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In empathy we feel what we believe are the emotions of another, which makes it both affective and cognitive by most psychologists. [7] In this sense, arousal and empathy promote prosocial behavior as we accommodate each other to feel similar emotions. For social beings, negotiating interpersonal decisions is as important to survival as being able to navigate the physical landscape. [38] Emotions motivate individual behavior that aids in solving communal challenges as well as guiding group decisions about social exchange. Additionally, recent research has shown individuals who report regular experiences of gratitude engage more frequently in prosocial behaviors. Positive emotions like empathy or gratitude are linked to a more positive continual state and these people are far more likely to help others than those not experiencing a positive emotional state. [38] Thus, empathy's influence extends beyond relating to other's emotions, it correlates with an increased positive state and likeliness to aid others. Measures of empathy show that mirror neurons are activated during arousal of sympathetic responses and prolonged activation shows increased probability to help others.

Another growing focus of investigation is how empathy manifests in education between teachers and learners. [39] Although there is general agreement that empathy is essential in educational settings, research has found that it is difficult to develop empathy in trainee teachers. Lotus sandals Yellow amp; Orange Paula Cademartori DQczD7U1u
According to one theory, there are seven components involved in the effectiveness of intercultural communication; empathy was found to be one of the seven. This theory also states that empathy is learnable. However, research also shows that it is more difficult to empathize when there are differences between people including status, culture, religion, language, skin colour, gender, age and so on. [40]

In order to achieve intercultural empathy, psychologists have employed empathy training. One study hypothesized that empathy training would increase the measured level of relational empathy among the individuals in the experimental group when compared to the control group. NMDR1 Primeknit sneakers adidas 6OaR4
The study also hypothesized that empathy training would increase communication among the experimental group, and that perceived satisfaction with group dialogue would also increase among the experimental group. To test this, the experimenters used the Hogan Empathy Scale, the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory, and questionnaires. Using these measures, the study found that empathy training was not successful in increasing relational empathy. Also, communication and satisfaction among groups did not increase as a result of the empathy training. While there didn’t seem to be a clear relationship between empathy and relational empathy training, the study did report that "relational empathy training appeared to foster greater expectations for a deep dialogic process resulting in treatment differences in perceived depth of communication".

Figure 1
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Open asset

Images of EGFP (green) and Hoechst 33,342 (blue) fluorescence were acquired at 40x with an automated widefield microscope (see Materials and methods). Each panel is independently contrast stretched. …

Table 1

Compounds used.

1.3 µL of a given stock were added to 1000µL, so the final concentrations used are 1/1000 of the concentration listed.

* 2.2 mg of the lysate (from , Sigma-Aldrich) was dissolved in 2.0 mL DMSO to form the stock solution; units indeterminate.

The first round of experiments began by collecting images of all clones for one of the vehicle-only conditions (96 experiments). For analysis and model building, images were represented by numerical features that captured the subcellular localization of the EGFP labeled protein. Data from each experiment were subjected to a quality control procedure established at the outset from the initial data (see Materials and methods).

At the end of each round (including the first), all experiments up to and including that round (that passed quality control) were used to identify phenotypes . We use the term 'phenotype' to refer to a statistically distinguishable localization pattern that may or may not correspond to a previously described or characterized drug effect; see Discussion. Each experiment was represented by a set of feature vectors corresponding to its images. We clustered these sets such that clusters of experiments with similar feature vectors defined phenotypes (see Materials and methods). The number of phenotypes was determined anew from the data every round; which patterns are statistically different may change from round to round as new images might contain entirely new patterns, might be additional examples of a pattern that was previously not considered statistically significant, or might show a pattern that is intermediate between two previous clusters causing them to become joined. The phenotype assignments were then given to the learner to form a model to make predictions about unmeasured experiments (see Materials and methods). The basis of this predictive model was to group together those drugs that had been observed to elicit the same phenotype for at least one clone and had not been observed to elicit different phenotypes for any clone (and similarly by grouping clones). This grouping reduced the complexity of the problem: each group of drugs or clones was assumed to behave the same; of course, later experiments might reveal that some of these groupings were incorrect. The predictions of the model were therefore that drugs in the same group would show the same effect on all clones in future experiments (and that all clones in the same group would be affected similarly). Using this model of correlations of phenotypes among drugs and clones, the active learner chose a new round of 96 new experiments to be performed. The choice of experiments in a round simultaneously prioritized experiments that would test the greatest number of the groupings (i.e., experiments predicted by the largest groups of drugs or clones) while minimizing the number of experiments that could be predicted from each other (i.e., experiments predicted by the same group).

