Category Archives: Chapter 7
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
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
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
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
Paying for the privilege of participating in a medical experiment?
Medical research may identify a potentially valuable treatment that must be tested in a rigorous experiment. Usually such experiments are funded by federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health, after a careful review, or by the company that has … Continue reading
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
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
Reproducibility? Not So Much.
When social scientists use exemplary methods and report their findings accurately, we like to think that they have found out something about the social world. Furthermore, it then seems that if another social scientist conducted the same study again, with … Continue reading
Place matters for poverty
Children who move out of high poverty neighborhoods to low poverty neighborhoods with more resources do better on multiple outcomes, and the younger they are when their families move the better. These conclusions come from a study of the long-term outcomes … Continue reading
Do social scientists do better than pollsters?
One of the concerns that emerged from the recent scandal about apparently fictitious data in a published poll about support for same-sex marriage was whether public pollsters are less transparent in their methods than social scientists. Polling organizations are often … Continue reading