Category Archives: Chapter 12

Mathematics or “Citizen Statistics”?

Does learning mathematics help to master the statistics necessary to understand the social world we live in? Political scientist Andrew Hacker thinks this is a “math myth” that has led to requirements at the high school level that turns off … Continue reading

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Fighting Extreme Poverty

Half a billion people live on less than 75 cents per day.  Termed the “ultrapoor,”  they often have too few resources to send their children to school or to save any money. What would it take to improve their conditions?  … Continue reading

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Getting Going to Fight Poverty

Imagine that you are managing a health clinic and need to recruit health workers who not just know their stuff, but are genuinely interested in helping the community.  Would you include in your ad the statement, “Job provides great opportunity … Continue reading

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Measurement in Health Care and Education: Solution or Problem?

The desire to measure outcomes to monitor performance and improve health care and teaching is more than understandable: It would seem to go without saying for a research methodologist. But there can be too much of a good thing, as … Continue reading

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Would You Want Your Parents to Know?

A new experiment at Harvard’s Student Social Support R&D Lab indicates that students in a summer program did better when their parents received a weekly one-sentence about their children’s performance.  The study used a randomize experimental design with students in … Continue reading

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Cities, Nature, and Mental Health

Is a walk in the woods good for you?  It used to be a part of everyday life for people all over the world, but as civilization has progressed and people mostly live in urban areas, contact with nature has … Continue reading

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How to Assess Needs?

Who can best determine what people in a community need to improve their lives?  Asking them seems to be the most helpful part of a good needs assessment.  In Houston, a nonprofit named  Neighborhood Centers assesses needs by “spending hundreds … Continue reading

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He’s Really Hot Now!

Do you every watch a basketball game and think that a player has a “hot hand,” by making a lot of baskets consecutively?  Do you ever play on slot machines and think that you are having a “streak” of good, … Continue reading

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Psychics and Pseudoscience

With concerns about reproducibility of results and exposure of instances of fraud–not to mention conflicting research results about what you should eat and how often you should be tested, it is easy to become cynical about the value of scientific … Continue reading

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Trash the Focus of Anthropological Research in New York

New York University anthropologist Robin Nagle has found “a gold mine for garbage pickers.” New York’s Department of Sanitation collects almost 3.5 million tons of trash each year. The contents range from discarded photos of a divorced spouse and bottles … Continue reading

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