A Surprisingly Easy Way To Become Happier

What makes people happy? A load of studies tell us that human interaction is key to our happiness. But what kind of interactions matter?  And does interaction increase everyone’s happiness, or is it something primarily beneficial to extraverts? A fantastic study set out to answer these questions. In the study, researchers audio-recorded random times in people’s daily lives, and […]

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Sleepless in the Hospital 

Here’s a great New York Times article, highlighting some of the ways people like me think hospitals should help their patients sleep: If part of a hospital stay is to recover from a procedure or illness, why is it so hard to get any rest? There is more noise and light than is conducive for sleep. […]

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Graphic Cigarette Labels Work!

Warning – the warning labels pictured below are graphic but, according to a recent study, they increase the chances that people will quit smoking. Now we need to find a way to get legal permission to use such pictures, so we can shock people out of their habits.

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The Key to Surviving Your Hospital Stay? Get Admitted During Inspection Season

A fascinating study from JAMA Internal Medicine shows that hospital mortality rates decline when hospitals are being inspected by The Joint Commission, a national accrediting agency. Here’s a picture showing the research findings: Which raises the question – is there a way for hospitals to be vigilant even when they aren’t being inspected?

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Does a Church Service a Week Keep the Doctor Away?

Religious belief has many health benefits. For some people, religious belief reduces existential angst, the reduction in stress leading to lower blood pressure and a stronger immune system. For others, religious belief gives their lives purpose, that purpose motivating them in ways that improve their health. And of course, sometimes religious belief is associated with […]

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Need More Evidence the U.S. Healthcare Market Is Screwed Up?

In a healthy consumer market, people compare the price and quality of goods inside whether it’s worth paying extra money to get the best possible products. In healthcare, it’s often almost impossible to figure out what things cost. And when you figured it out, the price variation often makes no sense at all – having […]

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Is the Government Trying to Make Us Fat?

The FDA has proposed new labels on grocery store food products, that adjust serving sizes to more accurately capture what Americans eat. Research I conducted with Steven Dallas and Peggy Liu suggests these labels could be a problem. Here is a great media story on our findings: Last year, the Food and Drug Administration announced […]

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The Harms of Believing in Exercise

Can beliefs make you fat? The answer to this question might seem pretty obvious. If I believe that the best way to lose weight is to super-size five meals a day at McDonald’s, while consuming bags of Doritos to tide me over between meals, that belief is probably going to make me fat. If I […]

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