early life stages might lead to the formation of more vulnerable prefrontal network configurations. Finally, we show different promising pharmacological approaches that, when combined with the appropriate stimuli, will be able to re-establish these functional prefrontocortical configurations during adulthood.
  • Elsilä, Lauri V.; Korhonen, Nuppu; Hyytiä, Petri; Korpi, Esa R. (2020)
    While interest in psychedelic drugs in the fields of psychiatry and neuroscience has re-emerged in recent last decades, the general understanding of the effects of these drugs remains deficient. In particular, there are gaps in knowledge on executive functions and goal-directed behaviors both in humans and in commonly used animal models. The effects of acute doses of psychedelic lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on reward-driven decision making were explored using the mouse version of the Iowa Gambling Task. A total of 15 mice were trained to perform in a touch-screen adaptation of the rodent version of the Iowa Gambling Task, after which single acute doses of LSD (0.025, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 mg/kg), serotonin 2A receptor-selective agonist 25CN-NBOH (1.5 mg/kg), d-amphetamine (2.0 mg/kg), and saline were administered before the trial. 25CN-NBOH and the three lowest doses of LSD showed no statistically significant changes in option selection or in general functioning during the gambling task trials. The highest dose of LSD (0.4 mg/kg) significantly decreased premature responding and increased the omission rate, but had no effect on option selection in comparison with the saline control. Amphetamine significantly decreased the correct responses and premature responding while increasing the omission rate. In conclusion, mice can perform previously learned, reward-driven decision-making tasks while under the acute influence of LSD at a commonly used dose range.
  • Schumacher, Johanna; Bergqvist, Lisa; van Beest, Floris M.; Carstensen, Jacob; Gustafsson, Bo; Hasler, Berit; Fleming, Vivi; Nygard, Henrik; Pakalniete, Kristine; Sokolov, Alexander; Zandersen, Marianne; Schernewski, Gerald (2020)
    Decision support tools (DSTs), like models, GIS-based planning tools and assessment tools, play an important role in incorporating scientific information into decision-making and facilitating policy implementation. In an interdisciplinary Baltic research group, we compiled 43 DSTs developed to support ecosystem-based management of the Baltic Sea and conducted a thorough review. Analyzed DSTs cover a wide variety of policy issues (e.g., eutrophication, biodiversity, human uses) and address environmental as well as socio-economic aspects. In this study, we aim to identify gaps between existing DSTs and end-user needs for DSTs for supporting coastal and marine policy implementation, and to provide recommendations for future DST development. In two online surveys, we assess the awareness and use of DSTs in general, as well as policy implementation challenges and DST needs of representatives of public authorities from all Baltic countries, in particular. Through a policy review we identify major policy issues, policies, and general implementation steps and requirements and develop the synthesis-matrix, which is used to compare DST demand and supply. Our results show that DSTs are predominantly used by researchers. End-users from public authorities use DSTs mostly as background information. Major obstacles for DST use are lacking awareness and experiences. DST demand is strongest for the policy issue eutrophication. Furthermore, DSTs that support the development of plans or programs of measures and assess their impacts and effectiveness are needed. DST supply is low for recently emerging topics, such as non-indigenous species, marine litter, and underwater noise. To overcome existing obstacles, a common database for DSTs available in the BSR is needed. Furthermore, end-users need guidance and training, and cooperation between DST developers and end-users needs to be enhanced to ensure the practical relevance of DSTs for supporting coastal and marine policy implementation. To fill existing gaps, DSTs that address impacts on human welfare and link environmental and socio-economic aspects should be developed. The Baltic Sea Region serves as a best practice case for studying DSTs and their practical use. Hence, our results can provide insights for DST development in other marine regions. Furthermore, our methodological approach is transferable to other areas.
