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Question: 80
In maintaining a payroll system, change control refers to:
A. Procedures to test and schedule changes before they are put into production
B. Entering new data to an employees record
C. Creating a new system in a merger or acquisition
D. Separation of functions according to accounting standards
Answer: A
Question: 81
Bass Biting Company operates bait, tackle and boat sales store employing 12 full time clerks and salespeople in
addition to the owner and his family members. Occasionally, Bass Biting assigns special work to individuals other than
its regular employees and family members. Bass Biting engaged a carpenter, Jim to build a boat dock so that
customers could access the shop via boat. Jim has several docks in progress for other local merchants. Bass Battings
dock took 4 days to build, 13 hours each day. Bass Biting paid Jim $500 for 4 days work. Calculate overtime due Jim
under FLSA.
A. $57.72
B. $557.44
C. $0
D. $173.04
Answer: C
Question: 82
What is the difference between policy and a procedure?
A. None, they serve the same purpose
B. Policies are rules; procedures are instructions
C. Procedures need to be documented; policies do not
D. Policies can be overridden; procedures may not
Answer: B
Question: 83
When making the federal payroll tax deposit, the accounting entry to record an advance payment of EIC would be:
A. Debit EIC payable, credit cash
B. Debit cash, credit EIC payable
C. Debit FIT payable, credit cash
D. Debit EIC payable, credit FICA payable
Answer: B
Question: 84
The primary responsibility of Professional Employer Organizations is:
A. Determining the clients products and services
B. Establishing their clients FEIN
C. Leasing the buildings and fixtures
D. Co-employment of their clients employees
Answer: D
Question: 85
On what form must mistakenly paid wages, for which no repayment is made, be reported?
A. 1099-R
B. W-2
C. W-4
D. 1099-MISC
Answer: B
Question: 86
Bass Biting Company operates bait, tackle and boat sales store employing 12 full time clerks and salespeople in
addition to the owner and his family members. Occasionally, Bass Biting assigns special work to individuals other than
its regular employees and family members. Only two employees, George the President, and Earl, a salesperson, receive
group-term life insurance. The value of each of their group-term life benefit is $93 per month, and $23 per month after
excluding the first $50,000 of coverage.
How much is exempt from wages?
A. $0
B. $93.00
C. $186.00
D. $46.00
Answer: A
Question: 87
A salaried-exempt executive employee is unable to work for two days in the work week because the office is closed
for remodeling. The employees weekly guaranteed salary is $500.
Under FLSA what amount must this employee be paid for he work week?
A. $200
B. $400
C. $300
D. $500
Answer: D
Question: 88
Which of the following is the most logical order of events in a system implementation?
A. Training, development, testing evaluation
B. Feasibility, evaluation, development, testing
C. Conversation, training, testing, evaluation
D. Testing, evaluation, training, documentation
Answer: B
Question: 89
Which of the following would not be included in the system testing stage of an
implementation?
A. Volume testing
B. Functional testing
C. Recruiting tests
D. Stress testing
Answer: C
Question: 90
Which of the following statements is CORRECT regarding a federal tax levy?
A. It does not have to be honored if any other garnishments have been served.
B. It is limited only by the amount of the employees net pay
C. It is continued each pay period until a release of levy is received.
D. It requires a new order for each pay period.
Answer: C
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When thinking about how to find a therapist, it’s important to consider local resources, apps, organizations, and reliable online therapy options. Here’s everything you need to know.

If you’re considering therapy — whether it’s to restore a relationship, recover from trauma, adjust to a new life phase, or Strengthen your mental health — finding the right therapist is the first hurdle to cross.

Researchers have found that the bond between you and your therapist is likely to have a big impact on your growth. That’s why it’s important to do your research, ask questions, and pay attention to your own responses in your search for the therapist that’s right for you.

Melissa LeeRETURNING TO THERAPY

Compatibility is everything

Having someone that’s completely unbiased listen to me and provide advice always feels as though a massive weight has been lifted off my chest. When I returned to therapy in the past year, it was admittedly a little difficult to find someone I clicked with and could afford to see regularly. I went through my health insurance network and made sure to check off specialties, like anxiety, depression, and trauma. Prior to meeting in person, we had a 15-minute consultation call where I explained what I was looking for and she told me about herself and her experience. From there, we mutually agreed that it could be a good fit.

Was this helpful?

Here are some tried-and-true methods for finding a therapist to help you reach your therapeutic goals.

If you plan to pay for therapy through your insurance plan, your first step might be to look through your plan’s network.

It’s also a good idea to find out whether your plan limits the number of sessions you can attend each year and whether using an out-of-network therapist will affect your out-of-pocket costs.

You can still see a therapist that’s outside of your health insurance, but it may be more expensive. However, sliding scales exist, and if you develop a strong connection with a mental health professional that isn’t covered by your network, you can see if your insurance will reimburse you for appointment costs.

Looking for ways to support your mental health and well-being? Try Healthline’s FindCare tool to connect with mental health professionals nearby or virtually so you can get the care you need.

A referral from a friend, colleague, or doctor you trust is another way to find a therapist who might be a good fit for you.

While a referral is a good place to start, it’s important to recognize that you may have different needs and goals with your therapy than the person giving you the recommendation.

So, a good match for one of you might not be as beneficial to the other.

A number of mental health organizations maintain up-to-date, searchable databases of licensed therapists.

Your search could start as simply as typing in your ZIP code to generate a list of counselors in your area. You may also be able to search for specialists, like marriage and family counselors or therapists who focus on drug and alcohol use.

Some of the most commonly used online search tools include:

If you’re part of a specific community, there may be some resources available.

Some examples include:

  • students with access to a university counseling center
  • a workplace wellness or employee assistance program
  • group or one-on-one therapy through a local advocacy organization
  • faith-based treatment through a church, synagogue, mosque, or other worship center

Additionally, depending on where you live, there may be local support groups or organizations you can attend at neighborhood meeting spots, like a community center.

If you’re looking for a therapist to help with a specific mental health condition, you might find local therapists through a national association, network, or helpline.

Here are a few examples of organizations that offer search tools to help you find a specialized therapist near you:

Additionally, many workplace organizations and trade unions have resources to help you identify professionals who can assist with mental health needs. For example, the International Association of Firefighters offers help with mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use.

What do you want to accomplish in therapy? Studies have found that when you and your therapist both work together toward the same goals, your outlook will be better.

If you think some type of medication may help with your symptoms, you’ll want to find a psychiatrist or practitioner who can prescribe medications.

If you’ve heard that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy have been effective for others with your condition, you’ll want to look for a therapist with certifications or specialized training in those treatment approaches.

If you want to be part of a supportive network of people who understand your experiences, you may want to consider looking for a therapist who’s involved with support groups or group therapy sessions.

Your goals may change as you work with a therapist. It’s OK to talk with your therapist about changing the direction of your treatment plan as your needs evolve.

When you meet your therapist, whether it’s online, on the phone, or in person, it’s not uncommon to completely forget every question you wanted to ask.

