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Focusing On the Next 10 Years Could Lead to Better Use of Evidence-Based Recommendations for Cervical Cancer Screening

Snapshot

  • People are often more swayed by stories than by research evidence.
  • For example, people often ignore evidence-based recommendations about how frequently to get screened for cervical and breast cancer.
  • In this study, asking participants to decide on a screening schedule for the next 10 years, instead of just making a single decision for an upcoming appointment, nearly doubled the number of participants who followed evidence-based recommendations for cancer screening.

To Forgive or Not to Forgive? Understanding Self-attitudes After Health Behavior Lapses

Image of checklist with exercise and nutritional goals

Health behavior change is notoriously difficult. If you have ever tried to exercise more often, drink more water, cut back on sweets, or even floss more regularly, you can probably relate to this difficulty firsthand. Some days you get it right and meet your new health-related goals, and on other days you fall short.

Feeling Awe Can Cultivate Humility

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In a world that increasingly feeds our selfish inclinations and fuels our proclivity for self-aggrandizement, a renewed interest in humility has emerged. Humility has traditionally been defined as an enduring trait and is a facet within well-established measures of personality (e.g., the HEXACO). There are many benefits to possessing this virtue: more prosociality, greater acceptance from others, and better relationships. Lacking humility often portends arrogance or narcissism.

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Want To Cut Back on Snacks? Try Focusing on Alternate Activities

Illustration of man walking down road with fruits and vegetables creating the landscape

How far would you be willing to go for your favorite afternoon snack? Imagine the vending machine near your office is out of it. What would you do next? Some of us would simply choose another snack or just go back to our desk, but others would walk farther to the next vending machine, and still others would drive to the closest convenience store.  

Why Do People Listen To “Experts” Even When They Are Inaccurate?

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From health care professionals to political pundits, policy advisors to sports commentators, advisors are often portrayed as experts in their respective fields. These experts can make surprisingly inaccurate predictions about the future, yet people continue to trust in their predictions.

What to Do When Algorithms Rule

Illustration of spaceship floating in front of several planets

The first American astronauts were recruited from the ranks of test pilots, largely due to convenience. As Tom Wolfe describes in his incredible book The Right Stuff, radar operators might have been better suited to the passive observation required in the largely automated Mercury space capsules. But the test pilots were readily available, had the required security clearances, and could be ordered to report to duty.

Avoiding information to protect an intuitive preference

Image of decadent chocolate molten cake on a fork

Starting a diet? Avoiding the bakery section at the grocery store is a good way to start. Not knowing what tempting baked goods are available can make it easier to stick with your health goal.

But what if you’re out celebrating a big promotion, and the chocolate cake is already calling your name? Could avoiding information about the calorie count of the cake before you make your decision also be considered a “smart” strategy?

‘Pride and Prejudice’ Paths to Inclusion: Diverse Cultural Practices and Perceived Discrimination Matter

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In recent years discussions about inclusion have been front and center, capturing media headlines in the form of protests and multi-million dollar commitments from leaders. From college campuses to industries that range from technology and business to arts and entertainment such protests and institutional commitments have sparked spirited debates about best practices to facilitate inclusion.

Career Snapshot: On Being an Editor

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As I approached the end of my Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at Vanderbilt University, I knew that an academic career was not what I wanted. I had a strong publication record because I liked the process of connecting dots in the literature, designing experiments and interpreting data in light of that literature, and bringing everything together in a paper that laid out a clear argument, not because I was inherently motivated by specific research questions.

Can Imagining Your Future Improve Your Health?

Illustration of small person turning a gear inside of an open head

People are living longer than ever. For many countries, average life expectancy is predicted to soon exceed 80 years. As a longevity expert put it, “We should be planning for more life.” And of course, this includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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