  • Schumacher, Johanna; Bergqvist, Lisa; van Beest, Floris M.; Carstensen, Jacob; Gustafsson, Bo; Hasler, Berit; Fleming, Vivi; Nygård, Henrik; Pakalniete, Kristîne; Sokolov, Alexander; Zandersen, Marianne; Schernewski, Gerald (Frontiers in Marine Science, 2020)
    Frontiers Marine Science 7 (2020)
    Decision support tools (DSTs), like models, GIS-based planning tools and assessment tools, play an important role in incorporating scientific information into decision-making and facilitating policy implementation. In an interdisciplinary Baltic research group, we compiled 43 DSTs developed to support ecosystem-based management of the Baltic Sea and conducted a thorough review. Analyzed DSTs cover a wide variety of policy issues (e.g., eutrophication, biodiversity, human uses) and address environmental as well as socio-economic aspects. In this study, we aim to identify gaps between existing DSTs and end-user needs for DSTs for supporting coastal and marine policy implementation, and to provide recommendations for future DST development. In two online surveys, we assess the awareness and use of DSTs in general, as well as policy implementation challenges and DST needs of representatives of public authorities from all Baltic countries, in particular. Through a policy review we identify major policy issues, policies, and general implementation steps and requirements and develop the synthesis-matrix, which is used to compare DST demand and supply. Our results show that DSTs are predominantly used by researchers. End-users from public authorities use DSTs mostly as background information. Major obstacles for DST use are lacking awareness and experiences. DST demand is strongest for the policy issue eutrophication. Furthermore, DSTs that support the development of plans or programs of measures and assess their impacts and effectiveness are needed. DST supply is low for recently emerging topics, such as non-indigenous species, marine litter, and underwater noise. To overcome existing obstacles, a common database for DSTs available in the BSR is needed. Furthermore, end-users need guidance and training, and cooperation between DST developers and end-users needs to be enhanced to ensure the practical relevance of DSTs for supporting coastal and marine policy implementation. To fill existing gaps, DSTs that address impacts on human welfare and link environmental and socio-economic aspects should be developed. The Baltic Sea Region serves as a best practice case for studying DSTs and their practical use. Hence, our results can provide insights for DST development in other marine regions. Furthermore, our methodological approach is transferable to other areas.
  • Kalakoski, Virpi; Henelius, Andreas; Oikarinen, Emilia; Ukkonen, Antti; Puolamäki, Kai (2019)
    Today's ever-increasing amount of data places new demands on cognitive ergonomics and requires new design ideas to ensure successful human-data interaction. Our aim was to identify the cognitive factors that must be considered when designing systems to improve decision-making based on large amounts of data. We constructed a task that simulates the typical cognitive demands people encounter in data analysis situations. We demonstrate some essential cognitive limitations using a behavioural experiment with 20 participants. The studied task presented the participants with critical and noncritical attributes that contained information on two groups of people. They had to select the response option (group) with the higher level of critical attributes. The results showed that accuracy of judgement decreased as the amount of information increased, and that judgement was affected by irrelevant information. Our results thus demonstrate critical cognitive limitations when people utilise data and suggest a cognitive bias in data-based decision-making. Therefore, when designing for cognition, we should consider the human cognitive limitations that are manifested in a data analysis context. Furthermore, we need general cognitive ergonomic guidelines for design that support the utilisation of data and improve data-based decision-making.
  • Kauppinen, Hannele (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Economics and Society
    Colour is an essential aspect of our daily life, and still, it is a neglected issue within marketing research. The main reason for studying colours is to understand the impact of colours on consumer behaviour, and thus, colours should be studied when it comes to branding, advertising, packages, interiors, and the clothes of the employees, for example. This was an exploratory study about the impact of colours on packages. The focus was on low-involvement purchasing, where the consumer puts limited effort into the decision-making. The basis was a scenario in which the consumer faces an unpredictable problem needing immediate action. The consumer may be in hurry, which indicate time pressure. The consumer may lack brand preferences, or the preferred brand may be out of stock. The issue is that the choice is to be made at the point of purchase. Further, the purchasing involves product classes where the core products behind the brands are indistinguishable from each other. Three research questions were posed. Two questions were answered by conjoint analysis, i.e. if colours have an impact on decision-making and if a possible impact is related to the product class. 16 hypothetical packages were designed in two product classes within the healthcare, i.e. painkillers and medicine against sore throats. The last research question aimed at detecting how an analysis could be carried out in order to understand the impact of colours. This question was answered by conducting interviews that were analysed by applying laddering method and a semiotics approach. The study found that colours do indeed have an impact on consumer behaviour, this being related to the context, such as product class. The role of colours on packages was found to be threefold: attention, aesthetics, and communication. The study focused on colours as a means of communication, and it proposes that colours convey product, brand, and product class meanings, these meanings having an impact on consumers’ decision-making at the point of purchase. In addition, the study demonstrates how design elements such as colours can be understood by regarding them as non-verbal signs. The study also presents an empirical design, involving quantitative and qualitative techniques that can be used to gain in depth understanding of the impact of design elements on consumer behaviour. Hannele Kauppinen is associated with CERS, the Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management of the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration
