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Lessons Learned by a Basic Scientist: How To Succeed in Business (of the Policy World) without really trying

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Lessons Learned by a Basic Scientist: How To Succeed in Business (of the Policy World) without really trying PAT LEVITT, PH.D. ANNETTE SCHAFFER ESKIND CHAIR ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Lessons Learned by a Basic Scientist: How To Succeed in Business (of the Policy World) without really trying


1
Lessons Learned by a Basic Scientist How To
Succeed in Business (of the Policy World) without
really trying
  • PAT LEVITT, PH.D.
  • ANNETTE SCHAFFER ESKIND CHAIR, VANDERBILT KENNEDY
    CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
  • DIRECTOR, ZILKHA NEUROGENETIC INSTITUTE, KECK
    SCHOOL OF MEDICINE OF USC, CHAIRMAN, DEPT. CELL
    NEUROBIOLOGY, PROVOST PROFESSOR OF NEUROSCIENCE,
    PSYCHIATRY PHARMACY
  • MEMBER, NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC COUNCIL ON THE
    DEVELOPING CHILD

2
The Mismatch Between Opportunity and Investment
Brain's "Malleability"
Spending on Health,
Education and Welfare
0
3
10
70
Age
3
Rates of Return to Human Development Investment
Across all Ages
8
6
Pre-school Programs
Return Per Invested
School
4
R
Job Training
2
Pre- School
School
Post School
0
6
18
Age
Carneiro, Heckman, Human Capital Policy, 2003
4
The Child Development Challenge Translating
Science for Public Understanding
Susan Bales, M.A.
5
Perceived Public Support is a Strong Influence on
Policymaker Behavior
  • If we could find a way to deal with 70 percent
    of people that are not the 15 on the left and not
    the 15 on the right that believe no matter what
    the information is, they're ready. If we can
    find a way to get that other 70 percent informed
    and activated, that would solve a lot of problems
    right away because I don't care whether you're a
    right wing politician or a left wing politician,
    when you go to your primary election you
    listen.
  • Objectively, you do the right amount of
    education, do the right amount of meeting and
    greeting and everything else. That ain't what
    it's about. It's about where the political will
    is and how much passion there is around the issue
    by a wide enough audience that these guys will
    say this train is going and I don't want to be
    off the train.
  • AZ Legislators

6
Why doesnt the Public take responsibility for
social problems?
  • People are selfish, small-minded, uncaring
  • Or, its a cognitive rather than a moral failure
    they dont understand what their responsibility
    could be
  • Persuasive communications cannot depend on simply
    putting information in front of people, because
    when communications is inadequate, people default
    to the pictures in their heads
  • Communications must change the lens through which
    they see the information
  • When communications is effective, people can see
    an issue from a different perspective

7
The Questions We Ask
  • How does the public think about a particular
    social or political issue?
  • What is the public discourse on the issue?
  • How does this dialogue influence and constrain
    public choices?
  • How can an issue be framed to evoke a different
    way of thinking, one that illuminates alternative
    policy choices?

8
Frames Are
  • Organizing principles that are socially shared
    and persistent over time, that work symbolically
    to meaningfully structure the social world.
  • Reese, Gandy and Grant, Framing Public Life. NJ
    Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001.
  • See also
  • Goffman, E. 1974. Frame Analysis An Essay on the
    Organization of Experience. Cambridge Harvard
    University Press.
  • Tannen, D. (ed). 1993. Framing in Discourse. New
    York Oxford University Press.

9
  • We can define framing as the process of culling
    a few elements of perceived reality and
    assembling a narrative that highlights
    connections among them to promote a particular
    interpretation. Fully developed frames typically
    perform four functions problem definition,
    causal analysis, moral judgment, and remedy
    promotion.
  • (Entman, 1993, 2004)

10
Where We Get Our CuesElements of the Frame
  • Values
  • Visuals
  • Messengers
  • Context
  • Numbers
  • Metaphors
  • Simplifying Models
  • Stories
  • Tone
  • Finding some familiar element causes us to
    activate the story that is labeled by that
    familiar element, and we understand the new story
    as if it were an exemplar of that old element.
  • Understanding means finding a story you already
    know and saying, Oh yeah, that one.
  • Once we have found (the) story, we stop
    processing.
  • Roger C. Schank, Tell Me A Story Narrative and
    Intelligence, Northwestern University Press,
    1995.