To make sure you have the information you need to make a good decision, keep paper and a pen, or a notes app, handy for a few days before your meeting. Jot down questions as they come to you.

The American Psychological Association suggests a few questions for you to consider asking your therapist during your first session:

  • Are you a licensed psychologist in this state?
  • How many years have you been in practice?
  • How much experience do you have working with people who are dealing with [the issue you’d like to resolve]?
  • What do you consider to be your specialty or area of expertise?
  • What kinds of treatments have you found effective in resolving [the issue you’d like to resolve]?
  • What insurance do you accept?
  • Will I need to pay you directly and then seek reimbursement from my insurance company, or do you bill the insurance company?
  • Are you part of my insurance network?
  • Do you accept Medicare or Medicaid?

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America adds questions like these:

  • If I need medication, can you prescribe it or recommend someone who does?
  • Do you provide access to telehealth services?
  • How soon can I expect to start feeling better?
  • What do we do if our treatment plan isn’t working?

Note: If you’ve ever been abused by someone in authority or affected by historic trauma or racism, you may want to ask questions that help you find out whether a potential therapist is culturally informed and sensitive to your experiences.

No matter how many professional accreditations your therapist has, your own feelings of trust and comfort should be your top priority. Will therapy be uncomfortable from time to time? Possibly. After all, you’ll likely be discussing difficult, personal topics.

But if you feel uncomfortable with your therapist for any other reason, it’s all right to look for someone else.

You don’t need a reason to switch therapists. It’s enough that you don’t feel comfortable.

Here are a few things to notice as you talk with your therapist:

  • Does the therapist interrupt you, or do they listen carefully to what you’re saying?
  • Does the therapist respect your time by being prompt to appointments?
  • Does the therapist brush off or invalidate your concerns?
  • Do you feel seen, heard, and respected during your session?

Talkspace and BetterHelp both offer tools to help you explore the kind of therapy you want. They can also match you with a licensed, accredited therapist you can work with online or via phone.

Some people find a digital therapy platform to be more convenient and more affordable than in-person therapy. Weekly sessions range from $35 to $80 for online therapy.

At least one study found that people with depression felt that their symptoms improved after online sessions. It’s worth noting, however, that two of the researchers involved with this study were consultants or employees of the digital therapy provider used.

Teletherapy options

Teletherapy, which is therapy done remotely over the phone or via videoconferencing, makes it easy to explore therapy and its options. It’s convenient, and studies have shown that therapy conducted over video chat can be just as effective as in-person therapy.

Here are some options.

Comparison chart

In the event that you meet with a therapist for the first time and decide that they’re not a good match for you, know that that’s completely fine. It’s totally normal and happens to many people who are looking for the right therapist for them. It can take some time to find someone that you feel completely comfortable with.

At the end of your first session, your therapist may want to schedule another appointment. If you know that you do not want to meet with them again, you can let them know that while you appreciate their time, you don’t think that it’s a good match at this time.

If you feel uncomfortable communicating this to them face-to-face, you can also text, call, or even email them to let them know you’re no longer interested in seeing them.

Regardless of how you choose to tell them, it’s important that you do inform them, instead of not showing up to your next appointment without an explanation. Many therapists have cancellation policies, so make sure you cancel at least 24 hours before your appointment to avoid a fee.

Therapists and psychiatrists aim to treat mental health conditions and Strengthen emotional well-being. But there are key differences between the two professions.

Therapists

Therapists are licensed mental health professionals, including psychologists, social workers, and counselors. They aim to help people manage their emotions, build healthier relationships, and understand themselves better.

Therapists use talk therapy and behavior modification techniques to help people make positive life changes. During therapy, they can assess, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions.

Therapy typically suits people who want to learn more about themselves and make long-lasting changes in their lives. It may also help people with mild mental health conditions.

Most therapists have a master’s degree and may have a doctorate. All licensed therapists have to have at least a master’s degree.

Generally, therapists can’t prescribe medications. But in some states, psychologists with specialist pharmacology training can prescribe certain medications.

Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. Because they hold medical degrees, psychiatrists can prescribe medication.

Psychiatrists may use a combination of talk therapy and medication to treat mental health conditions.

Working with both a therapist and a psychiatrist may be the better option for people who experience more severe symptoms and may benefit from a combination of therapy and medication to help treat their symptoms.

Other types of mental health professionals

How much does therapy cost?

The cost of therapy can depend on the type of therapy, the therapist’s experience, and whether you’re talking with a therapist in person or through teletherapy.

Therapists may charge between $100 and $200 per session for in-person appointments. But in bigger cities, therapy can cost more. Some therapists may offer sliding scale rates. If you have insurance, you may pay a portion of the fee depending on your coverage.

Teletherapy is generally less costly. The price per session starts at around $50. Some platforms offer unlimited therapy with a weekly or monthly subscription.

What types of therapy are there?

There are many different types of therapy, and the type you choose will depend on your needs and preferences. Some common types include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT helps you identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): DBT combines elements of CBT with structured skill-building in mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: This type of therapy focuses on your unconscious thoughts and emotions.
  • Interpersonal therapy: The focus of interpersonal therapy is on your relationships with other people.
  • Family therapy: This type of therapy helps families resolve conflict and Strengthen communication.
  • Group therapy: In this type of therapy, you meet with a group of people who share similar experiences.
  • Art therapy: This type of therapy uses art to express emotions and help process trauma.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: EMDR is an interactive form of psychotherapy used to relieve psychological and trauma-based stress.

What are the benefits of therapy?

Therapy has several benefits, including improving mental health, resolving personal issues, and increasing self-awareness. Therapy can also help people learn new coping skills and manage stress.

Some people see therapy as a way to prevent mental health issues or as a way to address underlying causes of mental health conditions. Others use therapy to work through traumas or difficult life events.

Therapy is an effective treatment for many mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and eating disorders.

Whether you’re coping with grief, trauma, or relationship issues, or want treatment for a mental health condition, finding a helpful therapist can make a big difference in your journey.

To find a therapist who’s a good fit, start by considering practical matters like licensure, insurance coverage, location, and specialties.

You may find that friends, colleagues, and healthcare professionals are a good source of referrals. You may also find options by using search tools provided by organizations that address your specific concerns.

When you’ve narrowed down your choices, you may find it helpful to think about your goals and questions. This way you can be sure you and your therapist are well matched and aligned on your treatment plan.

Ultimately, finding the right therapist is a personal matter. Human connection is at the heart of effective therapy, and you can build that sense of connection whether you talk with your therapist in person, on the phone, or online.

Mon, 29 May 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-find-a-therapist
What You Should Know About Systems Thinking

The room hummed with giggles and mutters of “one, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war,” as a few dozen educators thumb-wrestled their way through a presentation on systems thinking.

Sound strange? Imagine, then, doing it with your students to illustrate how preconceived notions can influence actions. Instructor Joan Yates, project manager for systems thinking in the Catalina Foothills School District in Tucson, Arizona, asked the teachers to thumb-wrestle for one minute with the goal of getting the most pins as possible.