Researchers Zanna Clay and Frans de Waal studied the socio-emotional development of the Mini Tea Dress With Fluted Sleeves In Orchid Print Orchid print Asos oydxed
chimpanzee. [202] They focused on the interplay of numerous skills such as empathy-related responding, and how different rearing backgrounds of the juvenile bonobo affected their response to stressful events, related to themselves (loss of a fight) and of stressful events of others. It was found that the bonobos sought out body contact as a coping mechanism with one another. A finding of this study was that the bonobos sought out more body contact after watching a distressing event upon the other bonobos rather than their individually experienced stressful event. Mother-reared bonobos as opposed to orphaned bonobos sought out more physical contact after a stressful event happened to another. This finding shows the importance of mother-child attachment and bonding, and how it may be crucial to successful socio-emotional development, such as empathic-like behaviors.

Empathic-like responding has been observed in chimpanzees in various different aspects of their natural behaviors. For example, chimpanzees are known to spontaneously contribute comforting behaviors to victims of aggressive behavior in natural and unnatural settings, a behavior recognized as consolation. Researchers Teresa Romero and co-workers observed these empathic and sympathetic-like behaviors in chimpanzees at two separate outdoor housed groups. Cropped Contrast Trim Trousers Sales Up to 50 Tommy Hilfiger izNqN0LjiK
The act of consolation was observed in both of the groups of chimpanzees. This behavior is found in humans, and particularly in human infants. Another similarity found between chimpanzees and humans is that empathic-like responding was disproportionately provided to individuals of kin. Although comforting towards non-family chimpanzees was also observed, as with humans, chimpanzees showed the majority of comfort and concern to close/loved ones. Another similarity between chimpanzee and human expression of empathy is that females provided more comfort than males on average. The only exception to this discovery was that high-ranking males showed as much empathy-like behavior as their female counterparts. This is believed to be because of policing-like behavior and the authoritative status of high-ranking male chimpanzees.

It is thought that species that possess a more intricate and developed prefrontal cortex have more of an ability of experiencing empathy. It has however been found that empathic and altruistic responses may also be found in sand dwelling Mediterranean ants. Researcher Hollis studied the Cataglyphis cursor sand dwelling Mediterranean ant and their rescue behaviors by ensnaring ants from a nest in nylon threads and partially buried beneath the sand. [204] The ants not ensnared in the nylon thread proceeded to attempt to rescue their nest mates by sand digging, limb pulling, transporting sand away from the trapped ant, and when efforts remained unfruitful, began to attack the nylon thread itself; biting and pulling apart the threads. Similar rescue behavior was found in other sand-dwelling Mediterranean ants, but only DRESSES Short dresses MARIA BELLENTANI SsN484Rzp
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species of ants showed the same rescue behaviors of transporting sand away from the trapped victim and directing attention towards the nylon thread. It was observed in all ant species that rescue behavior was only directed towards nest mates. Ants of the same species from different nests were treated with aggression and were continually attacked and pursued, which speaks to the depths of ants discriminative abilities. This study brings up the possibility that if ants have the capacity for empathy and/or altruism, these complex processes may be derived from primitive and simpler mechanisms.

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David Kastelman, Data Scientist Raghav Ramesh,Machine Learning Engineer


On the Dispatch team at DoorDash, we use simulation, empirical observation, and experimentation to make progress towards our goals; however, given the systemic nature of many of our products, simple A/B tests are often ineffective due to network effects. To be able to experiment in the face of network effects, we use a technique known as switchback testing, where we switch back and forth between treatment and control in particular regions over time. This approach resembles A/B tests in many ways, but requires certain adjustments to the analysis.

Dispatch atDoorDash

The core responsibility of the Dispatch system at DoorDash is to power fulfillment of every delivery in Doordash’s three-sided marketplace of Consumers, Dashers and Merchants. To effectively achieve this, we focus on

As we continuously iterate on these problems, we rely heavily on both simulation and experimentation to best serve our audiences on all three sides of the marketplace. Offline simulation is helpful for checking assignment algorithms, and offline evaluation and A/B testing helps us with iteration on prediction algorithms. However, it is no surprise that in dealing with marketplace problems online, often make traditional A/B testing ineffectual. We’ll explain that with an example of SOS pricing below.

