Home - Peter Ubel

On Health,
Bioethics, and
Behavioral Economics

As a physician and behavioral scientist, my research and writing explore the quirks in human nature that influence our lives -- the mixture of rational and irrational forces that affect our health, our happiness, and the way our society functions.
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Sick To Debt

How Smarter Markets Lead To Better Care

ABOUT THE BOOK: The United States has the most expensive healthcare system in the world. While policy makers have argued over who is at fault for this, the system has been quietly moving toward high-deductible insurance plans that require patients to pay large amounts out of pocket before insurance kicks in. The idea behind this […]

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What You Need To Know About The Keto Diet
Published Mar 11, 2020Featured Image For What You Need To Know About The Keto Diet
Ketones are a family of chemicals made by your liver, usually out of the body’s fat, to provide energy when you need it. Right now, you’ve almost certainly got some ketones circulating in your blood. If you fast for the better part of a day, the level of ketones in your blood will rise, as […]
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Why Tall People Feel So Intimidating. A Surprising Explanation.
Published Mar 05, 2020Featured Image For Why Tall People Feel So Intimidating. A Surprising Explanation.
Admit it: you can often tell a lot about a person’s personality from their facial expressions. Someone who glowers at you, forehead contracted in a glare, is probably trying to be intimidating. But what if that person isn’t glaring at you? What if they are simply so tall that, with their head tilted down to […]
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Reducing End-Of-Life Costs. It’s Not A Futile Pursuit.
Published Mar 02, 2020Featured Image For Reducing End-Of-Life Costs. It’s Not A Futile Pursuit.
In my most recent post, I describe several psychologic and economic phenomena impeding our ability to rein in the cost of end-of-life care. In brief, people with nothing to lose, who don’t trust doctors recommending they receive hospice care, and who face few economic consequences for receiving expensive care – they aren’t likely to put the […]
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The Cost Of Dying In The US Is Exorbitant. Behavioral Economics Explains Why.
Published Feb 25, 2020Featured Image For The Cost Of Dying In The US Is Exorbitant. Behavioral Economics Explains Why.
Six-year old Kimmy Merrill fell into an abandoned well outside of Oswega, Pennsylvania, her cries unnoticed in the remote countryside until her mother Susan wandered within earshot of the well. Unable to save Kimmy even with the help of local firefighters, Susan pleaded for rescue workers to dig a hole parallel to the well. Desperate […]
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Other Books by Peter Ubel

About Peter

I am a physician and behavioral scientist. My research and writing explores the quirks in human nature that influence our lives — the mixture of rational and irrational forces that affect our health, our happiness and the way our society functions. (What fun would it be to tackle just the easy problems?) My goal is to show you, in an entertaining way, why the key to living better, healthier lives, and improving the societies we live in, is to understand human nature.

I’m also a Professor of Business, Public Policy and Medicine at Duke University. (Officially, I’m the – prepare to be impressed – Madge and Dennis T. McLawhorn University Professor of Business at Fuqua.) My research explores controversial issues about the role of values and preferences in health care decision making, from decisions at the bedside to policy decisions.

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