Most took that to mean the goal was to win. After all, a game requires a winner – right? In systems thinking, the answer is: Not necessarily. Yates pointed out that her instructions were to get the most pins; to actually get the most, the participants should have cooperated and taken turns getting pins, without a winner.

The exercise is just one example of how teachers can introduce systems thinking concepts to students. It’s an approach that incorporates instructional tools to enhance learning about literature, history, current events, and science, and uses exercises to train students to think differently.

In a nutshell, Yates says, systems thinking considers the relationship between the parts of a system, and the “dynamics those relationships produce.” A system can be anything – a novel, a historical event, a culture, a scientific formula. All are made up of different pieces that form the “system.” In systems thinking, you look at the whole of something, the individual parts of that whole, how those parts make the “whole” what it is, and how one action to a piece of the system can affect the entire thing.

Change those habits

Systems thinking in education helps develop students who can understand the value of other opinions, and see things from a different perspective, Yates says. Introducing mental modeling, which is ingrained assumptions that ultimately influence how we see things and what we do, can be a good place to start.

The thumb-wrestling exercise, and others, such as asking students to fold their hands or cross their arms in the opposite way they normally do or walk up stairs starting with the opposite leg, encourages students to throw off their own mental models. They have to step out of their comfort zones and try new ways of looking at things.

Yates says it’s important to take time to do these physical activities because the more senses that are engaged, the more likely someone will retain the material and really get out of those comfort zones. “It shocks people,” Yates says. “It discombobulates people enough that they physically feel. It gets them on more than one level. You increase the likelihood that someone will retain it, the more senses you engage.”

Systems thinkers also develop certain “habits,” or ways of approaching problems and situations. The Waters Foundation, which supports systems thinking in schools, has 13 habits. If you use some of the systems thinking lessons and tools, students will start to develop these habits, but you can introduce them specifically.

The habits of systems thinkers include: considering long and short-term consequences of actions (such as, if you have money, thinking both about what happens if you spend it immediately and if you put it in the bank); recognizing there might be unintended consequences to your actions; identifying the circular nature of complex cause and effect relationships (the bee buzzing around the flower is a system, where the bee needs the flower and the flower needs the bee); and looking at things from different angles and perspectives.

Tools for teaching

Practicing systems thinking in schools can be a big or small thing. In Yates’ Arizona district, systems thinking is integrated into all the classrooms, beginning in kindergarten. But there are a number of tools individual teachers can use to give their students the benefits of a systems thinking approach.

Useful for literature and social studies classes in particular is the “ladder of inference.” It helps students understand how they and others get to certain conclusions or form certain opinions (their own mental models). Literally a ladder, it starts at the bottom rung with what you know about yourself and works up: first you notice certain things, then you add your own meanings to what’s around you, then you develop beliefs based on those meanings, and finally, you doing something because of your beliefs. It’s a reinforcing loop, since the beliefs you develop are based on your personal experiences, and your beliefs affect what you notice about things and the meanings you apply.

Use that ladder to analyze why a character does something. Take any character – say, Huck Finn – and start with what you know about him, what he does and notices in the story and how his experiences and background affect what he does. It’s a great way for students to understand how cultural and other experiences shape a character and why they might behave peculiarly, Yates says. Social studies teachers also can use this to study a character in history.

A behavior over time graph is another systems tool to increase understanding. Simple line graphs that can be used with kindergartners on up, they look at what is changing and how it is changing. In English class, students do this in response to practicing by examining how a character or situation changed over the course of several chapters. In social studies, a current events teacher can use it to give students an understanding of how a world event unfolds. Take a newspaper article on a global issue and ask students to create a graph to illustrate the events in the story and what happened.

Creating a deeper understanding

Systems thinking isn’t just about the tools to help students see the world with a better lens; it also can give them a greater grasp of why things happen a certain way. Things are circular in systems thinking, and recognizing the complex nature of cause-and-effect relationships can help students understand why things happen.

One practice useful for students is called “fixes that fail.” Fixes that fail loops start with a problem and a solution to that problem. But rather than solving the problem, the solution creates an intended consequence, which reinforces the problem, perhaps making it even greater.

Students can use this to examine the Vietnam war, for instance, showing how the United States’ actions led to greater problems rather than solving the original one. Yates says many current and historical events can fit into fixes-that-fail loops. Teachers also can have students look at global events in which bad fixes were avoided.

Using systems thinking approaches in the classroom creates students who can see from another perspective and look deeper to why world events play out in certain ways. “If students develop those habits of thinking systemically, and they look at any global issue, they are going to ask different questions,” Yates says. “They are going to ask questions with a broader perspective.”

When students leave her Arizona school district, Yates says, she hopes they take this way of thinking into everything they do.

Author: Alexandra Moses


Discussion questions:

Do you use systems thinking in your classroom, and what benefits to students have you seen? How easy or difficult is it for them to throw off those mental models?

Mon, 03 Aug 2009 13:10:00 -0500 en text/html https://asiasociety.org/what-you-should-know-about-systems-thinking
APA-Accredited Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology

(Following the recommendation by the American Psychological Association Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, the title of the internship program was changed from "Predoctoral Internship" to "Doctoral Internship" in October 2013.)

The goal of the Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology at CAPS is to prepare doctoral students in the final stages of their graduate training for broad, competent, and responsible functioning as professional psychologists in the mental health care system. The program provides interns with the opportunity to develop and refine general skills that are fundamental to the independent practice of health service psychology, and applicable to a wide variety of mental healthcare settings.

The internship training program places particular emphasis on consolidation of a theoretical body of knowledge; competencies in individual and group psychotherapy, clinical assessment, crisis assessment and intervention, consultation and advocacy, preventive and developmental outreach programs, and supervision skills. Interns are also expected to deepen their sense of professional identity by functioning effectively as members of a multifaceted mental health/student development system for the campus community. The internship facilitates the interns' productive relationships with fellow trainees and with clinical staff. The objectives are both to become proficient in the provision of psychological services and to enhance the personal and professional qualities necessary to participate cooperatively and creatively in health service settings.

The internship program is based on a 40-45 hour week, for 12 months, with university holidays, vacation and sick leave, and staff benefits. The program begins on July 31, 2023, and is completed one year later. The total training comprises more than 1,800 hours of supervised experience. In addition, time is spent outside the regular daytime business hours as may be needed for program planning, research, preparation for services, documentation, and delivery of special activities.

Approximately three evenings and one weekend per academic quarter, interns serve as after-hours on-call consultants for a third-party agency that receives crisis calls from the Northwestern community. When on-call outside of daytime business hours, interns are paired with backup supervisory staff at CAPS. These additional hours bring the total internship hours to 2,000 for the year; individuals are advised to check with their state Boards of Psychology to determine if these additional hours may be declared in their applications for licensure.

