Avery Boltwood

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The Vexing Economics of Obamacare

Recent setbacks in states’ exchanges show just how hard it is to make treatment both affordable and widely accessible.<p>Will anyone be able to figure out American health care? So far, perhaps the world’s most byzantine arrangement of doctors, hospitals, clinics, contractors, pharmaceutical companies, …

Health Care

The Difference Between Rationality and Intelligence

ARE you intelligent — or rational? The question may sound redundant, but in recent years researchers have demonstrated just how distinct those two cognitive attributes actually are.<p>It all started in the early 1970s, when the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky conducted an influential …

Critical Thinking

Why every baby around the world’s first word starts with the letter M

Why is it that babies the world over, each exposed to thousands of disparate languages from birth, reward their mothers with roughly the same first word starting with the letter “m”?<p>New research published this week in the Journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences speaks to the …

National Academy of Sciences

What Liberals Don’t Understand About Income Inequality

Blaming the success of America’s 1% for the slow growth of middle- and working-class incomes leads to policies that slow an already slow-growing …

Is A 50-State Poll As Good As 50 State Polls?

<i>UPDATE (Sept. 10, 2:15 p.m.): After conversations with SurveyMonkey, we’re convinced that the critique you’ll read below doesn’t apply well to their</i> …

Americans Tell the Terrorists: You Win

It used to be a joke: “But then the terrorists have won.” Attach the phrase to any sentence—”We could just stay home and watch it on cable, but then …

Behind the Strange Japanese Trend to Cope With Stress

From the series Tokyo Tears: Days to Nothing<br>Albert Bonsfills<p>1 of 15<p>In downtown Tokyo, deep neon floods the office walls, but the color hues from the …

How Can Schools Teach Students Not to Cheat?

Last week, Paul Barnwell worried that academics are crowding out character education in schools. Some readers pointed out how lessons in ethics and morality could be integrated with academics. But meanwhile, according to Barnwell, the pressure seems to have given students a worrying obsession with …

Students

Medical benefits of dental floss unproven

HOLMDEL, N.J. (AP) — It's one of the most universal recommendations in all of public health: Floss daily to prevent gum disease and cavities.<p>Except there's little proof that flossing works.<p>Still, the federal government, dental organizations and manufacturers of floss have pushed the practice for …

Explosive new findings: Farting shown to play a role in regulating your brain and behavior

Ask any boy, man, or honest woman on this planet and they will tell you that farting makes them happy. And those brave souls who embrace their …

'America First,' Invoked By Trump, Has A Complicated History

The phrase, "America First" was invoked a few times at this week's Republican convention. That slogan comes with a lot of echoes, and you might wonder how much the people who chant it now really know about its history.<p>The America First Committee was founded in 1940 by a group of Yale students, many …

Frank Lloyd Wright

Critics: Trump speech signals shift to coded race language

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — During the primaries, Donald Trump threw red-meat rhetoric to supporters, pledging to build a wall on the Mexico border and …

Civil Rights

A Cornell economist who studies luck says the more you acknowledge good fortune, the better off you are

“Luck is not a subject you can mention in the presence of self-made men,” the writer E.B. White once observed. Indeed, many accomplished people bristle at the suggestion that chance played a role in their success, preferring to attribute their achievements to talent and hard work alone.<p>Yet even in …

Success

The End Of A Republican Party

Racial and cultural resentment have replaced the party’s small government ethos.<p>Legend has it that after leveling Carthage in the Third Punic War, …

Doctors Say Your Word Choice Can Hugely Change Your Brain

Be careful because the next word you say could determine how your day is, or the rest of your life might pan out. Doctors at Thomas Jefferson …

Thomas Jefferson

In Response to Trump, Another Dangerous Movement Appears

The “too much democracy” train rolls on.<p>Last week’s Brexit vote prompted pundits and social media mavens to wonder aloud if allowing dumb people to …

Scientists say there's a surprising way to change people's political views

Dan Ariely of Duke University said he was fascinated by a 2014 Israeli study in which researchers used a counterintuitive tactic to change people's political views.<p>Instead of going the usual route and explicitly telling people their beliefs were irrational, the researchers used a strategy called …

Psychology

This One Habit Leads to Better Decision Making, Says Science

Fifteen to 35 percent better decision outcomes, more creative problem solving, and persistence are all benefits of this approach.<p>It's impressive how many ways we study decision making. I searched Amazon today for books on decision making: over 90,000 results. The top one is <i>The Decision Book: 50</i> …

Before Donald Trump, There Was William Jennings Bryan

Imagine the following scenario. Years after the stock market has crashed, millions remain unemployed. Severe political polarization has paralyzed the federal government. As the country enters a presidential election year, populists sense their moment has arrived. They not only attack accepted …