  • Alcamo, J.; Hordijk, L.; Kämäri, J.; Kauppi, P.; Posch, M.; Runca, E. (Elsevier, 1986)
  • Peltonen-Sainio, Pirjo; Jauhiainen, Lauri; Laurila, Heikki; Sorvali, Jaana; Honkavaara, Eija; Wittke, Samantha; Karjalainen, Mika; Puttonen, Eetu (Elsevier, 2019)
    Land Use Policy
    Recent studies assessing agricultural policies, including the EU’s Agri-Environment Scheme, have shown that these have been successful in attaining some environmental goals. In Finland, however, the economic situation of farms has dramatically fallen and hence, the actions do not result in social acceptability. Sustainable intensification is a means to combine the three dimensions of sustainability: environmental, economic and social. Here we introduce a novel land use optimization and planning tool for the sustainable intensification of high-latitude agricultural systems. The main rationale for the development of the tool was to achieve a systematic and comprehensive conception for land allocation across Finland, where field parcels vary substantially in their conditions. The developed tool has a three-step scoring system based on seven physical characteristics (parcel size, shape, slope, distance to the farm center and waterways, soil type and logistic advantages) and the productivity of field parcels. The productivity estimates are based on vegetation indices derived from optical satellite data. The tool allocates virtually all >1 million field parcels in Finland either to sustainable intensification, extensification or afforestation. The tool is dynamic in the sense that its boundary values for land allocation can be fixed according to changes in social targets and supporting policies. Additionally, it can be applied year after year by acknowledging new available data, e.g., on vegetation indices and field parcel rearrangements between farms. Furthermore, it can be applied to all farm types and across Finland. It is a tool for land use planning, implementation and monitoring, but its thorough implementation calls for further development of policy instruments, which are currently more supportive towards land sharing than land sparing activities.
  • Fabricius, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Many young people in today's western society have considerable problems making sustainable decisions about their studies and career, which is clearly shown in statistics about interrupted studies, change of studies, double degrees and parallel education. There are many options and it seems difficult to form a conception of what different jobs withhold and the educational background needed for them. At the same time pressure to shorten the length of studies rises in order to get students faster into working life. The aim of this study is to survey factors which affect the secondary school graduate's decision about what to do after the upper secondary school. I want to find out if the graduates have a clear goal, and if they have a strategy to reach that goal. I also want to map out things that influence the goals and the graduate's confidence in their own decisions. At the same time this study aims to investigate if the graduates have the resources to reach their goals, and to examine how to possibly support the students with their decisions and help them find the right study orientation or career path after the upper secondary school. The data for the quantitative study was collected via an electronic questionnaire, which was sent by e-mail to the graduates in a total of nine upper secondary schools in the capital region of Finland. The data was then analysed with the statistics programme SPSS. The survey was executed in May 2014 and had a total of 81 respondents. The results of this study show that the decision is made much directed by interest in the field of studies. The majority of the respondents will apply for a place to study directly after upper secondary school, and most of them considered it unlikely that they drop the intention to study if they do not get a place at their first try. The result also shows that the more explicit the goal of the students is, the higher is their ambition and confidence in the decision, and the less effect did new information have. Internet, student counsellors and friends seemed to provide a great share of the amount of information about education options. Yet it is clear that there is a huge need for more information about studies and work. Most of the respondents were aware of the qualifications needed to succeed with their plans, and considered themselves to have the knowledge prerequisites required.
  • Laukkanen, Olli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Decision-making is an important part of all of software development. This is especially true in the context of software architecture. Software architecture can even be thought of as a set of architectural decisions. Decision-making therefore plays a large part in influencing the architecture of a system. This thesis studies architecturally significant decision-making in the context of a software development project. This thesis presents the results of a case study where the primary source of data was interviews. The case is a single decision made in the middle of a subcontracted project. It involves the development team and several stakeholders from the client, including architects. The decision was handled quickly by the development team when an acute need for a decision arose. The work relating to the decision-making was mostly done within the agile development process used by the development team. Only the final approval from the client was done outside the development process. This final approval was given after the decision was already decided in practise and an implementation based on it was built. This illustrates how difficult it is to incorporate outside decision-making into software development. The decision-making also had a division of labour where one person did the researching and preparing of the the decision. This constituted most of the work done relating to the decision. This type of division of labour may perhaps be generalized further into other decision-making elsewhere within software development generally.