For transparency, we offer a look at the current year's Training Policies & Procedures Handbook This Handbook is given to our interns when they arrive at the internship, but it may be worthwhile for prospective applicants to review it. The Handbook provides comprehensive information that pertains to Doctoral Interns at CAPS, including our internship structure, weekly training and service activities, the timeline for evaluations, and policies for absences and leave time. It also provides information about our policies for due process, non-discrimination, harassment, grievance, and resources for equal opportunity and access. In addition, prospective interns may benefit from learning about the expectations for activities and performance of interns, which can be found in the Handbook as well as in the requirements for successful completion of the internship program.

Competencies in working with a culturally diverse clientele comprise one of the three training goals for our interns as outlined in the hyperlinked document in the previous paragraph. For information about our internship's commitment to diversity and preparing interns to serve a diverse public, please review our position on Multicultural and Diversity Competencies and CAPS Diversity Value Statement. 

Please keep in mind that the details about the internship program are our best effort to describe the 2023-2024 training year. Throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have adjusted our services to the needs of students who attended the university remotely and in-person, while adhering to public health guidelines and the university's plan for students, staff, and faculty. These guidelines continue to evolve. We take into consideration legal restrictions on mental-health practice across states. We strive to be mindful of our own resources and limitations to assist staff and interns in managing their workload and well-being.  Therefore, interns' clinical activities and supervision described here represent the expected internship training experience based on what we know at the time of this update.

When pandemic-related changes to services and training have been made, we have aimed to continue to: (a) uphold the quality and integrity of interns’ training, (b) adhere to public health guidelines for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, and (c) adhere to APA’s internship accreditation standards. When necessary, the internship program is in consultation with APA's Commission on Accreditation about substantive changes in the training program.

The doctoral internship program at CAPS is accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (CoA). The CoA can be contacted at the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation 750 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002-4242 Phone: 202-336-5979 TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123.

Tue, 15 Nov 2022 09:49:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.northwestern.edu/counseling/professional-training/apa-accredited-doctoral-internship-in-health-service-psychology/ Trump still has the MAGA touch: Republican women remain captivated

Women for Trump Hat FlagPhoto by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images © Provided by Salon Women for Trump Hat FlagPhoto by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

The American people are lost in the Trumpocene – and soon DeSantis World – largely against their own will. But their own bad habits, obsolete thinking, denial and heard headedness got them there. 

These failures include a belief in the myth of American exceptionalism and that America's democracy and society are somehow immune from fascism, authoritarianism and other forms of illiberalism. Americans have also made the error of convincing themselves, contrary to the evidence, that "the institutions" and "the system" are strong, the country's leaders will save us, and that the Age of Trump is just a deviation from the norm – as opposed to a crisis that will last long past that moment when Donald Trump, the man, recedes from public life.

In a particularly gross error, too many Americans still believe, contrary to the empirical evidence, that the many tens of millions of their fellow countrymen and countrywomen who are committed to Trumpism, and support the Republican fascist party and "conservative" movement more generally, are fundamentally good and decent people who will abandon such values if "we just listen to them", and "find common ground" and "educate them" about "the facts." Such an outcome will not happen. Such attempts are wasted energy.

Here is the "riddle": Trump's MAGA women still remain in thrall to him.

The rot in American society is much deeper than "polarization" and "hyper-partisanship." American fascism and the larger culture of cruelty that helped to birth that abomination will likely only be corrected over time through generational replacement – and there is no guarantee of such an outcome.

There is a unifying theory for why so many of "the Americans" remain lost in the Trumpocene, unable to grasp the scale of the crisis and how to escape it: they have incorrectly convinced themselves that their values and beliefs are shared by most people including Trumpists and other Republican fascists and "conservatives." This is an example of the fallacy that is known as "the false consensus effect" which the APA defines as, "the tendency to assume that one's own opinions, beliefs, attributes, or behaviors are more widely shared than is actually the case. A robustly demonstrated phenomenon, the false-consensus effect is often attributed to a desire to view one's thoughts and actions as appropriate, normal, and correct."

The European Center for Populism Studies adds these details:

Additionally, when confronted with evidence that a consensus does not exist, people often assume that those who do not agree with them are defective in some way. There is no single cause for this cognitive bias; the availability heuristic, self-serving bias, and naïve realism have been suggested as at least partial underlying factors. When faced with uncertainty and a limited demo from which to make decisions, people often "project" themselves onto the situation. When this personal knowledge is used as input to make generalizations, it often results in the false sense of being part of the majority.

The false consensus effect can be contrasted with pluralistic ignorance which happens when members of group privately vary in expectations or disagree with group's norm but feel different from the rest of the group and publicly act similarly as them.

The false consensus effect helps to explain why so many Americans, and especially members of the mainstream political class, the mainstream corporate news media, and self-identified centrists and (white) liberals retreat to the proverbial fainting couch in a constant state of "shock" and "surprise" at the horrible things that Donald Trump and the Republican fascists and their forces have done (and continue to do) in their revolutionary project to end America's multiracial pluralistic democracy.

The false consensus effect also helps to explain why so many of those same people actually believe that cries and complaints that the Republicans and "conservatives" are "hypocrites" and "mean" and "cruel" actually has any deterrent effect on the latter's behavior.

In addition, the false consensus effect provides insight into why so many Democrats, and liberals and progressives as a group, engage in wish-casting, empty idealism, and other delusional and self-soothing behavior about politics in the Age of Trump instead of embracing the realities of how the fight against American fascism is actually a moral crusade against evil.

As is now obvious, Donald Trump is a sociopath if not a psychopath, who is now a confirmed sex predator that was found liable in civil court for sexually assaulting and defaming E. Jean Carroll. She is one of dozens of women who have credibly accused Trump of rape and/or sexual assault.

Here is the "riddle": Trump's MAGA women still remain in thrall to him.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

In a new essay at the Bulwark+, Sarah Longwell explains:

Yet most of the women voters who backed Trump in 2016 and 2020 aren't walking away. In many cases, his behavior—and Democrats' and the courts' attempts to hold him accountable—only strengthens their support for him. Even those who condemn his misogyny often say it's not a dealbreaker. At this point, eight years into the Trump era, the sexism is internalized by his supporters. And even shared by some of them.

Over the course of hundreds of focus groups, I've seen female GOP voters rationalize, compartmentalize, and defend Trump's treatment of women. They say they "[don't] like his lifestyle and the things he did personally," but "believed that he could do the things he was saying because of his professional background."

When it comes to Trump's conduct, these voters tend to give a lot of leeway. "Does he respect women? No. But can he run the country? Better than Biden," said Judith, a Michigan retiree who voted for Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020. "If that's all we have to choose from [in 2024]—Biden or Trump—I'm not going to choose Biden."

After Trump's indictment, Autumn—a Republican stay-at-home mom from Pennsylvania—dismissed the former president's actions, saying of Stormy Daniels: "She was a fan. She was a groupie. She followed him everywhere. So she was asking for anything that she got."

Was Trump at fault? What about Alvin Bragg's indictment on 34 felony counts? "That just talks about him personally as a man, not as what he's going to do for our country."

"I'm sure he's not an innocent person by any means," Sandy, a mother of three from North Dakota, said about the indictment. "He's done things. But I feel like it was just like a witch hunt."

