Category Archives: Behavioral Science

Radiation’s Most Immediate Effect: Panic Buying

A top Japanese official urged residents of the nation’s capital not to hoard bottled water Wednesday after Tokyo’s government found that radioactive material in tap water had exceeded the limit considered safe for infants. “We have to consider Miyagi and … Continue reading

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More Radiation Panic

As I predicted: more people are going to be hurt by iodine than by radiation. I really really should be selling placebos. (Or red wine. See this post) As workers struggle to contain the fallout from the crippled nuclear plant in … Continue reading

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Pharm-illogical Panic Buying: Iodine Sells Out on West Coast

I bet I could sell a TON of anti-radiation placebos in California. Many West Coast residents came up empty handed in their search of potassium iodide this week as fears over radiation spreading from Japan took hold. The rush on … Continue reading

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The Anti-Placebo

AKA the nocebo effect. Poor expectations of treatment can override all the effect of a potent pain-relieving drug, a brain imaging study at Oxford University has shown. In contrast, positive expectations of treatment doubled the natural physiological or biochemical effect … Continue reading

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Tasting, Tasting…

What is taste? This Big Think special series looks at what taste actually is—from both a scientific and sociological perspective—and why it is that we find some tastes so appealing and others disgusting. What Is Taste? | Special Series | … Continue reading

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Innocent Pleasures

Lee Siegel, author of “Against the Machine” A recent study published by AVG, an Internet security company, found that 92 percent of American children have an online presence by the time they are 2. One third of mothers in the United … Continue reading

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Baa Baa Black Sheep, Have You Any Wool?

“Yes sir, yes sir, Three bags full. One point five for my Master, One point one for my Dame, Four tenths for the little boy, who lives in the Lane.” Over the past few decades, evidence has quietly built up … Continue reading

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