Taylor & Francis Newsroom

, Oxford.

“Can Machines Think?” – Misidentification of humans as machines in Turing tests

Turing led a team of code breakers at Bletchley Park which cracked the German Enigma machine cypher during WWII – but that is far from being his only legacy. 

In the year of the 100th anniversary of his birth, researchers published a series of ‘Turing tests’ in the Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence; these entailed a series of five minute conversations between human and machine or human and human.  Judges were tasked with identifying whether who they were talking to was human or a computer.  Can machines be successful in ‘being human’ in real conversations?  The resultant transcripts presented in this paper reveal fascinating insights into human interactions and our understanding of artificial intelligence.

In 12 out of 13 tests the judge wrongly identified the interlocutor as machine when in fact they were human.  Turing tests were designed to study machine ‘thinking’ through language and ultimately establish if a machine could foil an interrogator into believing it were genuinely human.  So, why in this case did so many believe the reverse? 

The cursory conversations were quite one-dimensional, for example:

Judge: Do you like cooking?
Entity: no you?
Judge: Yes. Do you like eating?
Entity: yes!
Judge: What is your fav meal of all time?
Entity: i dont know there are so many?
Judge: Give me one then
Entity: pizza you?

Did such mundane talk give the impression of being machine generated?  Other transcripts revealed humour, geographical and historical knowledge, a lack of general knowledge, evasion, misunderstanding, dominance and use of slang.  All of these are traits associated with humanity, but in these instances seemed to offset the decision making process, leading the judge to the wrong choice.  This novel research in Turing tests shows that humans are not always able to recognise what is very typically human, let alone artificial intelligence.

In 1950 Turing asked “Can machines think?” The author quotes “to ‘think’ merely means ‘to be of the opinion’ or to ‘judge’, which indeed the judges were... As a result we can conclude that thinking does not require understanding or specific knowledge, although in the human case both facilities are likely to help”.

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* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0952813X.2014.921734

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information, please contact:

Ben Hudson, Taylor & Francis Group

Email: Benjamin.Hudson@tandf.co.uk

, Philadelphia.

Alaska’s Resources & Changing Climate Connect, Clash

Alaska’s natural resources, such as fish, metal ore, and predominately oil, play a pivotal role in the state’s economy. With the region’s recent climate changes (Alaska is on track to warm 8°F by the last quarter of the century), this has the potential to have major effects on ecosystems, as well as on the people and industries that depend on them. How can the state balance the economic potential of its undeveloped resources with the cost of their use?

Authored by Erin McKittrick, co-founder and director of Ground Truth Trekking, “A Fossil Fuel Economy in a Climate Change Vulnerable State” was featured in the May/June issue of Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development and delves deeper into these issues. 

“Climate change is a global issue. The fossil fuel industry is a global industry,” McKittrick said. “I think the most interesting thing is how here, in Alaska, those two [climate change and the fossil fuel industry] come together, and how they clash. But no one wants to talk about those connections.”

Both the risks and rewards of fossil fuel development are dramatic and clear, McKittrick said. “I think seeing how that plays out in Alaska will be an interesting case study for the world.”


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About Taylor & Francis Group
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Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
Carolan DiFiore, Science and Technology Journals Marketing Assistant
Email: Carolan.difiore@taylorandfrancis.com

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* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00139157.2014.901838

, Oxford.

Eating disorders and depression in athletes: does one lead to the other?

Sport is a proven contributor to high self-esteem, confidence, positive outlook and good health.  It would be reasonable to assume then that athletes have higher than average protection from depression and dysfunctional eating?  On the contrary, athletes are considered three times more likely to develop an eating disorder and there is strong empirical evidence linking eating disorders and depression. Previous research to determine causality between the two conditions has been conflicting.  In the study, “Eating psychopathology as a risk factor for depressive symptoms in a sample of British athletes” in the Journal of Sport Sciences,  Shanmugam, Jowett & Meyer ask does depression lead to eating disorders in athletes or vice versa?

Many athletes face various stresses; pressure to train, perform well, financial hardship, as well as maintaining a balance with other aspects of their life such as study, family and friends. Athletes also face pressure to be body perfect.  Top flight athletes follow performance boosting nutritional regimes which can deprive them of the nutrients and calories needed for optimal mental health.  With statistics noted of up to 17% of competitive athletes showing symptoms of psychiatric disorders and a paucity of research on the subject, the authors conducted a time lapse study. 122 British athletes completed questionnaires assessing weight, diet history, previous eating related diagnoses and desired weight.  They were also quizzed on their attitudes to eating; restraint, fear of losing control, weight and self-image issues.  Finally they were assessed on their mental state and checked for signs of clinical depression. Six months later, the athletes BMI was checked and two studies conducted; the first examining participants’ psychological state at the start point and eating habits after six  months, and the second, eating psychopathology at outset and depressive symptoms at the end point. Results make fascinating reading and conflict with the small amount of existing previous research.