On the Carroll verdict, the opinions were similar. In a latest focus group prior to Trump's conviction, just one out of seven had even heard of the case. (Her reaction: "It's kind of stupid.") Those who do closely follow Trump's lawsuits usually take them as a sign of his strength.

"They're making a huge deal of it because they're afraid of him," said Kim, a mother of five from Massachusetts. "They're trying to get him the hell out because they can't control him." These women echo Sen. Tommy Tuberville's line about the verdict: "It makes me want to vote for him twice."

Longwell's findings echo other data which has consistently shown that Trump's support among his followers and other Republican voters endures despite, if not because of, his criminality, racism, white supremacy, law-breaking, treason, corruption, violence, and other examples of antisocial and antihuman behavior.

For those people outside of Trumpworld and the MAGAverse that white women would continue to support Donald Trump and his neofascist MAGA movement continues to be "shocking" and "unbelievable" when it really should not be.

There are a variety of reasons why Trump's MAGA women continue to be so loyal to him and the neofascist movement which include identification with the abuser, as well as internalized misogyny and internalized sexism. The women who support Donald Trump and the Republican-fascists and "conservative" movement are also rational actors who have decided that sexism and misogyny and hatred of women more generally matter less to them than other issues – such as keeping and expanding white supremacy and white privilege.

There is another explanation for Trump's enduring power that too many Americans, especially among the political class and news media, still refuse to accept even though they have now suffered through at least 7 years of the Age of Trump. As psychologists and other experts have repeatedly warned, Donald Trump is a cult leader, a fascist charismatic personality and a demagogue. Trump's MAGA followers will not readily abandon him because to do so would cause them great emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and physical pain and harm. Many Americans give lip service to the reality of Trump as a fascist cult leader but they, to this point, still largely refuse to accept the implications of what that really means for the country's present and future.

On this, in a 2020 conversation with Salon, psychologist John Gartner shared the following prophetic warning:

It's very hard for relatively normal and mentally healthy people to truly understand how Donald Trump's mind works, to empathize with his thought processes, because it is hard to empathize with someone who truly does not care if he's killing massive numbers of children. Such an outcome does not upset Donald Trump. He is more upset by some idle comment made on Fox News. The deaths of children and other people do not have any emotional meaning to him.

It is also very hard for most people to understand how there's a sinister way in which harming, degrading, destroying and, yes, even killing large numbers of people actually excites and arouses Donald Trump. It all makes him feel powerful. That excitement and arousal and empowerment is an antidote to the emptiness that he feels inside and to the humiliation and mockery that he is experiencing from his critics and the public.

The monumental challenge that Gartner described in 2020 continues in 2023. Moreover, I would suggest in many ways that the crisis has gotten worse as Trumpism and American neofascism have become even more normalized across huge swaths of American society – including its political class, news media, and other elites.

Wish-casting, denial, the false consensus effect and other errors in reasoning and thinking keep the American people trapped in the Trumpocene and fascist fever dream. To escape that horrible place and to save themselves and their democracy, the American people are going to have to let go of such childish ways of thinking and behaving. 

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Thu, 25 May 2023 21:46:01 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/trump-still-has-the-maga-touch-republican-women-remain-captivated/ar-AA1bIMiw
5 Habits That Could Be Damaging Your Kidneys, According to Doctors

If you're like me, you don't spend a lot (or, um, any) time thinking about your kidneys. In fact, many of us only have the vaguest idea what our kidneys actually do—we just know we need at least one of them in order to live. For a more technical explanation, Best Life turned to nephrologist Kalyani Perumal, MD, Medical Director of Dialysis, Renal Diseases Department at Cook County Health.

"Kidneys are bean-shaped organs located in the upper part of the back of the abdomen, and they play a crucial role in maintaining our health and well-being," Perumal says, noting that the kidneys' main job is removing waste from our blood, which is then excreted in our urine. "In addition, they produce very important hormones to stimulate new red blood cells and maintain bone strength," she explains. "They [also] play a vital role in water balance, and regulate the levels of important minerals in our body like sodium, potassium, and calcium."

Perumal says kidney disease is one of the fastest-growing epidemics in the U.S., with one in three adults at risk of developing the condition. "About 37 million American adults have kidney disease and most are unaware of it," she says. "Kidney disease is often referred to as a 'silent killer,' as many do not have any symptoms until it has reached late stages."

Could you be hurting your kidneys without even knowing it? Read on for five common habits that could be putting these vital organs at risk, so you can start taking better care of them today.

READ THIS NEXT: Margaret Cho Went Into Kidney Failure on Set After Being Pressured to Lose Weight.

senior man drinking water from a glass
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You probably already know that staying hydrated is key to good health—and that includes your kidneys.

"One common habit that can damage the kidneys is not drinking enough water," says board-certified family physician Laura Purdy, MD. "Dehydration can lead to the buildup of toxins in the body, which can put a strain on the kidneys. It is essential to drink enough water to keep the body hydrated and help the kidneys flush out waste and toxins."

If you're thirsty, then your kidneys are, too—so drink up!

Cheerful old lady adding salt to soup and smiling while standing by the stove with cooking pots
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"Another common habit that can damage the kidneys is consuming too much salt," Purdy says. "Salt can cause high blood pressure, which can put a strain on the kidneys."

Perumal recommends eating a diet rich in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, and limiting both salt and fat. "Limit animal protein and substitute with plant-based protein in your diet, particularly if you are at risk of developing kidney disease," she tells Best Life. "Choose low-salt options, and use herbs for increasing the flavor of the foods. Try to cook your own foods so you can choose the ingredients that are beneficial to you. Rinse canned meats, vegetables, and fish with water before eating. Pay attention to the nutrition fact labels and select foods that are low in salt and fat."

She says practicing mindful eating—focusing on the flavor of your food and avoiding distractions—can boost not just your kidney health, but your overall wellness.

Man taking supplements
ljubaphoto / iStock

Whether you've got a headache, a backache, or some other nagging complaint, popping an Advil or Tylenol can knock it out like magic. That's why many of us keep a bottle handy, relying on it for everyday use. However, it's best to avoid actually taking it every day, Purdy and Perumal agree. "Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can cause damage to the kidneys if used excessively," says Purdy. "It is important to follow the recommended dosage and not use these medications for extended periods."

Perumal adds that home remedies can be dangerous, as well. "Over-the-counter painkillers and herbal preparations can cause severe kidney injury, particularly in people having diabetes and high blood pressure," she explains, urging readers to consult their healthcare provider before taking any medication or nutritional supplement.

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No Smoking Sign
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It's not news that tobacco use is bad for you, but in case you weren't crystal clear on that fact, Purdy and Perumal are happy to tell you again. "Smoking can cause high blood pressure and damage the blood vessels, leading to decreased kidney function over time," says Purdy. "Quitting smoking is crucial for overall health, including kidney health."