Marketplace Experimentation

SOS pricing is a demand shaping strategy used when we have too few dashers compared to the incoming delivery volume. In these scenarios, in order to avoid overwhelming the Dasher fleet with an intractable number of deliveries, thereby increasing Consumer delivery times, we enable SOS pricing, which increases delivery fee. With this increase, demand gets throttled and shifted to later times; meanwhile, dashers are motivated to dash more. When we introduce (or later, modify) the SOS pricing algorithm, we would like to experiment to understand the impact on customer retention and delivery times. If we were to test changes as an A/B experiment on Consumers, 50% of Consumers would see SOS pricing and 50% wouldn’t. In this case, the first set of Consumers get only half of the benefit of supply equilibration (by extension, reduced impact on Consumer delivery times), while the other half get the partial benefit without any extra pay, which makes our learning incomplete. The problem here is the network effect — both sets of Consumers share the same Dasher fleet — so adding a Consumer to the treatment group also affects the experience of Consumers in the control group and we can not establish independence between the two groups.

One way to get around network effects is to introduce the change and observe the impact before and after. For instance, we can compare Consumer delivery times before and after the introduction of SOS pricing. The main problem with this approach is the famous maxim that correlation doesn’t imply causation. Without a randomized experiment, we cannot be sure if the results we are seeing after our change are really because of that change, or just coincide with other things changing in the system. DoorDash is a dynamic company with a lot changing every day, so relying on a pre-post comparison is a risky proposition. At a minimum, relying on pre-post analyses would cause a dispatch bottleneck where we could only change one big thing at a time. Even this strategy, however, is insufficient for interpreting correlations as causal because occurrences outside dispatch’s control like consumer promotions and weather have a big impact on our normal dispatch metrics and might be the true cause of a pre-post observed difference. To take the most-cited line from the oft-cited Airbnb Womens Velvet S Dr Dress Blend 6WAV1z
t on A/B testing, “the outside world often has a much larger effect on metrics than product changes do.”

Switchback Experimentation

Due to the limitations of A/B tests and the insufficiency of pre-post comparisons, the Dispatch team recently decided to switch to a new analytic framework for much of its experimentation — ‘switchback testing.’ Fun fact: switchback testing was originally employed in an agricultural context, specifically for FOOTWEAR Courts Chiarini Bologna 6WvIj9

In switchback testing, the core concept is that we switch back and forth between control and treatment algorithms in a certain region at alternating time periods. For example, in the SOS pricing example, we switch back and forth every 30 minutes between having SOS pricing and not having SOS pricing. We then compare the customer experience and marketplace efficiency between the control time bucket and treatment time bucket metrics corresponding to the decisions made by the algorithm during the two periods.

Implementing Switchback Experiments

In implementing switchback experiments, we include two extra pieces of logic:

In many ways, switchback testing is exactly like A/B testing, but instead of randomizing based on something like deliveries, we randomize based on time-region units.

The rest of the section explains the design of the switchback service we use at DoorDash.

The switchback service is responsible for three functions

The most important metadata of an experiment is the “switchback window”, i.e., the duration of time for which we persist a variant before switching. Other metadata include names and relative sizes of the bucket variants. Internally, the switchback service stores the following state — 1. The start of the current time window, 2. A map with region id as the key and the current bucket name as its value and 3. A unique identifier for the experiment unit (time + region)

To achieve bucketing and tracking, the switchback service exposes two endpoints



A set of ETL jobs that combine the above tracking events and our metrics tables enable analysis of the experiment results.

Analyzing Switchback Experiments

In order to use something like a t-test (which is often used to analyze the results of A/B tests) for our switchback experiments, we analyze based on the same units we’re randomizing on: namely time-region units. This means we’re conducting our statistical tests on the average values of control and treatment time-region units, rather than the individual values of control and treatment deliveries . Therefore, the average value for the treatment and control groups is a simple average of all time-region units rather than a weighted average of those values (weighted by deliveries). This is illustrated with a simple example of 14 deliveries below. While the simple and weighted average of values usually converge over time, if they do not, it is an indication that your intervention has a different impact on units with a lot of deliveries than it does on units with fewer deliveries. In the future, we plan to handle these divergent situations by using multi-level modeling (MLM, also known as hierarchical modeling). MLM also has the advantage of likely being able to reduce the margin of error of our statistical tests.

Sample of 14 deliveries (numeric table in appendix) with illustration of weighted vs. simple average

Moreover, traditional A/B testing has an assumption of independent units, which means that if we know something about the behavior of one unit, it does not tell us anything about the behavior of the second. This assumption is clearly violated in the case of time-region units as the performance of one time-region is highly correlated and can influence the performance of the next. To give a more concrete example, the average time it takes to complete deliveries in one area in one 10-minute chunk of time is related and highly correlated to the average time it takes to complete deliveries in the same area in the next 10-minute chunk of time — much more so than in the case of a single delivery and the next delivery assigned. To account for this lack of independence in our statistical tests, we use an approach robust to a lack of independence called a sandwich estimator of variance (R-snippet of the code we use included in appendix). While strictly speaking this approach (or something similar) is required to avoid violating core assumptions, thus far when running A/A tests (a dummy experiment where there’s no actual difference between “treatment” and “control”) we’ve found the sandwich estimator’s effect on our variance calculations has been <10%.

