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Summary article 'Mitigating Zoonotic Risks in Intensive Farming: Solutions for a Sustainable Change'

Over the last decades, animal production has transitioned from small-scale farming activities to large-scale industrial systems. The sharp increase in the number of farmed animals and the higher density at which they are kept, amplify risks for zoonoses —diseases and infections that are transmitted between animals and humans. Governmental policies and producers mainly focused on increasing biosecurity and biocontainment. These measures, however, have not proved to be a viable solution. As the emergence of zoonoses increased alongside increased demands for animals and their products, a solution lies in transitioning the animal industry to substitutes that are being increasingly made available through breakthroughs in food technology: plant-based and cultured meat options. Citizens are open to this protein transition, but experience barriers to change their behaviors. To reduce these barriers, governments should encourage alternatives to slaughtered meat and animal dairy by 1) removing the direct and indirect system of subsidies of the animal industry, 2) subsidizing the development and promotion of plant-based and cultured meat products, and 3) providing basic zoonotic information, including removing barriers that prevent the public and scientific scrutiny of the externalities in these production systems and making the link between animal product consumption behaviors and its effect on personal and global health clear.


Summary article 'The limits of conscious deception detection: When reliance on false deception cues contributes to inaccurate judgments'

People are generally too trusting, which decreases their ability to detect deceit. This suggests that distrust could enhance our deception detection abilities. Yet, a state of distrust may induce deliberative conscious thought. This mode of thinking has been related to worse complex decision making. Hence, we investigate whether contextual distrust decreases the ability to detect deceit via the stronger reliance on consciously held beliefs about which cues betray deception. In two studies, participants were asked to judge videos of either deceiving or truth telling targets. Contextual distrust was manipulated by asking participants to squint their eyes (distrust) or to round their eyes (trust) while watching the videos. Participants’ judgments of targets being deceptive or truthful were measured (Studies 1 & 2) and they were asked on what basis they made these judgments (Study 2). Results showed that distrust especially hampers the detection of truth, which is partly due to more reliance on false beliefs about deception cues. These results corroborate the idea that deliberative conscious information processing may hinder truth detection, while intuitive information processing may facilitate it.   


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