"High blood pressure and diabetes are the leading causes of kidney disease in United States," Perumal says, adding that "smoking causes various toxins to enter the body and is a risk factor for various cancers in the body." If you're struggling to quit, she encourages you to call the national quit line at 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669) for help. "You are not alone!"

Woman Managing Stress
fizkes / Shutterstock

Stressed out? Join the club. A 2022 poll sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that "a majority of adults are disheartened by government and political divisiveness, daunted by historic inflation levels, and dismayed by widespread violence." The APA wrote that people in the U.S. are "facing a barrage of external stressors that are mostly out of personal control."

What does that have to do with your kidneys? Plenty, says Perumal. "Chronic stress leads to various medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and mental illness, which negatively affect kidney health." She recommends stress-reduction methods such as deep breathing, practicing mindfulness, and making time for gentle exercise like yoga, chi-gong, and tai-chi. "Self-care is very important in your daily routine," she says. "Take 10 minutes out of your daily life just for your self-care."

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. If you have health questions or concerns, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Sat, 27 May 2023 23:03:00 -0500 en text/html https://bestlifeonline.com/habits-damaging-your-kidneys/
8 Ways to Manage Money Stress No result found, try new keyword!Maybe you're trying to save up for a summer vacation while also thinking about home improvements or ... “Financial anxiety is super common. According to the American Psychological Association, money ... Fri, 14 Aug 2020 21:35:00 -0500 text/html https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/family-finance/articles/how-to-cope-with-money-anxiety-and-practice-financial-self-care Is Social Media Wrecking Our Kids' Mental Health? What Parents Need to Know

Warnings about the impact of social media on kids are flying at us from all directions lately, it seems. First it was the American Psychological Association, who recommended new guidelines on social media use for kids in early May. Most recently, it’s U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who just today issued a major advisory on the effects of social media on youth mental health.

As a parent of three teens and a tween myself, I’ll be the first to admit that screen time has practically been my parenting partner throughout the years. Who among us hasn’t enjoyed a few precious moments of peace while our kids occupied themselves with a tablet or a phone? When social media use entered the chat, it felt like a natural extension of my kids’ screen usage; what they were looking at — and interested in — on the screens evolved as they grew. But with broader use of the internet comes greater responsibility for us as parents, and as much as I’d love to just be able to give them unfettered access to the world via their screens and walk away, it can’t happen that way. And I don’t know about you, but the latest releases from the APA and the Surgeon General’s office make me feel like it’s time to step up my parental involvement even more where my kids’ social media use is concerned.

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“The most common question parents ask me is, ‘is social media safe for my kids?’. The answer is that we don’t have enough evidence to say it’s safe, and in fact, there is growing evidence that social media use is associated with harm to young people’s mental health,” Dr. Murthy said in his May 23rd statement. “Children are exposed to harmful content on social media, ranging from violent and sexual content, to bullying and harassment. And for too many children, social media use is compromising their sleep and valuable in-person time with family and friends. We are in the middle of a national youth mental health crisis, and I am concerned that social media is an important driver of that crisis — one that we must urgently address.” He called on not only parents, but policymakers and tech companies, to take steps to make social media safer for kids.

While the APA’s statement didn’t seem quite as damning of social media as a whole, it did warn of the impacts of social media use on brains that are still developing, and therefore vulnerable. “Adolescent brain development generally starts before puberty, around age 10, and lasts through early adulthood,” reads the statement. “This is an important phase of growth during which the brain undergoes dramatic developmental changes. In early adolescence, brain regions associated with a desire for attention from peers become increasingly sensitive. Social media may exploit that desire. Meanwhile, brain areas important for self-control don’t fully develop until early adulthood. When thinking about the use of social media in your family, it’s important to recognize the unique vulnerabilities of adolescent brains. Your guidelines around social media use should evolve as children mature.”

Click here to read the full article.

I spoke with Ariana Hoet, Ph.D., executive clinical director of On Our Sleeves — an organization at the forefront of the movement for children’s mental health — to get her professional take on kids and social media. Because boy, could I use some practical advice on how to regulate and monitor my kids’ social media. How do we keep our kids safe online and protect their mental health while still allowing them to reap the benefits that they can get from social media? It’s a fine line to walk.

“It’s interesting because social media is meant to connect. And when used appropriately, it does help with connections,” Dr. Hoet tells SheKnows. “But for some kids, it leads to more isolation, or it leads to social comparison, and an over-focus on what others think about them and peer pressure and peer opinion.”

Echoing the APA’s latest recommendations, Dr. Hoet says that we really have to take an individual approach. There are so many factors — age, maturity level, even time spent on other things like extracurricular activities — that dictate how much social media use is healthy for kids. “We have to think about each child as an individual, and their environment,” she explained.

It’s Not Just What Kids Are Doing — It’s What They’re Not Doing

This revelation nearly blew me out of my chair, but it was a point that I — and all parents — need to remember. We’re often so busy worrying about what our kids are doing on social media that we don’t step back to look at the bigger picture — what are they not doing because of their social media use? If it’s getting in the way of real-life interactions with friends, of extracurricular activities they used to love, that’s when it becomes a problem.

“If a child is at school all day, then they’re in an after-school activity for a few hours, and then they come home and do their homework, and then they want to sit and be on their social media — and we know they’re using it safely — I’m not worried,” says Dr. Hoet. “They’ve done their activities. Let them spend time playing their video game or scrolling TikTok. It’s those kids that aren’t doing those other activities that I worry about.”

So What Do You Do If Your Child’s Social Media Use Feels Excessive?

According to the APA, parents can use the following guidelines to determine whether their child’s social media use is problematic. It could be an issue if …

  • It interferes with school, work, friendships, and extracurriculars.

  • They have a tendency to choose social media above actual in-person social interactions.

  • It prevents them from getting adequate (at least 8 hours), quality sleep.

  • It keeps them from participating in regular physical activity.

  • They consistently use social media even when they’ve expressed a desire to stop.

  • They experience strong compulsions to check their social media.

  • They lie, or act deceptive, in order to spend time online.

“If we’re not at an extreme crisis concern level, I always say small changes are the best way to get long lasting outcomes,” advises Dr. Hoet. “Let’s say my child is spending eight hours a day on social media. Maybe we implement a plan where we’re going to bring that down to seven hours. And then after a few days, we bring that down to six hours and try to slowly decrease the time while adding the other activities.” Establish what your child is going to be doing if they’re not on social media, and create a routine that supports those opportunities for offline activities.

“If we’re at a place where we’re really, really thinking about their mental health, parents may have to intervene more quickly and take things away, if necessary, to keep them safe — and look for professional help, of course,” Dr. Hoet says. “But if it’s more of a prevention, then I always say make those small changes with them.”

How Can We Limit Kids’ Social Media Time When We’re Addicted to it Ourselves?

I’m chained to my smartphone as much as anyone else — after all, I’ve found some of my favorite go-to family recipes on TikTok. So even though I know I’m an adult, using it safely, I can’t help but feel like a hypocrite telling my kids to spend less time on their devices. But you know the old saying: what’s good for the goose is good for the gander (or, in this case, the goslings?) — which is why experts recommend creating a “family plan” for social media use.

