Central European University
Recent publications
Imitation provides a reliable method to investigate the developing memory functions in childhood. The present study explored whether 3-4-year-old children are able to revise their previous experiences after a 1 week delay in order to adapt to an altered context. We used a combined short-term (Session 1) and delayed (Session 2) imitation paradigm based on a previous study with 2-year-olds. The constraints (target object close/far) and relatedly the relevance of using a tool in a goal attainment task (irrelevant/relevant, respectively) changed between the sessions. We found that children in Session 1 used the tool only when it was needed (relevant/object far context). After the 1 week delay when the tool was previously irrelevant and then became relevant, children remembered the irrelevant act and applied it in the altered context. When the tool lost its relevance after 1 week, children used the tool less than before, but did not fully omit it, despite its reduced efficiency. The present data with 3-year-olds was compared to a pattern of results with 2-year-olds (from a similar previous study), that allowed to discuss possible developmental transitions in memory and imitation. We propose that the flexible restoration of a formerly irrelevant act and the maintenance of a formerly successful solution indicate flexibility of preschooler’s memory when guiding imitation. This flexibility, however, interacts with children’s tendency to remain faithful to strategies that were previously ostensively demonstrated to them.
Image-making is a nearly universal human behavior, yet the visual strategies and conventions to represent things in pictures vary greatly over time and space. In particular, pictorial styles can differ in their degree of figurativeness, varying from intersubjectively recognizable representations of things to very stylized and abstract forms. Are there any patterns to this variability, and what might its ecological causes be? Experimental studies have shown that demography and the structure of interaction of cultural groups can play a key role: the greater the degree of contact with other groups, the more recognizable and less abstract are the representations. Here we test this hypothesis on a real-world dataset for the first time. We constructed a balanced database of Indigenous Australian rock art motifs from both isolated and contact Aboriginal groups (those often in contact with other groups). We then ran a survey asking participants to judge the recognizability of the motifs and to provide interpretations. Results show that motifs from contact Aboriginal groups were more likely to be judged as inter-subjectively recognizable and also elicited more convergent descriptions than motifs from isolated groups. This is consistent with the idea that intergroup contact is likely to be an important factor in the cultural evolution of pictorial representation. We discuss the implications of these findings for the archaeology and anthropology of art, and the parallels with language evolution.
This study describes the development of a database, called MilkyBase, of the biochemical composition of human milk. The data were selected, digitized and curated partly by machine-learning, partly manually from publications. The database can be used to find patterns in the milk composition as a function of maternal-, infant- and measurement conditions and as a platform for users to put their own data in the format shown here. The database is an Excel workbook of linked sheets, making it easy to input data by non-computationally minded nutritionists. The hierarchical organisation of the fields makes sure that statistical inference methods can be programmed to analyse the data. Uncertainty quantification and recording dynamic (time-dependent) compositions offer predictive potentials.
During the first two decades of the twenty-first century, Mexico’s so-called drug war claimed around a quarter of a million lives. Adapting to this enduring epidemic of violence, the print media have adopted a minimalist reporting style that gives only thin, formulaic accounts of violent events. As I argue, established journalistic minimalism does more than provide little information about violence. With practised impassiveness, it frames violence in a way that creates a certain narrative: not of social actors to be understood but of natural events to be endured. Through a qualitative content analysis of over 1200 news reports, I examine the persistent force of this “natural” frame in the face of an extraordinary development: the unprecedented intrusion of political violence into the 2018 general elections, when forty-eight candidates were assassinated.