11
FrameWorks Research Base Strategic Frame
Analysis
  • Voters
  • 30 focus groups in 15 states
  • 175 cognitive interviews in 9 states
  • 500 talk back interviews re simplifying models
  • Experimental survey with 2,000 registered voters
  • Legislators
  • 6 focus groups in 3 states
  • 40 cognitive interviews in 5 states
  • Business leaders
  • 10 cognitive interviews
  • Experimental survey with 2,000 business owners
  • Media
  • Content analysis of 11,000 local news stories

12
What the Public Sees Regarding Child Development
The Black Box
Successful child
  • Fate
  • Free will
  • Parents
  • Genes
  • Environment

Black Box
Unsuccessful child
13
Very Complicated
Something about the brain Only for scientists
We turned out OK
Everything matters
Momma knows best Bad parents Private not public
issue
Self-made Child
Family Bubble
Development is automatic Discipline
focus Stress is good for you Leave it alone
Schools
Hurried Child Fancy Parents Flash cards in cribs
Opportunity Children future Begins in school
Safety
Community Predator
Control and contain
Physical Focus
14
ECD Focus Groups Default
  • Families are Responsible
  • I think one parent at least in the first five
    years until they get to school ought to be at
    home because that sets the tone for the kids.
    (Virginia man)
  • I think they absorb. Through three and five --
    I know my son absorbs just everything that came
    around him. (New Jersey woman)
  • Individuals are Responsible
  • The parents are so protective now compared to
    what they were 20, 30, 40 years agoI did a lot
    of things on my own. When we played sports,
    there was no parental involvement. We didn't
    have to be ferried, driven to a place where we
    played. We were independent I think this holds
    back the development of children. (Boston man)
  • Safety is the Main Concern
  • I guess youre looking for clean and safe
    facilities, and the right number of staff per
    children, and youre looking for activities that
    help the children grow intellectually rather than
    make sure they stand in line and be quiet.
    (Virginia woman)

15
How the Media Frames Child Issues
  • Predominance of stories on crime and health
  • In health stories, the dominant frame is child
    safety (e.g., seat belts)
  • Only 13 of stories address systemic issues
  • Only 3 look at development
  • Dominant frame is the imperiled child or child
    as precious object
  • UCLA Center for Communications and Community,
    Content analysis of local news, 11,000 stories,
    July 2000, 3 affiliates in 6 cities

16
Veterans of Perceptions and Messaging
  • Advocates
  • Kids are very complex
  • Everything counts
  • Children are made for learning
  • Infants become persons at a very early age
  • The brain is not developed at birth
  • Parenting is difficult
  • Parents are teachers
  • Parents are students
  • Trained coaches are needed for parents
  • All parents are good
  • Parents are experts
  • Experts
  • "The ability to inhibit a response one is all
    set to perform, sometimes called effortful
    control, has been of special interest to
    researchers who seek to understand how individual
    differences in children's tendencies to respond
    to stressful or exciting events affect the growth
    of emotion regulation. Effortful control is one
    component of a larger set of inhibitory
    competencies, termed 'executive functions',
    discussed later..." N2N

17
What Do We Know?
  • People have minimal access to a working model of
    child development.
  • When considered at all, it is a closed private
    system.
  • There are strong entrenched frames that get in
    the way of development family autonomy, safety,
    individualism.
  • The reframes currently in use school readiness,
    etc. -- are not yielding the desired result.
  • Some reframes future, prosperity have
    potential to move public opinion in right
    direction and prime school readiness for them.

18
The Central Causal Story
Emotional Development
Social Development
Interaction
Brain Architecture
Cognitive Development
19
The Core Story
  • Child development is a foundation for community
    development and economic development, as capable
    children become the foundation of a prosperous
    and sustainable society (Prosperity).
  • The basic architecture of the brain is
    constructed through an ongoing process that
    begins before birth and continues into adulthood
    (Brain Architecture).
  • Brains are built from the bottom up (Skill Begets
    Skill).
  • Interaction of genes and experience shapes the
    developing brain and relationships are the active
    ingredient in this Serve and Return process
    (Serve and Return).

20
  • Cognitive, emotional, and social capacities are
    inextricably intertwined, and learning, behavior
    and physical and mental health are inter-related
    over the life course (Cant Do One).
  • Toxic stress damages the developing brain and
    leads to problems in learning, behavior, and
    increased susceptibility to physical and mental
    illness over time (Toxic Stress).
  • Brain plasticity and the ability to change
    behavior decrease over time and getting it right
    early is less costly, to society and individuals,
    than trying to fix it later (Pay Now).

21
The Reframing Challenge
  • To explain the science in such a way that it..
  • Redirects attention away from the default
    positions.
  • By identifying values and explanations that make
    the societal, not individual goals, obvious
  • And by creating Simplifying Models that serve to
    explain how development works..
  • And explain the consequences of inaction..
  • And can be shown to attach to policy thinking

22
What are Simplifying Models?
  • A kind of metaphorical frame that both captures
    the essence of a scientific concept, and has a
    high capacity for spreading through a population.
  • An explanation that reduces a complex problem to
    a simple, concrete analogy or metaphor
    contributes to understanding by helping people
    organize information into a clear picture in
    their heads, including facts and ideas previously
    learned but not organized in a coherent way.
  • Once this analogical picture has been formed, it
    becomes the basis for new reasoning about the
    topic.
  • See Dorothy Holland Naomi Quinn, Cultural
    Models in Language and Thought, Cambridge
    University Press, 1987.

