20 MAR 2018 by ideonexus

 Lower Mortality in Moderate Drinkers VS Abstainers Result...

RESULTS: Without adjustment, meta-analysis of all 87 included studies replicated the classic J-shaped curve, with low-volume drinkers (1.3-24.9 g ethanol per day) having reduced mortality risk (RR = 0.86, 95% CI [0.83, 0.90]). Occasional drinkers (<1.3 g per day) had similar mortality risk (RR = 0.84, 95% CI [0.79, 0.89]), and former drinkers had elevated risk (RR = 1.22, 95% CI [1.14, 1.31]). After adjustment for abstainer biases and quality-related study characteristics, no significant r...
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The studies fail to take into account that many abstainers are former alcoholics who are biased toward ill health.

09 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 A Lack of Uncertainty Impacts Learning in Adults

Healthy aging can lead to impairments in learning that affect many laboratory and real-life tasks. These tasks often involve the acquisition of dynamic contingencies, which requires adjusting the rate of learning to environmental statistics. For example, learning rate should increase when expectations are uncertain (uncertainty), outcomes are surprising (surprise) or contingencies are more likely to change (hazard rate). In this study, we combine computational modelling with an age-comparativ...
  1  notes
02 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 Effects of Good Teachers on Student Outcomes

These findings would suggest that the difference in achievement gains between having a 25th percentile teacher (a not so effective teacher) and a 75th percentile teacher (an effective teacher) is over one-third of a standard deviation (0.35) in reading and almost half a standard deviation (0.48) in mathematics. Similarly, the difference in achievement gains between having a 50th percentile teacher (an average teacher) and a 90th percentile teacher (a very effective teacher) is about one-third...
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08 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Debt Makes College a Risky Investment

Our findings, especially those that examine household decision-making, emphasize that while the return to higher education is high, it is not a safe investment for many households. The deterrent effect of risk survives the ability of agents to feasibly debt finance college with student loans. The main force here is that debt makes higher education riskier for student borrowers, suggesting that alternatives that are mindful of risk may be more effective. In turn, the focus of the policy experi...
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19 DEC 2014 by ideonexus

 How the Finance Industry Hurts the Economy

In perhaps the starkest illustration, economists from Harvard University and the University of Chicago wrote in a recent paper that every dollar a worker earns in a research field spills over to make the economy $5 better off. Every dollar a similar worker earns in finance comes with a drain, making the economy 60 cents worse off. [...] ...the growth of complex financial products has served primarily to boost income for the firms themselves, Philippon said. A new paper from researchers in t...
Folksonomies: economy finance
Folksonomies: economy finance
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03 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 The Success of Science

One of the reasons for its success is that science has built-in, self-correcting machinery at its very heart. It takes account of human fallibility. One of its commandments is, "Mistrust arguments from authority." Too many such arguments have turned out to be painfully wrong. Authorities must prove their contentions like anybody else. This independence of science, its unwillingness to pay automatic obeisance to conventional wisdom, makes it dangerous to doctrines less self- critical. ...
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Comes from its built-in self-criticism, its proven results, and the reverence and awe it inspires.

10 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Appreciate the Beauty of Wrong Ideas

Pinker tiresomely rehearses the familiar triumphalism of science over religion: “the findings of science entail that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures ... are factually mistaken.” So they are, there on the page; but most of the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures have evolved in their factual understandings by means of intellectually responsible exegesis that takes the progress of science into account; and most of...
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Argument that just because an idea is overcome by events, does not mean we cannot appreciate it for its elegance and beauty.

26 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Labeling Emotions Helps Control Them

Meditation and other “mindfulness” techniques are designed to help people pay more attention to their present emotions, thoughts and sensations without reacting strongly to them. Meditators often acknowledge and name their negative emotions in order to “let them go.” When the team compared brain scans from subjects who had more mindful dispositions to those from subjects who were less mindful, they found a stark difference—the mindful subjects experienced greater activation in the ...
Folksonomies: meditation mindfulness
Folksonomies: meditation mindfulness
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An experiment demonstrating the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation in calming emotional states.

08 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Circumcision Increases an Infant's Sensitivity to Pain

Glover’s findings are supported by research on the effects of pain experienced by infants after birth. Anna Taddio, a pain specialist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, noticed more than a decade ago that the male infants she treated seemed more sensitive to pain than their female counterparts. This discrepancy, she reasoned, could be due to sex hormones, to anatomical differences—or to a painful event experienced in this part of the world by many boys and no girls: circumcisio...
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Compared to males who are uncircumcised.

04 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Mistrust arguments from authority

One of the great commandments of science is, 'Mistrust arguments from authority'. (Scientists, being primates, and thus given to dominance hierarchies, of course do not always follow this commandment.) Too many such arguments have proved too painfully wrong. Authorities must prove their contentions like everybody else. This independence of science, its occasional unwillingness to accept conventional wisdom, makes it dangerous to doctrines less self-critical, or with pretensions to certitude. ...
  1  notes

One of the "great commandments of science."