The building sector is responsible for about one third of the global final energy consumption and CO2 emission, thus it is desired to limit and replace building-related fossil energy sources to meet climate goals. In this context, the utilization of building integrated solar technology has proven to be a reliable and increasingly affordable alternative, however, there is still an immense potential remained unexplored. This study thus uses, a high-resolution, geospatial energy supply model to estimate the useable building rooftop areas across 11 regions of the World, and calculates the corresponding global and regional potential of energy production of state-of-the-art rooftop PV/T collectors over a 39-year period. Our results demonstrate that solar PV/T energy production on residential and commercial/public rooftops has enormous global potential (47.5 PWh), with the possibility of doubling by 2060. The current magnitude of potential implies that about 60% of the suitable building rooftops could be installed with PV/T collectors to offset most of the local energy demand. Regarding the future trends we found that beyond the extended building stock in large economies (e.g., China, USA and EU), the newly-built commercial buildings of developing regions (e.g., Latin America and South Asia) are modeled to have key role in realizing the estimated potential over the next decades. Our study also focuses on the geographical, temporal and building-level characteristics of energy production and concludes that rooftops in the Middle East, South and Pacific Asia have the most favorable geographical exposure for capturing solar (dominantly thermal) energy by PV/T collectors. It was found to be especially valid for months during the warm season. In regions dominated by temperate climate, the energy generation is characterized by a second maximum before the warm season, due to the peak of electricity production. At the time of the production peaks and in general annually, irrespective to regions, PV/T collectors installed on single-family roofs and retails were estimated to have the greatest potential to supply green energy for the entire building and thus likely to balance the in-situ energy consumption.
Powerful figures, such as politicians, who show a behavioural pattern of exuberant self-confidence, recklessness, and contempt for others may be the subject of the acquired personality disorder, the hubris syndrome, which has been demonstrated to leave its mark on speech patterns. Our study explores characteristic language patterns of Hungarian prime ministers (PMs) with a special emphasis on one of the key indicators of hubris, the shift from the first person "I" to "we" in spontaneous speech. We analyzed the ratio of the first-person singular ("I") and plural ("we") pronouns and verbal inflections in the spontaneous parliamentary speeches of four Hungarian PMs between 1998-2018. We found that Viktor Orbán during his second premiership (2010-2014) used first person plural relative to singular inflections more often than the other three PMs during their terms. Orbán and another Hungarian PM, Ferenc Gyurcsány, who were re-elected at some point showed an increased ratio of first-person plural vs. singular inflections and personal pronouns by their second term, likely reflecting increasing hubristic tendencies. The results show that the ratio of "I" and "we" usually studied in English texts also show changes in a structurally different language , Hungarian. This finding suggests that it is extended periods of premiership that may increase hubristic behaviour in political leaders, not only experiencing excessive power. The results are particularly elucidating regarding the role of re-elections in political leaders' hubristic speech-and behaviour.
This paper examines the philosophy of Jean-Francois Lyotard in relation to the analytic philosophy of deep disagreement. It argues not just that his work has relevance for this debate, but that it offers a challenge to the ‘epistemic paradigm’ present in its academic literature, represented by the two most prominent sets of theories within it – the ‘fundamental epistemic principle’ and ‘hinge epistemology’ views, arguably most strongly represented by Michael Lynch and Duncan Pritchard, respectively. Focussing on Lyotard’s text ‘The Differend’, I show how its conceptual framework and philosophy of language locates the cause of deep disagreement not in the epistemic realm, but in things which do not fully submit to epistemic evaluation: the radically incomplete and open nature of language, and our increasingly politically pluralistic world full of incommensurable differences that do not always admit of rational resolution. Lyotard’s work calls for us to conceptualize deep disagreements as problems of politics, not epistemology, and to find new ways of dealing with disagreements that do not force a solution on them (which often comes at the cost of one party being wronged, or worse) and to create new ways of speaking so that our collective conceptual resources can be increased to better deal with specific cases of dispute. Lyotard’s relevance for the philosophy of deep disagreement is also further discussed with references to Miranda Fricker’s work on ‘epistemic injustice’, which Lyotard, in a different vocabulary, is also concerned with and analyses in ‘The Differend’.