  • Buscariolli, André (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Advance healthcare directives (AD) are written documents in which patients can express their preferences regarding the provision of specific medical treatments, providing future instructions in case they become unable to communicate and make the decisions for themselves. Whereas these documents are praised for promoting patient’s autonomy, recent research has shown that patients often fail to predict what kind of treatment they would like to receive. This leads to an apparent contradiction: on which grounds can patient’s autonomy be regarded as the positive feature of AD if patients themselves are not likely to anticipate future preferences? This thesis draws on different agency theories to further elaborate on this contradiction while exploring taken for granted assumptions about patient’s autonomy. Relying on the premises of symbolic interactionism and social constructionism, it argues that goals are construed during emerging social interactions, subjected thus to constant reevaluation and reinterpretation. Methodologically, I used Goffmanian frame analysis to analyze semi-structured interviews of six Finnish physicians, elaborating on how they frame end-of-life treatment discussions, how they constructed the agency of different actors, how they approach patient’s autonomy, and what are the implications for the use of advance directives. From the data five frames were identified: medical knowledge frame, patient’s autonomy frame, negotiation frame, ethical frame, and legal frame. During the interviews physicians used these frames to discuss and negotiate the nature and meanings of advance directives, as well the agency and interests of different actors involved in end-of-life decision-making. Two meanings of patient’s autonomy have emerged from analysis: as the patients’ souvereign right to express his/her will of end-of-life treatment; and as the patients’ capacity to choose between different treatments . Whereas physicians often praise the first meaning, the second becomes problematic to the extent that patients’ capacity for decision-making can be compromised. Thus, physicians reframe the notion of patient’s autonomy in relational terms constructing themselves as agents for the patients’ interests. In conclusion, I propose that instead of trying to improve advance directives reliability; their situational component should be incorporated into the very principle that establishes their use, accounting for a holistic process in end-of-life care decision-making.
  • Heikkilä, Juuso (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Due to urbanization the importance of forests surrounding cities and municipal centers has grown significantly among residents. Increased use of recreational forests has led to the state where decisionmakers have started to pay more and more attention to forest management goals and participatory methods. In many cases municipalities and cities have started to incorporate resident’s perspectives to management plans and planning processes have developed towards strategic planning. The aim of this study was to determine, how well the participation was incorporated to planning process and, were the planners able to include stakeholder’s perspectives into the Puijo’s management plan. The data for this study was collected with internet based survey from stakeholder and steering group members that participated to the planning. The data was analyzed with Q-method. Qualitative analysis based on Tuler and Webler’s (1999) normative principles of participation was also carried out to assess the planning process. According to Q-analysis respondents formed four different perspective groups that described the planning process and its outcomes The groups were as follows: group disappointed to possibilities to affect planning, cooperation skeptics, supporters of systematic planning and the plan of the silent majority. All the groups felt that the planning process did not improve cooperation between stakeholders. Also, the availability of information was generally considered as a weak part of the process. The practical arrangements and the opportunity to participate to planning were considered successful areas by all the perspective groups. The group’s perspectives varied the most with issues concerning the ability to affect planning and its outcomes. Puijo’s planning process was a good example of, how a number of different participation methods can be incorporated seamlessly into the planning process. Simple formula for successful planning process could not be determined because participatory methods and their scope must be arranged according to the planning problem and the influence of the parties involved. However, the results provided valuable information for planners developing and carrying out participatory planning. In future participation processes stakeholders should be made clear, what are their abilities to affect the outcomes because over optimistic expectations can easily lead to disappointment. Also, the objectives of the planning process should be paid more attention. Objectives should be shaped to more concrete form. This way intersecting objectives could be easily addressed before conflicts develop. The use of decision support methods should also be increased because they offer more transparent way to justify decisions to stakeholders.
