In the Headlines
SELECTED NEWS COVERAGE: July 2008
Philadelphia Inquirer (July 18)
Believing you are healthy may make it so "It is not clear whether we should seek to disabuse people of optimistic 'misperception'’ in pursuit of changing behavior," the lead author, University of Rochester Medical Center researcher Robert Gramling, said in a statement. "Perhaps we should work on changing behaviors by instilling more confidence in the capacity to prevent having a heart attack, rather than raising fears about having one." (Also Reported in: Washington Post, Forbes, UPI, News-Medical.net Australia, NewKerala.com India, PhysOrg.com Virginia, BusinessWeek, Medical News Today, Times of India)
LA Times (July 24)
Doug Henwood says some lenders are too big to fail but ought to be more aggressively regulated. Steven E. Landsburg says full market exposure is the best oversight. Today's question: Why shouldn't Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (and other large lenders) be allowed to fail? Previously, Henwood and Landsburg discussed the mortgage crisis, how much speculators are to blame for high oil prices and Phil Gramm's comments about a "mental" recession. Steven E. Landsburg is a professor of economics at the University of Rochester, a columnist for Slate and the author, most recently, of "More Sex Is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics."
Christian Science Monitor (July 22)
Scientists say this need for community may be a result of humanity's long evolution in groups. Living together conferred an advantage, they say. In the hunter-gatherer world, relatedness, autonomy, curiosity, and competence — the very things that psychologists find make people happy — "had payoffs that were pretty clear," says Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester in New York. "Aspiring for a lot of material goods is actually unhappiness-producing," he says. "People who value material good and wealth also are people who are treading more heavily on the earth – and not getting happier."
Washington Post (July 28)
More than three decades ago, Edward Deci, a social and personality psychologist at the University of Rochester, found the first experimental evidence of a phenomenon with wide relevance to the way most Americans conduct their personal, professional and social lives. Deci tracked a bunch of college students who were solving puzzles for fun. He divided them into two groups. One group was allowed to keep solving puzzles as before. People in the other were offered a small financial reward for each puzzle they solved.