It was found by a small margin that eating and diet disturbances were a precursor to depressive tendencies.  So, why should athletes, seemingly so invincible be affected?  Low self-esteem, failure to meet exacting physical standards, regimented eating and constant negative sport related pressure all add to the mix.  How can we protect athletes from this vicious cycle? Despite high profile cases of depressed athletes such as Michael Vaughn and Ricky Hatton, there remains a lack of research and education on behalf of and amongst vulnerable athletes.  The authors call for improved education programmes on nutrition and intervention strategies to minimise the risks for athletes.  “Given that sport organisations and clubs are ethically and legally responsible for the health and welfare of athletes, it is imperative that practices that increase the risk of eating disorders are minimised as they appear to inadvertently increase the risk of depression in athletes… research needs to move beyond examining the factors that affect eating … to the factors that are affected by eating, so that a more comprehensive and holistic theoretical framework can be established.”

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About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
Leah Stanley, Marketing Executive
email: leah.stanley@tandf.co.uk

, Philadelphia.

Research Indicates Internet Browsing Can Improve Millennials’ Attention to Workplace Tasks

Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing,” a recent research article out of Australia and published in Human Performance (Routledge), is the first to empirically test the theory of Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB), its effectiveness in restoring overall attention to workplace tasks, and attitudes toward workplace Internet browsing among differing age groups.  The implication of this dual study is that short breaks that include non-work related Internet browsing can potentially improve younger workers’ (under the age of 30) attention to work tasks.

FREE ACCESS ARTICLE
Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing, Brent L. S. Coker
Access this article at www.tandfonline.com/HHUP - available in the Journal News box

Concentration during workplace tasks is of the upmost importance; however, it declines over time as mental resources are expended, with cited research from the study finding that subjects begin to lose concentration after 5 to 15 minutes before needing a break. According to the study, “WILB is the act of using the company Internet for personal reasons during work hours, which might include watching YouTube movies, engaging in social media sites such as Facebook, or doing any other activity that might be construed as personal Internet use outside of organizationally set tasks.”  Based on the constructs, the researcher theorized that [1] WILB will have positive effects on a worker’s attention to a task by reducing vigilance decrement – a psychological term meaning a decline in attention to a task as time progresses – and [2] workers under the age of 30 recognize WILB as having a more positive effect on their workplace productivity than older workers because they grew up in the “technology age.”

To test these hypotheses, two separate studies were conducted. The first study assessed the overall task vigilance of four separate groups receiving a different kind of short break while at work: WILB break (surfing Facebook for five minutes), Internet break (comparing separate insurance policies for best deal), stationary break (remaining in place), and no break. The results indicated that task vigilance did not decay as much for those in the WILB group compared to the other three groups. The second study utilized online surveys to a nationwide sample of 2700 office workers to determine the differing attitudes towards WILB among separated age groups. The results indicated that younger workers reap attitudinal and attention benefits from WILB that older workers do not.       

“The implication of this research for managers is that WILB should not necessarily be treated as ‘cyberloafing,’ whereby perpetrators should be punished. Although excessive WILB may negatively impact worker performance by consuming time that would otherwise be spent performing work-related tasks, the present research suggests positive benefits within reasonable limits,” wrote the researcher in his discussion. “An interesting avenue for future research would be to examine how motivational factors might moderate any effects of WILB productivity.”

About Human Performance
www.tandfonline.com/HHUP

Human Performance publishes research investigating the nature of performance in the workplace and in applied settings and offers a rich variety of information going beyond the study of traditional job behavior. Dedicated to presenting original research, theory, and measurement methods, the journal investigates individual and team performance factors that influence work effectiveness.

5-Year Impact Factor: 1.359
© 2013 Thomson Reuters, Journal Citation Reports ® for 2012 ranks Human Performance in Psychology, Applied.

Access the Work and Organizational Psychology Arena

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Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
James Fischer, Marketing Associate, Journals
Email: james.fischer@taylorandfrancis.com

, Oxford.