Setting up Experiments and Doing Power Calculations

In creating our time-region units and determining how granular the geographic units should be and how quickly to switch back and forth, we really have to consider two factors: bias and margin of error.

Bias occurs when your randomization of time-region units is compromised, and the sorts of deliveries that are in treatment and control group are not the same on average. For instance, we might test a certain algorithm which is reluctant to assign deliveries with longer distances between stores and customers. As a result, this treatment algorithm may be observed to have a faster average time to completion even if it is not a better algorithm simply because it is cherry-picking short deliveries and leaving the control group to complete longer deliveries. Bias is more likely to occur if your regions get too small or you switch back too frequently; when we switchback less frequently, it forces the treatment group to complete many more of the longer deliveries and rely less on the control group to clean up its mess. More on health checks to guard against bias and check successful randomization in the footnote.

Margin of error is how much uncertainty exists in our estimate of the impact of an intervention. There are two main factors that influence the uncertainty in our estimate: the natural variation in the data we are observing and the number of units in our dataset. Without getting too technical (refer to sampling distributions for more information), the margin of error in our estimates is proportional to the natural variation in our sample divided by the square root of the number of samples. As time-region buckets get more granular, natural variation in a metric tends to go up, however more granular time-region buckets provide more units in our dataset which drives down uncertainty.

To understand the interplay between natural variation and number of samples, we ran a series of long-term A/A tests. These tests allowed us to look at how margin of error differed for the average value of a certain metric in a time-region unit as we switched back and forth more quickly or more slowly. The results for one metric are summarized in the table below (note, given the small impact of the sandwich estimator in most situations, it is ignored in this table):

We were able to do a similar sort of analysis using different levels of geographic granularity.

Summarizing the following above considerations about bias and margin of error: we do not want time-region units that are too small or we risk introducing bias and failing one of our randomization health checks; on the other hand, we do not want time-region units that are too large or we risk having large margin of errors and taking too long to get our learnings. Based on these analyses, we typically run our tests with 30 minute switchback periods using certain geographic divisions roughly at the city-level.

Validation of our Switchback System

An extra verification step we are interested in is “are the results from a switchback experiment reflective of reality?”. Concretely, if we see an X% increase in a metric in an experiment and we completely move over to the new algorithm, will we actually observe the gains in the metric in the real world? This is particularly important from a business perspective and for making reliable product decisions based on experimental results.

To do this, we observe the changes in metrics prior to and after the launch of the new algorithm. As described earlier, observing changes in a pre/post scenario is challenging for multiple reasons. However, over large time windows after product launches, we can reliably observe the impact on the metrics time series. So, what we look for here is just directional confirmation of the results we observe in the experiment.


As DoorDash tackled this problem, we were able to find some helpful resources like Lyft’s 3-part discussion of floral dress Red Preen didQj6MZHM
. We felt there were still some questions left to answer and believe we’ve been able to make some additional observations particularly on the analysis and implementation details, and we hope our observations may help you if you’re considering similar issues. That being said, we fully admit we’re just getting started on unpacking exciting challenges like the ones discussed above.

See something we did wrong or could do better, please let us know! And if you find these problems interesting, Bridgeport II Plimsolls In Suede Navy KSwiss B6F1Z5f3


R-Snippet for Analysis with Sandwich Variance Estimator

¹ To guard against bias and ensure ‘successful randomization’, you can check to make sure that factors that are unaffected by your intervention have equal values between the treatment and control group: in our example, a good value to check would be the distance between restaurant and customer. At DoorDash, however, we often find that simply checking to make sure the expected proportion of deliveries are considered by treatment runs and control runs sufficiently guards against most instances of bias. To return to our example of an algorithm that is hesitant to assign long-distance deliveries, this would result in unequal proportion of deliveries being assigned the control group rather than the treatment group and this deviation would indicate the existence of bias.

² For example, average delivery times in a specific 5-minute window at a city level varies more widely than can average delivery times across all of DoorDash’s regions in an hour.

³ However, if we notice any bias, we shut down the experiment and start over with coarser time and/or geographic units.

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© 2017 American Geophysical Union

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