  • Neset, Tina-Simone; Juhola, Sirkku; Wirehn, Lotten; Kayhko, Janina; Navarra, Carlo; Asplund, Therese; Glaas, Erik; Wibeck, Victoria; Linner, Bjorn-Ola (2020)
    Background. Serious games are gaining increasing prominence in environmental communication research, but their potential to form an integrated part of participatory research approaches is still strikingly understudied. This is particularly the case for applications of interactive digital formats in research on environmental challenges of high complexity, such as climate adaptation, which is a specifically suitable case as it involves complex interaction between climate systems and society, but where the response also involves trade-offs with potentially negative - maladaptive - outcomes. Intervention. This article presents the Maladaptation Game, which was designed to facilitate dialogue about potential negative outcomes of agricultural climate adaptation. Methods. We conducted test sessions with agricultural stakeholders in Finland and Sweden, and analysed quantitative and qualitative, audio-recorded and transcribed, material for opportunities and challenges related to dialogues, engagement, interactivity and experienced relevance. Results. The qualitative analysis of recorded dialogues shows that the Maladaptation Game has potential to support dialogue by challenging players to negotiate between options with negative outcomes. The gameplay itself presents opportunities in terms of creating engagement with options that provoke disagreement and debates between players, as well as interactivity, that players reflected upon as quick and easy, while challenges were related to the experienced relevance, in particular the options provided in the game, and its general framing. Conclusions. The results indicate a need for complementary approaches to this type of game but also suggest the importance of moderation when the game design is aimed at creating dialogue around a complex environmental challenge such as agricultural climate adaptation.
  • Roinila, Markku (Georg Olms Verlag, 2016)
    The Battle of the Endeavors: Dynamics of the Mind and Deliberation in New Essays, book IIAbstract for the 2016 Leibniz-Kongress, Hannover Markku Roinila In New Essays on Human Understanding, book II, chapter xxi Leibniz presents an interesting picture of the human mind as not only populated by perceptions, volitions and appetitions, but also by endeavours. The endeavours in question can be divided to entelechy and effort; Leibniz calls entelechy as primitive active forces and efforts as derivative forces. The entelechy, understood as primitive active force is to be equated with a substantial form, as Leibniz says: “When an entelechy – i.e. a primary or substantial endeavour – is accompanied by perception, it is a soul” (NE II, xxi, §1; RB, 170). What about efforts, then? One is certainly the will. In NE, II, xxi, §5 Leibniz argues that volition is the effort (conatus) to move towards what one finds good and away from what one finds bad and that this endeavor arises from the perceptions we are aware of. As an endeavour results in action unless it is prevented, from will (which is always directed to the good) and power together follows action. However, this is not so simple. Leibniz argues that there is also a second class of efforts: “There are other efforts, arising from insensible perceptions, which we are not aware of; I prefer to call these ‘appetitions’ rather than volitions” (NE II, xxi, §5; RB, 173). Although there are appetitions of which one can be aware, usually these appetitions arise from the insensible petite perceptions and are consequently affecting us subconsciously. Now, although all minute perceptions are confused perceptions, they are always related to pleasure and displeasure and also to perfection and imperfection. From this follows that there can be different efforts present in the soul at the same time: the will which is directed to apperceived good and several separate appetitions which lead to different goals, both to those which bring about perfection and pleasure of the mind (joy) and those which bring about displeasure and imperfection (sorrow). These efforts are not only in conflict with each other but may also be in conflict with entelechy. A typical case is perceiving a sensual pleasure. Our entelechy which is always directed to final causes (perfection) may be in conflict with several different appetitions which are related in different ways to the sensual pleasure in question. If our understanding is developed enough, our will resists the temptation posed by the pleasure (agreeing with entelechy), but if the temptation is too strong, the appetitions outweigh the will and the resulting action bring about imperfection and sorrow as it is related to imperfection. In this paper I will argue that deliberation in the human soul is a battle of different endeavors described above: the entelechy in the soul strives according to its law-of-the-series towards its telos (perfection) and the will accompanies it by being automatically directed to the good. This thrust towards the apparent good is aided or hindered by the appetitions which can be thought as derivative forces in the Leibnizian dynamics. Depending on whether the predominant appetitions are related to good or bad desires, the deliberation succeeds or fails in achieving the real good which is the goal of human deliberation. The successs can be facilitated beforehand by developing our understanding so that we are less easily swept away by the derivative forces (NE II, xxi, §19). A central role in this task is played by strong willing. As Martha Bolton has noted in her recent paper, an essential feature of the basic, standing endeavors is that they are continuous – although the power balance in the soul changes from moment to moment, something lingers from our previous volitions. That