Objective: This paper quantitatively explores determinants of governments' non-pharmaceutical policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our focus is on the extent to which geographic mobility affected the stringency of governmental policy responses. Methods: Using crosscountry , daily frequency data on geographic mobility and COVID-19 policy stringency during 2020, we investigate some of the determinants of policy responses to COVID-19. In order to causally identify the effect of geographic mobility on policy stringency, we pursue an instrumental variable strategy that exploits climate data to identify arguably exogenous variation in geographic mobility. Results: We find that societies that are more geographically mobile have governmental policy responses that are less stringent. Examining disaggregated mobility data, we show that the negative relation between geographic mobility and policy stringency is the stronger for commercially-oriented movements than for geographic movements that relate to civil society. Conclusion: The results suggest that policy-makers are more willing to trade-off public health for economic concerns relative to other civil concerns.
This paper develops an analytical framework to explain how regional organizations engage institutional strategies in regional role location process. It argues that ASEAN employed institutionalization as a role bargaining tool in relations with China and other great powers in ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) between 2007 and 2019. The shifts in ASEAN approach to institutionalization were triggered by modifications in China’s role claims, yet the choice of particular institutional responses reflected ASEAN’s own role conception and expectations for appropriate role enactment for itself and for China. By manipulating the institutional processes of ADMM Plus ASEAN successfully sustained its foreign policy roles as a ‘central actor’ and ‘security promoter’ as well as discouraged China from consolidating the undesirable for ASEAN role of regional ‘co-leader’ within ADMM Plus.
The Turán number of a graph H, denoted by ex(n,H), is the maximum number of edges in an n-vertex graph that does not have H as a subgraph. Let TPk be the triangular pyramid of k-layers. In this paper, we determine that ex(n,TP3)=14n2+n+o(n) and pose a conjecture for ex(n,TP4).
To achieve the European Union's target for climate neutrality by 2050 reduced energy demand will make the transition process faster and cheaper. The role of policies that support energy efficiency measures and demand-side management practices will be critical and to ensure that energy demand models are relevant to policymakers and other end-users, understanding how to further improve the models and whether they are tailored to user needs to support efficient decision-making processes is crucial. So far though, no scientific studies have examined the key user needs for energy demand modelling in the context of the climate neutrality targets. In this article we address this gap using a multi-method approach based on empirical and desk research. Through survey and stakeholder meetings and workshops we identify user needs of different stakeholder groups, and we highlight the direction in which energy demand models need to be improved to be relevant to their users. Through a detailed review of existing energy demand models, we provide a full understanding of the key characteristics and capabilities of existing tools, and we identify their limitations and gaps. Our findings show that classical demand-related questions remain important to model users, while most of the existing models can answer these questions. Furthermore, we show that some of the user needs related to sectoral demand modelling, dictated by the latest policy developments, are under-researched and are not addressed by existing tools.
Research integrity climate is an important factor that influences an individual’s behavior. A strong research integrity culture can lead to better research practices and responsible conduct of research (RCR). Therefore, investigations on organizational climate can be a valuable tool to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each group and develop targeted initiatives. This study aims to assess the perceptions on integrity climate in three universities in Hungary. A cross-sectional study was conducted with PhD students, postdocs, and professors from three Hungarian universities. The survey included demographic questions, such as gender, age, scientific field, academic rank, and the Survey of Organizational Research Climate (SOURCE). A total of 432 participants completed the survey. Our results show that postdocs and assistant professors perceived integrity climate more negatively than PhD students and full professors in every survey scale. Contrarily, PhD students perceive more positively than the other groups. Disciplinary differences show that researchers in the Biomedical sciences perceive regulatory bodies to be fairer when evaluating their projects than those in the Natural sciences. Natural sciences also perceive more negatively how the department values integrity when compared to Humanities. Humanities perceive more positively Advisor/Advisee Relations than Biomedical Sciences. Our results suggest that institutions should pay more attention to early career researchers, especially insecure and temporary positions like postdocs and assistant professors. They should provide RCR resources, socialize them in RCR, and set more reasonable expectations. Moreover, department leaders should develop initiatives to foster better integrity climates.