23
Analogies in the Science Classroom
  • the heart is a pump
  • the eye is a camera
  • the cell is a factory
  • the kidney is a waste filter
  • photosynthesis is like baking bread
  • an electric circuit is like a water conduit
  • the brain is a computer
  • Glynn et al. (1995), Teaching Science With
    Analogies A Strategy For Constructing Knowledge,
    Learning Science in The Schools Research
    Reforming Practice

24
Simplifying Model for ECD Brain Architecture
  • The early years of life matter because early
    experiences affect the architecture of the
    maturing brain. As it emerges, the quality of
    that architecture establishes either a sturdy or
    a fragile foundation for all of the development
    and behavior that follows --- and getting things
    right the first time is easier than trying to fix
    them later.

25
Early Experiences Influence Brain Architecture
and Function
26
Extreme Early Experiences Can Dramatically
Disrupt Brain Architecture
50 days exposed to early noise
16 days
50 days
Source Chang Merzenich (2003)
27
Exposure to PCBs During Development Can Disrupt
Brain Architecture
control
PCB developmental exposure
Source Kennet et al. (2006)
28
Brain Architecture Model TestingRecruitment and
Sample
  • 400 subjects
  • passers-by in public settings (roughly 80)
  • ads placed in local web sites (roughly 120)
  • graduate and undergraduate students (roughly 100)
  • help from local business leaders (Texas Program
    for Society and Health, James Baker Institute,
    Rice University) (roughly 100)
  • broad diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity,
    age, and educational background parents and
    nonparents

29
Comparative Frame Effects
  • Q How does growing up in poverty affect a
    childs school readiness?
  • A I would say in a lot of cases, I wouldnt say
    in all cases, growing up in poverty would hinder
    them, but I guess in some cases it would hinder
    them, sort of being ready to get to school as
    knowing, I guess maybe kids who are not in
    poverty growing up do you have an advantage, as
    far as they probably know a little more when they
    do start school than children who are raised in
    poverty.
  • Q How does growing up in poverty affect brain
    architecture?
  • A I believe because youre stressed a lot
    because you have a lot of stress usually parents
    that do not make a lot of money are usually under
    a lot of stress, so that makes the child be under
    stress as well, also that would affect I guess
    the growth of the brain.

30
Interaction as Serve and Return
  • Experts are learning more and more about how
    interactions with other people affect the
    development of babies brains. It turns out that
    healthy development of brain architecture depends
    a lot on a kind of interaction experts call Serve
    and Return, based on an analogy from games like
    tennis and volleyball. Serve and Return happens
    when young children instinctively reach out for
    interaction, through babbling, facial
    expressions, words, gestures, cries, etc. and
    adults respond by getting in sync and doing the
    same kind of babbling, gesturing, and so forth.
    Another important aspect of Serve and Return is
    that it works best with adults who are familiar
    to the child, like familiar partners. Young
    children need many of these interactions per day,
    since they are so critical development, and have
    effects on everything from the chemicals in the
    brain to physical structures and connections
    there.

31
Secure Relationships Calm Childrens Stress
Hormone Response
.3
Increase in Cortisol
.2
.1
0
Secure
Insecure
Attachment Relationship
-.1
Source Nachmias et al. (1996)
32
Sensitive Care Calms Childrens Stress Hormone
Response in Parents Absence
.3
Increase in Cortisol
.2
.1
0
High
Low
Sensitivity/Responsiveness of Caregiver
-.1
Source Nachmias et al. (1996)
33
Experience Affects Stress Response for a Lifetime!
Stress Response
Restraint
Time
Source Meaney et al. (200?)
34
How is the influence of early experience
maintained for a lifetime?
In part, through epigenetics.. and its is
really powerful
35
Early Experiences Can Transmit Across Generations
Maternal diet change during pregnancy causes
changes to offsprings fur color, obesity, and
cancer risk in genetically identical mice.
Source Jirtle Skinner (2007)
36
How Experience Influences Genes
Stress Response
Restraint
Time
Source Meaney et al. (200?)
37
Early Childhood Stress Influences Developmental
Outcomes
  • Important to development in the context of
    stable and supportive relationships
  • Potentially disruptive, but buffered by
    supportive relationships safe environments
  • Disrupts brain architecture, increases the risk
    of stress-related physical and mental illness