is why Leibniz argues that we pave way for the future deliberations by our previous voluntary actions (NE II, xxi, §23). In contrast, the appetitions are temporary, fliegende Gedanken as Leibniz says in NE II, xxi, §12. Therefore there is a constant, always changing power balance between two kinds of endeavors in the soul: primitive active force versus derivative forces. I will argue that the behavior of the forces in the soul can be understood with a vectorial model which is related to Leibniz’s early ideas of calculus of variations and which was anticipated by Arnauld and Nicole’s Port-Royal Logic. The central idea in the model is that the options are in tension towards each other and the ratio between them at each moment determines the consequent outcome. The proper relationship between the endeavors is not a simple balance, two options which exhaust each other, but a case where different efforts complement each other: “Since the final result is determined by how things weigh against one another, I should think it could happen that he most pressing disquiet did not prevail; for even If it prevailed over each of the contrary endeavours taken singly, it may be outweighed by all of them together.” Leibniz continues : “Everything which then impinges on us weighs in the balance and contributes to determining a resultant direction, almost as in mechanics” (NE II, xxi, §40; RB, 193). The different endeavors can be understood as vectors leading to different directions and the end result is a certain direction that deliberation takes. The dynamical tension between the different endeavors presents a situation where everything affects everything and the following direction, the resulting volition follows more or less automatically. In Theodicy, §325 Leibniz describes the deliberation as follows: “One might, instead of the balance, compare the soul with a force that puts forth an effort on various sides simultaneously, but which acts only at the spot where action is easiest or there is least resistance” (Huggard, 322) This kind of dynamical tension can be understood in terms of the calculus of variations where there are several possible variations available but where the dynamics of the situation results in the decision taking the “easiest” route which is more or less objectively good depending on the level of the deliberator’s understanding. In his comments to Bayle’s note L of “Rorarius” Leibniz says: “The soul, even though it has no parts, has within it, because of the multitude of representations of external things, or rather because of the representation of the universe lodged within it by the creator, a great number, or rather an infinite number, of variations (Woolhouse & Francks (ed.), ‘New System’ and Associated Texts, 101). This kind of deliberation is comparable to God’s choice of the best world with the difference that God’s understanding is infinite which again results in the fact that the choice is the best possible. Whereas in nature the easiest route taken is always optimal as nature is God’s creation, in men the goodness or badness of men’s actions is dependent on their state of wisdom, that is, how developed their understanding is. The more wise men are, the more metaphysical goodness or perfection follows from their actions.
  • Bachmann, Sanni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The purpose of this study was to look for relationships between analytical thinking skills, two selected decision-making characteristics (time preference, risk preference) and temperament. A commonly applied test to detect individual differences in analytical thinking is the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT; Frederick, 2005), which captures important characteristics of rational thinking, different from intelligence and other cognitive ability (Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2011). If a strong correlation between the ability to analytical thinking and some other types of characteristics was found, it would help to identify individuals with good analytical decision-making skills and to clarify the phenomenon of analytical thinking. This work continued the exploration of relations between individual differences in analytical thinking, assessed as performance in CRT, and selected psychological characteristics: time preference and risk preference, where a link has been detected in previous research on university students in the U.S. In this study, time preference was assessed as performance in the Consideration of Future Consequences Test (CFC-14; Joireman, Shaffer, Balliet, & Strathman, 2012). With data gathered from Finnish university students, this study attempted to replicate the findings of the original study (Frederick, 2005), where a relationship between the CRT and risk preference was detected. The current study extended previous research by examining also the relation of analytical thinking skills and neurobiological temperament (Rawlings, Tapola & Niemivirta, 2017). The relation of time preference and temperament was also studied. The participants in the present study were 135 first-year students from the National Defence University in Finland. The students completed a self-report questionnaire via a weblink. An exploratory factor analysis was performed to test the construct validity of the models applied. The correlations between the tests were examined and by using standard regression analyses the effects of the temperament on the time preference were analysed. Contrary to expectations, no relation between the CRT score and time preference, risk preference or temperament were detected. However, interesting links between time preference and temperament were found. Therefore, future research could investigate further how neurobiological temperament sets our concerns with future and immediate consequences, that is, our farsightedness or the lack of it.
