What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

How Much Pain is Our Kid Feeling? Well, How Much Can We Afford?

December 30, 2010, 9:25 AM
Capitalist_plutocrat

When a sick kid is too young to speak, doctors naturally ask a parent or other caretaker how much it hurts. Only half of the answer, according to this study in this month's Journal of Pain, is based on symptoms. The rest arises from the adult's own life experience, including social class: Given a list of earache symptoms, parents at a clinic were asked to rate how much a hypothetical one-year-old would be suffering. College graduates' estimates were distinctly higher than those of people who didn't get beyond high school.

Nader Shaikh and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh also report finding a link between pain perception and type of insurance: About a fifth of the parents who completed their questions had private insurance, while the rest used public programs. Those with the private coverage perceived more pain from the same symptoms. Both education level and insurance status, as the authors write, are often-used proxies for class status.

Everyone's answers, on a scale from no-pain 0 to unbearable 100, clumped around the same numbers, making all parents look alike. So the researchers log-transformed the data to expose the differences among them. Which means these transformed numbers (college grads' average estimate, 39.8; no-college parents', 21.5), represent a slight, not colossal, distinction. Still, the authors write, it's significant.

It wasn't a large or broadly representative study (only 59 parents, 41 of whom were African-American and only 13 of whom had graduated college) had their answers tallied. But it's enough, the authors say, to suggest that simply asking about a sick child's pain may not be enough. Doctors, when they ask parents for their gut feelings about what their child has suffered, might want to consider what else that gut has been through in life.

Shaikh, N., Kearney, D., Colborn, D., Balentine, T., Feng, W., Lin, Y., & Hoberman, A. (2010). How Do Parents of Preverbal Children With Acute Otitis Media Determine How Much Ear Pain Their Child Is Having? The Journal of Pain, 11 (12), 1291-1294 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2010.03.017

 

How Much Pain is Our Kid Fe...

Newsletter: Share: