A Tonic for Neurotonics? Success of Motor-Voter Registration, plus more weekly links


A selection of recent behavioral science news, articles, and resources of note:

  • Drink this and you’ll be happy. Neuroscience says so. The false claims surrounding the power of neuro ’tonics’ are troubling enough when they come from the beverage industry. But when they come from neuroscientists themselves, the potential cost to science and society gives us even more to worry about. (New York Magazine)


Image: Kolé Tonics

  • Smelling farts prevents cancer? Skip the gym and drink red wine? Don’t hug your dog? John Oliver breaks down the trouble with how scientific research is reported in the media. (HBO)

  • C.S. Lewis famously stated that “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” Recent research suggests that across cultures, the penchant for doing the “right thing” and the wrong thing seem to be quite similar. Also, we might not be as dishonest as we think. (Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology)
  • If you want people to do something, make it easy. This Friday, the New York Times Editorial Board extolled the virtues of automatic voter enrollment at the DMV, also known as “motor voter registration.” Since automatic enrollment was put in place in Oregon, an average of over 15 thousand people each month have been added to the state’s voter rolls. (New York Times)

Disclosure: Evan Nesterak works in the Duckworth Lab at the University of Pennsylvania and is colleagues with Scott Barry Kaufman at the university’s Positive Psychology Center.


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