The literature on consociationalism posits external threats increase elite cooperation and political stability in consociational systems, provided that the threat is perceived as common by all political segments. Lebanon—a prominent consociational case—invites further reflection on this proposition, as international crises and even war did not increase cooperation between political parties. To further explore the relationship between external threats and political stability, the paper proposes a critical security approach, based on the Copenhagen School of security. The study investigates how political elites construct foreign threats relying on media analysis complemented by personal elite and expert interviews, as well as secondary sources. The study finds that despite political elites’ commitment to system maintenance, external threats decrease political stability in Lebanon because political segments are part of competing macrosecuritizations.
We conducted three experiments to test the effect of assumed task-relevance of self-association on the self-prioritization effect (SPE). Participants were first performing the standard matching task, and then a pseudo-word matching task, in which familiar labels from the standard task were replaced with pseudo-words. In the pseudo-words task, the association between stimuli and the self was, in fact, task-irrelevant. Learning instructions were varied to make participants believe that the self-association was task-relevant (Experiments 1 and 3) or task-irrelevant (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, we told participants that geometrical shapes represent specific identities (self, friend, none) and pseudo-words’ meanings reflect each of these identities to make participants believe that semantic associations of pseudo-words were task-relevant. In this experiment, a SPE was present in the pseudo-words task. Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1, but participants were told to form association pairs between pseudo-words and shapes, and not pseudo-words and identities. Thus, because the matching task presented only shapes and pseudo-words, participants were led to correctly believe that associations were task-irrelevant. Under these conditions, we did not observe a SPE in the pseudo-words task. Finally, in Experiment 3, participants were told that pseudo-words are “paired with” identities, making their relations with identities weaker than in Experiment 1, but still task-relevant. The SPE in the pseudo-word task reappeared. Together, the results suggest that a SPE can be observed in the absence of any stimuli with established self-associations, but only if self-associations are represented as task-relevant.
Previous research has shown that a co-actor's willingness to bear the monetary costs of prior cooperative activities influences our cooperative behaviour towards them. But what about when such information is lacking? In addition to monetary costs, people routinely engage in joint actions in which they incur effort costs in order to help each other achieve their goals, for example by adapting their goal-directed actions in order to send informative signals. We aimed to investigate whether people act more cooperatively towards those who are willing to bear the effort costs of an interaction by adapting their movements to send informative signals. We find that the effort that a co-actor invests in order to produce informative movement adaptations increases a participant's trust towards that co-actor, and that both the effort and utility of these informative movement adaptations increase generosity towards that co-actor. This demonstrates that we may base decisions about cooperation with a person on their willingness to bear the effort costs of interaction. These findings are discussed with respect to the role that effort investment plays in sustained cooperation.
Energy efficiency measures (EEMs) can serve as promising policy tools to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by reducing energy demand. Besides climate benefits, EEMs can also generate various non-energy, non-climate, and local benefits, popularly known as multiple impacts (MI)/co-benefits. These MIs differ substantially across different socioeconomic contexts and play an important role in determining the uptake rate of EEMs in different parts of the world. By taking the European Union (EU) member states and South Asian countries as case studies, this paper uses a two-tier methodological approach to explore the diversity of MIs in regions with widely contrasting contexts. Findings of the study show that, for South Asia, energy savings and energy security are the most important MIs, whereas other MIs such as reduced air pollution and health benefits were also commonly highlighted co-benefits for both regions. Furthermore, the findings also show that, for South Asia, climate targets alone cannot accelerate the implementation of EEMs, and thus, the progress made in the targets of different Sustainable Development Goals as a consequence of the co-benefits of EEMs is an important incentive for EEM uptake in South Asian countries. The magnitude of the co-benefits of EEMs is significant for both regions, amounting to billions of dollars. By analyzing the magnitude and different contexts of the MIs, this paper identifies the existing barriers and key gaps for the quantitative evaluation of MIs. This assessment further helps in understanding how to overcome the barriers imposed by the socioeconomic contexts of the regions.
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2,167 members
Dimitry Kochenov
  • Department of Legal Studies
Csaba Pléh
  • Department of Cognitive Science
Dan Sperber
  • Departments of Cognitive Science and of Philosophy
Julius Horvath
  • International Relations and Economics
Tiago P. Peixoto
  • Department of Network and Data Science
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