Counselling and guidance techniques used in Africa must reflect local cultures and resources

Counselling and guidance techniques developed in the Western world may not be appropriate for many African countries, where cultural influences, government policies and the availability of resources can have significant implications for service delivery. In order to develop more robust techniques, researchers and practitioners need rigorous analysis of professional practice across the nations of Africa. A special issue of the British Journal of Guidance & Counselling has been published as a contribution towards the work that is needed to fill this information gap.

This wide-ranging special issue brings together exemplars of research reports and case studies of professional practice from across Africa, from Ghana and Nigeria in the west, Uganda in the east, and Pretoria and Nkangala districts in South Africa.

Edited by Dr Stephen Goss of the Metanoia Institute, Middlesex University, and Dr Olusegun Adebowale of Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, this special issue aims to address the academic trap – identified by the leading Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina – of treating the continent as if it were one place. Instead, the editors have deliberately set out to:

 “… eschew the stereotypes so prevalent in some Western writings that play first and foremost to Western expectations.”

As such, the seven papers draw on the field-research and experiences of guidance and counselling practitioners and researchers in Africa covering topics as diverse as: the use of the ‘life portrait’ technique to draw out highly sensitive information; the problems experienced by African students studying in the UK; and the risk of ‘compassion fatigue’ among hard-pressed counsellors dealing with complex problems with minimal resources.

For example, ‘Secondary trauma and job burnout and associated factors among HIV lay counsellors in Nkangala district, South Africa’ by Karl Peltzer, Gladys Matseke and Julia Louw (pp. 410-422), provides a detailed examination of the difficulties faced by practitioners in South Africa, who are typically required to see more than 11 clients per day, compared with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy suggested maximum client load of just five clients a day. In these circumstances, it is not surprising that Peltzer et al found high levels of dissatisfaction and significant levels of burnout, particularly among practitioners exposed to high levels of life trauma. In their editorial, Goss and Adebowale conclude that:

 “Workers in all high stress helping roles – but perhaps especially those responsible for their management – will do well to heed such warnings.”

Practitioners in Nigeria will find crucial insights in the paper on counselling school children, ‘Sociocultural factors in client–counsellor self-disclosure in Nigeria, Africa’ by S. A. Oluwatosin. The paper concludes that it can be very difficult for young people to openly talk to counsellors because children are taught to treat adults with deferential respect and obedience, but is hopeful that methods that are in tune with local cultural norms can be developed.

Cultural sensitivities are also required in South Africa where – as Charles Young and Megan Campbell of Rhodes University found – that country’s particular history has created a lingering legacy of inequality in mental health experienced by black university students, compared with their white counterparts. Their paper, ‘Student wellbeing at a university in post-apartheid South Africa: a comparison with a British university sample using the GP-CORE measure’ (pp. 359–371) is mirrored by one by Florence Doku and Bonnie Meekums of the University of Leeds: ‘Emotional connectedness to home for Ghanaian students in the UK’ (pp. 383–402).

The special issue also includes:

  • ‘Career construction with a gay client: a case study’, by Jacobus Gideon Maree
  • ‘Predictors of academic performance of seminarians in Catholic Major Seminaries in the South-West Region of Nigeria’, by Andrew A. Adubale and Oyaziwo Aluede
  • ‘Mental health practitioners’ reflections on psychological work in Uganda: exploring perspectives from different professions’, by Jennifer Hall et al.

Although the editors set out to provide examples of work from all parts of Africa, they note with regret that they were unable to obtain papers from northern parts of the continent, mentioning in particular that potential authors (e.g. from Egypt) felt unable to contribute due to the local political situation. However, the editors are hopeful that a future special issue can be published:

 “… the diversity [of papers] is so great as to have created an opportunity for not only this symposium but a number of other papers that will appear in the coming months, perhaps even forming a second symposium edition, is reflective of the wealth of activity in this part of the world.”

 

Notes for editors:

Please reference the journal as British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, published by Taylor & Francis.

* Read a selection of the articles, free of charge, online at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cbjg20/42/4

The special issue editor, Stephen Goss may be contacted for editorial queries ONLY via email: stephenpgoss@gmail.com.

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About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life. As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, e-books and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine. 

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues. 

For more information please contact: 
Claire Thomas, Senior Marketing Executive, Behavioral Science Journals 
email: claire.thomas@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

Building bridges better and structures stronger

Can Mother Nature help Scientists make tougher materials?

Research published in Materials Research Letters this month reveals that materials used in engineering could be made stronger using inspiration from the structure of bones and bamboo.