Positive
Tolerable
Toxic
38
Source Pollok Kistler (2002)
39
Extreme Neglect Diminishes Brain Power
3-5 Hz
6-9 Hz
10-18 Hz
Institutionalized
NeverInstitutionalized
Source C. Nelson (2008)
40
Persistent Stress Changes Brain Architecture
Typical - neuron with many connections
Normal
Chronic stress
Neuron damaged by toxic stress fewer connections
Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus
Source C. Nelson (2008)
Bock et al Cer Cort 15802 (2005)
41
Research Says that Remediation and Prevention ARE
Possible
42
Early Intervention Remediates Early Adversity
Time Spent Self-Comforting
Surrogate mother at 2 months
40
No surrogate mother
Surrogate mother at 1 month
30
20
10
Normal
9
1
3
5
7
11
13
Monkeys Age (months)
Source Knudsen et al. (2006)
43
Delayed Intervention Harms Development Bucharest
Early Intervention Program
Tested at 3 1/2 Years Old
Tested at 4 1/2 Years Old
100
IQ/DQ (Mean)
normal range
90
normal range
80
70
60
0-18
18-24
24-30
30
0-18
18-24
24-30
30
Age of placement in foster care (months)
Source Nelson et al. (2007)
44
Effects on Salience
  • I think what really gets me from the study is
    that it could actually have a chemical or
    biological or some sort of impact on the childs
    brain. Behavior is one thing, and attitude and
    personality is one thing, but if it can really
    negatively impact the chemistry and the makeup
    of the brain you can damage that that early
    thats really serious. Thats more than just
    having a bad personality, thats really screwing
    up a kid. Talk Back Informant

45
What Have We Built?
  • Potential Advantages
  • Unifies scientists messages
  • Makes science understandable to public
  • Easily remembered, and repeated
  • Can teach about ECD without distorting
  • Questions Remaining
  • What must you include?
  • But does it elevate policy thinking and
    preferences?
  • Are all models equal?
  • Does it overcome resistance to investment?

46
The Core Story Framing Experiment
  • Prosperity
  • Pay Now
  • Cant Do One
  • Skill Begets Skill
  • Evaluation Science
  • Brain Architecture
  • Effectiveness Factors
  • 1100/4000 subjects, June 2007

47
Effects of Core Story
  • Frame Effects from Experimental Survey June 2007
  • Exposure to any part of the core story enhances
    policy support
  • Cant Do One has the greatest effect
  • Prosperity/Pay Now has next greatest effect
  • Men and people who placed a low priority on child
    well-being were most affected
  • Models are most powerful when aligned with
    principles, not asymmetric
  • Conventional wisdom about frame effects should be
    questioned business leaders responded more
    robustly to a developmental frame than a just
    the facts frame

48
Putting It All Together.
  • If our society is to prosper in the future, we
    will need to make sure that all children have the
    opportunity to develop intellectually, socially
    and If emotionally. VALUE
  • But science tells us that many childrens futures
    are undermined when stress damages the early
    brain architecture. That stress may result from
    family tensions over a lost job or death in the
    family. That stress makes babies brains release
    a chemical that stunts cell growth. SCIENCE
  • When communities make family mental health
    services available so that early interventions
    can take place, they put in place a preventive
    system that catches children before they fall.
    SOLUTION

49
Closing the Gap Using What We Know To Inform
What We Do
Factors that Influence Policy Decisions
Strategies to Affect Public Policy
  • Develop simplifying frames of factors that
  • impact child development
  • (Drugs Toxic Stress Nutrition Genes
    Relationships)

Public/Media Perception (free will legality
excesses)
PRENATAL EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS
What Science Tells Us (maternal
health fetalmaternal interactions environment
of relationshps brain architecture chemistry)
  • Develop key working partnerships
  • (National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Childhood-Focused Private Foundations)
  • Engage scientists in providing impartial
    testimony
  • (What science tells us Just the facts)
  • Scientists must do more work with print and video
    media
  • (Tell a core story)

Policy Makers (public perception family
bubble child welfare)
50
Legislative successes.its personal!
51
  • National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
  • Legislative Working Group (AZ, IL, KS, MA, NE,
    OK, SC, WA, WI)
  • Technical assistance for early childhood policy
    issues in states
  • Summits for Legislature/Leadership training
  • National Forum on Early Childhood Program evals
  • Partners JJ Pediatric Institute Frameworks
    Institute Buffet Foundation Gates Foundation

http//www.developingchild.nethttp//www.developi
ngchild.harvard.edu
52
  • www.frameworksinstitute.org
  • (c) FrameWorks Institute 2008
  • This presentation was developed for individual
    use and cannot berepresented, adapted or
    distributed without the express written
    permission of the FrameWorks Institute.All
    images in this presentation are licensed for the
    purpose of this presentation only and may not be
    reproduced elsewhere.
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