Few things are as dangerous as economists with physics envy

Scientists are supposed to reach their conclusions after doing research and weighing the evidence but, in economics, conclusions can come first, with economists supporting a thesis that fits their moral worldview.

 

A trader rubs his face while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 7, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Two questions: is it good or bad that professional athletes earn 400 times what nurses do, and is string theory a dead end? Each question goes to the heart of its discipline. Yet while you probably answered the first, you’d hold an opinion on the prospects of string theory only if you’ve studied physics. 

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Politics & Current Affairs
German-born Swiss-US physicist Albert Einstein (Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)

‘IQ tests just measure how good you are at doing IQ tests.’ This is the argument that is almost always made when intelligence-testing is mentioned. It’s often promoted by people who are, otherwise, highly scientifically literate. You wouldn’t catch them arguing that climate change is a myth or that vaccines might cause autism. But saying that IQ tests are useless is just as wrong as these notions: in fact, decades of well-replicated research point to IQ tests as some of the most reliable and valid instruments in all of psychological science.

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Personal Growth

How Having a Happy Spouse Can Improve Your Health

Forget multi-vitamins, pick up a happy spouse instead. This study suggests the enormous upward effect of having a partner who has a happy nature.

A study of 1,981 middle-aged heterosexual couples revealed that people who had happy spouses were notably more likely to report better health over time.

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Personal Growth