Metal is comprised of millions of closely-packed grains. The smaller the size of the individual grain, the less we can stretch the metal without it breaking. The study reveals that by manipulating the size of the grains, in particular making the grains bigger as you go further into the metal, the stronger and more ductile the metal becomes.

This manipulation creates a ‘gradient structure’ that is similar to structures found in bamboo stalks or animal bones.

The authors of the article, X. L. Wu, P. Jiang, L. Chen, J. F. Zhang, F. P. Yuan & Y. T. Zhu, comment that ‘this represents a new mechanism for strengthening that exploits the principles of both mechanics and materials science.’

The authors suggest that the research ‘may provide for a novel strategy for designing material structures with superior properties’.

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* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21663831.2014.935821#.U7-cOJRdV8E

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.   From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
Matt Peck
Taylor & Francis Journals
Email: Matthew.Peck@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

Challenging traditions in research reporting: New journal Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology

Taylor & Francis, the European Association of Social Psychology and the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists, are launching an innovative new social psychology journal, Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology (CRSP) which aims to create a paradigm shift in how research is conducted and reported in this field. The editors, Kai Jonas, University of Amsterdam, and Joseph Cesario, Michigan State University, along with the editorial board, will begin reviewing research proposals in late 2014 for the first volume to be published in 2016.

CRSP will be the first social psychology journal to publish only pre-registered papers. The journal will have a strong focus on methodology and transparency in the research process.  Authors will submit their research proposals to the journal and these will be reviewed and accepted on the basis of the proposed methodology. All papers will then be published so long as the studies are conducted and analyzed as agreed in the pre-registered proposal.

By adopting this approach, CRSP aims to publish research in a way that ensures that studies are statistically sound, that results are reported in a comprehensive manner, and that makes later replication easier. The mission of CRSP is also to avoid strategic publication biases, the suppression of non-significant results and hypothesizing after the results are known.

Rohays Perry, Behavioral Sciences Editorial Director at Taylor & Francis says ‘At Taylor & Francis, we are excited to be launching Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology with the European Association of Social Psychology and the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists. As scholarly publishers serving learned academic communities for over 200 years, we’ve seen many changes, but our core role – assisting in the advancement of knowledge – remains the same. The changes in authoring, peer review, and editorial decision-making which Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology represents, although innovative, are in the great tradition of scholarly publishing: finding the best ways to capture, validate and disseminate knowledge.’

CRSP’s Editor, Kai Jonas, says of the journal’s launch, ‘CRSP’s initial publication agreement for registered reports provides a great incentive for researchers to conduct and analyze their research properly. The concept of pre-registration is not new, but innovative within Social Psychology. While other disciplines and journals only devote sections or special issues to this format, Social Psychology puts itself at the forefront by having a journal that does registered reports only. This might turn out to be a real game changer!’

Joseph Cesario, the journal’s co-editor, adds, ‘This is a great opportunity for changing the face of social psychological research. Researchers publishing in CRSP will be leading the way toward a better, more rigorous approach to our science.’


The journal will join Taylor & Francis’s extensive portfolio of over 250 behavioral science journals. Taylor & Francis also publish an extensive range of psychology and behavioral science books under the Psychology Press and Routledge imprints.

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group is part of Informa, one of the world’s leading publishers of academic journals. We are dedicated to the dissemination of scholarly information, drawing on expertise developed since first publishing learned journals in 1798. Taylor & Francis now publishes 1,562 scholarly journals in association with over 460 learned societies and scholarly institutions. We operate from a network of 20 global offices, including Philadelphia, Oxford, Melbourne, Stockholm, Beijing, New Delhi, Johannesburg and Singapore.

For more information please contact:

Jennifer McMillan, Head of Communications, Taylor & Francis Group Journals

Tel: +44 (0) 207 017 6431

e-mail: jennifer.mcmillan@tandf.co.uk

, Philadelphia.

Spectacles in the Sky

Spectacles in the Sky

From auroras (think “northern lights”) to thundersnow, author and photographer Ed Darack provides a glimpse of the sky’s most interesting phenomena.

Darack’s article, “The Extraordinary Sky Part I: Seeking the Atmosphere’s Strangest and Most Spectacular Phemomena,” was featured in the latest issue of Weatherwise magazine, the first in a two part series featuring a list of 30 rare atmospheric spectacles.   

"In nearly two decades of writing for Weatherwise, this is my longest, most heavily researched, in-depth, and in my opinion, the most exciting article I’ve written,” Darack said.

