NYC’s Summons Gets a Makeover, Bush Healers in the Health System, plus more weekly links


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

  • In 2015, nearly half the people who were issued a court summons in New York City failed to show up to their hearing. This year, Mayor Bill de Blasio, in collaboration with ideas42 and the NYPD, reformed the citywide summons process by introducing text-message reminders and more flexible scheduling of dates, in order to reduce the number of no-shows in the courtroom. (City of New York)


Photo: Huseyin

  • As globalization infringes upon the indigenous communities in Australia, aboriginal bush healers provide treatment to help close the health gap. Could integrating these traditional techniques into mainstream medicine improve the treatment of social and mental health problems around the world? (Mosaic Science)
  • From public health to consumer finance, big data and complex algorithms can surely help to solve big and complex problems. “But absent a human touch, its single-minded efficiency can further isolate groups that are already at society’s margins.” (The Atlantic)
  • In a day and age when promoting diversity is very much on the minds of employers, white men still dominate most leadership positions in companies. David Hekman explains that, when it comes to diversifying leadership in companies, “breaking up the old boys’ network is the best thing for society in the long run.” (The Atlantic)
  • With the controversy surrounding police encounters, many people believe that requiring police officers to wear body cameras will help provide an “objective” point of view. But according to Seth Stoughton, a law professor at the University of South Carolina, body camera footage is more ambiguous than you might expect. (New York Times)
  • Are emotions contagious? According to Stanford psychologist, Jamil Zaki, they can be. But being a caretaker and alleviating suffering is much easier when you know your boundaries. (Nautilus)
  • For people experiencing a mental disorder, a new method of self-prescribed treatment is available: smartphone apps. But, as Emily Anthes writes in Nature, they still need to be tested. (Nature)


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