Health Mind Matters Articles

Human behavior in a post-rational world

  • More On Why Public-Health Messages Backfire

    A while back I linked to a couple of studies in which scary public-health messages had the opposite of their intended effect: These anti-drinking and anti-smoking ads made people want to drink and smoke more. I...

  • New Study: Breast Cancer Screening Is Useless

    Is it time to accept that plenty of cancer-screening in the developed world is motivated by psychological needs, rather than fact? Screening addresses our fears of statistically unlikely horrors, which scare us...

  • Stressed Doctors Are Impersonal Doctors

    A new study finds doctors who are stressed and tired treat their patients more mechanistically--prescribing pills, tests and other technical fixes instead of taking the time to see people as people. I guess this...

  • The Mickey D's of Mental Health?

    If modern medicine is simply the application of universal scientific knowledge to human bodies, then treatments for the same physical problems should be roughly similar all over the world. Instead, when Lynn Payer...

  • Enjoying Ourselves to Death?

    The looming menace of widespread chronic disease is a lot like the prospect of major climate change. Both future crises are expected on the basis of imperfect projections which don't neatly agree--but which, in...

  • Practical Post-Rationality

    Models of the mind are never ``just theories'' -- ideas about human nature shape the rules and habits that guide daily life.   A case in point: If people were purely rational in their decisions about risks...

  • Religion and Teen Pregnancy - Perfect Together?

    Where in the United States are teen-age girls most likely to become pregnant? According to this study, published last month in the journal Reproductive Health, the answer is: Where Evangelical Christians are most...