Among these phenomena are high altitude upward lightning, supercell thunderstorms, crepuscular rays (often called “god beams”), and lenticular clouds, just to name a few.  

The article features Darack’s photos from around the world that took over two decades to accumulate.

“I was able to go into great detail on the atmosphere’s most exciting and extraordinary phenomena and I think readers worldwide will find it a truly fascinating read,” he said.

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* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00431672.2014.918786

, Oxford.

Paid work a ‘barrier to exercise’ for older women

Older women in paid employment are less likely to take part in leisure-time physical activity, according to research by the University of Birmingham.

Researchers from Birmingham Business School found that time constraints imposed by paid work have a negative effect on exercise levels for women in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

The study, “Older women and their participation in exercise and leisure-time physical activity: the double edged sword of work” published in the journal Sport in Society, also identifies fear, embarrassment, lack of confidence, caring responsibilities and limited opportunities as barriers to physical activity for older women.

And with paid work extending further into older age as the statutory pension age increases, the study urges government, employers and leisure providers to intervene in order to counter the negative effects of working longer on participation in leisure-time physical activity.

Fiona Carmichael, Professor of Labour Economics in the Department of Management at Birmingham Business School, led the study. She said: ‘Participation in physical exercise declines with age, and working for longer is unlikely to reverse this trend.’

The researchers carried out in-depth, open-ended interviews with 30 older women on the subject of exercise. They also interviewed a number of key stakeholders, including leisure providers, NHS groups, a local council and Age UK. Data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) was analysed to provide national context.

Analysis of the BHPS data showed that although people in paid work are more likely to join a sports club and watch live sport, they are less likely to participate in recreational physical activity.

But while the dominant finding from the interviews was the negative effect time constraints have on participation in physical activity, the study also identifies some positive links between work and exercise, forming part of what the researchers describe as a ‘double-edged sword’ for older women in paid employment.

For example, a number of the women interviewed said their employers had helped facilitate participation in physical activity, while some of the stakeholders noted the benefits of having a physically active workforce. Other factors identified as encouraging older women to take part in exercise included a history of being active and a desire to remain healthy.

Professor Carmichael added: ‘Our study suggests that as working lives are extended, constraints on time will bite more deeply into time available for leisure-based physical activity. Since the positive link between physical activity and health is clear, longer working lives make it imperative to support workplace interventions that motivate physical activity in work.’

The academics say further research on a larger scale – involving stronger representation of different socio-economic and ethnic groups – is required to give a fuller picture of the relationship between paid work and participation in physical activity in older women.

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About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
Leah Stanley, Marketing Executive
email: leah.stanley@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

Recruiting foreign athletes: how far will countries go to win gold?

Labour migration is a significant factor in today’s economy as many people live and work outside their country of birth, including elite athletes who seek employment around the world. However, are some countries taking advantage of this migration to attract elite athletes to compete in the Olympic Games?

A unique study published in the International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, titled  ‘Investigating the global productivity effects of highly skilled labour migration: how immigrant athletes impact Olympic medal counts’ by Jonathan Horowitz & Stephen R. McDaniel (University of Maryland), is the first known investigation into the impact that worldwide migration has had on the Olympic games. Many people believe that foreign athletes are being ‘recruited’ by countries to improve their medal count. Although the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has voiced concern, they have not explored the impact that migration is having on medal counts within the Olympic Games.  Horowitz and McDaniel examine how the labour migration of highly skilled athletes has impacted on the medal counts at the Summer Olympics since 2000 and discuss the implications this may have on IOC policy.

The authors compared the country of birth of medal-winning athletes at the Summer Olympics in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 to the country for which the athlete won the medal. It was found that the percentage of medal winners who are immigrants is significantly higher than percentage of the world population who are international migrants. Furthermore, one out of every ten medal winners in the games were not competing for the country in which they were born, and the countries which won more medals on average had a higher number of non-native medal winners than countries that featured exclusively native-born athletes. 

These findings indicate that foreign athletes have a significant impact on medal count at the Olympic Games and the authors further suggest that the number of immigrants competing for a country is correlated to medal count at the Olympic Games. This highlights the challenges that immigration presents to current IOC policy and indicates that the IOC needs to increase their understanding of the impact that migration has had and will have at future Olympic Games. The results of the current study also have broader implications for labour migration researcher in general as sport offers an opportunity for researchers to track the mobility of individuals and their productivity, in a manner that is extremely difficult in many other labour contexts.

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About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
Leah Stanley, Marketing Executive
email: leah.stanley@tandf.co.uk