Shankar Vedantam http://kpcw.org en Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health http://kpcw.org/post/why-we-think-ignorance-bliss-even-when-it-hurts-our-health Medical tests are rarely a pleasant experience, especially if you're worried that something could be seriously wrong. That's true even though we know that regular screenings and tests often help doctors catch issues early.<p>But of course, humans don't always behave rationally. Sometimes people will go to great lengths to avoid hearing bad news. Social scientists call this sort of behavior information aversion, or the ostrich effect (based on the old myth that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they're scared). Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 16452 at http://kpcw.org Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home http://kpcw.org/post/when-work-becomes-haven-stress-home In the land that came up with the phrase "Thank God it's Friday," and a restaurant chain to capitalize on the sense of relief many feel as the work week ends, researchers made an unusual finding in 2012.<p>Moms who worked full time reported significantly better physical and mental health than moms who worked part time, research involving more than 2,500 mothers found. And mothers who worked part time reported better health than moms who didn't work at all.<p>Working and juggling family responsibilities can be stressful. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 15969 at http://kpcw.org When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home Does Diversity On Research Team Improve Quality Of Science? http://kpcw.org/post/does-diversity-research-team-improve-quality-science As science becomes more diverse, scientific collaborators are growing more diverse, too. New research exploring the effect of this change suggests the diversity of the teams that produce scientific research play a big role in how successful the science turns out to be. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 09:39:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 11198 at http://kpcw.org Minority Aspirants To Federal Bench Are Hindered By Underrating http://kpcw.org/post/minority-aspirants-federal-bench-are-hindered-underrating Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. When a president taps someone to become a federal judge, the American Bar Association reviews and rates the nominee. That rating shapes whether the president's pick is confirmed by the Senate. Now, new analysis claims that the ABA ratings are biased. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 10367 at http://kpcw.org Cash Or Credit? How Kids Pay For School Lunch Matters For Health http://kpcw.org/post/cash-or-credit-how-kids-pay-school-lunch-matters-health American kids have a problem with obesity, according to the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/">most recent studies</a>. Fri, 17 Jan 2014 08:37:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 8794 at http://kpcw.org Cash Or Credit? How Kids Pay For School Lunch Matters For Health Lessons In Leadership: It's Not About You. (It's About Them) http://kpcw.org/post/lessons-leadership-its-not-about-you-its-about-them Ronald Heifetz has been a professor of public leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School for three decades, teaching classes that have included aspiring business leaders and budding heads of state. Each year, he says, the students start his course thinking they'll learn the answer to one question:<p>As leaders, how can they get others to follow them?<p>Heifetz says that whole approach is wrong.<p>"The dominant view of leadership is that the leader has the vision and the rest is a sales problem," he says. Mon, 11 Nov 2013 08:20:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 6403 at http://kpcw.org Lessons In Leadership: It's Not About You. (It's About Them) Why Are Kids Who Get Less Candy Happier On Halloween? http://kpcw.org/post/why-are-kids-who-get-less-candy-happier-halloween What makes trick-or-treaters happy is candy. And more candy is better, right?<p>Well, it turns out that might not actually be the case. A few years ago researchers did <a href="http://www.psych.uncc.edu/pagoolka/pbr96.pdf">a study</a> on Halloween night where some trick-or-treaters were given a candy bar, and others were given the candy bar and a piece of bubble gum.<p>Now, in any rational universe, you would imagine that the kids who got the candy bar and the bubble gum would be happier than the kids who got just the candy bar. Thu, 31 Oct 2013 07:58:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 5984 at http://kpcw.org Why Are Kids Who Get Less Candy Happier On Halloween? Smart Teenage Brains May Get Some Extra Learning Time http://kpcw.org/post/smart-teenage-brains-may-get-some-extra-learning-time John Hewitt is a neuroscientist who studies the biology of intelligence. He's also a parent. Over the years, Hewitt has periodically drawn upon his scientific knowledge in making parenting decisions.<p>"I'm a father of four children myself and I never worried too much about the environments that I was providing for my children because I thought, well, it would all work out in the end anyway — aren't the genes especially powerful?" <a href="http://ibgwww.colorado.edu/hewitt/">Hewitt</a> says.<p>He knew intelligence has a strong biological component. Mon, 23 Sep 2013 07:37:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 4478 at http://kpcw.org Smart Teenage Brains May Get Some Extra Learning Time Diet Of Defeat: Why Football Fans Mourn With High-Fat Food http://kpcw.org/post/diet-defeat-why-football-fans-mourn-high-fat-food Backing a losing NFL team isn't just bad for your pride.<p>It's bad for your waistline.<p>A study that links sports outcomes with the eating behavior of fans finds that backers of NFL teams eat more food and fattier food the day after a loss. Backers of winning teams, by contrast, eat lighter food, and in moderation.<p>After a defeat, the researchers found that saturated fat consumption went up by 16 percent, while after a victory it decreased by 9 percent. Fri, 20 Sep 2013 07:22:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 4416 at http://kpcw.org Diet Of Defeat: Why Football Fans Mourn With High-Fat Food It's OK To Protest In China, Just Don't March http://kpcw.org/post/its-ok-protest-china-just-dont-march Thousands of messages posted on the Internet every day in China get censored. Until now, little has been known about how the Chinese censorship machine works — except that it is comprehensive.<p>"It probably is the largest effort ever to selectively censor human expression," says Harvard University social scientist <a href="http://www.gov.harvard.edu/people/faculty/gary-king">Gary King</a>. "They don't censor everything. There are millions of Chinese [who] talk about millions of things. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Shankar Vedantam 3901 at http://kpcw.org It's OK To Protest In China, Just Don't March