  • Oinio, Ville; Sundström, Mikko; Bäckström, Pia; Uhari-Väänänen, Johanna; Kiianmaa, Kalervo; Raasmaja, Atso; Piepponen, Timo Petteri (2021)
    Research has highlighted the association of a positive family history of alcoholism with a positive treatment response to opioid antagonists in those with a gambling disorder. However, the role of the opioidergic system in gambling behavior is not well understood, and preclinical studies are needed to clarify this. In this study, Alko Alcohol (AA) and Wistar rats went through operant lever pressing training where the task was to choose the more profitable of two options. Different sized sucrose rewards guided the lever choices, and the probability of gaining rewards changed slowly to a level where choosing the smaller reward was the most profitable option. After training, rats were administered subcutaneously with opioid agonist morphine or opioid antagonist naltrexone to study the impact of opioidergic mechanisms on cost/benefit decisions. No difference was found in the decision-making between AA rats or Wistar rats after the morphine administration, but control data revealed a minor decision enhancing effect in AA rats. Naltrexone had no impact on the decisions in AA rats but promoted unprofitable decisions in Wistar rats. Supporting behavioral data showed that in both rat strains morphine increased, and naltrexone decreased, sucrose consumption. Naltrexone also increased the time to accomplish the operant task. The results suggest that opioid agonists could improve decision-making in cost-benefit settings in rats that are naturally prone to high alcohol drinking. The naltrexone results are ambiguous but may partly explain why opioid antagonists lack a positive pharmacotherapeutic effect in some subgroups of gamblers.
  • Kalliokoski, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    During the Covid-19 pandemic in Finland, there was a debate about the usefulness of face masks in suppressing the epidemic. Lack of scientific knowledge was emphasised in the debate, and the participants sought to define the role of science in decision-making. In this thesis, the ways in which ignorance and uncertainty were discussed and used to define the boundaries of science in the Finnish face mask debate are studied. In the theoretical part of the thesis, the meanings of ignorance and uncertainty are clarified and the boundary-work of science as well as uncertainty as a boundary-ordering device are discussed. The politicisation of non-knowledge and the characteristics of policy-relevant science are also examined. In the empirical part, the knowledge/non-knowledge claims of the Finnish experts and decision-makers who participated in the face mask debate are analysed. The data consists of 99 quotations collected from news articles published from March 1 to October 31, 2020. Qualitative frame analysis is employed to examine the forms of knowledge and ignorance along with the boundary-ordering devices used in the debate. The results show that experts working at the science-policy boundary highlighted uncertainty and ignorance most often. They also used uncertainty as a boundary-ordering device the most, although overall, this came up very rarely in the debate. The main discrepancy was between the assessments of different expert bodies, as research scientists did not usually mention the underlying uncertainties of scientific findings. Different actors had different approaches towards knowledge and ignorance, reflecting differences in epistemic cultures. Regulatory science and academic science have different criteria for assessing the credibility of knowledge. Moreover, not all ignorance and uncertainty in decision-making can be reduced with scientific methods. Therefore, more resilient decision-making processes should be developed, in which ignorance and limitations of scientific knowledge are identified and embedded in the decisions.
  • Koski, Christian; Rönneberg, Mikko; Kettunen, Pyry; Armoškaitė, Aurelija; Strake, Solvita; Oksanen, Juha (John Wiley & Sons, 2021)
    Transactions in GIS
    Maritime spatial planning (MSP) is a decision-making process for managing human activities at sea. Stakeholder participation is critical to MSP processes. Spatial decision support systems (SDSSs) can be effective tools for analyzing problems in MSP, for example, the impact of human activities on marine ecosystems. However, despite the fact that multiple SDSSs have been developed for MSP, they are rarely used in real-world MSP processes. We aim to provide insight into stakeholders' understanding and perception of the appropriateness and completeness of SDSSs in an MSP stakeholder meeting. We studied whether SDSSs can benefit from being integrated into CGIS to support alternative methods for problem exploration and solving in groups. The results show that most, but not all, stakeholders understood well or fairly well what the tool does and how to use it, and agreed that the tool was appropriate and had the necessary requirements for problem solving. The results also show that problem exploration and solving with an SDSS in groups can benefit from the tool being integrated into a CGIS. Further research is needed to find effective solutions to overcome stakeholders' challenges in using GIS, and to develop flexible solutions that enable alternative problem-solving methods.