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Penn researchers call for better laws covering patient incentives to improve care

(University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine) Current federal anti-kickback laws prohibit pharmaceutical companies and providers from bribing patients to seek their goods and services. Unfortunately, the laws also prevent hospitals...Show More Summary

Learning from the Westminster Terror Attack

At the time of writing, three people lie dead because of a hate-filled zealot. Whoever this man was and whatever his motivations were, nothing compelled him to drive a four-by-four down the pavement on Westminster Bridge. A grievance, real or imagined, didn't cause him to leave his home with a machete blade this afternoon. Show More Summary

Too much structured knowledge hurts creativity, shows Rotman study

(University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management) Structure organizes human activities and help us understand the world with less effort, but it can be the killer of creativity, concludes a study from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

Charitable giving: How do power and beliefs about equality impact donations?

(Journal of Consumer Research) Are powerful, well-to-do people more charitable? It depends. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, wealthier people are more likely to donate to charity if they endorse social inequality while less wealthy people are more likely to make donations if they endorse greater equality.

Humans and smartphones may fail frequently to detect face morph photos

(University of York) Researchers at the University of York have demonstrated that both humans and smartphones show a degree of error in distinguishing face morph photos from their 'real' faces on fraudulent identity cards.

class and college

When awareness about the impact of socio-economic class was not as prevalent among the public, one exercise I did with my undergraduates at elite institutions was to ask them to identify their class background.  Typically, students self-identified as being in the middle class, even when their families’ household incomes/net worth placed them in the upper class.  […]

Lack of leisure: Is busyness the new status symbol?

(Journal of Consumer Research) Long gone are the days when a life of material excess and endless leisure time signified prestige. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, Americans increasingly perceive busy and overworked people as having high status.

Scientists identify brain circuit that drives pleasure-inducing behavior

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) MIT neuroscientists have discovered a brain circuit that responds to rewarding events. Scientists have long believed that the central amygdala, a structure located deep within the brain, is linked with fear and responses to unpleasant events, but the new study finds that most of the neurons here are involved in the reward circuit.

orthopraxy vs. orthodoxy and the relevance of religion in the sociology of culture

I’m very grateful to Rod Dreher for such a thoughtful and kind response to my work.  I sent him an e-mail in reply, but I’m actually going to edit it a bit and post it here because it relates to some ongoing conversations in the sociology of culture.  In response to my post about how […]

Streamlined analysis could help people better manage their emotions

(University at Buffalo) The strategies people use to manage their emotions fall into three core groupings, according to newly published research from the University at Buffalo. Since a lot of psychopathology is related to difficultyShow More Summary

How does spousal suicide affect bereaved spouse mentally, physically?

(The JAMA Network Journals) People bereaved by the suicide of a spouse were at increased risk for mental and physical disorders, suicidal behavior, death and adverse social events, according to a nationwide study based on registry data conducted in Denmark and published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Loss of spouse or partner to suicide linked to physical, mental disorders

(Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health) People who lose a partner to suicide are at increased risk for a number of mental and physical disorders, including cancer, depression, herniated discs and mood disorders than those in the general population, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

Neuren's Phase 2 trofinetide trial shows significant benefit in pediatric Rett syndrome

( The International Rett Syndrome Foundation, now doing business as, announces today that Neuren Pharmaceuticals reported that trofinetide had significant clinical benefit in their Phase 2 clinical trial in girls with Rett syndrome aged 5 to 15. Show More Summary

Don’t Ask an “Expert:” Read the Research

By Karen Sternheimer I regularly get emails from high school students that I have never met, typically asking for help for an assignment where they are supposed to interview an “expert” about a topic of their choosing. The emails often...

About a Boy–On the Sociological Relevance of Calvin (and Hobbes)

Originally posted at Inequality by (Interior) Design. One of my favorite sociologists is Bill Watterson. He’s not read in most sociology classrooms, but he has a sociological eye and a great talent for laying bare the structure of the world around us and the ways that we as individuals must navigate that structure—some with fewer […]

Alzheimer's disease linked to the metabolism of unsaturated fats, new research finds

(King's College London) A new study published in PLOS Medicine's Special Issue on Dementia has found that the metabolism of omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids in the brain are associated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

People afraid of robots much more likely to fear losing their jobs, suffer anxiety

(Baylor University) 'Technophobes' -- people who fear robots, artificial intelligence and new technology that they don't understand -- are much more likely to be afraid of losing their jobs due to technology and to suffer anxiety-related mental health issues, a Baylor University researcher says.

How birthplace and education influence marriage choices in China

(University of British Columbia) Many people choose their spouse based on shared values and interests. But in China, another important, relatively unknown factor plays a role: hukou, and it may be contributing to growing socioeconomic disparity in the country's largest city, according to a new UBC study.

The social costs of smell loss in older women

(Monell Chemical Senses Center) A new study of older US adults conducted by researchers from the Monell Center and collaborating institutions reports that a woman's social life is associated with how well her sense of smell functions. The study found that older women who do less well on a smell identification task also tend to have fewer social connections.

Optical tool monitors brain's circulatory response to pain

(SPIE--International Society for Optics and Photonics) A study reported today in the journal Neurophotonics demonstrates that an optical imaging tool used to monitor regional blood flow and tissue oxygenation may be used to track the brain's response to acute pain in infants, children, and adults. Show More Summary

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