“Agreed-upon expectations can help establish healthy technology boundaries at home,” the Surgeon General’s advisory says. “A family media plan can promote open family discussion and rules about media use and include subjects such as balancing screen/online time, content boundaries, and not disclosing
personal information.”

Dr. Hoet concurs, telling SheKnows that it’s important to set clearly-defined expectations not just for the child, but for the whole family. “You can talk about what social media platforms are you’re going to use. Who do you follow? What do you post? And then most importantly, when are the screen-free times? What are other activities you’re doing? Who do you go to if you’re thinking about something?” she says. “You also need to establish the consequences: what happens if these rules are broken?”

On Our Sleeves has a free template for a family social media plan that you can obtain here.

Create Tech-Free Zones and Times

As with everything else in life, balance is key. The AAP, the Surgeon General, and many other experts — including Dr. Hoet — all recommend that there are certain events or times of day when phones and tablets should be off the table, quite literally.

“Consider keeping family mealtimes and in-person gatherings device-free to build social bonds and engage in a two-way conversation,” says the Surgeon General. And since scrolling can interfere with quality shut-eye, also consider putting the screens away — as a family — about an hour before bedtime.

Dr. Hoet gives an example of collectively powering down devices at 8pm each evening: “We all have a charging station in the kitchen … and that means everyone puts their phone on the charging station in the kitchen,” she says.

The Best Preventive Measure: Connecting With Your Kids

When it comes to keeping a healthy relationship with our children, our primary job as parents is to set rules and boundaries to keep them safe — even though it’s hard to feel like we’ve got to be the bad guy sometimes. But equally important, says Dr. Hoet? Listening.

“We have to understand where [our kids are] coming from, and have conversations where we listen, and not just expect them to listen to us,” she points out. “And a lot of the times the frustration after rules and boundaries is because whatever we’re saying makes them different — they don’t have access to social media, but all their friends do. And that’s how friends are making plans and connecting, especially over the summer weekends, times when they’re not seeing each other every day.” That can make kids feel excluded or left out, so this is where open dialogue and compromise comes in handy; explain your standpoint, but if there’s an issue surrounding social media use that’s genuinely bothering your child, find a way to work around it that you can both live with.

“What’s really important is staying involved so that we don’t just give access and walk away, but also having those daily check-ins,” advises Dr. Hoet. “Not just about social media, but life in general; just practicing the habit of conversation, and reminding them that you’re there if there’s ever a concern … [so] you can help them problem solve and intervene early. We cannot protect our children from the stress of the world. But we know that one of the best protective factors is that relationship that they have with you. So while stress may happen, or bullying may happen, if they have that healthy relationship with you, it helps them get through it with their mental health intact.”

And If They’re Less Inclined to Listen to You …

Every parent of tweens and teens has been there: you repeatedly give your kid advice that they blatantly ignore, but then when a friend or a pop culture idol or a random YouTuber or TikTok-er says the same thing, it’s suddenly valuable info. If this is a familiar scenario, send your kid this link — it’s an insightful tip sheet on social media use and mental health, written by social-media-using kids, for social-media-using kids.

Remember: Social Media Isn’t All Bad

Despite our panicked, knee-jerk reactions as parents when we hear these warnings, it’s important to keep in mind that social media isn’t the enemy; it can provide value to kids’ lives and social connections, too. We don’t need to go yanking our kids phones out from beneath their scrolling thumbs — we just need to re-evaluate our families’ priorities and habits when it comes to social media use, which is good advice anyway … warnings or no warnings.

These celebrity parents have gotten honest about their rules when it comes to technology.

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Tue, 23 May 2023 01:15:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://news.yahoo.com/lifestyle/social-media-wrecking-kids-mental-131505304.html Opinion: ChatGPT and other generative AI could foster science denial and misunderstanding. Here’s how you can be on alert

Until very recently, if you wanted to know more about a controversial scientific course — stem cell research, the safety of nuclear energy, climate change — you probably did a Google search. Presented with multiple sources, you chose what to read, selecting which sites or authorities to trust.

Now you have another option: You can pose your question to ChatGPT or another generative artificial intelligence platform and quickly receive a succinct response in paragraph form.

ChatGPT does not search the internet the way Google does. Instead, it generates responses to queries by predicting likely word combinations from a massive amalgam of available online information.

Although it has the potential for enhancing productivity, generative AI has been shown to have some major faults. It can produce misinformation. It can create "hallucinations" — a benign term for making things up. And it doesn't always accurately solve reasoning problems. For example, when asked if both a car and a tank can fit through a doorway, it failed to consider both width and height. Nevertheless, it is already being used to produce articles and website content you may have encountered, or as a tool in the writing process. Yet you are unlikely to know if what you're practicing was created by AI.

As the authors of "Science Denial: Why It Happens and What to Do About It," we are concerned about how generative AI may blur the boundaries between truth and fiction for those seeking authoritative scientific information.

Every media consumer needs to be more vigilant than ever in verifying scientific accuracy in what they read. Here's how you can stay on your toes in this new information landscape.

How generative AI could promote science denial:

› Erosion of epistemic trust. All consumers of science information depend on judgments of scientific and medical experts. Epistemic trust is the process of trusting knowledge you get from others. It is fundamental to the understanding and use of scientific information. Whether someone is seeking information about a health concern or trying to understand solutions to climate change, they often have limited scientific understanding and little access to firsthand evidence. With a rapidly growing body of information online, people must make frequent decisions about what and whom to trust. With the increased use of generative AI and the potential for manipulation, we believe trust is likely to erode further than it already has.

› Misleading or just plain wrong. If there are errors or biases in the data on which AI platforms are trained, that can be reflected in the results. In our own searches, when we have asked ChatGPT to regenerate multiple answers to the same question, we have gotten conflicting answers. Asked why, it responded, "Sometimes I make mistakes." Perhaps the trickiest issue with AI-generated content is knowing when it is wrong.

› Disinformation spread intentionally. AI can be used to generate compelling disinformation as text as well as deepfake images and videos. When we asked ChatGPT to "write about vaccines in the style of disinformation," it produced a nonexistent citation with fake data. Geoffrey Hinton, former head of AI development at Google, quit to be free to sound the alarm, saying, "It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things." The potential to create and spread deliberately incorrect information about science already existed, but it is now dangerously easy.

› Fabricated sources. ChatGPT provides responses with no sources at all, or if asked for sources, may present ones it made up. We both asked ChatGPT to generate a list of our own publications. We each identified a few correct sources. More were hallucinations, yet seemingly reputable and mostly plausible, with actual previous co-authors, in similar sounding journals. This inventiveness is a big problem if a list of a scholar's publications conveys authority to a reader who doesn't take time to verify them.

› Dated knowledge. ChatGPT doesn't know what happened in the world after its training concluded. A query on what percentage of the world has had COVID-19 returned an answer prefaced by "as of my knowledge cutoff date of September 2021." Given how rapidly knowledge advances in some areas, this limitation could mean readers get erroneous outdated information. If you're seeking latest research on a personal health issue, for instance, beware.

› Rapid advancement and poor transparency. AI systems continue to become more powerful and learn faster, and they may learn more science misinformation along the way. Google recently announced 25 new embedded uses of AI in its services. At this point, insufficient guardrails are in place to assure that generative AI will become a more accurate purveyor of scientific information over time.

What can you do?

If you use ChatGPT or other AI platforms, recognize that they might not be completely accurate. The burden falls to the user to discern accuracy.

› Increase your vigilance. AI fact-checking apps may be available soon, but for now, users must serve as their own fact-checkers. There are steps we recommend. The first is: Be vigilant. People often reflexively share information found from searches on social media with little or no vetting. Know when to become more deliberately thoughtful and when it's worth identifying and evaluating sources of information. If you're trying to decide how to manage a serious illness or to understand the best steps for addressing climate change, take time to vet the sources.

› Strengthen your fact-checking. A second step is lateral reading, a process professional fact-checkers use. Open a new window and search for information about the sources, if provided. Is the source credible? Does the author have relevant expertise? And what is the consensus of experts? If no sources are provided or you don't know if they are valid, use a traditional search engine to find and evaluate experts on the topic.

› Evaluate the evidence. Next, take a look at the evidence and its connection to the claim. Is there evidence that genetically modified foods are safe? Is there evidence that they are not? What is the scientific consensus? Evaluating the claims will take effort beyond a quick query to ChatGPT.

› If you begin with AI, don't stop there. Exercise caution in using it as the sole authority on any scientific issue. You might see what ChatGPT has to say about genetically modified organisms or vaccine safety, but also follow up with a more diligent search using traditional search engines before you draw conclusions.

› Assess plausibility. Judge whether the claim is plausible. Is it likely to be true? If AI makes an implausible (and inaccurate) statement like "1 million deaths were caused by vaccines, not COVID-19," consider if it even makes sense. Make a tentative judgment and then be open to revising your thinking once you have checked the evidence.

› Promote digital literacy — in yourself and others. Everyone needs to up their game. Strengthen your own digital literacy, and if you are a parent, teacher, mentor or community leader, promote digital literacy in others. The American Psychological Association provides guidance on fact-checking online information and recommends teens be trained in social media skills to minimize risks to health and well-being. The News Literacy Project provides helpful tools for improving and supporting digital literacy.

› Arm yourself with the skills you need to navigate the new AI information landscape. Even if you don't use generative AI, it is likely you have already read articles created by it or developed from it. It can take time and effort to find and evaluate reliable information about science online — but it is worth it.

Gale Sinatra is professor of education and psychology at University of Southern California. Barbara K. Hofer is professor of psychology, emerita, at Middlebury College.

This article is republished from The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.

The Associated Press

Sat, 27 May 2023 04:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2023/may/27/opinion-chatgpt-and-other-generative-ai-could/
Here are some tips to prepare mentally for hurricane season No result found, try new keyword!After you've been through enough hurricane seasons, the to-do lists can be repetitive. You buy cases of water, non-perishable foods and batteries and you begin to stockpile lumber in case you have to ... Sun, 28 May 2023 07:50:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.chron.com/news/article/5-tips-prepare-mentally-hurricane-season-18091894.php More Professional Sports Teams Are Thinking Green, To Please Fans And Make Money

The requisite press releases have been issued proclaiming the uber green-ness of the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in my home state of New Jersey.

Indeed, back in 2009, the venue was dubbed the "Greenest Stadium in the NFL" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It even uses solar power (about 1,350 panels) to generate the electricity for the programmable LED light display across the top of the stadium.

For the big game in early February, the big focus has been on the green business practices embraced by the concession organization, which is converting all kitchen waste oil to biodiesel fuel, composting the kitchen scraps, donating leftover food and recycling the mounds of cardboard, plastic, glass and other materials that remain after fans leave the stands.

But if you really interested in innovative green technology applications in the professional sports world, you'll need to look a bit farther west to Cleveland, where the Browns football team is testing an anaerobic digester from InSinkErator (yes, the garbage disposal company) as a means of diverting food waste at FirstEnergy Stadium.

It’s the first professional sports installation for the new technology, called Grind2Energy, although it isn't actually on site. The system uses food scraps from the concessions – an estimated 35 tons per season -- which is ground into a slurry and transported to the quasar energy group at Ohio State University. (It's part of the school's research and development organization for the agricultural department). There, the material is used as a feedstock. The end result is biogas and other fuels, along with nutrients that can be used for fertilizer (enough for three football fields full of crops).

This particular installation is a collaboration between the Browns, FirstEnergy Stadium, and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. That's because an important ingredient in the process is cow manure, which produces methane.

Anaerobic digesters aren't exactly new. They are traditionally used by forward-thinking dairy farms (like Stonyfield Farms) to offset electricity needs and reuse waste rather than carting it away and dumping it other places.

"Digester systems are something this country's dairy farmers have used for years," said Tom Gallagher, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, said in a statement about the deal. "But we have just begun to tap what is possible. Through new partnerships – whether it's with a stadium, or a hospital or a chain of supermarkets – dairy farms in all 50 states are able to house this type of system and turn food waste into value for local communities."

The system hosted by the Browns will produce enough electricity to power one home for about 1.5 years, and enough natural gas for 32 homes. So, it's not huge, but it represents an example of projects that might matter at a local level.

Consider how many homes have built-in garbage disposals for grinding up food waste. Now, imagine if municipal governments got involved to put that substance to a revenue-producing use.

From a business perspective, the interest in finding better ways to handle food waste is become more pronounced: driven in large part by the United Nations revelation in 2011 that up to 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted annually, about one-third of everything produced for human consumption.

From a marketing standpoint, professional sports teams could play an important role in making technologies for dealing with this problem – as well as other nagging natural resource concerns such as wasted water -- more visible. There's even a four-year-old organization dedicated to this, the Green Sports Alliance (GSA), which now has 212 members. (The group was founded by Paul Allen's Vulcan and the Natural Resources Defense Council.)

"Cities and local communities really identify with their professional teams, so when we see franchises make these partnerships and these commitments, we think there's a potential multiplier effect for every fan that's going to walk through those turnstiles," said Allen Hershkowitz, director of the Sports Greening Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

There's even brand-new money to be made in thinking green, at least in the minds of the auto-racing world. The FIA Formula E organization (not a GSA member) is planning a Grand Prix series starting in September in Beijing specifically for all-electric vehicles. Pictured below is the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, which is capable of speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour. The car got its first public debut in early January during the International CES show in Las Vegas.

"We expect this Championship to become the framework for research and development around the electric car, a key element for the future of our cities," said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings

At the very least, it's clearly a great way to break down many of the performance myths associated with electric vehicles.

Fri, 21 Apr 2023 22:14:00 -0500 Heather Clancy en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/heatherclancy/2014/01/15/more-professional-sports-teams-are-thinking-green-to-please-fans-and-make-money/




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